Faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the Drake University School of Education gathered this month to reflect on a world of accomplishments. From decades-long legacies to new beginnings, the SOE’s Special Awards Ceremony was a time to cherish activities and individuals who advance the school’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service.
“We’ve reached new heights. There’s more than ever to celebrate,” said Janet McMahill, dean of the School of Education. “The Special Awards Ceremony was a powerful opportunity to be able to reflect on our school’s local, state, national, and international impact.”
The School of Education has always had an awards ceremony for distinguished alumni; but for the first time this year, they expanded the event to mark many other important milestones. More than 125 people attended the event.
The Midwest Region Coordinator for Kappa Delta Pi, Thomas Ulmet, presented student Abigail Parra with a 100 Year Award to the Epsilon Chapter. Drake Head Start and the Adult Literacy Center at Drake University each celebrated 40 years in operation. The Continuing Education and Professional Development program marked its 25th anniversary. Eight faculty members were honored for 20+ years of service to the School of Education: Matthew Bruinekool, Catherine Gillespie, Aggie Jones, Anita Mozga, Claudia Murphy, Anne Murr, Robert Stensrud, and Terry Thorpe.
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients were:
- Sarah Noll Wilson, Master of Science in Education, Adult Learning and Organizational Performance (2012)
- Lara Justmann, Master of Science in Education, Secondary School Counseling (2003); and Specialist in Education Leadership, pre-K through 12 Leadership (2009)
- SaraRae Herrin, Bachelor of Science in Education, Elementary Education, Unified Early Childhood (2006); Master of Science in Education, Instructional Strategist (2009)
- Thomas Drake, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (1965); Master of Science in Education, Secondary School Administration (1971)
Undergraduate student awards were issued to:
- Erin Griffin, senior elementary education major with endorsements in reading and mathematics
- Mitchell Klocke, junior seeking a dual degree in Biology and secondary education
- Abigale Parra, junior elementary education major with endorsements in special education and reading
- Evelyn Pyle, sophomore elementary education major with endorsements in reading, ESL and TAG
- Hannah Smith, senior secondary education major with an English endorsement and a psychology minor
- Lizzie Wendell, senior elementary education major with endorsements in reading and K-12 coaching
- Megan Wagner, senior secondary education major with endorsements in chemistry, Spanish, K-12 ESL, and K-12 STEM
Three recent alumni—graduates of the Class of 2015—received Global Citizenship Awards in recognition of a year of teaching in impoverished areas abroad. Anna Suminski and Mary Stang spent a year teaching children in Asikuma, Ghana. Dori Hauser taught a summer school math camp and developed a kindergarten classroom at a local school.
McMahill took a moment to celebrate further accomplishments as the School of Education works to fulfill its dedication to excellence in teaching, research, and service. She noted highlights from the past two years including:
- Tenure granted to seven professors
- Grants totaling more than $18 million
- Curriculum innovations at the graduate and undergraduate levels
- Special events reaching over 400 area educators
- Awards for faculty and student research
- Expansion of travel initiatives, and faculty and student exchanges with the University of the Andes in Santiago, Chile
The School of Education looks forward to moving into its new campus home, Collier-Scripps Hall, which is under construction as part of the $52 million STEM@DRAKE initiative. The building is slated to be completed by fall 2017.
Follow this link to view photos of the event.