media release

$100,000 SFU Faculty of Education prize to enhance public education in British Columbia

October 03, 2016

Melissa Hudson, Faculty of Education, 778.782.9036,
Wan Yee Lok, University Communications, 778.782.5987,

The Cmolik Prize for the Enhancement of Public Education in B.C. doubles its value to $100,000 this year and will become the largest of its kind in Canada. Awarded biennially, the Prize recognizes those who have developed an invention, innovation, concept, process or procedure that enhances educational practice in the K–12 public school system in B.C. 

The call for nominations is now open to all Canadian citizens who reside in B.C. and closes on November 30, 2016. 

"The Cmolik Prize is unquestionably the premier award for recognizing innovation in K–12 education in Canada,” says Kris Magnusson, SFU’s dean of education. "In updating its terms, we continue to celebrate the remarkable contributions that B.C. educators have made to one of the finest educational systems in the world." 

The Prize is endowed to SFU with the support of Russ and Ellen Cmolik, who are both passionate about education and have been inspired by visits to schools around the world. They wish to encourage practitioners, researchers, administrators and policy makers to enrich teaching and learning, particularly to stimulate a desire to learn and to develop life skills to become productive and responsible members of our community.

Russ and Ellen Cmolik say education has been a powerful tool that has helped them open doors for themselves and they would like to share it with others. 

“We wanted to do something to speed up the changes in education and SFU offered us a vehicle to do this with the Cmolik Prize,” says Ellen. 

They hope ideas from the Cmolik Prize will be adopted across schools and districts in the future. 


As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 135,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.