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Awards, Honors and Recognition

Posted by on Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Around the Mall, Summer 2013.

A sculpture, 'Water and Sun,' was donated to Vanderbilt by Frank Garrison Jr., BA’76, JD’79, and his wife Amy P. Garrison, BA’79, and installed on the Peabody campus. It was given in honor of Frank’s grandfather Sidney Clarence Garrison, who was president of Peabody from 1938 until his death in 1945. Photo by John Russell/Vanderbilt
Peabody College was named the top graduate school of education in the country for the fifth consecutive year by 'U.S. News & World Report.' Peabody bested programs at Johns Hopkins University (No. 2) and Harvard (No. 3) for the top spot, in addition to having its programs in administration/supervision and special education named No. 1 by education school deans.

The Association of Black Sociologists, partnering with Peabody, launched its official journal, Issues in Race & Society: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal. As the official journal of ABS, it will be produced biannually, with Sandra L. Barnes, professor of human and organizational development serving as editor.

Erik Carter, associate professor of special education, has received the Patricia L. Sitlington Research in Transition Award from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition. Carter also received the Young Professional Award of the Association of University Centers for Disabilities.

David K. Dickinson, professor of education, is serving on the Early Literacy Expert panel for the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. The group is formulating policy guidance for eight states.


Stella Flores, assistant professor of public policy and higher education, was recognized by The Review of Higher Education for having its most downloaded article for the 2011 and 2012 academic years with “State Dream Acts: The Effect of In-State Resident Tuition Policies and Undocumented Latino Students.” In addition, she was a featured panelist at a Nashville screening of NPT Reports: Translating the Dream, a documentary about the troubling graduation rates of Tennessee immigrants and English language learners.

Donna Ford, professor of special education, is one of 14 university professors recognized by the Southeastern Conference for achievement in research and scholarship with a 2013 Faculty Achievement Award. These annual awards honor professors from the SEC’s 14 member universities who have meritorious records in teaching and scholarship and who serve as role models for other faculty and students.

Lynn Fuchs and Douglas Fuchs, holders of the Nicholas Hobbs Chair and professors of special education, have won the 2013 Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Research. The award recognizes individuals or research teams whose research has resulted in more effective services or education for exceptional individuals.

Twelve Vanderbilt faculty members were named in the Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings, which recognize university-based academics who are contributing substantially to public debates about K-12 and higher education. Vanderbilt had the third most faculty included on the list, behind Stanford and Harvard, which had 17 each. Notably, two Vanderbilt faculty were ranked in the top 50: Lynn Fuchs, Nicholas Hobbs Professor of Special Education (39); and Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development and professor of psychology (tied at 45).

Ellen Goldring, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Education Policy and Leadership, and chair of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations, was awarded a $590,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to examine how school administrators are navigating an ever-growing stream of teacher effectiveness data and how they are applying that data to their human capital decision making. Her study, which is being conducted in eight school districts across six states through February 2014, will include observations, in-person interviews and focus groups with administrators, front office staff and teachers. The research team includes Assistant Professor of Leadership, Policy and Organizations Jason Grissom, Senior Research Associate Marisa Cannata, Research Assistant Professor Patrick Schuermann and graduate student Timothy Drake.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program honored the 2013 Fellows in April. Pictured on the front steps of Wyatt are (left): Nana Bilali Ka (Niger), Ali Alshehabi (Bahrain), Hiral Adhyaru (India), Roseline Sherman (Liberia), Mar Mar Thwin (Myanmar), Iyke Chukwu (Nigeria), Bushra Jamal (Pakistan), Mohamed Yunus (Myanmar) and Aamaal Ali (Maldives).

Brian Heuser, MTS’00, EdD’07, assistant professor of the practice of public policy and education, has been selected by the Institute for International Education for the third straight year to be a panelist for its Boren Fellowships Program, which focuses on regions and languages deemed important for U.S. security.

Christopher Loss, assistant professor of public policy and higher education, has won the 2013 AERA Outstanding Book Award for Between Citizens and the State: The Politics of American Higher Education in the 20th Century.

Velma McBride Murry, Lois Autrey Betts Professor of Education and Humanities, is the recipient of the Society for Research in Child Development’s 2013 Distinguished Contributions to Cultural and Contextual Factors in Child Development Award. Her research-based intervention program, Strong African American Families, targeted to the prevention of early onset sexual behavior and substance abuse, was inspired by the actions of the supportive community where she grew up in rural West Tennessee.

Kristopher Preacher, assistant professor of psychology, will be presented with an Early Career Award by the American Psychological Association.

Bruce Compas, Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Psychology and Human Development and professor of pediatrics, was interviewed by Nashville Public Television for its series 'NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis.'

Joseph Rodgers, professor of psychology, was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow, an honor bestowed on members by their peers to acknowledge meritorious efforts to propel scientific achievement. Rodgers and the other new fellows were recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

Claire Smrekar, associate professor of leadership, policy and organizations, and Ron Zimmer, associate professor of public policy and education, took part in “Options in Education: School Vouchers—What Research Shows,” a panel discussion on campus that included Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools’ Office of Innovation Executive Director Alan Coverstone and Debby Gould, president of the Nashville chapter of the League of Women Voters.


Georgene Troseth, associate professor of psychology, was a key source in the Atlantic Monthly’s cover story, “The Touch Screen Generation.” She was quoted on her research, which examines young children’s cognitive processing of information presented through video. Troseth, graduate student Kate O’Doherty and former student Gabrielle Strouse were published in Zero to Three, and their paper on dialogic video will be published in Developmental Psychology.

Paul Yoder, professor of special education and research professor of hearing and speech sciences, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Research Award by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Ron Zimmer, associate professor of public policy and education, has released the findings of a new study that compares student achievement on state-authorized and district-authorized charter schools. The results of his study will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Education, Finance and Policy.

Submit your news to: Editor, Peabody Reflector, PMB 357737, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235-7737, or email


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