Mark your calendars for 10 a.m., April 10 at the Sheldon Museum of Art for the annual CEHS Awards Ceremony. Following the presentation of awards to faculty and staff, the college will host a lunch reception. All CEHS faculty, staff and friends and family of award recipients are invited to attend. Please join Dean Kostelnik to celebrate the following colleagues who will be honored.
Annual CEHS Staff Award
Jill England Staff Secretary III Special Education and Communication Disorders
The graduate programs in the Department of Special Education and Communications Disorders runs smoothly and effectively thanks in large part to the key role played by Jill England. She is the point of entry for graduate students and works with two student governance committees. She manages graduate student recruiting and coordinates the graduate application process. She’s also responsible for coordinating several events and a host of other responsibilities including website updates, inventory and correspondence.
Phyllis Fogerty Assistant to the Dean Dean’s Office, City Campus
Phyllis Fogerty was nominated for her outstanding support in the areas of college accreditation reports, annual reports and collecting data that is vital for these reports and other needs. The longitudinal information Phyllis collects is often complex and requires matching a host of CEHS data with information provided by the accrediting agencies. Her administrative skills are valued in many other areas including search committee coordination, communications and collaborating with a variety of college constituents.
Charman Outstanding Professor Award
Christine Marvin Professor Special Education and Communication Disorders
Chris Marvin considers herself a servant leader and enjoys serving her students, department, college and broader scholarly community. She takes pride in the accomplishments of her students and former students knowing she has played some role in their success and the impact they are having on children with disabilities. Her role as a professor, she believes, is to guide and mentor the next generation of leaders. She is a multi-award wining teacher and a respected scholar in early childhood special education.
Distinguished Research/Creative Career Award
Victoria Molfese Professor Child, Youth and Family Studies
Tori Molfese has made sustained contributions to the fields of child development and psychology for more than 40 years. She’s made a profound mark in the research of developmental processes in children. Tori has published 66 peer refereed articles, five books and 36 book chapters. Her research on the effects of environment on child intelligence is considered landmark. Tori has won multiple and prestigious awards for her research and is known for the rich relationships she has established through her collaborative research.
Distinguished Teaching Award
Lauren Gatti Assistant Professor Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education
A former high school English teacher, Lauren Gatti’s teaching is grounded in a desire to help each student develop as a “whole person.” Her philosophy of teaching is that it must be “fundamentally humanizing, aimed at the ongoing formation of students as ethical, knowledgeable, and thoughtful people” capable of “envisioning their own role in transforming” the world. Her deepest hope is that she can help her students “become transformative intellectuals who realize they are agents for change.”
Soo-Young Hong Assistant Professor Child, Youth and Family Studies
Soo-Young Hong takes seriously her responsibility to teach and mentor students. She helps student effectively and creatively grasp knowledge and put it into practice. She also knows that students learn best when they are engaged in meaningful and relevant ways. Soo-Young uses multiple strategies to deliver knowledge and is sensitive to which ones are most effective. Through individualized and innovative instruction, she aims to help her students make meaningful contributions to society as teachers, researchers and advocates for children and families.
Kent Mann Associate Professor of Practice Educational Administration
A one-room country school was the launching pad for Kent Mann’s 40-year career in education. From that early experience, he learned the importance of knowing a student and personalizing the learning experience. Kent draws on his many years as a successful Nebraska classroom teacher, principal and superintendent to mentor his students. He is molding Nebraska’s future school leaders by modeling structure, innovation, creativity and relationship building in his teaching.
Emerging Scholar Research/Creative Award
Kathleen Rudasill Associate Professor Educational Psychology
Kathy Rudasill is interested in how the sources of support at school affect a child’s success at school. Her research into understanding individual differences in children and how they are related to academic and school success has received national acclaim. Since joining UNL in 2011, three of her research manuscripts have won awards, and studies she has led or helped lead have resulted in over $1.9 million in research funding. Kathy also serves as associate editor of the top-tier “Journal of School Psychology” and has had numerous invitations to review grant proposals in the U.S. and internationally.
Faculty Student Mentoring Award
Barbara LaCost Associate Professor Educational Administration
When the majority of your students are enrolled in distance learning programs, it becomes a more challenging process to mentor them. Barbara LaCost has overcome the barriers of distance to engage her students, most of them working professionals pursuing master’s and doctorate degrees in educational administration. She feels a “duty of care” to guide and influence her students as they expand their knowledge and skills. She is part counselor, coach, task driver, listener and confidante. Barbara goes the extra mile—literally—driving an hour to meet a student halfway or arranging an extended student meeting while she’s attending national conferences.
Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award
Qizhen Deng Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education
A fourth-year doctoral candidate, Quizhen Deng is studying how to help language learners who have diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Her research approaches the problem from the perspectives of individual students and teachers. Quizhen has presented at the annual AERA conference and has published a journal article. Colleagues describe her as a “key team member” and “rely on her analytic skills for solving complex statistical problems.” To bolster her methodological capacity, she worked with faculty in the Psychology department to be prepared for leading edge quantitative research.
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award
Jan Esteraich Child Youth and Family Studies
Jan Esteraich has the heart of a skilled and veteran teacher. She believes effective learning requires “meaningful experiences that trigger questions and curiosities” and that students need the “opportunity to reflect and revisit important ideas and experiences repeatedly.” Ideally, she says, learning should be transformative for both student and teacher. She tries to model this by providing compelling and diverse material delivered in a variety of ways while providing students opportunities to interact, engage and reflect. A mentor calls Jan “a gifted university teacher” with “exceptional abilities.”
Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence
Jenelle Reeves Associate Professor Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education
Jenelle Reeves’ diverse career includes her first job teaching English as a second language (ESL) to Japanese high school students, serving as a an ESL instructor at the University of Tennessee, and since 2002 serving as a professor in the areas of ESL and teacher education at Auburn University and UNL. She teaches both UNL undergraduate and graduate students on campus and online. Her engaging style and focus on giving students an effective balance of theory, practice and high expectations is having a profound influence on future teachers and leaders in the field of English language acquisition.