Edmundo Litton, professor and chair of SOE’s Department of Specialized Programs in Urban Education, received the prestigious Rains Award for Excellence in Service at the LMU Faculty Awards ceremony April 25.
“Professor Litton embodies exemplary service in all aspects of his professional life, both at LMU and in the field of education,” said Mary McCullough, interim dean of the School of Education, as she introduced Litton at the ceremony. “For nearly 20 years, Professor Litton has pioneered programs and contributed in significant ways to teacher training throughout California. His work has impacted the lives of thousands of K-12 students — particularly students of color, students with special needs, and students who are learning English as their second language.”
Litton developed the LMU/LA CAST (Catholic Archdiocesan School Teachers) program, which provides professional development leading to a credential and master’s degree to Catholic school teachers throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. LMU/LA CAST, which has enrolled more than 1,000 teachers since it was established in 2003, was the university’s first hybrid program, combining online class sessions with face-to-face Saturday meetings as a way of reaching teachers who would otherwise be unable to attend because of their distance from the LMU campus.
As director of the LMU/Teach For America Partnership, Litton has helped to lead an expansion of the program into the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. He has also internationalized teacher development through Teach For the Philippines, a partnership he established in 2014. Each year, Litton trains the program’s fellows in teaching English and working with special needs students. As part of this work, Litton created a study abroad program that allows LMU teacher candidates to travel to the Philippines and teach in Manila public schools.
At LMU, Litton has been an associate dean, department chair, program director, chair of the University Research Committee, and mentor to many. He also serves the field of education statewide by assisting in accreditation visits for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Fittingly, Litton was unable to attend the awards ceremony in person because he was engaged in a service activity. Litton was overseas conducting a presentation for Teach For the Philippines, which supports teachers in under-resourced schools throughout the country. He accepted the award by video, referring to his own experience as an immigrant who came to the United States from the Philippines in 1987.
“I knew my time in the United States would be an exciting journey, but I never would have expected to receive this kind of recognition,” Litton said. “Service allows me to use my academic expertise for the greater good — to live the Jesuit value of magis. I am truly honored to be receiving this award and I thank everybody for the support I have received in my 20 years at LMU.”