Dr. Mary Ellen Dallman: Teaching to Serve

September 20, 2011

Sara Lynn McCall Graduate Assistant, Communications Unit

Dr. Mary Ellen Dallman: Teaching to Serve


VALDOSTA -- Dr. Mary Ellen Dallman truly understands the value of education. Instruction and teacher education were the foci of her academic preparation before coming to VSU in 1998. Originally from Wisconsin, she relocated to Georgia from Boston because of Georgia’s leadership in state-funded PreK programs and VSU’s nationally recognized teacher education programs.

“When the College of Education developed programs to help paraprofessionals transition to fully-certified teachers, I was a part of the initiative. When the state initiated teacher certification for those working with children birth to age five, I was in the midst of it,” Dallman said. “Now, I am involved with another new initiative, the University System of Georgia Adult Learning Consortium. The past 10+ years have been a wonderful fit for my knowledge, skills and energy.”

Dallman’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of others was rewarded when she received the 2011 Faculty Excellence in Service Award during this year’s Convocation.

“The Award for Excellence in Service is the most meaningful recognition I could receive. I was raised to believe that there is no more noble purpose than to make a difference in the lives of children,” the early childhood and special education professor said. “Neither of my parents graduated from high school, but they instilled in me the importance of learning and of using what I was given to help others. Being nominated for this award was in itself humbling; to receive this award is a great honor.”

Dallman held her first college teaching job in 1974 and has been coming in and out of higher education ever since. When not teaching college, she has worked in a variety of programs serving children from birth through grade five, along with their families.

“I like to plan, develop and implement new things,” Dallman said. “There have been many different teaching opportunities afforded me, and each challenged me in different ways.”

Outside of the walls of VSU, Dallman likes to spend her time volunteering, enjoying the outdoors and gardening.