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University President Recognized Nationally For Literacy Work

by NationTalk on September 30, 2009365 Views

University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons was honoured today with a Canada Post Community Literacy Award at an award ceremony held at the Regina Open Door Society.The Canada Post Literacy Awards Program, sponsored by Canwest, recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Canadians who’ve made a special effort or an important contribution to literacy. Dr. Timmons is one of 16 winners across the country and one of only 7 literacy educators to receive the award this year.

Jan Mullett, Canada Post Director of Operations for South Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba, made the presentation to Dr. Timmons for “the diverse role she’s played in the lives of learners – whether teaching the next generation of teachers, researching the most effective teaching methods or implementing new programs to enrich learners’ lives.”

The award recognizes Dr. Timmons’ work in developing and teaching literacy courses, and for creating the Adult Connections in Education program at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), where she taught and was a Vice-President before joining the University of Regina last year. She also founded UPEI’s Accessibility Services, a place where students with learning disabilities could come to learn in a barrier-free environment.

Dr. Timmons is also being recognized for her role in promoting and improving family literacy through her research, which has involved developing a literacy program for rural families, as well as one for Aboriginal families that is in use in Alberta and all of the Atlantic provinces.

“I have devoted much of my teaching and research career to improving family literacy, and I’m proud that my work is being recognized in this way,” says Dr. Timmons. “It is important to note, however, that my work could not have been done without the dedication of the families who helped develop the rural and Aboriginal literacy programs in recent years, and those who are currently involved in the program for new immigrants. I would also like to thank Canada Post and Canwest for doing such a wonderful job of promoting cause of literacy nation-wide.”

The chair of the U of R Board of Governors, Susan Barber, says “Dr. Timmons clearly has an impact beyond our University and beyond our community. We are so proud that our President is being honoured for her work. On behalf of the University of Regina community, I’m pleased to congratulate Dr. Timmons on this national recognition.”

Dr. Timmons presented the $500 cheque which accompanies the educator award to the Regina Open Door Society (RODS) to further the society’s literacy work with refugees and immigrants. Dr. Timmons is currently working with the Regina Open Door Society as well as researchers in the University of Regina’s Faculty of Education to develop and implement a family literacy program for new immigrants to Saskatchewan. This project is a joint one in conjunction with a team of researchers in Prince Edward Island who are working with a group of newcomers to that province.

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