Dr. Mavis Morton, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

Morton is the recipient of one of three Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards for “her outstanding contributions to improving the quality of higher education at the province’s universities,” according to OCUFA.

A person with shoulder-length black hair stands on an angle in front of a stone wall looking into the camera wearing a turquoise shirt and necklace with a black sweater over it.
Dr. Mavis Morton

Since joining the University of Guelph in 2009, Morton has demonstrated a deep commitment to teaching and learning. She has been an inaugural member of several teaching and learning committees and initiatives, including U of G’s Teaching Fellows Advisory Council and the Teaching and Learning Network.

“Teaching and learning energizes me,” Morton says, noting the relational connections students and educators build on the first day of class can sometimes extend decades after graduation. “Helping to facilitate student enthusiasm, growth and development, especially in ways students did not anticipate or think was possible is very rewarding.

“I am particularly motivated by the opportunities that community engaged teaching and learning (CETL) offers as a way to work with students, staff and community as partners in education. I love the collaborative nature of CETL and the positive impact that it can have beyond the classroom, specifically toward social justice ends.”

True leadership in teaching and learning

Morton was an inaugural member of The Hub for Teaching and Learning Excellence in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) where she previously held the role of acting associate dean. Additionally, she initiated a Talking About Teaching and Learning space in her department where she was previously associate chair.

“The scholarship of teaching and learning is important evidence to be used to guide our individual, program and institutional-level teaching and learning plans. My hope is that teaching and learning can reach the same level of value that research enjoys across the academic landscape,” she says.

Morton was co-nominated for the award by Dr. Byron Sheldrick, associate vice-president academic, and Dr. Sara Fulmer, acting director of the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL), and received expertise from OTL in preparing her dossier. “This would not have happened without their time, energy and assistance,” she adds.

Throughout the OCUFA nomination process, numerous students and colleagues shared how their personal and professional trajectories have been significantly impacted through collaborations with and mentorship from Morton.

“Mavis stands out as one of the true leaders in teaching and learning at the University of Guelph because of her passion for pedagogical innovation, student experience and community engaged learning, as well as her ability to share her enthusiasm with colleagues,” says Dr. Gwen Chapman, provost and vice-president (academic).

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty, academic librarians and other academic professionals in 31 member organizations across Ontario, including the University of Guelph Faculty Association (UGFA). OCUFA is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members toward creating a world-class university system.

Morton will be formally recognized at the OCUFA Awards of Distinction in Toronto on Oct. 26.