Dr. Steffi Hamann Recipient of the CSAHS Teaching and Learning Excellence Award for Early Career Faculty

Posted on Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

From large first-year lecture courses to small interdisciplinary PhD methods seminars, Dr. Steffi Hamann has a full schedule of teaching responsibilities. And through them all, her contagious enthusiasm for the material she is teaching is ever-present.

Recipient of the 2019 CSAHS Teaching and Learning Excellence Award for Early Career Faculty, Hamann is a professor affiliated with the political science department, with teaching duties in the Guelph Institute of Development Studies (GIDS).

“Being enthusiastic about international development studies is easy. It is such a dynamic topic. Whether you are dealing with the coronavirus, climate change protests, or other current events, there is such real-life relevance to what you are teaching,” says Hamann. “And we need people who understand international development concepts to tackle these problems.”

Dr. Hamann’s area of research has been on the issue of food security and land grabs, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. She conducted extensive fieldwork in Cameroon looking at the palm oil industry and its effect on the dietary diversity and food access of workers within the sector. After completing her PhD here at the University of Guelph, she was happy to stay on as part of the political science faculty.

As a faculty member still early in her career, Hamann has already made quite an impact on the College and its students. “Not only is Dr. Hamann's teaching style exceptionally conducive to learning, her passion for her research and area of expertise inspires. I have come to see certain international development issues in a completely new light; and as a result, I have become extremely passionate about social justice issues and global advocacy as a whole,” says Anna Olchowec, a fourth-year student who was enrolled in one of Hamann’s first-year classes.

Dr. Hamann has appreciated the assistance she has received from the College and especially from the Hub for Teaching and Learning Excellence. “I am not always able to attend the Hub lunch and learn sessions,” says Hamann, “but the fact that the sessions are recorded means I can go and watch the stream after. I really like that.”

The importance of the Hub for Teaching and Learning Excellence and the College’s overall mission to provide the highest standard of education is not lost on Hamann. “This excellence in teaching is essential to the University’s mission to ‘Improve Life’,” she says.

What and how students learn is at the very heart of the Hub’s mandate – to bring people together to share information, teaching experiences and resources thereby continually improving the delivery of curriculum.

The call for nominations for the next set of Teaching and Learning Awards is now open. Any member of the University community who would like, may nominate faculty and graduate teaching assistants within the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences to be recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning excellence. To nominate someone, visit the Teaching and Learning Awards webpage.


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