Classics professor honoured for teaching excellence
George Bevan wants his students to learn more by doing than they learn by listening.
“I try to get my students to the rock face of research, in one way or another, as quickly as possible,” says Dr. Bevan, this year’s recipient of the Queen’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. “When they see that the work they’re doing is meaningful in a way that can be applied, when they take ownership of a problem, they can look at the results and say ‘I did that’.”
A professor in the Department of Classics, Dr. Bevan is known for his unique and innovative approach to teaching, making the subject matter more personal, relatable and accessible to the individual learner. He often organizes weekend workshops and other events so his students can learn the material first-hand.
Dr. Bevan and his students work with reflection transformation imagery (RTI) and stereo photometry to reveal inscriptions on artifacts and natural surfaces that are no longer decipherable to the naked eye. He recently took a group of students to the Cataraqui Cemetery, where they used the technologies to uncover worn away details on the cemetery’s oldest gravestone.
“I think it’s mostly the work he does outside of the classroom that makes him a great professor,” says undergraduate student Marla Mackinnon. “Students really appreciate getting that hands-on experience.”
Dr. Bevan and fellow alumni award recipients will be honoured at the Queen’s University Alumni Association’s gala awards event on Grant Hall on Oct. 15. The other recipients are:
• Alumni Achievement Award – Peter Milliken, Arts’68, Elginburg, ON. This award honours an alumnus who demonstrates the high ideals imparted by a Queen's education through significant contribution to leadership or public service. Mr. Milliken has had a long and distinguished career in politics, as Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, 1988-2011, and Speaker of the House of Commons, 2001-2011.
• Alumni Humanitarian Award – Debra Pepler, Artsci/PHE’73, Ed’74, Toronto. This award is presented to an alumnus whose work has made a difference to the well-being of others. Dr. Pepler is a professor in the Department of Psychology at York University and Senior Associate Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. Her research focus is on aggression and victimization among children and adolescents.
• Herbert J. Hamilton Award – Heather Black, Sc’80, Toronto. Presented annually in recognition of substantial contributions by alumni to the QUAA. Ms Black has served on the QUAA Board of Directors since 2005. She finishes her term as President this winter.
• One to Watch Award – Gemma Boag, Artsci’08, Perth Road, ON. This award recognizes a recent Queen's graduate (less than 5 years out) who is making significant contributions in his or her field. Ms Boag, an Environmental Policy Analyst with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is working towards better water access for marginalized communities.
• Outstanding Student Award – Jillian Burford-Grinnell, Artsci’09, MA’11, Tamworth, ON. Ms Burford-Grinnell, who completed her MA in Gender Studies this year, is active in the Society of Graduate and Professional Students, Enrichment Studies Unit, and Ban Righ Foundation. She has been accepted into Queen’s Law for the fall of 2011.
• Branch Marsha Lampman Award – Josephine Tsang, PhD’06, Calgary, AB. Named in memory of Marsha Lampman, BA’74, this award is presented to an alumnus who exemplifies Marsha’s service and dedication as an ambassador of Queen’s. Ms Tsang has been an active volunteer with the QUAA since 2008. She is President of the Calgary Branch.
• Branch Rising Star Award – Jeremy Mosher, Artsci’08, Calgary, AB. Mr. Mosher receives this award in recognition of his work as volunteer communications director for the Calgary Branch.
• Branch Event of the Year Award – Toronto Branch - Tournament of Gaels Curling Bonspiel. This inaugural event, created by the Young Alumni Committee of the Toronto Branch, was a huge success, drawing 140 alumni and friends for an evening of fun.
• QSAA Volunteer of Distinction Award – Anna Mackenzie, Artsci'11. This award recognizes an outstanding volunteer with the Queen’s Student Alumni Association. Ms Mackenzie was a key member of the association’s ambassador team in 2010-2011.