Educator of the year

20 August, 2008

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is seeking nominations for its 2008 WSET Educator of the Year.

The inaugural competition last year was won by the International Wine Centre in New York (IWCNY). The other nominees included: the Art Institute of Vancouver; Claire Blackler (Case Studies Wine School), Edinburgh; Kevin Powell and Wine and Spirit Professional Consultants, Athens, Greece.It is open to individuals and companies who have made a “significant contribution to WSET courses and qualifications in the previous year, and who had achieved superlative results in WSET programs, while demonstrating commitment and innovation in education,” according to the WSET.Nominees may propose themselves, or their organisation, or they may be nominated by a third party. The judging panel, comprises: Allan Cheesman (chairman), Laura Jewell MW, Mary Ewing Mulligan MW, and Drinks International editor, Christian Davis.The IWCNY celebrated its 25th birthday in 2007, and had been running WSET courses for over half of that time, with the first Diploma students graduating in 1996. In 2007 there were nearly 1,000 students on WSET courses across all the levels – a growth of 17% on the previous year. IWCNY had also introduced many new educational initiatives, including distance learning, a program of mock examinations, the introduction of courses in Spanish, weekend Diploma courses, and programs for continuing professional development. They also host an annual event for all Diploma graduates since 1996, awarding scholarships for the highest performing students from the current year. In addition, the owner of IWCNY, Mary Ewing Mulligan MW, was appointed executive director for WSET programs throughout the US in 2003, and there are now 21 centres offering WSET qualifications across the States, accounting for around 10% of the global number of WSET candidates. Nominations should comprise a document of no more than 750 words, stating why an organisation (or individual) should win this prestigious award, plus, if felt necessary, supporting materials, photographs etc, which should be on a CD (if sent by post) or on an email of no more than 10mB. The graduation ceremony takes place on January 19, 2009.Entries should be sent to WSET chief executive Ian Harris at the International Wine & Spirit Centre, 39-45 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XF, or via email, to arrive no later than October 31.

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