Academic Innovation Award Recipients


There was no recipient in 2021


Dr. Angela Crane, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

A native of St. John's, Newfoundland, Angela received her B.Sc.H. from Memorial University in Applied Mathematics/Chemistry in 2008 before completing her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in 2014. At UBC, Angela worked as synthetic chemist with Dr. Mark MacLachlan, making molecular frameworks for hydrogen fuel storage. Then, Angela took her passion for chemistry to the classroom as the First Year Chemistry Program Coordinator at UBC in 2014, then at Dalhousie in 2016. Angela strives to create an inclusive learning environment for all of her students, using accessible course design and Universal Design for Learning guiding principles. In addition, her goal in teaching chemistry is that students leave class with a strong appreciation of the chemistry that occurs around us every day, even if they do not pursue chemistry as a degree path. 

Dr. Jennifer L. MacDonald, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Jennifer received her B.Sc. (Chemistry) and B.Tech. (Chemical Science) degrees from Cape Breton University in 2006 before joining Dr. Josef Zwanziger’s group at Dalhousie University to study chemical interactions at the interface between polymeric powder/fibre and white cement. (Ph.D. 2010). Jennifer worked closely with the Centre for Learning and Teaching as a graduate teaching associate allowing her to blend her interests in teaching, learning and chemistry.  As the first year chemistry lab coordinator, Jennifer is currently working to streamline administrative aspects of the lab program, improve inter-marker reliability, and teaching assistant supports while redesigning the first year chemistry lab experience, together with students and teaching assistants, using guiding principles of Universal Design for Learning.


Sarah Wells, Medical Sciences Program

Dr. Wells, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science and the School of Biomedical Engineering, is being recognized for her unique case-based capstone course, SCIE 4005, in Medical Sciences. The course successfully extends, integrates and authenticates learning from the undergraduate program by bringing together divergent perspectives and broad areas of knowledge, with students analyzing topical medical issues from a variety of angles and directions through lectures and small group presentations. Students also gain exposure to real-world scenarios and clinical experts through collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine, affording them a unique and unprecedented experience in an undergraduate Science program.


Diane MacKenzie, School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health

Diane MacKenzie, an assistant professor who has taught in the School of Occupational Therapy since 2000, led the development of a mandatory interprofessional health simulation used within the Faculty of Health Professions and the Faculty of Medicine. That simulation, which included video scenarios, questions, debriefing sessions and extensive evaluations, has won praise from faculty and students alike for its effectiveness in preparing future health professionals to face some of the challenges of collaborative clinical practice (conflict resolution, etc). Said one nominator of Dr. MacKenzie’s simulation: “It clearly demonstrates the art of what is possible and places Dalhousie as a national leader in interprofessional education.”


Brenda Sabo, School of Nursing

Brenda Sabo has been with the School of Nursing since 2006 and is the 2016 recipient of the Academic Innovation Award. Dr. Sabo’s innovative teaching approach focuses on using arts and performance to connect Nursing students to the actual community in which they will serve in the future. This approach provided a safe and experiential environment for students to foster a deeper understanding of the affective elements related to their coursework.  

Portrait of the Artist as a Dalhousie Professor: Nursing's Brenda Sabo receives Dal teaching award for innovation

DalNews, Sallie Lau - December 1, 2016


Dr. Matthew Schnurr, Department of International Development Studies

A faculty member since 2008, Dr. Schnurr was recognized for the tremendous impact his teaching has had on students and colleagues in his department and Faculty and his commitment to innovation in teaching. Dr. Schnurr experiments with new and innovative approaches to university teaching that have proved enormously popular, including role-playing simulations and online technologies that enhance student learning. Through the support of CLTs Teaching with Technology grants, he has been able to implement a mixed methods research project evaluating the impact of these simulations on learning outcomes.

Getting Creative in the Classroom
Dal News, Matt Reeder - October 23, 2015