Dr. A. Maurice Poe Memorial Award for Academic Excellence

About the Sponsor

Born April 28, 1940 to Ruth and Clarence Poe in Taft, California, Maurice passed away peacefully at home with his loving daughter Kristi and son Nick on November 20, 2007 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Maurice left behind his wife, Cheryl; sons, Ryan and Nick Poe; daughter, Kristi Poe Munson and son-in-law, Sean Munson; sister, Sara Poe Walton; brother, Andrew Poe, and sister-in-law,Jeanne Poe; and countless other relatives and special friends.

Dr. Poe earned his bachelor of arts degree from San Jose State University in 1963. He continued on at San Jose State, receiving his master of arts degree in 1966, and at the University of Oregon, receiving the Doctor of Education in 1969. That same year, Maurice moved to Sacramento to start his 37-year career with Sacramento State. Maurice served as Associate Dean for the College of Education for 16 years and Acting Dean for one year. While in this position he was responsible for making sure that student needs were being met in the best way possible.

While Associate Dean, he began the first distance education programs by the College. These included highly successful graduate programs offered through television and online instruction. Beginning in 2001, Maurice returned to his first love, teaching. For six years he taught a televised children’s literature class. His work in reading and literature also included another one of his loves, writing. He wrote both reading texts and children’s literature much used in elementary schools throughout the nation. A character he created in the poem, “Willie MacGurkle,” showed up in his teaching. Maurice and Willie each liked to have fun with students whether they were in primary grades or at the college graduate level. Maurice’s incredible and zany sense of humor and zest for life were infectious to all who knew him. He was filled with unending kindness, compassion and loyalty and will remain an inspiration to us all. He loved to travel and enjoyed golfing, fishing, playing poker and spending time with family and friends. He touched many lives and is greatly missed.

As a memorial to their dear friend, many colleagues came together to establish the Dr. A. Maurice Poe Memorial Award of Academic Excellence, an endowed scholarship in language arts and literacy. This scholarship will be presented annually to the graduate student whose thesis or project focusing on language arts, reading, or children’s literature is judged by a committee of faculty as most outstanding.





  • Good academic standing
  • Limited to students accepted and pursuing any major that supports English Language Arts and Literacy, such as the Reading/Language Arts Specialist Credential program or the Master of Arts degree emphasis in Language and Literacy
  • Financial need is not required
  • Enrollment requirements require students must be either working toward their degree/credential or they must have attained their degree credential as a result of completing the project or thesis that earned them this award.
    NOTE: Student is still qualified for scholarship award if on the University's computer system as working on project or thesis and not enrolled in actual units
  • Candidates for this scholarship may still be qualified if he/she has graduated the semester prior to the award