Laurie Newsham

Newsham Claims National Award for Leadership Excellence for Faculty

Laurie NewshamMay 7, 2019 |  Olds, Alberta: Olds College Arboriculture instructor Laurie Newsham has been recognized by Colleges Institutes Canada (CICan) with the Bronze award for Leadership Excellence for Faculty. A dedicated life-long learner, Laurie’s commitment to his craft, and dedication to his students and colleagues, and his status as a well-regarded member of industry who shares his passion and knowledge with those around him, inside and outside the classroom, plays a significant role in Laurie’s success as an instructor, and is a catalyst in his recognition as recipient of this award.

“Laurie embodies a core commitment to excellence both professionally and personally,” explains Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “He works diligently to assist students in navigating the rigors of post-secondary education and to provide them with the tools they need for success.  Laurie’s commitment to students is lived out in dynamic and enthusiastic classes that incorporate hands-on, experiential learning. His enthusiasm for learning in general and for his areas of expertise are infectious, leading to strong completion rates and academic achievement.”

“I was surprised to hear that I had been selected to be the bronze recipient of the CICan Leadership Excellence Award for Faculty,” explains Laurie.  I have said before that good things happen when we are surrounded by good people. I am surrounded by good people here at Olds College who all help in some way to provide the high quality instruction that our students get at Olds College.”

Laurie has proven to be a committed, impactful leader in the classroom,and across the Olds College campus.. His interactive form of instruction lets students take the time they to learn to perform all skills. For example, in his Aerial Operations class, Laurie has created a Practical Skills Evaluation that requires the students to climb a tree using all of the appropriate equipment and safety procedures. Laurie is able to provide feedback on the performance so students can improve their technique. Laurie has built a similar Practical Skills Evaluation into every course of the Arboriculture Technician Certificate Program.

Perhaps most importantly, is the relationships he builds with his students. His enthusiasm infects the students in his classroom, which results in a learning environment that is engaging, and enthusiastic. Laurie facilitates engagement and encourages input in such a way that the majority of students are eager to ask questions and to share opinions.

“In my experience as a student, I have never encountered an instructor that presents information in such a diverse, engaging, holistic, and altogether effective way as does Laurie Newsham”, states Arboriculture Technician graduate Jordan Baird“. I have had many great teachers and professors, but what Laurie does simply goes above and beyond the call of duty, each and every day.”

Laurie is an active volunteer on college committees, in the industry and the community, including currently sitting as the Olds College Faculty Association (OCFA) representative on the Olds College Board of Governors, countless other roles within OCFA, numerous commitments with the  International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Prairie Chapter, working with the City of Red Deer’s Occupational Health and Safety Officer on arboriculture training, and donating his time to King’s Fold Retreat and Renewal Centre.