CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A passion for teaching, literacy and an impactful research agenda are just a few reasons why the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is pleased to announce Dr. Corinne Valadez as the newest Barbara Gail Silverman Endowed Professor of Literacy.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to be named the Silverman Professor,” said Valadez, Associate Professor and Master of Reading Program Coordinator. “This professorship is named for Barbara Silverman, who was a public school librarian and had a love for literacy. She wanted to ensure that all students have access to reading and develop a love of reading.”
Valadez will use the endowment funds to support several research projects, spanning the next three years, that have the potential to impact the teaching community. Her first research project will focus on a pre-service teacher’s sense of efficacy, or their ability to produce a desired result, when learning how to teach reading to children.
“Research shows that if a teacher has a high sense of efficacy, they are going to work harder and be more motivated when working with their students,” said Valadez. “A teacher who does not have a strong sense of efficacy will often say, ‘I give up, I cannot do this.’ That is why I want to prepare my students to have the necessary tools needed so that they are highly effective teachers.”
Another research area that Valadez will focus on is preparing Island University students for parent/teacher conferences.
“Texas requires teachers to be able to communicate their students’ progress with parents and this interaction often takes place during parent/teacher conferences,” explained Valadez. “Yet, most pre-service teachers do not have an opportunity to participate in conferences until they have their own classroom.”
Thanks to the professorship, Valadez and a graduate student assistant will be able to create opportunities for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi undergraduates to participate in a parent/teacher conference before they graduate from the University. This new line of research will impact the courses A&M-Corpus Christi students take on their path to becoming a certified teacher in Texas.
The Barbara Gail Silverman Endowed Professorship in Literacy was established in 2014 with a generous gift from the estate of Mrs. Barbara Gail Silverman and her family. Silverman had a passion for literacy throughout her entire life. As a mother of two and a wife, she shared that love with her family. Later, she received two master’s degrees to further her joy for reading; including one degree in 1989 from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, then Corpus Christi State University. Silverman passed away in 2012 but her legacy lives on at the Island University.
“I am touched that my colleagues selected me for this endowment,” said Valadez. “With my research, I want to honor the Silverman’s legacy, my University and, most of all, my profession as an educator.”