After a two-year hiatus, the Lethbridge College Faculty Association (LCFA)/Lethbridge College Students’ Association (LCSA) Teaching Excellence Awards have returned.
170 students collectively nominated 83 faculty members, with two Rookie of the Year recipients being new instructors for 2020-21 and 2021-22, and one Teaching Excellence Award recipient. Each of the three recipents happen to be graduates of the college as well.
The Teaching Excellence Award 2021-22 winner is James Reimer, chair of the college’s school of business. A graduate of the Business Administration – Accounting program in 1990, Reimer has been employed at the college for nearly 32 years. This isn’t Reimers first LCFA/LCSA Teaching Excellence Award, he was also the recipient in 2014. His students say Reimer is approachable and inclusive and because he understands that all students learn differently, he incorporates a variety of teaching styles in the classroom.
“My best day as a teacher is when I see a student’s face light up with understanding and they develop a passion for the material,” says Reimer. “I love being in the classroom and helping students achieve their respective academic goals.”
The 2020-21 Rookie of the Year recipent is Justice Studies instructor Gord Ryall. Ryall graduated from the college’s Law Enforcement program in 1990 and, after spending several years with the British Columbia Sheriffs, he moved to the Alberta Sheriffs in 2006 and was stationed in Lethbridge two years later. Ryall has a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and was employed by the college in December 2020. Ryall’s students say he is devoted to their success and takes the time to explain concepts until everyone understands. They say he makes himself available any time of day, with one student saying Ryall even called from the golf course to help clarify a question about references in research papers.
“The best decision I ever made was to join the School of Justice,” says Ryall. “Teaching during the pandemic had its challenges, but I had a great team of instructors supporting me along the way. Much like our students, I continue to learn and develop.”
Eric Mitchell is the recipient of the Rookie of the Year award for the 2021-22 year. After completing his four-year Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship at Lethbridge College in 2010, Mitchell is now teaching with his former instructors. Previously employed with Wilderness Vans, Mitchell helped build specialized camper vans and off-grid backcountry RVs. Mitchell’s students say he keeps theory interesting and engaging through demonstrations and fantastic teaching techniques. They say he is always willing to lend a hand or give extra help, and he goes the extra mile to ensure everyone understands and is comfortable with the lesson.
“My rookie year has been fantastic,” says Mitchell. “The course content is what I’ve been doing for years so I can really share my experience and knowledge with students. Seeing them as they start to understand concepts, that at first were a mystery, is very exciting for me.”
“Each person nominated continues to exemplify excellence in the classroom and beyond,” says Dr. Samantha Lenci, Lethbridge College Provost and Vice President Academic. “Congratulations to each winner. And to all our faculty, thank you for putting students first and making their time at Lethbridge College an experience they’ll never forget.”