Nicola Simmons, assistant professor in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education in the Faculty of Education, has been named an inaugural winner of the Distinguished Education Development Career Award.
The award recognizes excellence and leadership in the field of educational development and is administered by the national body for educational development in Canada, the Educational Developers Caucus. It is the only award in Canada for leaders in educational development.
“This is a great honour and I’m absolutely delighted,” said Simmons. “I am humbled by the very kind letters Educational Development colleagues wrote on my behalf — and filled with gratitude to them. It is through their efforts working on various projects that we were able to achieve anything much more than by my leadership.”
Simmons was recognized for her contributions and work on committees that enhance the learning experience for students, leadership roles on national and international bodies committed to teaching and learning, and wide-ranging and impactful contribution to the national and international community of scholarship of teaching and learning.
The winner of this year’s Brock Distinguished Teacher Award and the Faculty of Education’s Award for Excellence in teaching, Simmons, an ILTA, acknowledges the opportunities provided by her past national and international leadership positions in helping her build networks of scholars.
“I’ve been very lucky to have found myself in leadership positions in the past that allowed me to start interesting initiatives — and lucky now to have colleague and student involvement that help sustain them,” said Simmons.
As an example, she pointed out the database of annotations on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which would not be growing at its current rate without the work of graduate students who are writing for the website.
Simmons’ work focuses on postsecondary teaching and learning, including educational development and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, helping connect networks of like-minded scholars to advance and explore educational leadership, teaching, and learning.