College of Education 2014 Retirement & Staff Awards Ceremony
Dean Lemuel W. Watson opened the much anticipated 2014 Retirement and Staff Award Ceremony on April 11 in the Museum of Education. It was an opportunity to recognize accomplishments by department and by individual contributors. Faculty, staff, and family members co-mingled with exuberant introductions and discussions of times past and present that included well-wishes for the future. After the dean completed his remarks, each Department Chair introduced their celebrated staff and faculty members.
Department of Instruction and Teacher Education
Dr. David Virtue gratefully acknowledged Assistant Professor Dr. Pam Jewett and Associate Professor Dr. Amy Donnelly for their many years of leadership. Much to the behest of many, Jewett and Donnelly are retiring. Both language and literacy professors have contributed greatly to the advancement of comprehension in the classroom by children and teachers alike.
Jewett taught language and literacy courses while focusing her research on teacher education and transactional literary theory, critical literacy theory, and children's literature. With K-12 literacy education being her passion, Jewett excelled in publishing her research in a wide range of national and international journals, books and book chapters.
Donnelly has taken pride in helping teachers to better understand how using data can advance reading proficiency. She helped teachers to use standards in crafting quality literacy instruction in elementary classrooms and helped them in realizing the role that language plays in creating transformative literacy practices.
Virtue then commended ITE Clinical Assistant Professor Victoria (Vic) Olgan for her numerable successes within his department and gave her a 10 Year Service Award. Dr.Virtue also received a 10 Year Service Award.
Department of Educational Studies
Dr. Eric Drasgow of Educational Studies took the podium to extol the value that Associate Professor Cheryl Wissick has contributed to the college.
Wissick has worked with programs in special education and was the coordinator for the M.A.T. Programs in Special Education. The integrating theme of her research and teaching has been the use of technology to enhance the teaching of pre-service teachers and increase the learning of students with disabilities —especially those with individual disabilities such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Although Wissick is retiring officially from the college, there is little doubt that she will not retire from being involved with special education in some capacity.
Department of Educational Leadership Policies
Dr. Phil Young had the distinction of honoring three retirees and bestowing the Hidden Gem Staff Award within his department. With regret, Young recognized the departures of Drs. Katherine Chaddock, Diane Harwell, and Sandra Lindsay. These iconic professors leave huge legacies at the college and within EDLP.
Professor Chaddock’s twenty-year tenure has been that of a trailblazer. She has served as the EDLP Department Chair, been the Director of the Museum of Education, and coordinated the Graduate Certificate Program for Technical and Community College Employees at USC. Her teaching and research emphasize the history and philosophy of higher education; organization theory and behavior; state and federal policy in higher education; and adult and continuing education curriculum. As a culmination of her contributions and numerous prior awards, Chaddock was awarded the 2013 Carolina Trustee Professorship in the area of Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, and Law.
Clinical Professor Harwell has been a stalwart influence is K-12 Educational Administration. Harwell’s ethical and moral approach to teaching earned her The George H. Lackey, Jr. Award for Inspirational Teaching. Her contributions to elementary and high school principal in practice courses are renowned.
Clinical Professor Lindsay is an education veteran. She not only served the college for nine years, she previously served the South Carolina Department of Education as the Deputy State Superintendent for Curriculum Services and Assessment for five years, and 27 years in cascading leadership roles within Dorchester School District Two. Lindsay has received numerous awards and honors for her advocacy, exemplary service, and outstanding contributions for being an instructional leader.
With glowing pride, Dr. Young had the pleasure of recognizing his EDLP Administrative Coordinator Jessica McCormick with the Hidden Gem Staff Award. This award recognizes a staff member who has gone “above and beyond the call of duty” and shows a daily commitment to reliability and precision in her work. Young went on to say that McCormick more than met the requirements for the award in that she takes the initiative to solve problems and improve work situations without being prompted and always demonstrates reliability, perseverance, efficiency, and integrity in her work.
Department of Physical Education & Athletic Training
Of all the worthy acknowledgements of during the awards ceremony, Dr. Linda Nilges gave a most moving tribute to her long-time friend, colleague, and former PEAT Chair Dr. Karen French. “It was Dr. French who recruited me to come to the USC College of Education” says Nilges. “She gave me direction professionally and personally.” After a 29-year tenure with the college, Professor French is retiring. The impactful research that French conducted included the development of expertise, decision making, and an expansion of knowledge structure in sport. French examined extensively the learning and development of complex motor skills and compared gender differences in motor performance. She has made a lasting impact on PEAT programs by instilling leadership skills, improving student advising, and advancing sports-related research. Her many accolades include being an American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Research Consortium Fellow and a South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance Scholar.
The Dean’s Office Awards
Executive Associate Dean Mike Seaman was asked to present the awards for the Dean’s Office in that he had keen appreciation of the staff for whom he was about to recognize. First, Seaman extolled gratitude for Carolyn Delton, Executive Assistant to the Dean and Holly Rauch, Administrative Coordinator for the Office of Grants & Contracts. He commended them on their efficient and effective contributions to the college and celebrated them by giving each a 10 Year Service Award.
Next, Seaman took great pleasure in presenting a long-overdue Star Staff Award to Administrative Coordinator Lynda Tilley. The STAR Staff Award stands for service, teamwork, attitude and reliability. He heartedly concurred that Tilley was deserved of this award given that she has consistently excelled in her position; made outstanding contributions in the area of service and dedication to the college; promoted teamwork and collaboration; and has worked to improve her many assignments, office responsibilities, and departmental structure. Tilley has continued to excel in all tasks she has been given and consistently does so with a positive attitude.
Seaman then pivoted to recognize Public Information Coordinator Lisa Maseng with the Rising Star Staff Award. This award is given to an outstanding staff member who has worked at least one but no more than three years in their current program, office or department. Maseng is credited with excellence in her overall job performance by providing outstanding service to the Office of Communications and dedication to the college. Her willingness to assist beyond normal expectations has been noted by all who have worked with Maseng. Seaman commended her daily initiatives and creativity which has promoted an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation in advancing the college’s presence.
In a touching tribute for their contributions to the College of Education, Dean Watson was despondent in acknowledging the departure of longtime faculty members – Executive Director for The Office of School-University Partnerships and Clinical Experiences Bruce Fields and ITE Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education Beth Costello.
As he praised the dynamic impact that each has made to their programs, the dean made an impassioned plea for them to remain. Since their future paths were indeed set, Watson commended their salient counsel and leadership over the years and noted that they will be missed.
Everyone wished Bruce Fields and Beth Costello well in their respective new ventures.
Photos of the ceremony are available from Rick Smoak Photography on SmugMug: http://ricksmoak.smugmug.com/RickSmoakPhotography/Events/Staff-Awards/n-LCS22/