The recipient of this award for 2014 was Dr. Cheri J. Simonds (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma), a Professor of Communication at Illinois State University. She has Co-directed ‘Communication as Critical Inquiry’ for the past seventeen years. She and her colleagues were integrally involved in general education reform at ISU. She teaches in the area of communication education and has published several articles in national peer reviewed journals including Communication Education, Communication Teacher, and The Basic Communication Course Annual.
Throughout her tenure at Illinois State University, she has collaborated with colleagues to develop two lines of research on the Scholarship of Teaching Communication as well as the Scholarship of Learning. In terms of the former, she has published work on classroom management training, speech evaluation training, criterion based assessment, interactive instructional strategies, and authentic portfolio assessment. These efforts have been recognized by the Basic Course Division of the National Communication Association (NCA) in naming ISUs ‘Communication as Critical Inquiry’ Course as the Inaugural Program of Excellence Award in 2008. In discussing her SoTL scholarship in the Communication discipline, Simonds stated that the link between teaching and learning is communication, a clear justification for her research agenda.
In terms of the Scholarship of Learning, she has studied the effects of teacher self-disclosure on Facebook on teacher credibility, student motivation, affective learning, and classroom climate. She has also explored the effects of teacher clarity, immediacy, and credibility on student learning. These efforts have provided opportunities to inform teachers of various disciplines the communication skills needed to be effective teachers.
Simonds has co-authored textbooks on Classroom Communication, Intercultural Communication, and Public Speaking. She is the Outgoing Editor of Communication Teacher, lead author on the NCA Resolution on the Role of Communication in General Education, and Chairs the NCA Task Force on Strengthening the Basic Communication Course. The National Communication Association recently honored her with the Inaugural Basic Communication Course Distinguished Faculty Award.
Illinois State University faculty can access the following link for additional information about this award: Dr. John Chizmar & Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award for 2015-16.