BONTOC, Mountain Province May 01 – Mark Preston S. Lopez, a Fulbright scholar and a faculty of the Teacher Education Department, Mountain Province State Polytechnic College was bestowed the 2019 Outstanding Graduate Leadership Award winner during the College of Education (COE) Recognition Dinner 2019 held at the University of Florida Hilton Convention Center on April 26, 2019. Lopez was chosen through a rigorous evaluation of a list of nominations for the outstanding leadership award. Based on the correspondence from COE Dean Dr. Glenn Good, Lopez was chosen for “exemplifying the finest attributes of service, leadership, and professional preparation” as evidence of his eligibility for the said award.
Two other awards in the graduate level, the Outstanding Graduate Professional Practice award and the Outstanding Graduate Research award were conferred to Philip Daniels and Wilhelmina Van Dijk, both from the School of Special Education, Psychology, & Early Childhood Studies (SESPECS). Lopez is from the School of Teaching & Learning (STL).
Three faculty members, including his academic advisor, wrote letters in support of his nomination for the leadership award. His main nominator was Dr. Albert Ritzhaupt, the Associate Director for Graduate Studies in STL and the current advisor of the Student Alliance of Graduates in Education (SAGE). Dr. Maria Coady and Dr. Anne Corinne Huggins-Manley submitted their respective letters of support, outlining the reasons why Lopez should be given the award.
In his main nomination letter, Dr. Ritzhaupt wrote: Mr. Lopez is faithfully serving as the President of SAGE this academic year, and in this role, I have observed his commitment to the intellectual and diverse culture in the COE community. In this capacity, Mr. Lopez has coordinated a series of relevant workshops for the COE community, refreshed and launched the new SAGE website, and provided guidance and leadership in the planning and implementation of this year’s COE Symposium. Mr. Lopez has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to service and leadership for the betterment of the COE community. Recognized as the winner of the Alec Courtelis Award, Mr. Lopez is recognized for contributions beyond his role as President of SAGE. During his short tenure at UF, he has served as a highly competent and qualified teaching assistant and research assistant in the ESOL program, and has contributed to the growth of teachers and students in Levy County.
However, Mr. Lopez’s accomplishments are not merely in the realm of service, he has also worked tirelessly with his major professor – Dr. Maria Coady – on six peer-reviewed journal articles in leading journals in his field, like TESOL Quarterly, International Journal of TESOL, International Journal of Multilingualism, and over 15 peer-reviewed presentations at state, national, and international conferences. In fact, he has also received accolades for his research contributions, including the International Fellowships Program Alumni Award from the Institute of International Education. In my assessment, Mr. Lopez is a well-rounded scholar.
Earlier in 2018, Lopez was awarded the International Student Certificate of Excellence, and he was recognized for taking the lead role in coordinating the COE Research Symposium 2019. His research paper also won the Best Paper award during the 2018 COE Symposium. Lopez is currently writing his doctoral dissertation on teachers’ culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and hopes to complete his degree in Summer 2019. He plans to return to the Philippines after graduation and continue teaching at the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College.
By: Annie Grail F. Ekid