David DiBattista (2007)

dibattistaAffiliation at the time of the award: Brock University, Psychology.

Citation: Five former 3M Teaching Fellows nominated Dr. David DiBattista calling him Brock’s teaching and learning champion. A strange word perhaps—champion —yet in a research- and funding-oriented world, David recently made a fundamental and significant shift in his career direction by choosing to dedicate himself to the further development of both his own and the institution’s commitment to the Scholarship of Teaching. David not only embraces the scholarship of teaching and learning, but he also practices it in his teaching, his research, and his daily administrative duties as Associate Dean of Social Sciences.

The buzz words in his nomination are all present and correct: energy; enthusiasm; credibility; creativity; dedication; commitment to teaching excellence; innovative teaching strategies; student-centred learning; and formative feedback. In addition, the educational mission that David has set himself is clear and urgent—to improve the levels of student learning and faculty teaching to the greatest degree possible.

But a 3M Teaching Fellow goes beyond buzz words. Research-intensive universities need the role model presented by David. He demonstrates energy and commitment, makes major sacrifices, and takes an aggressive stance towards teaching. It is the hard choices that define us—putting our creative efforts where our mouths are, accepting every opportunity to assert the absolute necessity of excellence in teaching, and encouraging those around us not just to imitate us, but to follow in our footsteps and to change the world, a step at a time, student by student.