Dr. Elaine O’Quinn has worked with the English, Secondary Education (BS) degree program since 1999. In addition to her work with pre-service teachers, she is also a faculty member in Appalachian Studies as well as Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, where she helped start the Girls’ Studies minor. In 2013, her donation to Belk Library and Information Commons of more than 500 vintage books for girls and boys was the beginning of what is now called the Elaine J. O’Quinn Girls’ Studies Special Collection.
O’Quinn has been awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Advisor of the Year and the Academy of Outstanding Teachers Awards. In 2012 she was a recipient of the NC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award.
O’Quinn describes the Secondary Education program in English as a fully comprehensive preparation for students who are pursuing teaching as a career. “We are about more than just content,” she stated. “How teachers approach teaching and the way they work with their students is just as important to us as how much they know about their discipline.”
“Our graduates are in a variety of positions all across the state. They thrive in their work, and many of them have been awarded local as well as state awards for their teaching and service. Over the years, students frequently contact us to say that many of the things they learned in our program continue to guide them in their own classroom. Quite a few of our students have gone on to get advanced degrees, and a number of them are influential in educational spaces beyond the classroom.”
When O’Quinn is not teaching and writing, she spends her time working as an artist. Her most recent collection of art work, titled “Beauty in All Things,” was displayed in the Looking Glass Gallery on campus in Fall 2015.
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