WT’s Mikuyung Shin Wins Chancellor’s Award for Work in Special Education


CANYON, Texas — A West Texas A&M University faculty member’s dedication to special education has earned her an award from The Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. 

Dr. Mikyung Shin, assistant professor of education in WT’sTerry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences, earned an individual award from the Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators for the 2022-23 academic year. 

Shin was nominated by her WT colleagues for her “exemplary work in preparing special education teachers,” said Dr. Betty Coneway, head of WT’s Department of Education and the Geneva Schaeffer Professor of Education and Social Sciences. 

Shin serves on the committee that reviews applicants to WT’s educator preparation program and is research coordinator for WT’s Center for Learning Disabilities. 

“Dr. Shin routinely highlights the importance of instruction that maximize the access of students with special needs to general education,” Coneway said. “Through her work as committee member and research coordinator, Dr. Shin supports individuals with disabilities, their families, and teachers who work with students needing specialized instruction.” 

Shin, who joined the WT faculty in 2019, said she emphasizes using evidence-based practices in her instruction. 

“Students have diverse learning needs, so we don’t make one tool for them all,” Shin said. “We want our pre-service teachers to plan and implement and evaluate their own methods for students from linguistically, culturally and academically diverse backgrounds. 

“Every student is different,” Shin continued, “so students with diverse learning needs need more intensive instruction to meet their academic needs.” 

Shin was drawn to working in special education as a high school student in Seoul, South Korea. 

“It felt natural for me to provide support for students who could not follow the schoolwork, so I wanted to become a qualified teacher,” Shin said. “Everyone has strengths in different areas, and it’s important for educators to see that and to help them excel where they’re doing well.” 

Shin’s research interests include mathematics instruction for students with learning disabilities, instructional technology and teacher preparation programs in special education. 

An individual CATE award also was won by Dr. Sharon Matthews, clinical associate professor at Texas A&M University, and team awards were won by Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, Tarleton State University and Texas AM University–Texarkana. 

Addressing regional challenges, including in special education, is a key mission of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. 

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One Westcomprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.