Kat Furtado wins CI Teaching Excellence Award

May 8, 2024 by Department of Classics

The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP), part of the University’s Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, supports course instructors in developing inclusive and innovative pedagogy through a variety of workshops and programs. Each year, they recognize the outstanding work of a single graduate student out of all programs, faculties, and campuses with the CI Teaching Excellence Award.

From this massive pool of candidates, the Department is thrilled to announce that Kat Furtado, PhD candidate in the Collaborative Specialization in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, is the recipient of this prestigious award. A specialist in Ancient Greek philosophy, Kat has taught a variety of courses, from introductory language classes to Classical Mythology to Introduction to Greek Society and Culture, both at UofT and previously at Acadia University.

In Kat’s classes, students are encouraged to explore the Greco-Roman world more immersively, beyond reading and analyzing ancient texts. Rather, by using a variety of media, such as podcasts, graphic novels, and more, and developing innovative activities, like clapping out hexameter rhythms variety or leading a rousing game of “Homer Says,” Kat encourages students to interact with the ancient world via multiple approaches, and in so doing, inspires student to engage more deeply with it. Further, by employing diverse methods of interacting with the source material, Kat inspires students to reflect on how the ways we engage with the ancient past can facilitate meaningful advancements in inclusion and equality in today’s classroom and beyond.

Many of Kat’s students wrote letters in support of her nomination for this award, describing the depth of engagement, sense of belonging and inclusion, and Kat’s supportiveness and unwavering commitment to her students, which made the course feel more like a community than a classroom. Additionally, faculty and fellow graduate students described Kat’s centrality to continued pedagogical innovation in the Department, benefitting from Kat’s commentary in formal situations such as at meetings of the Classical Association of Canada (and UofT's upcoming Teaching and Learning Symposium), or simply in casual chats around the Department.

We are elated to have Kat as a member of our Department, eternally grateful for her many contributions, and delighted to see her excellence in teaching recognized. Congratulations, Kat!