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College of Education honors 2013 Distinguished Alumni, James Scholars

by The College of Education / May 14, 2013

The College of Education hosted a Distinguished Alumni Awards and James Scholar Honors recognition brunch on April 13. This is the first year the two events were combined, demonstrating that the College's best and brightest students of today go on to be the distinguished alumni of our future.

"We continually communicate to our students that they will make a difference in the world with their teaching, their research, and their service," said the College of Education's Dean Mary Kalantzis. "We believe in our students' dreams and their creativity, and our goal is to provide them the tools, the knowledge, and the opportunities to make meaningful impact on the lives they touch. And we are proud of the alumni who in turn model that impact and difference with their achievements."

The College of Education Alumni Association created the Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) in 1995 to publicly recognize the outstanding achievements of our graduates. Recipients of these biannual awards have enhanced the field of education in meaningful ways and/or have had an exceedingly positive impact on the lives of their students. This year's winners, as pictured are: (back row, left to right) Dr. Joan Sattler, Dr. Rosusan Bartee, Dr. Erik Drasgow, Ms. Tonja Buford-Bailey, Dr. Sallee Beneke, Dr. Cindy Walker; (front row, left to right) Dr. Mu Keun Lee, Dr. Traki Taylor-Webb, Dean Mary Kalantzis, Dr. Barbara Brandt, and Dr. Karen Graves. 


View photos on the College of Education Flickr.

After a break for conversation and brunch, James Scholars were honored. The James Scholar Honors Program is a University-wide honors program founded to recognize and encourage the talents of academically outstanding undergraduate students within each college on campus. The program is named for the fourth president of the University of Illinois, Edmund J. James, who believed that scholarship and research are fundamental to human progress. In his years of presidency, from 1904-1920, he procured top scholars, developed graduate programs, and encouraged a sense of community among faculty and students.

Along with recognizing the DAA winners and James Scholars, the morning event included a research poster presentation by undergraduate students and recognition of this year's Outstanding Student Medal Award winners: Abbey Storey (undergraduate), Lisa Patrick (master's), and Natasha Jankowski (doctorate).

Attendees also listened to a presentation from students Annette Popernik and Lindsey Solar about their research on inclusion of special needs students in the classroom and watched a video about the 2012 study abroad opportunity in China, when students learned first-hand about China's education systems. The video featured Education students Kelly Hahn, Jenna Kandah, Lexi Oreluk, and Abbe Wienckowski.

Honorary James Scholars were also recognized: associate professor Daniel Walsh and professor emeritus Lilian Katz for lifelong teaching, department head and Gutgsell Professor James Anderson for lifelong service, and James King for lifelong learning. Mr. King passed away on April 27, 2013, at the age of 64. He had a deep admiration for the College of Education and the University of Illinois and he received his master's degree in Human Resource Education during a special presentation in his home in December 2012.