Sanders-Reio earns Excellence in Teaching honors


The College of Education’s faculty continues to be recognized for their efforts in the classroom and in the field.

At the annual Faculty Convocation, Senior Instructor Joanne Sanders-Reio won an Excellence in Teaching award. Her colleague in the educational psychology program, Professor Martha Pelaez, won the Excellence in Research and Creative Activities award.

“What makes me different, I think, is that I marry theory and practice,” Sanders-Reio said. “Theory is the mother of practice. Teaching and learning strategies arise from theories, so if you understand the theories, you understand how the strategies work and when to use them.

“Theory drives everything – how the classroom is set up, what kind of tests are administered, the kinds of questions that are asked,” she said. “Theory gives you the big picture.”

Sanders-Reio’s students agree. One wrote that Sanders-Reio “put everything in perspective and explained why teachers teach the way they do, and what is effective and what is not. She affected my outlook on teaching in such a huge way.”

Sanders-Reio was also commended for helping students develop their writing skills. A former writer, Sanders-Reio teaches expert writing practices. For example, she gives her students specific substantive and mechanical feedback and then allows them to rewrite for a higher grade.

“Revision is the norm in the workplace. Even professors get the chance to revise and resubmit their articles and do better,” she explains. “We need to prepare our students to take an edit and revise.”

Her students are often surprised that they actually enjoy the process. “I read the comments and feedback, and I realized I agreed with all of it,” one student wrote. “Revising enhanced my writing.”

Previous College of Education Faculty Award Winners


  • Lynne D. Miller – Excellence in Teaching
  • Elizabeth Cramer – Excellence in Service
  • Eva Frank – Excellence in Mentorship and Advising


  • Alexis McKenney – Excellence in Service
  • Joyce Fine – Excellence in Engagement