Blake Wood
Publish Date

Jennifer Martin, an associate professor in the University of Illinois Springfield School of Education, has been named University Scholar for 2022. The award, considered the university system’s highest faculty honor, recognizes outstanding teaching and scholarship. Only one faculty member receives the annual award at UIS.

Martin is a scholar in the field of teacher education. Her goal is to investigate theory and practice in education through the critical intersectional lenses of race, ethnicity, social class and gender. Her scholarship is particularly strong in the areas of application/engagement and teaching/learning and is significant and applicable to some of the most serious problems our society faces. She has built a career around educational advocacy for marginalized and underserved populations.

“I am honored to have been nominated and selected for this prestigious award by my colleagues at UIS,” Martin said. “The foundation of my work investigates systemic harms to radically envision more equitable institutions. It is heartening to know that this research is valued. I am excited to share my work with my students, to invite them to work with me and to encourage them to conduct their own research. I am beyond grateful.”

Prior to working in higher education, Martin worked in public education for 17 years, 15 of those as the department chair of English at an urban alternative high school for students labeled at-risk for school failure in metropolitan Detroit.

She has been the editor of the Journal of Urban Learning Teaching and Research since 2018. She is the editor of “Racial Battle Fatigue: Insights from the Front Lines of Social Justice Advocacy” (recipient of the 2016 AERA Division B’s Outstanding Book Recognition Award). She is also the 2019 recipient of the Paula Silver Case Award for Volume Year 2018, UCEA Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership (Volume 21): for “The Bathroom Case: Creating a Supportive School Environment for Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Students.” Her most recent co-authored book is: “Mentoring the Mentor: Celebrating the Intersection of Learning Together, A Reciprocal Journey.”

In 2021, she was awarded the UIS Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award. She holds a doctorate in education from Oakland University and two master’s degrees in English and liberal studies from Eastern Michigan University.

As University Scholar, Martin will receive $15,000 a year for three years to support research and other scholarly activities. Faculty do not apply for this award; they are nominated by their peers. A committee of senior faculty makes the final selection.

For more information on the award, contact Blake Wood, UIS interim director of public relations, at 217-206-6716 or

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