The School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences (STLES) in the College of Education and Human Sciences at Oklahoma State University recognized six 2020 award recipients.
“Each of these six faculty members are excellent examples of the highest caliber of faculty we have within our school and college Dr. Shelbie Witte, head of the school, said. “Each has excelled in their roles and we are fortunate to have them as members of the faculty at Oklahoma State University.”
Early Career Award
Dr. Candace Lane and Dr. Adam Crawley received the 2020 STLES Early Career Award. Dr. Lane, assistant professor of special education, has mentored and supervised 14 students over the past three years, five of whom have or are in the process of publishing articles. Lane also serves on the Payne County Youth Services Board of Directors and has partnered with the Zarrow Foundation to raise scholarship funds for students seeking alternative certification in special education in the Tulsa area.
“I feel my ability to provide education and mentorship to not only pre-service and early career teachers, but also future researchers, has and will continue to have an impact on the educational community as a whole for years to come,” Lane said.
Dr. Crawley, assistant professor of literacy education, is a leading, emergent scholar in the field of LGTBQ+ children’s literature, earning him recognition by the Children’s Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English. Crawley redeveloped OSU’s Safe Zone training and also recently started a book study for OSU education majors using the book “Stamped: Racism: Antiracism, and You” that connects to a larger study in which OSU students dialogue with educators from six geographically diverse states about becoming antiracist educators.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have such a colleague,” said Dr. Sheri Vasinda, literacy education colleague in STLES.
Leadership, Service and Outreach Excellence Award
Dr. Penny Cantley, assistant professor of special education, received the 2020 STLES Leadership, Service and Outreach Excellence Award. Cantley provides meaningful opportunities to serve people with disabilities and their families. She has presented and facilitated for the Oklahoma Transition Institute (OTI) for 12 years, served on the Oklahoma State Department of Education IDEA B State Advisory Panel and is an active member of the Council for Exceptional Children. Cantley also works with Pete’s Pet Posse. Servant leadership is the driving force behind her philosophy of leadership.
“Servant leaders exist to serve people and help people grow and achieve to the best of their ability. I, as a servant leader, focus on the needs, growth, health (social, emotional, physical and spiritual), autonomy and interests of the people I serve through my outreach and service activities,” Cantley said.
Dr. Erin Dyke, assistant professor of curriculum studies, received the 2020 STLES Scholarship Award. Dyke has engaged with an impressive amount of research and scholarship as well as produced an incredible body of grant work, publications, presentations, and community-based inquiry, making great contributions to the field of curriculum studies. A unique landmark of Dr. Dyke’s scholarship is her critical lens and activist stance, and she recently received a Spencer Foundation grant to study Oklahoma teachers’ walk-out. Dyke also leads a critical ethnographic study of culturally sustaining teachings by predominantly white teachers at urban Latinx-serving middle and high schools. Through each project, Dyke deliberately involves graduate research assistants.
“My approach to research has been one of hands-on mentorship,” Dyke said. “I aim to find ways to provide my graduate students with hands-on data collection and analysis experience.”
Teaching Excellence Award for Clinical Faculty
Jill Metzger, clinical instructor and elementary education program coordinator, received the 2020 STLES Teaching Excellence Award for Clinical Faculty. Metzger spent more than 20 years in the public school setting, first as a classroom teacher and then as an administrator. Working with pre-service teachers has not only afforded her the opportunity to guide students on their journey, but also has affirmed why teaching is her passion. Students say her passion for teaching is contagious.
“Jill Metzger is one of a kind,” said one of her OSU students. “I can tell she has a passion for what she does. I see her as the type of person that goes above and beyond her job title and responsibilities.”
Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Shanedra Nowell, associate professor of social studies education, received the 2020 STLES Teaching Excellence Award. Nowell is the director of the OSU Writing Project (OSUWP), one of the largest networks of teacher professional development unique in its grassroots reciprocal relationship between universities and K12 teachers and districts. She also coordinates the secondary education program and serves as the course lead for three OSU field experiences courses. Nowell has taught 18 different courses and created or redeveloped eight unique courses.
“My teaching philosophy and style is to lead by example, modeling these characteristics to make my thinking and teaching decisions visible for students,” Nowell said.
Students praise her teaching style, with one student saying, “I really like Dr. Nowell’s teaching style.....she varies the activities enough to keep me engaged. I think I have learned more about teaching from watching her teach than from the actual content of my classes.”
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