Exemplary teachers win excellence award

Pui Chan, Mirror Fung

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Two exemplary teachers were honoured with this year’s Teaching Excellence Awards in recognition of their contributions in raising the quality of teaching at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

Professor Muammer Ozer
of the Department of Management and Dr Y-Dang Troeung of the Department of English were selected for "Teaching with a Clear Vision" and "Rediscovering the Familiar through Creative Work", respectively.

Professor Ozer, who joined CityU almost 20 years ago, is the director of the prestigious Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme. He is also the winner of the College's Research Excellence Award and Teaching Excellence Award.

Professor Ozer is a professor of management, a prolific author and an expert in the study of strategies, behaviours, the performance of individuals, teams, and firms, information technology and international business. While his research interests are broad, he also has a very varied range of students, from 17-year-old undergraduates to 70-year-old DBA candidates.

Professor Ozer promotes a holistic approach. "Excellence in teaching helps me in my delivery and pedagogy, and excellence in research offers me the content," he said.

In view of the wide spectrum of courses and students he has to teach, Professor Ozer does not have a generic teaching philosophy. Instead, he uses different philosophies for different groups of students.

“For undergraduates, I make them understand; for executives, I encourage them to apply; for PhD candidates, I inspire them to share knowledge and contribute to the community,” he said.

Professor Ozer enjoys teaching and research equally. “Sometimes I work on my research in the morning and in the afternoon lecture I share my research findings with my undergraduate students. They like it!” he added.

Dr Troeung was honoured for her innovative English teaching strategies which stimulate students’ creativity and integrate English in their lives. “My teaching practice is ‘rediscovering the familiar through creative work’,” she said.

For example, in a Gateway Education (GE) course titled “Exploring English Cinema”, she integrates film production and film analysis with English learning. “Students will learn film terminology and apply basic film concepts to the evaluation of a number of English language films. They will also explore English language cinema through taking up different roles in the production of creative video projects,” she said.

Dr Troeung not only teaches a language, but also guides students to apply what they have learnt in the classroom to comprehend what is going on around them.

In another GE course, “Asian Literature in English”, she expands students’ awareness of contemporary literature written in English by Asians and Asian diasporic writers to increase their understanding of contemporary transnational and transcultural themes and issues.

“To do so, I encourage students to consider aspects of various Asian diaspora experiences and issues and apply this knowledge to their own experiences in the context of Hong Kong,” she added.

A CityU faculty member since 2012, she won the Teaching Start-up Grant in 2013, and was awarded the Hong Kong government General Research Fund grant in 2014.

Each awardee will receive a cash prize of HK$15,000 for staff development and related purposes, and a grant of HK$150,000 to undertake a teaching development project of their choice.

A total of 10 nominations were reviewed by the Teaching Excellence Awards Selection Panel, comprising management, faculty members, alumni and student representatives.


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