Photo caption: Rhina Fernandes Williams, Katie Kurumada and Namisi Chilungu, faculty members in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, attend the College of Education & Human Development’s Faculty Awards Luncheon on March 31.
story by Claire Miller
Rhina Fernandes Williams and Katie Kurumada, faculty members in the in the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, are two of eight recipients of the College of Education & Human Development’s Faculty Awards for 2022.
The annual faculty awards celebrate excellence in three areas: teaching, service to the profession and community, and research and scholarship. Awardees have published extensively, mentored numerous educators and peers, secured significant grant funding, and represented Georgia State University and the college in school systems, community organizations and in their disciplines.
Fernandes Williams is the 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes a full-time faculty member in the college for outstanding achievement in the area of undergraduate teaching.
She is a clinical associate professor and serves as co-director of the college’s Center for Equity and Justice in Teacher Education. Her expertise and scholarship are in teacher development in critical and culturally responsive pedagogy, urban education and social justice education. Her belief in the power of critically conscious teachers drives her scholarship and work with in-service and pre-service educators in graduate and undergraduate programs. Fernandes Williams is a university-based member of the Collaboration and Reflection to Enhance Atlanta Teacher Effectiveness teacher residency program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. She has collaborated on starting an innovative educational specialist program; served as co-coordinator for the doctor of education in curriculum and instruction program; created numerous graduate and undergraduate courses; planned and facilitated workshops and retreats for educators in local and global communities; and taught elementary school for several years. Fernandes Williams is an affiliate faculty in the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence, where she connects and collaborates with others who are committed to providing all children with access to a high-quality education.
Kurumada is the 2022 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Service to the Community Award, which recognizes a full-time faculty member who fulfills in an exemplary way the college’s commitment to service and has consistently demonstrated exemplary service to the community and Georgia State University.
She is a clinical assistant professor and the associate project director of Reading Recovery and Pathways to Literacy. She has more than 15 years of experience preparing teachers of emerging bilingual students. She has served in leadership roles for the Georgia Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, including chairing the Grants and Awards Committee, where she led the effort to award over $10,000 annually to ESOL educators across the country. Kurumada has also served on Georgia State University’s Undergraduate Research Conference Committee, the University Senate and Reading Recovery’s National Association of Trainers Group (NATG). In her first year in NATG, she served on the Teaching and Professional Development Committee, which revised the testing booklets used in the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement.
Fernandes Williams and Kurumada were recognized with the other CEHD awardees at the college’s Faculty Awards Luncheon on March 31.
To learn more about the awards, visit https://education.gsu.edu/cehd-faculty-awards.