University of Calgary

3M National Teaching Fellowship

February 25, 2011

3M National Teaching Fellowship

By Leanne Yohemas

Dr. Leslie Reid is one of only 10 teachers from across the country to receive the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. Photo credit: Riley BrandtDr. Leslie Reid is one of only 10 teachers from across the country to receive the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. Photo credit: Riley BrandtDr. Leslie Reid is no stranger to good reviews about her teaching. But when she received a call telling her she had won a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, she choked up. “I couldn’t speak. It was very emotional.”

Reid, one of this year’s 10 fellowship recipients from across the country, says she was convinced the winners had already been notified. “I was really surprised. It was special news,” says Reid, the Tamaratt Teaching Professor in Geoscience and team lead for Project Engage. “I’m very grateful for the nomination and to everyone who supported the application process.”

The 3M Teaching Fellowship is a nation-wide award that recognizes excellence in teaching. An external peer group, made up of members from the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, judge the applications.

The 2011 recipients will be formally announced in a special university undergraduate student issue of Maclean’s magazine in March and at the annual meeting for the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in Saskatoon this June. This year’s recipients will also take part in a retreat in Banff, where they can share teaching experiences and ideas with each other.

Her shock may seem odd; Reid has won award after award from her teaching assistant graduate student days to when she signed on as a professor in 2003.

Reid says the fellowship is different because, unlike her previous awards, the people judging her application for the 3M National Teaching Fellowship didn’t know her; they were an external peer group of members from the Society of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Reid has won several teaching awards in her 10 years at the University of Calgary, beginning with her graduate days when she taught second-year students a course on rocks and minerals. Reid says she has had fantastic days as a teacher but also some really tough days. And she admits she’s “mucked up” at times but she has always learned from those experiences and from faculty colleagues who have mentored her over her career. “Even now, every time I teach a course, there are 10 things I want to change for next year,” she says. “It’s an unattainable goal: to teach the perfect course.”

As the Tamaratt Teaching Professor, Reid researches how certain approaches to teaching affect student learning outcomes, such as group work, student peer reviews and different types of assessments.

Her current position also provides her with opportunities to work with colleagues in the science faculty and across campus. “I feel responsible to push myself with my teaching practice more and share that experience with people. I’m looking forward to talking with the other fellow recipients in June and later this year to see what I can learn from them. I expect to come back from both of these meetings with even more knowledge to share with the U of C community.”

To learn more about the 3M Teaching Fellowships, visit: www.mcmaster.ca/3Mteachingfellowships/


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