Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership

Teaching Awards

Professor Rebecca Gagan, award winner of the Harry Hickman Award for Excellence accepting her award on podium 2022

About the Award

Since 1989, the UVic Alumni Association has been pleased to recognize outstanding teaching. The Harry Hickman Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Leadership is the highest honour for teaching excellence at the University of Victoria. This award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and educational leadership.

This award bears the name of Harry Hickman who had a distinguished career as a scholar, teacher, and principal of Victoria College. He was acting president of the University of Victoria and head of the Modern Languages and French departments.

Previous recipients

  • 2022 | Rebecca Gagan, English
  • 2021 | Dr. Erin McGuire, Anthropology
  • 2020 | Dr. Victoria Wyatt, Art History & Visual Studies
  • 2019 | Dr. Scott McIndoe, Chemistry
  • 2018 | Prof. Brian Leacock, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business
  • 2017 | Dr. Janni Aragon, Political Science and Technology Integrated Learning
  • 2016 | No award presented
  • 2015 | Dr. Brent Mainprize, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business
  • 2014 | Dr. David Blades, Curriculum & Instruction
  • 2013 | Dr. Mark Colgate, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business; Prof. Jin-Sun Yoon, Child & Youth Care
  • 2012 | Dr. Annalee Lepp, Women’s Studies
  • 2011 | Dr. Gary MacGillivray, Mathematics & Statistics
  • 2010 | Ms. Mary Sanseverino, Computer Science
  • 2009 | No award presented
  • 2008 | Dr. Catherine Gaul, Education/Island Medical Program
  • 2007 | Dr. Michael Webb, Political Science
  • 2006 | Dr. Edward Ishiguro, Biochemistry & Microbiology
  • 2005 | Dr. Martin Smith, Psychology


Nomination Guidelines

The 2023 nomination guidelines are now available below.

Application submissions

The online portal will open on August 15, 2023. Nominations will be accepted until  October 17, 2023.

Adjudication Process

Award committees will meet in the following 30-45 days.

Applicants Notified

Applicants will be notified by December 1, 2023.


Who can be nominated?

This award is open to all Faculty Members as defined in the Collective Agreement. These eligibility criteria reflect the fact that this is the highest award for teaching excellence at the University of Victoria.

Nominees must:

  • have taught for a minimum of three years at UVic, currently hold a regular faculty position, and anticipate continuing in that position for the next academic year;
  • be the only Nominee from their academic unit (i.e., only one new nomination per academic unit will be considered); and,
  • have received a major teaching award (i.e., from their UVic Faculty, another UVic-level teaching award, an equivalent award from another university or a national teaching award).

Who can submit a nomination?

Nominees are to include both:

A UVic student or former student

  • the student must not be enrolled in a course with the Nominee during the nomination, review/adjucation period

A faculty member colleague and/or Department or School Chair/Director

  • If the Department Chair/Director is not a co-nominator, the Chair/Director must review and sign to endorse the nomination.


Nominations of previous nominees who have not been selected as the recipient of the award will be held and eligible for review for a period of three years. Re-nominations of these nominees are welcomed and encouraged; however, nominators and nominees are reminded that the award criteria may change from year-to-year—please ensure that re-nominations conform to the current guidelines.

Award Criteria

Nominations will be assessed based on evidence of outstanding contributions in both teaching and educational leadership:

  • Promotes student-centred learning in practices that actively engage students in the learning process and are focused on learning and mentoring beyond the classroom
  • Creatively enhances teaching by including innovative teaching methods and learning strategies, effective assignment development, incorporation of educational technologies and providing formative assessment
  • Provides innovative course design/redesign and engagement in curriculum development and is actively engaged in scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) research, collaborating with peers, students and TAs.
  • Is a educational leader within and beyond the university, involved in activities such as: participating in learning and teaching related committees or presentations, serving as a consultant on government policy bodies, writing media reviews or articles, publishing in academic journals or obtaining grants for teaching and learning research

Materials Required

Nominators and their nominees will both use our online teaching awards application portal where they can easily add all nomination documents and information. This includes:

Nominee Information

  • Department
  • Faculty
  • Position

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Upload as a PDF to online portal and must include:

  • Education and other relevant experience 
  • Employment history
  • Teaching awards
  • Courses taught

Letter from nominator

Share the link with your nominator on the online portal. The nominator will write a brief (2 pages maximum) written statement including:

  • teaching practices;
  • teaching philosophy, and
  • impact of teaching on student learning specific to award criteria

Two letters of support

Upload as PDF to online portal:

  • Letters are to be independent from one another and from previous students, staff, faculty, community partners and/or alumni
  • Letters address nomiees effective teaching practices (ie. student engagement, student learning, value of the courses to their overall program, effective teaching strategies, creativity in course design, teaching inspired by research, student mentoring, and innovative and/or effective assignments)

Additional supporting materials

Upload up to 10 optional files to online portal, such as:

  • teaching dossier
  • websites
  • media clips or articles
  • course syllabi

Supporting evidence should be referenced in nomination letter. Hyperlinks to web-based materials are encouraged.

Nomination online portal

Use our new online portal to submit your application and your nominators materials.

Portal will be live on August 15, 2023

Administrative Process


The Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost administers the award on behalf of the Alumni Association.


One award is presented each year. The award includes a gift and a $2,000 cash prize. All nominees will be recognized and recipients will receive their awards at the annual REACH Awards ceremony. The awards will be publicized by UVic Communications + Marketing.

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