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Teacher Spotlight

2018 Higher Education Luminary Award Goes to Dr. Patty Dean

Patty Dean smiling at acceptance of Luminary Award

This award was presented to an individual whose actions demonstrate a passion for literacy in post-high school education or training. Examples include innovative ways to engage struggling readers, working to provide books, computers or other education tools to disadvantages students, working with new literacies (Financial, computer, family-based or health literacy), providing economic-based literacy services (job searches, resume writing) and similar community-minded activities. 

Dr. Patty Dean is an associate professor of literacy in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Salisbury University. She teaches classes in emergent literacy, children's literacture and language arts courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Getting teacher candidates to love to read children's books is high on her priority list. There's no shortage of materials for the children's literature course: her office is like a mini children's library! Through her teaching, Dr. Dean inspires teacher candidates to use literature in creative and engaging ways with their own students. Developing a teacher's love of reading ensures they will cultivate this passion in their classrooms. 

Seniors Receive the 2018 Dr. Ernest Leighton Bond Classroom Library Award

Teacher Education Seniors, Keleigh Sann and Breanna Spangler, are recipients of the 2018 Dr. Ernest Leighton Bond Classroom Library Award.  This award was established to honor and memorialize Dr. Ernest “Ernie” Bond by providing funds to build a diverse classroom library for a pre-service early childhood and/or elementary teacher.  Keleigh and Breanna had an opportunity to meet members of Dr. Bond’s family at the Scholarships and Awards Luncheon in April.

Seniors receiving 2018 Classroom Library Award

Promise A. Harrison Receives 4.0 Club Award

Congratulations to Promise Harrison, Elementary Ed. Major/Psychology Minor, for receiving the 4.0 Club Award at her sorority’s, Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated, regional conference in New York, NY. She received the award for having a 4.0 grade point average during the fall 2017 semester!

Promise A. Harrison wins 4.0 Club Award

Early and Elementary Education Student Earns Fulbright Award


Three local students have big plans after graduating from Salisbury University:  Hannah Ennerfelt will conduct research at a neuroscience lab in her family’s homeland of Sweden. Katherine Potvin and Matthew Jones will teach English to students in Asia. All three SU seniors earned prestigious Fulbright awards — the most winners the campus has ever had at one time.

“Our students are some of the best and the brightest, and we are so pleased that their curiosity, motivation and intellect is being recognized externally through international opportunities such as these,” said Dr. Kristen Walton, director of SU’s Nationally Competitive Fellowships Office.

Ennerfelt, a biology and psychology double major from Salisbury, departs on her Fulbright in August. Based at Sweden’s Uppsala University, the oldest campus in the Nordic countries, she will work with a lab mentor who is conducting ALS stem cell research. She hopes this will allow her to “advance in scientific techniques and make international connections” that will accompany her into her career. She credits much of her success at SU to being able to “build connections with professors who are constantly teaching me something new and fascinating.”

Ennerfelt also wants to learn more about the country of her father’s family.“We still participate in many traditions such as food and celebration,” she said, adding that she too is a Swedish citizen. “My dad bought me Pippi Longstocking books when I was young to help me learn Swedish, and some of my favorite memories are making cardamom rolls with my grandmother.”

Potvin and Jones, who also are Salisbury natives, both won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships. Potvin heads to Erdenet, Mongolia, in July, for the Otgonbileg School of Technology at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology. Jones leaves in September for Thailand; he will be based in Bangkok initially.  Both hope to gain experience outside the American school system.

“As an ESOL teacher, most of my students will have backgrounds very different from my own,” said Potvin, an English for Speakers of Other Languages major with a K-12 certification. “By living in a country so removed from the U.S.A., I will be able to gain a better understanding of how my students feel living in a new environment with a language barrier.”

Jones, who is majoring in elementary education with an ESOL minor, called the opportunity a “great fit” for his future plans. “I applied to gain insight into another teaching style much different than the one practiced in the United States,” he said, adding that being able to incorporate an appreciation of varied cultures into the classroom will create “a diverse learning environment for all” and “set students up for success.”

Mongolia, Potvin said, is undergoing a period of “cultural change,” which she looks forward to experiencing first hand. She also is satisfying a childhood curiosity about the country. Jones wants to help build bridges between people around the world and experience the daily lives of the Thai people.

“The difference that Dr. Walton and her office have made in the past few years in building this culture of Fulbright interest among our student body and among the faculty who support our applicants is nothing short of amazing,” said Dr. Brian Stiegler, assistant provost for international education. “Our students have brought great honor to themselves and to SU.”

More than 20 SU students have won national (and international) fellowships, scholarships and awards in the past five years, including the Gilman, Gates Cambridge and others with the U.S. State Department, Environmental Protection Agency and National Science Foundation. Previous student Fulbrighters include Payge Jennings ’14 (B.A. communication arts) and Emily Lembo ’14 (B.A. English), who earned English Teaching Assistantships to South Korea. Charles Overholt ’11 (B.A. history) was SU’s first graduate student to earn a study/research Fulbright to Marburg, Germany. In addition, SU has a long history of faculty, administrators and alumni Fulbrighters.

The Fulbright is America’s flagship international exchange program and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

SU students or alumni who are interested in applying for any fellowships may contact Walton at for assistance.  For more information, visit

Ernie Bond Curriculum Resource Center Renamed for Late Professor

Dr. Ernie Bond Curriculum Resource Center Late Salisbury University Teacher Education professor Ernie Bond dedicated his life to exploring literature for children and young adults.

Now, his colleagues have honored him by renaming a specialized library in Conway Hall as The Ernie Bond Curriculum Resource Center. Located on the second floor, the center is home to books for children and young adults, often used by students who want to become teachers. Special collections include an environmental section, featuring winners of the Green Earth Book Award, as well as books about Maryland and the Eastern Shore or by regional authors or illustrators. Bond donated a number of works to the Center’s 14,000-item collection.

Dr. Ernie Bond's sons and father
Pictured, from left, are the sons (Nicholas and Nathan) and father (Alpha) of late SU Professor Ernie Bond at the renaming ceremony.

“President Janet Dudley-Eshbach and I believe this a wonderful, fitting tribute suggested by education faculty and others to remember Ernie’s many contributions,” said Dr. Diane Allen, SU’s provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.

“If Ernie wasn’t in his office you could find him in the CRC,” said Dr. Patricia Dean, a close friend and colleague in the Teacher Education Department. “You could ask him any question about a topic or author and he would name a dozen books about it.”

An internationally renowned expert in children’s and young adult literature, Bond coordinated SU’s annual Children’s and Young Adult Literature Festival from 2002-2016. He helped select The Nature Generation’s Green Earth Book Awards, the Outstanding International Children’s Book Awards and the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. He was a member of The Children’s Book Guild and United States Board on Books for Young Readers, and published the textbook Literature and the Young Adult Reader.

Honored at the state and national levels for his teaching, Bond was named Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 2007. He led courses on international children’s literature to New Zealand, Iceland and elsewhere.

Bond passed away unexpectedly last fall.

Part of SU Libraries, the Ernie Bond Curriculum Resource Center supports the teaching, research and educational needs of Seidel School faculty, staff and students by maintaining materials relevant to their programs. Other campus and community members also use the center.

Four Honored with SU Alumni Association Faculty Appreciation Awards

2016 Faculty Appreciation Award recipients
From left: Paula Morris, Dr. David Rieck, Dr. Laurie Andes and Dr. Chrys Egan.

This year’s Salisbury University Alumni Association Faculty Appreciation Award winners are “exciting,” “outstanding,” “vested” and “positive,” according to their former students. The association honored four with the accolade during SU’s 91st-year Fall Commencement. They include Dr. Chrys Egan, Communication Arts, of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts; Dr. David Rieck, Chemistry, of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology; Paula Morris, Management and Marketing, of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business; and Dr. Laurie Andes, Teacher Education, of the Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies.

“These are professors whose efforts have made a lasting impression on students, who have provided dynamic classroom instruction, who exhibit attributes graduates can take with them into their careers and who have made a difference in the lives of their students,” said Julius Jones, Alumni Association president.

In their nominations, alumni raved about the faculty members who helped shape their experiences at SU.

“Dr. Egan taught an exciting class about technology that had me completely engrossed in the material all semester long, not just because of the topics but the way she presented the, at times, strange material in a very relatable manner,” said one former student. “[She] had us volunteer at an afterschool facility to keep kids off the streets in a dangerous area. I honestly was dreading having to take time out of my day to help kids, but after spending time with them and even helping give out food at the facility, I was appreciative of the experience and how by simply volunteering I could make a difference in a life of a child.”

“Dr. Rieck taught me how fun learning and teaching science can be,” said his nominator. “In labs, he taught me the importance of neatness and accurate data collection. I have since passed this information on to hundreds of students.” Another former student added: “Dr. Rieck is an outstanding educator and role model for his students. He has inspired many students to continue with their education and pursue graduate degrees. He deserves a great deal of credit for his good work.” “

I have never had an educator who was as vested in his or her students’ professional and personal success as Paula Morris,” said her nominator. “She has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide me with the support and resources I needed to become employed soon after I graduated from SU. I enrolled in two of her marketing courses in the Perdue School, and immediately, I could tell she was different than many of the other professors. She based her lesson plans around projects that her students could use to further their professional development, and she was willing to give her free time to ensure that they would be successful.”

“Dr. Andes was an excellent professor and mentor to me while I was at Salisbury,” said a former student. “She even kept in touch and helped give me guidance during my first few years in teaching. She had so much knowledge and created a fun learning environment. She always was available if you needed help with an assignment or just some advice. Dr. Andes made such a positive impact on me that I even got my master’s degree in education, specializing in reading. She showed a love for teaching reading, the importance in reading and how to make kids love reading. Through all my years of schooling, I still consider Dr. Andes my favorite teacher.”

SU's Gorrow Partners with American Eagle Foundation on New Book

Mr. President and the First Lady book cover Salisbury University teacher education professor Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chesapeake Bay Field Office tell the true tale in their third book: Mr. President and The First Lady: The DC Eagle Cam Project.

In cooperation with the American Eagle Foundation (AEF), the co-authors documented the two raptors – named Mr. President and The First Lady – that became an international Internet sensation via the DC Eagle Cam in 2016. With two high-definition, live-stream cameras placed above their nest in a tulip poplar tree in the U.S. National Arboretum, the birds garnered some 63 million fan views from 100 different countries.

“It was truly an honor to work with the American Eagle Foundation to showcase our national emblem – our national bird – in the nation’s capital,” Gorrow said. “AEF is an internationally recognized, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to care for, restore and protect the American bald eagle and other birds of prey. Purchasing books through AEF will help support wildlife education and conservation initiatives.”

According to the AEF, Mr. President and The First Lady “...will likely become the most talked about book among bald eagle enthusiasts in 2017.” It also was endorsed by Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and host of Into the Wild and Wild Countdown.

With more than 300 cam images and photographs, the book features nest-building, egg-laying, egg-hatching and the transformation of the pair’s hatchlings – named Freedom and Liberty – into fledglings. The parents have returned to their nest for a third season, with The First Lady expected to lay a new clutch of eggs this month.

Through their books, Gorrow and Koppie hope to inspire in others an appreciation for wildlife and promote environmental stewardship. Their previous Schiffer Publishing titles include Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest, a 2014 Green Earth Book Award winner, and Inside an Osprey’s Nest (2016).

Mr. President and The First Lady, also published by Schiffer, is now available at

Teacher Education Professor's New Book Looks Inside an Osprey Nest

birdAn Eastern Shore osprey pair — who became adoptive parents as followers of the Chesapeake Conservancy’s popular Osprey Nest Cam watched — is featured in a new book by Dr. Teena Ruark Gorrow, a Salisbury University teacher education professor. Gorrow has once again teamed up with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist Craig A. Koppie for the second in their series of raptor stories — Inside an Osprey’s Nest: A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season. Their first collaboration, Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest, is a 2014 Green Earth Book Award winner.

For this new title just released by Schiffer Publishing, Gorrow and Koppie worked with the conservancy and nest site homeowners (known as “the Crazy Osprey Family”). They captured hundreds of photos — and used images from the camera at the nest — to tell the story of Tom and Audrey, newly mated ospreys that prepare a nest together but their eggs do not hatch. Surprisingly, the birds become foster parents when their unviable eggs are swapped by biologists with hatchlings from an ill-fated nest.

“Working with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Crazy Osprey Family to document Tom and Audrey’s 2015 nesting season was a delightful experience,”  Gorrow said. “I felt inspired by the pair’s commitment to raising a family, and cheered as the tiny raptors eventually grew as large as their parents before taking first flight. Seeing the empty nest at the end of the season was bittersweet, but saying goodbye to the young meant that they had successfully graduated into the wild.”

Besides raising the two foster chicks, the dedicated osprey parents cared for a fledgling that took up residence at the nest. Gorrow and Koppie meticulously documented the events at this busy osprey homestead.

“Like the bald eagle, osprey were once nearly eradicated due to the chemical DDT, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of conservationists, they have made a comeback,” said Joel Dunn, Chesapeake Conservancy president and CEO.

Gorrow and Koppie hope their books promote environmental stewardship and inspire in others an appreciation for wildlife. Resources in this book include information about the osprey’s plight, tips for helping injured birds and a glossary of terms.

"We hope Tom and Audrey’s adventure is enjoyed by raptor enthusiasts, webcam viewers, nature and wildlife lovers, conservationists, teachers, children, photographers and others who are simply interested in reading a good news story,” Gorrow said.

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