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Recognizing Education at Illinois leaders in 2015-2016

by the College of Education at Illinois / May 5, 2016

2016 College of Education at Illinois awards

The College of Education at Illinois is pleased to announce the faculty members, staff members, and students who are recipients of the College’s 2016 Faculty and Staff Awards. Honorees will be recognized May 12, 2016, at 2 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the ACES Library.

College of Education Faculty and Staff Awards

Lynne BurdickAcademic Professional Excellence Award: Lynne Burdick, Technology Integration Specialist and edTPA Coordinator in Curriculum & Instruction
As coordinator of the new certification process (edTPA), Lynn has been instrumental in supporting instructional innovations in Curriculum & Instruction. She leads important initiatives and assists students in completing their portfolios. Additionally, Lynn often visits classes to assist faculty with adding course technologies that support content-specific issues. Her commitments extend to supporting the community, as well. Local school districts, for example, seek Lynn’s expertise on educational technology issues.

Jeremy JonesDean’s Prize for Breakthrough Initiatives – Staff/Academic Professionals: Jeremy Jones, Manager in User Services 
Jeremy’s efforts have been instrumental in creating the infrastructure needed to support current efforts in educational technology in the College of Education, especially his work in developing the Illinois Digital Ecologies and Learning Laboratory (IDEALL). Jeremy’s imaginative way of thinking and his ability to go beyond past experiences were pivotal for the plans of what eventually became IDEALL.

Kelly FesslerDistinguished Staff Award: Kelly Fessler, Office Manager in Special Education
Kelly’s effectiveness in solving problems and her ability to attend to the needs of faculty and students are outstanding. Her daily work performance is also impressive due to the effort she puts toward enhancing the image of Special Education and the College as a whole. Kelly’s daily collaborative efforts with colleagues are appreciated by many.

Donald HackmannDistinguished Teaching Career Award: Donald Hackmann, Professor in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership
Donald’s commitment to the preparation of educational leaders is outstanding, as he draws from his many years in public schools to make his courses relevant to students. Many of his students are professionals who are pursuing graduate studies, and Donald seeks the best resources for them and supports them toward the completion of their degrees. For busy professionals such as educational administration students, his model is a useful reminder that the stresses of school life require people who can push their commitment to education while simultaneously continue the process of learning how to change institutions.

Hua-Hua ChangOutstanding Graduate Teaching Award: Hua-Hua Chang, Professor in Educational Psychology and Director of the Confucius Institute
Hua-Hua teaches a large number of graduate students with various levels of prior statistical knowledge and excels at assisting them with their particular needs. He has consistently appeared on the “Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked Excellent by their Students” for the past seven years, an extraordinary feat for a statistics professor. In addition, Hua-Hua has been successful at securing funding for his graduate students. Through his mentorship, he has prepared students for jobs at important institutions.

Chris HigginsOutstanding Faculty Award for Service: Chris Higgins, Associate Professor in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership
From the time he began in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership in 2006, Chris has been known for his vision, his willingness to get things done, and his engaged collaborative spirit. In addition to his stellar academic service within his field, Chris has served as editor of Educational Theory and as director of the Illinois New Teacher Collaborative from 2011 to 2013.

Nancy MacGregorOutstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award: Nancy MacGregor, Clinical Assistant Professor in Curriculum & Instruction
Nancy has taught a total of 93 course sections since 2000, including all undergraduate reading courses. Her incredible ICES scores reveal how much her students value her instruction. Her passion for teaching and learning shine through in her classes, and students leave the classroom with specific examples of how they can apply what they learned into their teaching. Nancy demonstrates the type of instruction she expects from her students and incorporates effective strategies for making learning inclusive in classrooms.

Meghan BurkeSpitze/Mather Faculty Award for Excellence: Meghan Burke, Assistant Professor in Special Education
Meghan’s work integrates her research and outreach in meaningful ways with the goal of supporting families. As the co-principal investigator of “Project Family IMPACT: Attending to Individualization, Mobility, Poverty, Adversity, Culture, Trauma,” she supports doctoral students in their quest to pursue research on ways to support families while attending to an individual’s needs. Her impressive list of publications focus on family issues and illustrate how her scholarly work is committed to family advocacy and family-professional partnerships with families of children with disabilities.

2016-2017 Hardie Faculty Fellow: Meghan Burke
Meghan’s proposal, “Examining the Effectiveness of a Parent Advocacy Training on Families of Students with Disabilities in Small Urban Communities,” met the spirit of this award by outlining an innovative line of research examining the effectiveness of a long-distance model of a parent advocacy training for families of students with disabilities in small urban communities. This line of exciting research adds to the development of her scholarship and career at the University of Illinois.

Joey MerrinOutstanding Teaching Award for Teaching Assistants: Gabriel “Joey” Merrin
As a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology, Joey has taught Educational Psychology 202 for six semesters, receiving consistently high ICES scores. In addition, Joey has supported the instruction of CI 550 and EPSY 580 as a teaching assistant. His dedication to teaching is commendable. He is a talented speaker and connects easily to students and faculty.

Chris LubienskiDean’s Prize for Breakthrough Initiatives – Faculty: Chris Lubienski, Professor in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership
Chris’s research has had a transformative impact on a national level. He has used innovative tools to systematically analyze the impact of charter schools and to challenge negative perspectives about public schools. His work has also examined international cases to investigate the effects of school of choice policies. He has played a leadership role in the school of choice field in the U.S., both intellectually and as someone who spearheads productive collaborations with other researchers. Recently, he has expanded his areas of interest beyond school of choice and beyond the U. S. As a scholar with expertise on the political economy of schooling and of educational policy, Chris has made important discoveries that constitute historical breakthroughs in educational research.

Peter Kuchinke2016-2017 Distinguished Senior Scholar: K. Peter Kuchinke
Peter has made major contributions in three realms of Human Resource Development: leadership/leader development, HRD graduate education, and meaning of work. Most of his work in the leadership studies area has been cross-cultural and situated in organization behavior research approaches and models. It has contributed to the understanding of leadership and international HRD practice. His HRD graduate education research set a base line for the understanding of such issues as the evolution of HRD programs, the curriculum, faculty composition, and student motivation to enter the field.

Professional Awards and Recognition for Faculty Members

  • Kern Alexander – 2016 Distinguished Educational Research Lecturer from the College of Education at Kansas State University
  • James D. Anderson – 2016 AERA Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award from the American Educational Research Association
  • Debra Bragg – Community College Baccalaureate Association Pioneer Award
  • Jennifer Delaney – Outstanding Article of the Year Award from the Journal of Education Finance
  • Adrienne Dixson – Derrick A. Bell Legacy Award and National Education Policy Center Fellow
  • Anne Haas Dyson – David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English from the National Council of Teachers of English
  • Dorothy Espelage – Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy from the Committee on Psychology in the Public Interest Awards
  • Rebecca Ginsburg – Freedom Fighter from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Champaign County
  • Stafford Hood – Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award from the American Evaluation Association and AERA Fellow from the American Educational Research Association
  • Lilian Katz – AERA Career Achievement Award for the SIG Division of Early Childhood and Child Development from AERA and Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Early Childhood Education from the Southern Association for Childhood Education
  • Luz Murillo – Distinguished Recognition of Scholar Activism from the Critical Educators for Social Justice Special Interest Group of AERA
  • Stephanie Sanders-Smith – 2015 Early Career Research Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators Foundation
  • Anjalé Welton - Jack A. Culbertson Early Career Award from the University Council for Educational Administration

University of Illinois Campus Awards to Faculty Members

  • Johnell Bentz – Excellence in Online & Distance Teaching
  • Education Justice Project – 2015-2016 Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement
  • Dorothy Espelage – 2016 Women’s Resources Center Outstanding Faculty Award from the Women’s Resources Center
  • Jennifer Greene - Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring

Students in the College of Education

  • Jenna Aronson, B.S., Outstanding Student Medal Recipient
  • T. Jameson Brewer, Ph.D., Outstanding Student Medal Recipient
  • Matthew King – Community Leader in Graduate Student Council of the American Educational Research Association
  • Priya G. La Londe – Division A Senior Representative in Graduate Student Council of the American Educational Research Association
  • Grace Liu – Chancellor’s Scholar
  • Gabriel “Joey” Merrin – Outstanding Teaching Award for Teaching Assistants and Chair in Graduate Student Council of the American Educational Research Association
  • Lisa Skultety – CADRE Fellowship
  • Alexandria Teagarden-Monk, Ed.M., Outstanding Student Medal Recipient


View the College of Education awards nomination page.