Faculty of Education awards celebrate student excellence

June 17, 2015

Timothy Irvine

Timothy Irvine won the Harold Dene Webber Scholarship in Education at this year’s Faculty of Education Awards Ceremony.

Timothy Irvine worked in microbiology at Research Western for 10 years before he decided to pursue a degree in education in September 2014.

With a BSc in genetics and a decade of scientific research under his belt, many of his friends and family considered it a strange decision.

“More than one person flat out asked me if I was crazy,” said Irvine. “I loved working in the lab, and the research – but teaching was always in the back of my mind as something at which I’d excel.”

As it happens, Irvine was right.

On Friday, he was one of 47 graduate and undergraduate students to be honoured at the Faculty of Education’s annual Awards Ceremony, an event held each year to honour student excellence and achievement in academia and research.

Irvine won the The Harold Dene Webber Scholarship in Education, which is awarded to the top-performing BEd student pursuing science as a teaching subject.

“It was completely unexpected and caught me totally off guard,” he said. “But it really is an honour. I love working and interacting with the kids – I used to meet them at the door every morning during my practicum.”

That type of passion is what Vicki Schwean, dean of the Faculty of Education, hopes all of the faculty’s students will bring to their chosen field.

“You have the potential to improve the field of education and to prepare the next generation of leaders,” she told this year’s award winners during the ceremony. “It will be my greatest pleasure to have you all back here someday to tell us what you’ve done to improve the lives of children for the better.”

Special guests at the ceremony included award winners’ family and friends, as well as the donors who make the awards possible each year. Margaret McNay, Faculty of Education associate dean offered them special thanks.

“I myself could never have afforded to go to university without the support of donors such as you,” she told the group. “So thank you for helping make this possible for these students.”

Among the donors in attendance was Chris Webber, whose late father Harold Dene Webber – a former professor at the Faculty of Education – founded the award that Irvine won. Webber brought his son Calvin to the ceremony.

“Calvin grew up not knowing his grandfather,” said Webber. “I brought him today to show him exactly what kind of man Harold Dene Webber was.”

As for Irvine, now that he’s obtained his degree, he’s looking forward to getting down to work.

“I really can’t wait to get into the schools again,” he said. “I love science, I love teaching and I love working with the kids. I’m lucky to have had this success and to have obtained this degree that will enable me to pursue all of those things at once.”

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