Spring Convocation, 2015
Dirk, Marguerite, and Rick were suitably goofy and resplendent in their academic regalia, but this day was all about Jay. He was named the newest University of Saskatchewan Master Teacher. This is the highest honour one can achieve at the U of S–a rare and special honour. It is offered only once at each convocation. The Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, Patti McDougall gave a wonderful and warm tribute to Jay, and the auditorium burst into a standing ovation when he received his ring. Of course, Jay owned the stage even though he wasn’t invited to give a speech. He mugged for the jumbotron and managed to take a selfie of himself and the Vice-Provost. It was, in a word, authentic Jay, and a chest thumping day for everyone.
Here are a few pix.
Here’s the tribute that was included in the convocation book:
“Jay Ryan Wilson’s recognition as a University of Saskatchewan Master Teacher is the story of a “becoming”—an educator with impressive natural teaching talents who is leveraging them to turn himself into something even more. It isn’t a narrow skill set that makes Dr. Wilson a great teacher. What makes him truly exceptional is that he has the heart of a teacher. He could not behave any differently if he tried. His teaching, research, service, and personal identities intertwine into a Möbius strip, making him a singularly accomplished teacher and scholar.
Students jockey to get into his classes; the registration grapevine is alive every semester with students trying to figure out which sections marked TBA will eventually be taught by Dr. Wilson. We sometimes joke that many of our students have double majors—in English (or Science, or Social Studies, or Math) and in Wilson.
Dr. Wilson is a tireless leader on campus and off, and currently is the Head of Curriculum Studies, Chair of the Teaching, Learning, and Academic Resources Committee of Council, and a Teaching Fellow in the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness. Everything he touches is innovative because innovation is in his nature. He regularly invents fresh ways to do things. He is fearless in carrying them out, whether it means moving a class and a van-load of technology to the Kenderdine Campus on Emma Lake, or appearing in a tuxedo at the Neatby-Timlin Theatre for a public premiere of his students’ video projects.
Dr. Wilson is also a teacher-scholar. He has developed a nationally recognized program of research in “authentic learning.” His teaching and innovation were recognized at the U of S with the Provost’s Award for the Outstanding New Teacher in 2010, and nationally and internationally as an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2011, and the Desire 2 Learn Innovation Award from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in 2012—one of only five such awards given annually in Canada.
Dr. Wilson’s investment in his students and University sets a lofty standard we all hope to achieve but seldom do. Students describe him as inspiring and transformational—a teacher who will influence them for a lifetime. Colleagues describe him as a powerful leader and innovator—one who has already had a remarkable influence on teaching and learning, and promises to continue to burnish the reputation of teaching and learning on our campus.”