In Memory of Vance Stevens

Vance Stevens was an exceptional teacher and inspirational mentor to countless educators. He was a driving force to advance English teaching in the Virtual worlds as a remarkable educator with a strong but humble presence in an educators’ world and a passionate belief in collaboration between both educators and young digital natives.

Vance Stevens was a co-founding member and an early chair of the Computer Assisted Language Learning Interest Section in 1984. Vance Stevens was an online pioneer; he founded the Communities of Practice Webheads in Action in 2002 and has participated in coordinating the TESOL Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) Interest Section’s Electronic Village Online (EVO) since 2003. He hosted the podcast series Learning2gether, which has more than 520 episodes. He was lead moderator of EVO Minecraft MOOC since it began in 2015.

The CALL-IS will be hosting an event in Portland, Oregon at the annual TESOL Convention to honor Vance’s legacy. We invite any who wish to leave memories of Vance in the comments for this post. We plan to read at least some of the memories from this page during this event.

The CALL-IS is also sponsoring a fundraiser to establish a TESOL Award in honor of Vance’s legacy to support the professional development and research of teachers worldwide. If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser, you can donate through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/donate/1518513225226640/10162076083742439/. You can also donate to TESOL directly at their website, https://sites.tesol.org/MemberPortal/Fundraising/Sign_In_to_Donate_Awards.aspx?WebsiteKey=0d1b66b8-c087-413e-94b1-74021c640176. You will need to create an account, but you can donate even if you are not a member. After making your donation, follow-up with an email to awards@tesol.org stating that your donation is meant for the Vance Stevens award.

4 thoughts on “In Memory of Vance Stevens”

  1. Vance was always eager to support any PD event, even the for those educational programs just getting started. In the very early days of The Academic Bridge Progam about 20 years ago in Qatar Foundation, we organized our first conference. Vance accepted our invitation to join and set up an online event. All available seats were filled (Already his name drew the attention of passionate educators.) when he started discussing The Webheads and the great benefits of a Community of Practice. Of course, he concluded with an invitation to all to join The Webheads. Vance was such an inspiration to us all that day and for many others to follow.

  2. I remember a few years ago when we were webcasting ( precovid). It seems old hat now. I was having problems picking up the sound in a large room. The room was too large and the panelists were in the front. We fiddled, fussed and then Vance entered the room. Assessing the situation, he stacked three chairs on top of each other- right side up and upside down- put the mic on the top of the three teetering chairs and the problem was solved. How I don’t remember, but that was Vance the tinkerer. He always did that kind of magic- while telling you about skiing or diving.

  3. I first became friends with Vance via the Internet when we were both coordinators of EVO, and met him in person for the first time when I was a 2008 WorldCALL conference scholarship recipient from Iran in Japan.

    I learnt a lot from Vance, both as a teacher and a human being. As you all know, he was the kind of person who always made a difference. He was lots of fun (and would encourage us to explore F.U.N. things!). He was extremely energetic, creative, and eager to explore new horizons. Suffice it to say that he was the “father” (some have said cat herder) of that most wonderful group of CALL teachers: the Webheads.

    But far more importantly, he was consistently kind, humble, and gracious. He was always generous with his time.

    Finally, he was one of the people who never, ever treated me any differently for being an “Iranian hijabi Muslim.” Never, ever, ever. He truly embodied respect for other cultures and other ways of being. One of my biggest regrets in the year 2022 was not being able to thank him for what he meant to me.

    Thank you, Vance, so very much; and goodbye, my dear friend! You will always be missed. Always. Much love from Iran.

  4. For me, today’s gathering brings home how, in the world of ‘technology’ and ‘computers’, Vance was all about personal connection and human contact. Hearing the voices and seeing the faces of those of us coming together to honor Vance will be part of his continuing legacy. And I hope that his warmth and openness will continue to inspire future generations of teachers through the TESOL award in his name.

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