2013–14 Recipients: Annah Hill and John Grant

  • For the 2013–14 academic year, two individuals were recognized with the Coppler Award: Annah Hill (faculty/staff recipient) and John Grant (student recipient).

    At the time Hill and Grant were recognized in 2013–14, their bios and background information for why they received the Coppler Award were as follows:

    John Grant

    “John Grant received a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa before working as an English as a Foreign Language teacher and as a teacher educator in Taiwan for several years. After returning to the United States, John worked in International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Kansas. Later, he received a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from IUP. At that time, he served as the president of the MATESA student association. John also worked as a graduate assistant for several years at IUP’s Office of International Education, where he was the Conversation Club coordinator, International Friendship Program co-coordinator, and the Foreign Film and Music Series coordinator. John is working on a dissertation in order to complete a PhD in Composition and TESOL at IUP. He is also presently a teaching associate for IUP, teaching composition for the Department of English and English as a Second Language in the American Language Institute. He served as a founding member of the Composition and TESOL Association and is the managing editor for the Crimson Quill. John’s publications include an article focusing on teacher identity and another about a road trip he took with the entertainer Tiny Tim. He has presented at several national conferences. Significantly, John is a staunch disability rights advocate. His upcoming presentation at the 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication will convey his personal narrative about disability accommodation. John’s doctoral dissertation focuses on disability rhetoric in composition and the disabling stigma people with impairments encounter at universities. And, last weekend at a national disability rights conference, John met with Kathleen Martinez, who was appointed by President Obama as the assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor, in the Office of Disability Employment Policy.”

    Nominator's statement about Mr. Grant

    “I believe that John Grant, a PhD student in the English Department’s Composition and TESOL program, would be a deserving nominee of this year’s Ray Coppler Award because of his ongoing commitment to raising awareness of accommodations for individuals with disabilities on campus. As a teaching associate in the English Department, John regularly educates his TA colleagues on and provides them with information on universal design, particularly in terms of accommodating a range of student abilities and learning styles in the writing classroom. John has also been active on campus in raising awareness of access issues including the need for handicapped parking spaces located more closely to academic buildings and the need for ramp access to campus events. In John’s daily interactions, he is constantly educating other campus employees on disability access issues, which I believe would make him a deserving recipient of this award.”

    Dr. Annah Hill

    “Annah Hill has been at IUP for five years, where she has been teaching undergraduate courses in the Special Education and Clinical Services Department. Hill received her bachelor’s degree from IUP in deaf education (2001). She obtained her level two instructional certificates after she completed her deaf education master’s (2005) and reading specialist certification (2006) from the University of Pittsburgh. Through the IUP Special Education certification program, she obtained her special education certification in 2013. She is also a doctoral candidate, who is ABD, in the Curriculum and Instruction program at IUP. Currently, she is working toward the add-on certification for teaching English language learners. In the past, she has presented at the Pennsylvania Educators of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Conference. She has also worked closely with the ARC of Indiana County to improve the quality of life for persons with hearing loss and the deaf in her community, as well as those with multiple disabilities. Her research interests include self-determination, self-advocacy, assistive technology, and curriculum, instruction, and assessment.”

    Nominator’s statement about Dr. Hill

    “When I read the information about this award in the e-mail that was sent out, I immediately thought of Annah Hill, assistant professor in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Services. Annah is the strongest advocate for people with disabilities that I know. Because she has a disability herself (hearing loss), she not only has the ability to advocate for others, she has a personal knowledge of daily life as a person with a disability, as well. She has impacted adults and children alike, at the university level (teaching IUP students) and at the community level (graduating deaf educators into the PA education system, working with the ARC of Indiana, and getting others involved in the SNAP program at IUP). She has assisted people in the community who are no longer in school, but in need of building communication skills through sign language. Some of these people have hearing loss, but others have cognitive or physical disabilities. Annah is a wonderful educator, a tireless supporter of people who experience challenges of all kinds, and an excellent role model for others who are developing careers in the Deaf Education and Disability Services programs. When our department needed a disability service coordinator due to the retirement of a faculty member, Annah stepped up and has done a wonderful job advising the students in that program. She is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and for students training to work with people with disabilities. Several local agencies that are developed to meet the needs of people with disabilities have benefited from her assistance with their programs. I’m sure I could say more wonderful things about Annah, but suffice it to say that she has many ‘fans’ in our department, and we all recognize her as being an amazing advocate and motivator for a group of people who often don't get enough recognition.”