We are delighted to announce that Dr Simon Ellis, Associate Professor in Wood Science and Director of the Wood Products Processing program, is being awarded this year’s 3M National Teaching Fellowship. This award is recognized as Canada’s most prestigious teaching award. Established in 1986 by 3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE), these Fellowships are open to Canadian university teachers from all disciplines. Up to 10 fellowships are presented each year to recognize exceptional achievements in teaching and educational leadership. This year’s recipients will be introduced to their colleagues, and to Canada, in the February 18th issue of Maclean’s Magazine.
Simon is an outstanding educator – a Killam Teaching Prize winner and consistently one of the highest rated instructors in the Faculty of Forestry. He is incredibly passionate about teaching and empowering students to perform at their fullest potential. In fact, providing students with the highest quality of education possible is at the core of everything he does. Nowhere is this more evident than in the success of the Wood Products Processing program, the program that he has led for more than fifteen years.
Dr Ellis is much more than an outstanding instructor. His dedication to and passion for teaching has also meant that he has become the proverbial ‘go-to’ resource in our Faculty for matters related to the undergraduate experience and teaching; the importance of this role in a Faculty that is largely devoted to research cannot be overstated. He has served as the Faculty’s Director of Recruitment and Co-operative Education and chairs the Faculty’s Teaching and Learning Committee.
At the Departmental level, he chairs both the Curriculum and Co-operative Education Committees in Wood Products Processing, and, in this capacity, is largely responsible for overseeing the curriculum content and structure for the entire program. He is also very active in university-wide teaching efforts and has been very involved parlaying his knowledge about teaching in programs offered by the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT). In particular, Simon has contributed to the CTLT’s Faculty Certificate Program and workshops on teaching dossiers. In addition, he has been called upon to mentor several of our junior faculty members on teaching. Most recently, Dr Ellis was assigned the task of developing and implementing the process of Peer Review of Teaching in the Faculty and is one of the principal actors in establishing a successful ‘2+2’ program with students from Chinese partner universities.
The 3M National Teaching Fellowship includes a lifetime membership in the STLHE, a citation, recognition at the 2013 STLHE Annual Conference at Cape Breton University, and an invitation to participate in a four-day retreat at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel to celebrate exceptional achievements in teaching and to provide an opportunity for outstanding teachers to share experiences and ideas.