photo of Shafique Virani
Shafique Virani

Three U of T faculty members received recognition from the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations for their skills in the classroom.

Professors Susan McCahan of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Shafique Virani of Historical Studies at UTM and Religion at UTSG, and Michael Wiley of anatomy are recipients of the 2010 OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards. Approximately seven awards are given annually to teachers who excel in the classroom.

Shafique Virani has taught everywhere from the banks of the Ganges to Abu Dhabi. He began teaching at Harvard in 2001 before continuing at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates in 2004. In 2006, he moved to Toronto to teach Historical and Religious Studies at U of T Mississauga. This year, he became the Chair of Historical Studies.

“I don’t even think of it as teaching, I think of it as learning,” he said. “People have such fascinating ideas, and if you can draw those ideas out of them, you can learn so much.” Indeed, the learning that comes with teaching is Shafique’s motivation for pursuing the profession.

“If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re gonna put time and effort into it,” said Virani. “In today’s world…education is really about teaching people how to ask the right questions and how to find answers themselves.”

Virani received a Distinction In Teaching Award every year he was at Harvard, as well as receiving a Merit Award at both Harvard and Zayed. He was also a finalist for the Joseph Levinson Memorial Teaching Prize.

[This news item was composed by Ryan Tuzyk and published in The Varsity,]