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Carrying EHE's influence far beyond campus

EHE News
Tue, 2015-06-09 08:05

College honors impact of alumni's outstanding achievements

Gay Su Pinnell, chosen for induction into the College of Education and Human Ecology Hall of Fame, personifies the college's mission to ensure all children achieve their full potential. Her involvement in literacy education has changed pedagogy worldwide.

The recipients of the 2015 EHE Alumni Society Distinguished Awards also have used the education they received at The Ohio State University to improve scholarship and practice. Their contributions to research, teaching and outreach have influenced the lives of millions.

The college held a recognition ceremony in spring 2015 on the Columbus campus. The honorees are:

  • Awards of Distinction were granted to forensic educator William Bainbridge of Jacksonville, Fla., and nutrition scientist Neal E. Craft of Wilson, N.C.
  • Career Achievement honors went to community college reformer Debra D. Bragg of Champaign, Ill.; consumer education leader Carole A. Vickers (deceased), fomerly of Harlingen, Texas; and experimental psychologist Stanley J. Weiss of Chevy Chase, Md.
  • The New Leader designation was given to curriculum specialist Sarah Odum of Galloway, Ohio.

Hall of Fame

Gay Su Pinnell

Professor Emerita of Literacy Education, The Ohio State University
Founder, Reading Recovery in North America
'68 MA Education, ’75 PhD Early and Middle Childhood Education

Seldom does a researcher actually see the impact of her studies, but carefully collected data show Gay Su Pinnell of Columbus, Ohio, has ensured 2 million first-graders have happily graduated to second grade, secure in their ability to read and write.

She established The Ohio State University as the premier worldwide center for the study of literacy education, including research.

Reading Recovery, the Literacy Collaborative and her leveling gradient for grades K-6 show Pinnell’s determination to develop a rigorous up-to-date theoretical base. Her dozens of publications, most with co-author Irene Fountas, are standards in the field.

In 4,100 schools across the U.S., highly trained Reading Recovery teachers tutor an average of eight students and teach an additional 40 in classrooms. Approximately 75 percent of Reading Recovery students reach the average range of their class by the end of first grade. They do well on standardized tests and maintain their gains in later years. This is impressive, given that each student began in the lowest 20 percent of their first-grade class.

The Literacy Collaborative for grades K-2 or 3-6 ensures that all teachers use the same principles. A $3 million federal project found students’ average rates of learning increased by 32 percent in the third year of implementation.

Among her honors are the Albert J. Harris Award from the International Reading Association, which inducted her into its Hall of Fame; the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Health and Education; and the Governor’s Award from the State of Ohio. She received Ohio State’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, as well as the OSU Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award. Lambda Theta honorary recognized her contributions to professional growth of teachers.

Award of Distinction

William 'Bill' L. Bainbridge

President and CEO, SchoolMatch Institute
Distinguished Research Professor, University of Dayton
’79 PhD Educational Leadership and Business Administration

Bill Bainbridge of Jacksonville, Florida, has been credited with creating the elixir that school districts require for successful reforms. A nominator said, “One of his best attributes is the ability to take a commonsense approach to solve complex problems.” As a forensic educator, he uses scientific methods to analyze, synthesize and devise methods that create high-quality schools. He applies his knowledge of private and public education and administration through SchoolMatch, the comprehensive research and information service he founded in 1986. He has guided SchoolMatch in consulting with more than 1,000 boards of education, law firms, corporations and government agencies on a wide range of legal issues such as child custody, school-related accidents and sports injuries, and cases of sexual abuse and assault. His gift, a nominator said, is “communicating in terms the lay public can understand.”

Neal E. Craft

President, Craft Technologies
’78 Human Nutrition

With an international reputation as one of the world’s premier nutrition scientists, Neal E. Craft of Wilson, North Carolina, is a business owner and researcher who addresses public health problems affecting human development and health. He has devoted his career to the analysis of fat-soluble vitamins, carotenoids and phytochemicals and is considered a world leader in identifying and quantifying them. He developed a novel method to accurately diagnose vitamin A deficiency, helping millions in Southeast Asia. Additionally, his dedication to teaching and service has led him to counsel young as well as experienced investigators, continue to publish research to solve world problems and devote considerable effort to humanitarian causes, both personally and professionally, helping those who cannot help themselves.

Career Achievement Award

Debra D. Bragg

Gutgsell Endowed Professor; Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership; and Director, of Community College Research and Leadership, all at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
’80 MS Home Economics Education, ’85 PhD Comprehensive Vocational Education

Community colleges across the nation use practices that promote student success today because of the influence of Debra D. Bragg of Champaign, Illinois. Through her work at the University of Illinois, the state’s community college system, along with community colleges in five other states, has adopted her Pathways to Results initiative. This work allows colleges to continuously improve the equity of and access to their programs and processes so more students graduate and find employment. Her work has gained international attention as well as garnered millions in support from organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation and Lumina Foundation.

Carole A. Vickers

Posthumous honor
Retired Professor and Dean of the College of Education, Marshall University
’69 PhD Home Management

Carol Vickers made valuable contributions that helped home economics refocus its purpose during significant societal change. As a leader of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and the American Council on Consumer Interests in the 1970s and 1980s, she successfully led the profession forward, emphasizing its ability to strengthen the lives of people and families in contemporary society. During her 40-year career, Vickers also was an early promoter of computer-assisted education and developed some of the first television coursework for consumer educators. While dean of the College of Education at Marshall University for a decade, she transformed the home economics program into a highly respected program. She died in October 2014.

Stanley J. Weiss

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, American University
’61 MA, ’63 PhD, both Experimental Psychology

Selflessly serving the psychology field throughout his nearly 50-year career, Stanley J. Weiss of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was instrumental in determining the fundamental processes controlling operant and Pavlovian behavior. His research concentrated on the biological constraints on learning as well as drug use and abuse, among other subjects. Weiss joined the American University staff in 1968 to create the experimental psychology doctoral program, which has employed and produced several important psychologists. His contributions to experimental psychology earned him the highest accolades possible for the field – the BF Skinner Lectureship and invitations to Cambridge University and the Pavlov Medical University.

New Leader Award

Sarah Odum

Curriculum Coordinator, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
'06 MA Higher Education and Student Affairs

University faculty design curriculum – a certain set of courses — to guide student learning. But getting approval to create or update an Ohio State class can be tedious and confusing. Sarah Odum of Galloway, Ohio, streamlined the College of Education and Human Ecology’s process to smooth the chain all the way to the state education department. Her expertise was invaluable during many transitions since 2006. Included was the massive task of revising 1,300 courses for the college’s move to semesters. In addition, she mentors students, fosters employee relationships and is active in the higher education student personnel field. As one nominator said, “She’s the ultimate team player.”

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