Faculty Profile: Dr. Tom Grieve, English

October 08, 2013

We're delighted to profile the winners of the 2013 Dean's Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Dr. Tom Grieve received an award for Excellence in Leadership.

It's not often that anyone gets a chance to develop an innovative new graduate program in English, but in 2007, Dr. Tom Grieve did just that with the Master of Arts for Teachers of English (MATE) program.

The program took a few years to come to fruition. He conceived it while serving as Graduate Program Chair in English, and completed the developmental work while he was Chair of the department, finally launching the program in 2007.

He had identified a select audience for the program:  Teachers of English from Lower Mainland schools and colleges who wanted the challenge of pursuing advanced English study, both to nurture their passion for literature and to help them become stronger teachers. 

Mike Sapic, an inaugural MATE student, says, "After twenty successful years of teaching high school English, I wanted to reach greater heights in my teaching career. I found the MATE experience , hoary clich├ęs aside, to be life-changing. After not having written an academic paper or taken an English course in 25 years, our first MATE course in critical theory was a shock. However, Tom's immersive approach allowed us to discover and explore approaches to the study of literature and made the final goal of a master's degree attainable, even while juggling family, work and school."

Dr. Grieve's careful attention to students' needs has paid off, and the MATE program has been highly successful to date: 47 of 50 students have completed the program, a statistic which speaks for itself. Since each of those students go on to teach hundreds of students in each of their own high schools, the MATE program is an exemplary embodiment of SFU's philosophy of engaging the community.

Tags: Achievements; profiles; English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The 2014 Dean of Graduate Studies Awards for Excellence are open for nominations. Deadline for nominations is March 15 yearly.

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