During Mount Saint Vincent University’s 2021 virtual spring convocation ceremony held May 28, Dr. Kathy Darvesh, Acting Director of Teaching and Learning and Online Learning, announced the recipients of the President and Vice-Presidents’ Advanced Career Teaching Award, the Alumni Early Career Teaching Award, and the Alumni Part-Time Teaching Award. The awards were presented to Dr. Will Shead of the Department of Psychology, Dr. Shannan Grant of the Department of Applied Human Nutrition and Dr. Gregg French of the Department of History & Canadian Studies, respectively.

The awards were established to recognize teaching excellence at every level, including senior and junior full-time faculty and part-time faculty. They reflect the University’s strong commitment to leadership in teaching and learning.

The President and Vice Presidents’ Advanced Career Teaching Award: Dr. Will Shead, Psychology

Dr Will Shead receiving their Teaching Excellence AwardsAs a dedicated, creative and enthusiastic instructor, Dr. Shead transfers his passion for psychology through his teaching of both online and on-campus courses. He is known for going “above and beyond” in addressing student concerns and struggles with challenging course content and for fostering interest in course content while sustaining an innovative and comfortable learning environment. Dr. Shead is a mentor through his interactions with the Psychology Student Society and the supervision of honours students. Full-time and part-time instructors also recognize him for his support as the coordinator of introductory Psychology courses.

Dr. Shead is to be commended for his ingenuity and commitment to teaching. His capacity for maintaining academic rigour while employing novel and engaging teaching strategies is exemplary, with the most outstanding example being Psychology Quips, a popular Instagram video series showcasing abstract concepts typically taught in first-year Psychology courses.

The Alumni Early Career Teaching Award: Dr. Shannan Grant, Applied Human Nutrition

Dr. Shannan Grant receiving their Teaching Excellence AwardIn her teaching philosophy, Dr. Shannan Grant describes her use of person-focused education to inspire creativity, co-learning and reconciliation. She applies experiential learning within instruction and assessment activities and works collaboratively with elders, peers and learners.

Her students describe her as a valued mentor and leader, and she encourages self-directed learning while accommodating diverse learning styles. Her ability to present complex material while maintaining student interest and enthusiasm for course content is distinguished by her teaching’s innovation, dedication, and inclusivity.

Dr. Grant is a reflexive and reflective teacher committed to the growth of her students. Among the many commendations offered by her students, her commitment to providing extensive and meaningful feedback stands out.

The Alumni Part-Time Teaching Award: Dr. Gregg French, Political and Canadian Studies

Dr. Gregg French receiving their Teaching Excellence AwardsHis students and peers recognize Dr. Gregg French for his innovative, deeply thoughtful, and highly effective teaching practice. By employing various teaching and learning strategies, Dr. French looks to stimulate intellectual curiosity while being attentive to cultural responsiveness and safety within the classroom.

In describing his teaching philosophy, he describes his commitment to imparting the significance of social justice and interdisciplinarity within each course he teaches. As a supportive and dedicated instructor, students appreciate his capacity for course management and organization, the clarity and versatility of his assessment and feedback strategies, and his inclusive and engaging methods of instruction.

Congratulations, Dr. Shead, Dr. Grant and Dr. French!