I was devastated that my application to the Faculty of Education had not been
accepted. I found myself in my professor’s office. “What can I do to help?” was her
response. Within moments she had me calmed and excited about new prospects
for the future. Making a difference on many levels boils down to the type of relationship
teachers build with their students.


I contacted him to set up a meeting to discuss collaborating on an honours thesis.
I arrived expecting to be lucky to have an hour of his time. We talked for three
and a half hours. I was shocked to receive an email from him that very night that
expressed great enthusiasm for my ideas. His methods inform and inspire my
research, teaching and advising. I use his impact as the ultimate standard for
assessing whether my efforts are making a difference.


He helped me understand that art is important and that creating and sharing
stories is a joy.


I learned from him that stumbling is part of the learning process, and you just
have to pick yourself up again. I learned that you need to take risks as you rely on
your commitment, instincts and skills and plunge headlong into what you’re
doing. He taught me to think outside the box.


She has been part of many of my “defining moments.” She gave me the courage
to speak out about a serious illness I had suffered from-something which
played a huge role in my recovery and healing process. She will not accept indifference
from her students. At that critical juncture in many young adults’ lives,
she is that strong presence telling you to get your act together when it is
needed, but also giving her praise when warranted. She was a tremendous
influence on my decision to become a teacher. I cannot think of a better compliment.