2013 Recipients


Chris Adam
Dawson College 
Faculty, Community Recreation & Leadership Training
Project Lead, Sustainable Dawson     

Chris is a dynamic educator and social entrepreneur. He has presented hundreds of workshops for educators on topics including environmental leadership, school as community and project development.  His passion for teaching and his ability to engage students and teachers in complex projects benefitting their community has been recognized nationally and internationally.

Chris’ holistic viewpoint emphasizes the concept that the heart comes first and then action.  He truly believes a nourished mind and spirit will lead to greater change than technology or money.  He not only evaluates success of projects through traditional measured outcomes, but also whether the cohesion of a working group of educators and students is maintained or even increased by the process set in place.  

Chris constantly reminds himself to honor a student’s voice. When this happens in a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to risk-taking, he states “we can begin to witness the writers, speakers, artists and scientists in all of us”.

Virginia Harwood
Professor, School of Justice & Emergency Services
Durham College 

Virginia is passionate about quality teaching and learning and seeks to inspire her students through her own enthusiasm for life-long learning as well as creative student-centred teaching and learning.  Through collaboration, mentoring, volunteerism, reflective practice, continuous professional development, community relationships, and peer leadership, Virginia supports her colleagues and contributes to a professional community of practice.

Letters in support of Virginia’s nomination for the CSEC award comment on her “spirit of innovation, patience, approachability, kindness, and self-reflective practice are the hallmarks of why so many faculty and staff rely on her advice about effective teaching and learning,” and describe her as “a mentor, trail-blazer, mother-confessor, problem-solver and advocate like no other,” and “a person who models all that is best about teaching at Durham College,” and is “admired for her passion for teaching, her enthusiasm for the courses she teaches, and her ability to provide leadership and mentoring to others.”

Virginia coordinated the development of the Mediation-ADR program at Durham College and was instrumental in building an on campus dispute resolution service ~Campus Conflict Resolution Services ~serving the campus community.  Virginia is a co-facilitator of a reflective practice group – Teaching in Community.  She also is a core faculty member of the Law Clerk Advanced program and maintains extensive networks in the legal community for the benefit of her students and college.

Holly Morris
Instructor of Business Administration and Faculty Trainer
Office of Distributed Learning
College of the North Atlantic

Holly Morris believes that the sharing of ideas and knowledge is the key to teaching excellence. In that spirit, she wears many hats.  As an active faculty member, she is known for both her commitment to her students and for her dedication to collaboratively advancing teaching and learning at CNA. In a letter of support, one of Holly’s colleagues writes that “it would be difficult to find anyone as committed to mentorship as Holly is”. For her efforts, Holly received the Mac Turner Professional Development Award in recognition of her substantial personal commitment to her profession.

As our faculty trainer, Holly provides enthusiastic and high-quality instruction on our Learning Management System (D2L) and supports faculty in developing best practices in online teaching. Training participants describe her sessions as “practical”, “tremendous”, and “engaging”. Holly’s reputation as a knowledgeable and experienced trainer puts her in high demand. Our overseas campus in Qatar requested her expertise as they implement D2L for the first time.

In addition to her duties as a full-time Instructor and Faculty Trainer, Holly chairs both program development and professional development committees, and serves on several others. This exemplifies her dedication to academic quality and peer leadership.


Alison Lewis
Interim Director
Department of Teaching and Academic Development

Alison believes that teaching is an act of courage. When you step into a classroom there are many unknown factors, and it takes courage to step away from the known and toward the unknown.  But Alison is comforted by a saying that she keeps by her desk: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” 

Alison claims to have the perfect job that allows her to support instructors in their instructional practices and work with other leaders on the direction of teaching and academic development at NAIT.  Regardless of the job being done, her colleagues state that her “visionary thinking and acting continues to meaningfully support NAIT’s commitment to teaching excellence.” She is recognized to “deftly thread the art and science of teaching throughout her work.” One of the eight principles that guide Alison’s work is that knowledge is developed, not transmitted.  Her colleagues support Alison’s stance in this principle by noting that Alison “is always there, brilliantly smiling, joking, and filled with information and education that she presents in a way that convinces us we discovered it on our own.”  


Greg Rodrigo
Faculty Developer
Centre for Teaching and Learning
Georgian College 

Collegiality, collaboration, and community are the foundation of Greg’s career as a college educator. He believes that a group of individuals becomes truly effective when those people join together as a community in which members are united around common goals and support one another in their respective roles, with the ultimate objective of ensuring student success. With passion, creativity, and compassion, he strives to create spaces where people can be nurtured and can realize their potential.

Greg has been a faculty member and co-ordinator in the Computer Studies Department. Currently, he serves as a faculty developer and, with the team at the Centre for Teaching and Learning, conducts workshops and provides support for full-time and part-time faculty. He has created a Twitter feed for the Centre and tweets with the handle @GeorgianCTL. He uses Twitter to discover new resources for college learning and shares them with the Georgian community through the Centre’s weekly Twitter Harvest.

As noted in his nomination letter, “Greg inspires his students to learn by conveying to them a sincere belief in their abilities while confirming his sincerity to them through unique learning experiences in and out of the classroom.”