Selkirk College Awards Excellence in Instruction
The learning journey at Selkirk College hinges on dedicated instructors who inspire students to advance their lives through education.
The Selkirk College Faculty Association Standing Committee on Professional Excellence (SCOPE) is pleased to honour Muditha Heenkenda, Doug Henderson and Allyson Perrott as recipients of its 2017/2018 awards. Students and fellow instructors nominated the worthy recipients who were recently celebrated on the Castlegar Campus.
“It is my pleasure to honour these extraordinary individuals,” says Carol Andrews, Instructor and SCOPE Committee chair. “They expect the best from students; challenge them and help them achieve academic excellence. They strive toward excellence in themselves as well. They are doing what they love and continue to make the world of teaching better.”
Heenkenda completed her PhD in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems from the Charles Darwin University in Australia. She is specialized in environmental problem solving using information extraction from remotely sensed data sources like satellite and drone images. In December 2015, she joined the School of Environment & Geomatics at Selkirk College as a geomatics instructor.
Heenkenda has managed to provide excellent teaching despite an extremely demanding workload and constantly changing technology. Her expertise contributed greatly to the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre’s recent successful Natural Science & Engineering Council of Canada grant worth $2 million.
“Muditha works directly with industry partners to apply advanced technology solutions to their industry problems,” says Andrews. “She also turns these problems into applied learning opportunities for students. Muditha helps to make a massive difference in the lives of young students by introducing state-of-the-art technology and preparing them for their careers through real world applications. She has emerged as a leader in applied research and innovation at Selkirk College.”
Henderson has two math degrees, plus a degree in engineering so it’s understandable that he’s got a way with numbers.
“While we all love Doug for his prowess with numbers, his students love him for his ability to foster their prowess with numbers,” says Todd Kettner, SCOPE committee member.
Henderson has worked on computer analyses of BC Hydro’s high-voltage grid and is interested in heat transfer systems like geo exchange, biomass and solar thermal. His experience lends to using real-life examples which helps classroom materials stick.
Students always feel welcome with questions. Says one student nominee, “He has an incredible amount of empathy and compassion for a struggling student… I felt inspired and [he] created a confidence in my abilities that hadn't been there before and this feeling spilled over into my other course as well.”
Perrott began working at Selkirk College as a chemistry instructor in August of 2001. Since that time, she has provided students and colleagues with first-class instruction and mentorship. She can often be seen walking a hallway carrying some kind of structure of chemistry. Colleagues have described Perrott as dedicated, a creative educator, thought-provoking and engaging.
“Allyson is a testament to the caliber of instructors we have at Selkirk College,” says Tammy McLean, SCOPE committee member.
Perrott has been instrumental in the development and delivery of the Rural Pre-Medicine (RPM) Program over the past five years. The RPM students from Selkirk College consistently produce above average MCAT boot camp scores pertaining to organic chemistry directly related to Perrott’s ability to facilitate optimal student learning. Each summer, Perrott also teaches chemistry at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
“It is a personal joy to work at Selkirk College,” says Perrott.
The Selkirk College community celebrated the winners at the annual SCOPE Award ceremony and reception held on October 11 at the Castlegar Campus.