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2012 "Educators Make a Difference" Recipient

Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education

Dr. Julia Kara-Soteriou

DR. JULIA KARA-SOTERIOU, Associate Professor of Reading and Language Arts, is recipient of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education 2012 "Educators Make a Difference" award presented on April 18, 2012 at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT.

Dr. Julia Kara-Soteriou, Award Recipient

Jessica Dillaway, Chapter President

Dr. Richard Judd, CCSU President Emeritus

Introduction of Dr. Kara-Soteriou

by Jessica Dillaway, Chapter President

This year, we are pleased to honor one of our most well loved and respected professors from the Education Department with our Kappa Delta Pi “Educator’s Make the Difference” Award.  This is an award we give out to teachers who make a special impact on their students’ lives and promote the ideals of our society, such as advancing scholarship, leadership and service.   

We are presenting this award to Dr. Julia Kara-Soteriou for many reasons.  She puts an extraordinary amount of her own time and effort into making sure her students do well and have the necessary knowledge to pass the important Foundations of Reading Test, which is needed for teacher certification.  Each year, she spends time putting together a review session for students taking the exam to help us study and answer any questions we may have.  This is not something she is required to do, and we all appreciate the extra time and effort she dedicates to us.  She is extremely interested in what she does, which includes all forms of literacy teaching, such as reading, writing, literacy and technology, and reading comprehension.

Other than being a great professor and mentor to her students Dr. Kara-Soteriou has many professional accomplishments, which add to her worthiness for this award.  She has done 11 research projects and over 15 grants in the area of literacy.  She has also written several book chapters for the International Reading Association, and has written over 20 published articles in scholarly journals.  Additionally, Dr. Kara-Soteriou has given over 70 professional presentations at local, regional, and international conferences. 

Besides all of the amazing work she has done both in and out of the classroom, she always makes time for her students whether they need extra help or just want to sit down and talk.  I remember one time I was talking to her about the reading honor society she helps run.  When I said I was not in it because I was a post-baccalaureate student, she immediately wanted to change the rules so I could become a member.  Dr. Kara-Soteriou is constantly thinking about her students and helping them in any way she can.  Another time, when I expressed my worries about the Foundations of Reading Test, she sat me down and told me how confident she was in me and that she knew I would be just fine.  She also let me know she was always available for any questions I might have and not to get too stressed.  It is the little things like this that make Dr. Kara-Soteriou such an adored professor here at CCSU, and that is why we are honoring her with this award tonight!

Posted 09/15/2011 09:11AM

Distinguished Service Award

Abadiano the Quintessential Multitasker

A scholar of reading, language arts, and teacher education, Helen Abadiano is also a master of multitasking. She has to be. The depth and breadth of her involvement in the University and community, in addition to her teaching and research, is why the chair and professor of Reading and Language Arts has earned the University’s 2011 Distinguished Service Award.

Her entire department nominated her for what is one of the University’s highest honors. “To describe Helen as a quintessential multitasker would be an understatement,” the faculty wrote.

During the University’s Opening Meeting in late August, President Jack Miller presented Abadiano with the award, noting that her outstanding contributions and exemplary service were too numerous to list.

“Professor Abadiano has become a champion of diversity in education at all levels, and her energy has no bounds,” said Miller. “While her colleagues describe her as ‘a petite dynamo,’ former students say she is ‘a good role model’ and ‘incredibly knowledgeable

For Abadiano, the award and recognition came as a complete surprise. “This is just awesome,” she said in amazement. “Thank you. Thank you so very much,” she told the audience, explaining that the honor is especially memorable for her because it comes as she begins her 20th year at Central

“When I first came in ‘92, I thought I would stay for three to five years tops, but Central has a way of growing on you,” she said. Abadiano talked about how “very fortunate” and “blessed” she has been during her years at CCSU

For the past decade she has served as chair of the Reading and Language Arts Department, and last year she took on an additional leadership role as director of CCSU’s East Asian Center

“What is truly impressive is her inspiration, passion, time, and energy to sustain a healthy balance across teaching, scholarship, and service to the University and community—a rare combination,” according to the Reading and Language Arts faculty nomination letter

Abadiano has served on some 30 University committees, including the Faculty Senate for which she served two terms as vice president. Within the School of Education and Professional Studies she has been involved in dozens of committees, projects, and initiatives to improve the culture, climate, and education of students. In this, her faculty says, she “stands apart from other colleagues in her unique and strong record of service and leadership in the promotion and support of the School’s diversity efforts.”

Outside the University, she worked with the Opportunities Industrialization Center of New Britain for seven years to enhance the lives of the city’s working class residents. As a volunteer, she provided professional services to the New Britain school district, served on the Alliance for Youth board, and held a key leadership role in the development of the New Britain Campaign for Grade Level Reading. For many years she has served as a member of the Connecticut Emergency Medical Services Instructor Training Institute.

Abadiano has served with distinction on NCATE/International Reading Association accreditation teams reviewing teacher preparation programs at universities in the state and throughout the nation. In addition to this work, she has received more than 20 research grants and awards, authored or co-authored over 36 journal articles and reports, and presented at more than 40 regional, national, and international professional conferences.

In 2007, she earned the Celebrate Literacy Award—for exemplary service in the promotion in literacy—from the International Reading Association and the Connecticut Reading Association, and she was inducted as a Lifetime Ambassador of Literacy to the Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut, Inc.

- Janice Palmer- 

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