Leaders in the classroom

Leaders in the classroom

By Communications Staff

October 5, 2017


The 2017 winners of the Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards have been announced with awards being handed out in educational leadership, student services, and curriculum development.

The awards, created in 2015, recognize individuals and teams who have shown exceptional innovation and leadership in teaching and learning on campus and are administered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

“This year’s award recipients are a dedicated group of faculty and staff and I commend them on their deep commitment to enhancing the student learning experience at Queen’s,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “Across campus there is a great deal of work taking place to foster excellence in teaching and learning and I am delighted that these awards can help raise the profile of this initiative.”

Each award celebrates a different aspect of teaching and learning, such as educational leadership and curriculum development.

Formal presentation of the awards will take place at the Teaching Awards Reception to be held in January 2018.

The recipients are:

Educational Leadership Award
Dr. J. Damon Dagnone, Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences

Over the past two and a half years, Damon Dagnone has overseen a fundamental transformation in the design and delivery of postgraduate medical education (PGME) across the 29 medical and surgical specialty and subspecialty training programs at Queen’s. As the School of Medicine’s Faculty Lead for implementation of Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) Dr. Dagnone has been instrumental in leading a medical school-wide transition to a new model of postgraduate training for physicians, as Queen’s became the first school in Canada to fully adopt this new educational paradigm. This education innovation has required a massive shift in the School of Medicine’s approach to education, and early on it was recognized that this effort would require a dedicated Faculty Lead to spearhead the transition. Dr. Dagnone was the lead author of the school-wide FIRE (Fundamental Innovation in Residency Education) proposal to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and his active advocacy was a key contributor to its ultimate approval which allowed Queen’s to move forward with CBME implementation. Beyond his leadership and engagement with stakeholders at Queen’s, Dr. Dagnone has also engaged on an ongoing basis with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and its various specialty committees, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and other Postgraduate Medical Education offices at medical schools across Canada.

Michael Condra Outstanding Student Service Award
Dr. Renée Fitzpatrick, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Renée Fitzpatrick has been the Director of Student Affairs for the Queen’s School of Medicine since 2014. A child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Fitzpatrick is an experienced and award-winning educator. The beginning of her tenure as director of student affairs coincided with heightened student concern about ‘burnout.’ Early on, Dr. Fitzpatrick helped facilitate a student-organized initiative, ‘Wellness Month,’ an idea that has now been adopted at medical schools across Canada utilizing the hashtag #keepsmewell. Subsequently, she has developed four ‘wellness half-days,’ which focus on self-awareness about awareness , self-care skills appropriate for the developmental stages of students at key points in the curriculum as well as awareness of and responsibility for developing resilience. In addition, Dr. Fitzpatrick has developed a coordinated approach integrating wellness, academic and career advising in an intentional fashion for all students across the four years of the curriculum. Students participate in regular meetings with faculty to provide support in these domains in an individualized fashion. As part of the re-imagining of the Learner Wellness program she has been instrumental in the introduction of an embedded counsellor and is an active participant in national meeting focussing on student wellness and student affairs.

Curriculum Development Award
School of Policy Studies team
Dr. Rachel Laforest
Dr. Robert Wolfe
Joel Jahrsdorfer
Andrew Graham
Fatemeh Mayanloo
Fiona Froats

Over the past four years, Rachel Laforest and her team have developed a competency-based curriculum which integrates experiential and problem-based learning to introduce students to the policy process and the role of policy analysis. Starting in 2014, the School of Policy Studies embarked on a curriculum renewal process after a series of external reviews identified the need to adapt the curriculum to reflect the contemporary public policy landscape. This review led to a greater integration of multi-disciplinary perspectives via the introduction of a new foundational course – MPA810. The team’s external engagement and strong links within the community allowed them to build real-world examples into the curriculum by leveraging the study hours that students participate in. It is this combination of classroom learning, community engagement and practical experience that provides students with a rounded and cutting-edge learning environment. The process of curriculum renewal led by Dr. Laforest and her team involved gather a strong evidence base and student were engaged throughout the process. In collaboration with Bob Wolfe, Dr. Laforest is now teaching MPA810, incorporating feedback from faculty and students along the way. 

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