Mount Allison Music professor receives honours for research, teaching

SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University Music professor Dr. Elizabeth Wells has a lot to celebrate this spring. The 3M Teaching Fellow has been named the 2015 Paul Paré Medal recipient, which recognizes contributions of outstanding quality that demonstrate a balanced approach to teaching, research/creative performance, scholarship, service, and outreach.

Wells is also the inaugural recipient of the Provost’s Teaching Fellowship at Mount Allison this year. The Provost’s Teaching Fellows Program is intended to encourage outstanding educators to share their expertise and leadership with the Mount Allison community.

“Dr. Wells is a model educator and a wonderful choice as the first recipient of this new award, as well as the Paul Paré Medal,” says University Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr. Karen Grant. “I wish to congratulate her on both honours.”

Wells will be creating a new cross-discipline course focusing on the art and skill of teaching for Mount Allison students during her fellowship.

“Teaching skills are good for all sectors, anyone can benefit from learning how to teach, whether they are in the education field or not,” says Wells, who will be working with departments across campus in the course development, including Mount Allison’s Purdy Crawford Teaching Centre.

The idea for the new course came from Wells’ experience with an internship program and her work as a 3M National Teaching Fellow, an honour she received in 2010. Wells has since served as chair of the 3M Council, as well as head of her department, while maintaining a busy course load with popular courses including The Beatles (named one of the Coolest Classes in Canada by the Huffington Post), music and difference, and independent studies courses on musical theatre and disability and musical pedagogy.

“Dr. Wells, a fabulous teacher herself, serves as an excellent mentor for those who are interested in developing their own teaching skills,” says graduating Music student Nick Godsoe. “The teaching opportunities she has made possible for me have been absolutely invaluable, and the guidance provided by Dr. Wells alongside these

opportunities have undoubtedly made me a more passionate musicologist and teacher. I thank Dr. Wells for so genuinely sharing her gift with me.”

Wells’ accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, researcher and author have also earned her this year’s Paul Paré Medal, to be awarded during Spring Convocation ceremonies on May 11.

Over the past seven years, Wells has garnered numerous regional and national teaching awards and also published her first book West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical, which won the American Musicological Society’s prestigious “Music in American Culture” award. She is currently writing a second book on British musical theatre in the 1950s.

“It’s very thrilling to be recognized with these awards at this point in my career,” she says. “I’m honoured with this acknowledgment of my past work and look forward to this new course project with the Provost’s Teaching Fellowship.”

Wells was also honoured by PFLAG (Amherst/Sackville chapter) this fall for her volunteerism and was recently ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church.

Hear more from Dr. Wells at mtalive.ca