Marie Cashion   2001 UNB Service Award Recipient

What distinguishes Marie from other faculty members?

It is usually Marie who will send an e-mail to me to say, "If nobody volunteers, I will do it. I think it's important for the faculty." Just recently when no administrator was available to go to a residence awards dinner, she volunteered to attend because she felt our students should be honoured. When a colleague running a research project had a medical problem which meant that she had to bow out of the project, Marie immediately offered to pick up the pieces.

It is usually Marie who offers to sit on the "less glamorous" committees which are important to students, committees like Student Standings and Promotion or the Scholarship Committee, and Marie who attends every faculty meeting possible, whether contentious or mundane issues are being discussed.

It is usually Marie who agrees to take an overload because someone else is ill or because the only stipendary instructor available is not as strong as we would like. Last year when a colleague in special ed was on sick leave, Marie changed around her load and added a course to help pick up the slack.

It is usually Marie who uses her own time to serve as an advocate for children whose needs are not being met in the public school. She is frequently asked by schools and by parents to observe children with special needs and to provide consulting advice to the school, the teacher or the parents. For several years she has run "Super Saturday" programs for gifted students, facilitated by UNB B.Ed. candidates. She has also run a number of discussion groups for parents of gifted children to share information with them and help them better support their children.

It is usually Marie who uses her own time to arrange in-school experiences as part of her course work so that both our students and the public school students with whom they work benefit. She goes to a great deal of trouble to contact schools, follow up, read journals, and confer with students to make their experience in our faculty more meaningful.

It is usually Marie who is willing to teach extension, intersession, summer and distance courses, frequently up to three or four extra courses a year, because she knows students need them. This past summer, she offered a special week-long summer institute which students could follow up with additional work for course credit. Although she wanted only 30 students in this course, she accepted many, many more. She regularly takes on, as overload, the supervision of students in practicum situations in special education or independent studies to ease the lives of students who have unique needs or interests or who have timetabling difficulties.

In the past year, Marie has gone beyond what anyone might have asked in order to accommodate needs in the faculty. Because we have had difficulty in hiring instructors for ED 3021, a core course in human development, Marie has agreed to teach sections of 150 students. This is one of only two courses in the faculty with this level of enrolment. Because she believes in personal interactions with students, she regularly marks huge stacks of papers in order to provide direct feedback to these students.

To ensure that Sandra Latchford, the university coordinator for student disabilities and a colleague, was not asked to teach in an area where she was somewhat less comfortable, Marie changed her own workload; she gave up a course she enjoys teaching in order to take on an extra section of a course that might be considered less interesting to teach. In doing this, Marie is not only supporting the work of the faculty, but of the University's program to assist disabled students.

Marie is a mentor to a number of our part-time students, teachers who take Marie's courses at night. They speak very highly of the work she does to make those classes stimulating and valuable to them. Our full time pre service students also appreciate Marie's approach to instruction.

Marie's service to her profession is well-known in the province. She has run many conferences and institutes in the area of gifted education. Maintaining a high degree of commitment to public education, Marie speaks out knowledgeably on public educational issues from time to time. This is perceived as a credit to the faculty and University in the public eye.

Marie had served as department head of Educational Foundations for a number of years. Here, too, she gave up her own time to help others.

Marie consistently supports the needs of the faculty with a positive attitude and a very high degree of professionalism and integrity. It is time to recognize that valuable contribution with a UNB Service Award for this wonderful colleague.

Presented by Marian Small, Dean of Education
February 16, 2001