Thursday, October 16, 2008

2008 Award Recipients


Award Recipient: Yuliana Bernal
(Childhood Education and Literacy Studies)

A senior at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, Yuliana Bernal is an officer and board member of the student organization PRIDE (Promoting, Recruiting, Increasing, Diverse Educators). Her experiences as an English language learner in elementary school have served her well during her final internship in the Elementary Education program, where is she has worked closely with bilingual students and parents. Her faculty nominator, Dr. Marie Byrd-Blake says that during her internships, her supervising teachers and university professors have consistently ranked her highly in being proactive and developing a positive rapport with students. Her strong attributes were her innovative lessons and effective teaching strategies that met the needs of diverse learners. She has been praised repeatedly for her passion and commitment to her professional development as a pre-service teacher.

Honorable Mention: Franz Villate 
(Secondary Education – Social Science Education)

Franz Villate was nominated by three faculty: Dr. Eileen Austin from Secondary Education, Dr. Jenny Friedman from Sociology, and Ms. Norma Cano-Alvarez from the ENLACE program. They call Franz a model student because of his academic focus, his warmth, and his sincerity of purpose. His leadership was recently recognized when he was elected President of the Latin American Student Association. In addition to maintaining a sterling academic record, Franz has worked for the ENLACE program tutoring and mentoring middle and high school students, volunteered in New Orleans this year in an Alternative Spring Break, and also attended the United States Hispanic Leadership conference in Chicago from where he returned recharged and ready to take on more challenges. He has participated in a legislative session in Tallahassee questioning the concerns affecting education and is poised to form the first-ever Latino Student Union at USF.


Award Recipient: Sandra Pardue 
(Secondary Education – Science/Math Education)

Sandra Pardue began at USF in the mathematics education program and then added science education to her course of studies thus, she had two faculty nominators: math educator Dr. Bill Rosenthal and Dr. Elaine Howes from Science Education. This cross-curricular interest was evident in one of Sandra’s projects: “Probability and Statistics for Middle Grades Teachers” was an unusually sophisticated teacher-research experiment on a subtle yet important aspect of student learning, blending science and mathematics. Her identity as a Latina and commitment to serving Latina/o adolescents has been apparent in either the foreground or background of her studies throughout her coursework. As are many of our students, Ms. Pardue is teaching full-time while also raising children. Despite these demands, Ms. Pardue has taken on a challenging program and course load. She has met this challenge, and much more.

Honorable Mention: Tony Valdes 
(Secondary Education – English Education)

Majoring in Secondary English Education, Tony Valdes is having a tremendous impact at the school in which he teaches. Based on research he has conducted, he has been given the important task to revise the 9th and 10th grade curricula using direct reflection, structure, and diversity. He is developing a senior level course in Shakespeare, tentatively titled "Shakespeare Unleashed," for the 2009-2010 school year. Tony intends to develop their appreciation for Shakespeare's work that will engage his students in reflection and written responses to the plays the students themselves will get to select for study. The culminating activity will be a "field trip" to the Globe Theatre in London. His nominating professor, Dr. Joan Kaywell, told us that in her world literature class Tony’s unit on the literature of Cuba --- complete with prose, films, realia, and even Cuban coffee --- was one of the best she’s ever seen. 


Award Recipient: Luis Perez 
(Secondary Education – Instructional Technology)

Luis’s nominating professor, Dr. Ann Barron, said “Luis is the most exceptional graduate teaching assistant I have worked with in the past 18 years.” He has helped redesign courses in Instructional Technology, he has taught for the department, and each time the student evaluations are outstanding, due to his ability to challenge the students, while providing supportive encouragement. Luis also works as a graduate assistant in the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, where he provides individualized support for faculty and students, conducts workshops for pre-service and in-service teachers, and produces professional quality instructional materials related to educational technology. His service to his program, College, and community are outstanding, serving as an officer for the Instructional Technology Student Association, on search committees for faculty positions in the IT program, and in activities that support the needs of special needs students.

Honorable Mention: Carmen Stein-McCormick
(Psychological & Social Foundations -- College Student Affairs)

Carmen Stein-McCormick was nominated by two professors: Dr. Wilma Henry and Dr. Herbert Exum from the Dept of Psychological & Social Foundations. Carmen is completing her doctorate in the College Student Affairs program where she is investigating “Gender Role Flexibility” as it affects women soldiers in the United States military. For that research, Carmen has traveled extensively conducting face-to-face interviews internationally on many military bases. This research has also led to her developing a course, Counseling the Military and Their Families, which she is currently teaching, and Psychopharmacology for Mental Health Counselors. And she does all of this while running her own counseling center! Her nominators call Carmen “an extremely motivated woman with boundless energy who is very passionate about education, women’s issues and the military.”