Greensboro College Honors Elena King with Teaching Award

June 15, 2021 11:43 am
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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro College has honored Elena Tosky King, associate professor of English and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), with the 2020-2021 Virginia Clarke Gray Award for outstanding teaching by a junior faculty member.

King was cited for taking “a keen interest in the progress and success of her pre-service teachers and the graduate students she mentors. These career-oriented students found her to be ‘an expert and a great person. … flexible and comprehensive.’”

King also was cited for her research into pre-service teachers’ perceptions of culture, diversity, inclusion, and literacy. Her published work includes a book chapter titled “Culturally Responsive Teaching in Diverse Classrooms” and a journal article titled “Building Program Coherence and the (un)Intentional Clinical Experiences for First-Semester Preservice Teachers.” She has presented her research in local, regional, and national venues such as the North Carolina Reading Association, Carolina TESOL, and TESOL International.

King contributes to three distinct programs on campus — the TESOL graduate program; the English, Communication and Media studies undergraduate program; and the School of Education. Her department chair called her “an outstanding and balanced colleague with a great sense of humor, abundant energy, and a willingness to serve and to lead.”

The Gray Award was established in 1994 by a member of the college’s Class of 1942, Virginia Clarke Gray-Backus, to recognize an exemplary junior faculty member.  Gray-Backus’s wish was to honor someone who demonstrated qualities that she valued in her professors when she was a student at Greensboro College: excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to value-centered education; and service to students, the institution, the community, or church.

Only faculty who have taught full-time at a college or university for five years or less are eligible for the Gray Award. The winner is selected from among nominees from each of the five schools by the Academic Deans Council.

King holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.A.T. in teaching English as a second language and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on urban literacy and TESOL, both from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.

Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and six master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities.

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This post was written by Tom Saitta