Jan Rehner (2001)

rehnerAffiliation at the time of the award: York University.

Citation: Jan Rehner has a distinguished record of outstanding teaching in writing and critical studies. She is the winner of the Ontario Colleges and Universities Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award (1992). Jan espouses the goal of wanting to “transmit a passion for learning, for self-awareness and self-reflection, for the energizing process of discovery, shifting perspectives and revisioning what is possible” and this is exactly what she does. She has been a teacher, mentor, model and friend to generations of students, including some who were very apprehensive about entering or returning to post-secondary education and others who were marginalized because of their social background.

By creating and working in several programs that afford greater accessibility to such students, Jan has demonstrated a clear commitment to having teaching and the university act as forces for social justice. She is committed to access and fairness, to giving each student the opportunity to develop his/her full potential and to making the university a real institution of democratic values.

In addition to her passion for knowledge and her devotion to students, Jan is valued for her work as a team-teacher. Her influence in university pedagogy extends throughout Canada and the United States where she is regarded as a thoughtful, enthusiastic colleague committed to interdisciplinary teaching and professional development. She has conducted numerous workshops for countless faculty and teaching assistants and has been one of only two Canadians to be invited to participate in the professional development programs of the National Faculty in the United States. Here, too, she has empowered and enlivened, introducing new ideas and new approaches, “affecting positive change in classrooms of several hundred teachers and their thousand plus students in the US…” As one of the beneficiaries of her exceptional generosity has written, “Jan is a remarkable and admirable representative of her profession and her country, richly deserving of the recognition this award brings.”