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(November 15, 2001, Gazette)

Distinguished Teaching Awards
Dr. Norman Wayne Garlie, Education
Dr. John Quaicoe, Engineering
Dr. Norman Wayne Garlie, Education

Dr. Norm Garlie has been teaching at Memorial for exactly 30 years. In those three decades, hundreds, if not thousands, of students have benefitted from his wide-ranging expertise in the field of educational psychology.

As one of Memorial’s Distinguished Teachers for 2001, Dr. Garlie is receiving one of the university’s highest honours for faculty members. It’s one that students and colleagues alike think is long overdue.

What might seem a little unusual to most observers is that Dr. Garlie is able to inspire his students even when he has never met them in person. One such student is Cecelia Edwards-Stacey, a recent graduate of the special education degree program.

“As an older student returning to Memorial University in May 2000 (for) my special education degree amid various personal and professional transitions, I derived much educational and therapeutic value from my courses with Dr. Garlie,” she said. Ms. Edwards-Stacey also commented on Dr. Garlie’s “commitment,” “thoughtful advice,” and “reassuring and approachable manner.”

High praise indeed, coming from another teacher, some might say, and all the more interesting because “most of my correspondence and association with Dr. Garlie has been through teleconference and e-mails, having only met him in person (in early 2001),” said Ms. Edwards-Stacey.

In addition to his classroom expertise, Dr. Garlie remains extremely active in research as well as involvement with professional organizations and university committees. Over the course of his career, he has supervised numerous master’s degree research projects, as well as acting as internal and external examiner, reviewer, and consultant on many occasions.

Last year the video Adam Case: Twice Exceptional, on which Dr. Garlie collaborated with CAMS director Debbie McGee, won an award from the Association for Media and Technology in Education and Canada. He has also been twice honoured by the Canadian Council for Exceptional Children, in 1996 as recognition of his contribution made to exceptional children in Canada, and in 2000 receiving the Donald G. Warren Outstanding Achievement Award for distinguished long-term service to the association.

“He is a most deserving candidate for this prestigious title,” said Ms. Edwards-Stacey. “This is not only because of his lengthy and impressive list of awards, credentials, and professional achievements, but more because of the superior quality of his instruction and guidance services and the great personal commitment he offers and applies to his work.”
Dr. John Quaicoe, Engineering

If you were to ask students what qualities distinguish Dr. John Quaicoe as a good teacher, they would say supportive, motivating, caring and enthusiastic, to name just a few. Since 1982, Dr. Quaicoe has been a teacher in Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. For the past 19 years he has built a reputation among students and faculty members as an instructor who is deeply concerned about learning. During his time at Memorial, he has served as chair of the electrical engineering discipline for nine years, and recently, acting associate dean (graduate studies and research). It is quite fitting that he should be chosen as one of this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

“I have always believed that teaching is more than being in front of a classroom and presenting information. I think one has to be in tune with the students in terms of the material that is presented. I am very conscious of this. I make sure that the students are understanding the material,” said Dr. Quaicoe.

Students have responded very well to Dr. Quaicoe’s teaching philosophy. Even though many of them have gone on to graduate studies or employment opportunities outside of Newfoundland, they all say, his encouragement and support is still remembered and greatly appreciated. One former student remarked, “he teaches with a patient, caring and enthusiastic approach that produces a very effective result, one that gives me the motivation to strive to teach at the same high standard.”

When asked about his teaching philosophy, Dr. Quaicoe simply said, “I believe that effective teachers must have a vision for their students. A vision that establishes an overall educational goal and recognizes the potential and possibilities in students, irrespective of their background preparation, and allows the teacher to foster active learning in the context of the ultimate goal. This vision achieves two main goals: first, it shows the students that the teacher cares about them as individuals; and second, it establishes a commitment on the part of the teacher.”
Speaking on his proven commitment, faculty members have said, “many students rate him as the best professor they have ever learnt from at Memorial.” They went on to say that his courses are typified by excellent organization of material, meticulous preparation of class notes, and carefully worked out examples. According to one fellow faculty member and former student, “he exemplifies the best qualities one could hope for in a university professor.”

Dr. Quaicoe is quite pleased to be receiving this award, more for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science than for himself. When asked if this award will change the way he teaches he said, “I see it as a challenge to continue to do the best job that I can.”