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Monday, September 19, 2016

Loh-Hagan Receives Award in Reading Education

Virginia Loh-Hagan

She has an intense passion for books.

Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan, a faculty member in the College of Education’s School of Teacher Education, has written academic books. She has written children’s books, presented at local and national book conferences and has served in book award committees.

Her outstanding contributions to the advancement of reading in California, were recently recognized with the California Reading Association's Marcus Foster Memorial Reading Award. The award was established in 1973 to honor the late Dr. Marcus Foster, superintendent of schools in Oakland.

“I'm super excited. I'm honored,” said Loh-Hagan. “It means a lot to be recognized by peers and experts in the literacy/education community. It's certainly a validation of all the time I've committed to nerdy endeavors.”

Loh-Hagan, who also calls herself a “huge piano nerd” and owns three pianos, was a doctoral student at San Diego State University in the early 2000s. Upon graduation, she took a position as a part-time lecturer. Since then, she has taught courses in literacy/reading methods, fieldwork, social studies methods, educational psychology, classroom management, seminars, curriculum design, and others. In 2014, she became a full-time faculty member.

She currently leads two credential program blocks, serves as the edTPA co-coordinator, is the faculty advisor and founding member of Aztecs for Education, and serves on the Admissions and Retention committee for Multiple Subjects programs. edTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by teacher preparation programs throughout the United States.

“We are fortunate to have her as part of our School of Teacher Education. She has been working with other faculty members in research and publication related to reading. She has been an outstanding advisor and mentor,” said Dean Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. “This award from a state association acknowledges Dr. Loh-Hagan's outstanding contributions to her profession.”

Why is reading such an important subject for her?

“Reading is the key to everything. As a child of immigrant parents, reading was my ticket to academic and social success. I remember spending mornings and afternoons in my school library,” said Loh-Hagan, who has written and published more than100 books and publications out in the world, many centered around the Asian-American identity. “I am thrilled to be an Aztec and love working with my students and colleagues.”

To combine her love of children's books and piano, Loh-Hagan hosts a StoryTime Salon series in partnership with the Encinitas Library in which local authors read their stories and local pianists play songs inspired by those stories.

“I remember spending weekends at my local public library. Books allowed me to escape into magical and magnificent worlds,” said Loh-Hagan, who got married to her husband Jeff at—you guessed it—the Encinitas Library on 10-10-10.

Loh-Hagan lives in North County San Diego with her two “high-maintenance dogs” and a “low-maintenance husband” who supports all her "passing fancies."

Also in Informed & Inspired:

COE Faculty Book Nominated for California Young Reader Medal