Lesley Fleming   2013 Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Lesley Fleming is unquestionably a deserving recipient of a Distinguished Service Award. Since her start as a faculty member in 1980 Lesley has been a respected force at UNB contributing unwaveringly to teaching and service in an exemplary manner for all of her colleagues and one worthy of emulation. Through more than three decades of service she has contributed considerably to the UNB learning environment with excellence in teaching and with her obvious compassion and caring for the thousands of students who passed through her courses. Lesley has been nominated for numerous teaching awards by grateful students and among these was awarded the prestigious Alan P Stuart teaching award, and has received notable recognition on numerous occasions in McLean’s Magazine for “Excellence in Teaching” in their yearly guide to Canadian Universities.

Lesley has been instrumental in the introduction and growth of new programs at UNB aimed at helping students through the often-difficult transition to University life and has been involved in course curriculum development for several different Faculties over the years. In all of these endeavours Lesley championed the interests of the students making sure that changes to courses or programs were made with their best interests as the top priority.

Lesley was Don in Lady Beaverbrook Residence during her early years at UNB. A Don is responsible for the wellbeing of the residence students and Lesley took over that role with her usual aplomb, helping students to find their way through their formative years here at UNB. Many of these students have stayed in contact with Lesley over the ensuing decades – a testament to the endearing respect and depth of friendship that Lesley’s thoughtful and caring personality engenders from her students.

As well as Lesley’s legendary abilities as a teacher, she has been an exemplary mentor to many new Faculty members over the years providing assistance and advice on applications for promotion and tenure, navigating university policies, procedures, politics and personalities, helping them navigate the student services available on campus and giving excellent advice on interacting with students. She eagerly and enthusiastically served on committees from the department to institutional level emphasizing those that dealt with student issues and concerns. Again, her care and commitment to the students were exemplary and served as a model for her colleagues.

Lesley will be greatly missed by the members of many Faculties at UNB, her impact and contribution reaching far beyond her appointment to the Department of Biology. More significantly, future students will miss the opportunity to be taught by the “human whirlwind” who could make any subject exciting and all students feel welcome and at home with her dedication and compassion.

On behalf of the Department of Biology, UNBF
Gary W. Saunders