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Faculty/Staff Directory

Department of Educator Preparation and Leadership

Alina Slapac, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor, an International Studies Fellow (2012-2016), a recipient of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award (UMSL, 2013-2014) and the Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education (since 2010-presently). She was also a Co-PI for Quality Teachers for English Learners (QTEL) Grant, Department of Education  (2015-2016) along with Dr. Kim Song (PI) and Dr. Nicholas Husbye (Co-Pi) and was involved in research and professional development for inservice/preservice teachers working with English language learners. As the Counselor of Kappa Delta Pi, Alina received numerous national and regional awards such as 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 in 2010.

Dr. Slapac received her Bachelors (Romanian-English as a Foreign Language) degree from Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania, her Masters (British Cultural Studies) degree from the University of Foreign Languages, Bucharest, Romania, and her doctorate (Curriculum and Instruction) degree from the University of Northern Iowa. At UMSL, Dr. Slapac is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Educator Preparation & Leadership.

At UMSL, Dr. Slapac has been teaching graduate (master’s and doctoral level) and undergraduate courses such as Teacher Action Research I & II Capstone, Action Research for Educational Practitioners (Faculty Steward), TESOL Practicum, Classroom Management & Positive Behavioral Supports in Inclusive Educational Settings(Faculty Steward along with Dr. April Regester), and Student Teaching Abroad. She was also the Faculty Coordinator for Student Teaching in South Korea (2009- 2011).

As the KDP Counselor, she has helped coordinate the Children’s Program during the Martin Luther King Celebration Day. The program received “The Best Cultural Awareness Program” Award (UMSL, 2012; 2015), “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, specifically, the development of cultural and linguistic competence/culturally responsive teaching and classroom management practices, and the strenghts 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. 

Dr. Slapac has been a member of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Comparative International studies (CIES), the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), Kappa Delta PI International Honor Society in Education  (KDP), and the Literacy for Social Justice Teacher Research Group (LSJTRG). 


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(314) 516-7358


367 Marillac Hall

Research Interests

Culture and diversity including cultural & linguistic competence (culturally responsive teaching, knowledge and skills for diverse learners); culturally responsive classroom management; cultural awareness; immigrant students, teachers and families

International/intercultural education

Teacher education (inservice, preservice)

Action research and qualitative research methodology

Representative Publications (*with students) 

Slapac, A., Song K. H., & Chasteen, C. C.  (2017). Introspections on In-Service Teachers’ Intercultural Responsiveness Skills for English Language Learners. (Ch.11). pp. 181-201. Book Chapter in Intercultural Responsiveness in the Second Language Learning Classroom, Edited by Katie Jones & Jason Mixon, IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2069-6.ch011

Slapac, A., & Kim, S.* (2015). International faculty and colleagues as resources for preservice and PK_12 teachers: Building global awareness and cultural responsiveness, Kappa Delta Pi Record. 

Dorner, M. L., Howard, C. E., Slapac, A. & Matthews, K. (2014).The importance of mixed method implementation research for successful interventions and adaptations. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 42(4).

Slapac, A. (2013). A conceptualization of diversity from three teacher educators' perspectives: Teaching about social justice and equity. Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, 7(1). 

Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (2013). The importance of classroom management in early language immersion: A case study of a new French immersion kindergarten class, Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, 1(2), 251-277. 

Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (2013). Fledgling steps to global self-awareness for preservice teachers abroad, Journal for Meaning Centered Education (JMCE), 3(1). Online Journal. 

Csapo-Sweet, R.M, Slapac, A., & Panjeta, L. (2012). New International Exchange Programs between the United States and former Yugoslavia: Cross Cultural Public Higher Education Collaborations. International Journal of Education and Psychology in the Community, 2(1),7-24.

Slapac, A. & Navarro, V. (Fall, 2011) Shaping action researchers through a Master's capstone experience. Teacher Education & Practice, 24(4), 405-426.

Slapac, A., & Catapano, S. (2011). Developing skills to differentiated instruction in preservice teachers . International Journal of Education and Psychology in the Community, 1(1), 11-31.

Catapano, S., & Slapac, A. (2010). Preservice teachers' understanding of culture and diversity: Comparing two models of teacher education. Teacher Education & Practice, 23(4), 426-443.

Folkes, A., Mann, C., Mosley, M., & Slapac, A. (2009). Response Chapter:  Building Relationships of Struggle and Solidarity. In R. Rogers, M. Mosley & M.A. Kramer, & the Literacy for Social Justice Teacher Research Group (Eds.), Designing Socially Just Learning Communities: Linking Literacy Learning across the Lifespan, pp. 181-189. Routledge, NY: Taylor and Francis Group. (*Note: authors are listed alphabetically).

Slapac, A. (Fall, 2009). Defining and analyzing "Diversity in Education" through postmodern lenses. The Annals of University of Oradea. Psychology Installment, XVI, 12-29.

Slapac, A. (Spring, 2008). Modeling authentic assessment for preservice teachers: Different discourses toward a common goal. The Missouri Reader, 32(2), 11-15.

Slapac, A. (2007).  A dictionary of synonyms. (reprinted) Bucharest: All Educational.

Slapac, A. (2001). Improve your English vocabulary. Bucharest: All Publishing House.

Slapac, A (2001) A dictionary of synonyms. Bucharest: All Educational.


*Slapac, A., Kim, S., & Coppersmith, S. (2017, April). Preparing and Enriching Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Educators through Professional Development. Paper Presented at the Symposium Improving, Inquiring, and Innovating (3Is) Teacher Educators and Teachers Through Ever-evolving Professional Learning Community, SIG: Teacher Learning & Professional Development, AERA, San Antonio, TX.

*Coppersmith, S., Slapac, A., & Kim, S. (2016, November). Reflexivity in Teacher Training: Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Professional Development for Administrators and In-Service Teachers. Paper presented at Illinois Association of Teacher Educators Fall 2016, Normal, IL.

* Slapac, A., & Coppersmith, S*. (2016, April). Becoming Linguistically and Culturally Competent Teachers; Best Practices for Collaborative Professional Development for In-service and Pre-service teachers.  Roundtable. Presented at the Midwest Association for Teacher Educators Spring Conference 2016, Urbana, IL.

* Slapac, A. (2015, October). International Opportunities for Students. Panel Discussion. Kappa Delta Pi Convocation, Orlando Florida. Slapac, A., Bishop, B*, Duran, P,* & Lung, H. (2015, October). Martin Luther King Jr.: Children’s Program (Poster presentation  in Growing Great Chapter Sessions), Kappa Delta Pi Biennial Convocation, Orlando, Florida.

*Slapac, A. (2014, April). Changing practice with action research: Challenges and epiphanies of teachers as researchers in a graduate capstone course. Paper presented at the International Graduate Conference, UMSL, ST. Louis, MO.

*Slapac, A., Cordova, R., & Enoch, J.* (2014, April). Navigating teaching cultures: Foreign-born teachers as cultural assets in US Language Immersion Schools. Paper accepted for the American Education Research Association (AERA), Philadelphia, PA.

*Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (April, 2013). Preservice Teacher Experiences in Asia and the United States: Fledging Steps to Global Awareness . American Education Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA.

* Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (October, 2012). Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Practices in Language Immersion Charter Schools. The 4th International Immersion Conference, The Center of Advance Research in Language Acquisition (CARLA), St. Paul, MN.

* Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (April, 2012). Student teaching exchange program between US and South Korea: A closer examination of its benefits and challenges. Comparative International Educational Studies, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

* Lung, H. & Slapac, A. (March, 2012). Challenges and Creative Strategies: Classroom Management in the Elementary Art Classroom. National Arts Education Association National Convention: New York City, NY.

* Slapac, A. (February, 2012). Culturally Responsive Classroom Management: From Local Knowledge to Cultural Adaptations and Global Perspectives. The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference: San Antonio, TX.

* Slapac, A. (September, 2011). Addressing Diversity and Social Justice Issues in a Teacher Education Program at a Midwestern American University: A Case Study. The Second International Conference in the Field of Community Psychology, Oradea, Romania.

* Slapac, A., Han, P., Miller, L., & Navarro, V. (2011). Qualitative Work in International Contexts (Invited Panel/Symposia). The 8th Qualitative Research Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

* Slapac, A., & Navarro, V. (2011). Representation Issues and Method Choices: Case Study Data. The 8th Qualitative Research Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

* Slapac, A., Catapano, A., Pauls, J. & Kim, G. (May, 2011). Student Teaching Abroad: Cultural Lessons from China & South Korea. Comparative International Educational Studies, Montreal, Canada.

*Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (November 2010). The Challenges of Managing Classrooms and Developing Moral Action in Diverse Language Immersion Schools. International Conference of the Association of Moral Education, St. Louis, MO.

* Slapac, A., Dorner, L., Hager, E., & Pauls, J. (April 2011). Understanding Classroom Management Successes and Challenges in Language Immersion Charter Schools. The American Education Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LA.

* Slapac, A., & Dorner, L. (November 2010). The Challenges of Managing Classrooms and Developing Moral Action in Diverse Language Immersion Schools. International Conference of the Association of Moral Education, St. Louis, MO.

* Slapac, A. & Catapano, S. (April 2009).Supporting Cultural Considerations in Instructional Decision Making. The American Education Research Association (AERA). San Diego, CA.

* Slapac, A. & Catapano, S. (February 2009). Preservice Teachers Developing Decision Making Skills to Meet the Needs of Diverse Learners. The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference: Dallas, TX.