York professor receives prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowship


TORONTO, February 6, 2009 -- York University professor Hamzeh Roumani has been awarded a 2009 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

The 3M Fellowship recognizes excellence and leadership in Canadian university teaching. Roumani, a Senior Lecturer in York’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering, was officially named a recipient yesterday.

“The most meaningful reflection of Professor Roumani’s passion for teaching can be seen in the numerous positive comments we’ve received from his students – and the ongoing success of those students,” says Nick Cercone, Dean of York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering.

“He devotes a great deal of effort to understanding how students learn and how course design can facilitate learning,” says Cercone. “His teaching is based on a commitment to engaging students in ‘learning by doing,’ and helping them develop insights and skills that will serve them for a lifetime.”

Roumani’s innovations have included developing software that offers students immediate feedback on computer programs they are writing, and creating a programming environment that provides a step-by-step approach to learning Java, a complex computer language.

“His redesign of the introductory computer science courses has given students a crucial foundation for further study in the discipline. It has resulted in improved retention rates and better preparation for upper-level courses,” Cercone says.

Roumani came to York in 1992 as a part-time instructor, and joined the full-time faculty in 1998; in 2003, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer.

He is also the recipient of York’s Faculty of Science and Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award and University-Wide Teaching Award, the Ontario-Wide Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award from the Ontario government, and the Mildred Baptist Award.

The 3M National Teaching Fellowship was established in 1986 through the generosity of 3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, allowing recognition of 238 Canadian professors from 45 different universities. From 35,000 eligible faculty, 38 nominations were adjudicated this year. Nominations for the fellowships are submitted by teachers on their own behalf, or by their colleagues.

Media contact:

Melissa Hughes, Media Relations, York University: 416 736 2100 x22097, mehughes@yorku.ca .

York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as more than 200,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 11 faculties and 26 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.