Jeremy Centeno De Chavez is the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award of UM

At the Congregation 2021 held today (19 June), the University of Macau (UM) presented the Teaching Excellence Award, which recognises faculty members with outstanding performance in teaching. The recipient in the 2020/2021 academic year is Assistant Professor Jeremy Centeno De Chavez in the Department of English of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Every year, the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award is selected by a selection committee from nominees, who are faculty-level teaching award recipients, through a rigorous process. Selection criteria include the following: teaching philosophy, depth of knowledge in the subject area, outstanding communication skills and teaching effectiveness, outstanding contributions to the quality of curriculum development, the ability to promote student learning by stimulating and sustaining the intellectual development of students, innovative approach to teaching and learning, and leadership in promoting teaching excellence within and outside the University.

Prof De Chavez thanks the university for the recognition of his work and says that the award makes him want to work even harder to truly deserve this honour. He would also like to share this award with all the dedicated educators at UM who are committed to transforming the lives of their students. As a scholar of humanities, he feels that the presentation of the award to him is particularly meaningful because it shows the university’s recognition of the enduring value and relevance of the humanities. It is also a testament to the fact that UM faculty members not only equip students with the skills they need to face the challenges of the future, but also teach them what it means to live a life worth living. According to Prof De Chavez, the humanities classroom is an ideal place to cultivate in students a sense of wonder, a longing to see the world anew, respect for and understanding of cultural difference, and optimism in the face of rapid global change. He adds that students’ wonder, curiosity and desire for knowledge are the basis for lifelong learning, on which they will find pleasure in learning. In terms of his teaching approaches, Prof De Chavez combines the curriculum with students’ real-life experiences and aspirations to stimulate their curiosity and creativity, which lead them to learn positively and proactively, in the hope of developing creative, independent thinkers with persuasive communication skills and a love of life.

Prof De Chavez joined UM in 2018 as an assistant professor of English literature. He has received a truly global education, having studied in the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, and Canada, and obtained his PhD degree in English literature from Queen’s University in Canada. While his research and teaching areas are primarily in postcolonial studies, global anglophone literature, and critical/cultural theory, he is committed to being a strategic generalist with wide-ranging interests across literary periods, genres, and cultural forms. His forthcoming book Positive Affects and Postcolonial Critique will be published by the international publisher Routledge.