Carleton Political Science Professor Wins Prestigious Provincial Teaching Award

By Ellen Tsaprailis

Carleton University Political Science Prof. Mira Sucharov has won an Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award in recognition of her excellence in teaching.

It’s the highest honour that a university educator can receive in Ontario.

Sucharov is well-known on campus for her “whole person approach” to teaching in the Department of Political Science. Her primary concern is the holistic development of students in ways that respect their humanity, whether she is designing new courses, supervising graduate students, mentoring faculty or teaching in the classroom.

Using a flipped classroom model to facilitate active learning, Sucharov incorporates innovative assignments that include using social media to impart public commentary skills and civic engagement by students. She is also willing to reveal her own social, cultural and religious identity to students that makes her vulnerable and often breaks down any barriers between her and her students.

“I’m humbled and honoured to have been recognized by OCUFA’s teaching award excellence committee for a teaching style that is at times unconventional and always very personal,” says Sucharov. “I’m also greatly appreciative of my colleagues and department chair who have supported me in developing new curricular directions, and most of all my students who challenge me in ways that enable me to learn and grow each semester.”

Specializing in psychological and identity approaches to international relations, Israeli-Palestinian relations and diaspora Jewish politics, Sucharov is the 23rd Carleton educator to win this award. Her curricular innovations to studying politics include having developed courses on op-ed writing as well as graphic novels and politics, in addition to teaching the sensitive topic of Israel-Palestine relations.

Seven awards are presented annually by OCUFA to outstanding teachers and librarians at Ontario universities.