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Students' Union honours exceptional faculty and instructors

Teaching Excellence Awards give students the opportunity to recognize their difference-makers
April 24, 2015

Brent Snider, senior instructor in the Haskayne School of Business, earned an honourable mention at the Students' Union's annual Teaching Excellence Awards. Photo by Gene Baines 

Debra Isaac speaking on behalf of Robert Isaac who was posthumously inducted into the Teaching Excellence Hall of Fame. Photo by Gene Baines

On Wednesday April 22, 2015, the Students’ Union (SU) honoured 34 faculty members and instructors for their commitment to student success at its annual Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony.

The awards recognize individuals who contribute significantly to helping students achieve their highest potential. The SU’s campus-wide recognition program is for instructors who make a long-lasting impact on students — and most importantly, it is the students that determine the nominees and winners.

“It is an honour and a privilege to grant awards on behalf of undergraduate students to these 34 very deserving recipients,” said Stephan Guscott, SU vice-president (academic). “What I love about these awards is that they are the only student-driven, campus-wide recognition program for instructors who show their passion and make a lasting difference in our educational experience.”

The late Robert Isaac, senior instructor, human resources and organizational dynamics at the Haskayne School of Business, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last year, was inducted into the Students’ Union Hall of Fame. He had a 25-year career at Haskayne and was known for his generosity in teaching, thorough and prolific research, and a selfless commitment to serving the university community. His wife, Debra Isaac, accepted the award on his behalf.

“This was a very fitting tribute to Rob.” says Haskayne School of Business Dean Jim Dewald. “His investment in his student’s education was remarkable. Over the past 25 years at Haskayne, he touched many lives and his passion has been greatly missed. This was the perfect way to honour Rob’s memory.”

First handed out in 1984, the Teaching Excellence Awards provide students with the opportunity to give feedback on the quality of instruction within their course. They also ensure that excellence in teaching remains a key priority, which is in-line with one of the three primary commitments made in the Eyes High vision to enrich the quality and breadth of learning at the University of Calgary. 

Based on student nominations submitted over a six-week period in both the fall and winter semesters and a wide range of criteria previously set out by the SU, the teaching excellence committee conducted 106 class visits to collect written feedback about the short-listed instructors. The winners were then decided after the committee analyzed close to 2,000 evaluation forms.

Winners of the Teaching Excellence Award receive an Apple Award and a framed certificate. In addition, the Students’ Union will make a $5,000.00 donation in recognition of the winners to the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

Visit the SU Teaching Excellence program for more information, to see the criteria and the photo gallery of winners.

SU Teaching Excellence Awards recipients

Teaching Assistants award winners

Fathia Messaoudi, Jessica Nicol, Joel Viccars, Jeremy Woo

Teaching Excellence Awards winners

Arts: David G. Dick, Raymond Gunter, Brian Kooyman, Annette Tézli
Kinesiology: Cari Din
Law: Maureen T. Duffy
Science: Wendy Benoit, Thi Dinh, Ryan Trelford
Social Work: Alan McLuckie
Haskayne School of Business: Robert Malach, Justin M. Weinhardt
Schulich School of Engineering: Michael Collins, Markus Dann
Veterinary Medicine: Chantal Julianne McMillan
Werklund School of Education: Katherine Mueller
Nursing: Zenaida Roxas
Cumming School of Medicine: Amy Bromley

Teaching Excellence Awards, honourable mention

Mark Baron (Arts)
Kelly Burak (Cumming School of Medicine)
Dean Curran (Arts)
Carol A. Gibbons-Kroeker (Kinesiology)
Peter Hoyer (Science)
Jennifer Koshan (Law)
Philip P. Langill (Science)
Milana Trifkovic (Schulich School of Engineering)
Brent Snider (Haskayne School of Business)
Christine Waters-Banker (Kinesiology)

Teaching Excellence Hall of Fame Inductees

Norm Bartley (Schulich School of Engineering)
Robert Isaac (Haskayne School of Business) *Posthumous