Innovation, Inclusion, and Outstanding Excellence in Teaching Awards introduced at Mount Allison

23 May 2024
Two faculty members recognized in inaugural year of teaching awards for part-time and term faculty 

The Office of the Provost and the Purdy Crawford Teaching Centre at Mount Allison have introduced two distinct teaching awards aimed at recognizing part-time and contract faculty. The Innovation, Inclusion, and Outstanding (IIO) Excellence in Teaching Awards set a high standard for teaching excellence along with a commitment to pedagogical innovation and deep inclusion of equity deserving students. There are two distinct awards: one designated for part time faculty and another for term faculty on contracts. These are the first teaching awards at Mount Allison for part-time and term faculty. 
Dr. Emily Keenlyside, part-time lecturer in the Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts, and Dr. Christina Haldane, assistant professor in the Department of Music, are the inaugural recipients of the IIO Excellence in Teaching Awards. They will both receive a $1,000 prize funded by the Purdy Crawford Teaching Centre and the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic and Research. 

Dr. Christina Haldane and Dr. Emily Keenlyside

Keenlyside teaches museum practices and museum studies courses with a vigorous commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion with a strong social justice lens. Keenlyside accomplishes this by first recognizing the structural and institutional barriers and social exclusions some students may experience.

“I’m thrilled and humbled to have received the Innovation, Inclusion, and Outstanding Excellence in Teaching Award and thank the committee for this recognition,” says Keenlyside. “At Mount Allison I am lucky to teach Museum Studies in a department that encourages new perspectives and approaches, with dynamic colleagues who demonstrate care and enthusiasm for their students' personal, artistic, and academic growth. As a relatively new faculty member, I develop my classroom strategies in response to emerging research, student feedback, and my own reflective practice.”  

Keenlyside prioritizes fostering a culture of deliberative democracy and citizen engagement in her courses, ensuring rich and engaging experiences for all students through universal design for learning (UDL). Students describe Keenlyside’s teaching as open and generous, creating an inclusive and positive learning environment, and reframing and decentering traditional colonial narratives in the classroom.  

“Receiving words of support from fellow faculty and past students alike has reaffirmed my commitment to equity-driven teaching and learning strategies that are reflexive, multivocal, and grounded in social justice.” 
Haldane, who is the term winner of the IIO Excellence in Teaching Award, is known for community outreach, innovative teaching, and focusing on inclusion and agency in students.  
“The principles of inclusive practice in line with JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) and innovation that this award represents are deeply meaningful to me and my teaching philosophy,” says Haldane. “To be honoured with this inaugural award is a humbling experience. This award is especially significant to me at this point in time as I enter my third year of teaching at MtA, and am continually reminded how I am uplifted and inspired by this extraordinary learning community.” 
Haldane embraces a pedagogical approach that values collaboration and fosters connectivity and curiosity. This is reflected in the learning experiences Haldane designs, like "The Opera Tour," where students not only performed at three music festivals in the Maritimes but also developed a brand for the music group. This involved tasks in communications, artistic administration, logistics, and tech support, creating an immersive and experiential learning experience for her students. 
Haldane’s commitment to decolonization and inclusion resulted in bringing in musical theatre artist Dillan Chiblow (Anishnawbe) for a residency to work with students. In January, Chiblow presented a lecture on the laws under which Indigenous peoples were forced to live during the boom of the “Golden Age of Broadway.” Haldane also confirmed Teiya Kasahaar as a guest artist for Fall 2024. Kasahaar is a non-binary opera singer and theatre creator based in Toronto and the creator-performer of the critically acclaimed show The Queen In Me. 
As one of her nominators writes, “Christina is a truly gifted teacher who creates a vibrant community of learning that allows students to express agency in disrupting rigid paradigms.” 
This award recognizes outstanding teaching based on various criteria such as teaching quality as assessed by students, peers, and self-review, sustained commitment to teaching excellence, innovative and inclusive teaching approaches, and fostering safe spaces through culturally responsive pedagogies.  
Full details on criteria and how to submit an application can be found on the Teaching, Learning and Creative Activity page on Gateway

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