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NSCAD announces the Price Awards for Excellence in Teaching

Sarah M. McKinnon and Peter J. Dawes
Former NSCAD President Sarah M. McKinnon and Peter J. Dawes.

NSCAD University will soon formally recognize the outstanding quality of its teaching with a new annual award gifted to the university by a former president.  

The Price Awards for Excellence in Teaching, established by The Sarah M. McKinnon and Peter J. Dawes Foundation, will be presented each year to both a full-time and part-time NSCAD faculty member, with each of the two awards valued at $1,000. 

Presented in honour of Dr. McKinnon’s grandparents, educators J.H. and Mamie Price, the Price Awards will honour sustained and ongoing contributions and dedication in teaching at NSCAD University. 

Peter and I enjoyed our time at NSCAD, and wanted to do something meaningful to recognize the faculty whose commitment to teaching is the cornerstone of NSCAD’s international reputation,” said Dr. McKinnon, who served as NSCAD’s interim president from 2020-22. 

Calls for nominations will be announced by the Academic Dean’s office in March of each year, followed by a four-week period during which nominations can be made online. A panel of faculty, students, and alumni will convene to review the nominations and select two finalists, with the winners announced at the graduation ceremony. 

Nominations will speak to a candidate’s proven commitment to enhanced student engagement and learning, and to a dedication to student success. Letters of nomination should address criteria including but not limited to: thorough preparation and organization for classes and workshops; rapport with students and enthusiasm for teaching; approaches to teaching and assessment that respect diverse student learning needs; and fair and clear assessment methods that align with learning outcomes and instructional approaches. 

NSCAD is so grateful to Dr. McKinnon and Mr. Dawes for establishing this award and supporting excellence in teaching,” said NSCAD president Peggy Shannon. “This is a wonderful legacy from their time and commitment to NSCAD. As a small school, we rely on generous donors to help us provide many benefits to our students and faculty that could not be funded through our operating budget.” 

 The Price Awards encompass a multi-year contribution of $22,500, with the intention of offering the awards in perpetuity. 

“NSCAD University is blessed with superb teachers, whose dedication and innovation inspire our students to follow their curiosity, take risks, and excel,” said Dr. Jacqueline Warwick, interim dean at NSCAD. “It is wonderful to have prizes that recognize and celebrate outstanding teaching across our programs.” 

Students, faculty, and technicians are invited to complete online nomination form (login required) and read the award’s terms of reference