Excellence in Education Awards

Excellence in Education 2015
Photograph by Timothy Conzachi

The Excellence in Education Awards celebrate outstanding college professionals and students. Award recipients are recognized at the annual College of Education Spring Celebration.

Read about the 2017 award winners

Deborah Shaw, Dana Davis Award
"Deborah is a doctoral student Dean Coll with Deborah Shawin Equity and Diversity in Education with an emphasis on secondary English education. She has taught at North Valleys High School for more than 10 years where she has served in a variety of leadership positions. She is also a zealous student, having presented at conferences, and with publications underway. We [secondary education faculty] believe Deborah is an excellent example of a teacher whose commitment to critical pedagogy and empowerment of students represents someone who does justice to the spirit of Dana Davis who was committed to democracy in education."
- Jennifer Mahon, associate professor of secondary education

Mary Culpepper, Edwin S. Dodson Educational Leadership Award
"Mary is an implementation specialist Dean Coll with Mary Culpepperand learning strategist in Washoe County School District. During her time in the Educational Leadership program, we [ed leadership faculty] have been fortunate to witness her strong love and passion for education, her desire to make a positive difference for students, and her determination to become a school principal to carry out a vision of success. We are confident she will one day serve as a high quality school leader, and we look forward to seeing her make her vision a reality."
- Jafeth Sanchez, assistant professor of higher education

Ashley Oliveira, Dr. George Hill and Dr. Ginny Knowles Leadership Award
"Ashley is currently a teacher Dean Coll with Ashley Oliveiraand teacher leader at Vaughn Middle School who has been in the Educational Leadership program for two years and will graduate this May. With this award, we [educational leadership faculty] recognize that she is a promising future school leader; we are excited to know that in her future role as a school principal, she will effectively lead a school and influence many lives for students, families, and our community."
- Jafeth Sanchez, assistant professor of higher education

Justine Hernandez, John A. Bailey Professional Expectancy Award in Counseling
"Justine has shown outstanding serviceDean Coll with Justine Hernandez and dedication to the profession of counseling through her exemplary academics while enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health track. In addition, her work with victims and survivors of sexual assault has been a large part of her professional identity development. We [counseling and educational psychology faculty] are very pleased to honor Justine with this award."
- Rebecca Scherer, assistant professor of counseling

Karrington Armstrong, Marshall R. Matley Distinguished Scholar in Special Education
"Many people know Karrington Dean Coll with Karrington Armstrongas state wrestling champion or a Division 1 football player, but the Special Education program knows him as someone who is fiercely loyal and committed to the students who need him the most. This year he took a teaching position at Clayton Middle School. He knew he still had much to learn about students with disabilities, but he also knew he had much he could teach them. Karrington goes to work everyday and is committed to teaching the most challenging students. He sets the highest of expectations for himself and most appropriately for the students he teaches."
- Tammy Abernathy, professor of special education

Linda Gillette-Koyen, Moss Family Award in Graduate Elementary Math Education
"Linda has been actively involved Dean Coll with Linda Gillette-Koyenin the Nevada Mathematics Project and has greatly engaged in research to promote mathematics education in Nevada. She has contributed countless hours to the project and is very involved in the Nevada mathematics community and in supporting teachers. Linda is also an outstanding mentor to other graduate students."
- Teruni Lamberg, associate professor of elementary mathematics education
Kari Hyland, College of Education Outstanding Graduate Student
"Kari has been involved in a Dean Coll with Kari Hylandmyriad of roles at the University and currently works as a graduate assistant for the Secondary Education program. Her ultimate goal is to teach English and Spanish to secondary students. Kari is personable, diligent, and capable, and she gives her students the utmost support and insightful feedback. As a student, Kari stands out by always helping peers and participating in projects outside of the regular course curriculum."
- Sherrie Bonderson, WCSD field-based instructor in secondary education
Sierra Peterson, College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student
"Sierra has emerged as a star Dean Coll with Sierra Petersonboth inside and outside of the classroom. She is clearly well liked and respected by her peers, and her passion for learning and intense curiosity always evident. Sierra is also very engaged in community service, serving as a volunteer for several organizations, an HDFS club member, undergraduate TA, College of Education peer mentor, Washoe County School District regents tutor, and many more while maintaining 20-30 hours per week employment and a GPA of over 3.97."
- Lydia DeFlorio, assistant professor of human development and family studies
Dianna Townsend, Judith S. Bible Teaching Excellence in Education Award
Students share that Dr. Townsend,Dean Coll with Dianna Townsend associate professor of literacy studies, is personable, genuine, and encouraging and gives each student individualized attention and understanding. Dr. Townsend is always prepared with engaging lesson plans and excellent answers to tough questions, and she consciously makes an effort to listen to students' feedback on what can be improved or changed. 

MaryAnn Demchak, College of Education Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award
Dr. Demchak, professor of special education,Dean Coll with MaryAnn Demchak has stood out to her students for her teaching excellence, her conference presentation skills, and ability to teach doctoral candidates the importance of good solid writing. Her students share that she has high expectations for them to succeed in their areas of interest and spends countless hours reading their proposals, building their confidence in presenting, and providing resources for current research and best practices.

David Crowther, College of Education Outstanding Faculty Outreach Award
Dr. Crowther, professor of science education Dean Coll with David Crowtherand executive director of the Raggio Research Center, is passionate about STEM education and tireless in his pursuit of opportunities for all ages, especially under-served populations, which leads him to outreach locally, on the state level, nationally, and internationally. He also serves as president-elect of the National Science Teachers Association, a national organization with approximately 55,000 members. 
David R. Johnson, College of Education Outstanding Faculty Research Award
Since joining the educational leadership programDean Coll with David R. Johnson in July 2016, Dr. Johnson, assistant professor of educational leadership, has had seven peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted or published, five of which were first-authored. His book, Commercialism and Conflict in Academic Science: A Fractured Profession, was accepted by Johns Hopkins University Press, a top-tier scholarly press. Also, Dr. Johnson's paper "How Public Confidence in Higher Education Varies by Social Context," was accepted by the Journal of Higher Education, the most influential journal in his area of research. He has also pursued more than $900,000 in external funding during his first year, and his research has been covered in the media. His work has been exemplary for a first-year assistant professor. 
Mary Bryant, College of Education Outstanding Administrative Faculty
Ms. Bryant, project coordinator in Dean Coll with Mary Bryantthe Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities, is a grant writer and project director who has been asked to serve on numerous community and state boards. One of the highlights of her work is the Path to Independence program, an inclusive, two-year, non-degree certificate program offering a college experience to students with intellectual developmental disabilities. Ms. Bryant has worked very hard to build this program from an idea to a sustainable project that has graduated three students and currently serves nine through various funding streams. 
Lindsay Dorio, College of Education Outstanding Support Staff Award
If there ever was a model for Dean Coll with Lindsay Doriointeracting with students and faculty, it would have to be Ms. Dorio, administrative assistant of professional specialized studies. Her happy demeanor, regardless of the stress of a situation, puts everyone at ease. She has demonstrated a remarkable ability to problem solve, attend to tasks in an efficient and timely manner, and communicate in a professional and kind way. She deals with everyone who enters the office and a professional and pleasant manner and there is never a problem too large for her.

Student Awards

Dana Davis Award

Dr. Dana Davis was one of the faculty of the College of Education from 1962 until her retirement in 1988. She supervised student teachers and graduate students in the secondary education program. She was honored as the outstanding teacher of the college and received the Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of Nevada, Reno. This award was created to honor and remember her.
This award in honor of Professor Dana Davis shall be given annually to a graduate student specializing in secondary education who exemplifies the qualities of devotion to high academic standards, personal integrity, and love for students.

Edwin S. Dodson Educational Leadership Award

This award recognizes principals, administrators and any others working towards administration preparation. Individuals may be nominated by any person(s) familiar with their professional and academic work.

Dr. George HIll and Dr. Ginny Knowles Leadership Award

This award recognizes an outstanding graduate student in the educational leadership program. The award recipient shall be determined by program faculty.

John A. Bailey Professional Expectancy Award in Counseling

This is an annual, post-master's award recognizing an individual who has received a master's degree in counseling. Preference will be given to recipients who will pursue a career in counseling.

The Marshall R. Matley Distinguished Scholar in Special Education

Awards will be given each year to up to four students (two teachers and two paraprofessionals) pursuing a master's degree in Special Education and Disabilities Studies. For teacher awards, strong preference will be given to teachers who are currently employed as special education teachers in the Washoe County School District and who plan to continue their work in the District after completing their degrees. The paraprofessional awards are for students who have already completed their bachelor's degrees, are working as teaching assistants or aides for WCSD, and are returning to the college to receive their first-time licensure in a special education master's degree program. Award recipients are determined by Special Education faculty.

Moss Family Award in Graduate Elementary Math Education

This is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student in Elementary Math Education. This award is given in recognition of Dr. Teruni Lamberg's excellence in teaching and her dedication to her students. Preference is given to U.S. citizens and Nevada residents.

College of Education Outstanding Graduate Student

This award recognizes an outstanding graduate student with a minimum of 3.5 GPA. The recipient is selected by the Awards and Recognition Committee upon reviewing each nominee's completion information, resume/CV, and reflective statement that addresses how his/her academic work and experiences contribute to his/her future career goals.

College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student

This award recognizes an outstanding graduating undergraduate student with a minimum of 3.5 GPA. The recipient is selected by the Awards and Recognition Committee upon reviewing each nominee's completion information, resume/CV, and reflective statement that addresses how his/her academic work and experiences contribute to his/her future career goals.

Faculty and Staff Awards

Judith S. Bible Teaching Excellence in Education

The first college graduate in her family, Judy Bible '65 (elementary education) was a passionate supporter of education throughout her life. Together with her husband, Paul Bible '62 (economics), she established the Judith S. Bible Teaching Excellence in Education Award to recognize outstanding faculty members in the College of Education. 
Nominations and supporting materials are to be submitted by any University student currently enrolled. Nominees must be continuing faculty members holding at least a 0.5 FTE position. Faculty members who have previously received the award may not be considered again. The selection committee should comprise of at least five members: the past two award recipients (if available), a student, and college faculty members chosen by the Dean.
Who can nominate: College students
Final selection: Judith S. Bible Award Selection Committee

College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor (Biannual)

This award recognizes a faculty member for distinguished work involving undergraduate advisement. The individual must have a 0.5 FTE or higher academic advisor appointment in the College of Education. The final selection is determined by the Awards and Recognition Committee upon review of the nomination letter.
Who can nominate: College faculty and students
Final selection: Awards and Recognition Committee

College of Education Outstanding Graduate Advisor

This award recognizes a faculty member for distinguished work involving graduate student advisement. The individual must be a full-time tenure or tenure-track faculty member with at least five years of cumulative service to NSHE who provides graduate academic advisement as a part of his/her regular or primary assignments. College program coordinators may recommend at least one candidate to the division directors (include self-nominations), and division directors decide on additional nominees. The final selection is determined by the Awards and Recognition Committee upon review of the nomination letter, resume/CV, supporting materials, nominee's statement, and letters of support.
Who can nominate: College faculty and students
Final selection: Awards and Recognition Committee

College of Education Outstanding Faculty Outreach

This award recognizes a faculty member for a distinguished record of outreach. The individual must be academic or administrative faculty on at least 0.5 FTE. College program coordinators may recommend at least one candidate to the division directors (include self-nominations), and division directors decide on additional nominees. The final selection is determined by the Awards and Recognition Committee upon review of the nomination letter, resume/CV, supporting materials, nominee's statement, and letters of support.
Who can nominate: College faculty
Final selection: Awards and Recognition Committee

College of Education Outstanding Faculty Research

This award recognizes a faculty member for distinguished work involving research. The individual must be academic or administrative faculty on at least 0.5 FTE. College program coordinators may recommend at least one candidate to the division directors (include self-nominations), and division directors decide on additional nominees. The final selection is determined by the Awards and Recognition Committee upon review of the nomination letter, resume/CV, supporting materials, nominee's statement, and letters of support.
Who can nominate: College faculty
Final selection: Awards and Recognition Committee

College of Education Outstanding Administrative Faculty

This award recognizes an individual in a 0.5 FTE or higher administrative faculty position who has made outstanding contributions to the college during the past year. Nominees are those who demonstrate a positive outlook and are valued members of the college. Administrative faculty are individuals who perform responsibilities related to the formation and implementation of managerial policies or general operations.
Who can nominate: College faculty and staff
Final selection: Awards and Recognition Committee

College of Education Outstanding Support Staff

This award recognizes an individual in a 0.5 FTE or higher classified/support staff position who has made outstanding contributions to the college during the past year. Classified staff are individuals who support the administrative duties of centers or program area(s) within the college.
Who can nominate: College faculty and staff
Final selection: Awards and Recognition Committee