Prestigious national award recognizes educational leadership, pedagogy, and innovation
Dr. Andrew Wilson, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Mount Allison University has been named a 3M National Teaching Fellow. The award, created by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STHLE) in 1986, recognizes exceptional teachers in higher education across the country. Ten recipients are named each year.
“I’m honoured and humbled to be named as a 3M Teaching Fellow and join this exciting national network,” says Wilson. “I believe education is at its best when grounded within the community. It is from here that learning can most effectively provide deeply rooted, authentic and long-lasting change.”
Working under the principle “Together We’re Smarter” in both the classroom and community, Wilson is known for his commitment to boundary-crossing collaborations. With colleagues across campus, he has been instrumental in the 2020 establishment of the University’s Community-Engaged Learning program, now offered as a degree minor and certificate option. In the community he currently chairs Sackville 20/20, a non-profit organization dedicated to realizing a vision of holistic community-oriented education for all ages, and is a founding direct of the Research Partnerships for Education and Community Engagement (R-PEACE), a centre for engaged learning based at Mount Allison.
“As a religious studies scholar and teacher, Andrew is known for his ability to bring together diverse topics and work with his students to help them see and create new connections,” says Mount Allison Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research Dr. Jeff Hennessy. “His collaborative work across campus and in the community around education and innovation makes him a worthy recipient of the 3M Fellowship. I congratulate him on behalf of the entire Mount Allison community.”
Wilson, who has taught at Mount Allison since 2001, strives to provide rich learning experiences for his students with unique partnerships and creative assignments.
“My goal is to help students to connect what they learn in the classroom to their experiences. It’s not just about content, but rather about bringing life to learning so that it becomes both a formative and transformative experience,” says Wilson.
And he is working to encourage these connections in meaningful ways. In 2019, Wilson partnered with the Sackville Quilter’s Guild to teach a traditional philosophy of religion course where students explored issues of identity and religious thought while creating a community quilt.
“It seemed quite magical to hear students chat casually about the dense readings and the complex ideas we covered while stitching their blocks,” Wilson observed. “They took a great deal of pride in the finished project, but also appreciated the way in which something so readily accessible and extraordinarily familiar enfolds within it the complexities of history, community, context and craft.”
At Mount Allison, Wilson is also a member of the University’s Board of Regents, the Experiential Learning Steering Committee, and the President’s Advisory Committee for the Library Hub for Innovation and Learning campus project.
The 3M National Teaching Fellowship is the only pan-Canadian, cross-disciplinary recognition of educational leadership and excellence in post-secondary teaching. Fellows receive a lifetime membership in STHLE, and this year’s cohort will participate in a study retreat and develop a collaborative project generously supported by 3M Canada.
Nine Mount Allison professors have been named 3M Teaching Fellows during their time at the University, giving Mount Allison one of the best records in the Maritimes for the award.
Read more about the 2021 3M Teaching Fellows at: https://www.macleans.ca/education/introducing-the-2021-3m-national-teaching-fellowship-award-winners/#gallery/3m-teaching-fellows/slide-10