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The James E. Alatis Award for Service to TESOL

Who's Eligible?

Any TESOL member. Former TESOL staff and board members may not be nominated until three (3) years after completion of their term of service.


To acknowledge outstanding and extended service by TESOL members at international, regional, and local levels. This award was established in 1987 to honor James E. Alatis for his 21 years of devoted service as TESOL's first executive director.


A commemorative plaque is presented to the recipient at the TESOL convention, and the recipient's name is placed on a permanent plaque in TESOL staff office. One award is presented each year.


The recipient is selected according to evidence of
  • a genuine and long-lasting vision of what TESOL is and can be
  • the ability to combine professional and administrative roles in TESOL organizations
  • the ability and desire to represent and promote TESOL
  • efficiency, personal dynamism, and good cheer

To Nominate a Colleague Online

An individual TESOL member, a TESOL affiliate, interest section, or other TESOL group may nominate a TESOL member for this award. To complete the online nomination process, you will need the following information. You are strongly encouraged to gather this information before you begin the application. That way, you can fill out the nomination completely, and you will not have to go back and fill in items later.

Candidate's Information

  • full name
  • institution (place of work)
  • place of residence (city, state, country)
  • email address
  • phone number

Letter of Nomination

The letter of nomination should
  • describe the candidate specifically in terms of the aforementioned attributes and providing examples of the nominee's strengths in these areas
  • list chronologically the nominee's service to TESOL organizations

Letter of Support

If the nominator is a group, a letter of support is not required. If the nominator is an individual, he or she must solicit a letter of support from another TESOL member who can comment on the nominee's strengths in terms of the criteria listed above.

How to Apply

Send your nomination by email to TESOL Awards no later than 15 September.

2019 Recipient: ​Deena Boraie

Deena Boraie PhotographDr. Deena Boraie is the Vice President for Student Life at the American University in Cairo (AUC) providing leadership, vision and strategic direction for the student life area. Dr. Boraie also serves as the Senior Advisor to Egypt’s Minister of Education for assessment, examinations and curriculum. 

She is Past President (she served as President from 2013-2014) of the TESOL International Association a large U.S.-based international association for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is the recipient of the 2019 James E. Alatis Award for Service to TESOL to honor her outstanding and extended service at international, regional and local levels. She has published on topics ranging from assessment literacy, language testing and assessment, teacher beliefs and student and teacher motivation. She has presented extensively at international conferences on issues of English as a lingua franca, language classroom assessment, teacher professional development and teacher effectiveness. She is also a visiting professor in the MA / PhD Applied Linguistics program at the Faculty of Arts, English Department of Cairo University where she teaches research methods. 

Past Award Recipients

View a list of past recipients.


Please contact TESOL Awards, Honors, & Grants.