Science and Environment Supervisor Recognition Award Winner: Dr. Paul Rennie!


Science and Environment Supervisor Recognition Award Winner: Dr. Paul Rennie!

By: coopcom
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Science and Environment Supervisor Recognition Award Winner:
Dr. Paul Rennie!

Originally published in the Science and Environment Co-op Spring 2008 Newsletter

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Rennie, Director of Research at the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, for winning the Science & Environment Co-op Supervisor Recognition Award. The Science & Environment Supervisor Recognition Award is awarded each semester to a Co-op supervisor who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to their co-op student. Rob Drapala, who was a co-op student working at the Prostate Centre, nominated Dr. Rennie because of his mentorship during Rob’s work term.

Sue Stanley, MBB Co-op Coordinator in the Science & Environment Co-op program, emphasizes that a co-op work term is much more than practical work experience, but “ideally involves mentorship between the supervisor and the student that allows the student to gain confidence and inspiration for their own career and personal development.” Dr. Rennie certainly embodies this ideal as he went above and beyond typical supervisor duties by allowing Rob to present his research project to about 100 scientists. He also took time to ensure that Rob was able to observe a prostatectomy and brachytherapy session. Rob explains that Dr. Rennie is always enthusiastic “to discuss his outlook on the development of an up and coming researcher in today’s world.”

When asked about how others can be excellent supervisors, Dr. Rennie explains that personal interaction is the key because it makes the student comfortable contributing and being part of a new work environment. He also believes that respect for others, in particular showing appreciation for the work of others, is what makes a great leader and supervisor. In other words, making others feel important and showing that their contribution is valued is how great leaders can become great supervisors.

Dr. Rennie shares that an old mentor of his, Nick Bruchovsky, always treated everybody absolutely equal and with a great deal of respect regardless of their position or status. When asked how students can become leaders in the classroom and in everyday life, he suggests that one can gain respect by being respectful and by not being intimidated by authority or being embarrassed to ask questions.

The Science & Environment Co-op Program pioneered the Supervisor Recognition Awards in the Fall semester of 2007 and the Awards program has since been rolled out to other selected Co-op programs at SFU.

Posted on January 09, 2011