OUSA’s 2023 Teaching Excellence Award Winner

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Congratulations to Josh D. Neufeld for receiving OUSA’s Teaching Excellence Award! WUSA thanks you for exhibiting and encouraging teaching excellence on campus!

At the 17th Annual OUSA Partners in Higher Education Dinner, Josh D. Neufeld was presented with the OUSA Teaching Excellence Award. Josh Neufeld is a Professor and Research Chair in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo. Neufeld leads the Neufeld lab that investigates the in interface between method development, basic microbial ecology, and applied research, providing exceptional training opportunities for students and postdoctoral research fellows. Neufeld is committed to the discipline of microbiology and its communication. Neufeld’s current research projects include research on engineered aquatic environments, microbiology in deep geological repositories for used nuclear fuels and investing bacteria from Boreal Shield lakes that have an impact on global biogeochemical cycling.

Professor Neufeld has been described by students as being extremely engaged in both his research and his teaching. Neufeld’s passion and enthusiasm for microbiology is contagious through engaging, informative, humorous, lectures that also include personal stories and occasional demonstrations. Neufeld excels at creating a welcoming teaching environment and always makes himself available to students as much as possible. Neufeld is a prime example of an instructor who excels at inspiring his student’s curiosity and knowledge through passion and understanding.

Neufeld is also recognized within the faculty of science as an instructor who is consistently among the top when evaluated by undergraduate students that he teaches and is known to be an engaging and thoughtful instructor. Neufeld’s strengths are in his capacity to provide students with engagement, clarity, and enthusiasm in the classroom. Similarly, Neufeld has the unique ability to connect with students on a personal level, often saying that he can “make a large class feel like a small class”. This engagement and unwavering commitment to learning is also reflected in all of Neufeld’s interactions with students and he places communication with them as a top priority.  Students know when they are being heard and valued whether they are being taught in person or remotely.

Professor Neufeld continues to put the student learning experience first and actively demonstrates this inside and outside of the classroom.  WUSA is excited and honored to present OUSA’s Teaching Excellence Award to Josh D. Neufeld – thank you for everything you do!

The OUSA Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes educators who excel at unlocking the potential of Ontario’s young people. Learn more about the OUSA’s 2023 Teaching Excellence Award Recipients here.

If you know a professor at the University of Waterloo that you would like to nominate for this award, click here



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