2024 Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication Announced

The committee for the 2024 Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication unanimously has recommended Dr. Sean Williams as the recipient for the award.

The Jay R. Gould Award was created to honor the greatest teachers and mentors in technical communication. Dr. Sean Williams is exemplary in this regard and has outstanding achievements in all areas of the award’s criteria.

In his career that spans several decades, he has educated a large number of students, many of whom have become educators in the academia, scholars in the discipline, and leaders in the industry. Dr. Williams engages with his students long after they have graduated and he continues to publish with some of them. As one writer of a letter of recommendation, a former student of his, remarks:

My career, even many years later, has been shaped under Williams’ wings. His mentorship to myself and my peers was a tremendous boon early on, but it has been his genuine, lifelong passion for education that continues to inspire me today and he remains one of my closest mentors, even a decade and a half later as I have advanced in my career.

Dr. Williams has been an exceptional mentor to students at several institutions. He is a caring mentor who goes beyond the typical advising of students. He creates numerous opportunities to connect students with organizations in the real world. He has directed a large number of graduate theses and dissertations. Many students he mentored come back to his classes and give back to the community. In his record we discovered a world of interconnected relationships and a wealth of personal and professional growth.

Equally impressive is Dr. Williams’ accomplishments in innovative teaching and program development. He has spearheaded the development of an innovative multi-department Ph.D. program, a stand-alone department in Technical Communication and Information Design, and now as an administrator, a program in user experience. His career trajectory echoes that of the field of technical communication. He pioneered and embraced new trends and technology every step of the way. His pedagogy infuses entrepreneurship, digital technology, and industry-academe collaboration.

Reviewing Dr. Williams’ documents left us far more to savor than can be presented in these pages. By this recommendation, we would like to honor Dr. Williams’ innovative teaching and heartfelt mentorship that are beyond worthy of this award.

Sincerely yours,

The Committee of the Jay Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication
Holly Baker, Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch, Nupoor Ranade, Jason Tham, and Quan Zhou (Chair).

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