Three Western professors among TVO’s Top 20 lecturers

Three University of Western Ontario professors are among the top 20 contenders for TVO’s 2009 Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition.

Professors Anton Lawrence Allahar of Sociology, Tom Haffie of Biology and Robert Solomon of Law are now in the running for a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex.

Ten schools are represented on the list – Brock University, Canadore College, Carleton University, Ontario College of Art and Design, University of Guelph, all three University of Toronto campuses, York University and Western.

Overall, arts, humanities and social sciences have the highest representation on the list.

“Whether teaching the fundamentals of genetics, Milton’s Paradise Lost or separation anxiety, this group shows that to be a great lecturer it’s important to love one’s subject and be able to transmit it with an energy that does justice to it,” says Big Ideas Best Lecturer Competition producer Wodek Szemberg.

Last year, Professor Christopher diCarlo won the title for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa.

This year’s competition began with students nominating a record 160 professors. Video submissions were viewed and the list narrowed to 20 outstanding lecturers, who will move on to the next phase of the competition.

To watch the top 20’s video presentations, visit

A three-member jury will now determine the top 10, to be announced in February. The top 10 will deliver televised lectures on TVO’s Big Ideas, beginning Feb. 28. The champion will be announced April 11.

The competition is in its fourth year.

In addition to the Western lecturers, others include:

Brock University – James Allard, English Language and Literature

Canadore College – Rod Carley, Communication Arts

Carleton University – Matthew J. Bellamy, History; Darryl Davies, Sociology and Anthropology; and John Stead, Psychology

Ontario College of Art and Design – Francis Broun, Liberal Studies

University of Guelph – Patrick Parnaby, Sociology and Anthropology

University of Toronto (Mississauga) – Dax Urbszat, Psychology

University of Toronto (Scarborough) – Marc A. Fournier, Psychology; Clare Hasenkampf, Biological Sciences; and Steve Joordens, Psychology

University of Toronto (St. George) – Shawn Lehman, Anthropology; Nick Mount, English; Doug Richards, Physical Education and Health; and Paul Stevens, English

York University – Merv Mosher, Kinesiology and Health Science; and Karolyn Smardz Frost, Arts and Letters, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies