Niagara College professor earns prestigious
College Sector Educator Award

Niagara College professor Holly Catalfamo has been recognized by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) as one of the country’s top college educators for 2016.

Catalfamo, a faculty member in the College’s School of Business and Management, and one of Research & Innovation’s long-standing faculty research leads, is one of five recipients of STLHE’s prestigious College Sector Educator Award which recognizes individuals in the college community who have made quality efforts to promote and support teaching excellence and the development of the Canadian college sector.

“I am delighted to welcome Holly into the select group of College Sector Educator Award winners,” said Robert Lapp, president of the STLHE. “Holly epitomizes the STLHE’s visionary goal of raising the quality of teaching and learning in all sectors of postsecondary education in Canada. Not only is Holly a leader in experiential learning, putting into practice cutting-edge approaches to quality instruction, but she is also a leader in the scholarship of teaching and learning, where her research influences the best practices of her peers all across Canada, in colleges, cegeps, institutes and universities.”

In addition to teaching, Catalfamo, who joined Niagara College in 2003, also serves as program coordinator for the College’s Human Resources programs. Catalfamo’s efforts have helped empower faculty at Niagara College and across the province with transformative course-based applied research experiences. She has coached new educators, mentored faculty and in 2011 she established a Community of Practice focused on course-based applied research. Catalfamo also founded a team to support the development of new coordinators.

“It is a tremendous and incredibly humbling honour to be recognized by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education for something that I am so passionate about,” said Catalfamo. “I am so very lucky to be able to do what I love every day – teach and interact with amazing students and graduates. I also have remarkable colleagues that are incredibly talented and who inspire me as an educator. This award is without a doubt one of the highlights of my career and I am so fortunate to work at an educational institution that truly focuses on creating unique learning experiences for our extraordinary students.”

Catalfamo has also supported colleagues internationally mentoring and sharing her pedagogical expertise with partners in Brazil and Jamaica where she currently serves as a lead curriculum facilitator for the Caribbean Community Education for Employment team. Her ongoing contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning include research in the areas of leadership development within colleges, course-based applied research and school-to-work transition programs.

“We are very proud to have Holly as part of our business faculty. Her passion, drive and dedication to our students is exceptional,” said Justin Williams, associate dean of the School of Business and Management. “Holly exemplifies the NC spirit by consistently raising the bar as a role model, mentor and professor.”

This isn’t the first accolade for Catalfamo. She was the recipient of the 2015 Niagara College Student Administrative Council Educator of the Year Award which is the College’s premier faculty recognition, and the 2015 Senior HR Leadership Award presented by the Niagara chapter of the Human Resources Professional Association.

The 2016 College Sector Educator Award winners will be honoured at STLHE’s annual conference, hosted this year by Western University and Fanshawe College, on June 21 to 24, 2016 in London, Ont.