Conestoga news

May 9, 2017 10:00 AM

Engineering professor recognized with national award for leadership excellence

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has recognized Conestoga Engineering professor Nancy Nelson with a gold award in Leadership Excellence for Faculty. Nelson was presented with the award at CICan’s annual conference, held in Ottawa on May 1. 

CICan May 2017.jpg
Colleges and Institutes Canada presented Engineering professor Nancy Nelson (second from left) with a gold award in Leadership Excellence for Faculty at its annual conference on May 1.

CICan is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs and polytechnics. Its members offer more than 8,000 programs, working with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses across Canada.

“The recipients of our awards of excellence embody the best that colleges and institutes have to offer in a variety of sectors and disciplines,” said CICan president and CEO, Denise Amyot. “They are examples of innovation and dedication that make our institutions proud and contribute to the vibrant and welcoming culture found on campuses across Canada.”

Nancy was Conestoga’s lead in the design and delivery of the Electronic Systems Engineering (ESE) degree program. Conestoga is the first college in Ontario and the second Institute of Technology in Canada to receive accreditation by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board for its ESE and Mechanical Systems Engineering degree programs.

The success of the ESE program, its students and graduates, has been largely attributed to Project Based Learning (PBL), an approach that Nelson championed. With her dedication to student success she brings innovative strategies, tools, techniques, and technology to the classroom. She readily shares this experience through presentations and workshops on PBL, universal design for learning, flipped classroom, active learning, teaching large classes and student success. Nelson hosts All Things Academic, a blog devoted to academic issues, and regularly tweets links to educational resources on @ProfNancyNelson. As a facilitator and workshop leader in southwestern Ontario’s College Educator Development Program, Nelson has helped many new faculty get a successful start in their careers.

“Nancy’s commitment to teaching excellence has been evident throughout her career at Conestoga which spans more than 30 years,” said Julia Biedermann, executive dean, School of Engineering and Information Technology. “Her industry experience and dedication to teaching have benefited her students, her peers and the college.”

In addition to CICan’s award of excellence, Nelson has also received the Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education, as well as Conestoga’s Aubrey Hagar Award for Teaching Excellence at Conestoga, an annual award that recognizes a faculty member who has made an outstanding contribution to the college through teaching.