Carleton University’s Kim Hellemans, professor in the Department of Neuroscience, has won a 2020 Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award – the highest honour an educator can receive in the province.

The OCUFA Teaching Awards recognize individuals with exceptional contributions to the higher education community – and Hellemans has made many. She has built a reputation as a dedicated, inspiring and caring professor who strives to ensure her students not only learn the course material but experience personal growth in the process.

“Kim has a gift for teaching,” said David Hornsby, associate vice-president (Teaching and Learning). “Her leadership, dedication to student success and passion for teaching are second to none. This award speaks volumes to the many impactful contributions she has made to the teaching and learning experience across and beyond Carleton.”

The student feedback Hellemans received emphasizes that it’s not just her ability to teach that makes her an excellent educator, it’s also the many ways she has made an impact on the student experience outside the classroom through her mentorship and commitment to student wellness.

“My nomination package highlighted the ways in which I support young women in science and my students’ mental health,” said Hellemans. “It’s very meaningful that OCUFA recognized that those elements are worthy of the award.”

Hellemans says she works hard to ensure she creates connections with her students that are long-lasting. Her teaching lens is focused on creating a compassionate and equitable classroom, one where students are partners in creating and examining knowledge.

“When I involve students as part of the conversation in my classroom, my office hours, my pedagogy, it suggests that they too have power,” she says.

Hellemans has already received numerous teaching awards at Carleton, including the Provost’s Fellowship in Teaching, as well as Teaching Achievement and Professional Achievement awards. Earlier this month, she was recognized with an Award of Excellence from the Minister of College and Universities for her work ensuring her students had learning and mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hellemans is the 24th Carleton educator to win the OCUFA award since it was established in 1973. Seven awards are presented annually to outstanding teachers and librarians in Ontario from all levels of instruction.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University

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