Introducing the 2024 3M National Teaching Fellowship Award Winners

Meet the university and college educators who, through leadership and dedication to teaching, are making a difference.
Photographer

May 6, 2024

The 3M National Teaching Fellowship was created in 1986 by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) to recognize exceptional teachers in post-secondary education. Every year, the fellowship celebrates 10 university and college educators who show leadership in enhancing post-secondary education and a sustained dedication to undergraduate education. Winners become lifetime members of the society, a national organization working to advance teaching and learning in higher education.

As the program’s media sponsor since 2006, Maclean’s is pleased to announce the 2024 Fellows. Below, STLHE’s selection committee explains why these 10 professors are being recognized this year.

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(Photo courtesy of Dr. Erin Austen)


Dr. Erin Austen
, St. Francis Xavier University

Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, St. Francis Xavier University

Dr. Erin Austen approaches teaching with compassion and kindness to create the conditions all participants need to flourish. Dr. Austen recognizes the known and unknown challenges students face and designs her classes accordingly. Examples of her efforts range from re-designing the campus outdoors to conducting accessibility audits using first-voice. Further, she willingly shares the resources she creates with her colleagues at St. Francis Xavier (StFX) and beyond. Students shared how they felt heard, mentored, and supported.  In her classes, Dr. Austen also legitimizes, empowers, and celebrates the perspectives and approaches of other cultures within psychology and helps students see real-world relevance of what they are learning through course projects.  

As an educational leader, Dr. Austen led the charge to bring a Teaching and Learning Centre to StFX. Regarding the opportunities Dr. Austen initiated on campus, a colleague enthused, “She transformed the way teaching and learning is supported and celebrated at StFX.” 

In support of the nomination, her colleagues wrote: “We can say in our five years of collaborating with Dr. Austen that she is one of the most unsung and yet highest impact heroes of teaching and learning at her university and across Atlantic Canada.” Her impressive expertise, knowledge, and mastery of multiple and complex fields shine as a beacon of creativity and innovation. It is evident from the abundance of work Dr. Austen tirelessly engages in, her thoughtful planning, and her ability to listen and respond as needed, that she is a caring educator who keeps students at the centre of her planning and actions. 

David Stobbe / Stobbe Photo
Photo by David Stobbe / Stobbe Photo

Dr. Loleen Berdahl, University of Saskatchewan

Professor, Political Studies Department, Executive Director, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Loleen Berdahl is a professor of political studies and the executive director of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Berdahl’s work emanates from a deeply empathetic philosophy: to meet students where they are and guide them towards their potential. Her transformative pedagogy is not confined to the classroom; it serves as a compass for educators and policymakers alike.

Informed by a decade of experience working in a public policy think tank, Dr. Berdahl fosters connections between academia, personal growth, and societal betterment. By uniquely blending content knowledge with life-changing skill development, she achieves results that are academically enriching and personally transformative. The result is a vibrant, student-centred learning ecosystem that former students say has prepared them for success in diverse fields. A student notes, “Her pedagogical approach gives students skills and competencies that benefit them beyond the classroom…the skills my peers and I developed were linked to our future career development.”

Beyond her university, Dr. Berdahl facilitates conversations about higher education. She regularly contributes teaching and learning content to a nationally read publication and to other media outlets. Her efforts have led to educational reforms across North America. Her outreach targets educators from diverse backgrounds, offering practical teaching strategies. 

Above all, Dr. Berdahl is committed to transformative teaching that prepares students to address real-world challenges. She’s not just an educator; she’s an agent of change, inspiring students and colleagues to realize their potential in shaping the future.

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Nicole Campbell

Dr. Nicole Campbell, Western University

Associate Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

Dr. Nicole Campbell’s efforts to humanize post-secondary education through a pedagogy of compassion, belonging and well-being transcend her classroom.  

Dr. Campbell’s educational leadership philosophy speaks of her passion for collaboration and commitment to mentor, guide, and support others. A visionary leader, she proposed a new undergraduate interdisciplinary medical sciences course-based master’s program and has played a critical role in its ongoing success, including as the program director. In addition, she played a pivotal role in co-organizing the Western Conference on Science Education in 2019, 2021, and 2023, which convened educators from across North America. One of her most impactful leadership achievements was the creation of “Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum,” a project she led to help educators to support students within and beyond education, which recently garnered international recognition. Dr. Campbell led a cross-sector, cross-institution team to create a website of accessible resources that educators can embed in their courses to support student skill development.

In the classroom, Dr. Campbell is celebrated for her emphasis on relationship-building, student mental health, and equitable learning environments. Her dedication to fostering an inclusive and engaging learning experience is evident in student and peer testimonials, praising her passion and commitment. She finds creative and innovative ways to engage and assess students by simulating real-world challenges such as working effectively with others and evidence-based decision-making. 

Dr. Campbell generously shares her innovations and approaches with other educators and inspires them to experiment with transformative pedagogies in the hope that they will positively impact students around the globe.

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Serge Chalhoub

Dr. Serge Chalhoub, University of Calgary

Associate Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

Dr. Serge Chalhoub grounds his educational leadership philosophy in creating impactful and safe learning opportunities, working in teams, modeling courage, and promoting enthusiasm and practicality. His educational innovation engages decolonization and community-based learning, with initiatives such as the Calgary Urban Project Society, which provides free medical care for the pets of unhoused individuals or others living with poverty, and clinical rotations at the Alberta Animal Rescue Society Crew and the Stoney Nakoda First Nations near Calgary. These initiatives have benefited many underserved groups while bringing students into real-world situations to significantly augment their learning. Broadening student understanding of issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, Dr. Chalhoub’s community-based initiatives also show them practical and achievable ways to help address the issues. “Education at every veterinary school,” a colleague states, “would be enhanced by the adoption of similar initiatives.”

Dr. Chalhoub is a talented teacher, dedicated to integrative and immersive learning, vigorously promoting collaborative teaching and learning, and championing under-taught communities. He aims for students to develop their clinical reasoning skills in supportive learning environments, knowing they learn best when they feel safe to challenge themselves and feel cared for as individuals. “He ensured that we were all involved,” a student writes. Dr. Chalhoub’s passion for collaborative teaching and learning and community outreach has fuelled curriculum reform, and his service work on institutional, national, and international committees and conferences has facilitated professional development of his academic and veterinary colleagues, giving life to his educational philosophy of balancing enthusiasm and practicality, vision and day-to-day realities.

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Photo courtesy of Kelly Hofer

Dr. Cari Din, University of Calgary

Associate Professor (Teaching), Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary

Dr. Cari Din is an exceptional educational leader, mentor, and coach who teaches leadership through potent experiential learning in the classroom and the community. As one former student commented, “she is not just shaping students to become better leaders of tomorrow but shaping us to become holistic well-rounded individuals of society who understand our privilege and role in the world.” 

A medal-winning Olympic athlete early in her life, Dr. Din understands the power of collaborative teamwork and psychological safety to “empower individuals to think, stretch their perspective, create, and lead.” She models and teaches reflective-learning practices with undergraduates and graduate students, and mentors colleagues across University of Calgary and beyond. 

Dr. Din is recognized for overhauling a required exercise physiology lab course for kinesiology undergraduates, generating rich, meaningful learning in the lab. This initiative, along with her deep belief that reflection supercharges learning, has transformed the teaching culture in the Faculty of Kinesiology and is transforming lab courses across the health disciplines. 

During her Fellowship at the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership, Cari developed new leadership courses and designed the highly effective curriculum for the innovative BMO Mentorship Program. Her maxim is that “learning is done by students—not to them.” She thus bolsters student agency and encourages critical thinking through deep learning experiences. Her students often mention that being in her classes can feel like being on her team. Like the most impactful coaches, Dr. Din challenges her students, while supporting and celebrating their achievements.

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Samanti Kulatilake)

Dr. Samanti Kulatilake, Mount Royal University

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Mount Royal University

Dr. Samanti Kulatilake has an exceptional ability to bring people together in diverse learning contexts. Her educational philosophy explores practices of global decolonization and democratization of knowledge, creating lasting impact for students, the campus, and the field of anthropology. Recognized locally and internationally for her adaptive and inclusive educational leadership practices, she empowers learners and colleagues through experiential learning. 

A biological anthropologist studying human evolution and migration, Dr. Kulatilake encourages students to become global citizens and active participants in a range of North-South and East-West interactions. Her field school, distinctly collaborative and relational in design, immerses learners in contexts where challenges become opportunities for understanding and developing intercultural competencies. As noted by a colleague, Kulatilake’s core values and pedagogical practices “not only constitute teaching excellence but do so because they reflect a decolonial and Global South perspective that values community over individualism.” 

Dr. Kulatilake’s development of a student peer-mentor program and opportunities for paid research assistant positions enact her core values of collaboration, connection, and care. As a teacher, she travels alongside her students, both literally for the Sri Lankan field school and in efforts to decolonize Western perspectives in education. A champion of Open Access Resources (OERs) for more inclusive and accessible teaching and learning, she has also developed OERs, a peer-reviewed journal, and a biological anthropology e-textbook. These examples underscore her commitment to the democratization of knowledge and her influence in shaping accessible education. 

Dr Kulatilake’s humility and generosity towards her students and colleagues serve as an inspiration for all of us.  

Heather Lawford Bio Pic
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Heather Lawford)

Dr. Heather Lawford, Bishop’s University

Professor, Canada Research Chair in Youth Development, Psychology Department, Bishop’s University

A beloved and transformative educator, Dr. Heather Lawford, Canada Research Chair in Youth Development, is a leading thinker in generativity, the human capacity to positively benefit society. She and her students strive to understand how this capacity develops in youth and how to better empower youth’s capacity to create lasting benefit. 

Dr. Lawford’s passion for generativity is apparent in everything she does. She views her students as partners and is continually empowering them to make an impact in the wider community. For example, undergraduate students in her research lab help make all choices, from annual research directions to the lab decor. 

With colleagues across campus, Dr. Lawford created the Knowledge Mobilization Certificate to give senior students the opportunity to meaningfully bring research findings to the attention of community decision makers. 

A longstanding supporter of organizations like the Students Commission of Canada and the annual #CanadaWeWant conference, Dr. Lawford encourages her students to take on leadership roles with youth communities across Canada. Through these initiatives she partners with young people and works in interdisciplinary spaces to create and share new knowledge with diverse stakeholders. As one of her former students says, “Through her student-centred focus, she puts world-wide and impactful research projects in the hands of students and opens opportunities for students beyond the walls of the university.”  

Continually breaking down barriers, she recently co-created a course, Lessons from the Marvel Universe, in which foundational principles and tools can help students unlock superhero powers and enact change, creating good in society—creating lasting learning.

Dr. Richelle Monaghan Headshot_8X10_Photo by Mark Ridout
Photo by Mark Ridout

Dr. Richelle Monaghan, Wilfrid Laurier University

Professor, Health Studies and Biology, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Science, Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Richelle Monaghan’s exceptional contributions to higher education include her unwavering dedication to building resilience, creating hope, and making science accessible and welcoming for all. 

Dr. Monaghan employs an extraordinary array of approaches and tools to bring science to students, transforming science education into something tactile and life-relevant while bringing joy into the learning process. She employs creative and innovative activities in her classroom, like escape box exercises, the “cranial nerve chicken dance,” and Snapchat filters to learn the muscles of facial expression. 

She has undertaken a career-long vow to advance accessibility, refusing to accept traditional barriers to science, and fashioning new entry points to science education for aspiring science students. As one of her students wrote in her nomination package: “Her culture change in science education should be recognized, appreciated, and replicated.” 

Dr. Monaghan is an educational leader at Laurier and beyond, and her leadership approach is founded on guiding, empowering, and serving others. She co-founded Laurier’s Centre for Leading Research in Education and has taken her innovative activities to universities in the United States to share with colleagues. She facilitates connections and fosters a sense of community among students, colleagues, and the community. She motivates colleagues to re-imagine the kind of educators they can be, with the same generosity of spirit, willingness to innovate, and refusal to accept long-standing barriers.  

Dr. Monaghan is a beacon of hope, innovation, and accessibility across the academic landscape, and a powerful catalyst for positive change. 

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(Photo courtesy of Dr. Libby Osgood)

Dr. Libby (Elizabeth) Osgood, University of Prince Edward Island

Associate Professor, Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering, University of Prince Edward Island

Dr. Libby (Elizabeth) Osgood is a bright light at University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). Hers is a truly integrated academic life, with a fascinating path: from aerospace engineer to religious sister and award-winning university teacher. This journey transformed her approach in the classroom: rather than teaching engineering, she now focuses on teaching students

One of the first faculty members in the new Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI, Dr. Osgood 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, striving to support engineering students and mentor student leaders. Her approach to leadership is to lead beside and then step aside to let other people’s lights shine, underpinned by, in the words of a colleague, “Her hope that engineering and engineering education can make the world better.”

Dr. Osgood’s teaching practice is based on five “Ps”: passionate, proactive, present, philanthropic, and prepared. Heavily engaged with STEM and STEAM outreach and international humanitarian engineering, she has accompanied her students to projects in Kenya and Honduras. Her innovative classroom approaches to learning electronics circuitry have been adopted by instructors across North America and shared in peer-reviewed education journals. A student writes that Dr. Osgood’s “inquiry-based questions leave the classroom puzzled, yet yearning to know more.”  

Dr. Osgood chooses to be “hope-filled and to effect change through mentorship, so students can realize that they, too, are light themselves, and as a society, we are better.”

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(Photo courtesy of Dr. Rosemary Reilly)

Dr. Rosemary Reilly, Concordia University

Chair and Professor, Department of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University

Dr. Rosemary Reilly’s limitless energy, vision, and perseverance are a sample of the key qualities that make her an outstanding teacher and successful visionary leader. 

Dr. Reilly’s philosophy of educational leadership is rooted in her desire to be a leader who prioritizes serving the greater good. By putting her students and fellow professors first, she focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and many diverse communities. Her dossier is filled with evidence of her commitment to serving students by improving curriculum to increase student learning, and to serving colleagues through workshops and mentorship for faculty and teaching assistants.

Dr. Reilly is a reflective practitioner who experiments with non-traditional pedagogies using performance, collective arts, and other artistic tools to reach learning objectives and deepen student learning. Students remark that she has nurtured their growth and self-discovery, allowing them to learn and teach themselves. Students attest to Dr. Reilly’s strong commitment to decolonizing teaching and providing an equitable and inclusive learning environment, noting that, “Dr. Reilly was steadfast in creating an inclusive and supportive space for all students, particularly for those who identify as queer, students of colour, and those with disabilities.” Her syllabi incorporate decolonial voices and perspectives. 

Recognized as an inspiration to fellow faculty members, her colleagues emphasize that “She has played a central role in creating and sharing pedagogical knowledge with faculty, students, and staff through workshops, committee memberships, and serving as Concordia’s first teaching fellow.” 

Dr. Reilly is a valued teacher, visionary, and scholar who embodies excellence in teaching, leadership, and innovation.