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Home About SAIT News & Events From the minds of SAIT’s honoured instructors

From the minds of SAIT’s honoured instructors

Becoming a memorable and influential instructor is no easy task; you're providing your students with new skills and knowledge, as well as igniting a greater sense of curiosity, imagination and — perhaps most importantly — a lifelong love of learning.

That's why each year, the SAIT Student's Association asks students to recognize those instructors who made a lasting impression by nominating them for an Instructor Excellence Award.

Nominees are known for going above and beyond in many ways, including providing extra time and resources, appealing to different learning styles, showcasing enthusiasm for student success, having a willingness and appreciation of students' input and questions, and fostering a fun and positive classroom environment.

Students nominated 119 SAIT instructors this year, but only nine — one from each academic school — could take home top honours.

We asked the winners to reflect on the past year and what they think it means to be a good student:

Wade AndersonWade Anderson

Automotive Service Technology program, School of Transportation
Time at SAIT: Seven years

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

Fun and engaging.

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

I think good students possess a desire to know more than they do and a passion for the subject they are taking.

If you students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

I would hope they remember that no matter how much they've learned, there is always more to know and understand.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

One thing I learned from my theory class was how powerful a great debate can be. The highest level of learning occurs when a student is emotionally engaged in a subject. If they care about the discussion topic, they will remember what's being said.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who is blind.

The colour yellow is soft like a fleece blanket and warm like the sun on your face on a summer day. The sound of yellow would be a babbling brook, and it tastes like honey.


Luba DiduchLuba Diduch

New Media Production and Design program, School of Information and Communications Technologies.
Time at SAIT: 14 years.

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

I believe they would say that I am patient, helpful and care about their success.

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

The most successful students are open to all aspects of their learning — in all of the classes they take. A successful student is disciplined in their work, uses his or her time wisely, has a positive attitude and knows the importance of strong interpersonal skills.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

Believe in yourself.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

That an instructor's guidance can powerfully affect a student's potential for innovation and creativity.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

Yellow is a colour that awakens perception.


Adam HouseAdam House

Ironworker Apprenticeship program, School of Manufacturing and Automation
Time at SAIT: Two years

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

Someone who really cares about each of their personal journeys and about them becoming successful. A great compliment I received from a previous student on his way out was that I have the "dad card."

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

The drive to succeed and a never-ending quest for self-betterment. Everyone comes here with different levels of knowledge and skills, but it's the students who put the time in to do well, who take the most from the program. I've seen very competent students come through with an open mind to learn more and that is just what they did. Attitude is everything, not just here at school, but out on the job sites as well.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

Conceptual thinking. I recently had feedback from a couple of students — they were trouble shooting on the job back and forth and told me they thought of the concepts from our support systems lesson and were able to problem solve confidently. That was a very proud moment for me.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

They definitely taught me they are listening and will recognize my efforts in and outside of class. Never underestimate the impact you make whether positive or negative.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

Yellow is one of the most neutral, yet bold colours on the spectrum. Worn confidently by men and women, yellow is bright and vibrant and states you are ready for quick decisions and spontaneous actions. Because of yellow's neutrality, wearing it delivers a calm vibe, inviting others around you to interact with your friendly and approachable personality.

To compare to a taste I would say yellow is the colour of soft cookies. Everybody likes soft cookies. As for a smell, yellow is the aroma of an apple crumble on a window sill. Who wants some yellow?


Lisa MacKayLisa MacKay

Business math and statistics, Centre for Academic Learner Services
Time at SAIT: 17 years.

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

I think my students might describe me as quirky but I would hope they would also use words like passionate, concerned and invested in what I do.

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

I have always told my students that if they just really try they will be amazed at what they can accomplish. Succeeding at being a student requires them to balance many aspects in their lives and make difficult choices about where to focus their time and energy. They should be persistent and focused but remember not to take life too seriously because it's easy to burn out if you forget to stay balanced.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

That they can be successful at anything, no matter what they've come to believe about their abilities.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

To believe in myself even under adversity and to stay true to what I believe in.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

Yellow is a happy colour, it's bright and fun. If I were to close my eyes on a warm summer day while playing with my kids, it's the colour I'd feel inside.


Blair MarsdenBlair Marsden

Architectural Technologies program, School of Construction
Time at SAIT: Five years

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

Difficult.

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

A good student is committed, engaged and works hard.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

Hmmmm, I hope they've learned how to think independently and critically.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

They taught me how to thrive in mayhem and chaos.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

Yellow is the smell of poplar trees in the spring.


Cameron McCluskeyCameron McCluskey

Instrumentation Engineering Technology program, MacPhail School of Energy
Time at SAIT: Nine years.

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

Someone who has patience and cares about them.

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

A good student is open to new ideas and wants to understand the subject they are learning.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

When it comes to instrumentation, paying attention to details is very important.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

There are very different ways of learning and everyone has their own preference to achieve their goals.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

Yellow is the colour of the warmth of the sun on your face but it also is the colour of bad-tasting snow.


Rodel PaduaRodel Padua

Respiratory Therapy program, School of Health and Public Safety
Time at SAIT: Two years.

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

Patient and open.

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

Interest - they've got to be interested in the program and the profession. It's just too hard otherwise.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

The job will be what you make it. The role continues to evolve and our students will be the ones who shape the profession.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

They've shown me their incredible capacity to care and to learn. I truly believe they will accomplish great things and help thousands of patients. They teach me to believe in helping others.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

Yellow is warm like the sun and smells like butter and dandelions.


Chris RoubecasChris Roubecas

Business Administration, Management diploma program, School of Business
Time at SAIT: Ten years.

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

By far the most frequent comment - taken directly from rate my professor — "He puts up a good show the first few classes for being a hard ass, but it's not true. Super smart with tons of experience."

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

Dedication, tenaciousness, and the ability to adapt.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

Life will give you back what you put in.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

Even when you think no one has noticed or cares — everyone has and does.

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

When you feel sunshine on your face — that's the colour yellow.


Jona WayJona Way

Travel and Tourism program, School of Hospitality and Tourism
Time at SAIT: 13 years.

In one sentence, how do you think your students would describe you?

Connected. Many students are surprised to learn how many people in our industry I know.

In your opinion, what qualities does a good student possess?

A good student is engaged, not only in the classroom but outside the class in the larger SAIT community. They are involved in SAITSA, student clubs and volunteering at industry events. They come to class each day with a natural curiosity and are also willing to reduce their distractions in order to be more engaged.

If your students remember only one thing you taught them, what do you hope it is?

You must always strive to do the best work you can. This means double checking spelling and grammar, as what you write is likely your "calling card" for everything you do. If you make a bad first impression you can't take it back.

What's one lesson your students taught you this year?

My two special events classes taught me that students are incredibly resourceful, imaginative and creative when put into a real-life learning situation. They learn far more by doing something than talking about it!

Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind.

The colour yellow is the scent of a freshly squeezed lemon.


May 6, 2015


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