Professors of the Year

17 Apr, 2013

There is no doubt in any student’s mind that professors can make or break your experience in any course. Thankfully, our institution is filled with exceptional teachers, each with their own flair, quirks, and teaching style.With summer right around the corner, the scramble for internships and letters of recommendation is in full swing. While it’s usually our professors who write recommendation letters, The Lifestyle section at The Bull & Bear decided to write our own, highlighting the best of our most beloved professors of the year.

Professor Derek Wang
As a recent PhD graduate, 2012-13 was Professor Derek Wang’s first year teaching at McGill. I took his Operations Management class and found that he is always available to help any and all students. Professor Wang promptly answers e-mails within the half-hour that they are sent or even quicker. Many of mine were answered within five minutes. The day before the midterm exam, Professor Wang held office hours for a whopping ten hours in addition to holding office hours on the actual day of the midterm.

Not only is Professor Wang always there for his students but he also has a great sense of humour. When teaching the “bullwhip effect,” Professor Wang brought a real, seven-foot, Texan bullwhip into class. Donning a straw cowboy hat, Professor Wang worked the bullwhip like Indiana Jones and even invited anyone who wanted to try it out for themselves to come to his office hours. On top of all these great qualities, he occasionally brought treats to class to reward participation and performance.

Professor Anastassios Anastassiadis
Along with having the best name, Professor Anastassios Anastassiadis is one of the most charming and engaging professors I have encountered at McGill. In his Byzantine History class, he often narrates in first person the daunting and destructive border expansions, reforms, and wars of the Late Roman Empire.

His passion for his subject, along with his love for ornately adorned waistcoats, is obvious. Moreover, his enthusiasm is so infectious that he is the kind of professor who makes you want to spend the rest of your life studying obscure facts about exarchates and icons. To top it all off, the last class before Reading Week, Professor Anastassiadis brought delicious spanakopita for our class. Hats off to you, Tassos… And I hope you find yours!

Professor Peter Younkin
Professor Peter Younkin is the most inspirational professor I had this year, and Social Context of Business was one of the most refreshing courses I took during my three years at McGill. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00 to 5:30 PM, our class willingly stowed away laptops and cellphones to engage in arguments, debates, and discussions about topics that actually felt relevant to us.

The course wasn’t easy, but it made me remember why I chose to pursue the path of higher education. Professor Younkin pushed us to think about familiar topics in new ways, formulate well thought-out arguments, and realize the importance of differing opinions, all while rocking his skinny ties and Honest Teas. Thank you, Professor Younkin, for encouraging me to enjoy learning for the sake of learning again!

Professor George Dracopoulos
Having had the opportunity to sample all core subjects at McGill, I have been exposed to professors from all disciplines. Two years into my latest program, I can easily state that Professor George Dracopoulos of the Marketing Department is one of the most insightful professors I have ever encountered. Leveling with his students, he engages the class in discussions that affect the modern marketing world and impassions students by integrating current issues and course material.

He is one of the few teachers who judges class participation not on attendance, or meaningless hand raises, but on in-class assignments. Thank you, Professor Dracopoulos, for your dedication to engaging with your students.

Professor Desmond Tsang
Professor Desmond Tsang takes the cake for dying his hair pink for the Cancer Auction’s “Go Pink or Go Home” event. I will never forget seeing Professor Tsang bravely sitting in the hair salon with his GQ Magazine sprawled across his lap and bits of foil stuck to his head while he selected the shade of pink he would be committed to for the next few weeks.  An equally unforgettable moment was watching him dance to Gagnam Style with Professor Pietro while wearing pink sunglasses to complement his new coiffure. Professor Tsang made accounting cool.

Professor Miranda Hickman
Professor Hickman taught me that good teaching is about strategic communication. Her careful attention to accurately articulate everything and anything made an introductory course, English Survey, about much more than its description on the syllabus.The syllabus infers that Professor Hickman’s lectures will make you a more knowledgeable and more attentive reader but it neglects to mention that Professor Hickman’s lectures will make you a better thinker and a more cogent writer. Every lecture is as much an instruction on how to structure your thoughts as it is a lesson in English literary history. Thank you, Professor Hickman, for your engaging and fascinating lectures. But more importantly, thank you for teaching me how to better think and communicate.

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