Note from the editors: We asked this all-star team of YAL heavy hitters to say a few words about their former colleague, Patricia P. Kelly, winner of the 2007 Ted Hipple Service Award. Many thanks to Drs. Small, Kelly and Cole.
First, let me tell you how pleased I am that Pat Kelly has been selected to receive the Hipple Award. I had the great privilege of working with her as her doctoral advisor at Virginia Tech, where she developed an outstanding dissertation. I also have been her coauthor on a number of published articles related to Young Adult Literature in such professional journals as the English Journal, the ALAN Review, and the Virginia English Bulletin and so know the high quality of her work, her research, and her writing skill. She also was chosen to be the President of ALAN and coeditor of the ALAN Review and did an outstanding job. In addition, she has had a leadership role in the Conference on English Education (CEE) and served as a member of the CEE Committee for the Senior High School Booklist, the group that oversaw the development of the periodic publication, Books for You, when I was its editor. In addition, she and I were coeditors of the book, Two Decades of The ALAN Review, published by NCTE.
Consequently, I have had the opportunity to work with her on many tasks related to YA Literature, but what I remember most from the years of my activities working with her is that she is dedicated, hardworking, and collaborative but also light-hearted and fun to work along side of. She always has produced top-notch work whether writing an article or book, presenting at conferences, or serving as chair of a committee and has as one of her major dedications a commitment to Young Adult Literature.
So I say, “Congratulations, Pat” and also, “Thank you, ALAN, for making the very wise decision to present the Hipple Award to her.”
Robert C. Small, Radford University Professor Emeritus, is past chair of ALAN and past coeditor of The ALAN Review. Dr. Small is also past chair of NCTE’s Conference on English Education and former Dean of the College of Education at Radford University.
Although I was the committee member who formally nominated Dr. Kelly for consideration for the Hipple Award, the rest of the committee members all had stories, as well, as to why she should be the recipient. She has been my mentor since I was a graduate student—she planned out my whole program and got me enrolled in the Southwest Virginia Writing Project, introduced me to ALAN and constantly encouraged me to be an active teaching professional. Because of her, I served on numerous committees on local, state and national levels. She helped me gain confidence in myself as a teacher and teacher/leader. Knowing her has changed my life forever!
Dr. Kelly’s contributions to the field of YAL have not only been remarkable in number but also in scope. She began a YAL discussion group which met once a month in which area teachers, I believe about ten of us, got together and discussed the books that we had read for that meeting. She helped us all develop an appreciation for YAL and helped us realize how to utilize YAL, even on the high school level. As an outgrowth of that group, she suggested that we write reviews of new YA books coming out, and encouraged us to work on the Books For You edition edited by Leila Christenbury. She also helped many of us prepare presentations for both ALAN and NCTE. And of course, she encouraged all of us to join ALAN and to attend all the ALAN workshops from the get go! She was president of ALAN, served as editor of The ALAN Review with Bob Small and so much more.
I could sing her praises forever and ever without end! She is my mentor, colleague, and friend.
Kathryn H. Kelly, is an associate professor of English at Radford University where she teaches classes in children’s and young adult literature and English education. Dr. Kelly is also past president of ALAN. Her research and publications deal with young adult literature and at-risk youth.
I met Pat Kelly for the first time in the Spring of 1991 when I decided I wanted to earn a Ph.D. and teach English composition at a community college. ”Are you sure that’s what you want to do?” she asked. That one question changed my life and the way I view teaching and learning.
Pat became my doctoral mentor at Virginia Tech and introduced me to the world of young adult literature. Others who write a tribute to her will speak of her remarkable service in the field of young adult literature—her work as an editor of The ALAN Review and editor of SIGNAL Journal and the dozens of articles and book chapters she has written and conferences she has helped develop to promote the genre. But what I will always remember and respect the most is the selflessness she brought, and continues to bring, to the field of young adult literature. For Pat Kelly, making sure a doctoral candidate had an opportunity to publish, to meet an author, and to make connections with other young adult experts across the country were all more important than her own work. We were her work. Always the unassuming one at the annual ALAN workshop, she pushed a doctoral student forward in a crowd to meet one of her colleagues, “Here, she’d say, “meet ____, she/he will write a good chapter for that book you are editing.” Thank you, Pat, for bringing so many of us into the circle of young adult literature and thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, to bring young adult literature to the forefront of the English curriculum.
Pam B. Cole, is Distinguished Professor of Middle and Secondary Education at Kennesaw State University. She is a past president of SIGNAL Journal and former editor of SIGNAL Journal. Dr. Cole has recently taken over the editorship of the monthly book review column on the ALAN website. Her book, Young Adult Literature in the 21st Century (McGraw Hill), is due out in the fall of 2008.