From the Provost’s Desk: Congratulations to the Recipients of the 2023 Awards for Faculty Excellence

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to these faculty members for their important contributions.

Recipients of the 2023 Awards for Faculty Excellence: Fatima Mraiche, Frank Tough, Greg Goss, David Olson

Left to Right: Fatima Mraiche, Frank Tough, David Olson, Greg Goss

Incredible work happens every day across the university, in every discipline and at every level of the academy. The outstanding achievements of our colleagues deserve to be recognized, and in a way that is grounded in the values of equity, diversity and inclusion. From 2020 to 2022, the Awards for Faculty Excellence were paused while an EDI review of the award procedures took place. The review was led by the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Review of Teaching Awards Working Group who worked diligently to develop and recommend revisions to the nomination and adjudication processes and eligibility criteria. Following the Working Group's report, the new processes and eligibility criteria are grounded by the University of Alberta's principles and values as reflected in our institutional strategic plans. I’m thankful to the Working Group in helping remove barriers so the process to recognize recipients is more equitable. 

2023 recipients

On behalf of the Awards for Faculty Excellence Adjudication Committee, I’m thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2023 Awards for Faculty Excellence. These faculty members are recognized for their outstanding achievements in teaching and research, and service to students, the university and the community at large.

Congratulations to all of the recipients:

Vargo Teaching Chair

  • Fatima Mraiche, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Department of Pharmacology

Fatima's Vargo Teaching Chair Project, Unveiling the Impact of Undergraduate Research: Exploring New Horizons in the Department of Pharmacology’s Pilot Study at the University of Alberta, will focus on the development of a research-based learning platform to document and assess undergraduate research activities. Fatima is investigating the connection between transporters and cardiovascular disease as well as lung cancer. Her research in teaching and learning is focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating curricula and assessments, as well as integrating a variety of instructional methods. Fatima’s work aligns with the emphasis on experiential and work-integrated learning, and could be expanded to other departments and faculties.

University Cup

Frank's Métis Archival Project (MAP) lab land claim research has made significant contributions and measurable impacts to the protections and promotions of Métis Nation rights. The MAP Lab does applied archival research using historical records for the litigation of Métis rights. Additionally, the lab has digitized thousands of scrip records and created an online database that allows Métis people to investigate their genealogy by searching the names of their ancestors. The impacts of his teaching and leadership are highly regarded by both his colleagues and students and his service to the university and the community-at-large are deserving of this prestigious award.

University of Alberta Distinguished Professor

  • Greg Goss, Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences
  • David Olson, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry - Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Greg's research focuses on integrating physiological data into conservation management decisions for inland freshwaters as they face more sustainability challenges in the future. He will use the funds provided by the award to support the partial salary of at least one Indigenous intern each summer, with additional funding provided through the I-STEAM pathways project. Funds are planned for the student to attend a conference in their research field, helping them to engage with the scientific community. 

David studies the physiological and environmental factors that contribute to both term and preterm birth (PTB), aiming to create practical applications that will improve the health of mothers and babies. He will use the funds provided by the award to support research on identifying a novel precision diagnostic using artificial intelligence to predict the risk of PTB based on chronic stress, and examine possible methods of blocking PTB. This research is in collaboration with the Department of Physiology and Dr. Matthew Guzdial, Department of Computer Science at the University of Alberta, all working to create an innovative solution to PTB.

The substantial body of work produced by these faculty members creates a positive impact that is evident to those around them, be it colleagues, students or members of the community. The dedication and hard work displayed by them is a testament to what makes U of A a truly enriching and rewarding environment for both learning and research.


After pausing these awards for three years, it’s time to celebrate. The recipients of the 2023 Awards for Faculty Excellence will be recognized at our annual Celebrate! Teaching. Learning. Research event, happening this fall. 

Join me in congratulating our 2023 recipients on this well-earned honour.

Verna Yiu
Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic)