A photo of Prof. Alan Steele.

Carleton University’s Alan Steele Wins Prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship

Carleton’s Alan Steele, director of the Discovery Centre for Undergraduate Research and Engagement and associate professor in the research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Design’s Department of Electronics, has been recognized as a Canadian leader in educational excellence with the 3M National Teaching Fellowship. The fellowship is awarded by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) and 3M Canada.

Up to 10 people from across the country are presented annually with the fellowship, which is recognized as Canada’s most prestigious award for excellence in post-secondary education.

“It is exciting and truly an honour to be the recipient of this prestigious award, especially in the 75th anniversary year of the university,” said Steele. “The Carleton community has valued and supported innovation in education since its beginning.”

Among his many contributions to educational excellence at Carleton, Steele has helped establish and encourage engineering education research activities, as well as initiatives dedicated to facilitate undergraduate participation in academic research. He has made significant contributions to the design and implementation of the Discovery Centre for Undergraduate Research and Engagement – an informal learning space located in the MacOdrum Library.

Steele is a member of the Carleton Committee on Community Engaged Pedagogy, an interdisciplinary group dedicated to service learning in higher education. In this role, Steele secured funding for what is now an annual service learning event. He is also a member of the university’s Teaching and Learning Council and has worked with colleagues on innovation in learning spaces.

“My teaching has benefited from the many people here who encourage this innovation and provide the support to ensure Carleton students have the best possible experience,” noted Steele. “I am pleased to be a part of this tradition.”

Steele’s dedication to leadership in teaching is evident in activities such as providing video resources of his electrical circuits course and developing a third-year electrical engineering project course. Steele also served as associate dean of Student Affairs in the Faculty of Engineering and Design and later as interim associate vice-president of Teaching and Learning.

This is not the first time Steele’s teaching excellence has been recognized. In 2011, he received the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award. As well, Steele has been recognized with Carleton University’s highest teaching honour – the Provost Fellowship in Teaching (2011). He is also a recipient of a University Teaching Achievement Award (2007) and a co-recipient of a University Service Excellence Award for Innovation (2013) for the Discovery Centre.

This is the ninth 3M National Teaching Fellowship to be awarded to a Carleton faculty member. Steele joins Carleton fellowship winners Alan Gillmor (1995), Brian Little (1995), Donald Westwood (1997), Aviva Freedman (1997), Tim Pychyl (1998), Janna Fox (2002), Robert Burk (2006) and Adrian Chan (2012).

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