Pellissippi State associate professor of Spanish wins teaching award

portrait of femaleMarilyn Palatinus, foreign languages program coordinator and an associate professor of Spanish at Pellissippi State Community College, has been named this year’s Jacqueline Elliott Award recipient by the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association.

The award honors exemplary work and recognizes outstanding service by foreign language educators at the postsecondary level. According to the TFLTA, Palatinus was recognized “in glowing terms” by her coworkers and colleagues for her support to foreign language at the college and to the TFLTA.

“I was very surprised and humbled to learn that my colleagues felt I deserved the award,” said Palatinus. “I’m so very proud of our program at Pellissippi State. We’ve been very successful because of all of our great faculty members.”

Jane Stribling nominated Palatinus for the teaching award.

“I was personally acquainted with the late Jacqueline Elliott,” said Stribling, an associate professor of French at Pellissippi State. “Marilyn demonstrates the debrouillard spirit which shone with Jacqueline—the ability to tackle any project and handle it with grace.”

Palatinus has taught Spanish at Pellissippi State for 25 years. She also formerly served as department head of Humanities.

“I’ve always been interested in different languages, and I studied Spanish in college and high school,” Palatinus said. After she completed graduate school, she and her husband spent two years in Panama, where she spoke Spanish every day.

She enjoys teaching the language to students and, she says, uses learning by experience—like her own immersive language opportunity in Panama—when possible.

Palatinus put her passions for teaching and language into practice this summer when she accompanied Pellissippi State students to Spain for study abroad through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. It was the sixth summer she had taught Spanish on a TnCIS trip to Spain. TnCIS, which is based at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

Palatinus is the third foreign language faculty member from Pellissippi State to earn the Jacqueline Elliott Award. Beverly Burdette, who taught Spanish, and Joan Easterly, who teaches French, were recipients of the honor in 2011 and 2001, respectively. Elliott was a French professor at the University of Tennessee.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.