July-August 2009 Issue • Volume 37 • Issue 6

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TEF Small Grants Renamed
to Honor Howery

Patricia Hill Collins, ASA President

The American Sociological Association Council voted unanimously on May 14 to rename the Teaching Enhancement Fund (TEF) and its program of small grants for the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning as the Carla B. Howery Teaching Enhancement Grants Program. This action on behalf of the ASA membership is meant to both "recognize and honor Carla Beth Howery for the work in which she took most professional and personal pride—enhancing the discipline of sociology through practical ways of nourishing the fruits of great teaching and by recognizing those who labor in its vineyards at all levels."


Carla B. Howery

Former ASA Deputy Executive Officer Howery, who died March 31, 2009, from cancer, served the association for more than 25 years as Director of the Academic and Professional Affairs Program. Her fierce commitment to actively advancing teaching and honoring teachers moved her to create the Teaching Enhancement Small Grants Program at the ASA. By naming the grant after Howery, Council is recognizing her life-long mentoring and support of young sociologists who want to be better teachers; her support of teaching and learning scholars who want to improve the art and science of teaching; and her support of those who work diligently in the teaching trenches for their whole careers but rarely get recognized for their contributions.

A nationally competitive, grassroots ASA program, TEF is supported by many members’ donations each year and by contributions from the yearly fundraiser ("Just Desserts") at the Annual Meeting. TEF grants provide practical financial support to members’ efforts to improve teaching sociology in ways that significantly advance the discipline at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The small grants often go to teachers who could not otherwise experiment with pedagogy because they lack resources, and the grants also provide recipients with recognition at their home institutions as well as at the national level. Selecting the recipients of the TEF small grants each year was one of Howery’s greatest pleasures and a constant reminder of what she was accomplishing through her work at ASA.

Council recognized that the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning has already named its teaching award for Howery and that other sociological associations including the Sociologists for Women in Society, of which she was a former president and activist, and the Midwest Sociological Society, which was special to her because of her Midwest roots, are considering ways to honor her. Because the ASA TEF Program is uniquely Carla’s accomplishment, Council concluded that the most significant honor ASA could bestow was to make it the Carla B. Howery Teaching Enhancement Grants Program as a continuing reminder of her commitment to outstanding teaching in the discipline. A memorial event will be held August 9 at 8:00 pm at the 2009 ASA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. logo

For more information on the TEF Program, see the "Funding" link at www.asanet.org.


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