The Habit of Excellence
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
That same habit of excellence blared from one achievement to the next as Julie Amador, Ph.D., Associate Professor for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, made her rounds educating students and teachers, obtaining millions in grant funding, and publishing top-tier research.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Amador won the prestigious University of Idaho’s President’s Mid-Career Award for carrying and weaving the strategic U of I mission throughout her outstanding scholarship, teaching and engagement. “This award represents my on-going commitment to my career; as in the award name, I see this a launching point from which my career will hopefully only further develop,” Amador said.
Since arriving at the University of Idaho in 2012, Amador unceasingly strives to produce top-tier journal articles, gather external funding dollars, teach prospective and practicing teachers in ways that will improve student experiences, and provide professional development to teachers. Her impact and scholarly reach for external funding, top-rank journal publications, and regional and state professional engagement has been recognized statewide and nationally. Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Raymond Dixon, Ph.D., has seen first-hand the value Amador brings to students and teachers in Idaho and beyond.
“Dr. Julie Amador’s research has influenced curriculum models for the educating of young children in mathematics, and she is a tireless teacher educator who has conducted thousands of professional development programs for elementary teachers in Idaho,” Dixon said. “She is an exemplary scholar whose research in mathematics education is having significant impact locally and nationally.”
Amador’s work as Principal Investigator and Director entails grant oversight, engaging and building relationships, and directing the mathematics teams, teachers and coaches through practice-based and evidence-based research models. The impact and reach of this highly effective research model provides the opportunity for the implementation of a more robust mathematics education curriculum. The College of Education Health and Human Sciences program is enriched by her expertise as it continuously delivers the highest quality teacher education program.
“I will continue to work to provide the best possible experiences for students at U of I, because effective teaching is fundamental to learning,” Amador said. “This award provides continued motivation for me to continue to research and study mathematics education in ways that will provide implications to improve mathematics teaching practice at the K-12 level.”
By continuing this cycle, Amador is living proof that excellence is in fact a habit and not a mere coincidence of a singular action, but rather, a calculated and purposeful intention of will to actively improve the standard methods for everyone.
By Melanie Leija, for College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences