Indiana University School of Education

  1. The Indiana University School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis honored three alumni who have made a mark on their field during the third annual "Celebration of Transformational Educators" ceremony Thursday night: former Snacks Crossing Elementary Principal Mariama Shaheed Carson, Phalen Leadership Academy teacher April Williams and Ben Davis High School Student Services Director Sherman Woodard.

    The event is to honor the achievements of early career alumni for their transformational work in public schools. A committee selects honorees from a pool of nominees. Each honoree receives a $1,000 award to advance his or her work.

    Thursday's program at the Madame Walker Theater featured a formal presentation to the award recipients. Scholar of African American, religion and cultural studies Michael Eric Dyson provided the keynote address.

    Carson, MS'07 in educational leadership, is the first Indiana educator to receive an Education Entrepreneur Fellowship from the Mind Trust and a recipient of the 2004 Milken Family Foundation award, popularly known as the "Oscar of Teaching." She is using the $250,000 fellowship to launch a K-8 Spanish immersion charter school serving high-poverty communities in Indianapolis.

    Carson was in the first cohort of the IU School of Education at IUPUI's Urban Principalship Program. She has won numerous honors and awards for her work, including a 2013 United Way Student Success Grant of $242,000 to implement innovative practices for students and teachers at Snacks Crossing Elementary, where she served as principal. Purdue University awarded her a Science Education Fellowship in 2006, and she was named a "People to People" delegate to South Africa by that prestigious ambassador program in the same year.

    "I believe that transformational education beings with seeing possibilities and opportunities where there may not have been, and then doing the best you can to blaze the trail and lead," Carson said in her acceptance.

    Williams, MS'08 in elementary education, is a third-grade teacher at Phalen Leadership Academy after teaching fourth and fifth grades at North Wayne Elementary in Fort Wayne. She is known for her particular emphasis on reading, which has resulted in remarkable literacy success among her students. Her students have outpaced those in peer classes, with 85 percent of her students passing the ISTEP exam.

    She is a member of the Young Leaders in Urban Education, African American and minority teachers who share best practices, develop curriculum and mentor pre-service minority teachers. Last year, the Lillian Davis Foundation Summer Program chose Williams as lead teacher for its summer learning and enrichment program. Williams earned the Benjamin Banneker Outstanding Teacher of Math Award in 2010.

    "What a tremendous honor," said Earl Phalen, founder of the Phalen Leadership Academy, whom Williams thanked personally in her acceptance remarks. "I have been blessed to work with over 10,000 educators throughout the United States, and April truly is one of the best of the best!"

    Woodard, MS'00, has focused his work on helping the achievement of African American young men. In 2007, he started the "Giant Kings" program intended to facilitate the identity, academic, social and career development of these students. The program is credited with helping to develop a great number of African American male leaders and creating a positive impact throughout the school system.

    Participants in the Giant Kings, of whom 73 percent qualified for free or reduced-price lunch, have graduated at a rate between 94 and 100 percent every year. Every participant in the program has been accepted to a college or university upon graduation. Woodard is currently in the urban education Ph.D. program at the IU School of Education at IUPUI.

    Chalmer Thompson, associate dean for research and academic affairs at the IU School of Education at IUPUI, praised Woodard for engaging the Giant Kings with information on their African ancestry.

    "His strategy is not to kowtow to messages that paint black males as criminally inclined or cognitively inferior or inherently lazy, messages we receive again and again in our society," Thompson said. "What he does is feed their consciousness; enlighten them with knowledge that is too often hidden away, deemed irrelevant or questionable; and together with other black male counselors at the school helps the Kings understand that they are important, worthy and, indeed, regal." Video of the entire Celebrating Transformational Leaders in Education ceremony will be posted on the IU School of Education Vimeo Channel.

    The Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI is an institution defined by its place, while at the same time defining the role of urban education in the 21st century. Located in the heart of a major metropolitan area, the school prepares exemplary educators and leaders for urban settings.

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  2. The Indiana University School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis honored three alumni who have made a mark on their field during the third annual "Celebration of Transformational Educators" ceremony Thursday night: former Snacks Crossing Elementary Principal Mariama Shaheed Carson, Phalen Leadership Academy teacher April Williams and Ben Davis High School Student Services Director Sherman Woodard.

    The event is to honor the achievements of early career alumni for their transformational work in public schools. A committee selects honorees from a pool of nominees. Each honoree receives a $1,000 award to advance his or her work.

    Thursday's program at the Madame Walker Theater featured a formal presentation to the award recipients. Scholar of African American, religion and cultural studies Michael Eric Dyson provided the keynote address.

    Carson, MS'07 in educational leadership, is the first Indiana educator to receive an Education Entrepreneur Fellowship from the Mind Trust and a recipient of the 2004 Milken Family Foundation award, popularly known as the "Oscar of Teaching." She is using the $250,000 fellowship to launch a K-8 Spanish immersion charter school serving high-poverty communities in Indianapolis.

    Carson was in the first cohort of the IU School of Education at IUPUI's Urban Principalship Program. She has won numerous honors and awards for her work, including a 2013 United Way Student Success Grant of $242,000 to implement innovative practices for students and teachers at Snacks Crossing Elementary, where she served as principal. Purdue University awarded her a Science Education Fellowship in 2006, and she was named a "People to People" delegate to South Africa by that prestigious ambassador program in the same year.

    "I believe that transformational education beings with seeing possibilities and opportunities where there may not have been, and then doing the best you can to blaze the trail and lead," Carson said in her acceptance.

    Williams, MS'08 in elementary education, is a third-grade teacher at Phalen Leadership Academy after teaching fourth and fifth grades at North Wayne Elementary in Fort Wayne. She is known for her particular emphasis on reading, which has resulted in remarkable literacy success among her students. Her students have outpaced those in peer classes, with 85 percent of her students passing the ISTEP exam.

    She is a member of the Young Leaders in Urban Education, African American and minority teachers who share best practices, develop curriculum and mentor pre-service minority teachers. Last year, the Lillian Davis Foundation Summer Program chose Williams as lead teacher for its summer learning and enrichment program. Williams earned the Benjamin Banneker Outstanding Teacher of Math Award in 2010.

    "What a tremendous honor," said Earl Phalen, founder of the Phalen Leadership Academy, whom Williams thanked personally in her acceptance remarks. "I have been blessed to work with over 10,000 educators throughout the United States, and April truly is one of the best of the best!"

    Woodard, MS'00, has focused his work on helping the achievement of African American young men. In 2007, he started the "Giant Kings" program intended to facilitate the identity, academic, social and career development of these students. The program is credited with helping to develop a great number of African American male leaders and creating a positive impact throughout the school system.

    Participants in the Giant Kings, of whom 73 percent qualified for free or reduced-price lunch, have graduated at a rate between 94 and 100 percent every year. Every participant in the program has been accepted to a college or university upon graduation. Woodard is currently in the urban education Ph.D. program at the IU School of Education at IUPUI.

    Chalmer Thompson, associate dean for research and academic affairs at the IU School of Education at IUPUI, praised Woodard for engaging the Giant Kings with information on their African ancestry.

    "His strategy is not to kowtow to messages that paint black males as criminally inclined or cognitively inferior or inherently lazy, messages we receive again and again in our society," Thompson said. "What he does is feed their consciousness; enlighten them with knowledge that is too often hidden away, deemed irrelevant or questionable; and together with other black male counselors at the school helps the Kings understand that they are important, worthy and, indeed, regal." Video of the entire Celebrating Transformational Leaders in Education ceremony will be posted on the IU School of Education Vimeo Channel.

    The Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI is an institution defined by its place, while at the same time defining the role of urban education in the 21st century. Located in the heart of a major metropolitan area, the school prepares exemplary educators and leaders for urban settings.

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  3. The Indiana University School of Education honored four of its alumni who have touched education across the world, the nation and the state of Indiana during the Distinguished Alumni Award banquet on Saturday, Oct. 25. The 38th annual IU School of Education Distinguished Alumni Awards honored individuals who hold a degree from the school and have made a lasting impact through their work.

    The honorees in this year’s class have touched countless numbers through their work in areas of research, fundraising, health information, and higher education administration. They are Dick Bishop, executive associate in the IU Foundation's Office of the President Emeritus; Shaun Harper, associate professor and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania; Jann Keenan, president of The Keenan Group social marketing and instructional design firm; and Stanley Warren, retired dean of academic affairs and professor of education at DePauw University.

    “This particular group of honorees demonstrates the breadth of our alumni reach,” said Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the IU School of Education. “Education touches all of us and these distinguished alumni have shown just how they have used their knowledge to better the world. They have influenced healthcare, the future stability of higher education, the pathway for minority students, among other areas. I am proud to call them our alumni.”

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  4. (Second part of the awards ceremony honoring the 2014 class of IU School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award recipients).

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  5. On Monday, April 28, the Great Lakes Equity Center held its annual Equity Leaders Summit, hosting representatives from the states that are part of Region V. The title of the summit was "College and Life Success Readiness: Advancing Institutional Decision Making Processes to Achieve Equity." The representatives are all from the state departments of education in Region V, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin . The state department personnel gathered together with scholars in the fields of educational equity and Center staff to engage in a series of focused round table discussions related to trending topics in the field of education.

    During this panel discussion, titled "School to Success vs. School to Prison Pipeline," researchers and educators discuss the difficult issues surrounding the matter. The discussion is moderated by Brendan Maxcy, Co-Principal Investigator for the Great Lakes Equity Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University School of Education at Indianapolis, and Director of the School of Education’s Urban Principalship Program. Participants are Paul J. Ainslie, Managing Director, I-STEM Resource Network, Purdue University; Chalmer Thompson, Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs and Associate Professor, Counseling and Counselor Education at the IU School of Education at IUPUI; JauNae M. Hanger, partner attorney with Waples & Hanger and a member of the state Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Steering Committee and subcommittee on Disproportionate Minority Contact; Hardy Murphy, a researcher with the IU School of Education at IUPUI and the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning; and Subini Annamma, Assistant Professor in special education at the IU School of Education at IUPUI.

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