Religious Studies professor receives Mount Allison’s top teaching award
5/10/2018 8:57:09 AM

Dr. Andrew Wilson to be honoured with the Tucker Teaching Award during Convocation ceremonies

AWilson_TuckerAwardSACKVILLE, NB —Dr. Andrew Wilson, religious studies professor and department head, has received the 2018 Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award at Mount Allison University. The award is the highest teaching honour at the University. Wilson will be recognized during Convocation ceremonies on May 14.

“I was surprised and very pleased when I got the call that I had won this year’s award,” says Wilson. “It’s an honour to be recognized in this way. An award like this really makes you reflect on your teaching and process.”

Wilson has taught at Mount Allison since 2001. His research and teaching is focused on Western religions including Christian tradition and culture, post modernism and theories of interpretation.

“Andrew’s award-winning teaching methods are known and respected in the classroom and wider community,” says Dr. Jeff Ollerhead, Mount Allison Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research. “His commitment and creativity in classes of various sizes and topics is admirable. I wish to congratulate him on receiving this year’s Tucker Teaching Award.”

While his classes range from introductory courses to seminars and individual thesis advising, Wilson says his first class at Mount Allison is one that stands out to him.

“I started teaching a class called Religion, Revolution, and Violence on September 12, 2001, the day after 9/11,” he explains. “It was a turbulent time in the world and I had to adjust my curriculum quickly in a class in this area. I’m a big advocate of making things relevant in the classroom but this was definitely a moment that sticks out.”

Since 2001, Wilson has worked to deliver courses in a variety of topics in Western religions, including introductory classes, religion and pop culture, and the relationship between religion and secular traditions.

“Religious studies directly connects to so many areas; it is very much an interdisciplinary discipline,” he says. “I find my students’ excitement about these connections helps with their learning. They come up with the most creative research projects as part of their degree. It’s always so rewarding to be a part of the process.”

Wilson also brings his teaching expertise to the community. He is chair of Sackville Schools 2020, a grassroots organization that is working towards a vision for an integrated education community in the area. He is involved in a number of community outreach initiatives including being the chair of the Sackville Early Music Festival.

“There is so much opportunity for collaboration in a community like Mount Allison and Sackville,” he says. “Recently I was able to incorporate course work for my students into one of the events with the Early Music Festival. Students examined ideas and theories behind Mary in class and then attended a Marian themed Renaissance concert, interacting with the musicians prior to the performance. You wouldn’t have these kind of rich opportunities for connection in every community.”

The Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award is Mount Allison’s highest recognition of teaching excellence and Mount Allison's only university-wide teaching award. Established by Edmund, Harold and William Tucker in memory of their parents, it is intended to encourage excellence in teaching at Mount Allison University by acknowledging those who exemplify this excellence.