John Smol (2009)

John SmolAffiliation at the time of the award: Queen’s University, Biology.

Citation: John Smol’s former student, current colleague, and nominator testifies: “John is the most successful research-based teacher at Queen’s and possibly in the country.” John’s international recognition as one of Canada’s foremost environmental scientists, coupled with his award-winning teaching programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and the public at large personifies teaching and educational leadership at its best. John’s achievements in both research and teaching are remarkable and seamless. Lauded by the NSERC President as “an interdisciplinary powerhouse”, John, a Canada Research Chair, has received 25 research awards and fellowships and recently named Canada’s Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medalist as top scientist or engineer.

As he melds exciting research discoveries into teaching, John’s audience is primarily his students but also policy makers, the media, and the public at large. John believes entering a “sacred trust” with students gives them “roots and wings,” demonstrating an extraordinary generosity, sharing his expertise and time. He is legendary in promoting numerous students to fill faculty and research positions in the best institutions around the world. Recipient of numerous department, faculty, and institutional teaching awards, John has been decorated for supervision, mentorship, and Queen’s highest award for service in recognition of his outreach teaching and public education.