NIC honours Mary Pat Thompson with Emeritus designation

2019 Emeritus designate Mary Pat Thompson speaks at NIC’s year-end celebration. Thompson was one of five retired employees honoured with Emeritus this year.

Longtime NIC Port Alberni faculty member Mary Pat Thompson has received an Emeritus designation, honouring her dedication to students and contributions to the community.

Thompson was one of five retired employees honoured at NIC’s year-end celebration on May 31.

Thompson joined NIC in 2004 as an instructor in the Educational Assistant/Community Support program in Port Alberni and made a lasting impact on her students and the program.  

“Mary Pat’s passion for her work and her tireless advocacy for the vulnerable in our community was an inspiration to her students and fellow instructors,” said Laurie Tulloch, chair of NIC’s Emeritus committee. “She was committed to her students and to the community of Port Alberni, making sure her students were helping out local organizations and volunteering at events around town.”

Thompson was a driving force behind the inclusion of Indigenous focus in curriculum. She invited Indigenous speakers and scholars into the classroom and led the development of FNS-160: First Nations Traditional and Contemporary Education, which uses Indigenous ways of teaching and learning to address historical and contemporary issues.

Thompson’s work and advocacy led to a redesign of the entire program, to include a stronger, more multi-cultural and anti-oppressive emphasis.

“NIC’s Educational Assistant/Community Support Worker, Indigenous Focus certificate is a lasting legacy to Mary Pat’s vision of a more complete Indigenization of the program,” said Tulloch.

Thompson was honoured along with history instructor and distributed learning coordinator Brent McIntosh, interactive media instructor Frank Niscak, fine art and interactive media instructor Susanne Sampson and Janet Moody-Lackey, a former counsellor, advisor and chair of student services in Campbell River.

Emeritus nominations are put forward by NIC faculty, support and administrative staff. To be eligible, recipients must have worked at NIC for at least 10 years, demonstrated teaching, service or research excellence and contributed significantly to student success or the educational community.

An Emeritus designation provides retired employees with an opportunity to continue involvement with the college after retirement, providing access to NIC facilities and services, as well as participation in mentorship, research, strategic direction and scholarship activities.

Learn more about NIC Emeritus, visit

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