UPEI’s Dr. Libby Osgood named a 3M National Teaching Fellow

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Dr. Libby Osgood
Dr. Libby Osgood

Dr. Libby (Elizabeth) Osgood, associate professor in the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering (FSDE), has been named a 2024 3M National Teaching Fellow by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and 3M Canada.

“This is incredible news! I'm so proud of Libby and her accomplishments,” said Dr. Wayne Peters, interim dean of FSDE. “I'm thrilled that she brings this level of quality, dedication, and passion to our program and its students.”

Each year, STLHE and 3M Canada reward exceptional teaching and learning at Canadian universities by selecting ten teaching fellows who show leadership in enhancing post-secondary education and a sustained dedication to undergraduate education. Dr. Osgood was nominated for the prestigious award by Dr. Shannon Murray, Professor of English, Department of English, Faculty of Arts, and Dr. Etienne Côté, Professor of Cardiology, Department of Companion Animals, Atlantic Veterinary College.

In their nomination letter, Dr. Murray and Dr. Côté, who are both 3M National Teaching Fellows, said Dr. Osgood is “one of the bright lights at UPEI, but she tends that light for others, not to light her own career. Hers is a truly integrated academic life, with a fascinating path: NASA engineer to nun and award-winning university teacher. She is truly a model of Rumi’s principle that, when things seem dark, we should brighten our own lights.”

Dr. Osgood changed her approach to teaching after taking a leave to become a nun: rather than thinking that she taught engineering concepts, she now focuses on teaching engineering students.

“This honour recognizes exceptional teachers and educational leaders in higher education, and Libby is a leader among leaders,” said Dr. Murray. “She has done so much for both her students and her colleagues, and we are very lucky to have her at UPEI.”

Dr. Osgood’s teaching practice is based on five “Ps”: passionate, proactive, present, philanthropic, and prepared. Her innovative classroom strategies—like the “Comet Caper” mystery or the “Breadboardia” approach to learning electronics circuitry—have been adopted by instructors across North America and shared in peer-reviewed education journals. One of the first faculty members in the FSDE, she has been a leader in the design of the program as well as in the founding and student-led running of its Engineering Success Centre, which supports engineering students and mentors student leaders.

Dr. Osgood is the recipient of UPEI’s two major teaching awards as well as six others, including for her work with students as partners. Heavily engaged with STEM and STEAM outreach and international humanitarian engineering, she has accompanied her students to projects in Kenya and Honduras.

As her UPEI colleague Inge Dorsey wrote in a letter supporting her nomination, said Dr. Murray, “she says “yes” to opportunities, but she also creates opportunities for others.  Libby’s goal is to create a culture of hope within engineering education, and her approach to leadership is to lead beside and then step aside to let other people’s lights shine.”

“Being selected as a 3M teaching fellow is a reflection of the mentorship I received from talented and generous colleagues across UPEI and is a testament to the dedication of our engineering students who inspire me to try harder each day, so they can go make the world a better place,” said Osgood.

Dr. Osgood is the ninth faculty member at UPEI to be named a 3M National Teaching Fellow. In addition to Dr. Murray and Dr. Côté, 3M National Teaching Fellows at UPEI include Dr. Brent MacLaine, Department of English, Faculty of Arts; Dr. Brian Wagner, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science; Dr. Philip Smith, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts; Dr. Fiona Walton, Faculty of Education; Dr. Sue Dawson, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; and Dr. Ann Braithwaite, Department of Diversity and Social Justice Studies, Faculty of Arts.

“On behalf of UPEI, I congratulate Dr. Osgood on this incredible accomplishment,” said Dr. Greg Keefe, UPEI interim president and vice-chancellor. “With her dedication and passion for teaching and learning, she is most deserving of this honour. Libby and all our 3M scholars are exceptional faculty members and are a big part of what makes UPEI such a fantastic institution.”

Congratulations, Dr. Osgood, from the entire UPEI community!

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