Ian Spooner awarded Faculty of Science Teaching Award
At the end-of-term Faculty Council meeting Ian Spooner was awarded the Faculty of Science Teaching Award. Awarded annually, the nomination for this award was made by his students and colleagues in recognition of his many years of work in and outside the classroom.
Since coming to Acadia in 1994, Ian has taught 11 different courses at levels ranging from first-year ("Natural Disasters") to senior & graduate ("Quaternary Environments") and in a wide range of areas from Sedimentary Petrology to Environmental Impact Assessment. His classes are engaging and often unpredictable; Ian's ability to weave stories into lessons is one of a kind. The tales of his adventures in the field might even be matched by the adventures students have in his field labs.
As well as teaching a wide range of courses, Ian has supervised 47 honours and 30 masters students in topics ranging from petroleum geoscience to archaeology, with many in the area of environmental change as recorded by deposits in lakes from northern BC to Nova Scotia.
A few extracts from the nominations by his students reveal the nature of Ian's teaching:
"My favourite part of the learning experience I had with Ian was that his lessons were always practical. The “real world” connections that he incorporates into his lessons truly make you feel the importance of what you’re learning."
"To be taught by Dr. Ian Spooner was nothing short of a transformative experience... Oftentimes funny and insightful, Dr. Spooner will tell stories and give examples of the content we are learning. His ability to insert these real-life examples always kept his lessons grounded in reality. He didn’t just leave students with an understanding of certain topics, but a bearing on why it is important, why it is complex and how it impacts other people. It is this broad way if thinking that you take away from Dr. Spooner’s lectures that transforms you as a person."
"Ian had a powerful impact on my career path and my understanding of science, in general. From my experience as his graduate student, it is clear that Ian sees his work extending well beyond papers and research - he sees the value in mentoring and inspiring students to pursue careers in science and to look at science through a holistic approach. Ian's investment in my success and commitment to my growth as a scientist are traits I try to emulate in my own mentoring roles at work."
"During my undergraduate years, Dr. Spooner facilitated an affable and keen teaching atmosphere. What distinguishes Dr. Spooner is his motivation to ensure his students not only receive a top tier education, but also gain the essential academic experience to benefit careers in the post-university life."
"Ian is willing to put in the time and effort to see young people grow as students, athletes and ultimately as humans."
Congratulations, Ian - this award is well-deserved.