Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Celebrating excellence in teaching and applied research

The 2018 convocation ceremonies saw a number of faculty awarded for their excellence


Convocation is not only a time to celebrate the success of our students, it is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of our faculty members. Through the Faculty Award for Excellence: Teaching and Applied Research Award of Excellence we acknowledge outstanding faculty members who go above and beyond.

“Saskatchewan Polytechnic is recognized for its expertise in applied research and for employment-ready graduates,” Dr. Anne Neufeld, provost and vice-president, Academic. “This success is due to the dedication of our faculty who teach our students the practical skills and demonstrate how to be innovative contributors in the communities they live in.”

This year, Sask Polytech recognized three faculty members, who demonstrate excellence in teaching. The Faculty Award for Excellence: Teaching recipients are:

Kim Johnston, Advanced Care Paramedic (Saskatoon)

Kim constantly looks for new ways of getting students not only to learn information, but also to apply it. Kim’s teaching methods are innovative and applicable. In many cases, he has turned lectures into case-study based learning opportunities. He is a strong believer in creating the most realistic simulations for his students. He is an adept facilitator in the development of knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes.

Joan Traves, Medical Diagnostics (Saskatoon)

Joan instructs using a variety of the latest technologies. She painstakingly prepares modules and exercises to promote self-directed learning and to aid students who struggle with remembering the many scientific names for the various parts of human anatomy. Her colleagues call her helpful and patient, well-organized and professional. Students say Joan cares about them and gives them what they need to succeed.

Dean Lefebvre, Dental Hygiene (Regina)

Dean puts his heart and soul into his teaching practices. He works hard to build partnerships with external stakeholders such as the Regina Dentists Society, Regina and District Food Bank, Regina Open Door Society and Mother Theresa Middle School in order to create meaningful learning experiences for students. The continuing success of Dental Day — an event that provides care to those who could not otherwise access it — is one example of this collaboration. Dean is also frequently asked to provide Continuing Education courses by the local professional dental associations.

This year, Sask Polytech recognized two faculty members who made significant contributions in the areas of applied research and innovation. The Applied Research Award of Excellence recipients are:

Tim Muench, Mechanical Engineering Technology (Saskatoon)

Tim has been instrumental in several key initiatives that raised the institution’s profile in applied research and innovation. This includes Sask Polytech’s collaboration with Create Café in a novel project that led to the creation of the world’s first full-size 3D-printed camping trailer. Tim has also led efforts by the Mechanical Engineering Technology program student team to build and race highly fuel-efficient vehicles at the 2017 and 2018 Shell Eco-marathon challenges. His collaborative work with the Office of Applied Research and Innovation was instrumental in efforts to secure funding for key manufacturing centres such as the Research in Additive Manufacturing and Prototyping (RAMP) facility in Saskatoon.

Kelvin Boechler, Computer Systems Technology (Saskatoon)

Kelvin has been working at Sask Polytech since 2004, during which time he has been an instructor as well as a researcher. His work with students helps to build upon their learning as they move beyond what is taught in the classroom to the more difficult tasks found in applied research projects. In his interactions with industry clients, Kelvin’s expertise and his unique style of problem-solving move projects along. Equally important is his ability to bridge the gap between applied learning and real-world application. He is always thinking about what happens next and about how events might affect a project long-term.

Congratulations to this year's Faculty Award for Excellence: Teaching and Applied Research Award for Excellence recipients. We are extremely fortunate to have faculty that are not only experts in their fields, but also leaders in education. Thank you for all you do for our students and institution.

The recipients of the Faculty Award for Excellence: Teaching and the Applied Research Award for Excellence reach receive a framed medal, funding towards professional development and recognition at their campus convocation.