Award of Excellence in Education
Ms Jacqueline Maria Dias
Your Highness, Members of the Board of Trustees, Graduates, Faculty and Staff, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Each year the University Awards Committee considers nominations for the Award of Excellence in Education, which and I quote from the Award’s Terms of Reference: “...recognizes and honours publicly faculty who have made outstanding contributions to education” including contributions in “curriculum and course design, evaluation of programmes and students, development of learning resources, and teaching.”
This year, the University has the honour of presenting the Award of Distinction to Ms Jacqueline Dias (Dye-ass).
Ms Dias has made her mark as an educationist, academic, researcher and strategic thinker who can maximise organizational and individual capacities.
A graduate of the AKU’s Class of 1985, Diploma in Nursing, Ms Dias then worked at the Aga Khan University Hospital for a few years before proceeding abroad for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in Canada. In 1991, she graduated summa cum laude, the highest academic honour awarded by McMaster University. On her return to Pakistan, she continued to work at the University in various faculty and administrative capacities. In 1996 she was awarded the Anne Marie Schimmel Scholarship, becoming the first nurse in Pakistan to receive a German scholarship to pursue a degree at any university in the UK and in 2000 Jakie received her Master of Education, in Educational Management, from the University of Wales. Currently, she is working on her PhD from Ambrosia University in Milan, Italy.
Ms Dias has served the University as Assistant Professor of Nursing with additional responsibilities as the Director of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programme. Since 2004, she has held the Nurudin Jivraj Professorship of Nursing.
Throughout her 27-year career, Ms Dias has been able to translate her keen interest in education and knowledge into practice. She has provided innovative and determined leadership to baccalaureate education at AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery. She has been and active participant on SONAM’s Curriculum Committee and has twice served as Chair of the committee, from 2000-2003 and 2007-2008.
At the national level her contribution has been instrumental, including the standardization of professional nursing examinations, workshops and short courses, and faculty development programmes for curriculum enhancement, assessment and examination. As a convener of the Higher Education Commission and Pakistan Nursing Council Curriculum Committee, she led the team that produced the revised national curriculum for nursing. Ms Dias has worked with the Nursing Council on the national Post-RN BScN curriculum, as well as assisting the Sindh Examination Board in meeting international standards.
Internationally, Ms Dias has been part of the team that set up the BScN curriculum for Al Baath University in Syria. She also provided technical input into the nursing curriculum in Afghanistan.
Since 2010, Ms Dias has been leading the development of AKU’s Blended Learning Post-RN BScN Programme, an exciting innovation that involves the application of e-learning methodology for the delivery of courses online and a wholesale restructuring of pedagogical methods. In 2011, she began work on the establishment of the Assessment and Examination Cell for the School of Nursing and Midwifery, initiating a process that will ensure quality and rigor of assessment processes, and includes the development of a Table of Specifications for all courses at the undergraduate level.
Ms Dias also has the distinction of being the first member of faculty in the School of Nursing and Midwifery to hold a joint appointment with Aga Khan University’s Department of Educational Development. This Department is charged with providing support to members of faculty in the faculty of Health Sciences by developing new approaches to teaching and learning and enhancing the effectiveness of our instructors at all levels.
Jacqueline Dias has had a direct impact on three decades of Nursing students at AKU; her lasting effect on our programmes and our commitment to an optimal learning environment will benefit generations of future students.
Your Highness, I ask that you present Ms Jacqueline Dias with the Aga Khan University Award of Excellence in Education.