Making good teachers great

- Anne MacLaurin

Seshadri (right), training with fellow Vikes rower Adam Miller. Photo: Armando Tura/AP Shutter

Samuel Seshadri becomes sixth UVic student in three years to become a 3M National Student Fellow

UVic economics student Samuel Seshadri has some ideas about what makes an outstanding teacher—and some things that can help good teachers become great. His plan to address this challenge, along with past work in peer mentoring, has helped him become one of 10 3M National Student Fellows for 2021. He’s the sixth UVic student in three years to receive this award, which focus on student leadership in improving postsecondary education.

The annual awards recognize students’ achievements and future potential to enhance teaching and learning at the post-secondary level. New fellows continue to support teaching and learning at their own institutions and through larger, collaborative initiatives, supported by the Council of 3M Fellows and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE).

The awards also show how UVic attracts—and nourishes—student leadership at the highest level. This year’s UVic 3M student fellow epitomizes that, while also challenging the university to become even better.

Seshadri’s 3M education challenge focused on ‘making great teachers’ and leadership. He points out that while post-secondary institutions do an excellent job of developing ‘hard skills’ that are job-relevant to graduates, they can lack some non-technical, softer skills such as teaching and communication.

Seshadri suggests that adding a teaching component to undergraduate curriculum would aid in improving the communication skills of graduates. He also believes leadership is rooted in a passion for the collective good.

Leaders must lead from within a collective good, by initiating plans, and then mentoring and supporting each individual along the way to move the entire collective forward.
—Samuel Seshadri, 2021 3M National Student Fellow

Seshadri demonstrated strong leadership in both the UVic athletics and economics communities as a varsity rower and as a BSc honours candidate. With a teammate, he spearheaded the “Imagine If They Stayed” project, providing mentorships to young university athletes by older athletes to combat athlete neglect and its associated negative physical and mental health effects—an issue which is all too common in competitive sport.

As the Director of the Economics Course Union, Seshadri oversaw the transition of a peer tutor centre for introductory economics courses and ran volunteer-led final exam review sessions to help students succeed.

Seshadri joins ten other 3M fellows on a project that supports STLHE’s vision for improved higher education practices. He also plans to pursue a career that continues to combine medicine and economics by working in preventative medicine and public health.

Seshadri graduates this June and will be starting a master's in economics at Queen’s University this fall.


In this story

Keywords: STLHE, student life, award, teaching

People: Samuel Seshadri

Publication: The Ring

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