Alumni News

Three alumni awarded for excellence in mathematics and science teaching

Obama Cites Three Education Alumni for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

UMassAmherst News
August 29, 2016

The College of Education can claim as its own at least three of the 213 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching announced by President Barack Obama on Aug. 22.

Runell Hall (Ed.D.2001) named VP at Mount Holyoke

Marcella Runell Hall, (Ed.D. 2011) was named vice president for student life and dean of students at Mount Holyoke College by acting president Sonya Stephens. Hall’s appointment to the position comes after an extensive study of the needs and goals of the division of student affairs and was confirmed unanimously by the Board of Trustees.

Wright honored as a top state educator

Keith Wright (M.Ed. 2007), a science teacher at Springfield Renaissance School and a finalist for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science, was among those who were honored as the state’s top educators by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at a “Ceremony to Honor Excellence in Teaching” held at the State House in Boston on Wednesday, June 14. Wright is a Master Teaching Fellow in the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce S2TLC project in the College of Education.

Parker thanks college for career path

Fran Parker (BA 1966) visited Furcolo Hall during Alumni Weekend and her 50th reunion. She began her teaching career in the Albany, New York area, then moved to teaching positions in Illinois and Las Vegas, Nevada, retiring after 10 years teaching in San Diego, California.  “I stopped by to say ‘Thank you’ because I felt well prepared by the college. As a new teacher, my first assignment as a permanent sub was to set up a first grade class, and I just did it!” she said. “And I went on from there. My career was a testament to having the skills I needed from the beginning.

Hutchinson appointed president of California State University, Chico

The California State University Board of Trustees appointed Gayle E. Hutchinson (Ed.D. 1990) as president of California State University, Chico. Hutchinson is currently the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at CSU, Channel Islands, and a former dean and faculty member of Chico State. Hutchinson succeeds President Paul Zingg, who is retiring in June. She is expected to begin her new position on July 1. Hutchinson will be the first woman president in the 129-year history of the University.

Pluta, 2009 MEd, receives 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award

Jeff Pluta, 2009 MEd, is a recipient of the 2016 UMass Amherst Distinguished Alumni Service Award in acknowledgement of his contribution to the educational system in Nicaragua. These are the most prestigious awards given by the university to alumni, faculty and friends. This year’s awards will be presented at noon on Monday, April 4 in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

Fink’s book published

Rosalie Fink’s (BA 1963) newest book “Reading, Writing, and Rhythm: Engaging Content Area Literacy Strategies,” has been published by Shell Education. Fink says the book shows new ways to teach English, social studies, science, and mathematics by using techniques and art forms including rap, drama, poetry, song, dance, and visual arts. She has been a public school teacher, a literacy specialist, and researcher. She is professor emerita, English/Literacy, Lesley University.
 

Charles F. Desmond is one of this year’s Salute to Service honorees

The university underlines its commitment to public service by hosting the annual Salute to Service at which it presents awards to individuals who have exemplified good citizenship through exceptional civic-minded achievements.  Our alumnus, Charles Desmond, EdD 1992, is one of this year’s honorees. He is the former chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and executive vice president of the Trefler Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving education opportunities for Boston’s urban youth.

Wentzell named education commissioner

Dianna R. Wentzell (MEd 1988) was appointed Commissioner of Education for the state of Connecticut by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in April 2015 after having served as Interim Commissioner. Wentzell previously served as the State Department of Education’s chief academic officer, overseeing the Bureau of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and the Standards Implementation Division. She previously served as assistant superintendent of schools in Hartford and in district leadership positions in both South Windsor and the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) magnet schools.

Tartakov receives Iowa State alumni award

Carlie C. Tartakov (MEd 1972, CAGS 1983) received the Virgil S. Lagomarcino Laureate award, given annually to an alumna for achievements in the field of education, from the College of Human Sciences and the alumni association at Iowa State University.

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