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2019 Award Winners

Explore the criteria for nominating a member for an NCSS award or grant in 2020. More information coming soon.

Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year

Sergio de Alba

R.M. Miano Elementary
Los Banos, CA

Project-Based Social Studies

My lessons are not given in a traditional format. Though sixth-grade curriculum is focused on ancient world history, I find that a greater interest can be created by connecting this focus to our everyday lives. I teach my students to look at our world in terms of how the past influences our present. From sports, currency, to our local Ag industry, history directly influenced the way we live our lives.

Presenter: Sergio de Alba, Los Banos, CA, R. M. Miano Elementary

Chair: Dr. Aaron Charles Bruewer, Ball State University, Muncie, IA

Mr. de Alba focuses his innovative lessons on student-centered inquiry, helping students find relevance in their social studies courses. His teaching showcases his commitment, dedication, and passion to student-created products and inquiry.  Through his student-centered projects he is an involved and dedicated educator who has a significant impact on students, the school, as well as the community extending learning well beyond the walls of his classroom. 

Outstanding Middle Level Social Studies Teacher of the Year

Jennifer Ann Ingold

Bay Shore Middle School
Bay Shore, New York

Cracking the Social Studies Code: Enduring Issues for Middle Schoolers
Teach middle school students how to make the art of close examination both automatic and familiar as they learn “how to think “ about and decipher the “Enduring Issues Code” when working with a set of historical documents. A creative, innovative approach designed specifically for the middle-level mindset that turns task-based learning into an organized inquiry-based investigation.

Presenter: Jennifer Ann Ingold, Bay Shore Middle School, Bay Shore, New York

Chair: Dr. Ashley Potvin, University of Colorado - Boulder Boulder, CO

The committee is pleased to select Ms. Ingold as this year’s winner of the NCSS Middle school Teacher of the Year award. Ms. Ingold is an energetic, passionate, and innovative teacher with an impressive resume of teaching, presenting, and publishing. Ms. Ingold encourages her students to become deep thinkers, creative decision-makers, and agents of change. Her application included strong evidence of her commitment to teaching social studies, her ability to engage students in inquiry, and her enthusiasm for sharing her social studies pedagogical knowledge and experience with colleagues.

Outstanding Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year

Amanda Killough

Flower Mound High School

Corinth, Texas

Stepping Outside the Box

An investigation of infant mortality rates in less developed countries reveals deep-rooted systematic problems facing mothers and infants. The path forward may be as simple as providing Baby Boxes with useful items and information for new mothers that will aid in a healthier first year of life for their infant and a step up in providing better quality of life.

Presenter: Amanda Killough, Corinth, Texas, Flower Mo

Chair: Dr. Jesse Haight, Clarion University, Clarion, PA

Ms. Killough teaches at Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas.  Ms. Killough’s philosophy of teaching epitomizes what the social studies should entail. Whether they are assisting a local women’s shelter or building and maintaining community gardens, Ms. Killough’s students are “doing” social studies.  Many of Ms. Killough’s lessons involve real-world applications and having students taking informed action. 

Jean Dresden Grambs Distinguished Career Research in Social Studies Award

Dr. Margaret Smith Crocco

Santa Barbara, CA

Social Studies, Gender, and the “Long History” of our Field

Drawing upon Mary Ritter Beard’s notion of “long history,” this presentation will weave my personal history of working in social studies with the history of the field as it has evolved over the last several decades. An emphasis will be placed on ongoing efforts at rewriting the curriculum and the history of the field to align more closely with issues of intersectionality as they manifest themselves in thinking, teaching, and writing about gender.

Presenter: Dr. Margaret Smith Crocco, Santa Barbara, CA

Research Chair: Dr. Katherina Payne, University of Texas - Austin 

Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Washington, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL


CUFA-FASSE Social Studies Social Justice Research Grant

Jenni Conrad


Seattle, Washington

University of Washington, Seattle

Jenni Conrad will receive her award at the 2019 Annual Conference, but she will present her research at a future Annual Conference. 

Exemplary Research in Social Studies Award

Dr. Maribel Santiago

East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State University

Historical Inquiry to Challenge the Narrative of Racial Progress

This interactive session considers how historical inquiry, in combination with anti-essentialist historical content, can complicate simplistic narratives about race/ethnicity in the U.S. Instead of shying away from the narrative of progress, it can function as a useful comparison tool that helps students highlight to different degrees how racial discriminatory policies adapt to continue upholding discrimination.

Presenter: Dr. Maribel Santiago, East Lansing, Michigan, Michigan State University

Research Chair: Dr. Katherina Payne, University of Texas - Austin

Chair: Dr. Sarah Matthews, Florida International University, Miami, FL

The 2019 Exemplary Research Award Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s winner is Dr. Maribel Santiago for her article “Historical Inquiry to Challenge the Narrative of Racial Process.” This multi-layered study examines a curricular intervention aimed to present a complex and anti-essentialist account of a historical event, The Mendez v. Westminster case. Dr. Santiago included pre and post-assessments, as well as observational and interview data to explore how students’ collective memory is incorporated into, or rejected through, their explanation of this event. This article adds to the scholarship in historical inquiry and narratives on race, discrimination, and progress.

Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award

Geena Kim 

JinCheon, Bhugnbuk, South Korea
Korean Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation

'Because the United States is a Great Melting Pot': The Influence of Students' Sociocultural Backgrounds on Understanding World History

This study explored how U.S. middle school students structured their knowledge of a variety of topics from world history, and how their sociocultural backgrounds influenced their understanding of world history topics. This research has important implications for curricular and instructional practices in world history classrooms.

Presenter: Dr. Geena Kim
Research Chair: Dr. Katherina Payne, University of Texas - Austin
Chair: Dr. Ritu Radhakrishnan, State University of New York - Oswego, Oswego, NY

The Review Subcommittee of the CUFA Research Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2018 Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award, Dr. Geena Kim for the 2019 NCSS Larry Metcalf Exemplary Dissertation Award for her dissertation, “Because the United States is a great melting pot”: The influence of students’ sociocultural backgrounds on understanding world history.  Dr. Kim’s research focuses on how students’ understanding of world history is shaped by students’ background knowledge. Dr. Kim’s work used multiple methods, in four classrooms, over an extended period of time to investigate the ideas of sixth- and seventh-grade students studying topics including Ancient Greece and Rome, the French Revolution, and the rise of Islam. Dr. Kim’s research has significant practical implications and demonstrates the importance of understanding students’ background ideas in instruction.

Award for Global Understanding Given in Honor of James M. Becker

Tim Forslund 

Sebastopol, California

Analy High School

Celebrate Global Citizenship-Past and Present

Creating Global Citizens will address ways that teachers can promote global competency and citizenship in their curriculum. Learn how encouraging students to think of themselves as Global Citizens, connected to others in their community and beyond, creates meaning and engagement for learners of all levels.

Generously sponsored by the Longview Foundation

2018 Grant Recipients Acknowledged During NCSS 2019

Grant for Enhancement of Geographic Literacy in Honor of James F. Marran

Rebecca Bush

Dr. Phil Gersmehl

Dr. Michael Libbe

David Johnson

Growing Geographic GIANTS

This interactive session focuses on the professional learning and pedagogical shifts necessary to build a rigorous curriculum as a framework for impactful change in social studies instruction and assessment.

Presenter: Rebecca J. Bush
Chair: Dr. Paul Nigel, Cypress, TX

Generously sponsored by GENIP

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