President's Service Award - Spring 2003
Eileen Herteis brings an infectious passion for good teaching to the University of Saskatchewan. Colleagues of the Programme Director for The Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Centre say when this is combined with her other qualities - good humour, excellent presentation skills, boundless helpfulness, and a warmth in dealings with faculty, staff and students - it all adds up to a truly outstanding contribution to the U of S.
This spring, they honour her with the U of S President's Service Award.
Her nominator and co-workers say Herteis "puts life and sparkle into all her University endeavours. She has made the University a better place in which to work and learn."
As the TLC's Programme Director, she organizes and presents instructional development workshops for faculty, sessional lecturers and graduate students, writes articles on teaching and learning, pulls together resource materials for the Centre and for its website, and co-ordinates the Peer Consultation program.
Colleagues applaud her excellence at all these activities, and note how she has inspired them to think more deeply about their teaching and work to improve it: "Eileen is the supporter, the encourager, the initiator and problem-solver..." "Always upbeat, (she) looks past faults in the rest of us to see our possibilities, and helps us get there." "Eileen Herteis excels in every way."
Herteis was born in a small town in southern Scotland and earned an undergraduate degree in English and Latin from the University of Glasgow. In 1977 she won a scholarship to study at McGill University in Montreal and there she earned a Master of Arts degree in English Literature. She also married a mining engineer, leading to a number of future relocations. At Kirkland Lake, in northern Ontario, Herteis found herself in demand to teach at local schools and at Northern College. "Teaching went from being the last thing I wanted to do, to the only thing."
She moved to Saskatoon in 1981 and taught classes at Saskatoon Business College and English as a Second Language for the U of S Extension Division. In 1988 she moved to Nova Scotia and taught at four universities - St. Mary's, Mount Saint Vincent, Technical University of Nova Scotia, and Dalhousie. She set up Dalhousie's first Orientation to Teaching program and worked for six years as program co-ordinator at its Instructional Development Office.
In 1997 Herteis, husband Brian and daughter Anne returned to Saskatoon - and she rejoined the U of S staff, first working with Angie Wong in Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), then with Gwenna Moss in Instructional Development, and then with the new Teaching and Learning Centre when it opened in the summer of 2000.
Herteis loves the generosity of people at the U of S and the feeling that individuals matter. She gains satisfaction from finding ways to help good teaching gain recognition. And while she takes pride in organizing the high-profile conferences and workshops, "my true joy is in the small things, the one-on-one conversations with teachers, the chance to listen, be an ally, or boost morale. That's how I can make a difference."