Jami Hollingsworth, senior instructor in the School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation, has been selected as the 2020 Faculty Excellence in Teaching award winner for the UA Little Rock College of Education and Health Professions.
“I am not only an alumni of this university, but also I am an alumni of this very Interpreter Education Program,” Hollingsworth said. “I have the unique opportunity to give back to the very program that started me on this journey. It is easier for me to understand what students have to do in their classes. Change does not scare me, but instead creates unique opportunities for me as an instructor. I believe that it is my job to entice students to learn, to lead students through frustration, to support students through the stress of school and family, and to celebrate with students when they succeed.”
“I have worked with Ms. Hollingsworth for 27 years, and she has always put the students first,” said Raphael James, senior instructor in the Interpreter Education Program. “Ms. Hollingsworth is sensitive to students’ learning styles and makes accommodations as needed to enhance the students’ outcome. She is innovative in her approach to teaching, even soliciting ideas from her students.”
Her innovative teaching provides students with immersive learning experiences. Her Community Service Learning course brings Deaf organizations to the classroom to share specific projects the students help complete. In the Interpreting for Individuals who are Deaf-Blind course, students volunteer as support service providers who work with deaf-blind participants at annual Deaf-Blind retreats in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
“With these classes, her students gained better understanding about the Deaf and Deaf-Blind Culture that helped them attain their prospective profession as sign language interpreters,” said Arthur Babin, a Deaf-Blind consumer and former president of the Arkansas Deaf-Blind Community. “Observing these students becoming successful professionals proves that Ms. Hollingsworth has put all of her energy and excellence in pursuing them to go on the right paths. Thus, I feel she is one of the greatest instructors in the Interpreting Education Program.”
Hollingsworth has been an active board member of the Arkansas Deaf-Blind Community since 1992, serves on the Licensure Advisory Board for the state Arkansas, and was an evaluator of support service providers for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. She has held numerous leadership posts within the interpreting community by serving on the board of the Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
Hollingsworth received a M.Ed. degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and B.A. and A.A. degrees from UA Little Rock.