Education professor receives prestigious award for ‘developing future educators’

The annual Elizabeth Shatto Massey Award for Excellence in Teacher Education recognizes UT professors considered exceptional by faculty and alumni, and those bestowing the award deem the 2011 recipient a leader in his or her field.

A committee of UT alumni and faculty, under the direction of the Texas Exes, granted the award to Beth Maloch, associate professor in the College of Education for her efforts in and dedication to developing future educators. The committee takes the references of colleagues, program directors and students as well as student evaluations into account when choosing a recipient. The recipient receives $12,000.

“She knows how to get teachers excited about teaching,” said Randy Bomer, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. “She has UT students work at Austin elementary schools and gets them involved in how [the students] are thinking and therefore how they themselves are thinking. It also makes them more professional.”

Maloch came to UT in 2000 and teaches both undergraduates and graduate students. She is primarily concerned with the methods of teaching young children how to read and write and communication methods in the classroom. She does research on those topics and had a major role in amending undergraduate curricula at UT.

Since joining the UT faculty, Maloch was named a fellow of the Charles H. Spence Centennial Associate Professorship in Education, given a place in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and received the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, the Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award and two Dean’s Faculty Integration Awards.

“She is one of the finest professors in the University, as evidenced by all the awards she has received,” said College of Education professor Jo Worthy. “[Maloch] has been here for only 10 years and she’s been excited [about teaching] the whole time.”

The Massey Award was established by UT law alumnus John H. Massey in 2003 as a way to honor his wife, Elizabeth “Libba” Shatto Massey and her passion for public education. Massey earned a degree from UT in education in 1961 and went on to have a career in teaching. The award is given to a UT faculty member who is a “teacher of teachers” — someone who aims to prepare education students to be influential elementary and secondary school teachers, according to the Texas Exes.

“[Maloch] embodies the spirit of the award,” said Kim Gundersen, Texas Exes director of Outreach and associate executive director.