Thompson Rivers University

Small study subjects reap big award

June 11, 2020

Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham is one of this year's D2L award winners for innovation in teaching and learning.

She studies tiny subjects: microbes found in caves that might help bats fend off a deadly fungus. And now she’s won a big award.

Naowarat (Ann) Cheeptham is one of this year’s esteemed recipients of the D2L (Desire2Learn) Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning. The award, handed out by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE), is going to the TRU professor in microbiology for her unique research on bats and probiotics while working in collaboration with other institutions.

Cheeptham’s work has broken ground in the battle to fight white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that is decimating bat populations across parts of North America.

“I am humbled and honored to win this award. I will continue exploring and experimenting with more innovative ways to teach and to keep students engage and curious,” she said.

“I really cherish the moments when I see my students develop and blossom to be their own authentic selves and reach their full potential. It is such a privilege to see our future generation reach their full potential.”

Established in 2012, the award celebrates and recognizes up to five post-secondary educators each year for their innovative approaches that promote student-centered teaching and learning.

“These incredible educators represent not only dedication to creating momentous strides in the post-secondary sector,” said Denise Stockley, STLHE president. “But they serve as remarkable role models for all of us teaching and learning in higher education.”

“We at D2L are proud to support the work of these four innovative and visionary educational leaders who are sparking change in higher education and inspiring the next generation,” said John Baker, president and CEO of D2L.

The 2020 D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning recipients are at the forefront of innovation at their institutions and within higher education more broadly. They each receive a two-year membership for STLHE and up to $2,200 toward registration and travel costs to attend the 2021 STLHE annual conference.

STLHE and D2L will officially welcome these incredible educators at the society’s annual conference in Ottawa June 14 to 18, 2021.

TRU faculty have received STLHE awards for three consecutive years. Two years ago, TRU faculty member Lyn Baldwin received the D2L award and last year, the Knowledge Makers project won the Alan Blizzard Award.

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