Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Recipient

Jamie Simpson Steele

“I am surrounded by excellent teachers at the Institute for Teacher Education, and I feel this award acknowledges the awesome work that we all do.”

Hometown

Missoula, Montana

Department

Institute for Teacher Education - Elementary

What is your Current Position?
I am an Assistant Professor of Performing Arts Education in the Institute for Teacher Education (ITE).

How long have you been with the COE?
My relationship with the College of Education began when I first moved to Hawai‘i in 2001. I was hired by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth to work on a grant, teaching and conducting classroom demonstrations with cohorts of elementary teacher candidates to equip them with strategies for integrating drama throughout the curriculum. When the grant was complete, ITE decided to develop a new course to institutionalize some of that work, so I moved on to become a graduate assistant and then an instructor, teaching ITE 329 Performing Arts for the Elementary Teacher. After completing my PhD, I spent three years teaching at Hawai‘i Pacific University, but was eager to return to the COE and in a tenure-line track position in 2012.

How were you selected for the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching*?
My colleague, co-teacher, and friend, Lysandra Cook, nominated me for the award. From there, other faculty and students wrote letters of support. A COE committee reviewed my portfolio and advanced my candidacy, which was then considered by a Mānoa-wide committee.

*The Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching recognizes dedication and demonstrated excellence of teachers of undergraduate students. It was established as a memorial to the late Frances Davis, who taught mathematics at Leeward Community College and UH Mānoa for 19 years.

What does this award mean to you?
It means a great deal to me that my colleagues and students recognize my teaching as a labor and love. I am surrounded by excellent teachers at the Institute for Teacher Education, and I feel this award acknowledges the awesome work that we all do.

What are your future plans?
I go up for tenure and promotion next year when my fate is decided! I hope to continue to teach and research arts education here at the College of Education and in the community. I really want to contribute to a vibrant education including the arts for the keiki of Hawai‘i.

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