COE: Alina Slapac
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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).