Academic Director Nancy Chick receives the ISSOTL Distinguished Service Award

The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Board organizes an annual public call for nominations for the Distinguished Service Award. The award celebrates ISSOTL members who have made noteworthy contributions both to ISSOTL and to the broader field of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

On October 12th, past-president of ISSOTL Peter Felten presented the award to Nancy Chick, Academic Director of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. The criteria for this recognition includes a widely acknowledged reputation in the field of SoTL and an individual who espouses the Society’s values.

Gary Poole, founding member of ISSOTL and professor emeritus in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, lauds Chick’s contributions to this field. He was on the ISSOTL board when Chick first took on the role of communications coordinator.

“It became very clear in the early going that Nancy wasn’t somebody who just coordinated things; Nancy was somebody who built things,” Poole says. “And in so doing, she established a clear and very inclusive, constructive vision, and then she went after it.”

Natasha Kenny, director of the Taylor Institute’s Educational Development Unit, recognizes Chick’s remarkable impact on SoTL.

“Nancy’s dedication to SoTL is unparalleled,” she states. “It is important to note that Nancy is one of only 12 scholars in the world that have been recognized for this award. Many will acknowledge Nancy’s contributions to advancing SoTL discourse and engagement across the arts and humanities, her collaborative leadership in co-founding and editing ISSOTL’s journal Teaching & Learning Inquiry, and her countless contributions to building ISSOTL’s legacy. What is most impressive about Nancy is that she truly lives the SoTL ethos – engaging individuals, working groups, departments, institutions and nations across the globe in exploring their curiosities about teaching and student learning. She never lets a conversation about SoTL pass her by, and is truly committed to meaningfully engaging students and instructors in this work. Nancy has brought the heart of SoTL to every individual and institution she has graced, and has transformed the landscape of SoTL across the globe.”

Both Poole and Kenny reflect on the joy they experienced when they watched Chick receive this award.

“The person who gave the award is past-president Peter Felten, a person who Nancy and I and all of the SoTL world has enormous respect for,” Poole says. “So that Peter was in the position to stand in front of this large crowd and sing Nancy’s praises and give this award was particularly meaningful for Nancy, and it was for me too. If you’d left me there long enough, I would’ve just shed a tear of joy for the fact that, at least sometime in our lives, somebody who deserves all of the laudatory recognition that they can get, actually gets some of it. To see Nancy’s work recognized and applauded in a venue that I know matters greatly to her was, for me, quite moving.” 

Kenny was equally pleased with the award announcement. She says, “It was incredible to see Nancy receive this award alongside so many distinguished international SoTL scholars and colleagues, each of whom truly understood the breadth of her impact and commitment to advancing SoTL across the globe. The heart-felt response of those gathered to recognize Nancy’s award is testament to her contributions to this expanding field. I could not have been more joyous that ISSoTL recognized her compassionate dedication and unwavering commitment to the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

Chick is the twelfth recipient of this prestigious award, which ISSOTL delivers to acknowledge her remarkable and ongoing service.