A guide to Ryerson’s best professors

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By Donald Higney

Finding the best professors for your classes is critical to your success as a student. Nobody wants to get stuck with a professor that gives pop quizzes, yells at students or just can’t teach. Having a good professor can drastically change how engaged you are with the material, provide mentorship and influence your career choices. 

When it comes to what makes a good professor, everyone has different criteria. Some students like professors who challenge them and help them get the most out of the course, while others are just looking for someone who won’t make school harder than it needs to be. 

To help you make the best decisions about who to learn from, we’ve compiled a list of the best professors from each faculty at Ryerson according to their Rate My Professor ratings and reviews.

Faculty of Arts: Eric Kam

Classes previously taught: 

ECN 104 Introductory Microeconomics, ECN 204 Introductory Macroeconomics, ECN 301 Intermediate Macroeconomics I, ECN 504 Intermediate Microeconomics I  

Stats: 

4.6/5 across 710 total ratings
Level of difficulty: 3.1/5
99 per cent of students would take the class again  

The common theme in all of Eric Kam’s reviews is that he truly cares about his students. From taking time to explain concepts, to only teaching for two out of the three hours of lecture, to dropping the lowest mark for quizzes and tests, he puts his students in a position to succeed. 

Student Reviews: 

“This professor makes it very clear from the start of the course that his main concern is his students, our mental wellbeing and our ability to enjoy, respect and appreciate the material. I have enjoyed every minute of his lectures, his stories and his banter back and forth with the students willing to be on camera.”  Jan. 2021 

“Legend. I didn’t realize how lucky I [was] to have him as my first Econ prof until I had to deal with a different prof. He genuinely wants his students to learn and not to just get the course over with. Even though he may not get through ALL the material, you will leave with a very good understanding of Economics as long as you try.” Jan. 2021

Faculty of Communication and Design – Jay Wong  

Classes previously taught: 

GCM 110 Introduction to Graphic Communications, GCM 130 Design and Layout 

Stats:

5/5 across 170 total ratings
Level of difficulty: 2.1/5
100 per cent of students would take the class again 

Jay Wong has inspired students who aren’t in Ryerson’s Graphic Communications Management (GCM) program to continue taking graphic design classes. Wong is really great at connecting and engaging with students and making his lectures interactive. He also gives good constructive feedback on assignments and is a GCM graduate himself!

Student Reviews: 

“AMAZING. Out of my 3 years at Ryerson, he’s my favourite prof EVER. Genuinely wants his students to succeed and is SUPER nice & caring. I didn’t have any graphic design experience but want to get into this field & I finished with a great mark. Responds to emails so quickly, is always willing to help & provide his feedback so you can improve. 11/10.” Jan. 2021

“Jay is among the best profs I had so far at Ryerson. He’s patient, good at explaining things, and so fun! I learned so many skills in this course. Taking this class an elective is one of the best things you can do for your mental health and your career in a pandemic.” Dec. 2020

Faculty of Community Services – Franklin Gorospe  

Classes previously taught: 

NCL 800 Nursing Practice II, NSE 306 Leadership and Change, NSE 407 Professional Issues and Trends, NSE 418 Nursing Practice V, NUR 805 The Evolution of Theoretical Knowledge, NUR 823 Adult Health, NUR 830 Current Issues and Future Perspective  

Stats: 

4.4/5 across 242 total ratings
Level of difficulty: 4.2/5
85 per cent of students would take the class again 

Franklin Gorospe’s greatest strength, according to his reviews, is his ability to prepare students on what to expect when it comes to real world experience in nursing. He challenges his students through difficult evaluations but makes himself available to give feedback and constructive criticism to make their work better. 

Student Reviews:

“This is probably the hardest course I took so far. Franklin is a tough grader. I was sure that I was a good paper writer. Had excellent grades, but man, he can make you better. I like how much feedback he gave me to make me better. Be prepared to have your ego shook!! Will take again.” Dec. 2020

“I had him for 2 straight years. Hated him every step of the way. Now that I’m done with him, I cannot believe how much he challenged me. He has so many students, and he gives us as much help as possible. Thank you for being so helpful, I wish I realized that sooner. Hard but great for making me better.” Dec. 2020

Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Sciences – Marcello Papini

Classes previously taught: 

BME 323 Statics and Mechanics of Materials, MEC 323 Statics and Mechanics of Materials, MEC 430 Stress Analysis 

Stats: 

4.1/5 across 96 total ratings
Level of difficulty: 3.4/5
83 per cent of students would take this class again  

With a subject as intense as engineering, having the right professor can make or break your understanding of the material. Marcello Papini’s reviews glow about his ability to break down intense concepts into understandable chunks. He spends the time necessary going through questions with students. 

Student Reviews: 

“He is just amazing! Makes difficult concepts seem so easy, but you have to practice and work for it. He is genuine and cares about his students. Solved so many problems with us and spent so much time making sure we understand fully how to solve and analyze the problems. DON’T miss his lectures! He is a once in a lifetime prof.” Jan. 2021

“Papini is the goat when it comes to [MEC] 323 and 430. Really knows his stuff and does a great job at making sure his students understand the concepts. Genuinely cares about his students and their grades. Midterm and final were hard but ended up getting curved anyways. This is the prof you want to take for these courses.” Jan. 2021

Faculty of Sciences: Majed Alqasas  

Classes previously taught: 

MTH 108 Linear Algebra, MTH 125 Mathematics for Professional Programs, MTH 140 Calculus I, MTH 141 Linear Algebra, MTH 207 Calculus and Computational Methods I, MTH 231 Modern Mathematics II, MTH 240 Calculus II, MTH 310 Calculus and Computational Methods II, MTH 312 Differential Equations and Vector Calculus, MTH 425 Differential Equations and Vector Calculus, MTH 430 Dynamic Systems Differential Equations 

Stats:

4.9/5 across 305 total ratings
Level of difficulty: 2/5
100 per cent of students would take the class again

If there was an award for teaching style, Majed Alqasas would be the winner. Also known as “math bae”, as previously reported by The Eyeopener, he inspires students to take math classes. He teaches complicated mathematical concepts with an ease that helps students gain a greater understanding. 

Student Reviews:

“Professor Alqasas makes hard integration questions easy to solve and gives you [an] overall look of the best methods to use. He is a real educator and a caring professor.” Feb. 2021

“Never made A in any math class. I made A+ and it was the only A+ in my life. If it wasn’t [for] Majed’s help, I wouldn’t make it. I am not in his sections but never missed any of his classes as he allows us to join his zoom lectures. God bless him.” Feb. 2021

Ted Rogers School of Management: Wally Whistance-Smith  

Classes previously taught:

GMS 401 Operations Management, GMS 528 Issues in Operations Management, GMS 801 Purchasing and Supply Management II 

Stats:

4.8/5 across 189 total ratings
Level of difficulty: 1.8/5
96 per cent of students would take the class again 

Wally Whistance-Smith brings personal stories into what he teaches to help his students get some first-hand experience in global management studies. He wants to see his students do well and is willing to help them get there by being as straightforward as possible when he teaches. Who needs the textbook when you’ve got him? 

Student Reviews:

“I have taken many classes with Wally and I can emphatically say he is the greatest teacher I have ever had at any level of education. I hang onto his every word because he is the textbook regardless of what class he is teaching. It is a privilege to be in his presence to soak up all the real world advice he can give you.” April 2019 

“Took GMS-401 With Wal. It was an amazing experience. He always gives real-world examples and shares his experiences from working in the field. The plant tour group project was very fun and I always looked forward to attending his lectures although they can be long sometimes. The textbook was used minimally. Tests are light as long as you attend.” Jan. 2020

 

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