Schmidt receives 2020 AAACE Presidential Award

Dr. Steve Schmidt with his award

Dr. Steve Schmidt received the 2020 AAACE Presidential Award for Exceptional and Innovative Leadership in Adult Continuing Education.

Dr. Steve Schmidt was presented with the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)’s 2020 Presidential Award for Exceptional and Innovative Leadership at the 2020 AAACE Virtual Conference that was held October 27-30.  The Presidential Award is presented each year to an adult educator in education, government, industry or other sectors who demonstrates exceptional and innovative leadership to, or in support of, adult and continuing education.

Schmidt is a professor and coordinator of the adult education program in the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions in ECU’s College of Education.  He served as president of AAACE in 2013-14, and is currently a member of the AAACE Board of Directors and the chair of the associations Commission of Professors of Adult Education. He holds Ph.D. and MS degrees in adult education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His major areas of research and writing activity include workplace learning, cultural competence, and online teaching and learning.

Schmidt’s research studies have been published in a variety of journals, and he has made presentations at national and international conferences. He serves on editorial review boards of several major journals that focus on adult education and human resource development. He is the author of two books: “Case Studies and Activities in Adult Education and Human Resource Development” and “Organization and Administration of Adult Education Programs.”

During his time at ECU, Schmidt has been responsible for the development and management of several initiatives that have served to diversify and increase student enrollment in the adult education program. Partnerships with ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine have resulted in the creation of a graduate certificate in Education in Healthcare Professions; a series of continuing professional education opportunities for medical and dental school faculty; the development of a medical school student scholarly track in education in health professions; and the coordination of several medical and dental school residency programs and fellowships that are related to education in healthcare professions. He has also partnered with ECU’s Division of Student Affairs on the development of an online graduate certificate in Student Affairs in Higher Education (the first of its kind in the UNC system). For over ten years, he has managed the department’s Army Cohort program, a partnership with the U.S. Arm through which civilian trainers for the Army take undergraduate and graduate-level courses in adult education and instructional technology as part of their continuing professional development.

Prior to joining the faculty of East Carolina University, Schmidt spent 18 years in the Fortune 500, working in the areas of marketing, public relations, and employee training and development.

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