Jane Stallings Student Service Award recipients announced
The College of Education and Human Development is pleased to announce that seniors Aaron Gneiding ’20 and Jacqueline Salinas ’21 are the recipients of the 2020 Jane Stallings Student Service Award.
Members of the CEHD Dean’s Development Council established this award to honor Texas A&M University’s first female dean, Jane Stallings. The award recognizes outstanding senior education undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to the teaching profession. The honor includes both a certificate and a $1,000 cash award.
“Aaron and Jacqueline were nominated by CEHD faculty and staff for their dedication, perseverance, courage, humility, outstanding service and a passionate commitment to children,” said a member of the selection committee.
CEHD Assistant Dean of Educator Preparation, Dr. Valerie Hill-Jackson, described Gneiding as a 21st-century classroom leader who is deeply committed to service – for learners, schools and the community.
Gneiding is an army veteran and is in a yearlong clinical residency program, aggieTERM. As a resident teacher at Bryan ISD’s Fannin Elementary, he created a template for students to write letters to service members in honor of Veteran’s Day.
“I am proud that all the teachers and supervisors who have seen me in action in the classroom have always commented about my enthusiasm and passion when teaching, and how it reciprocates in my students’ attitudes and willingness to learn,” said Gneiding.
“Whether in the classroom or serving as a volunteer in community events, his genuine love for students and their educational journey make Aaron a perfect representation of Dean Stallings, the College of Education and Human Development, and Texas A&M University,” said a member of the selection committee.
“I hope he always has that excitement and passion as it will be infectious to students,” said another committee member.
Leticia Palomin, who works in the Office of Student Success, has observed Salinas’ work as a Peer Mentor for Aggie Collegiate’s Ready to Explore the World (ACREW), a first-generation academic success program. She described Salinas as “passionate but intentional in her actions and words. She will always do her best and will not shy away from a challenge.”
“With my different positions around campus and the community, I have observed that having that strong relationship with your students allows them to be open-minded and develop independently; and with different leadership roles, it builds their character and confidence,” said Salinas. “As a future educator, I want to be that person that students come inside the classroom and feel safe and able to ask questions with no fear of judgment.”
A member of the committee commented on the number of hours that Salinas spent on an ongoing basis to help students – both elementary aged as well as her peers — while maintaining strong grades.
“Jacqueline’s dedication to education spans from her volunteer work in elementary school classrooms to her mentorship with first-generation college students to insure a positive learning experience for all. She is truly transforming lives and proudly representing the passion of Dean Stallings,” said a committee member.
Dr. Jane Stallings was a distinguished educator and author whose career involved the improvement of education for students while elevating the teaching profession. In 1990, Stallings was selected as Dean of the College of Education – the first female to hold deanship at Texas A&M. She enacted a policy of actively pursuing candidates who had promise of bringing diverse perspectives on educational issues, which led to a greater number of minority and female hired faculty.
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The award recognizes outstanding senior education undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to the teaching profession.