By Charisse Martin and Christina Spence
Photos by Rémi Thériault

Melanie Adrian works hard to ensure everyone in her classroom is part of the conversation. The law and legal studies professor says she wants all students engaged because each one brings knowledge to the table.

“Everyone brings a lens, a framework, and that is such an important richness in the classroom that can, and should, be brought out so that the material you’re covering is seen from different perspectives,” she says.

“I ask that everyone speak and be heard. And I think for a lot of students that’s a real struggle, it’s a challenge. But I really hope that the classes I run and facilitate allow for that, that they invite students to be engaged.”

Prof. Melanie Adrian

Prof. Melanie Adrian

Over the course of her teaching career, Adrian has built a reputation as someone who takes her students’ voices seriously, and it is one of the reasons she was named one of seven recipients of the 2021 Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award.

Presented annually to outstanding teachers and librarians from all levels of instruction, the OCUFA Teaching Award is the highest honour an educator can receive in the province.

“Melanie’s enthusiasm for teaching innovation is inspiring,” says David Hornsby, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning).

Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) David Hornsby

“Her educational leadership and passion for student learning have had a tremendous impact on the Carleton teaching and learning community.”

The student feedback Adrian has received paints a picture of a generous, inspiring and engaging professor who has made a significant impact on her students’ lives, careers and academic choices after completing their degrees.

“I’ve been incredibly proud, enriched and challenged by the students that I’ve had in my classes and that have done some incredible things in their lives. Students that have really changed our society and that have really changed others around them,” says Adrian.

“I think that’s probably one of the most rewarding pieces of my career teaching.”

The OCUFA Award is one of a long list of honours Adrian has received both inside and outside of the university. In 2019, she was named the inaugural Carleton University Chair in Teaching Innovation for demonstrating teaching excellence and innovation across her career. She was also appointed to the Order of Ontario (2019), and was awarded the Leading Women, Building Communities Recognition Award (2018) and the Canada 150 Senate Medal (2017), for outstanding contributions to Canadian society.

Adrian is the 25th Carleton educator to win the OCUFA award since it was established in 1973.

Prof. Melanie Adrian appears on a laptop screen

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Thursday, October 21, 2021 in ,
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