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Faculty Accolades

In May, 2017, Jen Thoma, assistant professor of literacy and early childhood education, had an article published in The Reader Teacher which focuses on exploring how a PLC can support technology integration in literacy instruction.

Kevin Lam, assistant professor of urban and diversity education, had a chapter published in The Critical Pedagogy Reader, 3rd Edition (Routledge) in April, 2017, which engages questions of difference for racialized populations in the USA, in particular Asian Americans, and the implications for teaching and learning.  

In April, 2017, Lindsay Woodward, assistant professor of secondary literacy education, had an article published in the American Educational Research Journal that explores the strategic processing undertaken when adolescents read online in unconstrained environments.

In November 2017, Randy Allison, adjunct professor of special education received the J. Frank Vance Distinguished Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in special education. The J. Frank Vance Distinguished Leadership Award from the Iowa Council of Administrators of Special Education recognizes individuals who have been career-long leaders in the administration of special education programs.

Professor Robert Stensrud was awarded the Collier Baker Endowed Professorship, a four-year award that carries a stipend and research fund, by the Drake Board of Trustees on Oct. 7.

In September, 2017, Jerrid Kruse, associate professor of education, published an article in Science & Education that focuses on the role of multiple methods courses on pre-service teachers’ understanding of the nature of science.

Trent Grundmeyer, assistant professor of educational leadership, was selected as ITS’ Digital Faculty Member of the Month. When one of Trent Grundmeyer’s students moved out of state, he found an innovative way for her to continue her education despite being thousands of miles away: a robot named Trebek. Trebek is on wheels and has an iPad attached to it with a speaker and webcam. The student controlled it from her home and had the capability to hear, speak, and interact with the class, similar to if she were physically present.

Dean Jan McMahill was honored on by Drake's president and provost in the new Collier-Scripps building at the request of the SOE faculty. The faculty wrote a letter to President Marty in 2016 which stated:

“Jan has worked tirelessly and extensively for more than a decade, as the primary catalyst to cultivate relationships with donors in order to generate the necessary funds for this worthy endeavor: the realization of the long-held vision of bringing our future educators, counselors, and administrators, and the faculty and staff who prepare them, to campus. Even during difficult and discouraging times, Dean McMahill never wavered in her commitment to facilitating the new academic home that she genuinely believes our learning community deserved. In the wake of the economic downturn, Jan sustained our collective hopes and continued working diligently to make the new structure possible. As such, we believe strongly that she should be honored in a significant manner, as a result of her central and fundamental role in raising support and funds for the Collier-Scripps/STEM@Drake initiative. Ultimately, we submit that, without Dean Janet McMahill’s ongoing and concerted efforts, her countless hours and days devoted to traveling and meeting with donors, and her impassioned advocacy, the building we now gratefully celebrate and anticipate would not have become a reality.”

This letter was signed by all SOE faculty and was taken to heart by the president and provost, who presented Jan a plaque on Tuesday at an all faculty/staff meeting, which will be placed prominently in the new Collier-Scripps building.

The Ellis and Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professorship has long been an important way to recognize and reward superior performance by Drake University faculty members. Only one new Levitt Professor was selected this year, and it was given to Sally Beisser, professor in the School of Education.

In May 2017, Laura Kieran, assistant professor of special education, received honorable mention in the 2017 Drake University Engaged Campus Awards Emerging Leadership category.

In April 2017, the Iowa Mental Health Counselors Association recognized Drake University for its ongoing support. The letter from Courtney Ackerson, IMHCA Treasurer stated that, “Drake has produced some very active therapists who have contributed a great deal to our organization. Drake has promoted and encouraged membership and activities that we have hosted and we are so grateful for all that you do for us. We will honor Drake with an award at our annual conference on May 4, 2017.”

Shelley Fairbairn, associate professor of education, and Catherine Gillespie, associate dean and professor of education, received Drake Research Grant funding for 2017–2018 in the amount of $3,000 to help underwrite costs associated with a research project involving an exploration of U.S. and Indian educational practices.

In March 2017, Tonia Land, associate professor of mathematics and technology education, was awarded a Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant in the amount of $250,000 to provide professional development to 90 Des Moines Public teachers around identifying, implementing, and reflecting on high-level math tasks.

Michael Couvillon, associate professor of education, was recognized with a service award for his work with the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavioral Disorders (MSLBD) at their annual conference in Kansas City. Michael served six years on the board of the directors for the organization, which included three years as treasurer for the institute. MSLBD is managed by special education professors from across the country. The group provides resources for practitioners and hosts an annual conference for teachers who work with students with emotional and behavioral needs.  

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