UMSL professor, alumni receive Emerson teaching awards

Karen Cummings, associate professor of art education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, recently received an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.

Patrick J. Sly, executive vice president at Emerson, presents UMSL associate professor Karen Cummings with an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.

Patrick J. Sly, executive vice president at Emerson, presents UMSL Associate Professor Karen Cummings with an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.

“I feel honored to be awarded an Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award and recognized for my work in the classroom, as well as in the community,” Cummings said. “It is my responsibility to create meaningful classroom experiences while preparing students for future career success. It is important that my students recognize that teaching is not restricted to the classroom but extends into the community and continues well beyond the course experience.”

Cummings teaches courses in art education. In addition to her classroom work, she serves as the art education coordinator at UMSL. Her responsibilities include advising undergraduate and graduate students in art education and supervising pre-service teacher candidates during their practicum experiences.

In 2009, she co-founded the First Five, a mentoring program for beginning art educators in the St. Louis area, and later expanded it throughout the state. In 2011, she developed UrbanARTsVOICE, a mentoring program for urban adolescents assigned to the Family Courts of St. Louis County. The program provides opportunities for adolescents to explore issues of identity through the visual arts.

In addition, 13 UMSL alumni received the honor:

  • Daniel Horridge, BSEd 1994, Festus Middle School
  • Sally Black, BSEd 1993 and MEd 1996, Henderson Elementary School
  • Christine Syron, BSEd 2005, Pacific High School
  • Brunetta Blackshear, MEd 2008, Barack Obama Elementary
  • Julie Fletcher, BSEd 1992, Special School District
  • Julie Turner, PhD education 2007, Lindenwood University
  • Mark Arnold, BA political science 1986 and MBA 1990, Saint Louis University
  • Marialana Speidel, BS biology 1990 and MS biology 2004, Jefferson College
  • Mary (Dylan) McGuire, MA criminal justice 1998 and PhD criminal justice 2001, Saint Louis University
  • Heather Rodgers, BA English 2002 and MA English 2004, Charles Community College
  • Joe Wilson, MA chemistry 2011 and PhD chemistry 2014, St. Louis Community College–Forest Park
  • Janet Duchek, BA psychology 1976, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Jennifer Hill, BS biology 1995 and MS biology 1999, St. Louis Community College–Florissant Valley

A total of 102 St. Louis-area educators received the teaching award Nov. 22 at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis in Clayton, Mo.

The Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards pay tribute to area educators – from kindergarten teachers to college professors – for their achievements and dedication to the field of education. Each honoree received a Tiffany & Co. crystal apple.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is sponsored annually by St. Louis-based Emerson, a diversified global manufacturer and technology leader.

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