Four faculty and staff members in the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development recently were recognized by their peers for their outstanding teaching, research activities and service.

The 2019-2020 honorees were:

  • Outstanding Teaching Award – Janelle Bouknight, assistant professor of literacy education
  • Outstanding Research & Scholarly Activity Award – Summer Pannell, associate professor of educational leadership and supervision
  • Outstanding Faculty Service Award – Katherine Bacon, associate professor of counselor education
  • Outstanding Staff Award – Ana Laura Pineda, certification analyst

The awards have been presented every year since 2013 to recognize outstanding accomplishments by the school’s faculty and staff. A committee of faculty and staff from the school chooses the recipients.

“These four are excellent examples of the faculty and staff we have at the school,” said Fred Litton, dean of the school. “To be recognized by your peers is always special, and these women deserve recognition for their hard work and service.”

Bouknight teaches introductory literacy assessment courses and has worked at UHV for six years. She has been an educator for 23 years and has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Because she has several years of experience teaching at each level, Bouknight said she is glad to be able to help prepare future educators for what they might expect as teachers and how to approach teaching at each level. Bouknight constantly updates her curriculum to keep up with new state tests and accountability measures to help prepare and produce aspiring teachers.

This is the second time Bouknight’s peers have recognized her with the teaching award. She previously was honored in 2017-2018.

“It is such an honor to be recognized for my contributions by my peers in a school that has such great faculty,” Bouknight said. “To be recognized by my peers is so uplifting because they also work in the classrooms, and they truly are premiere judges.”

Pannell teaches instructional leadership and supervision courses. She has worked at UHV for two years. Pannell, who also has been a teacher and administrator at the elementary, middle and high school levels, said she has always enjoyed education research, particularly research about issues rural schools face.

Pannell’s most recent project is work she has done through the Texas Lesson Study Professional Development program, a free online database of lesson plans and video lesson plans aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The program was created by Texas teachers for pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms to give teachers free high-quality, research-based resources.

“I am honored to be recognized,” Pannell said. “I had no idea I was nominated. I am thankful to be a part of a faculty that values and recognizes contributions to the field of education. I am honored to be a part of our UHV faculty.”

Bacon is an associate professor of counselor education and has worked at UHV for almost nine years. She teaches advanced clinical courses and is an intern coordinator for the counselor education program. Bacon has served for several years on the UHV committee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation. During her time at UHV, Bacon has assisted with securing external grants that have helped increase program enrollment. She is the project director of a grant that provides financial support and tutoring for students with disadvantaged backgrounds.

Bacon was honored by the school in 2016 as the Outstanding Faculty Member in Scholarship. She also was honored in 2018 with the university’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award.

“I am absolutely honored and humbled to be recognized by my colleagues,” Bacon said. “The faculty in our school do a great deal of service, and to be recognized among our faculty is significant to me. This is a real honor. Service is integral to the university’s mission, and I am grateful to have a job that supports me.”

Pineda is a certification analyst who helps students aspiring to be teachers obtain their teaching certification. She advises undergraduate students majoring in education, graduate students studying curriculum and instruction, and students in the online VOICE program who already have a bachelor’s degree in another area but want to become teachers.

Pineda has worked at UHV for 13 years, part of that as a student advisor in International Programs. She already is a UHV alumna and now is working on a master in education in adult and higher education in the adult education track.

This is the second time Pineda has received the award. She previously received the award for the 2013-2014 school year along with another staff member.

“It’s an honor to be nominated because we have such a great, hardworking staff that deserves recognition,” Pineda said. “It was a shock to me to win this award. I enjoy helping students, and I love motivating them. My favorite part is when I see them at commencement and then prospering after they graduate. Thank you to my colleagues and the education school for this award, especially my supervisor, Deborah Westbrook.”

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