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Faculty of The Teachers College Honored by Peers

Four members of the faculty and staff at Emporia State University received awards on Jan. 21 for their work within The Teachers College.

Dr. John Wade received the Excellence in Instruction Award. Wade, a professor in the psychology department and director of the clinical psychology program, was given the award for mentoring “outside of the classrooms in a way that shows his compassion and well-rounded knowledge that he passes on to each of his students,” a student stated.

Well-liked by undergraduate and graduate students, both in-person and online, Wade “is a meticulous conscientious instructor who uses his extraordinary background and expertise in the field of positive psychology to teach students how to live the best life they can. Dr. Wade is effective not just for his content expertise and work ethic, but also because of his affability, warmth, humor, and humility.”

Dr. Yeol Huh was presented the Excellence in Scholarly Activity Award. Huh, an assistant professor in the instructional design and technology department, was recognized for being one of the most prolific scholars in the college in the last three years, with nine published papers and two more under consideration.

“Dr. Huh is an award-winning professor with a prolific record of production. His numerous publications in prestigious journals along with his presentations and grants make him a great candidate for this award,” wrote a colleague in the nomination form.

Dr. Jim Persinger received the Excellence in Service Award. Persinger is the chair of the psychology department and interim chair of the instructional design and technology department. Having served decades as a consultant and trainer in Kansas schools, as a delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists, Persinger has sat on the executive board of the Kansas Association of School Psychologists and headed the Association for Psychological and Educational Research in Kansas in 2004 and 2018. He has served on the executive board of the Greater Kansas City chapter of GLSEN since 2014. He served as lead author for the Kansas “work authorization” program developed from 2018-20.

Dr. Elizabeth Dobler received the Ervay Family Award for Applied Scholarship. Her research interest is information literacy, with a focus on the Internet. This started years ago when she watched her young son navigate and explore a Legos website before he could read. That formed a question that has guided her research interest: “What are the skills (children) will need to effectively read in an ever-changing online space?” This question continues to guide her research today.

She has taught a course since 2015 on this and continually evaluates, modifies, and grows the class based on student input, and attention to new information available about this topic. She is also studying how elementary and middle school teachers worked with students during the pandemic to use online resources they might otherwise find at their school libraries. The Ervay award is designed to recognize an individual faculty member or a team of faculty members whose body of research/scholarly activities have resulted in either improvement in or creation of an education program.

Recipients for these faculty recognition awards are nominated by their respective academic departments and selected by a university-wide committee. Each winner receives a plaque and a monetary award to be used by the recipient and provided by the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence.

To view a list of previous recipients of these awards, visit