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OISE Professor Clare Kosnik wins JJ Berry Smith Award for Graduate Supervision at U of T 

June 25, 2014

Clare KosnikProfessor Clare Kosnik of the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning has won a University of Toronto JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award. This accolade honours active faculty members who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to excellence in doctoral supervision at the University of Toronto.

The JJ Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award recognizes 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, which Clare received.

Reflecting on her award, Clare says, “It is an honour to be recognized for doctoral supervision at a university that has such an extensive doctoral program and is so committed to quality at the doctoral level. Building a community for my doctoral students has been rewarding both for them and me. Our ideas are extended and deepened as we work together, and the personal connection enhances the experience. It is satisfying to contribute to the development of the next generation of scholars in our field”.

Clare has been a valued member of the OISE community since 1997. Her research, which has seen her principal or co-investigator on ten large-scale grants, focuses on teacher and literacy education, and she has written extensively on the subjects of teacher education, self-study, and data collection techniques. In 2009 she received one of OISE’s highest teaching honours, the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching. Her dedication to teaching, supervising and mentoring doctoral students has received accolades from administrators, current and former students, and colleagues.

“I have been fortunate to have worked with Clare for over 20 years, and have been aware of her outstanding competence as a researcher, and as a supervisor and mentor to graduate students. Clare’s students appreciate her continuing involvement with their studies; her presence in their lives as an outstanding instructor, collaborative mentor, co-researcher, advisor on research design and academic writing, facilitator of effective research teams, and model of a reflective university educator who offers her time, skills, research and support to the graduate students of OISE,” says OISE colleague, Professor David Booth, who co-nominated her for the award.

In addition to profoundly affecting the experience of OISE’s students, Clare’s contributions to teaching and supervision in OISE’s Master of Teaching program have added to the increasing reputation of the program in recent years. Since the Government mandated changes to teacher education in Ontario, and OISE’s focus shifts towards its Master of Teaching and Master of Arts in Child Study and Education programs, the student-supervisor relationship is recognized and highly valued by students.

This relationship between student and a supervisor is one of the most important and lasting in a student’s PhD journey. Clare’s commitment to building a trusting and highly supportive learning community, along with her integrity and dedication to academic excellence is what stands out for her current and former students. Current PhD candidate Mira Gambhir says of Clare’s profound impact on the lives of OISE students, “She is an exceptional mentor who practices community building and offers enduring support for many graduate students at OISE. As a member of her Becoming Teacher Educators group and SSHRC research project, I have been grateful to have her as a sounding board. She is a role model and teaches us what it is to be a strong community leader, practitioner and teacher education researcher. Her impact is far reaching. Her commitment to her students is something that I have deeply appreciated and experienced first-hand”.