Kennedy wins 'hat trick' of teaching excellence awards
Michael P.J. Kennedy, a sessional lecturer in the Department of English, was hailed as a campus “triple crown” winner at a ceremony March 1.
While Kennedy was presented with the annual Sylvia Wallace Sessional Lecturer Teaching Excellence Award in front of 25 dignitaries, friends and colleagues, it was noted that he has previously won the U of S Students’ Union teaching excellence award and last year he was honoured with the College of Arts and Science’s Humanities and Fine Arts award for excellence in teaching.
Kennedy, who has in recent years specialized in scholarship and teaching on hockey literature, preferred to call his feat a three-goal “hat trick”.
Speakers noted he has taught as a sessional at the U of S since 1991 and also teaches at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST). He is known for his generosity, commitment to preparation for class and to students, as well as for expertise in Aboriginal literature and hockey literature, and his love of railway history.
His commitment to hockey and to the U of S Huskies men’s hockey team led him to establish a scholarship for players last year. He donated half his teaching award winnings to it last year, and he will donate $500 of the $1,000 Sylvia Wallace Award to it this year.
Two speakers took the occasion of Kennedy’s sessional award ceremony to note that there are problems with the lot of sessionals on campus.
English Department Head Paul Bidwell said it’s frustrating that sessional lecturers are “under-resourced and underpaid,” while “no group on campus is more devoted to their students.”
The sessional lecturers’ union head, Brian Zamulinski, spoke at the ceremony, saying Kennedy exemplifies all sessionals – who “deserve full-time status, pay and the things that go with it like an office with a door.”
Zamulinski said one of the current bargaining demands of the union, CUPE 3287, is for a fund that can be used to help excellent sessional lecturers transfer to better positions.