Chancellor Zimpher Receives David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education

March 2, 2017

Imig Calls Zimpher "An Inspiring Educator Who Has Touched the Lives of Countless Teachers and Teacher Educators Everywhere"

Tampa, Fla. – Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of The State University of New York, today received the David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education, which is presented by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) in recognition of "distinguished achievement in the formulation, implementation, or analysis of teacher education policy, or in the performance of distinguished scholarship in educator preparation."

University at Maryland Professor David Imig, who presented the award to Chancellor Zimpher today, said, "I am deeply honored that Nancy Zimpher is this year’s recipient, and to have had the opportunity to celebrate her extraordinary record of achievement and exceptional service to the profession of education with our AACTE colleagues. As a scholar, teacher, advocate, and leader, Nancy Zimpher has never forgotten that at her core, she is an inspiring educator who has touched the lives of countless teachers and teacher educators everywhere."

The national award comes as SUNY and the State Education Department implement TeachNY, a movement envisioned by Chancellor Zimpher that aims to lift up the teaching profession and transform teacher preparation in New York State.

SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall said, "Nancy has built her career, her life, on the all-important effort of advancing—in fact, reinventing—teacher education. In every position she takes on, she challenges her peers and colleagues to think and act differently toward making teacher preparation the rigorous, serious training profession our state and nation need it to be. Congratulations to Chancellor Zimpher, and many thanks to AACTE for acknowledging her singular, superior contributions to the field."

New York State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, "Teachers are our most important asset in developing New York’s educational infrastructure. In working with Chancellor Zimpher on the TeachNY initiative, I have witnessed her passion for lifting up the teaching profession and inspiring the next generation of educators responsible for helping shape our nation’s future leaders. Chancellor Zimpher’s dedication to the teaching profession has had a profound impact on New York and across the nation. No one is more deserving of this prestigious award."

"Educating more people and educating them better is the most important investment a society can make; and our success rests on the quality of our teacher training programs and the opportunities for professional development that we provide for teachers," said Chancellor Zimpher. "I am deeply moved by receiving the David G. Imig Award because it is a reflection of the critical role that teacher education plays in ensuring a brighter future for our nation’s teachers and thus, all students, from cradle to career."

According to the selection committee, Chancellor Zimpher was chosen because she has "distinguished herself in the formation and implementation of educator preparation policy at a number of levels across multiple institutions and states. As cofounder of StriveTogether, Zimpher has been instrumental in creating a national network of systematic partnerships that holistically addresses challenges across the entire spectrum of education. Never forgetting her roots in educator preparation, Zimpher has remained current in her research while also developing a record of achievement that is on par with anyone in our profession."

"Chancellor Zimpher’s tireless pursuit of policy and partnerships to advance high-quality teacher preparation and student learning is unmatched," said Mark Meyers, Ph.D., Xavier University Educational Administration Program Director and chair of the selection committee. "She has worked throughout her career to develop systems and processes that prepare and support classroom teachers to create learning environments where all students can thrive. Chancellor Zimpher continues to push the boundaries of the profession, expecting the same thing from herself that she expects from others: never stop moving forward with the development of better practices and policies, because there is always room for improvement."

About AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. More than 800 member institutions represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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