May 16, 2019

Awards season recognizes extraordinary contributions by students, faculty, and staff

We are honored to work with our many accomplished students, staff, and faculty who make a difference in the Penn GSE community and well beyond our institution. Raise a glass with us as we celebrate the coming graduation season, with a special nod to the dedicated individuals who are receiving accolades as the academic year draws to a close. 

Congratulations, in alphabetical order, to these award-winners:

Students

Abigail Dym, a doctoral student in Education Policy, was awarded the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students. A reception was held in April to honor Dym and the other recipients of the award.

David Hanks, a Penn GSE doctoral student in the Educational Linguistics program, was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship for his project entitled Eat, Pray, Love, Speak: The Commodification of Language Education for Tourism in Bali.

Jax Lastinger received the GSE Award for Excellence in Promoting Diversity and Inclusion. This honor is presented to an outstanding Penn GSE student who has exhibited an unparalleled commitment to one of our core values – creating an inclusive community.

Angus McLeod IV, a joint doctoral student at Penn GSE and GSAS, has been nominated by GSAS as one of two students from Penn to attend the Graduate Student Summer Residency at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. Each year, a cohort of Ph.D. graduate students works collectively in small teams at the NHC to address a relevant theme and create group and individual instructional materials.

Gareth Smail, a Penn GSE doctoral student in the Educational Linguistics program, was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship for his project entitled Ideologies and Acquisition: Learning to Read Arabic in Morocco

Katie Pak, GEd’19, received the William E. Arnold Award for Outstanding Contributions by a Student. The Arnold Award reflects Penn GSE’s commitment to preparing outstanding educators and academic leaders. 

Yared Portillo received The Laurie Wagman Award for Visual and Performing Arts in Education. This award recognizes a Penn GSE scholar (faculty, student, or staff) who demonstrates an innovative and creative education vision and intends to share that vision with their peers and/or students—whether through academic research, writing, and/or classroom activities.  

 

Faculty & Staff

Krista Featherstone, Education Policy Program Manager, received the Lois MacNamara Award for Outstanding Service to Students. This award honors a Penn GSE staff member who has shown a strong commitment to being of service to students.

Matt Hartley, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, was nominated by Nazarbayev University’s graduate school of education for a national award in Kazakhstan. The award was presented at a meeting in Cambridge, England by Nazarbayev University GSE’s dean Aida Sagintayeva, “for contributions to the development of research (science) for the Republic of Kazakhstan” based on NU’s and Penn GSE’s joint research in education.  

Laura Perna, James S. Riepe Professor in the division of Higher Education, was appointed to serve as part of a new Gates Foundation commission, the Commission on the Value of Postsecondary Education. This new national research group will “examine what we are learning about the value of postsecondary education and offer recommendations about how to define and measure that value.”

Amrit Thapa, a lecturer in the International Educational Development Program and instructor in the Education Entrepreneurship Program, is the recipient of the GSE Excellence in Teaching Award. Students describe Dr. Thapa’s class as a place where quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis are demystified. He challenges students to critically examine research in the field, including his own work, because he wants them be partners in learning. In addition to his teaching, Dr. Thapa creates a positive classroom environment that prioritizes his students’ wellness. Thanks to his mentorship, students say Dr. Thapa has opened up career possibilities they wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Ann Tiao, Assistant Dean for Student Services also received the Lois MacNamara Award for Outstanding Service to Students. This award honors a Penn GSE staff member who has shown a strong commitment to being of service to students.

 

Thanks to all staff, faculty members, and students who notified us of these awards. Please email gse-comm@gse.upenn.edu to notify us of a new or missed award, and we will be happy to add it to this page.