2011-2012 Killam Teaching Prize in Forestry is Awarded to Dr. Suzie Lavallee

This message was sent on behalf of Peter Marshall, Professor and Associate Dean:


I am pleased to announce that the 2011/12 winner of the Killam Teaching Prize in Forestry is Dr. Suzie Lavallee!

There were nine individuals nominated by students for the Killam Teaching Prize in Forestry for the 2011/12 session. I think this speaks very well of the excellent quality of the teaching in this Faculty and I wish to congratulate all of the nominees:

Peter Arcese

Allan Carroll

Phil Evans

Rob Guy

Suzie Lavallee

Mike Meitner

Steve Mitchell

Greg Smith

Taraneh Sowlati

Dr. Taraneh Sowlati was runner-up and will automatically be considered in the 2013/14 session, when the Faculty of Forestry next has the opportunity to award a Killam Teaching Prize.

The nominees were assessed by the Forestry Killam Teaching Prize Committee (Drs. Simon Ellis – Chair, Sally Aitken, and Suzanne Simard). They considered class room visits, teaching evaluations and comments from students, statements of teaching philosophy and other supporting materials from the nominees, as well as interviews with each eligible nominee in reaching their decisions. I wish to personally thank the Teaching Prize Committee for doing a very thorough job in the face of quite tight time constraints.

The selection committee provided the following statement regarding Dr. Lavallee’s teaching.

“Dr. Suzie Lavallee has demonstrated her excellence as a teacher and as a mentor both in traditional, indoor classroom space, and outdoors in an intense 15-credit full semester field course. She is equally at home teaching ecology and coordinating the logistics of a five-day backpacking trip in the mountains as she is teaching conservation science and sustainability in the classroom. Dr. Lavallee has also demonstrated a passion for and commitment to improving her teaching efficacy through learning and experimenting with new pedagogical methods. She has pursued many opportunities to improve her teaching through UBC’s Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology (CTLT), and to learn from mentors and peers. The steady improvement in her teaching evaluations over the years reflects the results of this continual self-improvement. She continually updates the curriculum in her courses, has introduced unusual pedagogical tools such as group exams, and is leading workshops for the CTLT to help others explore new approaches. Finally, Dr. Lavallee is deeply committed to her students, both in and outside classes. She goes out of her way to mentor students, to help them discover how they best learn, and to assist them in their transition from their undergraduate programs to whatever come next in their lives.”

Please join me in congratulating Suzie Lavallee on winning the 2011/12 Killam Teaching Prize in Forestry. Suzie will be formally recognized by the university community at the graduation ceremony towards the end of May.