Back in a high school English classroom, Holly Hungerford-Kresser was working to inspire young minds, teaching her students how to access literature and learn from it and how to express themselves through the written word. She was already changing lives, but she wanted to do that on a larger scale. The next step came to her fairly easily: teaching the teachers.
"For me, working in teacher education is the most vital way to make an impact on the educational system," she says. "Preparing teachers to enter the classroom equipped to make a difference in students' lives is imperative."
Preparing teachers to enter the classroom equipped to make a difference in students’ lives is imperative.
Dr. Hungerford-Kresser, now an associate professor in the College of Education, has been with UTA for nine years. Her research focuses on college and career readiness, particularly for underserved and first-generation students. Her ultimate goal, in both research and teaching, is to create lifelong learners.
"Students learn by doing, no matter the level of the educational pipeline," she says. "I am a supervisor and a facilitator, and I ask the difficult questions. However, my students are the managers of their own learning."
Last year, Hungerford-Kresser, a fellow of the Greater Texas Foundation, received an excellence in teaching award for a tenured faculty member from the College of Education.
"Our college is committed to the school systems in our country and to helping our students find success," she says. "Our goal is for students to become committed and compassionate educators who contribute to and change the face of education, one student at a time."