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TAMUT – News

A&M-Texarkana Education Department “Pins” Future Educators in Ceremony

TEXARKANA, Texas – The faculty members of Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s education program gathered in full academic regalia recently for a ceremony welcoming 33 new students into the university’s teacher preparation program. The students had an apple-shaped pin placed on them and heard words of advice from guest speaker Chad Pirtle, Superintendent of the Pleasant Grove Independent School District. The pinning ceremony took place in front of a large crowd of family and friends, as well as TAMUT faculty and staff members.

Students officially enter the teacher preparation program around their junior year and are pinned during their first semester in the program. “The pinning ceremony is a celebration of their decision to become educators and their admission into the program,” said Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Abbie Strunc.” The students pinned in the ceremony were Brianna Black, Christina Brown, Heather Clark, Madison Cox, Sarah Evans, Hannah McElroy, Shaeleigh McGlamery, Taylor Mercer, Sandra Miller, Maria Olvera, Madeline Parish, Carmen Ramirez, Alexandria Sterling, Lauren Upchurch, Cynthia Vargas, Laurie West, and Isis Wilson. Not present for the ceremony were students Joni Adams, Victoria Baker, Emily Chevalier, Mandy Cook, Michae’lann DiMaggio, Alexis Elledge, Norma Lopez, Paola Martinez, Jonathan McKay, Ashley Nipper, Maria Reyna, Bailee Shenold, Faith Simmons, Ashlen Walton, Meridith Weaver, and Cendy Zuniga.

The TAMUT teacher preparation program utilizes high admissions standards, rigorous coursework, and quality field experiences in conjunction with strong partnerships between the university, school districts, community colleges, and other entities to prepare candidates for successful careers in the teaching profession. Among teacher preparation programs, TAMUT has the highest rating in the region for 5-year retention rates of new teachers.

Texas A&M University offers a bachelor’s degree in elementary education as well as degrees in content areas of English, Mathematics, Biology, History, and Kinesiology for students interested in teaching middle school or high school. Students may earn a master’s degree in Instructional Technology, Education Leadership with Principal Certification, and Curriculum and Instruction. A&M-Texarkana also offers the area’s only doctoral program in education, featuring the Doctor of Education in Education Leadership.

In addition to degrees offered, A&M-Texarkana also has an Alternative Certification Program (ACP) for those who have a bachelor’s degree and would like to become certified to teach. The ACP offers 39 approved certification areas.

To learn more about the teacher preparation program at A&M-Texarkana, contact Dr. Abbie Strunc, Assistant Professor of Education and Chair of Teacher Education at abbie.strunc@tamut.edu or 903.223.3030.

 

A&M-Texarkana to Host Award-Winning Investigative Journalist Jerry Mitchell

TEXARKANA, Texas – Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s department of Literature, Composition, and Mass Communications and the Program for Learning And Community Engagement (PLACE) are sponsoring a lecture and book signing by investigative journalist and Texarkana native Jerry Mitchell on Thursday, February 27th. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. in Eagle Hall inside the University Center building. The program is free and open to the public, and there are light refreshments served.

Jerry Mitchell worked as an investigative reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, for more than three decades. His stories have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars, and Mitchell is the winner of more than thirty national awards, including a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” the George Polk Award, Columbia’s John Chancellor Award, and the Sidney Hillman Prize. He is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. In 2019, Mitchell left The Clarion-Ledger and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting. Race Against Time is his first book.

Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era documents. It is the work that led to the re-openings and re-prosecutions of some of the nation’s most notorious murders, including the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers. Also, the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed four girls, the 1966 firebombing of Vernon Dahmer, and the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers (commonly known as the “Mississippi Burning” case). These four cases were landmarks in the civil rights movement. 

“We’re very happy to have a Texarkana native instrumental in securing justice for so many victims of Civil Rights Era violence include our campus on his national book tour to speak to our community. Also, to meet our mass communication students,” said Kevin Ells, Associate Professor of Communication at A&M Texarkana. “It’s said that good stories happen to those who can tell them. That would be Jerry Mitchell, and with a couple of extra parts of courage thrown in for good measure,” added Del Doughty, Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education.