For those non Canadians reading this, a hat trick results in hockey (and I learn from Wikipedia, in other sports) when one scores three goals in one game. Well, the academic game lasts considerably longer than three periods, but I was both delighted and surprised to score a hat trick this week.

The week started with a call from Chere Gibson (emeritus professor from Univ. of Wisconsin) saying that I was to be awarded the “Wedemeyer Award for Excellence in Distance Education Practice. This award will be presented to the practitioner(s) who most exemplifies excellence in practice in distance education in North America”. The award will be presented at the 26th annual Distance Teaching and Learning conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

The next day, after insuring my head hadn’t swelled beyond the size of my bike helmet, I pedaled to work to receive an email from Canadian Network for Innovation in Education president Ray Whitley, that I was to be presented with the CNIE annual award for leadership at thr CNIE conference in St John this May. International awards are very nice, but recognized by one’s peers at home is especially gratifying.

The final goal was notification that myself and Bruno Poellhuber from the University of Montreal had won a Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities  Research Grant for $140,000 over 3 years to study social networking interventions in self-paced distance education programming. Now the amount of this grant may not seem much (especially when spread between 3 institutions over three years,) but those knowledgeable about Canadian funding for ed tech research programs know that we are in an extreme political drought and that any funds for research is rain from heaven!! Actually Bruno and I failed in our first two tries at this competition, the second time because reviewers found that we had not not provided justification for conducting this research in French and English – can you believe we live in Canada??

Anyways, weeks like this come very infrequently in academic, and I hope you will forgive the self promotional flavour of this post.