AVC faculty member named 2019 3M National Teaching Fellow
Dr. Susan Dawson, professor of anatomy at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), has been named a 2019 3M National Teaching Fellow by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and 3M Canada.
Each year, STLHE and 3M Canada reward exceptional teaching and learning at Canadian universities by selecting ten teaching fellows. Dr. Dawson was nominated for the prestigious award by Dr. Etienne Côté, professor of cardiology at AVC.
In his nomination letter, Dr. Côté says that Dr. Dawson believes in allowing students to develop their own aptitudes and skills within a framework she provides as their professor rather than prescribing the path they follow. She empowers students to drive their own education, providing guidance when needed.
“… Sue is a deeply respected, outstanding teacher of veterinary anatomy. However, it is Sue’s courageous and innovative work outside the anatomy classroom that explains her outsize impact on UPEI’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine—the Atlantic Veterinary College—the broader UPEI community, and the world at large.”
She is well-known for innovation and leadership in the classroom and beyond. In 1997 she created and implemented a course called Veterinary Integration of Structure and Function at AVC; this case-based learning approach is now the norm in most veterinary colleges. She also uses innovative methods and tools to teach her students and has championed the importance of teaching communication, ethics, interpersonal skills, and wellness in veterinary education. She is AVC’s inaugural director of instructional design and teaching innovation and an ex-officio member of the College’s curriculum committee.
Dr. Dawson has influenced teachers at UPEI and other institutions through presentation of her work on teaching and learning at 14 regional, national, and international pedagogical conferences; creation of a mentorship platform for new faculty across UPEI; and peer review of manuscripts submitted for publication in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. She has won numerous teaching and leadership awards.
“On behalf of UPEI, I congratulate Dr. Dawson on this great accomplishment,” said UPEI and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “With her dedication and passion for teaching and learning, she is most deserving of this honour. She is a leader in the development of innovative teaching strategies as well as with her service to the University. I am so very pleased to see her recognized as a 3M National Teaching Fellow.”
Dr. Greg Keefe, dean of AVC, also congratulated Dr. Dawson on her achievement. “Dr. Dawson’s exemplary work as a teacher, mentor, and leader has helped us improve the way we teach veterinary medicine and enhance the strength of our program. As director of instructional design and teaching innovation, she has had a positive impact across the College.”
Dr. Dawson is the seventh faculty member at UPEI to be named a 3M National Teaching Fellow. Other 3M National Teaching Fellows at UPEI are Dr. Shannon Murray and Dr. Brent MacLaine, Department of English; Dr. Brian Wagner, Department of Chemistry; Dr. Philip Smith, Department of Psychology; Dr. Fiona Walton, Faculty of Education; and Dr. Etienne Côté, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Congratulations, Dr. Dawson!