Father Stewart Medal for Excellence in Teaching

Fr. William A. Stewart, S.J. Medal for Excellence in Teaching



Father William A. Stewart was a Professor of Philosophy and an Administrator at Saint Mary’s from 1950-1982, working in the Faculty of Arts and holding various Administration positions during a time of major growth at the University. He continued to volunteer on committees until 1997.  Father Stewart was one of the first professors at Saint Mary’s to embrace inclusivity by welcoming women into his classroom, and helping young women become full-time students before the University introduced co-ed education evening classes in 1952.  He was known for his strong beliefs in promoting accessible education to marginalized communities and was also very much involved in promoting teaching innovation and excellence on campus.

Established in 1983 in cooperation with the Faculty Union and the Students' Representative Council, The Father William A. Stewart, S.J. Medal for Excellence in Teaching honours this legacy at Saint Mary’s by annually highlighting full-time faculty members who have made significant contributions to the education of Saint Mary’s students through excellence in teaching and service.


This award is open to current full-time faculty members who have completed at least five years of teaching service at Saint Mary's University and have made significant contributions to the education of Saint Mary's students through excellence in teaching and service. Full criteria can be found in the Nomination Dossier.

The Selection Committee will consider candidates who:
a) Demonstrate teaching ability and classroom performance
b) Demonstrate capacity to engage learner interest in the subject
c) Develop and clearly communicate student learning outcomes, course requirements, and pathways to success
d) Use approaches to teaching and evaluation of learning that respect diverse student learning needs
e) Demonstrate active, experiential learning in and outside the classroom
f) Demonstrate reflective teaching, for example: by engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning- sharing good practice with others through workshops, presentations, or publications on teaching and learning or participating in professional development activities to enhance teaching practice


Members of the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association, University employees, and students (who are not currently enrolled in courses taught by the candidate) may submit a Nomination Dossier, which should make a persuasive case using evidence from a variety of sources, including the candidate, students, peers, former students/alumni, and exemplary teaching materials.

The Nomination Dossier is available for download below. The nomination period for 2021 will close on April 16, 2021.  


Members of the Committee may be substituted in the event of conflicts of interest, including current working or teacher-student relationships, or previous support of the nomination of any of the current year's candidates.

The Committee reserves the right to withhold the award in any year where nominations do not meet criteria/eligibility standards. 


The nomination period for 2021 will close on April 16, 2021.  

The recipient will be presented with a plaque as well as a $1,500 monetary award which is funded equally by the Alumni Association and the Faculty Union.


Past recipients

2020 Recipient: Dr. Ethan Pancer

The 2020 recipient of the Father Stewart Medal of Excellence in Teaching is Dr. Ethan Pancer, Associate Professor of Marketing with the Sobey School of Business. 

After earning his Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Science, and PhD at Queen’s University, Ethan joined Saint Mary’s as a full-time professor in 2013He is recognized for his approachable, humorous and hands-on teaching style, giving students the opportunity to work on cases and make a real impact on community organizations in his undergraduate commerce and MBA courses. He has run a number of directed studies focusing on real-world application of marketing skills. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Pancer has worked with students as coach of a highly successful case competition team, and has helped students navigate their careers in business. 

His research focuses on augmenting behavioral science with big data to examine consumer behaviour. He is part of a team of Saint Mary’s researchers to focus on youth mental health, and how machine learning can support youth. He has received a SSHRC Insight Grant and multiple Tri-Council grants, and, since the onset of COVID-19, is studying how the pandemic affects online and offline behaviours. 

Within his faculty, Ethan has served the Sobey School of Business as Faculty Representative on the University’s Senate Academic Planning Committee and Research Advancement Committee, Marketing Department representative on MBA Council, and Planning Committee for the new Master of Business Analytics Program. 

Pancer has received enthusiastic recognition from his students in the past, including the Faculty of Commerce Excellence in Teaching Award from SMUSA in 2013 and 2017, the Sobey School of Business Commerce Society’s Full-time Professor of the Year Award in 2016, and MBA professor of the year from the Sobey MBA society in 2017. He was named one of the “World’s 40 Best Business Professors Under 40” by Poets & Quants in 2017. 


  • 2019: Dr. Roby Austin, Astronomy & Physics
  • 2018: Dr. David Bourgeois, Psychology
  • 2017: Dr. Marc G. Doucet, Political Science
  • 2016: Dr. Thomas Kozloski, Accounting 
  • 2015: Dr. Ellen Farrell, Management
  • 2014: Dr. Maryanne Fisher, Psychology
  • 2013: Dr. Gene Barrett, Sociology and Criminology
  • 2012: Dr. Colleen Barber, Biology
  • 2011: Dr. Brian Bartlett, English
  • 2010: Dr. Barry Gorman, Accounting
  • 2009: Dr. Pawan Lingras, Mathematics and Computing Sciences
  • 2008: Dr. Shelagh Crooks, Philosophy 
  • 2007: Dr. Stephen Davis, Anthropology
  • 2006: Dr. Edna Keeble, Political Science
  • 2005: Dr. Adam Sarty, Astronomy & Physics
  • 2004: Dr. Porter Scobey, Mathematics & Computing Science
  • 2003: Dr. Janet Hill, English   
  • 2002: Dr. Gillian Thomas, English
  • 2001: Dr. Janet Gregory, Finance & Management Science
  • 2000: Dr. Eric Lee, Finance & Management Science
  • 1999: Dr. Robert Singer, Chemistry
  • 1998: Dr. David Cone, Biology
  • 1997: Dr. Paul Muir, Mathematics & Computing Science
  • 1996: Dr. Ronald Landes, Political Science
  • 1995: Prof. Nicola Young, Accounting
  • 1994: Dr. Cyril Byrne, English   
  • 1993: Dr. Janet Baker, English
  • 1992: Dr. Francis Phillips, Education
  • 1991: Dr. Philip Street, Psychology
  • 1990: Dr. Andrew Seaman, English
  • 1989: Dr. Peter March, Philosophy
  • 1988: Dr. Jack Ginsburg, Chemistry
  • 1987: Prof. Edward McBride, Political Science
  • 1986: Dr. John Young, Chemistry
  • 1985: Dr. David Perrier, Sociology
  • 1984: Prof. Dermot Mulrooney, Engineering
  • 1983: Prof. David Hope, Accounting
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