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The Teachers College Recognition Awards

Faculty Honored by Peers

January 12, 2017

Five faculty members at Emporia State University received awards on January 12, 2017, for their work within The Teachers College.

From l-r: Dr. John Morton, Dr. Jim Persinger, Dr. George Yancey, and Dr. Neal Luo. Not pictured: Bob Aman.

Dr. John Morton received the Excellence in Instruction Award. The award was in recognition of his lifelong passion for teaching and learning, and desire to transmit that passion to students. With a strong commitment to making each lesson a rewarding and enriching experience, Morton devotes much time to incorporating innovative instructional practices into class assignments, and providing timely feedback. Morton is an associate professor in the school leadership / middle and secondary teacher education department.

Dr. Neal Luo received the Excellence in Scholarly Activity Award. Over the past three years, Luo published six research studies in peer-reviewed journals and gave 12 presentations, including seven at international conferences. Luo applies innovative research methodology such as mixed methods design and advanced statistical models in the empirical studies to improve the quality of his research. He is an associate professor in the school leadership / middle and secondary teacher education department.

Dr. George Yancey was presented the Excellence in Service Award. Yancey was recognized for serving on numerous university, college, and department committees, as well as overseeing theses and graduate internships, editing a professional journal, and working as a faculty advisor for a student organization. In the community, he seeks out service opportunities where he can share his expertise in human resources with non-profit organizations. He is a professor in the psychology department.

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 for professional development expenses.

The Ervay Family Award for Applied Scholarship was given to Dr. Jim Persinger, professor and chair of the psychology department. Through his research of student needs in pre-school through high school, he found a key overlooked demographic in many schools is sexual minority youth. He found the suicide rate among LGBT youth was four times that of their peers; these youth experience the poorest educational and mental health outcomes of any identified demographic in the P-12 setting. As a result of these findings, Persinger collaborated with and found resources to fund the Kansas Safe Space Initiative beginning in fall 2014. This initiative offered awareness training to pre-service teacher education candidates. Persinger is pursuing additional programs and resources to expand these efforts.

Each year the Darrell E. Wood Service Award goes to an individual who has supported the mission of the college in a unique or outstanding manner. This year’s award went to Bob Aman. Aman retired from public school teaching and came to Emporia State to teach in the special education program, making him one of only two faculty members in that program. Through his interactions inside and outside of the classroom for the 10 years he worked at Emporia State, Aman’s influence on students in The Teachers College inspired the lives of future teachers, faculty, and staff. Aman served as an advisor, lecturer and instructor; he also directed the Kansas Future Teacher Academy.