This award is the highest recognition for chemistry education in Canada. For Professor Alison Flynn, receiving this award is an honour that reflects the incredible students and colleagues that she has been fortunate to collaborate with at the University of Ottawa. The goal of Prof. Flynn’s research is to equip and empower students with the knowledge and skills to continue learning and using chemistry in their lives and careers.
Professor Flynn is a 3M National Teaching Fellow, a member of the Global Young Academy, and uOttawa’s new Associate Vice-Provost – Academic Affairs. Her work includes developing online, bilingual learning tools as Open Education Resources to support student learning, including OrgChem101, a Growth & Goals Module, and eBooks for remote teaching. Her research group studies student learning in organic chemistry and the impacts of the Growth & Goals module. At the provincial level, she has been a Director on eCampusOntario’s Board; this organization brings together the province’s universities and colleges to foster technology-enabled innovation, research, and excellence on behalf of and in collaboration with students. At the National level, she is the Canadian Society for Chemistry’s past Director of Accreditation and the inaugural Associate Editor for chemistry education research with the Canadian Journal of Chemistry.
In all her work, Prof. Flynn is committed to helping students succeed in their chosen careers and goals. Receiving the Award for Chemistry Education has reinforced this commitment to chemistry education, and Prof. Flynn says that she hopes to help students ready themselves for the challenges they will face once they leave the classroom and start their careers.
Prof. Flynn leaves a final thought for those who wish to pursue a path in academic research: “Ask questions about everything! Research is all about discovering new things and the only way we can do that is by asking questions. It is supposed to feel hard—if it were easy, it would already be known and then we would not actually be doing research!”