Alastair Summerlee (2003)

summerleeAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Guelph, Biomedical Science.

Citation: The 3M Teaching Fellowship is gaining a member in high places. Dr. Alastair Summerlee, master teacher and tireless advocate for the improvement of university teaching, is also Guelph’s President Elect.

A strong advocate for problem-based learning in his own field of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Summerlee has made profound contributions to Guelph’s learner-centred mission. His infectious enthusiasm has helped foster a culture that values teaching, and it has led to curriculum innovations, teaching awards, teaching-focused appointments, innovative technology projects, and program collaboration with Humber College. Through a variety of administrative positions, including Dean, Associate Vice-President, Provost and Vice-President Academic, and now President, he has continued to champion the cause of university teaching in observable and concrete ways.

He is also, according to the Director of Teaching Support Services at Guelph, “an absolutely exceptional instructor, who brings an unrivalled passion and commitment to the learning process.” “Dr. Alastair Summerlee”, writes one student, “was a breath of fresh air who is no time at all, had swept our collective feet out from under us. Immediately captivating our class through his instruction of anatomy, of all subjects! We were loud, raucous, enthusiastic and most importantly, engaged.”

3M Speaker
I could speak on a number of issues including:

  • The future of postsecondary education
  • Changing the face of undergraduate and graduate education
  • Alleviating iron deficiency around the world
  • The importance of humanitarian support for refugees
  • Trekking across the Kalahari Dessert: a 450km journey on foot