Jason Bazylak one of three U of T Engineering professors honoured by Canadian Engineering Education Association

Professor Jason Bazylak (MIE, ISTEP) is one of three U of T Engineering professors who have recently been inducted as fellows of the Canadian Engineering Education Association.

Three U of T Engineering professors have been inducted as Fellows of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA-ACEG): 

  • Professor Jason Bazylak (MIE, ISTEP)
  • Professor Alan Chong (ISTEP) 
  • Professor Deborah Tihanyi (ISTEP) 

The honour recognizes noteworthy service to engineering education, engineering leadership, or engineering design education. This year’s inductees join four other U of T Engineering professors where were inducted as CEEA Fellows in 2020. 

Bazylak has been involved with the CEEA from its very earliest stages, beginning with its genesis in the Canadian Design Engineering Network (CDEN). 

As a very junior engineering educator, I got to learn from pioneers in the field of engineering education,” he says. “To now be counted as a Fellow of the association along with these pioneers humbles me, but also motivates me to continue to strive to contribute to the field.” 

One of the themes of Bazylak’s research and practice in engineering education has been the strategic use of technology in the classroom, something he says has changed a lot in the past decade. 

“I remember using a handheld audio voice recorder to make recordings of my lectures for students to review outside of class,” he says. “Now, lecture capture is commonplace. So are online lectures and office hours, digital textbooks and online discussion board learning communities.” 

“While the pandemic shone a spotlight on these technologies, I think they were useful before it started, and will continue to be important afterward, in order to achieve the goal of making learning equitable to all.” 

Bazylak has been a key voice on issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion of traditionally underrepresented people in STEM. As the Dean’s Advisor on Indigenous Initiatives and a member of the Eagles’ Longhouse Indigenous Initiatives Steering Committee, Bazylak was a key author of the Blueprint for Action, a report that included 34 calls to action for the Faculty to progress towards reconciliation. 

Representation of women in STEM is also a key issue for Bazylak. 

“I am extremely proud of the progress that the University of Toronto has made in female representation in our undergraduate engineering program,” he says. “At roughly 40% female enrolment we are double the national average.” 

In the future, Bazylak will partner with other faculty members from U of T Engineering and beyond to study the obstacles deterring more female high school students from choosing to study engineering both at the undergraduate and the graduate level. 

 He is also looking forward to the creation of an Indigenous Office with the Faculty, which will further coordinate reconciliation activities, including those raised by the Blueprint for Action. 

– This story was originally published on the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering News Site on July 15, 2021 by Tyler Irving

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