Bragg and Espelage honored by campus with named professorships

by The College of Education  /   May 8, 2014

news item picture

Debra D. Bragg and Dorothy L. Espelage have been recognized by the campus as Edward William Gutgsell & Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professors. The formal investiture ceremony for the two College of Education professors took place May 8 at Beckman Institute.

Named endowed professorships, which have five-year renewable term appointments, were established in 1998 to recognize the campus’s most distinguished senior faculty members and to promote opportunities for ongoing faculty development.

“We are so proud of the campus’s recognition of Professors Bragg and Espelage significant scholarship through their appointment as Gutgsell professors,” said Dean Mary Kalantzis. “From Dorothy’s research on bullying prevention to Debra’s investigations of federal policies focused on training and retraining those who are historically underserved by the higher education system, both of these women are sought-after experts in their fields. They drive their fields, in fact.”

Dean Kalantzis added that each professor has a stellar publishing record, has received significant external funding, and has won much recognition for their commitment to educating our students.

“Their research has had a direct influence nationwide, informing legislators in Springfield and Washington D.C., as well as sparking debates and discussions about issues of bullying and completing community college,” she said.

Dr. Bragg is currently directing policy studies on expanded transfer and articulation in 15 states and newly applied baccalaureate degree programs in STEM fields, including baccalaureate degrees conferred by community colleges. She is the recipient of the Career Teaching, Distinguished Research, and Breakthrough awards from the College, and the Senior Scholar and Art Cohen and Florence Brawer Distinguished Service awards from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges.

Dr. Espelage presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences and is the author of more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and 25 chapters. Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science of the American Psychological Association.

Four of the 16 Gutgsell Endowed Professors on campus are from the College. Along with Bragg and Espelage, College of Education professors James D. Anderson and Nicholas Burbules are Gutgsell Endowed Professors.

View the full lists of University- and campus-level endowed chairs and professorships.