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Dr. Peggy Semingson recognized by esteemed literacy education organization

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


For one College of Education professor, literacy education has represented a personal and professional passion that has garnered recognition among her peers and educational institutions. Now, her work has been recognized by one of her field’s oldest and most esteemed organizations.

semingsonDr. Peggy Semingson has been awarded the International Literacy Association (ILA) 2017 Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award in recognition of her long-standing commitment to engaging, student-centered teaching and support. The award was announced over the weekend at the ILA Literacy Leaders Awards ceremony at the ILA 2017 Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Semingson serves as Associate Professor of Literacy Studies Education at UTA’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. She is also a widely-noted proponent of online resources and social media. Her previous awards include the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award (2013), the USDLA Best Practices Award for Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching (2013) and the UTA President’s Award for Excellence in Distance Education Teaching (2010). She joined the department and the college at UTA in 2008.

The International Literacy Association is a global advocacy organization that endeavors to set an industry standard for how literacy is defined, taught and evaluated. “Our mission is to empower educators, inspire students, and encourage leaders with the resources they need to make literacy accessible for all,” according to the ILA website.

The criteria for the Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award includes recognition as a knowledgeable professional who remains current in research and practice; an innovative teacher who initiates and teaches outstanding courses and programs in reading education; a leader in the field of reading who serves the profession and assumes leadership positions in appropriate educational organizations; a role model and mentor who inspires and instructs students to their full potential; and a disseminator who researches, publishes and promotes effective practices beyond their own campus community. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize.

"Speaking for the entire Literacy Studies faculty, we are so proud that the International Literacy Association has honored UTA's own Dr. Peggy Semingson with the Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award!” said Dr. Kathryn Pole, Literacy Studies Program Coordinator at UTA. “This international-scale award is given to just one teacher-educator each year. Dr. Semingson has been singled out from all universities and colleges offering courses in teacher education for her innovative, supportive, and theoretically-sound teaching. This award shines a bright light on Dr. Semingson, and also reveals the strength that the Literacy Studies Program at UTA brings to the field of teacher education."

“I am honored to receive this award, sponsored by the International Literacy Association and Jerry Johns, as it a nice validation of my work with teacher education in the field of teaching reading,” Semingson said of the Jerry Johns Award. “I seek to grow within my practice and craft of teaching, while sharing knowledge and mentoring others in the field. Another goal is to seek ongoing learning within the area of online literacy teacher education to best foster learning across digital platforms.”

For Dr. Semingson, the award and the philosophy behind it aligns with her own personal ideology where literacy education is concerned. In 2013, she wrote of her approach to literacy education:

“As a teacher educator and literacy educator my primary mission is to equip my students who are current and future teachers--to thrive in their teaching situations and to become models and resourceful facilitators for their own students' learning in a highly digital age. My role as a literacy educator is to teach what is constant and important about the process of becoming literate while also leading students into engagement with new and emerging digital literacy practices. I model flexible thinking, enthusiasm for learning, and openness to change. Effective teaching requires resourcefulness and special attention to engaging students in meaningful ways.”

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