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Chrystal Trapani Wins Educator of the Year Award Presented by Instructure

By David Simpson

Chrystal Trapani of Old Dominion University has been recognized by the educational technology company Instructure as an Educator of the Year for 2022.

Trapani is an adjunct instructor of English, an instructional technology specialist at the Center for Learning and Teaching, and a doctoral student in the instructional design and technology program. She was one of just six recipients of the Instructure award.

"When I was nominated for the award, I did not actually think I would win," Trapani said. "There are so many exceptionally talented, innovative educators across North America. I was excited and flattered. I'm proud that I got to represent ODU this way, especially during our transition to Canvas."

The awards recognize "outstanding educators in North America working to embrace remote learning, prepare students for the workforce and support student success and achievement in an evolving education landscape," according to an Instructure press release. The company is the developer of Canvas, a web-based learning management system adopted last fall by ODU.

Trapani was honored for her work as an adjunct. From the announcement: "Chrystal works with students from every background, including first-generation, veteran and disabled students. She works tirelessly to ensure that all of her course content exceeds accessibility standards, carefully scaffolding every major assignment into small goals she knows will work best based on her students' needs.

"For example, she spent weeks building an interactive Pac Man-like activity, in her Visual Argument module, where the students work through the module to learn the course material while escaping ghosts. Also, she knows that students do their best work when examining their passions, so she requires them to work on projects that will further their intended major or career field in all of their work."

Trapani holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature and language arts (secondary education) from Christopher Newport University and a Master of Arts in literature from ODU.

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