UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State's College of Education recently honored the recipients of its 2013 Faculty, Staff and Student Awards. Seven members of the college were recognized for their achievements at an April 3 reception hosted by Dean David H. Monk at The Nittany Lion Inn.
The following award winners were selected based on nomination letters as well as their own dedication and service to the College and community:
Undergraduate Student Leadership & Service Award – Marcy Herr
Graduate Student Recognition Award – Rodney Hughes
Outstanding Staff Award – Karen Tzilkowski
Climate Enhancement Award – Rose Baker
Outstanding Teaching Award – Kathleen Collins
Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award – Gwen Lloyd
Career Achievement Award – Patrick Shannon
Undergraduate Student Leadership & Service Award
Marcy Herr is the 2013 recipient of the Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award. This award recognizes an undergraduate student who demonstrates interest and actions that enhance the purpose of the college, promotes leadership and service to individuals, the University, and civic life, and fosters personal and professional development of peers through example.
Herr is a junior majoring in education and public policy. She is also already taking master’s level courses in educational theory and policy.
Dana Mitra, associate professor of educational theory and policy, said in nominating Herr, “I have never met an undergraduate student who juggles so many high profile responsibilities with such grace and leadership.”
Herr is president of the College of Education Student Council. She was instrumental in reviving the organization, which had been inactive for several years. She played a vital role in starting a student organization, Students Together in Educational Policy (STEP), for the undergraduate major in education and public policy. She serves as treasurer and she has coordinated panels, planned seminars, and encouraged her fellow students to get involved and participate. She was also chosen for the prestigious Presidential Leadership Academy in the Schreyer Honors College.
Hilary Chubb, a graduate assistant in education and public policy and STEP adviser spoke of Herr’s present contributions and future potential. “She is acutely aware of the opportunities that the College of Education has provided her and seeks to give back even more to the college and the students. Her philosophy is to build a stronger community within education as a whole, Penn State and the College of Education in order to improve future student experiences,” Chubb said. “I strongly believe she is doing this, and I am sure that she will initiate considerable change in both domestic and international education practices in her lifetime.”
Graduate Student Recognition Award
Rodney Hughes is the winner of this year's Graduate Student Recognition Award. This award honors a graduate student for outstanding scholarship, research, dedication to education and the promise of professional excellence.
Hughes is a doctoral candidate in higher education and research assistant in the Center for the Study of Higher Education. During the 2011-12 academic year, he served as a teaching assistant to associate professor John Cheslock in the institutional research certificate program. Also, during the spring 2012 semester, Hughes volunteered as a teaching assistant for HIED 562: Administration in Higher Education.
His service to Penn State has extended beyond the College of Education. From 2008 to 2011, he served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Penn State Board of Trustees, ascending to chair of the Campus Environment Committee. Immediately after completing that three-year term, he embarked on a nine-month term as a member of the University’s Special Investigations Task Force. The task force oversaw the Freeh investigation at Penn State. His service to the University has helped Hughes earn considerable administrative experience that he applied to his teaching and research. It has also earned him respect at the uppermost levels of the University.
“He is highly respected by the president, provost, dean and other key members of the University,” Cheslock said. “Faculty groups have asked him to speak at events they were organizing. I expect him to make substantial academic contributions in the areas of administration and organization over his career, as Rodney has demonstrated the ability to reflect upon his experiences in a way that demonstrates considerable insight.
Bob Hendrickson who, along with John Cheslock, nominated Hughes, said he is “clearly a gifted teacher. Rodney is in that top 1 percent of graduate students I have worked with in the past 34 years of working with doctoral students. His dedication to serving Penn State University puts him in a special category of students.”
Outstanding Staff Award
Karen Tzilkowski is the recipient of the Outstanding Staff Award. This award recognizes the accomplishments of staff members in the College of Education. This award is presented for outstanding service and commitment to faculty, staff and students of the Penn State community.
Tzilkowski is the administrative support assistant for the education theory and policy program. She has been described as “the heart and soul of the program” by one of her nominators, associate professor Mindy Kornhaber. In addition, Tzilkowski supports faculty and students in the comparative and international education program. In her role, she serves more than 19 faculty and scores of students enrolled in the dual-title program that spans not only the college, but includes several other departments across the campus. Tzilkowski also supports the faculty and students of the undergraduate Education and Public Policy major.
Gerald LeTendre, head of the EPS Department, said, “This is truly a remarkable work assignment, well beyond the normal load assigned to program assistants. Yet, Karen carries out her duties flawlessly and effectively. Despite serving two programs, I receive only praise for her work.”
Climate Enhancement Award
Rose Baker is the winner of the Climate Enhancement Award, which recognizes contributions to the pursuit of the college's diversity agenda.
Baker, an assistant professor of education, began her professional work at Penn State in the fall of 2006, and has since demonstrated an unwavering commitment to issues of diversity within the College of Education, and the University as a whole. She currently serves as co-chair of Penn State’s Commission for Women, an honorable appointment that requires numerous hours of volunteerism and countless hours of dedication. In addition, Baker serves on the Joint Commissions Committee, which supports collaborative efforts of all three presidential equity commission concerns, advocating for underrepresented constituents.
“Her commitment to diversity is unwavering as she strives to improve the work lives of women across the Penn State community,” said Lisa German, associate dean, Collections, Information and Access Services, who serves on the Commission for Women with Baker. “The contributions Dr. Rose Baker has made to this University through work on the commission is selfless, of high quality, and is having an impact on students, staff, and faculty.”
Outstanding Teaching Award
Kathleen Collins has earned the Outstanding Teaching Award. This award recognizes a faculty mentor who demonstrates teaching excellence, shows respect to all students as individuals, and creates an environment conducive to learning.
Collins is an assistant professor of language, culture and society.
Professor Patrick Shannon, professor-in-charge of language and literacy education, said that Collins accepted responsibility for delivering the literacy courses for the new grades 4-8 certification program. She modified LLED 400 and 401 and developed a new course: LLED 450, content area literacies. She’s currently teaching it to the first 4-8 English and social studies cohorts.
Said Shannon about observing the interactions in one of Kathleen’s graduate classes: “I am certain that Kathleen’s talents at establishing an intellectually lively, yet risk free, environment, her demonstrations of leading from behind and her genuine curiosity about students’ work led graduate students to nominate her for this teaching award. Without a sense of competition and with a sense of collaboration, her graduate students follow Kathleen’s example, recognizing that tough questions are not necessarily threatening and that the ensuing discussions are the ways that knowledge gets produced.”
One of the nominating students, Katherine Kraky, confirmed Shannon’s assertion in her nominating letter.
“She has been, in my opinion what every teacher of teachers should be: a caring, student-centered individual who demonstrates in her own teaching the ideologies, strategies and pedagogies that she talks about as being important parts of becoming an effective teacher,” Kraky said. “I believe that I speak for all my peers when I say that she has made us all want to be teachers more than we did when we came into her classroom that first day of class. Every time I see her, I walk away feeling a little more confident in my ability to go out into the world and teach my students in a way that will help them reach their fullest potential.”
Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award
Gwen Lloyd has been named the recipient of the Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award. This award was made possible by Joan and David Cotterill to recognize faculty or staff for exemplary performance and leadership efforts. The award includes resources for professionally related activities, including participation in conferences, seminars and sabbaticals.
Lloyd, a professor of mathematics education, has been a member of the College of Education for four years. She joined the Penn State faculty after teaching at Virginia Tech. Her current research examines teacher education and professional development in the context of ongoing curricular reforms in mathematics.
Lloyd serves as the undergraduate program coordinator for childhood and early adolescent education (CEAED), which is the college’s largest undergraduate program. She has led a significant redesign effort that was prompted by changes in Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) regulations. The position involves a significant commitment to working with Penn State campuses. She also played a leadership role in the recent National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) review and wrote the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Specialty Professional Organization (SPA) report.
Lloyd currently serves as co-editor of the Journal of Teacher Education, associate editor of the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education and advisory team member for the STEM Scouts initiative at Penn State. In recent years, she has served as chair of the editorial panel of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, board member of American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Special Interest Group: Research in Mathematics Education (SIG-RME), member of the Research Committee of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, and research associate of the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum.
David Monk, dean of the College of Education, said, “Gwen Lloyd has provided outstanding leadership over the past several years as we have completely re-designed our undergraduate teacher preparation program for elementary school teachers. She has been attentive to all of the relevant content areas and her leadership has lead to a very successful team effort with impressive results. I am very pleased to be able to recognize her accomplishments with the Cotterill award.”
Career Achievement Award
Patrick Shannon is the recipient of the Career Achievement Award, which is designed to celebrate the career of a tenured faculty member within the college. It is granted in recognition of superior leadership, scholarship, teaching and research in education.
Shannon, a professor of education, has been a College of Education faculty member for 23 years. Since his arrival in 1990, he has taught 10 different undergraduate and graduate courses. He has served on eight different committees or councils, and acted as chair of two of them. He is author or editor of 16 books, with a great many more journal articles and book chapters. He has remained energetically prolific throughout his long career.
He is a top authority on reading policy in the United States. His books are widely read and cited, widely assigned and taught in graduate courses, and well-regarded by his peers. His work has consistently pushed the field forward, perhaps most notably regarding the politics of reading education, what it means to be critically literate, and relationships between literacy and economic forces.
In the areas of teaching and service at Penn State, Shannon’s contributions in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction cannot be overstated. He has held formal leadership roles including, but not limited to, graduate coordinator, professor in charge of the program in language and literacy education (including shepherding its transition to become Language, Culture and Society), and professor in charge of elementary and kindergarten education. He leads the large and successful reading specialist master’s program, including supervising the master’s projects of all of its students. He has developed and taught foundational courses in both the C&I graduate programs and in the undergraduate literacy curriculum. He has chaired countless committees, helped with several generations of accreditation efforts, sat on a number of committees across the department and college, and mentored junior faculty.
Anne Whitney, associate professor of education, spoke of Shannon’s warm, generous influence in matters both personal and professional. “I’m not exaggerating if I say that I ultimately came to work here because of Pat. First, of course, was the opportunity to work with someone whose work I had so appreciated,” Whitney related. “Second was his warmth and generosity as chair of the search committee that hired me. Pat modeled how it might be possible to be highly productive, at the top of one’s field, sharply critical and creative, and yet also live as a happy, normal human being whose academic interests and everyday life were not in competition but instead fed one another. I wanted to try it alongside him.”
Jackie Edmondson, associate dean, undergraduate and graduate studies, shared her experiences learning from and working alongside Shannon. She wrote that her support for the award came from her “profound respect and gratitude to Dr. Shannon for his patient and insightful guidance to me over the years and the incredible contributions he has made to my education and that of so many other students. It is also situated within my appreciation of the remarkable contributions Dr. Shannon has made to the field of literacy education. Rarely do we find someone who is an exceptional scholar AND teacher, and yet Dr. Shannon is both.”