MI presents awards for alumni, teaching and exceptional service
Tuesday, July 11, 2023

The Marine Institute presented its annual awards for alumni, teaching and exceptional service toChris Tibbo three recipients during the graduation ceremony on June 23, 2023. This year’s recipients were Chris Tibbo, Lesley Bonnell and Eric Davis.

Alumni Award

Capt. Tibbo, Managing Director with Maersk Supply Service Canada, is this year’s recipient of the Alumni Award. This award recognizes the accomplishments of MI alumni, their service to society and their commitment to the MI and Memorial communities.

Capt. Tibbo received his diploma in Nautical Science from MI and has been working with Maersk since 1998. He began his career with Maersk as a cadet and worked through the ranks, being appointed captain in 2012, Offshore Operations Manager in 2016, and has held his current position since 2021.

His colleagues describe him as showing “a high degree of integrity, responsibility and ambition,” and for being “the driving force in changes to processes and procedures within our local and global organization.”

Capt. Tibbo has remained engaged with the MI community since he graduated from the nautical science program in 2002. He supports the annual Nautical Skills Competition and regularly engages with the Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS).

One nominator highlighted the exceptional growth throughout his career, writing: “his career has been truly remarkable in demonstrating what a graduate of MI can achieve.”

At the graduation ceremony, Capt. Tibbo addressed the crowd in a short speech.

Dr. Peter Fisher Teaching and Learning AwardLesley Bonnell

The award recognizes an instructor who has gone above and beyond in the pursuit of teaching and learning, innovation, and leadership at MI.

Lesley Bonnell, an instructor in the School of Fisheries (SOF), is this year’s award winner. Ms. Bonnell’s career began with MI in 2002 as a Food Technology/Quality Supervisor. After giving a presentation to a group of students, she discovered a passion for teaching. She became an instructor in 2005.

Since then, she has taught a number of courses, including biology, chemistry, food science and technology, and microbiology. As a microbiology instructor, she teaches every diploma student in the School of Fisheries.

Ms. Bonnell takes a student-first approach to teaching, recognizing that not all students learn the same. She consistently asks students for feedback on teaching methods and incorporates hands-on examples in the classroom whenever possible.

Each of Ms. Bonnell’s nominators highlighted her ability to connect with students. One of her colleagues elaborated on the impact she has had on her students, writing: “One of the marks of a great teacher is the fact that previous students drop by when they can, and our graduates always drop by when they are in the building to have a chat with Lesley.”

Exceptional Service AwardEric Davis

This award recognizes an employee who demonstrates exceptional service and makes significant contributions to MI and the university community beyond what is expected for their position.

This year’s recipient is Eric Davis, a senior technologist with MI’s Centre for Applied Ocean Technology (CTec). He is an MI alumnus, having graduated from the Electrical Engineering Technology diploma program when the school was named the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology.

Mr. Davis has played an integral role in the project, SmartBay. Also known as SmartAtlantic, SmartBay is a network of moored buoys that provides real-time data to improve safety at sea and has led to a better understanding of our oceans. Since its inception, he has been the technical lead of the project.

His nominators emphasized his friendly nature and outgoing personality and stated that he is dedicated to his work and his willingness to go above and beyond in his service to MI and its people.

Mr. Davis is a trusted and invaluable member of CTec. Of his position there, one nominator wrote: “the most telling demonstration of his valued opinion, advice and assistance is reflected in the steady line of people waiting to speak with him.”