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Meet the 2024 Faculty of Education Award recipients

May 20, 2024

Two Faculty of Education 2024 award winners (Victoria Jackson and Jean Buckler) pictured together outside the MacLaurin Building, each holding a folded blanket and award envelope. At the end of each academic year, the Faculty of Education presents a series of awards to recognize our outstanding students, faculty and staff.

Excellence in Teaching Award

This award is presented to a faculty member who demonstrates commitment to excellence in their teaching practice. 

Kirstin Lane

Assistant Teaching Professor and Kinesiology Program Leader, School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education

Kirstin is being recognized for her commitment to ensuring the success of her students, who describe her as deeply knowledgeable, welcoming and accommodating. Kirstin has achieved this in part by integrating the principles of universal design into her teaching practice. Kirstin's teaching dossier is guided by four principles: 1) create a positive and welcoming learning environment; 2) ensure the course is well-organized; 3) integrate theories with "real-world" applications; and 4) commit to ongoing learning and reflective practice. 

"Every time I see Dr. Lane’s name on my class schedule for the semester, I know that I'll be in a class environment in which I feel supported and respected, and where I know that the professor cares deeply about the success of all of her students." - A UVic student

Diversity in Education Award

This award goes to a student, staff or faculty member within the Faculty of Education who demonstrates leadership in diversity and inclusion. 

Natasha Reid

Assistant Professor, Art Education

Natasha is being recognized for her dedication to equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization within her teaching practice. This is the focus of all her work including research, the grants she receives, the readings she includes for her students in her classes and the service she undertakes for UVic. Natasha makes a difference because of her humble authenticity and her dedication to action, which provide positive inspiration for all who are nurtured by her positive modeling. 

Left: Natasha pictured speaking to the group after receiving her award. Left: Natasha and Michelle Wiebe (award presenter) embrace.

"What really impressed me was Dr. Reid's interest and eagerness to learn from the local Indigenous community and their traditional cultural practices. This was demonstrated in her dedication to making her daily territorial acknowledgment personal and meaningful. Dr. Reid models by example; by sharing her personal experiences, she nurtures powerful learning and encourages genuine empathy." - A UVic student

Staff Excellence Award

This award goes to someone who shows continual guidance, support and encouragement to students and colleagues. 

Maureen Farish

Faculty Lead & Acting Manager, East Kootenay Teacher Education Program

Maureen is the Faculty Lead and Acting Manager of the East Kootenay Teacher Education Program (EKTEP). She joined our team in 2008 following a career in the education system as a classroom teacher, a teacher-librarian and a school principal. Maureen is a passionate advocate for EKTEP and over the years she has supported teacher candidates in all stages of their program from intake and coursework to practicum and certification. She has provided the stability needed to help shepherd EKTEP through many changes in management, facilities, and course delivery over the years. We are fortunate to have such a talented, capable educator, mentor, colleague and leader on our team. 

"Without Maureen's kindness, I would not have the courage to live my life authentically, I would not have challenged myself to come back to teaching and I would not see a space for myself in the education world. Knowing that people like Maureen exist has reminded me of why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place." - Randi, an EKTEP student

Undergraduate Student Service Award

This award recognizes a student who is exceptionally dedicated to service within the UVic student community and goes above and beyond in their volunteer roles.

Victoria Jackson

Bachelor of Arts in Physical and Health Education

Victoria is being acknowledged for her exceptional volunteer service at UVic. From September 2019 to April 2023, Victoria has been a key Vikes Nation Ambassador while managing a busy academic schedule in the Recreation and Health Education program. Her dedication was exemplified by winning the award for most volunteer hours contributed in 2019-2020, displaying her outstanding work ethic and passion for the program. Additionally, she played a crucial role in training new volunteers during her second and third years, ensuring the sustainability and growth of the volunteer program.

Victoria Jackson is pictured outside on campus holding her award envelope and a folded blanket.

"Victoria's unwavering attendance at every basketball game and event has solidified her presence and influence within the UVic community. Her commitment, leadership and enthusiasm have undoubtedly left a positive impression on the program." - Olivia Thoen, UVic Campus Engagement Officer, Wellness, Recreation & Athletics

Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award

The Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award recognizes our students’ creative or scholarly contributions to their discipline. 

Blythe Bell

Doctor of Philosophy in Education 

Blythe's research is about anti-racism in Canadian nursing education, with a focus on how nurse educators may disrupt or perpetuate racism in the face of commitments to inclusive healthcare. She is interested in developing nursing education that produces nurses as agents of change toward social justice. Her study included a diverse group of nursing educators and was designed to explore the interrelated functions of identity, practice, structures and discourses that shape racism. Blythe's thesis is of the highest quality; the external examiner of her doctoral defense asserted the dissertation was among the top 10% of those she had reviewed. 

What sets Blythe's research apart is its societal relevance given the urgency in addressing systemic racism in the healthcare system. Her dissertation directly answers the call of the 2020 “In Plain Sight” report that brought national and international attention to the widespread anti-Indigenous racism that exists in healthcare systems across the province of British Columbia. Her groundbreaking research has, and is shaping conversations on anti-racism in nursing education. With its additional focus on application to practice, it has the potential to drive substantial changes in healthcare practices. 

"I was deeply honoured to nominate Blythe for this award. Her recently completed doctoral work represents the finest writing and research I have supervised during my time as a faculty member at UVic." - Catherine McGregor

Wiigwaas Carmen Craig

Master of Education in Indigenous Language Revitalization

Wiigwaas entered the Master of Education in Indigenous Language Revitalization program in 2020, defending her project in April 2023 under the supervision of Jean-Paul Restoule in Indigenous Education and Li-Shih Huang in Linguistics. Her thesis, Ozaaweshiinh Lekwungen-Aking: Ojibwe Language Spirit on Lekwungen Land, is a comprehensive study and the equivalent of writing two Master’s theses.

Drawing on interdisciplinary methods including a survey and talking circles, and community-based participatory approaches, wiigwaas examined the needs and wants of Anishinaabemowin (the Ojibwe language) learners residing in Lekwungen territory. She designed a survey that collected data on who local Anishinaabemowin learners are, how they prefer to learn language and culture, and their experiences of struggle and support in accessing language and culture while living in Victoria. Her project represents a significant contribution to the fields of Indigenous education, and Indigenous language revitalization. It exemplifies her dedication to advancing Indigenous knowledge systems, fostering intercultural understanding and promoting social justice within academic and community settings. 

Wiigwaas Carmen Craig and Jean-Paul Restoule are pictured together outside the MacLaurin Building.

"Wiigwaas' project highlights the significance of language as a repository of traditional knowledge, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs, emphasizing its role in fostering a deeper connection to land and ancestral heritage." - Jean-Paul Restoule

Tahontharátye William Joseph Brant

Doctor of Philosophy in Indigenous Language Revitalization

Tahohtharátye Joe Brant is from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, a Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk language) advanced-proficiency speaker, language activist, and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Linguistics and Centre for Indigenous Studies. In Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory he has served as a teacher and elementary school principal, Mohawk language lead, and lead researcher for “Ratiwennókwas”, one of the projects carried out through the SSHRC-funded NEȾOLṈEW̱-“One mind, one people” Partnership Grant within which the Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Center in Tyendinaga has been a research partner. His children are the first first-language Kanyen’kéha speakers in Tyendinaga in over 60 years. 

Tahohtharátye was a student in the 2014 Master’s in Indigenous Language Revitalization cohort and among the first few students in his large cohort to successfully defend a Master’s thesis in our Indigenous Language Revitalization program. His first-class GPA and the quality of his final written project put him in the top 5% of his graduating class at that time. More recently, he has been a student in the first group of PhD students in Indigenous Language Revitalization, supervised by Dr. Onowa McIvor and Ewa. He defended his dissertation on 6 November 2023, and as such he is the first student to have completed a PhD-SPARR in Indigenous Language Revitalization in the Department of Indigenous Education. He has paved the way for all those who come after him, and he has done so by producing dissertation work, which is exemplary, highly original and a seminal contribution to the fields of Indigenous Language Revitalization and Language Documentation.

"The field of ILR is an emerging academic discipline and the Indigenous scholars among us are few. As an maskiko-nehinaw (Swampy Cree), Indigenous scholar, I am amongst a handful of Indigenous scholars specifically focused on Indigenous language revitalization (ILR) in Canada. Within this small pool, we are very fortunate to have Tahohtharátye complete a PhD and it has been an honour to support him." - Onowa McIvor

Excellence in Research Award - Emerging Scholar

This award recognizes early-career faculty members who demonstrate excellence in multiple categories, including research awards and external funding, creative outputs, publications and presentations, and research-inspired teaching.

Belinda Daniels 

Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous Education

Belinda is being recognized for her important contributions to the field of Indigenous Education including several impactful research publications and a book, which is particularly significant for someone early in their career. Her Cree language immersion camps have influenced many other communities and researchers; she has been recognized by colleagues from across Canada in the field of linguistics and applied linguistics as someone who is making a real difference in communities deeply threatened with the loss of their language.

The sophistication of Belinda's research program and her active engagement with diverse language communities is having direct and measurable impact on language revitalization and reclamation across Canada. Notably, all of Belinda's publications are made deliberately open access and freely shared with everyone. This is reflective of her values of open collaboration and relationship building as a community-engaged scholar. 

Left: Belinda pictured speaking after receiving her award. Right: Belinda and Jean-Paul Restoule (the award presenter) embracing.

"Belinda's dedication to balancing community-based research and research-informed teaching, with scholarly achievement exemplifies the values upheld by the Faculty of Education and this early career award. Her passion, expertise, and commitment make her an outstanding candidate, truly deserving of this honour." - Onowa McIvor

Jean Buckler

Assistant Professor, School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education

Jean is being recognized for her outstanding peer-reviewed publications, as well as the scope and range of grants she works on, which are exceptional given her early career stage. She is also being recognized for her strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, for example, the way she interrupts gender biases in motor skill testing research regimes; this will make a substantive difference to our understanding of physical health for diverse populations.

Jean's colleagues speak to her collaborative practices in working with colleagues, but also of how she engages in exceptional levels of support for PhD students, including creating a nurturing and intellectually stimulating environment for their continued growth and learning. 

Jean Buckler is pictured outdoors on the UVic campus.

"I have witnessed first-hand the care and commitment Jean has demonstrated through her service. She is an active early-career member of IALH’s Advisory Group, sharing information and feedback to help advance the work of our research centre.” - Nathan Lachowsky, Acting Director of UVic’s Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health

The group of attendees at the awards ceremony, held in the MacLaurin Learning Commons.

Congratulations to all of this year's award winners!