News and Events

Science Instructor Receives National Recognition

May 8, 2012

Medicine Hat College science instructor Elizabeth Pennefather-O’Brien was recently selected as one of five individuals from across Canada to receive an inaugural College Sector Educator Award from The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE).

The award recognizes instructors who provide leadership in the field of teaching and learning, and go above and beyond in making quality efforts to promote and support the development of their peers with regard to teaching excellence.

Described as someone who sets herself apart through her “outstanding teaching, leadership and mentoring abilities,” Pennefather-O’Brien is highly involved with both the college and community. As an instructor, she is co-facilitator for a faculty learning community, sits on the Faculty Association Executive Board, and is a member of faculty evaluation, teaching innovation, bio-safety, and research management committees. She is also very active off campus, whether presenting at provincial and international meetings for the Alberta Introductory Biology Association and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society or judging the local science fair and volunteering for the local Animal Care Committee.

"I was very excited and very honoured to be one of the five chosen for this award," said Pennefather-O’Brien.

She and the other four award winners will meet in Montreal next month to share different teaching techniques and practices prior to attending the awards ceremony at the STLHE annual conference on June 21.

Since its inception in 1981, the STLHE has expanded to over 50 institutional members consisting of teaching and resource professionals from across Canada and beyond.  Despite creating and distributing the prestigious 3M awards for teaching excellence for almost 20 years, the organization has never had a college sector award until this year, noted Linda Schwartz, MHC’s vice president of academic.

“We decided to support this long overdue recognition of college teaching excellence by nominating one of our own,” Schwartz said.  “This is a hugely significant award for Elizabeth and for MHC.”

For more information about the award and to read bios of the award winners, click here.