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Jaye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence

The Jaye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence is the highest teaching award offered at NorQuest College. The peer-nominated award upholds our mission and values by honouring teaching excellence. Award recipients must demonstrate a record of professional competence in teaching exemplified by these actions:

  • Engaging learners through exemplary facilitation
  • Supporting learners through advocacy
  • Utilizing innovative pedagogical approaches
  • Developing learning-centred curriculum materials
  • Employing fair evaluation
  • Demonstrating scholarship

Named for NorQuest College’s former vice president of academic, the Jaye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence was established to honour the legacy of teaching excellence that Fredrickson inspired. It honours an individual who engages learners through exemplary facilitation, supports them through advocacy and utilizes innovative approaches to education.

2020 recipient: Clara Bergen

Clara Bergen is a difference maker in the lives of her students.

As an instructor in the Interdisciplinary Therapy Assistant program, Clara doesn’t shy away from a challenge. In fact, she is always seeking new and exciting ways to improve her courses and learning materials. Simulations, games, videos, scenario or problem-based learning activities that require clinical judgment are just some of the innovations that Clara incorporates into her classroom. She believes that personalized support, as well as clear, prompt, and regular feedback are essential for learners to build confidence and master skills.

Not only is Clara preparing her students to succeed in their profession, she is also helping them understand the importance of participating in communities of practice, mentorship, and lifelong learning. In addition to maintaining her clinical expertise as a physiotherapist at the University of Alberta Hospital, she keeps very busy with her teaching, and organizing an annual student symposium. Clara is also pursuing a graduate diploma in Instructional Design through Athabasca University. She is certainly not bored!

Colleagues have shared that Clara is an amazing role model, who regularly shares her expertise in student-centred teaching and technological innovations.

Clara’s students say she is “unforgettable”, and one shared that “During COVID-19, Clara has supported us through always being there for us when we need assistance and always giving us constructive feedback that has helped develop our skills. But the biggest thing Clara does for us is listen to what we have to say. So often we see teachers just teach but Clara teaches in a way that allows for shared respect for one another. She is someone who actually cares about her students… She assists us in developing into professionals in our field. There is no one else like Clara, truly.”

Watch Clara share her thoughts on receiving the college's top teaching honour.

2020 Honourable Mention: Dr. Allison Fieldberg

As the Instructional Designer and Program Chair of the Justice diploma program at NorQuest College, Dr. Allison Fieldberg works to re-examine the connections between theory and practice, unsettle (Indigenize) traditional teaching models, collaborate with program partners and students, engage with social justice, and build relationships within the community to transform lives.

Her legal training, focus on equity and diversity, self-reflection, empathy, and desire for continuous improvement has made the NorQuest Justice program a huge success. The program received 180 applications its inaugural year, and twenty-three percent of students who enrolled in the program identify as Indigenous.

Allison’s students have shared that she offers hope, compassion, and inspires them to believe that anything is possible. One student said: “When I started this career, I was so scared. I thought that I might not be at this level because I am still learning my third language (English) and I don’t have any experience. But, thanks to the help of Dr. Fieldberg, I was able to get into the program but I felt so much pressure that I started underestimating myself with this program. My fears went away. Today, my life is changing, and I feel happy and confident to say that I know and understand the Canadian justice system more clearly.”

2019 recipient: Karen (Cara) Taylor

Karen (Cara) Taylor has been a Psychology and Sociology instructor with the University Transfer department since its inception at NorQuest College. Her passion for teaching is rooted in her holistic belief that knowledge and learning can change a student’s life, offering new options for an individual’s future. She believes it is her role as a teacher to encourage and empower students, and build on the knowledge they already possess.

Her nominee shared that “Karen’s passion and obvious expertise on the subject inspires dedication and ignites a hunger for more knowledge.” As a life-long learner, Karen’s own hunger for knowledge has led her to pursue a PhD on bridging western and Indigenous education.

Students have high praise for Karen, sharing how she inspired them through her enthusiasm, her interactive teaching style, and her sincere care for each student. Among the positive feedback, one student said, “You are the best teacher I ever had. I will never forget you.”

Watch why Karen received the college's top teaching honour.

Honourable Mention

Tetiana Kopotilova
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada
Faculty of Skills & Foundational Learning

2018 recipient: Jason Fahy

Jason is an online instructor in the Academic Upgrading department of NorQuest College. He has a long history with our college. Jason’s first time in the NorQuest building where he now works was in 1973, visiting his dad who taught English here, and his first contact with distance learning was on the PLATO system in the late seventies. He started working at the AVC Westlock campus in 1998, and when Alberta Vocational College became NorQuest College the following year, Jason cut the cake because he was the youngest employee. After several years working in the downtown Tutorial Centre, Jason started helping with curriculum development, and then with running some of the department’s fledgling online courses. The goal since then has been steady improvement, both in the instructional material and the service offered to online students – trying to project NorQuest’s great supportive culture into the online environment!

Jason has distinguished himself as a student-centred, service minded educator. In his nomination letters, Jason’s students gave examples of how he went the extra mile to make sure that they understood and were successful in their studies. “He has a way of instruction that is flexible, supportive, patient, engaging, and most of all – compassionate.” “I 100% give my passing the course over to Jason. Without his amazing abilities to adapt, and be supportive, kind, calm and patient, I no doubt would have either failed or dropped out from the stress.” (NorQuest online student).

Watch Jason share his experiences as a online instructor for NorQuest College.

2017 recipient: Carla Grant

Carla Grant is a pharmacist, educator, author, photographer, and a very busy mother. As part of the Pharmacy Technician Program team, she has been instrumental in developing curricula and ensuring quality programming and instruction that is responsive to the ever-changing provincial and national competencies. Carla strives to build curiosity and create excitement by engaging her students in a wide variety of student-centred, interactive learning activities. In their nomination letters for this award, Carla’s students singled out her enthusiasm and caring disposition; they said they felt that Carla was preparing them, not only for pharmacy practice, but for real life.

Watch Carla share the top reasons why she loves teaching at NorQuest College

2016 recipient: Kim Goebel

Friday, March 10, 2017 was a day to remember for NorQuest College, especially for Kim Goebel who was officially presented with NorQuest's highest teaching honour: The Jaye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence. Goebel, an instructor in the Faculty of Foundational, Career & Intercultural Studies, is the latest on a list of high achieving people to receive the award, which officially recognizes the top college educator from the previous year.

Watch Kim tell her story about teaching, students, and NorQuest College

2015 recipient: Amy Abe

Amy Abe receives the 2015 aye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence

Amy Abe is NorQuest College’s winner of the 2015 Jaye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence.

The long-time NorQuest language training instructor in the Faculty of Faculty of Foundational, Career, and Intercultural Studies has been described as a master at her profession by her peers. She was presented with the honour at the college’s annual Faculty Jamboree on November 18.

Read more about why Amy won this year’s award

2014 recipient: Shanna Rowney

Shanna Rowney receives the 2014 aye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence

NorQuest College's top teaching honour for 2014 was awarded to Shanna Rowney.

Rowney's teaching lessons are exciting and student-centred. Through her use of relevant educational technology, and careful curriculum design, the courses she teaches are exemplary.

Read more about why Shanna received the college's top teaching honour.

2013 recipient: Tracy Topolnitsky

NorQuest College foundational & intercultural studies instructor Tracy Topolnitsky is the 2013 recipient for the Jaye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence. An instructor at NorQuest College for eight years, Topolnitsky thrives when learning and practicing educational technologies and their pedagogical uses. She always tries to find ways to incorporate trendy and fun technology into almost everything she does including her personal life, professional development, teaching practices and student assignments. She believes the Internet and web-based applications are tools that generate interest, engagement and attention.

Read more about Tracy Topolnitsky's award-winning year.

2012 recipient: Roger Moore

Roger Moore with Jay Fredrickson

NorQuest instructor Roger Moore is the first-ever recipient of the Jaye Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence. Moore is an instructor in NorQuest’s Faculty of Foundational and Intercultural Studies. He was recognized during Convocation 2012 at the Winspear Centre.

“NorQuest College is privileged to have instructors with the incredible dedication to teaching and learning that Roger Moore exemplifies,” said Norma Schneider, NorQuest vice president of teaching and learning.

“I am proud to work at NorQuest College where innovative teaching and learning are encouraged,” Moore says. “Through the use of engaging delivery methods for our students and faculty, we are able to create effective learning strategies and situations.”

Moore was also presented with The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’s inaugural College Sector Education Award. It was created to recognize those who have made quality efforts to promote and support the development of their peers with regard to teaching excellence.

He is one of five Canadian educators to receive the honour.