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OISE Professor Njoki Wane wins U of T President’s Teaching Award

Social Justice Education prof is only the second OISE prof to ever receive honour

By Biljana Cuckovic

June 2, 2017

Dr. Njoki Wane

“My students are my central focus. This award is for them as well,” says Professor Njoki Wane, winner of the University of Toronto's 2017 President's Teaching Award.


OISE Professor Njoki Wane has been named one of the winners of the University of Toronto’s 2017 President’s Teaching Award.

The prestigious award honours faculty members for sustained excellence in teaching, educational leadership, research on pedagogy, and the integration of teaching and research.

Wane, who teaches in OISE’s Social Justice Education department, is the second OISE professor to ever have been named to U of T’s highest teaching honour.

Recipients of this prestigious award are designated as members of the President’s Teaching Academy for five years.

‘Over the moon’

“I was over the moon when I got the news,” Wane said. “It is a great honour and I am grateful to all those who were involved in the process of making me the teacher that I am today.”

Wane credits much of her success to a supportive work environment and the many mentors who have inspired and her since she began teaching at OISE in 1998.

She also says her students have played a major role in her accomplished career.

“My students are my central focus. This award is for them as well. If they did not see themselves reflected in my pedagogical approach, they would not have encouraged others to take my classes,” she said.

“I am sure my parents (deceased) are very happy with me for following in their footsteps. They were my first teachers and they taught me to always focus on the learners and their needs,” she continued.

Leading scholar in Black feminisms, anti-racism education and more

A valued member of the OISE community for the past 20 years, Wane is an outstanding teacher and award-winning scholar. Among her many prestigious awards, in 2016, she was the recipient of the David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Education—OISE’s most prestigious teaching excellence award.

Wane is a recognized scholar in the areas of Black feminisms in Canada & Africa, African indigenous knowledges, African women and spirituality, colonialism and development and anti-racism education.

Currently Associate Chair in the Department of Social Justice Education, she previously served as Director, Center for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies at OISE (2006 to 2014), Director of the Office of Teaching Support at OISE (2009 to 2012), and as Special Advisor on Status of Women Issues in the Office of Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity (2011 to 2014).

Passion for teaching

Wane’s commitment to teaching excellence has received praise from senior leaders, current and former students and colleagues.

“As Dean of OISE, I have the privilege of working with many talented and accomplished scholars who are also excellent teachers. Professor Wane’s passion for teaching and devotion to education has made a difference. I am thrilled that her exceptional achievements and sustained excellence in teaching and educational leadership at OISE have been acknowledged through this very special recognition by the University of Toronto,” says Professor Glen Jones, OISE Dean.

Impact on students: ‘She has never left me’

Wane’s contributions and impact on students is highly lauded.

“Although I have graduated from OISE, I have never left Dr. Wane and she has never left me. She continues to mentor me, through writing publications and attending conferences together. A scholar and teacher such as Dr. Wane, with her strong commitment, enthusiasm and passion in seeing her students succeed, is most deserving of the President’s Teaching Award,” said Erica Neeganagwedgin, one of Professor Wane’s former students, who is now Assistant Professor, Indigenous Education, Faculty of Education, Western University.

Through her exemplary work, Wane has been encouraging and inclusive in guiding students to achieve their future goals in academia and beyond. Her students and mentees have gone on to have successful academic and educational leadership careers. Her outstanding achievements and excellence in teaching, research on teaching, and exemplary educational leadership bring great pride to OISE and the University of Toronto.