The 2012 recipients of the faculty teaching awards have been selected. Professor Eric Adams is the recipient of the Honourable Tevie Miller Teaching Excellence Award, and Rick Reeson, Q.C., is the recipient of the Faculty of Law Sessional Teaching Excellence Award.
The Committees for these two awards met recently to review the candidates and consider student input with respect to the nominations. After careful deliberation, the Committees selected the above recipients from a list of other excellent instructors.
The Friends of the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta instituted the Honourable Tevie H. Miller Teaching Excellence Award in 1998 to recognize and promote excellence in teaching at the Faculty of Law. Under the terms of the award, a short list of nominees is selected based upon the ranking received by eligible candidates on their course evaluations from the previous academic year. The Selection Committee then invites written comments from students, Sessional Instructors, and other interested persons, on the strengths, skills, and achievements of the nominees.
Professor Eric Adams obtained his B.A. from McGill University, his LL.B. from Dalhousie University, and his S.J.D. from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. His current teaching and research interests are in the areas of constitutional, employment law, and legal history.
Professor Adams stresses active learning in the classroom. Sometimes as individuals or in small groups, often in class-wide discussions, he encourages students to reflect upon, articulate, and share their own views of the material. In Professor Adams’s view, a legal education must prepare law students for all manner of legal practice in a varied number of careers. Accordingly, his approach to teaching challenges students to recognize that the skills of critical, rigorous, and creative reading, thinking, and analysis offer the best preparation for whatever career they pursue.
In describing teaching Professor Adams recounted a discussion that he had with his son: “Living with two young children means answering a lot of questions. After attempting, as best I could, to explain my job to my inquisitive son, he still was not satisfied. “But do you teach your students all the law?” he wanted to know. I could never teach it all, I admitted, but I did my best to help my students find the ways that they could teach themselves. He was still puzzled. “But why do you teach?” “Because I love it,” I replied. And that, for the moment, made both of us happy.”
Rick Reeson, Q.C., is a banking and insolvency Lawyer, and Associate Counsel in the Edmonton office of Miller Thomson. He received his Bachelor of Administration from the University of Regina, and his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994. His practice consists primarily of commercial, bankruptcy and insolvency
litigation as well as business transactions including business law, banking law and bankruptcy and insolvency law. Rick has
represented a variety of banks, trust companies and financial
institutions in all aspects of their corporate and business affairs.
With over 30 years of experience, Rick is a respected and very well regarded lawyer in the area of banking and insolvency law. He had the honour of being listed as a leading practitioner in insolvency and financial restructuring in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2006. Rick was also included in the 2006 (inaugural) edition of Best Lawyers in Canada, published by Woodward/White Inc.
Rick has published in trade journals and regularly presents articles on banking and insolvency law and legal developments. He has also instructed and made presentations to a number of institutions, business and professional organizations over the years. These include the Legal Education Society of Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Insolvency Practitioners Association, The Canadian Institute, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, amongst others. He has been a longstanding sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta Law School where he currently teaches Personal Property Security Law and Corporate Restructuring Law.
The Faculty would also like to recognize the outstanding teaching contributions of the other nominees, Professors Steven Penney, Rod Wood, and Bruce Ziff, and Sessional Instructors Ardi Imseis, and Lynn Parish.