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The Kansas World Language Association has announced that Dr. Julie Sellers, associate professor of World and Classical Languages at Benedictine College, is the recipient of its 2017 World Language Teacher of the Year award. She will go on to represent the Kansas association at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in March 2019.
The Teacher of the Year award recognizes an outstanding person in the language-teaching field at the high school or college level. The candidate must be a Kansas foreign language educator who has made major contributions to foreign language education.
“We are convinced that you not only fulfill the requirements but you also act as an advocate for second language acquisition both in and out of your classroom,” said Hollie Timson, 2016-2017 KSWLA President, in Sellers’ notification letter.
Sellers, who serves as vice president of the Atchison Public Library Board, is a specialist in adult second language acquisition and in Latin American popular culture and identity. In addition to coordinating the first-year, general education Spanish sequence at Benedictine College, she also teaches upper-division courses on Latin American literature, civilization and culture. She is also a Federally Certified Court Interpreter (English<>Spanish).
Sellers has published three books on Dominican music and identity, with her most recent book, The Modern Bachateros: 27 Interviews, released in 2017. She has presented widely on topics related to second language acquisition at local, national and international conferences. She has also published on language acquisition and interpreting skills and advocacy in a variety of publications, such as The Language Educator, Proteus and The Wyoming Lawyer.
In 2017, Sellers delivered a keynote address at the international conference, Musica, Identidad y Cultura en el Caribe: Bachatas y Cuerdas (Santiago, Dominican Republic), and was recognized as part of that conference’s Committee of Honor and as a Special Consultant. She is a native of Florence, Kan., who is proud to share her passion for teaching and learning languages in her home state.
Claire Schroettner, a Benedictine senior Spanish major, nominated Sellers for the award. Schroettner also won the design competition for the conference program cover, giving Benedictine even more exposure at the conference in Wichita, Kan.