Category School News

In what Interim Dean Mariale Hardiman called a “special night of celebration,” the School of Education held its third annual Society of Excellence Awards ceremony on April 22 recognizing student achievements by both faculty and students.

“We’re proud of our recipients’ hard work to be honored for these awards, and thrilled they have helped make us one of the top schools of education the country,” she said.

Since 1992, the Alumni Association has presented the Excellence in Teaching Award to outstanding faculty. This year’s recipients were Chadia Abras, an associate professor and associate dean of online teaching and learning/information technology, and Vera Torrence, an adjunct professor since 2009 and a teacher, principal and district supervisor in Montgomery Public Schools from 1970 to 2002.

For the first time, the Edward F. Pajak award was presented to a visionary K-12 school leader who is an alum of the doctor of education (EdD) program. A prominent researcher, Pajak was a strong advocate for doctoral programs of the highest quality that would attract the best and most prepared students. He passed away in 2014.

The first recipient of the Pajak award was Tamitha Campbell, EdD ’07, principal of Briggs Chaney Middle School in Montgomery County.

Other awards were presented to the following faculty and students:

Al Thormeyer Award (outstanding graduating student in the part-time MAT program)
Peace Madueme

Diane Tobin Award (outstanding student and alumnus in the MAT or teacher leadership program)
Thelma Nicole Tucker Smith, School Administration and Supervision ‘05
Rebecca Helmie Penniman

Student Excellence Awards (demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and collaboration with peers)

Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Shane Hart

School Counseling
Vanessa Lewis

Educational Studies
Elise Scribano

Educational Studies Interdisciplinary
Briggs Rolfsrud

Administration and Supervision
Andrew Gorby

Special Education
Riley Grime

Organizational Leadership
Michael Spochart

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