'Celebrating excellence in teaching speaks to the spirit of our institution'

Recipients of 2017 University of Calgary Teaching Awards recognized at annual Celebration of Teaching



Celebration of Teaching Recipient Group Photo

Photo by Adrian Shellard. 

By Jessica Snow, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

“Celebrating excellence in teaching speaks to the spirit of our institution and makes me proud to be part of our university community,” says Taryn M. Graham, a teaching assistant from the Cumming School of Medicine and one three recipients of this year’s Award for Graduate Assistants (Teaching). “Ultimately, my aim within the classroom is to help facilitate a rich learning environment where mutual respect and understanding exists so that students may take responsibility for their own learning and be mindful of their impact on others.” 

Honouring outstanding educators  

The University of Calgary Teaching Awards seek to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to teaching and learning. “I was very pleased to see the university recognizing the importance of graduate student education and supervision. Mentoring may not show its value for several years, so I felt quite humbled that former students, in combination with my department colleagues, took the time to nominate me,” says Ray Turner, a professor from the Department of Biological Sciences and the 2017 recipient of the Award for Graduate Supervision.

University of Calgary Teaching Awards nominees pass through a rigorous adjudication process that starts with the development of a nomination package. Evidence from colleagues and students is provided in the form of letters of nomination and support. Furthermore, nominees are asked to develop a teaching philosophy or rationale that shares their mostly closely held teaching beliefs and approaches. 

Turner's philosophy stems from the belief that “Training graduate students involves assisting them to transition to becoming knowledge producers, which requires nurturing their creative capabilities, because research is a creative process, driven by curiosity and fuelled by passion. Effective supervision through nurturing the inner fire that drives discovery is critical to the training of the leading scientists of tomorrow. Providing students with the freedom to develop their own research directions promotes the development of graduates who are equipped to take their place in the world as leaders and innovators.”

2017 University of Calgary Teaching Awards

A total of 64 nominations from across faculties were received in 13 award categories that include: teaching in online environments, team-teaching, educational leadership, and awards for full-time academic staff, non-academic staff and sessional instructors, among others.

More than 350 academic staff, staff and students on campus and beyond collaborated to develop the nomination packages. Nominators can be colleagues and/or students and are an integral part of the process, often providing support, feedback and inspiration for nominees.

The packages were adjudicated through a collaborative decision-making process by 57 faculty, staff and student volunteers, organized into 10 committees. 

The Celebration of Teaching

President Elizabeth Cannon and Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic), presented 21 individual and group awards on March 23 at the fourth annual Celebration of Teaching, hosted by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

“It’s extremely important to me that we recognize excellence in teaching across our university community,” says Marshall. “The University of Calgary Teaching Awards are our most prominent awards for teaching, and this year’s recipients share an exceptional commitment to enriching the quality and breadth of learning for our students.”

Alicia Lunz, vice-president (academic) of the Students' Union, Sam Hossack, president of the Graduate Students' Association, and several student leaders were also present to offer their congratulations to award recipients. 

2017 award recipients

The University of Calgary Teaching Awards is an important opportunity to honour the dedication, passion and enthusiasm — sometimes sustained over the course of entire careers — that our finest educators bring to teaching and learning. The following recipients were recognized with 2017 University of Calgary Teaching Awards:

Award for Continuing and Professional Education
Vivian Hansen
Continuing Education

Award for Curriculum Development
Advancing Healthy and Socially Just Schools and Communities
(Tonya Callaghan, Kim Campbell, Lynn Corcoran, Deinera Exner-Cortens, Darren Lund, Lana Wells)
Faculty of Social Work, Werklund School of Education

Awards for Educational Leadership
Formal Role: Kevin Busche, Cumming School of Medicine
Informal Role: Reed Ferber, Faculties of Kinesiology and Nursing
Group: Roots of Resilience Facilitation team, Students' Union Wellness Centre (Ashley Fox, Ninfa Garay, Alex Klassen, Pearl Niuewenhuis, Zoe Say, Jennifer Thannhauser, Russell Thomson)

Award for Experiential Learning
Aaron Williams
Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts

Awards for Full-Time Academic Staff 
Assistant Professor: Catherine Burwell, Werklund School of Education 
Associate Professor: Lee Carruthers, Department of Communication, Media and Film, Faculty of Arts
Senior Instructor: Mayi Arcellana-Panlilio, Cumming School of Medicine
Professor: Sally St. George, Faculty of Social Work

Award for Graduate Assistants (Teaching)
AnneMarie Dorland, Department of Communication, Media and Film, Faculty of Arts
Taryn M. Graham, Cumming School of Medicine
Khobaib Zaamout, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science

Award for Graduate Supervision
Ray Turner
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science

Award for Librarians, Archivists and Curators 
Don MacMillan 
Libraries and Cultural Resources

Award for Non-Academic Staff
Mike Paget
Cumming School of Medicine

Award for Sessional Instructors
Patricia DesJardine, Cumming School of Medicine
Katherine Mueller, Werklund School of Education

Award for Team-Teaching
Les Jerome and Linda Kreitzer
Faculty of Social Work

Award for Teaching in Online Environments
Jessica Ayala
Faculty of Social Work

Award for Workplace Integrated Education
Jim Reilly
George McDougall High School, Werklund School of Education

All recipients are invited to join the Teaching Academy. The Teaching Academy operates as a working group of on-the-ground professionals who are interested in supporting the development of individual and collective teaching practices on our campus.

Information about the 2018 University of Calgary Teaching Awards will be posted in September 2017. 

General information on the awards program and process, can be found here.  

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