AUSTIN, Texas—(BUSINESS WIRE)—PeopleAdmin, a leader in talent management software for K-12 and higher education, recognizes a Virginia professor as this month’s Inspired2Educate honoree for her story about how one of her college professors sparked in her a lifelong love of literature — something she strives to pass on to her own students.
Shonda Buchanan, an assistant English professor at Hampton University, is the latest recipient of PeopleAdmin’s Inspired2Educate award, which encourages current education professionals to nominate a teacher, administrator, or staff member who inspired them to start their careers in education.
Ms. Buchanan credits her college English Professor, Dr. Barbara Rico, for making “literature relate back to our lives. She made the poems, and she made Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies come alive for us… She wanted us to see how learning actually mattered in our lives.”
Ms. Buchanan, as well as Hampton University, will receive a scholarship from PeopleAdmin.
“Ms. Buchanan’s love of language and her commitment to passing that on to the next generation is absolutely the type of passion we need in all schools and universities,” said PeopleAdmin CEO Kermit S. Randa. “Her desire to encourage students to become teachers themselves will ensure that future generations benefit from the same passion that Dr. Rico passed on to Ms. Buchanan and that Ms. Buchanan passes on to her students.”
In addition to her desire to make literature come alive for her own students, Ms. Buchanan also credits Dr. Rico for helping her to recognize the need to accommodate students coming from different backgrounds.
“I do think that having Dr. Rico be lenient towards me as a young single mom allowed me to see that people have circumstances which are sometimes within their control, but sometimes beyond their control,” she said. “It’s our job to see that as educators.”
After receiving her B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University, and prior to becoming a full-time teacher, Ms. Buchanan worked as a magazine editor and journalist while also teaching classes and workshops for “at-risk” students.
“There was a moment in one of those classes where I was teaching a poem, and I could see how no one had ever thought that these students could realize their world through language,” Ms. Buchanan remembered. “That was my moment where I thought, ‘You know what? I should probably go back to get my M.A., and I should probably start teaching.’”
“If you want to do something that will allow you to learn from the population you’re working with, become a teacher. If you want to give back to future generations, become a teacher,” added Ms. Buchanan. “A teacher has the ability to impact people on multiple levels simultaneously.”
PeopleAdmin believes that acquiring, managing and developing the right educators is the best way to ensure academic success for the next generation. Inspired2Educate is its way of recognizing some of those great educators and ensuring that our nation’s students get the education they deserve.