Debra Dawson, 2016

Director, Teaching Support Centre and the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Western University

Dr. Debra Dawson is the Director of the Teaching Support Centre and the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at Western University. Over the past 20 years, Deb has made a substantial contribution to teaching and learning in Canada and around the world. She was instrumental in the creation of The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, served on the 3M Teaching Fellowship Selection Committee for more than 6 years, mobilized educational developers to articulate the mission and values of their work as Chair of the Educational Developers Caucus, served on the STLHE Board for over 8 years over multiple terms, and created national mentorship opportunities for the next generation of educational developers in Canada, to name but a few of her contributions.

It is her contribution as a mentor that her colleagues emphasize most when discussing Deb. She has supported educational developers at all stages of their careers in her own Centres, in Ontario, across Canada, and internationally. She has had a critical role in mentoring and supporting new directors in their preparation for their role, and has modelled excellence in all areas of her work. She also led EDC action groups to create and facilitate mentorship opportunities for STLHE members.

It is the words of her colleagues that capture her contributions the best: Game changer, mentor, enabling leader; a champion for educational development, knowledge mobilizer who can turn big ideas into action, a generous supporter of others’ personal evolution, collegial, committed, creative, sees the forest and the trees in tackling issues in teaching and learning, and a steady and energizing presence in educational development across the country. Few people in Canada have devoted as much of their passion, energy, and commitment to teaching and learning as Debra Dawson.