Dr. Norma Mickelson Legacy Scholarship

Dr. Norma I. Mickelson

The legacy of Dr. Norma Mickelson’s vibrant career path began with a 15 year teaching position in the elementary school system in 1945. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Education from Victoria College in 1963, her University of Victoria Masters of Education in 1967, and as a University of Victoria faculty member, her PhD from the University of Washington.

Dr. Mickelson is renowned for her valuable contributions to the field of education and to equity issues and as a result many titles and awards have been conferred upon her. Not only was she elected the first female dean of education, she was also the first woman president of the UVic Faculty Association, the university’s first advisor on equity issues, and the first female chancellor at the university. Dr. Mickelson holds two honourary degrees, and is a recipient of both the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada. In 1991 she received the inaugural Sarah Shorten Award for her work in the area of gender bias in university learning, teaching and research, and in 2004 she was made an Honourary Citizen of Victoria.

In the 1980s, Dr. Mickelson conducted a review into how women were treated within the academic setting of UVic. Beginning with a focus on language, she and some of her colleagues worked tirelessly to introduce gender-neutral language to academe. They also worked to raise consciousness around issues affecting women in the workplace, including the difficulties and biases encountered when women return to work after childrearing.

Dr. Mickelson was awarded the UVic Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995, and following her retirement from UVic, was appointed to the Board of Governors. In 1997 she was elected the first female chancellor of the University of Victoria, and in 1998 she won the YM-YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award for lifetime achievement.

Needless to say, Dr. Mickelson has succeeded in enriching the education system to a degree which is immeasurable in both passion and scope. The long reaching effects of her work on gender equity, and the special attention and focus she gave to the areas of reading and language acquisition are invaluable accomplishments. She fought stridently to vanquish the labels and outmoded techniques that could all too often discourage and demean children in their learning processes, and her work to date includes more than 140 publications within the formats and genres of books, textbooks, articles, poems, educational videos and tele-courses on reading instruction.

A short documentary film entitled Madame Chancellor was made about Dr. Mickelson’s life and the pioneering spirit that contributed so immeasurably to the academic setting and the lives of the many women, children, educators and community members that she touched.

One or more of the Dr. Norma Mickelson Legacy Scholarships is awarded each year to undergraduate or graduate students in the Faculty of Education. Recipients are awarded for outstanding achievement in both their academic endeavors and in their volunteer contributions to the community. Interested in applying?