Dedicated to Sally Nelson

A film tribute to one of Dawson’s first faculty member Sally Nelson

by  Katrina Tortorici


Linda Dydyk, an English professor, created her first film, Making the Yellow Brick Road – The Story of Dawson College, in honor of  Sally Todd Nelson, to be premiered at Dawson on Thursday, February 25 at 6:00 p.m. in room 4C.1. 

Dawson has had the privilege of having Nelson teach in the college for 40 years, until her recent retirement.

“Sally was a mentor to me all of these years,” Dydyk said. “In 2008, I knew she was retiring but no one brought up doing anything special. And nobody did. So I decided to make a film as a way to appeal to a larger audience.” 

The length of the film is 32 minutes and is in interview style. Dydyk incorporated things that Sally loved as elements to make up the film. 

“I used relevant photographs and music,” she said. “Bruce Springstein is her favorite.” 

The film took a year and a half to make, with the help and support of Multimedia technician Jean Claude Duval and Dydyk’s husband. 

“They were among the few who believed in what I was doing, along with the Public Relations office. I had no prior experience making films, so I had to learn how. I want people to keep in mind that it’s the content that’s important.”  

Nelson was a McGill student two years prior to the opening of Dawson and was  one of the first faculty members to be hired in 1969. At that time, she was a member of the Quebec Provincial Committee for CEGEP Curriculum Design and consequently changed the way the English curriculum was approached. She acquired many of the most important positions in the college, one of which was the title of Academic Dean. 

“If anyone knows the history of Dawson College, it’s Sally,” Dydyk said.

With all of her hard work and dedication, Sally Nelson left a mark on the history of Dawson College and thanks to Linda Dydyk, everyone will know it.

“Once Sally leaves, all of that information, all of that history is gone. I wanted a record to take with me,” Dydyk added.


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