University of Stirling Professor of Sport Psychology David Lavallee has been announced as the first Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) based at a Scottish higher education institution.
There are currently 38 Principal Fellows, the highest of four levels of Fellowship awarded to highly experienced academics who have demonstrated a sustained and effective record of impact at a strategic level in relation to learning and teaching.
Professor Lavallee is the Head of Stirling’s School of Sport, which has developed a ‘teaching hospital’ model where students can apply their learning and gain professional practice opportunities, tapping into the array of sports facilities and services at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.
The model ensures students can practise in an environment where they can achieve and reflect upon their mistakes alongside more experienced colleagues.
He said: “I am incredibly proud to have achieved the status of Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. For me, this professional recognition is testament to the commitment in the School of Sport and across the University to deliver high quality impactful teaching. In the School of Sport, we combine sport and education to enhance the student learning experience and prepare students for employment in excellent careers.”
Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA said: “I am delighted that Professor Lavallee has become Scotland’s first Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I hope this recognition will encourage others in Scotland to apply for Fellowship at the level which best suits their current experience, and then work towards becoming a Senior or Principal Fellow as they gain experience.”
Professor Lavallee joined Stirling in 2011, having previously worked at Aberystwyth University and Loughborough University. He holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD from The University of Western Australia.
The HEA has also named Psychology of Sport lecturer Dr Pete Coffee as a Senior Fellow, while Sport and Exercise Psychology lecturer Dr Calum Arthur is an HEA Student Award supervisor. These award recognise the high quality psychology teaching at Stirling which also sees Dr John Mathers deliver mental skills support to elite rugby and football referees.
Professor John Gardner, University of Stirling Deputy Principal for Education and Students, added: “The University of Stirling has an enviable record in providing the best student experience in Scotland and this award to Professor David Lavallee is recognition that our leadership in teaching is of the highest calibre. Professor Lavallee joins a very select band of top educators and we are delighted for him, his colleagues in the School of Sport and for the University as a whole.”