Congratulations to Dr. Aimee Surprenant, professor in the Psychology Department, on being awarded the MUNSU Outstanding Contribution to Student Life Award. Dr. Surprenant was one of three outstanding individuals at Memorial to be selected for this honour. This award recognizes faculty and staff members at Memorial who go above and beyond the call of duty in helping their students achieve both inside and outside of the classroom. It is awarded based upon involvement with student clubs and societies, assisting student research projects outside of course requirements, assisting in scholarship and bursary pursuit, involvement in student success programs, and a demonstrated commitment and involvement with any faculty-staff initiatives. Nominations for this award are based solely on recommendation letters from current or past undergraduate students.
Dr. Surprenant is highly involved in numerous activities within the Psychology department. One student states that “she is by far one of the most involved professors in the Psychology department and in the Memorial University community as a whole”. She is not only an exceptional liaison between the undergraduate student Psychology Society and the Psychology department, but is an avid supporter of all of the society’s events. A past member of the Psychology Society writes, “Aimee always attended every on-campus event, helped promote our endeavours, and was always there to act as a faculty representative if needed. Her enthusiasm toward extra-curricular activities and student involvement does not go unrecognized or underappreciated by the students involved in the Psychology Society”.
As the coordinator of the Psychology honours program, Dr. Surprenant is involved in the organization of both the Psychology Research Conference as well as organizing a trip to the Science Atlantic Conference for honours students. In reference to the Science Atlantic Conference, one student writes, “This conference gives honours students the opportunity to showcase their research in an academic setting that is a very valuable experience for us. Not only does she coordinate our travel to this conference which often takes place outside the province, but she also helps us with our fundraising efforts to ensure that we can attend. On top of all this, Dr. Surprenant continues to give up her own personal time, year after year, to actually attend this conference with us and act as our guide and mentor.”
Her commitment to student success doesn’t stop there. One student writes “Dr. Surprenant is also committed to assisting students in their pursuit of scholarship, awards, and academic opportunities. She not only begins each class with a number of announcements relating to this, but also dedicates a page on all of her course websites where she posts this type of information; she is one of the only professors I have ever had who demonstrates this level of dedication”.
Dr. Surprenant goes above and beyond in the realm of undergraduate teaching as well. One student wrote that “she is always easy to contact and is often in her office available to help her students. I also think her methods of teaching are exceptional. I always struggle with multiple choice on exams, whether I know the material well or not, but with her exams I can actually utilize the information I acquired in her course and do well.”
The words of one student truly conveys how significant and appreciated Dr. Surprenant’s contributions are to Psychology students: “I believe that Dr. Surprenant is one of those rare, engaging, life-changing professors that lends her hand to enhance the experience of students both inside and outside of the classroom. She gives so freely of her time and energy and expects nothing in return. The fact that numerous students stepped forward to write a letter of recommendation for Dr. Surprenant speaks volumes about how much she deserves this award and about how much she is appreciated, respected, admired, and valued within the Psychology department.”
Congratulations Dr. Surprenant, you deserve it! Thank you for your outstanding contribution to student life at Memorial!