Education Graduate Student Wins VACTE Award Sujin Chung '18 Embarking On Elementary Education Career After Years In Accounting Field
Sujin Chung ’18 has received one of only 11 scholarships awarded recently by the Virginia Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (VACTE), according to Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction Karrin Lukacs, Ph.D., who nominated Chung for the $1,500 award. Chung is studying to earn a Master of Science in Education – Individualized Focus degree. She is also studying for a Professional Studies Certificate – Initial Teacher Licensure (Elementary Ed).
An Exemplary Student
“I nominated Sujin for this scholarship because she is an exemplary student in all ways,” Dr. Lukacs said. “She is curious about and committed to education. She is a deep thinker and plans engaging lessons that address a variety of learning styles. One of the things that impresses me most about her is how she uses her own experiences as an English language learner to connect with elementary students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Simply put, she is the type of student every professor wants to have in class and the type of teacher any student would be lucky to have. We are so fortunate to be able to work with her.”
Chung said she was unaware of the scholarship until Lukacs told her about her nomination. Upon winning, she said she was “surprised and had to re-read the letter several times!”
A Career Change
“This award is very special, and I am grateful to my family for supporting me with my career change,” added Chung. Chung has a degree in accounting and worked as a tax accountant for many years before pursuing education. “While volunteering with Junior Achievement and teaching elementary students about business, I discovered that I enjoyed being in the classroom,” said Chung. “I decided to make a career change and become a full-time teacher.”
A Shenandoah student last won a VACTE scholarship two years ago, said Director of Professional Licensure and Professor of Curriculum & Instruction Mary Bowser, Ed.D. VACTE scholarship nominees must be fully admitted to a teacher education program granting initial licensure. They also must have current or prior experience in working with children or young adults. Nominees must demonstrate a high level of scholarship in previous studies (a 3.2 GPA or higher). And, they must come from an institution that is a VACTE member in good standing. Learn more about VACTE at vacte.org.