2012 DISTINGUISHED FACULTY
Dr. Rosalind Raymond Gann, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction within the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education was presented the 2012 ETSU Distinguished Faculty Award in Service. A specialist in literacy issues, Dr. Gann earned a bachelor's degree in English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, followed by a Master of Social Work degree in clinical social work at Smith College and a doctorate in education at the University of Cincinnati.
After graduating from college, she was a social worker with the Brooklyn Bureau of Child Welfare. Most of her clients were of African American or Hispanic heritage. Later, during her time in Cincinnati, she served as a classroom teacher and reading specialist who designed materials for at-risk populations. By the time she came to ETSU in 2002, Dr. Gann had taught at Sabanci University in Istanbul, stirring her interest in international literacy issues. She then taught a course in Morristown that introduced her to the growing Hispanic population there, and she developed three consecutively-funded Tennessee Higher Education Commission grants to support the teachers and students who had captured her attention.
According to one nominator, Dr. Gann realized that the students' problems grew not only from English as a second language, but from the fact that native dialects posed issues with their native language as well. In an effort to learn more about native Mexican culture, she obtained travel support from the university to spend time in Mexico over one summer. Dr. Gann's focus on internationalism and literacy led her to accept an invitation to work in Nanjing, China, in 2006 as part of an English language training grant. In 2007, she served as project director for an English language immersion summer experience for faculty from North China University of Technology. Next came a faculty exchange in China as a summer lecturer over the last few years. Her China blog allows her to help ETSU's students better understand Chinese language, culture and education through service.
"Dr. Gann's focus on internationalizing ETSU opportunities for students and faculty through work both on campus and abroad is further supported by the service that she provides through the International Friendship Host Family program, her work on the International Advisory Committee, and as college coordinator for undergraduate Fulbright programs," a nominator wrote. Her current project involves development of a simulcast English as a Second Language education program for teachers in the United States and China.
One College of Education colleague described Gann as "an extraordinary ambassador of goodwill for East Tennessee State University." Another nominator noted, "What I believe to be the single most distinguishing aspect of Dr. Gann's service is her commitment to engagement with other cultures and her leadership in supporting ETSU's desire to internationalize."