The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) recently recognized teaching excellence at Red Deer College.
Dr. Wei Zhao, an engineering instructor at RDC, was awarded the prestigious Teaching Excellence Gold Award at a ceremony in Halifax last month. The national Award honours an individual faculty member who has exhibited consistent excellence in teaching and has had a significant impact on the personal and academic growth of students.
“Dr. Zhao epitomizes everything we believe at RDC about teaching and learning,” said Joel Ward, president of RDC. “He has a complete focus on the learner. He does this in extraordinary ways by engaging students, making the learning experience exceptional and by providing the support all good faculty offer to ensure student success.”
Dr. Zhao has instructed at the post-secondary level for 12 years, five of which have been at RDC. He teaches students in the Bachelor of Engineering University transfer program and the Bachelor of Science Program.
Known as a passionate educator and program coordinator, Dr. Zhao played a central role in the development of Engineering Technology programs new to RDC. His expertise and knowledge of mechanical engineering led to an inter-divisional College partnership with the Trades and Manufacturing Division to provide technical and curriculum consultation for two new engineering technology programs at RDC.
One way Dr. Zhao has opened doors for students at RDC is by getting them involved in prototyping work at the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing.
“Dr. Zhao’s very understanding when it comes to presenting material,” said engineering student Jonathan Stolz who is currently working in the Innovation Centre’s design lab. “He explains everything very well and he’s good about helping you out.”
ACCC is the national voice for 128 publicly-funded colleges and institutes with campuses in 1,000 communities across Canada.
“We’re proud of the accomplishments of all the faculty and staff at RDC,” said Ward. “The national recognition given to Dr. Zhao highlights the excellence and expertise available at the College to all our learners in Central Alberta.”