Campus News
A man wearing glasses and a blue shirt holds an award and smiles.
Jim Pinches, geomatics technologist in the School of Engineering Technologies, and recipient of the 2024 ASET Outstanding Educator Award.

They say time flies when you’re having fun; words that have held true for Jim Pinches, geomatics technologist in the School of Engineering Technologies, who has spent more than 20 years inspiring students at Lethbridge College. Pinches’ impact on the thousands of students he’s interacted with was recognized in April when he was given the 2024 ASET Outstanding Educator Award from the Association of Science and Engineering Professionals of Alberta (ASET). This award showcases an educator who demonstrates excellence in teaching, educational innovation and commitment to the advancement of knowledge and technological studies.

Pinches was nominated by one of his former students, Wade Weaver (Civil Engineering Technology 2007), who has also served as a past president of ASET. Wade had reached out to Pinches to ask if he could nominate him for the award and ultimately presented it to him at the ASET Awards event at the annual general meeting on April 19 in Banff.

“I enjoy my job and the interaction with the students, and so the years just fly by,” says Pinches. “I had never thought about the impact I was having on so many students.”

While the award came as a surprise to Pinches, it was no surprise to the colleagues and students who know him. He’s known around campus as someone who regularly employs humour, singing, dancing and mnemonics in his classes, saying he works to keep things upbeat and light.

“Jim is an inspiration to his colleagues and students,” says Edith Olson, chair, School of Engineering Technologies. “His practical experience combined with his theoretical knowledge has benefited many students who have gone on to successful careers. His cheerful attitude, cooperative spirit, helpfulness and team attitude combine to make Jim the colleague we all want to work with. His singing is pretty good, too.”

As for Pinches, he says he does his job because he loves it, not for the recognition, but says receiving the award certainly validates the effort he’s put in.

“It makes it all worthwhile,” he says. “You stop and realize that what you have done was worth it.”

You can read more about Pinches and his award on the ASET website.