Two University of Victoria professors have taken home Canada’s most prestigious award for excellence in leadership and teaching.
Brent Mainprize is a professor of entrepreneurship who helped boost the number of Indigenous-owned businesses across Victoria. On Thursday the Gustavson School of Business announced Mainprize was recognized as a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellow.
This award adds to several other prestigious prizes Mainprize has earned; in 2016 he received the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE)’s Alan Blizzard Award for his role in collaborative teaching with he Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) program, and in 2014 he won the STLHE’s D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning.
“Entrepreneurship is a powerful concept because it’s about nurturing a student’s discovery of their own unique abilities and passions and supporting their development as they share them with the world,” Mainprize said in a statement. “To be recognized for my role in helping students starting their businesses is a tremendous honour.”
Mainprize is the co-founder of Tribal Resources Investment Corporation’s ACE Program; since it was launched in 2013, 384 students from 46 Indigenous communities from across B.C. have graduated from the ACE program.
“We are proud and excited for Brent to be recognized for his teaching excellence,” said Gustavson Dean Saul Klein. “His leadership in entrepreneurship, Indigenous partnerships and experiential learning creates classroom experiences where students combine their creativity, culture and innovation in their business pursuits.”
Edōsdi–Judy Thompson also received a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellow. Thompson recently transferred to UVic from the University of Northern BC and works as an associate professor at UVic’s Indigenous Education Department. As a member of the Tahltan Nation, one of her passions has been to help revitalize and reclaim the Tahltan language, as well as share her experiences about the inherent systemic and cultural challenges in teaching mandatory Indigenous studies, with an aim of making reconciliation teachings happen in a safe and honest way.
“My whole identity is tied up in being a teacher, which is reflected not only in my teaching, but in my scholarly work, and my work with the larger community and world: institutions, academic disciplines, K-12 School System, Indigenous nations, and higher education in general,” Thompson said in a statement.