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Distinguished Educational Developer Career Award 2016
Nicola Simmons is a faculty member in Brock’s Graduate and Undergraduate Education Department. She was Chair, Educational Developers Caucus; Founding Chair of SoTL Canada; Vice-President, Canada, International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; and Vice-President, SoTL, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. She researches faculty and student learning processes and interactions, particularly adult lifelong learning, development, and meaning-making. Her two true loves, however, are teaching and creating and supporting capacity-building communities. In 2016 she was awarded Brock University’s Faculty of Education Award for Excellence in Teaching and also Brock’s overall Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Nicola’s nomination package highlighted the following contributions:
- Her collaborative and enthusiastic participation on institutional committees aimed at enhancing the learning experience for students at Brock University, including work on the M.Ed. exit course and the committee on academic integrity and students at risk.
- Her significant leadership roles on national and international bodies committed to teaching and learning, including as Chair of the Educational Developers Caucus, as a board member of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, as Vice-President for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and as the Founding Chair of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Canada, an organization with 350 members.
- Her wide-ranging and impactful contributions to the national and international community of scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), including the presentation of over one hundred conference presentations, the publication of a Society for Teaching and Learning Green Guide on Portfolios, numerous publications in high-impact journals with broad impact, editorial work on special issues and collections, and her initiative that developed and launched an electronic, shared repository of SoTL materials. Her attention to mentoring emerging scholars, as well as colleagues in teaching and learning through informal and formal mechanisms.
In their passionate letters of support, her colleagues noted about Nicola:
- “She has published extensively on SoTL and ED in the premier national and international journals in these areas. She has co-authored what I consider to be seminal SoTL articles […] She has also actively supported others in their publications.”
- “Nicola has been an exceptional mentor to me and many other professionals in the field. Her warmth, compassion, patience, knowledge, and skill have benefited me professionally and personally more than I can tell you.”
“Everything that Nicola does – and she has done so much for our EDC community – exudes the abiding commitment and the sense of curiosity that bless all great teachers. We have all been beneficiaries of Nicola’s work, leadership and collegiality.”