Professor Abd-El-Khalick appointed a Grayce Wicall Gauthier Professor of Education

by The College of Education  /   Oct 9, 2014

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Associate dean for research and professor in Curriculum & Instruction the second faculty member in the College to receive the honor

Dr. Fouad Abd-El-Khalick has been appointed a Grayce Wicall Gauthier Professor of Education, a professorship that was established in 1995 by C.J. Gauthier, a 1943 University of Illinois alumnus, in memory of his late wife, Grayce, an alumna of the University. Professor Abd-El-Khalick is a nationally and internationally preeminent scholar in the field of science education, as well as an established leader among his colleagues in the College of Education and across campus.

“His distinction as a researcher, teacher, leader, and colleague make him highly deserving of this honor,” said Dean Mary Kalantzis. “He has a distinguished research record and exercises an exceptional influence through his foundational work exploring the ‘nature of science.’ His focus has been the orientations to knowledge that underpin science, its epistemological essence, and thus the process of learning science as a disciplinary practice,” she said.

In step with the focus on entrepreneurship for Gauthier recipients, Dr. Abd-El-Khalick and the members of his National Science Foundation-funded EnList grant recently received the Entrepreneurial Excellence: Social Venture Award at Champaign County’s 2014 Innovation Celebration ceremony. The team was recognized for its work in bringing state-of-the-art science content and instructional approaches to K-12 schools in Illinois.

Dr. Abd-El-Khalick is a prolific writer in the field of science education and has numerous publications in highly ranked journals. Many of his publications are drawn from research that he and colleagues have undertaken while he was principal or co-principal investigator on major research grants. He is also co-editor of one of the top-ranked journals in the field, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

As a clear sign of respect by his peers, Dr. Abd-El-Khalick is a member of the Executive Board of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, participating in or chairing important research application review panels. Perhaps the most significant honor in his career thus far was an appointment in 2011 as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The College will hold a formal investiture ceremony for Abd-El-Khalick in the coming months.

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In addition to the professorship in Education, the late Mr. Gauthier also endowed two professorships in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. Recipients are those whose work has the potential to change our understanding of all the contexts in which learning takes place, with a focus on entrepreneurship education. Professor Nick Burbules was the inaugural Grayce Wicall Gauthier professor in the College of Education.