SALTISE is proud to announce the 2020 recipient of our Lifetime Achievement award is Dr. Laura Winer, Director of Teaching and Learning Services (TLS), McGill University, Montreal. This award is given to individuals who have played a significant role in supporting the growth and well-being of our community. Laura is indeed such an individual!
Congratulations to Dr. Laura Winer
Director, Teaching and Learning Services at McGill University
As the Director of TLS, Laura oversees many initiatives at McGill, including the design and redesign of classrooms and teaching labs, faculty development programs, online education, student professional skills development, the appropriate and effective use of technology in teaching and learning, and policy development.
A focus of TLS is in creating partnerships, both within the University and with external partners. To that end, Laura has been a staunch supporter of SALTISE for nearly a decade. Preferring to work away from the spotlight, Laura has been a behind-the-scenes advocate of countless SALTISE projects at McGill. She was instrumental in hosting the 2016 Annual Conference and is a standing member of our Advisory Committee. SALTISE deeply appreciates this steadfast commitment to fulfilling the vision and mission of our association. Thank you for the many years of being in our corner and for always finding a way to answer our request for support. You are a true example of why our SALTISE community works.
Laura Winer (PhD, Educational Technology) worked in the Office of the CIO as the Senior Educational Technologist, then in the Office of the Provost as a Special Advisor before moving to Teaching and Learning Services. She has taught in the Faculties of Education at McGill, Université de Montréal and Concordia University, conducted research on educational and training applications of information and communications technology, and published and presented nationally and internationally on faculty development issues, including online course evaluations, design of teaching and learning spaces, and integrating ICT into teaching and learning.
Words of congratulations from McGill colleagues:
Professor Ken Ragan, Professor of Physics, William C. Macdonald Chair in Physics, Faculty of Science, McGill University.
For many years at TLS (where she is now the director), Laura has been instrumental in helping that service develop into a leading source of pedagogical expertise and instruction at McGill, and in promoting enlightened and effective teaching and learning approaches across the institution. She has been a strong supporter of SALTISE and of the participation of McGill staff in furthering the emergence of a vibrant Montreal community committed to excellence in pedagogy. This is a very deserved award!
Professor Lawrence Chen, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, McGill University.
I first met Laura through participation in our Committee on Teaching and Learning. She always brought plenty of thoughtful and practical advice for addressing various issues from course evaluations, to graduating student attributes, to student engagement, learning, and assessment. Laura has also provided me with unwavering support as I transitioned to a new teaching approach that is more student-centric and focused on active learning. Without her suggestions and encouragement, this journey would have been a lot more challenging, if not impossible.
Teri Phillips, Director Office for Students with Disabilities, and Tutorial Services, McGill University.
Laura brings a frank and straightforward approach to her work that sets the stage for honest and engaging conversations as we traverse the ever more complex terrain of post-secondary education. What results from her own candor is a fresh exchange of ideas among colleagues and an enthusiastic quest for innovative solutions to challenging situations. Laura has contributed to the field two fold – by way of her own, direct work, and by having assembled and guided a team that is now leading McGill teaching staff through the new world of remote instruction.
Anita Parmar, Co-Director, B21, McGill University.
As our fearless and open-minded leader of Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) at McGill, with vast intelligence and admirable knowledge, Laura inspires us daily to better serve our ideals and our mission. By respecting all of the diverse opinions around her, and always listening to new ideas, TLS remains vibrant, constantly evolving, and perhaps most importantly, an oasis of hope. I am among many who have been lucky to know Laura as a mentor and source of constant inspiration.
Maria Orjuela-Laverde, Academic Associate, Teaching and Learning Services, McGill University.
Laura was the first person I met at TLS, and she saw I had something to bring to the team. I will always be grateful to her for believing in me. She has been a great mentor. As the Director of TLS she allows the team to try new ideas…and when they don’t go as planned, we have been able to learn from them, build from those experiences, and move on! I very much like her willingness to share with colleagues from other institutions, and to participate in events that others organize; this is reflected in the strong bonds McGill has built with other SALTISE institutions. This award is very well deserved.