Three UK College of Education alumni were honored during the college’s 2018 Gary L. Stingle Scholarship and Awards banquet, hosted by UK College of Education Interim Dean Rosetta Sandidge.
The Outstanding Teaching Award was presented to Pamela Duncan, a math teacher at Woodford County High School. Dr. Mary Lynn English, an associate professor in the UK College of Health Sciences who directs clinical education in the physical therapy program, was awarded the Leadership and Service Award. The Alumni Excellence Award was presented to Dr. Carol Elam, a professor of behavioral science and associate dean for Admissions and Institutional Advancement in the UK College of Medicine. Elam is also director of Medical Education Research at the UK College of Medicine.
Pamela Duncan earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from the UK College of Education in 1994 and returned to her hometown to teach at Woodford County High School.
A fourth generation teacher, Duncan exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding teacher. From leading professional learning communities to spending tireless hours before and after school, Duncan’s high energy consistently has positive impacts on the students she teaches. Always keeping the whole student at the core of her philosophy of teaching, Duncan uses innovative teaching practices that include using physical movements in the classroom.
In addition to her 19 years of teaching in the classroom, Duncan has had a tremendous impact on UK’s teacher preparation programs. She has served as a mentor teacher for UK programs for 15 years.
“No one has shaped my teaching career more than Pam Duncan,” wrote a former UK student who was mentored by Duncan. “During my time at Woodford County High as her student teacher, her excitement to teach math every day was infectious to me and her students. She taught me to always try to keep things fresh and fun, but most importantly keep the students’ needs first. She taught me that collaboration with other teachers is a key to success because you should never teach alone. Even now, 10 years later, I am constantly seeking her advice and new ideas. She never settles for what she did last year, she continues to search for new ways to improve. Pam Duncan, my mentor and now lifelong friend, is most deserving of this award.”
Dr. Carol Elam earned her Doctorate of Education from the UK College of Education and began a career in the UK College of Medicine.
Elam has authored more than 125 publications and over 160 presentations on medical education and student affairs in national and international venues. She is recipient of numerous awards for work in student affairs and medical education, including four lifetime achievement awards from units of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
She currently leads admissions initiatives for the UK College of Medicine’s new regional campuses, coordinating partnerships among 16 Kentucky colleges and universities to provide clear pathways to the UK College of Medicine.
Elam takes an active role in advising student organizations. She mentors student-led outreach efforts to attract students from diverse backgrounds to UK and to provide leadership development and wellness programs for middle school and high school students in underserved rural counties of Kentucky.
Dr. Mary Lynn English earned a Master of Science in Education from the UK College of Education. The UK College of Health Sciences associate professor embodies an ethic of service. She coordinates a course, Interprofessional Teamwork in Global Health, that enlists students from diverse colleges on campus to participate in medical brigades to Ecuador. English accompanies these brigades and recruits other faculty to do the same. She also serves in leadership in the umbrella organization for this work, Shoulder to Shoulder Global.
English does similar work in the community, coordinating Samaritan’s Touch, a pro bono physical therapy clinic run by students. The clinic helps meet the physical therapy needs of uninsured and underinsured patients.
Her use of her knowledge and skills to serve the physical therapy needs of underserved populations leads her students to recognize the social responsibilities of their profession.
One student wrote, “She encourages us to not become complacent with standard care and to reach out and give back to the community in which we live. She leads by example.”
Another said, “Lynn did a wonderful job of opening our hearts and minds to understand who the underserved are, what the impact is, and calling us to fulfill our duty to serve those in our community who are in need.”