York education Professor Sandra Schecter is the recipient of the inaugural Faculty of Education Dean’s Research Impact Award. Schecter was honoured by Dean Ron Owston at the Faculty’s annual Research Celebration on May 8. She received the award for her outstanding contributions to scholarship both nationally and internationally in the field of sociolinguistics.
For more than 35 years, Schecter has made sustained contributions to multiple related fields of inquiry – bilingual and multilingual language acquisition and learning, language socialization, language and cultural identity, language policy and planning, and community-referenced pedagogy. Her contributions have significantly enhanced the quality of learning by York students at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
“In the fields of applied linguistics and language learning, Professor Schecter’s research amounts to the ‘gold standard’ for research,” said Celia Haig Brown, associate dean research and professional development in the Faculty of Education. “Her national and international reputation, her ongoing and extremely prestigious record of publication, and her commitment to supporting both graduate students and the ongoing work of the institution, attest to her worthiness for this award.”
Since joining the Faculty in 1996, Schecter has received funding from the Spencer Foundation and has sustained continuous Social Sciences & Humanities Research Foundation of Canada (SSHRC) funding for her research, totaling more than $500,000. One such SSHRC-funded project, titled “Parent involvement AS education: The primary and middle school classroom as a site of adult learning,” was profiled in SSHRC’s 2005-06 Performance Report to Parliament. The project had a major impact on school-based practice. Schecter has published widely on language learning, language socialization and language planning in the context of bi- and multi-lingual societies, yielding six authored or edited books, 30 journal articles and 14 book chapters, and resulting in more than 70 conference presentations, not to mention her numerous invited talks.
“Our faculty members are making many outstanding research contributions that influence communities, policy and practice,” said Owston. “I felt it was time to formally recognize this by creating the Dean’s Research Impact Award. As the first recipient, Professor Schecter’s work exemplifies this level of excellence and sets a high standard for future awardees.”
The Dean’s Research Impact Award is awarded annually to a tenure stream member of the Faculty of Education whose sustained program of research has displayed significant impact, broadly defined. The award recognizes research excellence, leadership and innovation, including sustained and significant contributions to the field, exceptional research achievements and leadership in research.
Each award winner will have their name engraved on the Faculty’s awards plaque outside of the dean’s office in Winters College and will be recognized at the Faculty’s annual Research Celebration in the spring.