Lisa Dickson (2011)

DicksonAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Northern British Columbia, English.

Citation: A photograph reveals two faces: in the foreground, poor Yorick’s skull; to one side, just off the frame, Lisa’s face. Both grin at us enigmatically.

Lisa’s teaching philosophy is to “get [her]self out of the way,” to stay out of the frame. When students were “caught in a bucket line of information, not knowing where the fire [was] or where the water came from,” Lisa Dickson set out to find the fire and show them the water: “It is not about my teaching but about students’ learning.” She developed expertise in Active Learning, Curriculum Development, and Learning Outcomes. Why? Because “I am convinced that when students and teachers meet in the classroom, we are participating in something profound, meaningful, and world-changing.”

Learned, witty, thoughtful, evolving, Lisa inspires her students and colleagues by standing aside, so they can find “wonder . . . that instant of suspension and transition between who we were and who we will be.” Students have the last word: “I don’t think I could have taken this course with any other prof. You make me want to learn more!!” Yorick grins. Lisa Dickson just smiles.