Crake awards recognize exceptional teaching at Mount Allison

Trio of professors to be honoured Monday

Published on May 9, 2014
Three profressors at Mount Allison will be honoured Monday with J.E.A. Crake Awards. One of those is music professor Stephen Runge.
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Three profressors at Mount Allison will be honoured Monday with J.E.A. Crake Awards.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Three Mount Allison professors, one from each faculty, are being recognized for their teaching excellence with the J.E.A Crake Teaching Awards this year.

The 2014 recipients are: Dr. Karen Crosby (biology); Dr. Leslie Kern (geography and environment); and Dr. Stephen Runge (Music).

Funded by the J.E.A. Crake Foundation, the awards honour excellent teaching as well as participation in the scholarship of teaching and learning, such as innovations in teaching, academic advising, and attendance or presentations at teaching events.

“This year’s Crake Teaching Awards recipients are exceptional educators and mentors in their respective fields,” says Mount Allison provost and vice-president, academic and research Dr. Karen Grant. “Their work and teaching methods extend well beyond the classroom, lab, or studio, and I wish to congratulate Karen, Leslie, and Stephen on these well-deserved awards.”

A graduate of the Mount Allison biology program, Dr. Karen Crosby teaches courses in physiology (animal, human cell, and exercise) and endocrinology and is known for her innovative ways of bringing research into the classroom.

“Each Friday, my upper-year classes hold a weekly discussion where students present and critique a recently published research paper in the field,” she says. “It’s a great way to get everyone talking in the class and encourage students to think critically about the research they are studying.”

Crosby’s own research focuses on how the brain controls food intake in rats. She looks specifically at the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates appetite and metabolism, and how it is impacted by different feeding states. This research aims to provide insight into obesity and other food-related health issues in humans. 

Geography and environment’s Dr. Leslie Kern teaches classes in human geography, gender and cities, and environmental justice.

“Mount Allison gives you the opportunity to build relationships with your students over time. I feel like this award is an acknowledgment of this effort,” says Kern. “I’m excited and humbled to receive it.”

Kern, whose research focuses on gentrification in cities, uses a number of resources and tactics to engage her students. “There are a lot of controversial issues relating to topics we cover in class. Connecting theories to current events and reading from a variety of sources — textbooks and journals but also news media, social media, blogs, etc allows students other entry points when discussing these issues.”

Music professor Dr. Stephen Runge is also a nationally-renowned pianist who is known across the country as teacher, adjudicator, and clinician. Runge teaches courses in piano, piano pedagogy, keyboard and music history literature.

“Being named the recipient of the Crake Award is a great distinction, as I place a high value on the time I spend with my students at the piano and in the classroom,” says Runge. “Mount Allison is renowned for its high quality of teaching, so to be recognized amid so many gifted pedagogues is truly an honour.”

Crosby, Kern, and Runge will be presented with the awards during Mount Allison’s Spring Convocation ceremonies on Monday, May 12.