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Profile: Niva Piran recipient of the David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching


April 30, 2012

by Jennifer O'Reilly


Niva Piran, 2012 David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate TeachingWinner of the 2012 David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, Niva Piran is a Professor in the Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology at OISE, University of Toronto.

A clinical psychologist and school consultant in the area of body image development, Professor Piran is internationally recognized for her innovative work in the prevention and treatment of eating disorders and her research in the area of body image development, embodiment and women’s health.

Her multiple publications include three co-edited books on the prevention and treatment of eating disorders and over one hundred other publications including book chapters and journal manuscripts. Dr. Piran is a recipient of various awards, most recently the Florence Denmark Distinguished Mentorship Award (2009) by the Association of Women in Psychology. Since 1999, her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and she is a Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders.

Professor Piran’s reputation among her colleagues and students at OISE as a dynamic and powerful communicator with the gift of making complex clinical and academic topics understandable, interesting and engaging is reflected in consistently high ratings from her students over the last four years. Her students and colleagues speak highly of her professional presence and ability to produce highly motivated, productive and successful student researchers. Her humility, approachability and a deep sense of care highlight her outstanding presence within OISE and professional psychology community. As one student wrote on her nomination letter, “Based on her many years of outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in graduate education and supervision, I simply cannot think of anyone more deserving of the honour of this award than Professor Piran.”

On learning of her award, Professor Piran said, “Over the past 25 years, it has been my privilege, passion, and cherished responsibility to accompany students in their pursuit of graduate studies at OISE. I would like to thank students and colleagues for honoring me with an important award that validates this commitment."

The David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching recognizes outstanding contributions to teaching and learning at the graduate level at OISE. Recipients demonstrate excellence in teaching and supervision, an ability to foster an enriching teaching and learning experience and have a demonstrated impact on graduate students. This award was created as a tribute to Professor David E. Hunt on the occasion of his retirement from OISE, to honor his 50 years in university teaching and in recognition of his enormous contributions to graduate teaching.