Academic awards announced for 2016

Theresa Just

Theresa Just

PSU annual student achievement awards were announced during a special event at the end of spring term.

GSE award recipients for 2016 are: Anna Vetter, University Service Award for Master’s; Staci B. Martin, University Service Award for Doctoral; Claire E. Lagerway, Community Engagement Award for Master’s; Victor Vergara, Community Engagement Award for Doctoral; Theresa Just, Academic Achievement Award for Master’s; and Kate Statman-Weil, Academic Achievement Award for Doctoral.

Theresa Just, who is graduating with a master’s in special education, also earned one of the top honors for the university: the Outstanding Student Achievement Award for a Graduate Student.

Her master’s project focused on strategies for working with students who are bilingual and who experience reading difficulties or a reading disability. Just completed the GSE special education licensure program in 2014 and is already a special education teacher in North Clackamas School District where she works at two schools: View Acres Elementary and Milwaukie Elementary/El Puente Bilingual School. Both are Title I schools that have high numbers of children living in poverty.

Just is also the recipient of several GSE scholarships, including Capps and Renaissance Scholarships, awarded in 2013–14.

“Theresa Just is a tremendous example of the many positive ways that teachers can impact the lives of their children, both through high-quality instruction and supports that enrich children’s lives in so many other domains,” said Professor Amanda Sanford, who was Just’s master’s adviser.

Just reflected: “My studies at PSU have certainly been academically challenging and exhausting, but I truly feel as if our professors have provided impeccable preparation for the job and the special education world. I’m eternally grateful that you all took a chance on me.”

Just sets high standards for her work and is also very involved in the community she serves. She was honored in February by her district as Educator of the Month. She often spends many of her evenings doing home visits and working with families to help problem solve their basic needs.

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