Miami University professor honored for work that secured $2.5M grant

Credit: Jeff Sabo

Credit: Jeff Sabo

Martha Castañeda, professor of Teacher Education, given President’s Medal

A professor whose work recently helped Miami University land a $2.5 million federal grant has been honored with the school’s top educator award for her overall contributions.

Earlier this month Miami’s Martha Castañeda, professor of Teacher Education, was the focus of an outdoor ceremony near the famed seal of the school as she received the President’s Medal from school officials including President Gregory Crawford.

The President’s Medal is a replica of the medallion worn by Miami University presidents during inaugurations and at other moments of ceremony, said school officials in a released statement.

Jason Lane, dean of Miami’s College of Education, Health, and Society (EHS), said “professor Martha Castañeda is a noted scholar and award-winning educator who works to both develop transformative foreign-language teachers as well as prepare all teachers to be effective educators in our increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse schools.”

“She is the epitome of the teacher-scholar model that is the hallmark of Miami University and I’m thrilled that we’re able to honor her contributions through this award,” said Lane.

Castañeda’s work also focuses on best practices in language acquisition and instructional design, and she’s become a nationally and internationally recognized leader in her field.

Recently, her scholarship was recognized through the new Preparing English Learner Educational Allies program, which was awarded $2.5 million by the U.S. Department of Education to improve English language instruction across southwest Ohio K-12 schools.

ExploreMiami lands $2.5M grant to teach education students to better serve non-English speakers

As the principal investigator, Castañeda designed the PELEA grant to extend Miami’s role in leading Ohio’s efforts to strengthen and diversify the teacher education pipeline, and to help fill a critical shortage of teachers able to work with the growing number of students for whom English is not their first language, said Miami officials.

As an educator and as an advisor, Castañeda also “sets the standard for exceptional rapport with her students,” said Brian Schultz, EHS chair and professor of Teacher Education.

Shultz noted Castañeda was also a 2019 recipient of Miami’s John E. Dolibois Faculty Award for Innovation in Global Programming, for her work in designing popular study abroad experiences that both accentuate and build upon her classroom material in unique and engaging ways.

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