American education award for Flinders dean

 Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Geography Iain Hay has become the first person outside the US to receive the American Association of Geographers’ (AAG) Gilbert Grosvenor Geographic Education Honors.

The awards, first made in 1951, will be presented at the organisation’s annual conference in New Orleans in April, when thousands of academics and scholars gather in the US from around the world.

The AAG cites Professor Hay’s contributions to geographic education as “sustained, diverse and far-reaching,” with his scholarly production “shaping undergraduate geography education and faculty training around the world” and development of “cutting edge pedagogies and practices” helping geographers and academics more broadly.

The award citation notes several highlights:

  • His Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography (editor), Making the Grade: A Guide to Successful Communication and Study (co-author) and Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences (author), now in their fourth, third, and third editions respectively, are widely used in undergraduate instruction.
  • He co-wrote Research Ethics for Social Scientists (with Mark Israel) and edited Inspiring Academics: Learning with the World’s Great University Teachers (2011), and his most recent book, How to be an Academic Superhero: Establishing and Sustaining a Successful Career in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, was published in December, 2017.
  • Professor Hay, who is Dean (Education) in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, has edited the Journal of Geography in Higher Education, is Vice-President of the International Geographical Union, and has been instrumental in building an international research network with US and UK-based colleagues for Learning and Teaching Geography.
  • He was also seconded for several years to the Australian Teaching and Learning Council were he led the writing of Australian National Learning and Teaching Academic Standards in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

Professor Hay says he’s honoured to be recognised by international peers via the AAG award.

“This is wonderful news. I’m privileged and thrilled to have my work recognised by colleagues on the other side of the Pacific Ocean,” he says.

“And I think it says something very positive about the opportunities to contribute internationally that Flinders University has been able to offer its academic staff over the past two decades. ”

Professor Hay says one of his career highlights was being selected as the recipient of the 2006 Prime Minister’s Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year. Another was being selected as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2014.

One of Professor Hay’s recent articles, entitled ‘Defending letters: a pragmatic response to assaults on the humanities,’ can be read in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management vol. 38, no. 6.



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