On March 17th 2011, Karen Belfer , Dean of the VCC Centre for Teaching, Innovation and Applied Research (Centre for Instructional Development and School of Instructor Education) at Vancouver Community College was recognized as the recipient of VCC’s Employee Excellence Awards for Education. Service awards of recognition are also provided to employees whose service has exceeded 20 years at VCC and to recent retirees. VCC hosts this ceremony every year to honour members (or groups) who have made exceptional contributions within the institution or within the community in the categories of:
· Customer Service
· People Spirit
· Community Involvement
Those who nominated Karen noted that there have been many improvements in support for instructional development, curriculum development, program renewal, the study of teaching and learning and distributed learning since the Centre for Instructional Development began under her leadership. Karen’s nominations exceeded the following list of criteria for the award.
· Demonstrates consistent and universal levels of excellence in area of achievement.
· Performs above and beyond what is required.
· Demonstrates enthusiasm and pride in all related tasks.
· Serves as a role model.
· Inspires others to attain higher levels of achievement.
Prior to VCC, Karen worked as an Educational Consultant for BCIT, UBC and TechBC. As a consultant, she managed projects internationally and in various Canadian institutions. Her focus is the implementation of educational technologies to enhance the learning process (e.g. eportfolios, social software, online learning). Karen did her undergraduate work in Informatics, her Master’s in Education, and Ph.D. in Educational Research at the Anahuac University in Mexico, where she taught for over 10 years. Karen has extensive experience in faculty training, research, development, design, implementation and evaluation of the use of technology in higher education. Her research interests are in the assessment of online social learning environments, teaching perspectives and teamwork.