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College of Education *
College of Education Annual Awards Ceremony


College of Education

College of Education Recognizes Faculty, Staff, and Students at Annual Awards Ceremony

COLLEGE PARK, MD (May, 2017) – College of Education Recognizes Faculty, Staff, and Students at Annual Awards Ceremony.

On May 5, the College of Education gathered to honor faculty, staff, and students at the College’s 14th annual awards ceremony. The College of Education bestowed awards in a number of categories ranging from Excellence in Teaching to Outstanding Undergraduate Student, along with recognizing other accomplishments from the College community.

Dean Donna L. Wiseman kicked off the awards ceremony by recognizing faculty who received promotions in spring 2017. The following faculty members advanced:

  • Julie J. Park, Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE), promoted from assistant professor to associate professor
  • Jade Wexler (CHSE) promoted from assistant professor to associate professor
  • Susan De La Paz (CHSE) promoted from associate professor to professor
  • Jeff Harring, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology (HDQM), promoted from associate professor to professor
  • Laura Stapleton (HDQM) promoted from associate professor to professor
  • Christy Tirrell-Corbin (HDQM) promoted from clinical associate professor to clinical professor

She also acknowledged the efforts of Donald J. Bolger, assistant professor in HDQM, for his work as the College of Education Senate Chair, which included helming the awards committee, as well as many other endeavors throughout the year.

Dr. Bolger, after acknowledging the contributions of the awards committee, presented about the accomplishments of each College of Education award recipient, reading quotes from their nomination letters, as Dean Wiseman presented each award winner with a plaque. Following the COE awards, faculty and staff were recognized for their years of service at the university and six graduate students received certificate awards from The Graduate School.

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2017 College of Education Awards

Daisy Fredricks, Ph.D.

Daisy Fredricks at Award Ceremony 2017

In her nomination letter, Dr. Megan Peercy, associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL), noted that Dr. Fredricks “has been pivotal in shaping our programs in ways that are critical for novice teacher learning,” thanks to a redesign of the two-year M.Ed. in TESOL with certification program. She redesigned the program to include a one-year field placement in which student teachers experience the entirety of the school year, as opposed to just the spring semester. Dr. Fredricks has also worked intensively with local districts to foster ongoing relationships with mentor teachers to support teacher candidates’ learning in the field. Both Dr. Peercy and Dr. Francine Hultgren, chair of TLPL, remarked on the depth of her care and commitment to her students, as well as her ability to prepare students from a wide background for excellence.

Jennifer Turner, Ph.D.

Inspired by her own experience trying to find support in graduate school, Dr. Turner has made it her mission to give back to current graduate students so they can “acquire powerful academic discourses in ways that are humanizing, liberating and empowering,” as she wrote in a personal statement. That has manifested into guiding students by overseeing dissertations and serving on doctoral committees, apprenticing teaching assistants and research assistants, and assisting master’s level students. Dr. Turner, associate professor in TLPL, has also co-authored numerous articles, book chapters and grants. Dr. Francine Hultgren also praised Dr. Turner for the quantity and quality of her mentoring, having guided an “astounding” number of doctoral students through their dissertations as well as master’s seminar and thesis papers.

As Jennifer Albro, one of her current doctoral advisees, states, “She is much more than a mentor. She is a teacher, a guide, a supporter, an innovator, and a cheerleader. At her core, she is a teacher, and she ‘gets teaching.’

Colleen O’Neal, Ph.D.

Students consistently praised Dr. O’Neal for her mentorship and encouragement, guiding many to complete projects ahead of schedule. Dr. O’Neal, assistant professor in CHSE, has also invited students to collaborate on a variety of projects, from refugee teacher training in Malaysia to a longitudinal study in elementary schools and the navigation of college for Latino/a DREAMers. 

“By creating academic and professional opportunities for her mentees, in addition to timely, quality research products, Dr. O’Neal has been an outstanding mentor to her doctoral mentees,” wrote Drs. Robert Lent and Mary Ann Hoffman, professors in the counseling psychology program, in their nomination letter.

Randy McGinnis, Ph.D.

TLPL Professor Randy McGinnis has been an active part of the College of Education in his 24 years here, bringing in millions of dollars in large-scale grant projects, and building an impressive publishing record that includes a book, an edited book and many book chapters, articles, reports and more. His scholarship has made a mark in science education, focusing on the social justice and issues of equity in teaching science, the ways in which race, gender and disability impact learning and teacher education, and more recently climate change education.

He also forged new methodological territories in science education, and has been published and served in leadership roles in the top journals in his field.

“It is clear to me that Randy is a most impressive scholar in science education and that our department and college have benefitted from his stature in the field,” wrote Dr. Francine Hultgren, chair of TLPL, in her recommendation letter.

Ji Seung Yang, Ph.D.

In Ji Seung Yang’s four years at the University of Maryland, she has been teaching introductory statistical material as well as advanced courses in measurement, mentoring doctoral students, planning events and serving on committees in the College of Education and representing the college to UMD and the greater educational community at large. Dr. Yang is an assistant professor in HDQM.

“Since her arrival, Ji Seung has been operating at a high level indicative of a faculty member with much more experience,” writes Jeffrey Harring, associate professor of the Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation program who also serves as Dr.Yang’s mentor. Dr. Harring notes that her scholarship record is particularly impressive, as she has published a number of first-author and co-author publications in flagship journals, in addition to receiving significant early career and NSF grants.

Melissa Landa, Ph.D.

Melissa Landa’s colleagues note that she often conducts research beyond of the scope of her responsibilities. Among Dr. Landa’s recent work are projects aimed at fostering cultural competence with pre-service teachers through children’s literature and working with Ethiopian immigrants in Israel through several study abroad trips. She has a book manuscript accepted for publication, in addition to having several recent articles published or in press. “Dr. Landa’s scholarship is impactful because it challenges deficit views of immigrant families and diverse children and links research to pedagogy,” Dr. Jennifer Turner wrote in her recommendation letter.

Dr. Landa, clinical assistant professor in TLPL, is also an active member of AERA, presenting at annual conferences, there and at other venues, often involving graduate students in her work.

Drew Fagan, Ed.D.

In his time at the College of Education, Dr. Fagan, assistant clinical professor in TLPL, has partnered with Prince George’s County to create a two-and-a-half year master’s program that prepares teachers to meet the academic, linguistic, and cultural needs of English learners across disciplines. He also serves as a member of the state’s English Learner Advisory Council, overseeing changes to ESOL teacher education and ESOL teacher certification in the state by responding to new requirements of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

“Through this work, Drew saw the importance of providing a practical outlet throughout the state for teachers of all disciplines to better understand English learner education,” wrote Drs. Jeff MacSwan and Francine Hultgren, who are part of TLPL. Collectively, his “efforts will dramatically improve the quality of education for ESOL students in the region, who have not historically been served by a well-prepared teacher workforce in the region.”

Valerie Foster

Valerie Foster manages multiple accounts, handles third-party billing and purchasing, website management and more in her role as the Coordinator of Facilities and Business Services in the Dean’s Business Office. Colleagues note that she delivers work that is complete, error-free and on time. She also represents the college in various committees on campus, providing a valuable service to the College.

“Valerie is conscientious, tenacious and reliable. She never compromises her integrity and consistently demonstrates the ability to anticipate the needs of our office. Her ability to work independently and to function as a team member are admirable,” wrote Dian Poore, business manager for the Dean’s Business Office, in her nomination letter.

Jennifer Albro

Jennifer Albro is “hard-working, bright, and extremely conscientious,” says advisor Dr. Jennifer Turner. In her time as a student, Ms. Albro has developed course content for the reading methods course she developed and distributed the content to teaching assistants and other faculty instructors—a level of programmatic involvement uncommon among doctoral students. She has consistently received high course ratings, making her lessons engaging and relevant to university students, and worked diligently as the graduate assistant for the Reading Clinic. She also started a nonprofit called Pages and Chapters, which aims to build children’s literacy through parent-teacher partnerships. The organization, which was founded in Kansas City, Missouri, is now offered around the country, with a local chapter in Washington, D.C.

Kendall Sethna

Kendall Sethna has demonstrated excellence both as a student and as a student-teacher. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA, her professors have noted that she is attentive and engaged in class, bringing insightful observations and questions for discussion that draws from previous experience working with adult English learners.

Through her elementary and secondary teaching internships placements, focusing on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, she has consistently received high ratings on her Performance Based Assessments and Foundational Competencies. Ms. Sethna also participated in a research project called Voices from The Field that investigated novice teacher practice.

“Kendall has proven to be a reflective, conscientious teacher, and a pleasure to work with,” wrote Dr. Daisy Fredricks, TESOL program coordinator, in her nomination letter.

Allison Luthcke

Allison Luthcke, who is graduating with bachelor’s degrees in math and secondary education, is currently working as a student teacher at Annapolis Senior High School. Professors and mentors say her meticulousness and creativity show in her lesson plans, which include new ways to reach all students. She maintains a 3.921 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List throughout her four years at UMD.

“Allison is a rather humble leader. She is always willing to share new ideas and is certainly proud of her work. Yet she always shares in a caring manner and never portrays an attitude of being superior to others – either her classmates or her fellow teachers,” writes John Seelke, UMD’s Secondary Math PDS Coordinator.

Dr. Bolger also recognized the following COE faculty and staff for their years of service to the university.

Years of Service Awards

  • Amparo Acevedo, of the Maryland English Institute, for 5 years
  • Clarissa Coughlin, of Student Services, for 15 years
  • Donna L. Wiseman, Dean of the College of Education, for 15 years
  • Janis Cornell-DeMoss, of Student Services, for 20 years
  • Steve Pragel, of Educational Technology Services, for 20 years

2017 Student Awards

Six graduate students from the College received certificates for their excellence, which was recognized by the Graduate School.

ALL-S.T.A.R. Fellowship:

  • Brian Taehyuk Keum(CHSE)

Outstanding Graduate Assistants:

  • Jennifer Albro (TLPL)
  • Emily Daubert (HDQM)
  • Camille Fair-Bumbray (TLPL)
  • Amy Fuhrmann (CHSE)
  • Dandan Liao (HDQM)

After the awards were announced, Dr. Bolger gave a heartfelt speech about the hard work of the College faculty and staff and, in particular, the leadership of Dean Wiseman, as she has been at the helm of the College for ten years, navigating the organization through many changes. She received a standing ovation by the full room for her work to advance the mission of the College of Education.



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