David Barnet (2009)

barnetAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Alberta, Drama.

Citation: “David is brilliant. I have never been in a class this amazing in all my years of schooling”; this is a typical student response. A specialist in performance and theatre creation, David has a strategic and disciplined capacity to elicit both freedom and rigour, using his extraordinary passion to prod, shock, and inspire. Colleagues testify, “I am a better teacher for engaging with David Barnet.” As a leader on campus, David emphasizes public and open dialogue about teaching and learning. It’s not exaggeration to say that teaching in the Faculty of Arts and the University of Alberta is more highly valued, and therefore better, because of his advocacy and leadership.

Beyond the campus, David builds remarkable interactions between the University and the wider community, working with the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission and with senior citizens to bring people together, to use drama to create real-life situations. The GeriActors and Friends, for example, train seniors in creative expression, acting, writing, civic engagement, and social and political analysis. David has received major awards for his teaching, and is regarded as “truly a catalyst—as a teacher and educational leader, his impact has been extraordinary.”