Melissa Miller, assistant professor of special education and coordinator of the special education-general curriculum program, has won a Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction and Mentoring.
The announcement of Miller’s award was made during halftime at the UNC-Florida State men’s basketball game on Feb. 6. The award is given by the University to recognize the important role of post-baccalaureate teaching.
Miller, along with the three other winners of Distinguished Teaching Awards for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction, will be honored at a banquet in April. Each of the winners receives a $5,000 stipend and a framed citation.
A nominator said that Miller fosters a scholarly community of graduate students interested in special education and that she has successfully recruited students and supports them throughout their program.
The nominator added: “She teaches a broad range of undergraduate and graduate students. Yet, despite her demanding teaching and advising responsibilities, she always is mindful of her students’ academic and professional development. She distinguishes herself through her personification of compassion and empathy that are so important in the composition of a good educator.”
One student commented: “She teaches us the way we’re supposed to teach our students – that is she models differentiation and creates classroom community.”
Another student said: “She motivates you to want to be better as a human-being, a woman/man, a participant in society, a leader in the profession.”
Miller joined the School of Education in 2007. She received all three of her higher education degrees from the University of Florida. After earning her baccalaureate degree, Miller worked as a special education teacher in Ocala, Fla. for eight years.
She has taught at the University of Florida and has served as a research assistant at the University of Florida and the Florida Center for Reading Research.
Her research focuses on the prevention and remediation of academic difficulties for students with learning and behavior problems.
Another student said of Miller: “[She] continues to challenge me, and continues to remind me that teaching is so much more than instruction. It is developing trust through compassion and sincerity. Without trust, teaching is handicapped.
“Dr. Miller has my full trust and because of this I am confident in pushing towards my goal knowing that I am not alone in my endeavor. This type of inspiration is truly contagious and should be admired and rewarded.”