Faculty Association Recognizes Teaching Excellence

Selkirk College Educators Receive SCOPE Awards


Five outstanding Selkirk College faculty members have been recognized for their commitment to learning and exceptional performance in the classroom.

The Selkirk College Faculty Association hosted a special evening at the Castlegar Campus earlier this month where they presented their annual SCOPE Awards (Standing Committee On Professional Excellence). This year’s recipients included Gail Potter, Kay Armstrong, Mike Konkin, Duff Sutherland and Doris Hausleitner.

SCOPE winners

The annual Selkirk College SCOPE Awards were presented to five faculty members earlier this month. This year’s recipients include (L-R): Kay Armstrong, Gail Potter, Mike Konkin, Duff Sutherland and Doris Hausleitner.

“Our award winners are courageous and strong and selfless,” said Danielle Cossarini, chair of the SCOPE committee at Selkirk College. “They remain committed to their students, Selkirk College and their own professional development, even when faced with difficulties. They are innovative and creative, and what really connects the winners this year is that they drive and inspire change.”

Potter started teaching at Selkirk College in 2007 in the Nursing Program. In addition to her contributions in the BSN Program, Potter has developed, coordinated and taught the online Advanced Diploma in Gerontological Nursing. Currently, Potter is redeveloping this course in order to incorporate an inter-professional focus that includes other health professionals who work with the elderly. 

Nominated for the award by her colleagues and a student, she is described as a “very humble but influential leader” and “a key contributor to initiatives in the BSN program including, simulation, computer based testing, research and curriculum development and a role model for novice instructors.”

Armstrong has been a valued member of the School of Human Services team since 2005, teaching in both the Social Service Worker Certificate Program and Human Services Diploma Program.

“From the day Kay walked into her position at the college, she has been critical in keeping the program student-centered and has been committed to working as a contributing member of our team,” stated one of her nominators. “She is an excellent communicator, congruent in her values, able to give feedback to students and peers in a respectful, strength-based manner, and a leader."

Contributions Go Beyond Campus Life

An instructor in the School of Business, Konkin has been consistently contributing positively to Selkirk College and its students for nearly a decade. His colleagues and students describe him as friendly, helpful, innovative, well-respected, passionate, a voice of reason, highly approachable, enthusiastic, and simply a good guy.

Konkin took a team of students down to a Western Canada Regional Case Competition, he sits on numerous community boards such as Kootenay Savings Credit Union and Lower Columbia Initiatives Corporation. He runs his own accounting and tax practice and ran tax clinics for students with his tax students. Konkin ran online finance games for his Finance Course, conducted innovation awards in his Management Course, coached students in the Business Club and designed a new accounting software project so that students didn’t have to pay for a book.

SCOPE Danielle

SCOPE Awards chairperson Danielle Cossarini hosted the evening, saying that the award winners "inspire students to search for their own treasure, to follow their dreams and to affect change in the world."

Sutherland has been a History instructor with the School of University Arts & Sciences at Selkirk College since 2000. He has served on many college committees and has contributed to the community by giving lectures on various historical/literary/native studies topics.

Nominated by a student, Sutherland is described as having made significant contributions to the college and the success of students.

“Duff’s history classes are always extremely engaging and he manages to portray every topic with enthusiasm, in turn making his students want to ask questions and desire to learn more… he is always approachable, accessible and authentic,” stated the student nominator.

Hausleitner joined Selkirk College in the School of Environment & Geomatics four years ago and has been impacting the quality and depth of programming ever since. She is a working wildlife biologist and brings her research and connections to her students through various projects such as the Nelson Waterfront Restoration Project and more recently the Arrow Lakes Restoration Project.

“She focuses on the individual student and motivates other to give back to their community,” said one student who nominated Hausleitner.

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