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Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Robert McLeman, associate professor in Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, is the recipient of the fall 2015 Residence Academic Partnership Award. The award recognizes one faculty member each term that has gone above and beyond to support academic initiatives within the university’s residences.

McLeman is the faculty advisor for the outdoor adventure Residence Learning Community (RLC) – a residence floor that connects first-year students with peers that have similar interests.

During the fall term, McLeman led the outdoor adventure RLC students on interpretive nature walks and acted as a mentor during a camping weekend at Laurel Creek. This winter, he hopes to join the students on a snow shoeing expedition.

Brandon Pludwinski, a third-year student in Laurier’s Global Studies program and don of the outdoor adventure RLC, commended McLeman for his enthusiasm and commitment to the students.

“Dr. McLeman’s passion for the outdoors, combined with student success, has made him a crucial mentor that has enhanced and engaged the experience of the outdoor adventures learning community,” said Pludwinski. “He cares immensely for the community and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him over the past months.”

McLeman believes the residence communities are important to the student experience as they focus on building community and provide students with unique experiences in their first year, which they often wouldn’t otherwise get.

“Most of the students weren’t adventurous before they got to Laurier,” said McLeman. “Many had never even gone camping before, so it’s wonderful that they’re able to try something new in this kind of environment.”

The Residence Academic Partnership Award is bestowed on one faculty member each term to recognize faculty who support academic initiatives within the university’s residences. Previous recipients include:

  • Steve Sider, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education
  • Louise Dawe, assistant professor in the Faculty of Science
  • Laura Allan, assistant professor in the School of Business and Economics
  • Jane Newland, assistant professor of French
  • Sofy Carayannopoulos, associate professor of Policy
  • Bob Sharpe, associate professor of Geography
  • Julie Pong, an academic advisor in the Faculty of Arts
  • Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts, associate professor in the Languages and Literatures department
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