Mhairi (Vi) Maeers (2002)

maeersAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Regina, Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Citation: Teaching for Mhairi is synonymous with “inspiring others to learn.” A dedicated and innovative teacher, she has been inspiring students and teachers in the local and provincial community to learn mathematics and the art of teaching mathematics since the early 1990s. She has a unique ability to make even the most “math phobic” student enthusiastic about the subject and to take pride in learning. One student writes, “she showed me that math was not a subject where students had to memorize rules, but an area of exploration and discovery. She introduced me and my classmates to ideas and activities which sparked our own imaginations and allowed us to make connections which we may never have seen.” In 1999, Mhairi was awarded the University of Regina Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Mhairi’s effectiveness as a teacher extends far beyond the classroom. She has received funding to establish a Centre for Mathematics, Science & Technology Education and to implement a collaborative research project on developing an instructional model for teacher education. Her commitment to collaboration in interdisciplinary work is evident in her active involvement in the University’s Teaching Development Centre where she selflessly assists other faculty members. She has successfully pioneered technology integration projects that are geared to enhance student learning.

Mhairi’s leadership is exemplified by her ability to bring together faculty and students to build on each other’s strengths and to benefit from cooperation and collaboration. For example, she has engineered a project on Mathematics in a Cultural Context which includes faculty and students of First Nations and Metis heritage. In the words of one of her colleagues, “Mhairi is ‘a teacher of teachers’ like all truly great teachers she is human and loving and lives a life of service to others.”