Larry Leung awarded the West Coast Teaching Excellence Award
Larry Leung, Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is the recipient of this year’s West Coast Teaching Excellence Award. Through this award, the British Columbia Teaching and Learning Council (BCTLC) honours excellence in teaching in publicly funded colleges, institutes and universities in British Columbia and the Yukon.
The West Coast Teaching Excellence Award recognizes Leung’s work as an educator, with a focus on his approach to facilitate learning in a way that fosters connection between students, the instructor, and the material itself. Leung understands the responsibility of facilitating learning that is diverse, collaborative, and inclusive. To this end, he makes use of innovative learning styles that involve podcasts, visual note-taking, reflections and community-based assessments. Through the introduction of anti-racist teaching activities, he has also taken clear attempts to encourage safe and intersectional conversations in the classroom.
Leung believes that programs must be designed in a manner where every student feels represented, valued, and confident to succeed, and he has taken steps to facilitate more inclusive learning environments for students. This includes the design of activities to encourage student understanding and empathy of the complexities related to health and well-being of patients, the role of pharmacists in interprofessional practices, and the connections between didactic material and practice through open group study sessions.
As a non-Indigenous educator, Leung has had the privilege of collaborating with Indigenous partners and communities across British Columbia in the decolonization and Indigenization efforts in the Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy Program at Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has contributed to strengthening, integrating and expanding Indigenous material by co-developing a mandatory Indigenous health course and a new elective that sees pharmacy students collaborating with Indigenous partners in the development and delivery of community-based projects.
“Larry is a truly exceptional educator and embodies the very highest standards of excellence in how to meaningfully Indigenize program offerings and create a teaching and learning culture founded on principles of inclusion, innovation and reciprocity,” said Dr. Simon Bates, Associate Provost, Teaching and Learning. Office of the Provost & Vice-President Academic. “Larry has played a pivotal role in developing inclusive curricula and steps towards indigenizing the Pharmaceutical Sciences curriculum. These are key priorities for UBC, aligned to the goals of both our Indigenous Strategic Plan and the Inclusion Action Plan, and our institutional response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action.”
“Thank you to the BCTLC for the honour of this award. I am humbled to be recognized alongside all the amazing winners and would like to also thank the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences for their support and belief in me,” said Leung. “As an educator at UBC, it’s important to understand the power and privilege that we hold and I look forward to continuing my contributions towards student learning and reciprocity with community partners.”
The British Columbia Teaching & Learning Council consists of a community of leaders from British Columbia’s public post-secondary education system.