Student learning and wellness top priority for this year's W.W. Wood Award winner

The School of Dentistry is pleased to announce that dental hygiene associate professor Ava Chow is the recipient of the W.W. Wood Award.

Tarwinder Rai - 17 December 2020

ava-chow.jpgAva Chow's teaching style is both practical and relevant. Her commitment to her profession and student wellness is commendable. The respect Dr. Chow garners from her peers can be felt by anyone who stops to chat with them. But above all, it may be her humbleness that sets her apart.

So, when her peers nominated her for the W.W. Wood Award for excellence in dental education, it was all but fitting.

The School of Dentistry is pleased to announce that dental hygiene associate professor Ava Chow is the recipient of the W.W. Wood Award.

"I feel truly humbled to be receiving this award, especially during a year when everybody has so many other things on their plates," says Dr. Chow. "Everybody - students, faculty, staff - have all gone above and beyond in 2020 and to be recognized under these circumstances is an incredible honor and it wouldn't have been possible without the support of fantastic mentors, colleagues and, of course, the long-suffering students who were willing to put up with my 'experiments' in teaching."

Dr. Chow began her career with the school as a dental hygiene student in 2003 and worked as an undergraduate summer research student under the supervision of dental hygiene director Sharon Compton - the nominator for this award.

"Ava's true gift is how she brings the application of science to dental hygiene practice. Consistently, students comment for how she connects the concepts of cells, human anatomy, and physiological process to dental hygiene practice. She makes the content relevant for students and they recognize and appreciate this about her teaching," says Dr. Compton.

The most remarkable attribute to Dr. Chow's commitment to teaching is that in 2019 she completed her masters of education with a specialization in health sciences education - just so she could advance her teaching practices.
And being in the middle of a global health crisis and an online teaching environment, Dr. Chow's active approach to teaching benefited her students greatly. With other collaborators, Dr. Chow is working to design an Escape Room, augmented reality flashcards, a virtual microscope and ‘Jawanatomy’ to help her students understanding of biomedical sciences.

"I have never seen anyone work so hard and who is always there for students," says Nadine Milos, professor emeritus. "She has an excellent rapport with students, and is always there for them both with respect to general advice and help with course material."