Troy Hicks, faculty member in teacher education and professional development and director of the Master of Arts in Learning, Design and Technology program, recently was awarded the Divergent Award for Excellence in Literacy Advocacy recognizing individuals using digital spaces to advocate for literacy, students and equity in all facets of academia.
"Thanks to Dr. Shelbie Witte of Oklahoma State University and her entire Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research Leadership Team, I am grateful for this Divergent award," Hicks said.
The Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research recognizes the importance of literacy in a digital age, those who diverge from traditional pedagogies and research approaches, and the indelible contributions of educators and scholars who have dedicated their careers to the theoretical and practical study of 21st century literacies.
Hicks' research focuses on writing literacy and technology. He frequently conducts professional development workshops through the Chippewa River Writing Project, an organization that works to improve the teaching and learning of writing in Michigan's schools and local communities.
He also coordinates the annual Beaver island Institute, a unique, one-week professional learning opportunity at CMU's Biological Station on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan, where 16 K-12 teachers participate in collaborative, inquiry-based workshops and field experiences to identify and integrate key standards from STEAM-related fields: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
"As we work to make remote learning a reality, we know that students need more than just technical skills," Hicks said. "Digital literacies — which enable them to both critically consume content and creatively represent their learning — will become even more important for educators to teach students in the years to come."
Since beginning work at CMU in 2007, Hicks has earned numerous distinctions, most recently the Michigan Reading Association's Teacher Educator Award in 2018 and CMU's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2020.