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Innovative teacher praised for generosity to students

Two words resurface in the letters of support that helped English professor Dale Jacobs win an Alumni Award for Distinguished Contributions to University Teaching—innovation and generosity.

Dr. Jacobs is director of the department’s composition program, the only one of its kind in the country. He was brought to the University of Windsor specifically with a view to founding this unique graduate stream in composition pedagogy.

Its graduates praise him for going “above and beyond” for his students.

Hollie Adams, now working on her doctorate at the University of Calgary, says that when they completed the pedagogy seminar, she and two classmates wanted to continue their studies.

“While he was already teaching a full course-load, Dr. Jacobs agreed to develop and supervise a directed study, tailored specifically to our interests,” she writes. “Despite the amount of work involved, he was actually eager to take on this additional responsibility.”

Josh Mehler, currently pursuing a PhD in rhetoric and composition at Florida State University, recalls Jacobs’ willingness to learn with his graduate students.

“There is no doubt that Dr. Jacobs cares deeply and genuinely about his students and their success, and that genuine connection is reflected in every aspect of his academic life.”

And Daniel Richards, a doctoral candidate in the English department of the University of South Florida, says Jacobs’ instruction prepared him well for academic success. He writes that Dale Jacobs modelled for him “a life of the mind that is altogether challenging, innovative, interesting, eclectic, versatile, while unabashedly human.”

Jacobs will receive the alumni teaching award at the morning session of Convocation on Thursday, June 13. The awards recognize excellence in all areas of teaching, including classroom presentation, curriculum development, versatility, teaching methods, and student support. In addition to Jacobs, education professor Kara Smith and chemistry professor Philip Dutton will receive the honour during the University’s 99th Convocation ceremonies this week. Click here for a list of past recipients.