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OISE professor Judith Wiener wins U of T’s JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award

By Biljana Cuckovic

May 29, 2017


Professor Judith Wiener

"When we supervise, we not only support graduate students in acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes to design research that has an impact, but also in doing clinical work that makes a difference in the lives of the children and families with whom they work,” says OISE Professor Judith Wiener, winner of the University of Toronto's JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award. 

OISE professor Judith Wiener has been selected as one of the winners of the University of Toronto’s 2017 JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award.

The award honours faculty members for outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with doctoral supervision. Two awards are offered annually, one in the Physical and Life Sciences, and one in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Wiener, who teaches in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, is the second OISE professor to win this prestigious award.

She says she’s incredibly honoured by the recognition and adds, “As much as winning the JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award means a lot to me, I am especially honoured that my current and former doctoral students and colleagues took the time and effort to nominate me.”

She notes that what the award represents is especially significant.

“Although there are many ways to make a difference as faculty members, in my view, the quality of supervision is especially important. As a Professor of School and Clinical Child Psychology, supervision typically means both research supervision and clinical supervision and the two are interdependent and overlap.

“When we supervise, we not only support graduate students in acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes to design research that has an impact, but also in doing clinical work that makes a difference in the lives of the children and families with whom they work.”

Setting a ‘gold standard’ at OISE 

A valued member of the OISE community since 1983, Wiener is an exceptional educator and an important role model for her colleagues regarding exemplary doctoral supervision. Often referred to as a “gold standard” for doctoral supervision in her Department and within OISE, Wiener’s outstanding contributions and sustained excellence in teaching and supervision at the graduate level have been recognized through one of OISE’s highest teaching honours—the David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Education awarded to her on March 30, 2017.

Focus on children, adolescents with learning disabilities

A scholar and professor of School and Clinical Psychology, Wiener’s primary clinical expertise centers on assessment and psychosocial interventions with children and adolescents with learning disabilities and ADHD. In addition to her strong focus on graduate supervision and work with immigrant and refugee children and adolescents in the OISE Psychology Clinic, Wiener coordinated a program providing school psychology services in a remote First Nations community in Northern Ontario. Wiener’s commitment to excellent teaching, supervision and mentoring of doctoral students has received accolades from administrators, current and former students and colleagues. 

“I have been privileged to serve on numerous thesis committees with Judy in my 20 years at OISE and indeed, she has been an important role model and mentor in relation to my own supervision of students,” says OISE Professor Michele Peterson-Badali, Associate Dean, Research, International and Innovation, who supported Wiener’s nomination for the award.

“Judy supports all her students to succeed, providing scaffolding as appropriate to their needs and abilities. This has included supervising to successful completion students with diverse and significant physical and mental health needs and disabilities. She also creates a positive, dynamic and supportive learning community among her student’s so that they can learn from – and support – each other,” Peterson-Badali continued.

Invests in the lives of her students

Wiener’s commitment to her students learning and development is highly lauded and her students clearly benefit from her mentoring practices.

“I will always appreciate Judy’s meaningful contribution to my development as a psychologist, says former student Dr. Lesley Daniels, Psychologist at Toronto District School Board. “That she continues to keep in touch with me, on both personal and professional levels, speaks to her investment in the lives of her students, even long after they have graduated.”

For the past 30 years, Wiener has been unequivocally devoted to translating her wealth of knowledge and expertise to her doctoral students, many of whom are now enjoying productive careers in diverse academic, school, community mental health and private settings, and are making a difference in lives of children, adolescents and their families across Canada and around the world. Her outstanding achievements in graduate teaching, learning and supervision bring great pride to OISE and the University of Toronto.