Teaching other kids as a child sparked WSU junior's desire to become a teacher

  • Jazmin Dennis, a junior secondary education English major, won the J. Martyn Walsh English Education Scholarship.

  • As a kid, Dennis discovered a love of teaching when she taught her younger brother and cousins on their home chalkboard.

  • Learn more about scholarship opportunities in the College of Education, go to www.wichita.edu/education.

Jazmin Dennis, a junior secondary education English major at Wichita State University, was awarded the J. Martyn Walsh English Education Scholarship.

The Walsh Scholarship is awarded to a junior in the WSU College of Education majoring in English education. The scholarship, which includes full tuition, fees, books, room and board expenses, is renewable for the senior year.

Dennis, a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, loves teaching. She found her passion at an early age while showing her brother and cousins, all at least six years younger, how to do math and other subjects on a chalkboard at home.

“I really loved teaching them,” she says. “They would sit down by me and ask questions while I worked on the chalkboard.”

That same passion continued into high school when Dennis became a teaching assistant. She says one of her high school teachers inspired her to want to teach in the same way he taught her.

“The way my high school teacher taught ‘Hamlet' is the way I want to teach it,” Dennis says. “We would read the play aloud and act out the scenes together.”

Associate professor Katie Cramer, is the program chair for secondary English language arts and participated in the selection process for the Walsh scholarship.

“Jazmin Dennis was selected for this scholarship because of her dedication to helping all students reach their maximum potentials as well as her desire to create a classroom community and curriculum that is inclusive and appreciative of diverse identities and experiences,” Cramer says.

Dennis is an active member of the WSU campus community. Within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, she is a program coordinator and ambassador. Her other student involvement includes being a peer mentor with the Multicultural Student Mentoring Program and a member of the Phenomenal Women Support Group, Black Student Union and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

After graduating, Dennis plans to get a job teaching English to high school freshmen or seniors.

Scholarships totaling more than $600,000 are awarded to College of Education students each year. For more information on scholarship opportunities within the College of Education, go to www.wichita.edu/education and click on scholarships.