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Join Selkirk College in honouring SCOPE Award Winners

The Selkirk College Faculty Association Standing Committee on Professional Excellence (SCOPE) is pleased to honour Tammy McLean, Jonathan Buttle, Jesper Nielsen and Jackie Belza as recipients of its 2019 awards.

The Selkirk College community will celebrate the winners with the annual SCOPE Award ceremony and reception held on Thursday, October 17 at Sentinel 101 on the Castlegar Campus from 6 to 8 p.m. 

Meet this year's honourees:

Tammy McLean, Nursing Program Instructor

Tammy was nominated for a SCOPE Award as someone with exceptional skills and attributes as a Nursing Instructor in Selkirk College’s Nursing Program, a nurse practitioner, as well as her contributions in various other areas of the college.  

Tammy was consistently described as caring, patient, open minded and extremely supportive, this held true with her colleagues as well as students. Tammy embodies many qualities of a great leader. She is passionate about health and wellness for all and has contributed to multiple projects and task forces to move ideas and programming forward. 

Tammy took a lead role at Selkirk College ensuring we had Naloxone training and kits throughout the college, and is on the Nelson Fentanyl Task Force and Education Committee. She has also contributed time and effort supporting the introduction of Bystander Training for students, staff and faculty.

Creativity and innovation is alive and well in Tammy. She was a key contributor to the Street Nursing Program in both Nelson and Castlegar. This programming serves the needs of marginalized individuals who struggle to get their basic needs met.

Most recently Tammy was the driving force in establishing our Selkirk College Wellness Centre where she as the nurse practitioner, provides care for students who would otherwise have no doctor and or no way to get to appointments. This clinic took time, effort, patience and the will to hold the dream. 

Tammy is a talented, intelligent woman, with the confidence, values and respect for others, congratulations Tammy!

-written by Rhonda Schmitz

Jonathan Buttle, Economics Instructor

Jonathan has been an Economics instructor with the School of University Arts and Sciences at Selkirk College since 2009. Most recently, along with teaching Economics, Jonathan has started teaching various Business courses in the Business Administration Program as well.

Jonathan is described as having significant contributions towards students’ success.

“The way the subject is taught, healthy discussions, presentations and understanding is built in such a good way that made me learn so much new. Buttle has always been accessible, authentic and always appreciated the ideas... It’s a great opportunity to learn in his class and with local students it resulted in being more productive."

Furthermore, his dedication to student engagement has been exemplified by his initiation to take on the role of leading the Selkirk College Enactus Club. He served as Selkirk College Enactus Chapter Faculty Advisor in the period of 2016-2018.

Jonathan was able to prove his strong abilities in applied research by getting involved in the Rural Development Institute (RDI) at the College during the period 2012-2016, where he worked as a researcher. Jonathan has served and still has been serving on a number of college committees. He was a valued member of Selkirk College’s Sustainability Committee (2010-2012), Internationalization Committee (2015/2016), and a SCFA Non-Regular Representative (2013-2016). He has been a member of the College’s Research Ethics Committee (REC) since 2012.

One of his colleagues describes Jonathan as making, “exceptional contribution such as furthering of college goals or improvement of college quality of life, exceptional teamwork, new programs/courses, new technology, and student centeredness."

Outside of the college, Jonathan has been active in the community with his contributions and leadership roles. He is the founder and the president of Deep Valley Arts Collective Society (which is a non-profit educational support for musicians seeking to boost their business). Besides this, Jonathan was an active member of numerous community committees such as LCIC Metallurgical Sector Committee (Pre-Cursor to Metal Tech Alley) 2012 – 2016, Slocan Lake Gallery Society (2010-2014), New Denver Emergency Operations Coordinator (2007-2010), and Slocan Valley Economic Development Committee (2018-present).

Jonathan also donates a lot of time to local businesses for informal business/management consultation and he has done a lot of grant writings for North Slocan Valley Arts Organizations and Artists.

Congratulations on your phenomenal/astonishing achievements Jonathan!

-written by Bodrun Nahar

Jesper Nielsen, Forestry Program Instructor

From the moment Jesper Nielsen arrived at Selkirk College in 2012, an energy source appeared in the Forestry Technology program.

Not only is Jesper a born teacher, but he is full of creative and intelligent ideas on how to make the program more relevant, more dynamic, and more innovative. At the first suggestion of an international experience for our second year forestry students, Jesper was off to the races. His extensive personal experience with international travel as well as his planning skills (he created an NGO to help build houses in Sri Lanka after the terrible tsunami in 2004), resulted in a trip to the Indigenous forest communities of southern Mexico. This trip was one that will have a lasting place in the hearts of those young people who trusted that Jesper would provide a safe and life changing experience.

Experiential education is as natural to Jesper as his obsession with statistics. He led the revision of  the integrated projects in Skattebo, making them more professional in scope, and incorporated technology that met current industry standards.

He introduced a work experience day in the fall semester where students spend time with a local employer so that they can get a sense of the work they will be moving into. He created work projects for students with the Nakusp Community Forest and brings in guest speakers that expand the minds of the learners. He engages instructors from across programs, and has collaborated in presenting challenging topics around societal influence on personal ethics.

Throughout all of the improvements and adaptations he has brought to the Forestry Program, Jesper has maintained his professionalism, his endless enthusiasm, his sense of fun and discovery, his devoted support for students, and his active field orientated teaching style. He seems to embrace the complexity of our interdisciplinary field of study and allows students to see a true and honest picture of the profession they are entering.

His energy and commitment to his students is truly inspiring.  They love him.  He loves them. He has probably written dozens of reference letters and fielded the same number of calls from potential employers. He has used his extensive forestry network to help connect students to employers.

-written by Rhys Andrews and Carol Andrews

Jackie Belza, Chemistry Instructor

Every letter written supporting Jackie Belza’s SCOPE nomination this year referred to her meticulous organizational skills in the Chemistry lab. In fact, in reading the letters, I became convinced that our Chemistry labs would not be the same without her attention to detail and ongoing efforts to make it a first class lab space for both students and faculty. As her supporters point out, she puts in the extra effort to ensure that when equipment needs replaced it is replaced with “state of the art” equipment which will be reliable in the long term. Her ongoing efforts in the lab have ensured that Selkirk students have a “first class” experience in our Chemistry labs and are well prepared as they move on in their studies beyond our doors. Furthermore, all of her supporters have mentioned her ability to make lab work “fun” through her ability to “strike a wonderful balance between setting high standards and developing a rapport with every student.”

On top of Jackie’s work as a Chemistry Faculty Assistant in the lab, her work as an instructor has received loud praise and has been described as an “amazing teaching prowess.” As one letter stated, “Jackie strikes a great balance with having fun with the students and making sure they receive a valuable educational lesson each lab.” There are countless examples of Jackie putting in extra hours to ensure the academic success of her students. As one of her colleagues wrote: “It is nice to see her at the end of a long career in the lab, reinventing herself, and taking a new direction in her professional development and personal learning.” Jackie is one of those instructors who inspires students to learn not only through their classroom experience, but through her own example.

Perhaps the most touching letters of support we received for Jackie’s nomination were from her colleagues who work so closely with her in the lab. One letter came from a colleague who wrote about how Jackie had been a fundamental source of support and guidance for him as a new faculty member. As he wrote, she “exceeded his expectations as a mentor”. As any of us who have an important mentor in our lives knows, those who fill that space are irreplaceable and invaluable in the workplace. Another long time colleague wrote: “Jackie is my rock…but Jackie is also my joy.” This same faculty member also said: “I often joke with Jackie that I would let her pack my parachute. Figuratively, she does that every day!” Jackie’s support, guidance and mentorship have helped make Selkirk College a place where people want to come to study and work and I am honoured to help recognize her contributions with this award.

-written by Takaia Larsen