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Inspiring Education Alumni Recognized By Students

May 29, 2014 — 

On May 12th, The University of Manitoba Student-Teacher Recognition Reception celebrated excellence in teaching and provided outstanding students the opportunity to acknowledge the educators who inspired them. Each student was asked to select an educator from their K-12 years and one from their university experience. The annual event is co-sponsored by the office of the Vice-Provost (academic affairs) and the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.

Dr. David Barnard (President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manitoba), Dr. Frank Deer, Dr. David Mandzuk (Dean), Mr. Jim Stein, Shirley Ewanchuk, Alyssa Talbot (EdSC Senior Stick), Dr. Orest Cap, James Allum (Minister of Education and Advanced Learning)

L-R: Dr. David T. Barnard (President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba), Dr. Frank Deer, Dr. David Mandzuk (Dean), Mr. Jim Stein, Shirley Ewanchuk, Alyssa Talbot (EdSC Senior Stick), Dr. Orest Cap, James Allum (Minister of Education and Advanced Learning)
(PHOTO BY ADAM DOLMAN // COURTESY OF THE CENTRE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING)

Teacher candidate, Shirley Ewanchuk was selected to represent the Faculty of Education at the recognition reception. She in turn selected to recognize Mr. Jim Stein, her high school band instructor and Dr. Orest Cap, a professor in the Faculty of Education.

Included in the K-12 teachers recognized across the faculties were five University of Manitoba, Faculty of Education Alumni. Each of the Faculty of Education alumni recognized the daily inspiration their students provide and are to them. In addition, many of the alumni are able to recall an educator that has had a profound impact on their lives, both personally and professionally.

Timothy Beyak, Dr. David Mandzuk (Dean of the Faculty of Education), Lorne Richards, Sharon Labossier, Jim Stein, and Alyssa Talbot (EdSC Senior Stick)

L-R: Timothy Beyak, Dr. David Mandzuk (Dean of the Faculty of Education), Lorne Richards, Sharon Labossiere, Jim Stein, and Alyssa Talbot (EdSC Senior Stick).
(Missing from the photo: Cloyd Barth and Deb May)
(PHOTO BY ADAM DOLMAN // COURTESY OF THE CENTRE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING)

Mr. Cloyd Barth was recognized by Dentistry student Vanessa Hunzinger. He recalls a University professor who had a profound impact on both his professional passions, “While a University of Manitoba Fine Arts student, Professor Ivan Eyre’s suggestions and analytical approach continue to serve me as both artist and a teacher to this day. His approach was straightforward and matter-of-fact, but done with kindness and respect for the process. I remain cognizant of this in my approach with my own students who inspire me on a daily basis. They trust and believe in my teaching and with a model of mutual respect, chances can be taken, mistakes can be made, and successes can be celebrated. I am incredibly humbled by the dedication that sees many of my students invest so much of their time and energy into their work, which often far exceeds the confines of the classroom.”

Recognized by Dental Hygiene student Aaron Szucsik, Mr. Timothy Beyak remembers his Professor Catherine Chatterley, and Faculty of Education Professors, Rosa Bruno-Jofré and Ken Osborne. He explains that through Bruno-Jofré’s and Osborne’s interests in democratic-citizenship, citizenship issues in education, policy formation, and globalization from a historical perspective they provided the “wisdom that became a foundation” that is central to the way in which Mr. Beyak thinks. He adds, “as I continued my education, Professor Catherine Chatterley’s exploration of the History of Antisemitism and Holocaust truly inspired me. Her compassion, candor, and determination to have students engage in discursive processes in order that they might arrive at knowledge through critical analysis and interpretation of the past are congruent to the foundational learning I experienced with Bruno-Jofré and Osborne. Ultimately, these three professors are very influential in my life and teaching.”

Ms. Sharon Labossiere was recognized by Pharmacy student Jillian James. She acknowledges that many great teachers have inspired her teaching – which she thoroughly enjoys. “I love teaching and working in the field of education. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a student gain understanding, make a discovery or achieve beyond his or her expectations. I am inspired by the gleam in students’ eyes and the smiles on their faces when they have overcome a challenge. It is extremely rewarding and fulfilling.”

Human Ecology student, Michelle Stevens, recognized Ms. Deb May who notes that she was fortunate to have many influential teachers and teacher-coaches. “These teachers were great because they were genuine, we had a relationship where I believed they cared about me as a person and they pushed me to be more than I thought I could be.” With this in mind, she recalled her grade two teacher, Mrs. Melenchuck who challenged her and her classmates to participate in a music festival – when none of them were particularly musically gifted. “Like me, most of us could not carry a tune in a front end loader. But Mrs. Melenchuck recognized each of our strengths and placed us in the open category – which we won!”

The recognition that teacher, Mr. Lorne Richards received by Science student Uliana Kovaltchouk took him by surprise. “As teachers, we are accustomed to putting our students first and recognizing their accomplishments. Having a student recognize an inspiring teacher is quite overwhelming. I really appreciate this award and I am flattered that I was selected.” When Mr. Richards reflects on the teachers that inspired him, he acknowledges that there were many, but that Dr. Denis Hlynka stands out as most inspirational. “Dr. Hlynka was the advisor for my Maters of Education program. His courses were always interesting and challenged conventional thought. He pushes students out of their comfort zone, an area where all students, and teachers, should spend significant periods of time. He is the one who instilled a solid philosophy with respect to technology and education. This is where I really learned to teach.”

The Education Alumni Association annually recognizes inspirational educators and education administrators. If you would like to nominate an educator that has made a difference in your life or in the lives of others, please see the Education Alumni Association Awards information on the Faculty of Education website and nominate someone today! 

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