The Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH) presented the FAH Academic Awards to recognize the members’ excellence in teaching, research and service. The Awards are given annually based on students’ and colleagues’ nominations, recommendation by the Academic Award Selection Committees and a final review by the FAH management.

We are proud to announce that the 2021/2022 winners are here:

Category Winner(s)
Best Teacher Mario CAMS
Department of History
Best Instructor LU Chunhui
Department of Portuguese
Excellence in Research ZHANG Yue
Department of Chinese Language and Literature
Excellence in Service Defeng LI
Department of English

Best Teacher Award – Mario CAMS

Prof. Cams has been a very devoted and passionate teacher. He distinguishes by his consistent excellent performance throughout the years and throughout all types of courses he has taught in UM, from compulsory and required elective of UG courses, PG courses, to GE courses. Reflected in the student evaluations, with his UG courses reaching 4.38, PG courses 4.8, and GE courses 4.07, he is usually well above department and faculty averages, both as instructor and in terms of course content and design. Such recognition from the students is the result of his profound teaching philosophy, engagement on course design, and long-term patient engagements with students.

As a responsible history professor, Prof. Cams is able to engage students with historical source materials and developing their own questions about the past.  Competence-oriented learning has been central to his teaching practices. In order to inspire and most efficiently involve the students, he designed a wide variety of course activities, and creative assignments. For example, collaborating with the Leiden-based platform, he organized students conducting research on visual materials and get the student-authored papers published on the web site. In the comments from students, the students often find his courses, “interesting”, “very good for learning history,”  “well-prepared, ”and “well-organized.” Not only did the students feel benefited from his course, they deeply appreciated him for “using different methods to let all students understand (history)” and “creating a good learning atmosphere.” Professor Cams’ attitude towards students can also be attested in the students’ comments. He is often praised by the students for being “patient,” “one of the most responsible professors,” “enthusiastic,” “nice and friendly,” and “serious and responsible.” Students often express their adoration to him and the wish to have more of his courses. His courses have been very popular among the students. Even for his GE course, the pre-enrollment can be around 130 for a class size of 50.

Teaching is more about daily practice than theory. Prof. Mario Cams’ consistent effort and excellent performance in teaching deserves recognition.

Best Instructor Award – LU Chunhui

Mr. Lu has been remarked by his students as an enthusiastic teacher who constantly provides detailed feedback with great sensitivity, clarity, and respect. The planning of his classes integrates the use of new technologies combined with innovative teaching strategies, such as mind mapping and the review-acquisition-practice model. According to Mr. Lu’s teaching philosophy, establishing a respectful relationship between teachers and students is a prerequisite for effective teaching. Furthermore, he strongly believes that encouragement is a positive way to enhance student motivation and maintain enthusiasm for learning, and that being clear has a positive impact on teaching and learning as students pay close attention to their learning efficiency and its outcomes.

Mr. Lu is a student-oriented teacher who always works closely with the students, with high average SFQ scores consistently ranging between 4.0 and 4.6. He is also a co-developer of a MOOC course focusing on the learning of Portuguese as a second language. He is a well-liked teacher with recurring positive comments by the students, as evident in the following comments: “Mr Olívio Lu is an excellent lecturer with a strong passion in teaching. He is hard working, [and would] give us an in depth knowledge of the grammatical structure of Portuguese.”, “The instructor is very good, he is very responsible and our course is well planned. He is able to explain the content very clearly and help us to have better understanding through different explanations”, “good teacher with passions to teach. Willing to listen to opinions with significant improvement to suit the students’ needs”, “The course is excellent and very innovative, the structure is well designed and useful” etc.

Excellence in Research Award – ZHANG Yue

Prof. Zhang joined UM recently in 2020 and his research performance has already shined brilliantly in FAH. During the review period, i.e.  1/1/2020 – 31/12/2021, Prof. Zhang published two single-authored monographs with prestigious publishers, namely, State University of New York Press and Fudan University Press. State University of New York Press is regarded as one of the three top Western publishers for the studies of premodern Chinese Literature and Culture. In addition, Prof. Zhang has published eighteen single-authored journal articles and 4 of them are indexed in A&HCI, 5 in Scopus and 4 in CSSCI. His book Lore and Verse is the first English-language book dedicated entirely to the study of poems on history (yongshi shi) in premodern China. This book has received extremely positive comments from leading researchers in this area. For instance, “Lore and Verse opens up new avenues for exploring the interplay among political, historical, social, and literary forces in early medieval China”. “While there are many extant studies on the poetry from this historical period, none explores the role of cultural and historical memory in this level of detail. Written in clear, jargon-free prose, the book offers a good balance between easy access and sophisticated arguments”.

In addition, Prof. Zhang has guest edited issues for two important journals (i.e. Journal of Chinese Humanities and Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities) and conducted four research projects. All these absolutely reflect Prof. Zhang’s influence in the field and his active research profile. Prof. Zhang is also a good example of reaching out to the international academic community proactively for visibility. He delivered many conference presentations and seminars at various international forums or conferences at prestigious universities, including Beijing Normal University, Fudan University and Michigan State University, etc.

Although Prof. Zhang is relatively new to FAH, he has been actively participating in Department and Faculty administration and he has been serving as Programme Coordinator since he joined UM. It is truly remarkable that Prof. Zhang has been so productive in research while performing all his teaching and administrative duties. Well balanced in research, teaching and service, Prof. Zhang is an example for us all.

Excellence in Service Award – Defeng LI

Prof. Defeng Li joined FAH in January 2014. Within UM he has served in various capacities and on numerous committees. His internal service is marked by diligence, professionalism and good sense. As the Associate Dean of FAH, Prof. Li chairs the Dean’s Advisory Committee, the Research Development Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee. As a Senate member, he serves on the Senate Graduate Studies Committee and the Technology Committee.

Prof. Li is one of the founders of CSTIC (the Centre for Studies of Translation, Interpreting and Cognition) and has been the centre director since its establishment in 2014. He initiated the International Conference on Translation, Interpreting and Cognition, which has gathered high calibre researchers in the field and raised the reputation of UM internationally. He is currently leading an inter-faculty team of nine UM researchers conducting a collaborative project on fMRI-based mapping of multilingual and multimodal processing.

As a Fellow of CKYC, Prof. Li has played a dynamic role, including mentoring students and organizing activities aimed at whole-person development, and was awarded the Fellow of the Year, a recognition of his continued excellent services to the RC. He has also mentored numerous colleagues in different departments and faculties, especially in research, and he is always available to colleagues who seek advice. He also generously gives support to projects led by others, e.g. serving as an adjudicator at translation and interpreting contests.

Outside UM, Prof. Li actively plays a leading role in academic communities, significantly enhanced UM’s visibility in his fields of research. His editorship for the first-tier academic publishers spans nationally and internationally. In addition, Prof. Li chairs several national and international associations in the fields of translation and interpreting, corpus linguistics, and applied linguistics. Prof. Li serves on the Academic Committee of the National Committee of MTI Education, Ministry of Education, and contributes a great deal to the education and research of Macao through local NGOs.

Prof. Li certainly deserves the recognition for his contribution to FAH, UM, the local community and the international academic community.

Congratulations to the winners again!