Brandon University to salute outstanding educators at Convocation

Nancy Stanley, centre, poses with Kevan Sumner of the BU Board of Governors, left, and BU President and Vice-Chancellor David Docherty. at the Brandon University retirement celebration in April 2024. Dr. Stanley will be recognized again at Convocation with the BU Lifetime Achievement Award.

Excellence in teaching, research and service will be recognized at Brandon University’s two-day Convocation celebration this week.

In addition to the conferral of degrees to about 460 new BU graduates, an important element of Convocation is the presentation of awards to deserving faculty and staff over the course of four ceremonies on Thursday and Friday.

This year’s award recipients are:

The BU Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Dr. Nancy Stanley, Professor in the Faculty of Education.

Dr. Stanley enjoyed a 54-year career at Brandon University, beginning in 1969 until her retirement in 2023. As a champion of women in sport, she coached badminton, field hockey, soccer, volleyball and track & field at BU. A Professor in the Department of Physical Education, Dr. Stanley also served as Athletic Director for six years, and she was the driving force behind the creation of the Mini University program in 1984. Forty years later, it is estimated that more than 23,000 children and youth have participated in one or more weeks of Mini U. Dr. Stanley and her team have secured well over $2 million in external grant funding, supporting operation of the program and creating bursaries that have allowed more than 2,500 disadvantaged children and youth to enjoy summer day camp.

Dr. Stanley will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Thursday afternoon ceremony.

The Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented to Dr. Kathryn Chachula, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Studies.

Kathryn Chachula

Dr. Chachula is a Registered Nurse with a diverse clinical background. She started her professorial position at BU in 2014, and in 2022 she received the Dean’s Award for Academic Teaching Excellence. She has taught 10 different courses in the Department of Nursing, co-taught Advanced Nursing Education I in the Master of Psychiatric Nursing (MPN) program and serves as a thesis advisor in the MPN program. Students often comment that her passion and enthusiasm are contagious, and that her approach empowers them to learn, grow, and gain confidence in their future careers as nurses.

Dr. Chachula will receive the Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching during the Friday morning ceremony.

The BU Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented to Dr. Steven Robinson, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts.

Steven Robinson

Dr. Robinson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy. He has a long history of service since arriving at BU in 1996, including serving as interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President (Academic and Provost) and both acting and associate Dean of Arts. He has taught widely in his field, including philosophy, metaphysics and democracy. His research and publications pertain to the philosophy of Plato, the evolution of ethics, and phenomenology. Students credit Dr. Robinson for giving them the tools to help tackle challenges and problems in a variety of fields from a multitude of perspectives, making assignments engaging and approaching learning as an equal partnership.

Dr. Robinson will receive the BUAA Excellence in Teaching Award during the Friday afternoon ceremony.

The Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Community Service will be presented to Dr. Christopher J. Schneider, Professor in the Faculty of Arts.

Christopher J. Schneider

Dr. Schneider is a Professor of Sociology, who has collaborated on seven books and published more than 100 scholarly papers and essays. His service to the community has included presentations and engagement with a diverse array of organizations, including the Canadian Armed Forces, and Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, among other groups. Since 2009, Dr. Schnieder has sat on the John Howard Society (JHS) Board of Directors, serving as an elected member on boards in British Columbia, Ontario, and Manitoba. Outside of the university, his work has appeared in more than 650 media segments and news reports, and he is the author nearly 60 op-eds, which have appeared in USA Today, the Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star, among other outlets.

Dr. Schneider will receive the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Community Service in absentia during the Friday afternoon ceremony.

In addition to the awards presented to BU faculty, three outstanding educators from Manitoba’s K-12 system will be recognized with Distinguished Teacher Awards. Benita Shwaluk of Shoal Lake School, Christine Tournier-Croft of West Valley School near Manitou, and Jacqueline Tabios of Meadows West School in Winnipeg will receive their awards during Thursday afternoon’s ceremony.

The ceremony for the Faculty of Science and the School of Music will begin on Thursday at 10 a.m., followed by the Faculty of Education the same day, at 2 p.m. The Faculty of Health Studies ceremony will take place on Friday at 10 a.m., with the Faculty of Arts ceremony following at 2 p.m.


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