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Jocelyne Thorpe, Scott Ormiston and Joyce Slater are three of the many professors recognized by alumni.

Jocelyn Thorpe, Scott Ormiston and Joyce Slater are three of the many professors recognized by alumni.

Alumni name their fav UM profs

October 4, 2019 — 

Earlier this month, we asked alumni to tell us about their favourite UM teachers – and they didn’t hold back with their praise and gratitude.

We were overwhelmed with messages about faculty who taught challenging topics with ease; inspired news ways of thinking and creating; and expanded students’ horizons.

In honour of World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5, here is a small selection of our favourite answers:

“Dr. Joyce Slater was an integral part of my degree. She pushed me to apply for scholarships and bursaries when I really didn’t think I could do it. She was supportive and really believed in me. With her help I was able to apply for a grant to start Food Beyond Borders which was a pilot project to help international students develop cooking skills. Dr. Slater is truly an amazing prof, and really an asset to the HNSC program.”
– Anika Dhalla [BSc/16, BSc(HNS)/19]

“Ivan Eyre and Dr. Marilyn Baker in Fine Arts, (humble and wise; supportive), Dr. Jocelyn Thorpe in Women’s and Gender Studies, (brilliant, energetic; encouraging), and Winston Leathers in Architecture, who let the artist in me come out to play! So grateful for these and other faculty at the U of M, proud to be an alumnus.”
– Pamela Hadder [BA(IS)/14]

“Dr. Scott Ormiston! In my opinion, he is very supportive. He doesn’t want to challenge us, he gives us an assignment and help us in several ways to solve it. Not only doesn’t he want to assess us, also he wants that we really learn something. I believe his way of teaching would help me to remember his course for my lifetime.”
– Behzad Ramtin [BSc(ME)]

“Got to be Dr. Wendy Dahlgren, back in the day, when we called it the ‘phys ed’ department; I had her for my first anatomy class: fantastic, inspiring, always there for her students … saw her 20 years later, still the same; thank you.”
– Chris Bisignano [BSc/86]

Emma LaRocque

“Dr. Emma LaRocque for Native Studies in 1992 (or so). The course, as a one-off ‘filler’ for me at the time, ended up to be a very good, important, and enjoyable class.”
– Jason Thompson [BA/94]

“I graduated in 1991, the School of Art, Fine Arts, double major Graphic Design and Illustration. Through the four years, I was inspired by David McMillian photography, Robert Peters for Graphic Design in my thesis year. Also there was a sculpture professor, I can only remember his first name, Juan. Juan inspired each of us to keep creative journals, which I continue to do today at What my Coffee says to me.”
– Jennifer R. Cook [DipArt/91]

“Donald Trim for engineering math was a ball of energy and remembered everyone. Mary Benbow for geography was a great teacher too.”
– Jared Kozub [BSc(ME)/06]

“Clearly Donald Trim. I can still hear him: ‘JEAN!’”
– Michael Jean [BSc(EE)/10, BCSc(Hons)/06]

“Pretty hard to beat Trim. Impressive since most of his students aren’t even math students. I see I’m not alone. His textbook is also the best I’ve ever seen.”
– Ben Gibson [BSc(ME)/21]

“How could anyone make 1st year Calculus interesting? Trim did.”
– Ken Kratschmar [BSc(ME)/90]

“Donald Trim isn’t only the best professor, but truly is an exceptional human being. One of the greats!”
– Tristen Gitzel [BSc(ME)/06]

“Donald Trim is an exceptional professor and more importantly, person. I’m glad to have had the privilege of his classes in my engineering degree.”
– Steven Simpson [BSc(ME)/19]

“Don McCarthy, philosophy. I miss the cold-calling. He knew if your relative was one of his students, where they sat, and whether they were a good student. If you got over 93%, he took us to the faculty club to celebrate.”
– Darcy Fudge Kamal [MSc/11, BComm(Hons)/03]

“Peter Cooney!!! Won the outstanding prof award in the late 80’s. His support helped me pass financial accounting!!!” Anne Mahon[BHECOL/87]

“Dr. Kathi Kinew is not only a teacher, she is also a mentor to many. She challenged me to be attentive to the uncomfortable feeling one gets when an injustice occurs and to feel empowered enough to do something about it. I am still trying to find my inner voice and strength but that foundation was laid, thanks to Kathi.”
– Agape Karagi [BHSc/18]

“Professor Reg Litz was one of the most impactful professors I had throughout commerce. His approach to teaching helped mold my lens within business to encompass more curiosity and how my impact should be beyond hitting financial targets. It’s about looking at your community and help cultivate integrity in what you do.”
– Reyna Olivares [BComm(Hons)/15]

“I often refer to Reg Litz’s class on moral “muteness” when I encourage students to engage in controversial topics in class. He really brought home that “business” was a poor excuse for amorality.”
– Jason Hamilton [LLB/96, MBA/07]

“Dietmar Straub is a very knowledgeable landscape architect, both professionally and academically. He pushes students to their limits in the least stressful way. He encourages fun in the design process which allows for students to be imaginative and create things out of the ordinary.”
– Anonymous

“John McCallum – a Winnipeg business icon in our very own halls. His classes were amazing.”
– Vanessa Koldingnes [MBA/14]

“Michelle Faubert, Adele Perry, Julie Guard, Karen Kampes. Take classes with them!”
– Alison Calthorpe [BA/19]

“My favourite prof was hands down Bret Nickels for Native Studies. Such a down to earth person! He always knew how to keep his students interested in the material and you could really just talk to him any time.”
– Gillian Anderson [BA/12]

“Peri Venkatesh, Faculty of Nursing. I got 100 per cent on one of his pharmacology pop quizzes and won a prize! He was brilliant, caring, and loved what he did! I even had the joy of seeing him again as he sat on the board at Misericordia and was always there to volunteer towards their programs for residents and staff appreciation.”
– Victoria Marek [BN/07]


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Alumni Answers is our way of building community with alumni and UM friends by sharing memories, ideas, and opinions with one another. Every month, we pose a new question to make us ponder, laugh, or learn together and share the responses in an upcoming UM Today story. Sign up here to get next month’s question sent straight to your inbox.


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2 comments on “Alumni name their fav UM profs

  1. Joan Hardy

    Dr. Donald Trim was my favourite professor! He made engineering calculus so understandable and practical, and fun. I love to see that many others appreciated him as well. Thanks, Dr Trim! Joan Hardy BScME(85)

  2. Terrence Hryniuk

    Dr. Adam Giesinger taught Chemistry and Mathematics at St. Paul’s College was a remarkable professor who was a master of his field. Loved teaching and conveyed a love for learning!!!

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