Neurology professor Tom Feasby named a Rhodes Trust Inspirational Educator
When Rhodes Scholar Aravind Ganesh, MD ’12, learned the Rhodes Trust was looking to recognize inspirational educators, he knew immediately whose name to put forward: Dr. Tom Feasby.
“I owe my career to him, I continue to learn from him and I would not be at Oxford without him,” said Ganesh in his nomination letter to the Trust.
The inaugural Rhodes Trust Inspirational Educator award aims to highlight incredible teaching around the world. Rhodes Scholars were invited to nominate exceptional mentors who influenced their lives before they received their Rhodes Scholarship, largely recognized as the world’s most prestigious international scholarship.
“He first recognized my interest in neurology and inspired me to pursue clinical and research opportunities in the field.”
Feasby, professor of neurology and a former dean of medicine at the Cumming School, is one of only 18 Rhodes Trust Inspirational Educator Award recipients for 2016.
“Aravind is a remarkable young man, and I’m honoured he would nominate me for this award,” said Feasby. “I’ve known him for eight years and have seen him develop into a true scholar and a leader with a very bright future.”
In one experience, Ganesh recalls joining Feasby at a public health forum.
“I was amazed at Dr. Feasby’s ability to deal with this challenging environment, humble himself before patients, empathize with them while explaining his point of view in a very simple, non-patronizing manner.”
He describes the experience as no better way to “watch and learn."
Active member of the university Scholar's Academy
Having always felt it was important to recognize and value outstanding achievement by students, Feasby became an active member of the university’s Scholars Academy. Since 2009 he has mentored students throughout their applications for a Rhodes Scholarship.
The Scholars Academy strives to enhance the academic and professional development of outstanding undergraduate students. Dr. Feasby currently sits as a council member on the academy’s advisory council, of which he chaired from 2012 to 2015. He is also a member of the mentorship program, where scholars are paired with leaders both on and off campus to increase their network, receive advice on their academic pursuits and to develop career goals.
Feasby says students applying for a Rhodes Scholarship, even if unsuccessful, will benefit from the process.
“You often hear people say it’s not just the goal, but the journey. The journey alone can help students focus on their goals, motivate them and open doors to other scholarship opportunities.”
Since 1969, the University of Calgary has had 14 Rhodes Scholars, including eight from the medical school. In September 2015, Feasby championed the creation of a Cumming School of Medicine Rhodes Scholars legacy wall and hosted an event to recognize the achievements of past recipients.
“We created the wall to honour excellence at our school and to inspire our current students to strive to achieve their goals.”
Dr. Feasby is a member of the Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Community Health Sciences, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health.