Geraldine Thomas (1993)

thomasAffiliation at the time of the award: Saint Mary’s University, Modern Languages & Classics.

Citation: Geraldine Thomas has had a profound impact on teaching and on the improvement of instruction at Saint Mary’s University. Long before most, she was a proponent of faculty peer counselling programs, and has continued to promote the implementation of an instructional development centre or equivalent resource program at the University. As founding Chair of the Quality of Teaching Committee, she did much to raise awareness of research which is taking place in the area of teaching. Her leadership role as the first Associate Dean of Arts was marked by her unflagging efforts to provide much-needed academic counselling to Arts’ students early in their careers, to promote their participation in sessions on study skills and to encourage them generally to make their studies at university their first priority.

In the classroom, her command of her subject material is beyond question. She strives to make the student feel comfortable and encourages each student’s unique participation. For many students, she is a source of inspiration and represents the best in the teaching profession. Her devotion to her profession and her commitment to excellence in her students are widely recognized. In 1991, she received the James Ryan Award for her constant and caring attention to students’ needs. Her humanistic approach is characteristic of her entire career at the University, whether it be counselling an individual student, dealing with members of her department, or working with colleagues from the broader University community. In recognition of these outstanding qualities, Geraldine was selected the 1992 recipient of the Association of Atlantic Universities Instructional Leadership Award.