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McKendree education professor receives Excellence in Teaching Award

A McKendree University professor who guides future teachers with patience, professionalism and understanding is a recipient of the 2020 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Darryn Diuguid, professor of education, is one of 100 St. Louis area educators recognized for their outstanding contribution to their profession and the students they teach.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is sponsored annually by Emerson, a diversified global manufacturer and technology leader. Emerson is proud to recognize teachers for their vital role in shaping students’ lives in a persistently challenging and everchanging teaching environment due to COVID-19.

Recipients are chosen by their institutions’ top administrators. The nominating committee expressed admiration for Diuguid’s “unwavering professionalism and ability to focus on those around him as if they are of the utmost importance.”

Diuguid has taught methods of teaching, language arts, children’s literature and other School of Education courses at McKendree since 2008. His classes are distinguished by interaction, hands-on learning, and his passion for using high-quality and diverse children’s and young adult books in the classroom, such as the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré, and Stonewall Award winners. In their course evaluations, students have said they value his guidance, helpful suggestions and tips, passion for education, and activities that gave them tremendous perspective.

He has prepared many future teachers for the edTPA, the final state assessment before licensure. Diuguid supports his students not only in the classroom but beyond it and throughout their professional careers, checking in on their progress, nominating them for awards, and successfully co-applying for grants. He has received 24 grants from a variety of funding sources including the Illinois Reading Council, Phi Kappa Phi, Fulbright Organization and McKendree University. Seven of the grants were written with McKendree alumni and many others with colleagues.

Diuguid emphasizes to teacher candidates that their career will be one of service. He often accompanies them to schools with diverse populations, where they read books or participate in activities with children. His students have worked with groups such as the Family Living Center and Christian Activity Center in East St. Louis, as well as Kreitner Elementary School in Collinsville, Lebanon Elementary School, and Whiteside Elementary School in Belleville. He has volunteered with his students at Food Outreach, a St. Louis organization that provides nutritional assistance to low-income individuals living with HIV and cancer.

Professionally, Diuguid is highly involved with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) as he serves on the LGBTQ Advisory Committee, as a NCTE policy reviewer, and a regular presenter at their national conference. In addition, he has served on the Stonewall Book Award Committee of the American Library Association, and reviews for the Illinois Reading Council Journal as well as the Journal of Interdisciplinary Education. This spring, he has articles to be published in “Children and Libraries” and the “Journal of Educational Leadership in Action.”

On campus, he has presented at the university’s Teaching for Excellence workshops and its “Make Your Mark Boot Camp” for faculty colleagues, the Brown Bag speaker series and the Faculty Colloquium.

Diuguid received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Western Kentucky University, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Eastern Kentucky University, and a doctorate in educational studies from Saint Louis University. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2017, he taught for a semester at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education in Vietnam and lectured at several other Vietnamese universities. In summer 2021, he will return to Ho Chi Minh City to work with faculty and future teachers at the National College of Vietnam as a Fulbright Scholar.

An avid world traveler, he has visited numerous countries on every continent except Antarctic and, quite literally, “flew around the world” in 2016 to reach another travel goal. In 2019, he walked 200 miles on the popular Camino de Santiago pilgrimage from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. He has been in the audience of three of the four major tennis tournaments, and he plans to attend the French Open soon to complete the task.

Other McKendree graduates who received 2020 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Awards are:

Whitney (Rapp) Carpenter ’09, M.A.Ed. ’13, Central Elementary School in O’Fallon, Ill.
Ann (Toler) Neighbors, M.A.Ed. ’12, Moye Elementary School in O’Fallon, Ill.
Mecala (Medlin) Scholl ’96, Highland Middle School in Highland, Ill.
Nick Seibert, M.A.Ed. ’11, O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon, Ill.
Joshua Sterns, M.A.Ed. ’11, Shiloh Middle School in Shiloh, Ill.
PHOTO: Dr. Darryn Diuguid, professor of education at McKendree University, is a 2020 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award recipient. 


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