Each year, the Department singles out two individuals who have demonstrated teaching excellence, taken new risks in their pedagogy, and/or otherwise distinguished themselves in their service to the Department. It is with great pleasure that we announce Li-jung Lee and Gurinder Mann as our 2019/20 Lecturers of The Year.
Since joining the Department of Asian Studies as a visiting lecturer in 2018, Li-jung Lee has taught a wide variety of
non-heritage and heritage Chinese Language courses, but makes her home teaching 100-level non-heritage and
lower-level heritage courses. In her short time here, Li-jung’s enthusiasm for teaching and her contributions to both
the curriculum and culture of lower-level language courses have made her indispensable to the Chinese Language Program.
With the recent switch to online learning, Li-jung has dedicated hours to studying various YouTubers in order to learn how they grab viewers’ attention and connect with their audiences. She has since created a series of short, informational YouTube
videos to help teach her summer intensive, instead of solely relying on the traditional lecture and slides, as a fun personal project. Though it was extra work, the project was a hit with students, who loved the videos, and the learning results
seemed to even surpass that of the winter session. As Li-jung believes that a successful pedagogical tool is one that teaches content in a way that truly connects with students, she plans to incorporate this project into future courses as well.
Our second Lecturer of the Year Award goes to Gurinder Mann, who teaches Punjabi Language from the 100 to the 300 level. He taught for us as a sessional lecturer from 2017 to summer 2019, and then was hired as a full-time lecturer exactly one year ago. In his short time with us he has presided over a notable rise in Punjabi enrolments, with such increasing demand that we have had to open new sections, which Gurinder has cheerfully agreed to teach.
Punjabi is a very new teaching area and there are few existing textbooks or materials to rely on, but despite having to come up with most teaching tools for himself, Gurinder has managed to earn excellent student evaluations at all class levels. He has brought a new level of excitement and energy to the Punjabi Language Program.
In addition, he has participated actively in department events, and collaborated closely with colleagues from other language programs, while also maintaining a high profile in the community through his decade-long association with the Communities Embracing Restorative Action (CERA) Society, and through his membership of the Restorative Justice Committee for the City of New Westminster. We are delighted to present our Lecturer of the Year award to Gurinder Mann for his multiple accomplishments in the classroom and beyond.