Chambless honored with prestigious Wilga Rivers Award for Leadership in World Language Education

The Wilga Rivers Award is highly competitive and based on active organizational participation such as committee work and conference presentations.
Written by: Tehreem Khan
Media contact: Alicia Rohan

Chambless 2Krista Chambless, Ph.D.
Photography: Andrea Mabry
Krista Chambless, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, received the Wilga Rivers Award for Leadership in World Language Education by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

“I am humbled and excited to win this award,” Chambless said. “I am honored to be selected among so many amazing and accomplished people I know and recognized nationally.”  

ACTFL is a national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. The Wilga M. Rivers Award honors the memory of an internationally renowned scholar, author and one of the first women appointed to a full Professorship at Harvard. The award is competitive and is based on active participation in the activities of various world language organizations such as work on committees, significant publications, conference presentations and other organizational activities.  

Chambless has promoted world languages education for the past 25 years. She focused most of her efforts on classroom reform practices, educating colleagues and influencing the world languages education profession to employ proficiency-based methodologies.  

“For me, service leadership fosters collaboration and allows for autonomy towards a common purpose. My service and leadership in world language education are inextricably linked,” Chambless said. 

Chambless teaches Spanish and French in the College of Arts and Sciences at UAB and will continue to engage with unique and innovative student programs and change the trajectory of world languages in the United States.  

“I have worked hard to modernize my classes to benefit current and future world language students,” she said. “Recognition and appreciation of my efforts has inspired me to keep working to advocate for languages.”