By: Dani-elle Dube

Algonquin students have the chance to make a difference in the lives of the people who have had an impact on theirs, by voting in this year’s upcoming Faculty Recognition Awards.


Students have until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, to nominate any professor for the Excellence in Teaching award, which is given to five professors who have shown dedication and commitment to their students.


“It really is the highlight of a teacher’s career to get an award from their students,” said Don MacRae, the Students’ Association manager of administrative services. “It’s nice to see the students present a speech to their teacher and hear the wonderful things they have to say.”

MacRae is one of the ceremony’s coordinators and has been involved in the event for 12 years. He calls the awards his favourite Algonquin event and looks forward to it every year.


Voters can submit ballots for several professors but can only submit one ballot per nomination. Based on the decision of the selection committee of students created by the SA, three awards will be given to professors at Algonquin’s Woodroffe campus and one at each of the Pembroke and Perth campuses. Both the number of votes and the weight of the students’ comments written on the ballot play a role in the committee’s decision.


“[Algonquin College] was the first institution in Ontario to have faculty recognition awards,” said David Corson, president of the SA. “The whole idea [of these awards] is to try and build this family bridge.”


Corson describes the awards as an accomplishment for both the nominated professors as well as the college.


The semi-formal event takes place on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 and will present awards to both the winning student-nominated professors, as well as the winners of the Chris Warburton Award of Excellence. The recipients of this award are determined by the SA and may be awarded to any employee of the college who has made a positive contribution to the student life experience.


Helena Ngou, manager of front line food services, and Kent MacDonald, president of Algonquin College, were both awarded last year’s Chris Warburton Award of Excellence.


“It gives validation, not only to myself, but to the department we well,” explained Ngou. “It boosted my ego a little bit and gave me recognition.”


MacDonald’s sentiments mirrored that of Ngou. “It was an amazing feeling,” said MacDonald. “I was excited and humbled and it gave me an instant sense of satisfaction.”


To nominate, students must complete the Faculty Recognition Award form. The form is found in the SA’s Woodroffe office located in room E114 in the Student Commons building, room 100 at Pembroke, room 130 at Perth and online on the SA website.