Open Calendar


University News | Faculty Awards

Amos Receives 2023 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education

By Jeff Murphy, March 23, 2023

Michelle L. Amos, center, associate professor of literacy and coordinator of the Master of Science in Literacy Education at the University of Central Missouri, was recognized as recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Excellence in Education Award. Taking part in the award presentation was Roger Best, left, UCM president. and Ken Weymuth, president of the university’s Board of Governors.

WARRENSBURG, MO – Michelle L. Amos, Ed.D., a University of Central Missouri faculty member who colleagues praise for her impeccable work ethic and high level of dedication to students’ success and well-being, has received the 2023 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education. She was honored on March 23 by the university’s Board of Governors.

This awards program was established by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, and provides an annual opportunity to recognize college- and university-level faculty members who have excelled in their profession. The Governor’s Excellence in Education Award considers criteria such as effective teaching, effective advising, innovative course design and delivery, service to the university community, and commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement. Amos was honored for her accomplishments when UCM’s governing board met for its plenary session in Elliott Student Union 237B.

Having more than two decades of experience in reading education, and experience working with individuals who range from sixth grade to adults, Amos is an associate professor of literacy at UCM who coordinates the Master of Science in Education in Literacy Education program and teaches literacy courses in the Middle Grades undergraduate program. While she spent most of her early years in education working with middle schoolers, she came to the university hoping to make a difference in the lives of individuals, many of them who are the first in their families to pursue a college degree.

“One of the reasons I came to UCM is because so many of our students are first-generation and working with first-generation students allows me to build that bridge from where they are to where they want to be,” she  stated. “And I know that having them in classrooms and having their own experience through the educational process will help benefit that next generation as they come up and become, for some of them, the first generation in college in their own academic careers.”

Colleagues who nominated Amos for the Governor’s Excellence in Education Award described her as a great asset to programs within the College of Education. In addition to other faculty members recognizing her as a “colleague to whom others turn for guidance, support, and encouragement,” they also cited an unusual number of superlative evaluations from students on her behalf. In evaluating this university educator, undergraduate and graduate students described Amos as a “wonderful instructor” who brings her personal experience into teaching, is available for questions and counsel, provides timely and meaningful feedback, and is enthusiastic about course content. She also encourages her class “to share ideas, ask questions, and hear the opinions of others.”

“I have been in the university classroom for more than 30 years now, and I have seldom observed an instructor who engages students so thoroughly,” said,” Dawna Lisa (Buchanan) Butterfield, professor emerita of literacy education. “Certainly, Dr. Michelle Amos demonstrates exceptional ability at all levels expected of those in higher education. Her creative approach to teaching, and her dedication to building strong, productive relationships with students qualifies her, above all else, as an outstanding candidate for the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education.”

During her tenure at UCM, Amos has taught 17 different courses, which includes teaching the courses in the MSE and middle grades literacy programs. She has done extensive research in the Scholarship of Learning (SoTL), which she calls her passion. This inspires her to seek the innovation and implementation of creative approaches in course design and to examine their effectiveness through research inquiry. According to one nominator, this has also contributed to her implementing a seminar in an undergraduate course, redesigning courses to meet the growing needs of K-12 schools, transitioning the MSE practicum online, and experimenting with student observation sites to ensure exposure to varied instructional settings. 

Amos’ work embodies the university’s motto, “Education for Service.” Outside the classroom, she has been involved in committees at the university, college and departmental levels, including serving as acting chair of the Department of Educational Foundations and Literacy curriculum committee, where she supports colleagues in the preparation of course and program proposals. She is also the faculty advisor to three student organizations, and is active in events that are geared toward providing a welcoming community for UCM students and faculty. Such activities include participation in Teach it Forward, new faculty symposium, campus research events, freshman kickoff, and assisting in course design for the first-year experience program. One of her most recent roles is to serve as liaison for Student Housing Interest programs, in which she introduced social events based on student survey preferences. This included the Meet the Clubs program and a movie marathon. Her involvement in this area is transitioning to acting as a liaison for the new Education Living and Learning Community, for which Amos plans to implement monthly enrichment activities to support learning in shared academic courses. She also was recently invited to join the American Democracy Project steering committee, and has participated in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Amos is engaged in activities that further her profession including serving as second vice president for a regional chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a society for key women educators. Her efforts helped pave the way for the initiation of the chapter’s first collegiate student members.

In commenting on her most recent achievement, Amos expressed her appreciation for being recognized, but praised the passion other faculty members with whom she engages bring to the classroom and across campus.

“I know the caliber of faculty who we have here. So I was astounded and delighted,” she said about being selected for the award. “I couldn’t do a thing that I do without having the colleagues who I have to work with and the students who really make this a joyful place for me.”     

Michelle L. Amos, associate professor of literacy and coordinator of the Master of Science in Literacy Education at the University of Central Missouri, was recognized as recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Excellence in Education Award. Taking part in the award presentation was Ken Weymuth, president of the university’s Board of Governors, and Roger Best, UCM president.


  • facebook
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • linkedin
  • instagram