Favourite Prof

1. Joanne Kelly

2. Peter Ives

3. Tracy Whalen

For four years Joanne Kelly has been pushing students out of their comfort zones and getting results.

Kelly is a journalism instructor at Red River College in the creative communications program and says having students comfortable and excited to try new things is one of her goals in the classroom. The 45-year-old has been with the college since 2011, when she left her position as a broadcast journalist at Shaw TV.

Kelly says the switch from being in front of a camera to being in front of the classroom made sense.

“I always had a lot of students come from CreComm on work placement and it was becoming a favourite part of my job to mentor them,” she says.

In her role as a broadcast journalist, Kelly brought stories of everyday people into the spotlight for over 15 years, and in her role as an instructor she has provided over 300 students the opportunity to do the same.

Kelly teaches first-year journalism to roughly 75 students entering creative communications at RRC each year and specializes her instruction for the second-year students in the broadcast journalism and live television courses.

She has also been able to take one of her passions - supporting The Winnipeg Humane Society - and transform it into a successful and impactful course for students.

Every year, students in the live television course host, produce, shoot, and script a live telethon in support of The Winnipeg Humane Society. In 2014, the telethon raised $72,000 for the charity and was named “best remote -special” by the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada (BEAC).

Adding onto the success of the live television course, the broadcast journalism class led by Kelly and her teaching partner Forde Oliver has been awarded twice by the BEAC for the best student newscast in 2013 and 2014.

Kelly says the accomplishments of her students, especially the BEAC awards, have been some of the highlights from her teaching career.

“So having the students’ work acknowledged as the best in Canada, against Ryerson, BCIT, against the best schools in Canada - to have the students’ work recognized as the best [is a highlight].”

Part of the series: The Uniter 30

Published in Volume 69, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 7, 2015)

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