Celebrating Teaching Excellence at LUMS

VC Teaching Excellence Award

The University is pleased to announce the 2022-23 cohort of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence - Drs. Adeel Tariq, Ghazal Mir Zulfiqar, Amir Faisal, Zafar Ayyub Qazi, and Mr. Muhammad Usama Waheed

The Award was launched in late 2020 to recognise exceptional and inspirational teachers who have made a difference in learning and teaching at LUMS as mentors, innovators, and educational leaders.  This year, 53 faculty members were nominated out of which 14 portfolios were received by the Selection Committee.

Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, LUMS, believes that the award celebrates LUMS’ institutional commitment to making an impact on students and communities through high-quality learning. He congratulated the winners, and said, “This year’s winners light a spark in their students, inspire their colleagues, and have been instrumental in furthering LUMS’ reputation for educational excellence in Pakistan and beyond. Congratulations to each of you and thank you for all you to do make a difference in the lives of so many.” 

Dr. Muhammad Hamad Alizai, Director, LUMS Learning Institute, commented, “Teaching awards serve as a powerful reminder of the impact that great teachers can have on the lives of their students. They help to recognise and celebrate the exceptional work of educators and inspire others to pursue their passions for teaching and learning.”

Here are the winners:

Dr. Adeel Tariq
Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences 

Dr. Tariq is an outstanding teacher who is passionate about economics and engaging his students as partners in learning. His thoughtful course planning, openness to student feedback, the energy he brings to his classes, and his willingness to continue to grow as a teacher are all clearly making an impact on students. As one student said, “Would like to say thank you; grades aside, I have genuinely learnt so much from you and have truly developed an interest in the subject!” It is not just Dr. Tariq’s mastery of his subject matter but also his empathetic nature and deep understanding of classroom dynamics that make him such an effective teacher. Skilled at bringing academic rigour, compassion, and innovation in equal measure to his lectures, ‘...the magic of an Adeel Tariq classroom’ is palpable. 

Dr. Tariq is a brilliant example of the power of an engaged and committed teacher, and the profound impact that this has in inspiring students’ enthusiasm for learning at LUMS. He shared his honour at being awarded, “I have always felt privileged at having the opportunity to teach some of the best young minds in the country here at LUMS. I learn just as much from our incredible students as they do from me, and this award will only galvanise my efforts to continually improve as a teacher and try to inspire my students to the best of my abilities. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my students, colleagues and all the wonderful teachers I have ever had for inspiring me and making me the teacher I am today.”

Dr. Amir Faisal
Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering

If we were to describe Dr. Faisal’s teaching in three words, they would be: engaging, inclusive, and accessible. In his student’s words, “He goes above and beyond to make sure the class progresses together as a pack, and no one is left struggling behind.” Dr. Faisal makes an extra effort to help students build a strong foundation before introducing complex ideas in biology. In the words of another student, “He believes if you can visualise it, you understand it. He reiterates concepts until they become crystal clear.” Dr. Faisal has supervised several student projects, and PhD theses; his students’ placements in top-notch graduate programmes speak volumes of his effectiveness as an educator. 

He is guided by the idea that student learning ‘is often closely tied to their interest and excitement’ so he seeks to inspire, champion, and mentor them in each and every class he teaches. His commitment to excellence makes him one of LUMS' most cherished teachers. 

Dr. Faisal, sharing his thoughts on receiving the award, said, “I have always felt lucky to be able to teach and mentor students at LUMS, and this award motivates me to keep on learning and improving my teaching. I am thankful to many wonderful mentors and engaging students who have inspired and helped me improve as a teacher.”


Dr. Ghazal Mir Zulfiqar
Management Sciences
Suleman Dawood School of Business 

Collaborating with students is at the core of Dr. Zulfiqar’s teaching philosophy. What makes her an excellent teacher is her ‘ethics of care’, as expressed by her students: “It takes real courage to open yourself to students and invite them to engage in discussions as collaborators and teach them that their lived experience, their concerns about the world, and their interpretations are equally solid and hold value.” 

Dr. Zulfiqar is known for cultivating intellectual curiosity and promoting holistic well-being among her students. She uses multidisciplinary approaches when teaching policy and research methods that encourage healthy debate and co-learning in her classes. Dr. Zulfiqar is deeply committed to educational leadership and student advising, as one of her students put it, “Conversations with her during office hours often required a lot of emotional labour on her part, which she did for hours on end twice a week during the semester for everyone in our class.” 

Dr. Zulfiqar’s dedication to education is truly commendable. She shared, “The award is a great honour. One of the first things I learned when I joined LUMS was how seriously the faculty here take their role as teachers. From the founding fathers to senior professors, the conversation has always been about how we can maximise the student learning experience. How do we inspire our students to lead with integrity and courage? There is no resting on your laurels here, there is a constant drive to learn from each other and improve what we have been doing.” 


Mr. Muhammad Usama Waheed 
Psychology and Behavioural Economics
Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences 

Mr. Waheed is an outstanding psychology teacher who focuses on ‘treating students with respect and empathy and encouraging them to introspect and grow’. His practice of putting students first by offering personalised support and feedback on their learning is often highlighted. As one student put it, “His ability to check up on people individually and have casual chats makes him stand out...individual feedback, criticism, and praise is a key part of teaching that is often overlooked. So, thank you for that.” 

He takes a pedagogical approach that is grounded in experiential and reflection-based learning, leading by example, and innovating to help students integrate theory with real-world contexts. He uses a variety of technology tools and is involved in co-working with students on their projects, using participatory design for his courses, and creating innovative case studies from personal experiences. Mr. Waheed’s unwavering dedication to student engagement and learning is making a sizable difference in their lives, and that is why he is one of LUMS' most celebrated teachers. 

Mr. Waheed, on being awarded, said, “As a relatively new instructor, I owe this award to my students who have been extremely patient and supportive while I learn and grow as a teacher. The award encourages me to continue innovating my teaching methods and push the boundaries of what can be achieved inside and outside the classroom. It also serves as a reminder to me that age and experience are no barriers to striving for excellence.”

Dr. Zafar Ayyub Qazi 
Computer Science
Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering 

Dr. Qazi is an exceptional teacher, known for his extraordinary efforts at helping students learn how to learn and become skilled problem-solvers in computer science. In each class he creates an inclusive environment with multiple avenues for all students to engage in learning and share their opinions. His students see him as ‘a joy in class’ as they say, “He is enthusiastic, well prepped, loves students joining in and just all in all a wonderful person to have taught us.” His classroom interventions, including class activities involving acting out concepts and innovative use of polling platforms, have significantly improved student engagement, participation, and overall learning, making his courses some of the most popular. 

Dr. Qazi’s personalised approach to mentoring students through the rigour of developing their academic skills has had a ripple effect – many of his students have gone on to publish in top-tier conferences, pursued graduate studies at top schools worldwide, or joined the industry. This is a testament to Dr. Qazi’s effectiveness as an instructor.

On receiving the award, Dr. Qazi said, “I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this award. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with such wonderful students and teachers at LUMS, who have made this journey truly remarkable. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all my TAs and students who have made my courses a fun and engaging learning experience. This award is also a testament to their hard work and dedication, and I share it with them. Thank you for your support, and for making this recognition possible.”


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