by Claire Miller
The College of Education’s 2012 Honors Day ceremony honored more than 100 students, faculty, staff and alumni from its six academic departments for their achievements in research, teaching and service.
The event, which took place April 3 in the Georgia State University Speakers Auditorium, also featured remarks from some of the college’s donors whose generosity has provided scholarships for students and faculty.
Donors spoke highly of the COE’s work and the importance of preparing quality educators to work in local schools. For Patricia Ferrer, Beverly J. Armento and Jennifer Greene, this was the first year they recognized recipients for their respective awards.
Patricia Ferrer (M.Ed. ’75) and her husband, Bradford Ferrer, established the Bradford and Patricia Ferrer Endowed Scholarship in Middle Level Education, while Armento, Professor Emerita of Social Studies Education and former chair of the Department of Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology, created the Beverly J. Armento Doctoral Award. Greene established the Language and Literacy Doctoral Fund Award and COE alumnus Jessica Khakzad (M.Ed. ’06) supports the Outstanding Master's Student in Special Education Award.
The COE community not only recognized outstanding work in the field of education but also paid tribute to two Kinesiology and Health (KH) alumni whose work continues to resonate today.
The department established the Keinon M. Bennett Early Career Teaching Award to honor KH graduates who “best exemplify the spirit, professional dedication, personal enthusiasm and positive contributions to the quality of life for all those around them” that the late Keinon M. Bennett (B.S.Ed. ’97) demonstrated in his career as an educator.
This year, the early career teaching award was given to the family of the late Jeffrey L. Ingram, Jr., another outstanding teacher who, like Bennett, was dedicated to his students’ health and well-being.
Members of both the Bennett and Ingram families were present to share stories about Keinon and Jeffrey.
In addition to honoring those working in the field and studying in the COE, Dean Randy Kamphaus introduced Vesta Owens Jones (M.Ed. ’73, ’92), winner of the college’s 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Jones, retired director of guidance at Whitefield Academy, received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Georgia in 1971 and earned two master’s degrees from Georgia State University’s College of Education: a master’s in early childhood education in 1973, and a master’s degree in school counseling in 1992. In her career as an educator, Jones has served as a teacher, librarian, storyteller and guidance counselor. In addition to her academic pursuits, she serves as a nighttime volunteer at the Edna Wardlaw Women’s Shelter and is a board member for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Cheerleading, where she received the 2010 Tom Landry Award.
Jones has also established the Vesta O. Jones Endowed Professorship in Early Childhood Education in the College of Education. With this position, the Department of Early Childhood Education seeks to enhance its existing research efforts to improve the education of children who live in urban and diverse communities.
To view a complete listing of this year’s award recipients, click here.
To view pictures from the ceremony, click here.