Dennis Krebs (2007)

krebsAffiliation at the time of the award: Simon Fraser University, Psychology.

Citation: Dennis Krebs is a not-so-secret (change) agent who has transformed processes hidden deep beneath the complex web of university learning. He has done this directly in collaboration with students and colleagues, and indirectly by chairing committees charged with revitalizing the curriculum. To be effective in changing teaching and learning at all levels, Dennis found that he too needed to change. His colleagues say that he always leads through example.

In his philosophy statement, Dennis confesses that “my first lecture course was an utter failure.” This failure inspired a quest to understand why, which led to changes in the how, which he has attempted to infuse into others with fierce determination. Dennis has strived to champion changes that bring out the best in students in small and large classes, as well as in colleagues from a variety of disciplines. Those affected describe Dennis as “caring,” “nurturing,” “inspiring,” and “moving.”

His ability to guide initiatives that have transformed SFU’s undergraduate curriculum has been pervasive. According to his Provost, “Dennis has made an enduring and critical contribution to SFU—embracing education with a boldness of vision and radical engagement with concrete ideas that enhance student learning.” Colleagues make comments such as, “His many initiatives are not the sort of work for the faint of heart.” Many students attest that Professor Krebs is not only engaging, but also challenging. He perseveres until they take ownership of their learning experiences with confidence and with heart.