News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB to recognize two outstanding teachers

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 13, 2010

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

Mary Blatherwick and Dion Durnford are the 2010 recipients of the Dr. Allan P. Stuart Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of New Brunswick.

Mary Blatherwick is an associate professor in the faculty of education and Dion Durnford is an associate professor in the department of biology. They will be recognized at the 56th Convocation in Fredericton on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 4:30 p.m. at the Aitken University Centre.  All are welcome to attend.

Mary Blatherwick has spent her career fostering an interest and passion for the visual arts and art education among her students. She is described as a knowledgeable, fair, enthusiastic, and passionate teacher.

“Mary is very dedicated and committed to her students, and actively supports their artistic endeavours,” said Ann Sherman, UNB’s new dean of education. “She truly cares about her students and wants to see them succeed.”

Dr. Blatherwick uses her creativity to engage her students in discussing, debating, questioning, and challenging ideas. She values what each student brings to her class and creates an atmosphere that allows them to feel comfortable expressing their opinions.

Inspired by a biology professor that he had while he was a student, Dion Durnford believes that his classes should be both interesting and enjoyable, and he strives to develop a relaxed, respectful and safe learning environment.

“Dion has been both a multiple nominee and winner of the Faculty of Science Teaching Award, as nominated by our students,” said David Magee, dean of science at UNB.  “The fact that this has now translated into an Allan P. Stuart award is not surprising. Dion is the epitome of the type of educator we should all aspire to be. His lectures are presented with a clarity and an enthusiasm that few can match.”

Dr. Durnford has been described by some of his students as a great scientist, in addition to being such a skilled professor.

“Dr. Durnford doesn’t teach facts, he introduces concepts and then fosters the development of key thought processes,” said one of the students who nominated him. “He’s the type of professor who grooms good scientists.”

The Dr. Allan P. Stuart Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes outstanding teaching on the basis of nominations from students and faculty members at UNB. The award is named in honour of Allan Stuart, a respected professor of chemistry from 1946 to 1973 and one of the first recipients of an excellence in teaching award at the university.