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Serena Keshavjee

Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence


Serena Keshavjee

BA, MA, PhD

A University of Winnipeg assistant professor and coordinator of art history, Serena Keshavjee has earned the highest praise from her students. She is consistently described as an “exceptional, genuine professor” and is renowned for her contagious passion for art. She helped develop the new Masters in Curatorial Practices, an applied program that includes a series of academic theoretic courses and hands-on experience taught by the best curators in Winnipeg.

Keshavjee demonstrates outstanding expertise in all of her subjects. She effectively engages discussion in the classroom, and enlivens the learning environment by bringing in new technologies: a student in one of her courses, researched, designed and organized a QR code tour of UWinnipeg campus buildings. Keshavjee is a mentor who consistently goes beyond the call of duty to help her students with their education. Her engaging lectures and courses are constantly sought out by a cross-discipline of students. “I love going to class” is a common refrain of her students.

Keshavjee makes herself available outside of class time and keeps generous office hours. She is always willing to discuss papers and constantly encourages her students to challenge themselves and improve their work. She makes them aware of scholarship opportunities and various other beneficial activities.

Keshavjee is able to make art history accessible and approachable. She encourages her students to go beyond what they thought possible and inspires even the shyest students to participate in class. She prompts them to think in an interdisciplinary manner by intertwining literature, religion, visual culture and ideological connections to reach a deeper, more profound understanding of the subject matter. This encouragement in critical thought transcends the classroom and has led to success for Keshavjee’s students in other courses and other facets of their lives.

One student expressed: “To have a professor who believes in you and knows what you are capable of is more encouraging and meaningful than any grade or award.”

The University of Winnipeg is honoured to present Serena Keshavjee with the Clifford J. Robson Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, for instilling in her students a love of art and lifelong learning.