When Dr. Noella Piquette was close to completing her PhD in Applied Psychology and Human Developmentand Learning, at the University of Calgary (2003), after thirteen years as a Special Education teacher and counsellor, there was no doubt in her mind where she would like to continue her career.
The University of Lethbridge name just kept coming up as the crown jewel for Faculties of Education.”
Noella soon became a part of that “warm place” with such a strong sense of community she often felt compelled to “wander into the staffroom because the laughter drew me in.”
In the nineteen years since, Dr. Noella Piquette has been an enthusiastic contributor to both the University of Lethbridge and the broader community it serves. She has held 43 grants (mostly collaborative), supervised 41 graduate students, served on at least 25 external committees, and been a member of 19 professional memberships. Her passion for learning from and with others has also informed what she has identified as her most important work. “It was a mission of mine to have my Education students truly understand marginalized students…to not incorporate them in their lesson planning but to start with them. The goal was to be always thinking about those students who need the very most…and how best to meet their needs.” Not surprisingly, Dr, Piquette stays connected to her past students who, now spread around the world, continue sharing their teaching experiences.
Dr. Piquette’s broad research interests have also fueled her love for learning, reinforcing her belief that when like-minded people work together their research can have a positive impact on policy and procedure. Such examples are her research with women’s problem gambling, which began back in 2003 as an issue not being widely studied, and her extensive research with both early language and literacy research and neuro-education. When asked if this work makes a difference, Dr. Piquette explains, “I know there are positive shifts in the schools. I can see it while I’m working with the pre-service teachers and they inform me that there are actual shifts in how they do their business when they are the teachers.”
Drawing from the work of Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner, an American psychologist and one of the founders of Head Start (a program assisting low-income children and families in the United States), Dr. Piquette has grounded her teaching, research, and service around the central consideration, “How do you best support marginalized people?” Leaning on the work of Bronfenbrenner, who developed a model explaining, “the environment you grow up in affects every facet of your life,” Dr. Piquette has tried to help her students see others through a different lens so all children will excel. Even as Noella prepares to retire from the University of Lethbridge, she plans to stay in Lethbridge continuing her work as a volunteer, working as a therapist in private practice, and acting as a mentor to her many past students. There may even be some time for travel or golf.
When looking back over a very active career, Dr. Piquette fondly remembers her thirteen years on the Fiat Dux Dragonboat Team, working with faculty across the university, and her role as the Chief Marshal for convocation. Clearly, Dr, Piquette embraced opportunities where she could enjoy the collegiality of her peers. And for those who knew her best, it was time filled with shared laughter. Reflecting on her years with the Faculty of Education, Dr. Noella Piquette describes her decision to come to the University of Lethbridge as “a hands-down good decision. I can’t imagine a better fit for me, not only as a person, as a researcher, as a teacher, but as somebody wanting to do service. It was an honour.”
Writer: Christy Audet | Photographer: Ken Heidebrecht
For more information please contact:
Dean's Office • Faculty of Education
University of Lethbridge
Learn more about the Faculty of Education: Legacy Magazine (2008-2019)
Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu Website: uleth.ca/education
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