History professor is one of two awarded U of T’s highest teaching honour this year
President’s Teaching Award: Shafique Virani
Elaine Smith for U of T News
It seemed inevitable that the dynamo that is Professor Shafique Virani, chair of the Department of Historical Studies, would win the University of Toronto’s President’s Teaching Award; the only question was when it would happen.
The President’s Teaching Award recognizes sustained excellence in teaching, research in teaching and the integration of teaching and research. Virani is one of two recipients of the distinction this year, along with Senior Lecturer Don Boyes of the Department of Geography and Program in Planning.
Virani, who holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies and is renowned for his efforts to bridge the gap between the West and the Muslim world, is also known as a passionate teacher. Once he began teaching Introduction to Islam at U of T, enrolment in the class increased by 100 per cent within a semester.
“I want to transform people’s lives,” said Virani. “My grandmother didn’t know how to read or write, and my grandfather only had a few years of education. I know that education can transform not only individuals, but multiple generations of a family. I’m lucky that my own family had that chance.”