- Dawn Milne
- Jun 1, 2020
There is an old Chinese saying that teaching benefits both teachers and students, and for Ivey’s Jana Seijts that sentiment rings true.
That’s why it was especially rewarding for her to learn that she had won the Western University Students' Council Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for 2020. It was confirmation that her efforts in teaching were as rewarding for her students as they were for her. Seijts is the 10th Ivey faculty member to earn this distinction since its establishment in 1995.
“One of the most satisfying aspects of my job is having the opportunity to watch students transform into the leaders they want to be,” said Seijts, a Lecturer in Management Communications. “Getting to work with them and watch as they tackle issues, create solutions, and dream of their future is rewarding beyond measure. Being recognized by the Western University student body is truly an honour.”
Innovation on virtual teamwork
The award recognizes innovative teaching methods and techniques. In particular, students valued Seijts’ work in bringing current real-world simulations to the classroom. Seijts partnered with Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business to build student virtual teamwork and leadership skills. Seijts and Baylor University Lecturer April Rowsey created a simulation that allowed Ivey HBA students to partner with MBA students from Baylor to solve a business case and to present their solutions. Ivey students also had the opportunity to experience a virtual team teach with a faculty member from Baylor.
Bringing EDI to the forefront
The committee recognized Seijts’ work in the area of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the classroom. Seijts founded the Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program at Ivey in fall of 2019. She also created the Giving Voice to Leadership course for HBAs, which provides techniques for standing up for your values.
“I firmly believe in pushing our students to challenge their own ideas and those of others, and to provide feasible solutions, and to communicate them in a compelling and persuasive manner,” she said.
Seijts has more than 25 years’ experience teaching professional and technical communication to undergraduate and graduate students at Western University, York University, and the University of Manitoba. She has also co-authored two books on communication, is a best-selling author of business cases, and her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review.