Faculty of Health professors earn awards for teaching, research and service

Three professors at York University have been recognized for their contributions to teaching, research and service during the annual Faculty of Health Awards, which on Dec. 6 presented awards to Nicolette Richardson, Christopher Perry, and Rebecca Bassett-Gunter.

The annual awards alternate each year between ‘Early Career’ faculty and ‘Established Career’ faculty in the categories of Teaching, Research and Service. This year’s awards cover the 2016-17 academic year for Early Career faculty with the award designations as follows: Richardson – Teaching; Perry – Research; and Bassett-Gunter – Service.

“I’m very pleased to present the Faculty of Health Awards,” said Faculty of Health Dean Paul McDonald. “I continue to be impressed by the excellence within our Faculty, and this is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on some of the achievements of our colleagues.”

The awards were adjudicated by the Research and Awards Committee in the spring of 2017.

Left to Right: Professor Nicolette Richardson (Kinesiology & Health Science), Professor Rebecca Bassett-Gunter (Kinesiology & Health Science), Professor Christopher Perry (Kinesiology & Health Science), and Dean Paul McDonald


Award Recipients for the 2016-17 academic year include:

Teaching Award – Nicolette Richardson (School of Kinesiology & Health Science)

Richardson has spear-headed an innovative redesign of the core anatomy program which is identified as a critical component of the undergraduate curriculum. Her leadership in this regard has greatly benefited students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science and Global Health program. Richardson has made tremendous efforts to bring new, current and innovative approaches to our anatomy learning environment.

Richardson’s contributions, both in and outside of York, demonstrate her diversity and desire to be involved in different facets of student learning. She has dedicated a great deal of time to professional development related to teaching and learning, and contributed tirelessly to numerous conference proceedings and journal reviews in this area. Her impressive University service extends beyond the walls of York and into the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE).

In addition to outstanding teaching, Richardson’s research focus on the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SOTL) is testament to her commitment to creating a rich environment for student learning. The results of her student evaluations speak volumes for her ability to successfully achieve this impact.

Richardson has been highly successful in integrating online learning into her teaching, along with multiple evaluation methods which provides students with varying ways to accomplish success with their learning, an outstanding trait of any educator and one that demonstrates her devotion to helping students achieve success.

Research Award – Christopher Perry (School of Kinesiology & Health Science)

Perry has made outstanding contributions within his field of research, which has served to increase the visibility of York University in the fields of exercise physiology, metabolism and skeletal muscle health.

Perry has created a laboratory that investigates the basic cellular mechanisms of muscle fitness, and applies these discoveries towards developing novel therapies to treat muscle weakness disorders. He has received multiple internal and external awards including funding from CFI, ORF, NSERC, James H. Cummings Foundation, and the Rare Disease Foundation.

To advance his research, Perry established the only human muscle biopsy lab at York, which greatly strengthens the ability to understand the cellular basis of muscle health. His lab has enhanced widely used methods of analyses by improving the precision and accuracy of measuring whether metabolism is healthy or diseased in small human and rodent muscle samples. This research has led to an excellent publication record in prestigious journals and many invited speaking engagements. Perry’s broad spectrum of experimental approaches and innovations are clearly contributing to the exposure of York University and its Muscle Health Research Centre as a centre of leadership in muscle health and a collegial locale for dissemination and training in innovative methodologies.

Perry has clearly established a research program that significantly impacts the School, Faculty and Institution with broad international influence.

Service Award – Rebecca Bassett-Gunter (School of Kinesiology & Health Science)

Bassett-Gunter has demonstrated leadership to committees at both Department and Faculty levels, as well as extensive contributions to a variety of task forces and advisory bodies. With respect to committee leadership, her service as Chair to the Faculty of Health Curriculum Committee stands out as a significant responsibility, while also serving on the School of Kinesiology and Health Science (KAHS) Committee for Undergraduate Studies – a demanding role given its focus overseeing decisions regarding the regulations and policies related to the undergraduate program. These two major commitments are ongoing amidst her considerable teaching commitments and extensive research productivity.

Of particular note is Bassett-Gunter’s contribution to diverse student-centric activities. These roles show her genuine passion for our School and Faculty, and reveals how strongly she believes in our students.

Leadership in her professional field has been demonstrated through service on student executive awards committees, journal review committees, as well as through editing and review of two textbooks.

Bassett-Gunter is a strong example of an early career faculty member who engages and supports the broader University, local, regional and national communities. She has clearly demonstrated a genuine passion and dedication to our students, the University, and York’s academic mission as a whole.

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