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The three recipients of the 2022 Riddell Faculty Teaching Awards. Nicola Koper (left), Jonathan Peyton (middle), and Janna Wilson (right).

Teaching Excellence – Riddell Teaching Awards

The Clayton H. Riddell Faculty celebrates the accomplishments of its teaching staff.

December 14, 2022 — 

Three faculty members in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources have been recognized with the 2022 Teaching Awards. Nicola Koper, Jonathan Peyton, and Janna Wilson have been recognized for their outstanding commitment and dedication to students of the Riddell Faculty. Find out more about each recipient below.

Nicola Koper, Professor and Associate Head, Natural Resource Institute – Award of Excellence, Graduate Teaching

Riddell-Nicola-KoperNicola Koper is an enthusiastic and lively educator within the Natural Resources Instutute. Her supportive and uplifting spirit is appreciated across the faculty, and she has a strong passion for wildlife conservation. In facilitating discussions, Dr. Koper likes to offer applicable, real-life examples to help inspire and educate her students. Always one to challenge her pupils, she is often cited as a developer of critical thinking skills among her students.

Koper strongly believes in diversity, both within her classroom and throughout the abundant ecosystems on Earth. Her team’s research is focused primarily on the impacts of oil and gas development on the abundance, productivity, diversity, and behaviour of grassland songbirds. This allows Koper to apply landscape or behavioural ecology to questions surrounding the conservation of species at risk. Using her expertise, she is able to support a range of non-goernmental organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“I can attest that Dr. Koper’s teaching evaluations are always very strong and that she attracts students to her course from both inside and outside the faculty. Students appreciate both the enthusiasm and rigor that she brings to her teaching, that challenges them to think in new ways.” –John Sinclair, Professor and Director, Natural Resources Institute.

Congratulations, Nicola! The Riddell Faculty is proud to have you and your expertise as part of our team.

Jonathan Peyton, Associate Professor and Associate Head, Department of Environment and Geography – Award of Excellence, Undergraduate Teaching

Riddell-Jonathan-PeytonJonathan Peyton is known to the faculty as a hard-working educator who instills patience and fairness in his lectures. Recognized for his approachability, Peyton connects with students of all backgrounds and levels of expertise, engaging in difficult conversations that surround the social, ecological, and economic impacts of megaprojects in the Canadian North. Peyton approaches these topics through a knowledgeable lens, helping his peers understand the potential damages and lasting effects of these projects on the landscape.

Peyton’s enthusiasm for the environment, history, and geography is evident in all of his work, extending into his recently published book “Unbuilt Environments: Tracing Postwar Development on Northwest British Columbia“. (UBC Press 2017). Currently, he is focusing his research on the environmental history of hydrocarbon development in the Canadian offshore Arctic. Peyton hopes to enlighten and provide a more holistic consideration toward the political ecology of failure in resource development.

“Over the years I have seen first-hand the effort he puts into his lectures and the time he takes to engage with students at all levels. Teaching is not an afterthought, but rather a priority.” -Mark Hanson, Professor and Department Head, Environment and Geography.

Congratulations, Jonathan! The Riddell Faculty is honoured to connect and engage with your research.

Janna Wilson, Senior Instructor, Department of Environment and Geography – Award of Excellence, First Year Undergraduate Teaching

Riddell-Janna-WIlson-PhotoJanna Wilson is known as a caring educator who advocates for the well-being of her students within the Riddell Faculty. Coming off the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilson understands the challenges facing new students at the University of Manitoba. Throughout her mission of providing transparency and oppenness with her students, Wilson is also able to offer a broad foundation of information surrounding the critical themes of geography.

Janna Wilson has over 10 years of teaching experience to reflect on and draw from, aiding in the deployment of multimedia resources in her lectures. She is capable of condensing broad themes related to world events and incorporates those into her lessons, finding a multitude of ways to make this information accessible for all levels of understanding. Wilson’s goal is to bring knowledge, humor, compassion, and kindness into her teaching and interactions with students.

“Professor Wilson cares about her students. She routinely advocates for students to use the University of Manitoba mental health resources. No doubt, her openness and candor made students comfortable talking about difficult topics such as loneliness and isolation, as well as the struggles dealing with stressful academic situations during the pandemic.” -Jason Leslie, Undergraduate Student (GEOG 1290).

Congratulations, Janna! The Riddell Faculty is grateful for the work you do and the compassion you share.

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