A Message from 3M Canada

A Message from 3M Canada

In an age characterized by short-term business and personal relationships,
the twenty-year partnership between 3M Canada and the Society for
Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE/SAPES) is a commendable
achievement.

The 3M Canada employees who have been actively involved with the 3M
Teaching Fellowships Awards Program say, with remarkable consistency, that
the reason the sponsorship is renewed year after year is the quality of the award
recipients.

Mike Calhoun, former Manager, Development and Human Resources
Planning, the person responsible for liaison with the Awards Program for ten
years until his retirement in 2002, speaks about the significant impact the
award has on recipients’ lives and careers. “I remember one university professor
who received the award late in his career, at a time when he had accepted the
fact he was unlikely to gain tenure. The following year, tenure was granted and
even to this day, he maintains that receiving a 3M Teaching Fellowship was the
reason that happened. He was in tears when he told me this-that is how heartfelt
these situations are.”

It was John Myser, then President and General Manager of 3M Canada,
who had the original thought to create a recognition program for higher education
teachers, and it was he who got the whole thing going. John Dobie, former
Director, Human Resources/Operations, headed the task force assigned to
develop the 3M Canada side of the program from its inception in 1986 until his
retirement in 1991.

STLHE was eager to collaborate with 3M Canada and the Teaching
Fellowship Awards Program was born. Now, after twenty years, almost 200
teachers have received a Fellowship.

From the beginning, the vision for the Fellowships was to provide a
springboard for the advancement of the teaching and learning experience and
also to facilitate knowledge exchange among award recipients who are, by the
very nature of the nomination and selection process, among the finest in the
teaching profession in Canada.

With that in mind, STLHE proposed an annual retreat for award recipients, where the cohort could exchange ideas and information with an open
agenda under the guidance of a highly skilled facilitator. Le Chateau Montebello
was chosen as the venue for the first retreat, and to this day it serves as a crucible
in which the intellectual energy of each year’s 3M Teaching Fellowship
award winners is given the opportunity for uninhibited expression.

Current program administrator Sue Romyn, Manager, Public Relations,
feels the same admiration for the 3M Teaching Fellowships and STLHE as did
her predecessors. “This is not just another sponsorship, ” says Romyn. “It is a
true partnership, with both parties fully committed to advancing the program.”

Consistency within 3M Canada has been provided by Greg Snow,
Manager, Corporate Communications, and a long-time champion of the program.
“I’m looking at nineteen years of involvement and counting,” says Snow.
“Very early on, the 3M Teaching Fellowships Program became more than a corporate
or professional duty; it is a very personal commitment.”

As the date for the twentieth-anniversary celebrations draws nearer, Snow
waits patiently to see where the STLHE and the recently formed Council of 3M
Teaching Fellows, who serve as a national voice on teaching and learning issues
in Canadian universities, will steer the program. “3M Canada has always
described itself as the silent partner,” says Snow. “It is the STLHE, the Council,
and the Fellows themselves who have grown the program and it is they who will
determine the future direction. I’m delighted to be part of a company that has
maintained such a strong relationship with this group for so long.”