College prof is Ontario’s Best Lecturer

Canadore theatre arts lecturer is first non-university winner

Rod Carley, a lecturer of theatre arts at North Bay’s Canadore College, has been named “Ontario’s Best Lecturer” by the TVO program Big Ideas.

Carley was one of 160 lecturers nominated by college and university students across the province of Ontario in the annual competition. The top 10 were decided by a TVO panel and then invited to record a lecture for broadcast on Big Ideas. Viewers were invited to vote for their favourite lecturer after each broadcast.

These votes, combined with input from a judging panel, resulted in Carley’s crowning as “Ontario’s Best Lecturer.” He is the first college lecturer to win the competition.

“This year’s best lecturer finalists were a consistently strong group,” says contest producer Gregg Thurlbeck. “But Rod Carley was the standout lecturer in both the public vote and with our jury. He led the way into the Top 10 and then delivered an engaging, provocative, powerful competition lecture that obviously clicked with his students in the classroom and connected with our television and on-line viewers.”

“I’m still in a state of shock,” said Carley. “It’s very exciting – this is my calling, my vocation, my life’s work. My whole philosophy is that we have to come to the students, not the other way around.”

Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, says the prof is an extraordinary instructor with a passion for teaching, who also has the ability to captivate his students.

Carley is quick to acknowledge the other finalists. “What’s important is that [this contest] celebrates that there are great minds in this province’s higher education system, who truly care about what they’re teaching their students.”

As a result of his win, Canadore College will also receive $10,000 for a scholarship.