Thomas MacRae (1997)

macraeAffiliation at the time of the award: Dalhousie University, Biology.

Citation: Within Dalhousie University and beyond, Thomas MacRae is well known for his deep commitment to higher education. He is a recognized leader in activities to support and enhance teaching and learning. In 1994, he was awarded both the Dalhousie University Instructional Leadership Award and the Association of Atlantic Universities’ Instructional Leadership Award. Since that time, his influence has spread as he continues to give workshops and presentations on teaching at campuses throughout the region and the nation. At Dalhousie, he has been a member of a number of committees concerned with educational issues from curriculum review and development to student admissions to course evaluation. He is also very active in a range of instructional development activities. Regular attendance at workshops offered by the Office of Instructional Development and Technology demonstrates an ongoing concern to ensure that his own teaching performance is of the highest caliber. But he is more than a participant. He presents workshops for faculty and teaching assistants and has contributed to three OIDT publications on teaching and learning.

Those familiar with Tom MacRae as an instructional leader know that his work with other faculty members is strongly grounded in his experiences as a teacher. He is eager to share what he has learned and equally eager to hear about the successes of other teachers. One long-time colleague reports that Tom MacRae “has the enthusiasm and the desire to educate which brings students and colleagues to the edge of their seats.” According to one student, his classes are characterized by “impeccable organization and consistency” where “every minute was effectively used in learning.” In 1994, he was selected from among 150 of his colleagues to receive the Faculty of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a dedicated teacher who achieves excellence partly through his natural talent and easy rapport with students, but also through a great deal of hard work. He has a deep and abiding concern for his students – the hallmark of an exemplary educator.

Tom MacRae dedicates his receipt of this award to the memory of Dr. Gary Hicks, friend and colleague, who passed away.