An associate professor at Nipissing University is taking home the 2020 D2L Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Denyse Lafrance Horning was named the recipient of the award, which is presented by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and Desire2Learn (D2L). Officials say the award celebrates and recognizes post-secondary educators for their innovative approaches that promote student-centred teaching and learning.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Denyse Lafrance Horning was recognized with this award for her innovative teaching approaches,” said Dr. Arja Vainio-Mattila, Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research. “Her commitment to providing enriching and engaging learning experiences for students embodies the type of learning environment we strive to provide for all of our students at Nipissing.”

University officials say Lafrance Horning was recognized for her innovative approach to teaching sports marketing. Lafrance Horning evolved the sports marketing course curriculum from a traditional lecture format to a more experienced-based approach through the introduction of a major field experience project. The project requires students to work collaboratively in strategic organizing committees to plan, promote, and execute a charity-linked varsity sporting event known as Lakers Break the Ice on Mental Health.

“It’s an honour to be recognized with this award and it inspires me to continue to seek innovative ways to engage my students,” Lafrance Horning said. “I wish to thank and acknowledge the commitment and incredible efforts of the 146 students who have completed these projects and have embraced this teaching and learning approach. Their valuable feedback and willingness to explore new methods have directly contributed to the advancement of experiential learning at Nipissing University.”

Lafrance Horning was one of four educators selected for the award from an international pool of applicants.