Heather Smith (2006)

smithAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Northern British Columbia, International Studies.

Citation: Hats and hearts . . .

A tireless educator, Heather Smith admits to wearing “many hats”—program chair, researcher, teacher, and professional development coordinator of UNBC’s fledgling Teaching and Learning Centre—still a single goal unites all these roles: to be genuine and true. Heather’s heart tells her, “I am a teacher and I carry that with me as I weave my way through my various commitments.”

Heather’s rare enthusiasm and energy have won praise from her colleagues and students. She provided other professors with resources, support and expertise after the tragic events of 9/11. Students in her Foreign Policy, Security, and Globalization classes deal with complex and challenging issues—yet this inspiring teacher receives top ratings. One of Heather’s goals is to lead her students “beyond their comfort zone,” but, even in classes of 100 or more, she still manages to create personal and connected experiences that influence students’ day-to-day lives and help them to find and follow their own paths to learning.

Heather says, “I hope my students see my efforts as genuine and real.” They do! As one said, “She is without a doubt the best prof I’ve had in my five years here. We are lucky to have her at UNBC.”

This exceptional professor has made a genuine impression on the hearts and minds of her students and colleagues alike.