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School of Education awards faculty, staff and students for accomplishments in 2016-17

June 22, 2017

LAWRENCE – Each year, the School of Education recognizes faculty, staff, and students for their achievements during the academic year. The following individuals were honored at the 26th annual School of Education Convocation on May 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse on the University of Kansas main campus.

Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award

Michael Breske received this year’s award for Outstanding Master’s Thesis for his work titled “The Effects of Goal Priming on Cortisol Responses in an Ego-Involving Climate.” His advisor was Mary Fry, from the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences.

Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Awards

Derek Hutchinson received the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation honor for “Learning to be: A narrative inquiry into the identity making and curriculum making of individuals positioned by dominant stories of gender and sexuality.” His advisor was Mary Lynn Hamilton from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.

Jonathan Mays received the second outstanding award for his doctoral dissertation titled “From boys to men: An interpretive ethnography of college football.” His advisor was Jordan Bass from the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences.

Senior Leadership Award

This award, which honors exemplary undergraduate students in their final year in the School of Education, was given to sixteen students this year: Shelby Blankenbaker, sport management; Jena Brophy, exercise science; Julie Burk, unified early childhood education; Kelsey Consolver, secondary history and government education; Erin Feller, elementary education; Char Hight, elementary education; Madeline Hughes-Zahner, exercise science; Chloe Jones, exercise science; Laura Oyler, elementary education; Emily Petersen, health and physical education; Josey Sands, secondary English education; Chaise Seasholtz, exercise science; Tayler Soucie, exercise science; Hannah Taylor, unified early childhood education; Hannah Tourtillott, exercise science; and Emily Yunger, middle level mathematics education.

Outstanding Faculty Awards

Heidi Hallman (Department of Curriculum and Teaching) is the 2017 recipient of the Meredith Geiger Gould Undergraduate Teaching Award. One of her nominators wrote: “Dr. Hallman is a phenomenal instructor. Aside from her teaching responsibilities, Dr. Hallman goes above and beyond in providing support and advice for us students during our student teaching and practicum experiences, which can be a very stressful and emotional experience. Her support and advice has been incredibly helpful in managing these experiences.”

The Geiger Gould Teaching Award was established by the family of Meredith Geiger Gould, a 1928 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. After her graduation, Mrs. Gould taught in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Her five children created the award in 1998 to honor the undergraduate teaching faculty in the School of Education at KU. Each spring, School of Education seniors nominate the professor who best exhibits excellence in classroom teaching.

Jordan Bass (Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences) is the recipient of the Dr. Bob Frederick Faculty Award, which honors an outstanding faculty member who exemplifies ethics in their career and carries on Bob’s tradition of devotion to students. In addition to his teaching and research duties, Bass developed the Amateur Sport Research Center (ASRC), a student run research center, with doctoral students serving as leaders. He has also taken over leadership duties for the Dr. Bob Run which raises funds to support sport management students. 

Mary Fry (Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences) is the 2017-2018 Budig Teaching Professor in Education. A student wrote the following in support of Fry’s nomination: “As we worked on my research idea, I was always able to get the help I needed. Dr. Fry was supportive and helped walk me through the research process, but still gave me adequate room to figure things out on my own. I was guided with articles, and examples from her students. I was motivated by others in the lab, and by Dr. Fry to do my best. When it came time to collect data I was confident enough to go out on my own, and hand out my surveys."

Kathleen Lane (Department of Special Education) is the 2017-2018 Budig Teaching Professor in Special Education.  “Kathleen has continuously exceeded my expectations of having an advisor at KU for the special education doctoral program,” wrote a student. “Each time I began to become accustomed to the level of support she provided, I was soon again blown away by her unerring commitment to my growth not only as a scholar and teacher, but as a good citizen and productive member of society. Kathleen has become my Kansas mom.  She is fully invested in me – my success at KU and in every stage of my career hereafter."

More information on the Budig Awards can be found here.

School of Education Faculty Award for Research

Matt Reynolds (Department of Educational Psychology) was given the School of Education Award for Research. One of the most productive scholars in his department, Reynolds has had 26 peer-reviewed journal publications since coming to the University of Kansas in 2008. Eleven of those have been published in the last three years. In addition to his outstanding publication record, Reynolds publishes test reviews and book chapters. He also disseminates his research through presentations at national conferences such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Reynold’s scholarly work is extraordinary by all accounts and has drawn the attention of many scholarly societies. More importantly his work informs the work of every clinician everyday who is attempting to understand how their client’s fundamental level of intelligence affects their ability to perform academically, vocationally and personally.

School of Education Faculty Award for Service

Joseph Novak (Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies) received the School of Education Faculty Award for Service. In addition to his primary service and instructional roles for the Educational Administration master’s program, Novak also coordinates the Professional Development Schools (PDS), a role that he now shares with Nicole Babalola. Participating in PDS has become one of the most popular venues for completing student teaching, and because PDS schools serve diverse populations, it is a great vehicle for exposing future teachers to that diversity. In addition, Novak coordinates and runs two visits each year for sixth graders at Argentine Middle School. Each group involves upwards of 120 students. He arranges campus visits to Anschutz library, classes, the Natural History Museum, Memorial Stadium, lunch, and the welcome center. The literature on college choice suggests that middle school is the critical time to begin introducing students to college. This early exposure is especially important for students from underrepresented groups. Novak’s work in organizing these visits is extremely important. In addition to this, he also coordinates Superintendents’ Circle, a twice a semester gathering of area superintendents. 

School of Education Faculty Award for Teaching

Marlesa Roney (Department of Educational Leadership & Policty Studies) received the School of Education Faculty Award for Teaching. Roney is one of the finest and most respected teachers in her department. Regardless of what she teaches, she meets and exceeds her three stated goals—to provide a learning environment that encourages future higher education administrators to use theory to inform practice; to focus holistically on the student, knowledge, and skills needed for professional success; and to be available to students. 

School of Education Promising Scholar Award

Eugene Parker (Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies) was presented the School of Education Promising Scholar Award. Parker has an impressive record as an early-career scholar showing evidence of a coherent program of research and impact on the field. Since joining KU in the fall of 2015, Parker has published eight peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and several practitioner oriented articles in press with several more in the review process. Parker’s work explores the relationship of various types of college experiences, such as diversity courses or fraternity and sorority membership, to important college outcomes such as moral development and intercultural competence. In his short time at KU, Parker has also become involved in university service. He served on the search committee for the vice provost for diversity and equity; the Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities Committee; and was just elected to a three-year term on the Faculty Senate. He is a member of the 2018 AERA Division J program committee. 

School of Education Staff Achievement Award

Annette Weeden (Department of Educational Psychology) was the recipient of the Staff Achievement Award. Since Weeden joined EPSY, she has made significant contributions to the day-to-day smooth operation of the department as well as improvement of each academic program’s management and organization.  She shows strong skills in administrative work for the department, and most importantly an “owner’s attitude” viewing the department’s health her own responsibility.  She works hard, and often does work above and beyond her job description, to make our department more functional and programs better.  

School of Education faculty and staff awards were presented at the end of year banquet on May 5, 2017.



10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#1 public program in nation for special education
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Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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