The James E. Alatis Award for Service to TESOL

Who's Eligible?

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


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.

Past Award Recipients

Mark Professional MU 201511192017 Recipient: ​Mark Algren
Mark Algren has been an active TESOL International Association member since 1982 as a volunteer, course developer and teacher, board member, convention chair and president.  Mark has made over 100 presentations in more than 20 countries.  He’s taught in and administered programs in four countries, currently serving as the Executive Director, Center for English Language Learning - University of Missouri. He has also spent extended time at the University of Kansas, American University of Sharjah (UAE) and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals.  Strongly interested in professionalism, standards and accreditation, he has served on the TESOL Professional Development Committee and has been a program site reviewer for the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.  Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, reading, travelling, and baking.  

View a list of past recipients.


Please contact TESOL Awards, Honors, & Grants.