TWU honours two professors with Davis Distinguished Teaching Awards

Langley, British Columbia—Trinity Western University professors Bruce Shelvey, an instructor of history, and Craig Montgomery, an instructor of chemistry, have been named this year’s Davis Distinguished Teaching Award winners by students and faculty at Trinity Western. The University awarded the honours to Shelvey and Montgomery for their excellence in teaching and the positive impact they have had on students.

“They’ve demonstrated a high level of commitment to the teaching task and have received very complimentary responses from students,” says Deane Downey, PhD, dean of academic administration at TWU.

The Davis Distinguished Teaching Award was established in honour of TWU faculty member Ken Davis, PhD, who served as vice president of academic affairs at TWU from 1980 to 1989, and currently holds the position of professor emeritus at TWU.

“Dr. Davis did a lot to enhance and foster excellence in teaching,” says Downey.

“Normally we only grant one award,” adds Downey, “but both of this year’s recipients were very well qualified, so we concluded that it was appropriate to recognize both individuals.”

Bruce Shelvey, an associate professor of history and political science as well as chair of the department of geography, history and political science, came to Trinity Western University five years ago. Prior to that time, he was teaching at both TWU and the University of British Columbia, but later was hired as a full-time, tenure-track professor at TWU.

“I have the privilege of interacting with excellent students at TWU—students who have the ability to take the classroom as a community of learning and fill it with creativity and insight,” says Shelvey, who earned his PhD from Arizona State University and is an expert in environmental history, the study of the relationship between humans and nature.

Shelvey, also well-versed in North American First Nations history and in Canadian-U.S. relations, recently finished teaching TWU’s three-week summer course on pre-Confederation Canada. He will teach a class on post-Confederation Canada in an upcoming two-week summer session, and is also teaching an online course this summer.

“It’s interesting that Dr. Shelvey is known as one of the toughest instructors in terms of his standards, and yet his students feel that they get a tremendous amount from his courses,” says Downey. “Many students commented on his creativity and innovation. He’s committed to getting students excited about history, and so he’s highly regarded in that respect as well.”

Craig Montgomery, an expert in inorganic chemistry who holds a PhD from the University of Western Ontario, has taught at Trinity Western University for 15 years and currently serves as both a professor of chemistry and chair of the chemistry department.

“Dr. Montgomery is highly admired by students because of the time he is willing to invest in them,” says Downey. “Several of his students have gone on to do further work in chemistry or to go on into medicine. They look upon him as an individual who inspired them to excellence and motivated them to carry on.”

Montgomery teaches first-year chemistry as well as inorganic and physical chemistry to second, third, and fourth-year level students—classes that are challenging, but classes that Montgomery finds fulfilling to teach.

“Perhaps the most rewarding part of teaching is seeing students understand concepts that maybe they struggled with initially,” says Montgomery.

Montgomery will continue to work on research projects throughout the summer. Both Montgomery and Shelvey will teach a full schedule of courses at TWU this fall.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,000 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-09-26