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‘It became part of my life’: OISE’s Doug McDougall named JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award winner

June 16, 2020

By Perry King

Professor Doug McDougall (right), winner of the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award, has supervised over 60 graduate students, including Cynthia Zhu (left), and Gurpreet Sahmbi (middle).

A member of OISE’s faculty, Professor Doug McDougall, has been named one of two recipients of the 2020 JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award.

This School of Graduate Studies award recognizes outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with doctoral supervision – including Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Musical Arts and Doctor of Juridical Science programs. Two awards are offered annually: one in the Humanities and Social Sciences and one in the Physical and Life Sciences. University Professor Ted Sargent was awarded in the latter category.

Professor McDougall is the third OISE faculty recognized with this award since the honour was established in 2013. Dr. Clare Kosnik, from the department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, was recognized in 2014. Dr. Judith Wiener, from the department of Applied Psychology & Human Development, won in 2017.

“Professor Doug McDougall has made a huge contribution to the OISE community through his leadership, but I have also been keenly aware of his tremendous contributions to graduate education,” said OISE Dean Glen Jones. “He is devoted to his students, and I have been extremely impressed with the care and attention he gives to supporting and mentoring doctoral candidates.

“The JJ Berry Smith Award is a tremendous honour, and I am extremely proud that Doug’s lifetime of devotion to graduate education has been recognized and acknowledged by the School of Graduate Studies.”

McDougall was delightedly surprised to hear he had won and finds this award a special recognition, one bestowed upon him by his fellow peers – namely, his doctoral students.

“I am absolutely thrilled of being recognized for the work that I have done over these many years,” said McDougall, a professor of mathematics education from the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning.

His first exposure to doctoral supervision came under the tutelage of Professor Emerita Lynn Davie, where he had to take over for a class – a seminar course that helped doctoral students become successful at the Institute. “I realized how much I really like helping students get their masters and doctorate degrees,” he recalled.

When he had the chance to take students under his wing, he went full force. “I started with a few students here and there and it started to grow,” he said. "Mentoring and working with doctoral students became a significant part of my life. And the numbers just started to grow.”

To date, he has supervised 47 doctoral students and 22 master students to completion, and is currently supervising 13 doctoral students.

“It turns out that, out of the 47 doctoral students, 16 of them are currently professors or associate professors at universities or colleges,” says McDougall, who was also a recent recipient of an OISE Leaders and Legends award. “I am just so grateful for being able to work with graduate students because they brought and continue to bring me enriched learning experiences.”

Recipients receive a JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award certificate, an SGS Travel or Conference Award to grant a current doctoral student to support conference participation or research travel, and have their name inscribed on a plaque housed at the School of Graduate Studies.

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