Dr. Aimee Surprenant, a professor in the Department of Psychology, has been 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. The 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.
“She is by far one of the most involved professors in the Psychology department and in the Memorial University community as a whole,” wrote one student on Dr. Surprenant’s nomination papers. “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.”
Another Society member noted that Dr. Surprenant has attended every on-campus event, helped promote the Society’s endeavors, and was always there to act as a faculty representative if needed.
As the coordinator of the Psychology honours program, Dr. Surprenant is also involved in the organization of both the Psychology Research Conference, as well as organizing a trip to the Science Atlantic conference for honours students.
“This conference gives honours students the opportunity to showcase their research in an academic setting that is a very valuable experience for us,” wrote another student. “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 students also praised Dr. Surprenant’s commitment to assisting students in their pursuit of scholarship, awards, and academic opportunities. They revealed she begins every class with a number of announcements relating to those areas, and also dedicates a page on all of her course websites where she posts this type of information.
“Dr. Surprenant goes above and beyond in the realm of undergraduate teaching as well,” wrote another student. “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 fact that numerous students stepped forward to write letters of recommendation for Dr. Surprenant speaks volumes about how much they feel she deserved the award and about how much she is appreciated, respected, admired, and valued within the Psychology department.
“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,” said another student. “She gives so freely of her time and energy and expects nothing in return.”