COE: Alina Slapac
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Department of Educator Preparation and Leadership

Alina Slapac, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educator Preparation & Leadership, who has been at UMSL since 2007.She received three prestigious campus teaching awards: Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (UMSL, 2022), The Chancellor's Award of Excellence in Teaching (UMSL, 2020) and Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award (UMSL, 2013) along with several  national and local service awards:  O.L. Davis, Jr. Counselor of Distinction Award (KDP national, 2015), Best Faculty Advisor (UMSL, 2015, 2013), Regional Counselor Award for the Midwest Region (KDP, 2013) and KDP Recognition Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication as the Counselor of MU Iota Chapter (2010).  She is also an UMSL Global Ambassador and Fellow. Since 2009, Dr. Slapac has been the Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. She was also a Co-PI for Quality Teachers for English Learners (QTEL) Grant, Department of Education  (2015-2016)  with Dr. Kim Song (PI) and was involved in research and professional development for inservice/preservice teachers working with English language learners. 

Dr. Slapac is originally from Romania where she received her Bachelors (Romanian-English as a Foreign Language) degree from Ovidius University, Romania, and her Masters (British Cultural Studies) degree from the University of Foreign Languages, Romania. She received her doctorate (Curriculum and Instruction) degree from the University of Northern Iowa, USA. 

At UMSL, Dr. Slapac has been teaching face-to-face, blended and online graduate (master’s and doctoral level)  courses such as Teacher Action Research I & II Capstone, Action Research for Educational Practitioners (Faculty Steward) with Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) , TESOL Practicum, Classroom Management  and undergraduate face-to-face or blended undergraduate courses such as Introduction to Teaching,  Positive Behavioral Supports in Inclusive Educational Settings, and Student Teaching Abroad (South Korea). She was a faculty team mentor in two Ed.D cohorts, Educational Practice (partnership with Shenyang University, China) and  Language, Literacy and Culture.

As the KDP Counselor, she has helped for many years coordinate the Children’s Program during the Martin Luther King Celebration Day. The program received “The Best Cultural Awareness Program” Award (UMSL, 2020; 2015; 2012), “Best Sustained Program on Campus” (UMSL, 2015), “Chapter Program Award for Community Service” (KDP, 2017, 2016, 2015), and Literacy Alive Silver and Bronze Awards (KDP, 2013-2015). The KDP Mu Iota Chapter (College of Education) received Achieving Chapter Excellence Award (ACE, 2015).

Dr. Slapac’s research interests have focused on the intersection of culture and diversity in teaching and teacher education, specifically, the development of cultural and linguistic competence/culturally responsive teaching and global education, and the strengths of culture within classrooms and beyond, locally and internationally. The main research methods used are qualitative methods, including case study and action research methodology. Her research strives to contribute to the field of research on diversity and cultural competence in teacher education by examining and challenging the perspectives of teacher educators, practicing teachers and preservice teachers who work with diverse students regarding their responsibilities to go beyond a simplistic view of culture and diversity and find meaningful ways to connect to students and families. Dr. Slapac also aims to advance global awareness regarding the contextual transforming practices of immigrant and American preservice/inservice teachers through intercultural/domestic experiences.