Dr. Sarah Straub, assistant professor of education studies, was awarded the 2020-22 Montgomery Professorship for Humane Education.
“When I first received [the professorship,] I was so excited because everyone can have big ideas, but now I had institutional support to help me take action on those ideas,” Straub said. “I’m able to turn theoretical conversations into reality, have an impact beyond the classroom and, this semester especially, outside of my laptop.”
The professorship was established by the late Charlotte Baker Montgomery in memory of her husband, Roger. To receive it, applicants must submit a proposal about how they would use the money provided.
As a recipient of the Montgomery Professorship, Straub is required to update the Mary Frances Mays Kane collection inside the Early Childhood Research Center. She is evaluating the books for cultural competency and recommending and recommending new purchases. Straub is also working on offering a graduate and undergraduate course, “ELED-43-45/53-45,” which will be offered to undergraduate students as an elective, and open to overlapping students.
Finally, with 2019/2020 recipient of the Montgomery Professorship and Assistant Professor of Education Studies, Leah Kahn, Straub has established a partnership with RedRover Readers certification, which is a class that enables educators to teach empathy while helping students with decision making and becoming more aware of their communities.
“I discovered and decided to take the RedRover Readers course during the spring of 2020 to see if I wanted to incorporate it into the Humane Education graduate course associated with the professorship,” Kahn said. “I made the decision to incorporate it; and when Sarah received the professorship for 2020-2022, she made the decision to continue using this wonderful resource for our students. Using the professorship funds, we can pay for full scholarships for students to take the RedRover Readers course, which is very exciting.”
Hannah Hardy, a junior elementary education student from Diboll, said she is thankful she took Straub’s class, as she has learned to be a better teacher through it.
“Dr. Straub is an encourager, she makes all of her students feel loved and encouraged every single day,” Hardy said. “She expects our best and pushes us to be better.”