Dr. Heather J. Allen, Associate Professor of Modern Languages, received the Howell Family Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. Named after alumni donors Dr. Norris Howell (BS 75) and Lynne Thomas Howell (BA 74, MBA 76), both of Ripley, the endowment provides funds to recognize the Outstanding Teacher within the College of Liberal Arts.
“I work hard to design courses that enable students to learn course materials and skills they can use in their daily lives,” said Allen, who this coming year will be an Audrey Lumsden-Kouvel and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow in the Newberry Library. “I’m very gratified, for example, when I see my students applying their critical reading skills to 16th-century Spanish conquest histories and current news to understand the authors’ purpose and message, and then support their own opinions.”
When teaching Spanish language classes, Allen said she cultivates students’ enthusiasm and desire to express their ideas to help overcome any shyness or fear of making grammar mistakes.
“In my classes, students practice the skills needed to achieve a language proficiency that will enable them to communicate with native speakers,” she said. “When I teach Hispanic literature classes, I foster an awareness of the power of words.
“When we study course materials, we pay close attention to what language choices the author makes and why, so that the students can make their own writing powerful and convincing.”
Congratulations to Dr. Allen for this prestigious and well-deserved award!