A University of Guelph professor known for his commitment to experiential learning and teaching innovation has won a provincial teaching award.

Trent Tucker, a professor in the School of Food, Hospitality and Tourism Management, today was named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

“Teaching is a solitary pursuit—being recognized by fellow university teachers for things I’ve done in the classroom and for my students is truly an honour,” Tucker said.


He and four other recipients will receive awards Oct. 24 in Toronto.

“This is wonderful, well-deserved recognition for Prof. Tucker,” said Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president (academic).

“Trent involves his students in learning and actively helps them develop and grow as learners by engaging them outside the classroom. He is an enthusiastic teacher with bold, innovative ideas for enriching the learning environment.”

A former business analyst, supply chain manager and software developer, Tucker joined U of G’s College of Business in 2011. In 2013, he received one of five Desire2Learn Innovation Awards for Teaching and Learning.

Tucker says he enjoys the variety and opportunities for creativity afforded by teaching, and the satisfaction of helping students learn and succeed.

He has used Lego in the classroom to generate ideas and explain problems, allows students to respond to classroom questions or surveys using their smartphones, tablets or netbooks, and uses a Twitter feed and a YouTube channel to post videos for students.

His students have taken part in Micro-Tyco, a business challenge that invests money made by participants into micro-loans for entrepreneurs in developing countries. Students raised more than $20,000 for the Wild Hearts charity while learning how to turn an idea into a successful business.

“Professor Tucker is an inspired educator, continually investigating, experimenting and adapting teaching methods to create meaningful student learning,” said Andrea Buchholz, chair of OCUFA’s award committee and a U of G family relations professor.

“From setting up a lemonade stand in class to helping his students raise money in support of women entrepreneurs in the developing world, his classes are always engaging and energizing.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario.