Distinguished Alumni Award (2023) - Dr. Rita Irwin

Throughout her career as a well-known artist and renowned researcher, Dr. Rita Irwin (BEd '77, Diploma in Education '84) has maintained a deep commitment to the arts, curriculum studies and education.

A teacher of teachers, she is known for her community-oriented, participatory teaching style, and the emphasis she places on pedagogy and mentorship. An integral member of the University of British Columbia Faculty of Education since 1995, Irwin’s influence as a professor and administrator has been widespread. A prolific researcher and educational leader, her work has been published widely and she has secured millions of dollars in research funding. Irwin explores a range of questions and topics through photography, painting, poetry and prose, and her research interests have spanned in-service art education, teacher education, socio-cultural issues and curriculum practices.