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Neil Besner

Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness


Neil Besner

Neil Besner joined The University of Winnipeg's English Department in 1987 and since that time, he has made important contributions in the area of creating community awareness. In particular, his passion for liberal arts education has made him stand out.

Besner has immersed himself in the community, sharing his knowledge, expertise, enthusiasm and passion for literature and creative writing. He has distinguished himself by being very active with book clubs, writers' guilds and writers' festivals, and with publishing houses that promote the work of Manitoba writers. He has also provided analyses, reviews and insights for CBC Radio and the Winnipeg Free Press.

Besner has been an active member and a past President of the Manitoba Writers' Guild and of the Writers' Festival. He has provided his expertise to local writers through Prairie Fire and Turnstone Press. He has written reviews, edited books and articles, and chaired events for Prairie Fire.

“The Marsha Hanen Award signals that a vital part of our work here is to strengthen our ties with the community,” said Besner. “It is an honour to be recognized in this way.”

Besner's passion, enthusiasm and commitment go well beyond the boundaries of UWinnipeg classrooms. He has been a longtime ambassador for liberal arts education and The University of Winnipeg.