At the Banquet, and as part of the celebration of 30 years of 3M sponsoring the National Teaching Fellowships, 3M was presented with a list of all 3M Fellows by the three past Awards Co-ordinators: Arshad Amed, Ron Marken, and Shannon Murray. The Society was also lead in a special toast to this longstanding relationship between STLHE and 3M by one of the early recipients of the award (Ron Smith 3M 1988) and one of the newest, 3M Fellows Veronika Mogyorody (3M 2016). Here are their comments.
Ron Smith (3M 1988) – I joined the 3M Fellowship in 1988. I was a young(er) faculty member very interested in improving my own teaching and helping others to improve. However, although the campus rhetoric was that teaching matters, it was research that really counted.
Let’s recall the higher education environment in the late 80s: STLHE was in its infancy only 3 or 4 years old – providing good talk about teaching. In 1991, AUCC produced the Smith Report (another Smith) that concluded the higher education in Canada was fine, but teaching was seriously undervalued! In the US, AAHE was sponsoring national conferences on “Taking Teaching Seriously” and “Taking Learning Seriously.” Lee Shulman wrote “Teaching as community property: Beyond pedagogical solitude.” And there was no Internet, no social media!
I applied for the Fellowship but I wasn’t too sure what the award was – 3 days at Chateau Montebello? It was good enough for the G7 meetings in 1981! The Retreat – 10 faculty from across the country from different disciplines and universities. It was amazing, spectacular, validating, and transformative.
I was very fortunate to be able to stay involved with the Fellowship over the years: I facilitated several retreats, served on the Selection Committee for several years, and I was elected chair of the 3M Council.
On behalf of all the 3M Fellows, of all teachers and learners, I want to acknowledge and thank 3M Canada for their foresight and on-going support in creating and maintaining a space, in fact many spaces: where good teaching and learning happens, where (in Parker Palmer’s words) the community of truth is practiced, and where we talk about the things that matter with passion and discipline.
Please join me in raising a glass to 3M. Thank you.
Veronika Mogyorody (3M 2016) – Over the past thirty years, the 3M National Teaching Fellowship has evolved into a vital community of scholars that draws attention to the outstanding teaching and leadership that occurs in higher education. Because of this partnership with 3M Canada and its commitment to educational leadership, we are able to formally acknowledge the many dedicated and gifted individuals who have made a difference in the lives of their students and their colleagues. We are indebted to the early STLHE visionaries, 3M Canada, and the past 3M Fellows for bringing to prominence the scholarship and agency of teaching.
As the newest cohort of 3M Teaching Fellows, the ten of us recognize the significant efforts and accomplishments of our predecessors in contributing to teaching excellence. We celebrate with pride and excitement our joining the fellowship, and entering a community of practice dedicated to the long-term success and well-being of our students and colleagues. We are looking forward to spending time at the upcoming retreat, learning about each other, from each other, and engaging in passionate conversations about teaching and leadership. We anticipate our time together will be transformative, and facilitate a lasting dialogue that will not only connect us as a group, but also bring us closer to the work initiated by previous fellows. We see ourselves as part of a long lineage of innovators dedicated to inspiring creativity, curiosity, and the desire to change the world around us. We welcome the challenges that face us, and as a collective, we can indeed make a difference.
So I’d like to propose a TOAST: To the many great teachers, past, present, and future, the talented teams that support them, the amazing students who inspire them, and 3M Canada, who champions them. Let us celebrate our collective efforts, and the conviction that what we do, matters a great deal.