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5 Named Jane Stallings Honorees

5 Named Jane Stallings Honorees
April 27, 2021 SEHD Communications

5 named Jane Stallings honorees

Five students in the School of Education and Human Development are recipients of the 2021 Jane Stallings Student Service Award.

This year’s honorees are Perla Barrera ’21, Carmen Boffill ’21, Anna Fedewa ’22, Bryan Hall ’21 and Madison Leslie ’20.

The award, established by the CEHD Dean’s Development Council to honor Texas A&M University’s first female dean, recognizes outstanding senior education students who have demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to the teaching profession. Honorees receive both a certificate and a $1,000 cash award.

Nominations were made by faculty and staff across all departments in the college.

“Without exception, every nominee exemplified the Aggie Core Values and commitment to the teaching profession,” said a member of the Dean’s Development Council Selection Committee.

Barrera, a school health education major, was described by her nominator as “passionate, brilliantly funny and committed to making a difference.”

Barrera has also volunteered with Special Olympics, Buddy Walk and the Big Event. She completed her clinical teaching this semester and said she made a point to always warmly welcome her students.

“I have discovered that making each student feel seen and important is the key to beginning their academic journey in a positive light,” Barrera said. “Students’ relationships with their peers, teachers and administrators can make or break their experience in school so I strive to be the reason why my students come to school every day.”

Boffill also strives to motivate her students.

“To be a teacher in today’s society means being a light to students, guiding them to a brighter future,” said Boffill.

Boffill is active in the Undergraduate Peer Mentor program. Her nominator said she made a positive impact on all involved.

“Her service to her preservice teacher peers is an outstanding testament to her desire to live Aggie Core Values and to positively impact the lives of those students she and her peers will teach after they graduate.”

In addition to working with the mentor program, Boffill volunteered as a mentor/tutor for local adult English as a Second Language evening courses and helped those seeking assistance at an area food pantry.

Fedewa is also working to make a difference in the community.

She is founder and president of Aggie ACHIEVEmates, a group of students establishing one-on-one relationships with Aggie ACHIEVE (Academic Courses in Higher Inclusive Education and Vocational Experiences) students. Their goals is to facilitate natural inclusion in the broader campus community.

Fedewa has a passion for special education students and helped develop a resource guide intended to help students with disabilities navigate the transition from high school to post-secondary life.

“I realized this is my calling, this is what it feels like to understand your purpose. I’m doing something I love and I don’t even have to think about it.”

Hall served as co-coordinator of social events for Aggie ACHIEVEmates. According to his nominator, Hall spends a great deal of his free time in service to special populations, both children and adults.

“Mr. Hall comes from a family of deafness, and dedicated his life to advocate for individuals with disabilities,” his nominator said.

“In my role as a future educator, I am compassionate about going past the content in order to establish strong relationships with the students that I work with,” said Hall. “I believe that students perform better both socially and academically if they establish meaningful relationships with a positive adult role model within their community.”

Leslie is also impacting local families.

She was approached by a parent at a local elementary for assistance with Christmas for the family. She worked with her professors, community mentor, school administration, local police and a church to help establish a drive-thru Christmas party.

“I applied and received $700 in grants to purchase supplies,” said Leslie. “Students got to see their teachers holding holiday signs and dancing to music, got to meet Santa and then received a gift that included a craft, cookie decorating kit, stocking stuffers and a book.”

“All of these students are such wonderful examples of the Aggie spirit of selfless service,” said a member of the Dean’s Development Council Selection Committee. “We know they will continue to positively impact their communities in the future.”

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