Five Scholarship Awards to be presented at 17th Annual TWU Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon Honoring
Dale Petroskey for his leadership in the community
After working 15 years as a certified teacher, instructional specialist, response to intervention (RTI) coordinator, and administrator, McKinney resident Patricia Flint found that most teachers are not prepared for the diverse group of learners they have in their classroom each school year. In 2017, Flint decided to quit her job as an assistant principal and become a full-time doctoral student pursuing a PhD in special education with a minor in biliteracy education at Texas Woman’s University, where she maintains a 4.0 GPA. She will complete her coursework in the fall of 2019 with an anticipated graduation date of 2020.
“All teachers and educators need to be prepared to meet the needs of all students who walk through the school doors,” said Patricia Flint. “I want to use my degree to enhance teacher preparation programs as well as help school systems design protocols to help special education students and educators in need. Ultimately, I would like to be a professor in a teacher education program at a university like TWU that puts positive relationships and students first.”
Flint has been named the Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship recipient from the College of Professional Education and will be honored on February 27 at the 17th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon, presented by Bank of Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and the Texas Woman’s University Foundation, at The Belo Mansion and Pavilion.
Flint currently works as part of the ELLevate! grant team, where she supports research and training efforts for teachers who work with English Language Learners. This $2.5 million scholarship and research project is the product of the collaboration between Texas Woman’s University and the Denton Independent School District (DISD). It supports more than 300 faculty members, administrators and professional support staff in their goal of improving the instruction of high school English language learners (ELLs) and is sponsored by the Office of English Language Acquisition of the U.S. Department of Education (OELA).
“Working with adolescent emergent bilinguals and their teachers has completely changed my perspectives on education and learning while offering me many opportunities to grow,” said Patricia Flint. I have also had the opportunity to co-author two articles and a book chapter that are currently in the publishing process, write a discussion guide, and be a co-presenter for numerous conferences at the local, regional, state, and national level due to my work on this grant and coursework.”
Flint has found that she has had to realign her ways of teaching through her work with emergent bilinguals. She had to transition from being the teacher who was the sole provider of knowledge to a co-learner alongside her emergent bilingual students.
Flint fondly recalls her first teaching experience in 1987 when she was studying to be a social worker. She was assigned an internship at Wildwood School, a private special education school in upstate New York. It was not the internship she had requested. The unit consisted of nine adolescent students who could not be in a main-stream setting in public schools because of severe disabilities and aggressive behaviors and one special education teacher, four aides, a social worker and a speech therapist.
“I quickly learned this was an extraordinary group of adolescents and educators,” added Flint. “I enjoyed this internship so much, I applied for a job the following semester and changed my major to special education. I worked there for the next six years as an aide, recreation counselor, and a mentor for the young adult program. I feel fortunate to have had this experience where we truly worked together as a team and always had to think outside of the box to help these students who were facing difficult and emotional situations. I continue to share these valuable lessons with my teammates today.”
Flint received her master’s degree from TWU in 2012 and knew there was no other school where she would want to pursue her goals. Her honors include K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, 2019 (Nominee) and Outstanding Graduate Research Associate Award, 2018.
“Tricia has shown great initiative as a doctoral student, looking for opportunities to serve the university and quickly earning a reputation as a hard worker,” said Diane Myers, Chair, Department of Teacher Education. “She exemplifies the spirit and vision of Virginia Chandler Dykes as well as that of TWU and is not afraid to ‘boldly go.’ I look forward to having her as a colleague in the field of special education.”
Flint and her husband have been married for 30 years and have three children. Flint is the first in her family to earn a PhD.
“I feel very grateful and humbled to have been chosen for this scholarship and to be in the company of the other current and past recipients,” added Flint.
In addition to Flint, graduate students from the remaining four TWU colleges will be honored at the luncheon as recipients of Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship funds: Janice Kishi Chow, College of Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy); Amie Bedgood, College of Nursing; Paramita Basu, College of Arts and Sciences; and Meghan Labiak, College of Business.
In the past 16 years, more than $700,000 has been raised for scholarships from the proceeds of this luncheon. TWU’s 17th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon, on February 27 at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion, will honor Dale Petroskey, president and CEO, Dallas Regional Chamber as the 2019 recipient of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award. Tickets for the February 27 luncheon are $175 for silver patron; $250 for gold patron. For more information, call 940-898-3865, visit www.twu.edu/vcd, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Woman’s University is the nation’s largest public university primarily for women with 15,500 students at its three locations in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Texas Woman’s is known for its contributions and leadership in the fields of education, nutrition, business, the arts and sciences, and especially in the nursing and health care professions. The university offers the student support, class sizes and campus esthetics more typically found at a private university. For more information, visit www.twu.edu or call 940-TWU-2000.