OCTOBER 21, 2021 • By Carolyn Farrell
Professor Micah Stickel (ECE) has been recognized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) with a 2021 OCUFA Teaching Award. This award honours professors who have made exceptional contributions to postsecondary education in Ontario through teaching and leadership.
Stickel joined the faculty as a lecturer in 2007 and is currently a professor in the teaching stream. He served as Vice-Dean, First Year for U of T Engineering from 2012–2020 and as Acting Vice-Provost, Students and Vice-Provostial Advisor on Students in 2020–21.
Stickel has led the development of several innovative curricular and co-curricular initiatives to enhance the experience of students, and has worked to thoughtfully integrate new teaching methods and technologies into his courses. He was one of the first at U of T Engineering to use a tablet to teach, the first at U of T to use the online discussion tool Piazza, and he developed the Faculty’s first inverted course.
He has also had a significant impact on curricular development, including a redesign of the first-year Engineering curriculum and the creation of APS100H1F: Orientation to Engineering, a course that is unique among Canadian engineering schools. In 2017, he founded the annual Ontario First-Year Engineering Experience Symposium, which brought together staff and faculty from across Ontario to improve the first-year transition and learning experience.
Stickel has long been an advocate for greater access, equity and inclusion in postsecondary education. At U of T, he co-founded and co-chairs the Engineering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Group, and has been a leader in the development and implementation of Engineering’s Broad-Based Admissions Strategy. During his time in the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students he collaborated to establish a new institutional Access Office and led efforts to adjust academic policies and course delivery in response to the pandemic.
Stickel has received five departmental teaching awards and was selected as a New Faculty Fellow at the 2008 Frontiers in Education Conference. In 2012, he garnered the Faculty’s Early Career Teaching Award. In 2014, the American Society for Engineering Education named him one of their Top 20 under 40. In 2020, Stickel received the President’s Teaching Award — the University’s highest honour for teaching excellence.
“Professor Stickel’s leadership has greatly enhanced the student experience across the University and helped to make this a more welcoming and inclusive place to learn,” said Christopher Yip, Dean, U of T Engineering. “He is always putting our students first, and pushing to ensure that each member of our community can thrive. On behalf of the Faculty, I offer my sincere congratulations on this latest recognition.”
“Here at ECE we see firsthand the innovation and energy that Professor Stickel brings to teaching and his passion to make the engineering classroom better for everyone,” says Professor Deepa Kundur, Chair of ECE. “The recognition that comes with this award is well earned and well deserved. Hearty congratulations, Micah.”
Story from U of T Engineering News, with files from Matthew Tierney