Steven Turner   2007 University Teaching Scholar Award Recipient

Dr. Turner is a distinguished and accomplished historian of science, but his greatest distinction among friends, colleagues and students at UNB is as one of this University's finest teachers.  Those who have taught alongside him, and those whom he has taught, cannot find the words to express completely their admiration for his ability as a teacher.  They note especially his care in organizing and delivering courses, and concern for fair - but always firm - treatment of students.  In some thirty-five years at UNB he has never lost his spark and enthusiasm for meeting a class.  For many years Dr. Turner was co-ordinator of Arts 1000, the Faculty's large compulsory introductory course, with up to 400 students a term.  Arts 1000 students from those days still speak of his lectures.  Dr. Turner has recently been the prime mover in the organization and administration of the History Department's team-taught introductory course, History 1001.  That course was singled out this year by a Quality Assurance Review committee as so innovative as to warrant a serious article in a professional journal.  His courses are invariably very well subscribed, and student opinion surveys of his teaching place Dr. Turner consistently well above the university norm.

Dr. Turner has accomplished himself as a teacher through the tried and true method of formal lectures.  Indeed, he is renown as a gifted lecturer.  In a small classroom or large auditorium, Dr. Turner can work a crowd easily, and hold them in rapt attention while delivering even a complex message with simplicity and effectiveness.  His lectures were described by one colleague, with whom he has taught, as careful analysis and intellectual rigour judiciously mixed with an entertaining and engrossing style of delivery. Another commented that as a lecturer Dr. Turner, "uses gentle humour, while consistently asking questions to challenge students and prompt them to consider their own assumptions.  His gentle demeanor wins over even the most reluctant listeners, while conveying the importance of politeness, respect and intellectual rigour within an academic setting." Students' comments are usually more brief, and generally limited to "He's great!"

Dr. Turner believes fervently that a lecture - even to a large class - given with a nice balance of content and humour remains the most effective way to convey ideas and motivate students.  Indeed, as an historian of science Dr. Turner is hardly a luddite, however he has eschewed the current fashion for interposing an electronic medium between himself and his students.  He is an effective teacher because his lectures entertain and stimulate thought.  His success is hard to argue with.  Dr. Steven Turner has quite literally, reached the heart of students' intellect through effective communication by the spoken word.

Dr. Turner's effectivness in teaching has made him a perennial nominee for teaching awards. He won the Faculty Teaching Award for 2006, and the prestigious Alan P. Stuart Award for teaching excellence in 1995.  His abiding interest in teaching is also evident from his long standing membership in the Seanate Committee on Excellence in Teaching, and his role in the early planning for Renaissance College.  For thirty-five years Dr. Turner, with a minimum of props, a somewhat rhetorical style, and a wry sense of humour, has captivated and motivated generations of UNB students, and lain at the heart of his devotion to this institution.  Nothing would be more fitting than recognizing and honouring that accomplishment than by granting Dr. Turner the distinction of University Teaching Scholar for the last three years of this service to UNB.

Dr. Marc Milner

Chair, Department of History

April 10, 2007