N.C. A&T Deese College Professor Receives 2023 Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award

By East L Dockery / 12/13/2023 Employees, College of Business and Economics, Economics

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 13, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University associate professor Scott Simkins, Ph.D., has received the 2023 Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award from the Southern Economic Association (SEA).

Simkins, chair of the Department of Economics in the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics, was selected as an award co-recipient for his extraordinary contribution to economics education as a scholar and innovative student educator and by facilitating the improvement of economics teachers at the college level.

He was nominated by colleagues Tisha Emerson, James E. and Constance Paul Distinguished Professor of economics and department chair at East Carolina University; KimMarie McGoldrick, professor of economics and E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Business at the University of Richmond; and Deese College associate professor and former dean Kevin L. James.  

“We have known and worked directly with Scott for many years and in a variety of contexts, mostly centered around our mutual interest in and commitment to high quality work in economic education,” McGoldrick and Emerson said in their nomination. “Through our interactions and common work, we have gotten to know both Scott and his work quite well.”

The Elzinga award is designed to honor exemplary educators for their contributions to economics instruction. The contribution can be on a single campus or to the profession more broadly. The SEA is especially interested in identifying extraordinary talent in conveying economic concepts and in rewarding outstanding efforts that enhance teaching effectiveness, such as innovative methods of instruction; unusual courses that explore the boundaries of economics; interdisciplinary instruction that links economics with other disciplines; and research on how to effectively teach or evaluate economic learning.

“Scott is dedicated to the development of our understanding of economic education, especially though innovative pedagogy, and to the growth and education of his university students and university colleagues,” said McGoldrick and Emerson. “Scott has made notable contributions to economic education pedagogy and his commitment to outreach to his university colleagues and national and international economic educators is impressive.”

Simkins discovered his passion for teaching while he was an undergraduate student at Saint John’s University in Minnesota, where he was exposed to great teachers throughout his degree. Now in his 29th year at N.C. A&T, he served as the director of the A&T Academy for Teaching and Learning (precursor to the current Center for Teaching Excellence) for 12 years before returning to the economics department in 2016. He has made numerous contributions to economic education research, including publishing 23 articles, books, and book chapters in the areas of economic education and higher education innovation. He has also served as the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on six National Science Foundation grant projects totaling more than $1.4 million, including the development of the Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics, a web-based portal that makes innovative pedagogic resources and evidence-based teaching practices easily accessible to economists.

“I was nominated (for the Elzinga award) two years ago,” said Simkins. “The nomination stays in the pool for three years, and I didn’t receive it last year. I knew it was still in the pool, but I was thinking, ‘OK, that’s probably not going to happen.’ So, I was not expecting this.”

Simkins is grateful to his colleagues and his wife, Jan , whom he said has been his biggest supporter, which allowed him to be able to commit to the work behind the award.

“I felt really happy, but also very proud of this (award),” he said. “It’s not exactly a lifetime achievement award, but for me, it reflects at least two decades’ worth of focused work in economic education research and effective teaching practices. So, it’s not just about teaching economics, it’s about research about the teaching and learning of economics. So, it’s a fully encompassing thing that I am proud to be recognized for.”

Media Contact Information: eldockery@ncat.edu

Headlines, All News, College News