Staebler Insurance celebrates 150 years by supporting accessible education

Monday, February 13, 2023

The Library is thrilled to share that Staebler Insurance has made a $100,000 gift to support our OER Fellows Grant. This initiative, launched in 2022, is a program that offers competitive grants of $5,000 each to instructors to help create or adapt an open educational resource (OER) for a UWaterloo course. This generous gift from Staebler Insurance will allow the Library to offer these grants for the next five years. 

Serving the local community 

Staebler Insurance is a local, family-owned business, that has been serving the Kitchener-Waterloo area since 1873. Deeply committed to community and life-long learning, they are making significant contributions in the Waterloo Region to organizations that have missions and visions that align with theirs, in celebration of their 150th anniversary this year. 

Joanna Mendonca, President of Staebler Insurance, says “We are honoured to provide this gift to the University of Waterloo Library in support of their OER Fellows Grant initiative. This contribution toward open educational resources is our humble contribution toward reducing material costs for students and supporting instructors in the creation of course-tailored resources.”  

Russell Philpott and Joanna Mendonca of Staebler Insurance

Russell Philpott and Joanna Mendonca

Increasing access for all  

For decades now there has been a movement across Canada to support the development of open educational resources, which help to democratize knowledge and provide students affordable access to quality materials. This gift represents an investment in not only the Library and open educational resources, but also in the University’s teaching and learning mission. 

Russell Philpott, Executive Vice President of Staebler Insurance says, “Lifelong learning is a key value at Staebler Insurance... we're thrilled to support the University of Waterloo Library in their mission to make learning materials freely accessible and available...”  

Instructors and faculty take the lead in creating OER but often don’t independently have the time or support needed for such projects. The Staebler Insurance OER Fellows Grant provides the funding to give them both. In addition to funds, in-kind support is available through the Centre for Extended Learning's Agile Development Team (ADT) and through assistance from library staff. ADT provides consultative and development services for digital learning design and multimedia, and the Library shares expertise in copyright, licensing and publishing. 

A recent testimonial from Dr. Alana Cattapan, assistant professor, Department of Political Science, and 2022 OER Fellows Grant recipient, says “The OER grant has given me the opportunity to assess the accessibility of my OER-in-progress, as well as to incorporate introductions to sections of the project by leading experts, improving the depth of knowledge represented by the project and expanding its reach.” 

Please join us in celebrating as we recognize Staebler Insurance’s generous gift and partnership. 

To learn more about the Staebler Insurance OER Fellows Grant, please visit Open Scholarship at Waterloo.

J. M. Staebler
J. M. Staebler

3 generations of Staebler Insurance newspaper ad 
Staebler Insurance newspaper ad, 1954

Keith Staebler
Keith Staebler


Above images from Special Collections & Archives, University of Waterloo Library

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