Simon Hooper earns College of Education's Career Achievement Award

April 13, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Education is publishing brief profiles of faculty, staff and students who would have been honored at the annual spring appreciation and awards luncheon. 

Faculty, staff and students who have made significant contributions to their fields were selected through nomination letters prompted by their outstanding service and dedication to their job. 

Today’s featured award winner is Simon Hooper, who earned the college’s Career Achievement Award.

Hooper, is a professor of education (learning, design, and technology) in the Department of Learning and Performance Systems.

His research focuses on design, design thinking and novel uses of technology for learning and instruction. In some of his other research, Hooper has focused on students’ learning with technology alone and in pairs, as well as the impact of gamification on learning. He also is exploring uses of artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies for education.

“Simon is open and available to his students. He seems to provide just the right support at just the right times to best benefit their development, and he demonstrates care for their individual development,” said Rayne Sperling, associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies.

“Simon is an exceptional person. He is kind and steadfastly patient. Simon has spent a career leveraging his considerable design and technology knowledge and skills to solve interesting problems that often affect marginalized populations or that have societal impact,” Sperling said.

Roy Clariana, head of the Department of Learning and Performance Systems, said Hooper is always ready and happy to step up and take on extra service for the college and department.

“The private advice and suggestions that he brings to me are always sound and good, and his advice is often prescient, heading off problems before they become problems,” said Clariana, who noted that Hooper has served as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on Institute of Education Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation grants worth nearly $7.8 million.

“This work has centered on at-risk children, the hard-of-hearing (sign language), climate change and HIV/AIDS. These individuals and areas of work strongly show where his heart aims, and Simon has left a positive mark in whatever he has touched,” Clariana said.

Susan Land, associate professor of education (learning, design, and technology), said Hooper has a unique insight into underexplored uses of technology for learning.

“What sets Simon apart from others is that he has a true passion for innovation. He wants to see technology revolutionize learning, and he has a vision to see it into fruition,” Land said.

“He has dedicated himself to pushing the frontiers of knowledge, teaching and technology to truly leave a mark of innovation on our college and the field of education. He is valued deeply for who he is as a person — his integrity, humor and rigorous but supportive nature. He practices his research, teaching, mentoring and leadership with ethics, professionalism and trustworthiness,” Land noted.

Award winners are:

— Career Achievement Award: Simon Hooper

— Outstanding Teaching Award: Uju Anya

— Outstanding Senior Researcher Award: Gerald LeTendre

— Outstanding Junior Researcher Award: Jennifer Frank

— Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award: Ashley Patterson

— Climate Enhancement Award: JT Taylor

— Outstanding Staff Award: Megan Foster and Darlene Kolesar

— Graduate Student Recognition Award: Kaela Fuentes-Packnick

— Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award: Taylor Young

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 22, 2020