Dr. Susie Andrews receives Mount Allison’s highest teaching honour
SACKVILLE, NB — Religious Studies Professor Dr. Susan (Susie) Andrews is the recipient of the 2021 Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award. The award is Mount Allison University’s highest recognition of teaching excellence.
Andrews, a graduate of Mount Allison, credits both her students and her former professors for this honour.
“I had the most amazing professors at Mount Allison. I learned how to teach from great teachers. It’s my hope that I can support my students in the same way I felt supported during my time as a student,” says Andrews. “Our students are incredible. I want for them to feel excited about learning together and able to be creative and take intellectual risks in my courses.”
Mount Allison Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr. Jeff Hennessy says the feedback on Andrews’ energy and commitment to teaching from both her students and colleagues, as well as some of her former teachers, was glowing.
“Susie’s commitment to her students, and the wider community, is evident in her teaching,” says Hennessy. “She is a worthy recipient of the Tucker Award and I congratulate her on behalf of the entire Mount Allison community.”
A scholar of East Asian religions, Andrews joined Mount Allison University’s faculty in 2011. In addition to teaching courses on religion such as Death and the Afterlife in Asian religions and Food Practices and East Asian religions, she oversees an extensive research program focused on the role narrative plays in religious communities. Andrews regularly engages students in this research. Over the last decade, funding from organizations such as BDK Canada and the From the Ground Up project (frogbear.org) has supported student fieldwork in Canada, the United States, China, and Japan. From studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in Henan to producing drone footage of northern Taiwan’s sacred landscape, Andrews relishes the opportunity to learn onsite with her students.
This year, Andrews, with her senior seminar class, initiated a new project with a local preschool, Sackville Playschool Inc. With funding from the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative (I-WIL), Andrews and her students have been collaborating with their community partner to understand how representations in picture books matter.
“Working with the Sackville Playschool Inc.’s stellar early childhood educators—Allison Butcher and Crystal Allen—as well as award-winning authors, anti-racism activists, publishers, and other experts, my class and I have been exploring the extent to which children’s literature reflects the diversity of our community,” explains Andrews. “It’s been a fascinating experience for all of us and really gives the students an important community connection as part of their studies. We’re looking forward to continuing the project next year.”
Andrews has developed a new course from this experience, Religion and Children, which she will be teaching in Fall 2021.
Established by Edmund, Harold, and William Tucker in memory of their parents, the Tucker Teaching Award is intended to encourage excellence in teaching at Mount Allison University by acknowledging those who exemplify it.