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Northern Medical Program professor earns top teaching award

Dr. Sean Maurice stresses "philosophy of adventure"
sean maurice
Dr. Sean Maurice

A professor in the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern British Columbia has earned one of Canada’s top teaching awards at the post-secondary level.

Dr. Sean Maurice was one of 10 educators recognized this month with a 2022 3M National Teaching Fellowship from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 

Maurice is a senior lab instructor in the medical sciences division at UNBC as well as assistant director of histology in the Northern Medical Program.

He is known for incorporating a "philosophy of adventure" into his lesson plans.

“I try to be a reflective practitioner and I try to identify and address needs that surround me,” said Maurice. “It is also good to feel adventurous in the classroom, and for teachers and learners alike to seek out that sweet spot, where we experience just enough risk and uncertainty, to motivate us to really invest ourselves in a subject matter or learning environment.”

“As a comparison, outdoor adventures involve interacting with nature in all its beauty and unpredictability, and using technical skills, the tools you have with you, teamwork, and decision making, to keep everyone safe and still enjoying the experience at hand. And I like to apply this same approach to teaching and learning.”

Maurice said he is "deeply honoured" to have received the award and added he will now have the opportunity to collaborate on larger initiatives supported through the National Council of 3M Fellows.

Dr. Paul Winwood called the award "highly prestigious" and added the Northern Medical Program is "very fortunate to have such an excellent and committed teacher" in Maurice.

“I have been teaching and learning in the Northern Medical Program for 15 years,” noted Maurice,” and I feel very privileged to have had a role in training current and future physicians for the north.”