In Memory of Brian Thom


Brian Thom

It is with deepest regret that we announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague Brian Thom. As many of you are aware, Brian was diagnosed with stage four cancer in April this year. Despite a hard-fought battle involving chemotherapy and a new immunotherapy drug, Brian passed away on September 26, 2015.

Brian was a loving husband and father of four who dedicated his life and career to helping others. He started his career at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in 1990 as an Instructional Development Consultant in the Learning Resources Unit (now the Learning and Teaching Centre), and over the following 25 years, made contributions that will impact BCIT and post-secondary education in BC for years to come. He served on the board of the North American Council for Staff, Program and Organizational Development, was a member of the advisory council for the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program and represented BCIT at the University, College and Institute, Professional Development Committee.

A natural mentor, Brian was always willing to lend a helping hand. In 2014, he received a BCIT Employee Excellence Award for “Unsung Hero”: a moniker that epitomizes his career as a caring, thoughtful educator who helped countless faculty and instructors improve how they teach at BCIT.

This year Brian was honored through the creation of a new award at BCIT. The Brian Thom Advancing Teaching Excellence Award recognizes an individual or group who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing learning and teaching at BCIT through educational innovation, and has been a champion for excellence in teaching beyond BCIT.

Details of a memorial service have not yet been announced and will be made available once the event is confirmed.


-Rosario Passos

2 thoughts on “In Memory of Brian Thom

  1. I’m proud to have counted Brian as a colleague in educational development. Condolences to all whom Brian influenced over the years. Brian leaves a legacy in Canadian postsecondary education every time an instructor puts into practice all that Brian cherished about teaching-and-learning.

    Tim Loblaw
    Chair, College Advovcacy
    Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

  2. I went to a workshop that Brian put on at NCSPOD MANY years ago (far longer than either of us would have liked to speak of) and listened. Just listened. I don’t do that often, but what Brian was saying and the obvious deep convictions about the way to help teachers move forward on that continuum toward becoming “great” grabbed my attention. Our conversations started at lunch right after that. Over the years we never had enough time for the conversations we enjoyed – one of the problems of being in different countries on different sides of a giant continent. Brian was an educator with a huge heart, and the ability to connect in deep ways. Rare traits.

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