College of Education recognizes students, alumni and faculty

The College of Education Star Awards 2015 recognized students, alumni and faculty with awards and scholarships on Thursday at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

“I have never been (to the Star Awards), this is the first time,” curriculum and instruction and science education Yunes Golabbakhsh doctoral candidate said.

“It looks great. They’ve done a great job with decoration with all the work put into it. It’s a great appreciation… the fact that the donors were able to do so much so that people like us who do need some type of financial help are able to benefit from such an event.”

The event began with a welcome and opening remarks by Dean of the College of Education Robert McPherson. It proceeded with announcing faculty awards and concluding with student scholarships.

The Faculty Service Award went to curriculum and instruction associate professor Laveria Hutchison and was presented by Gary Henry, President of the College of Education Alumni Association and a doctoral student at the College of Education.

“I am very proud to be here tonight to appreciate the faculty and the scholarship recipients,” Henry said. “I think it goes without saying the profound impact that they have on the lives of the children in our society, in our city. It’s amazing to be a part of that, and I see how hard faculty works as I attend my classes. It’s outstanding. I applaud them for all that they do.”

Award recipients said a short speech after they were presented. A noteworthy moment occured during the Friend of Education Award, The Greater Houston Partnership, Early Matters shared some words of wisdom: Great cities had great public universities and great public universities became great when they connected to the city in which they lived.

“I think it’s great and wonderful that, we, as recipients of these scholarships are able to personally thank our donors,” Curriculum and instruction doctoral student Lionnel Ronduen  said.

“I’m glad that the college of education has continued to recognize the importance that these donors serve. As grad students, we need to be respectful and honor our scholarship donors and thank them for the opportunity that they’ve allotted us with the funds they’ve granted our university and ourselves.”

Presented by associate chair curriculum and instruction, the distinguished alumni award went to P. Tim Martindell.

“We think it’s really important that we support students and provide them funding,” Don and Jacquline Hawkins Scholarship donor Jacquline Hawkins said. “Education is expensive enough and especially for many of our first generation students who need the support. (My) husband and I, were both first generation students and understood the importance that scholarships can bring.”

Hawkins said the scholarship is for teachers and she, her husband’s mother and sisters were all teachers. She believes that teachers are the fuel for an economy, and they can move the United States forward. Her and her husband’s investment is a great investment in the future of students at the UH.

“The College of Education has been important in my life,” Curriculum and instruction doctoral student and scholarship recipient Kayla Logan said. “I got my under grad with the College of Education, and I returned for my doctoral degree. I feel supported and encouraged by the scholarship that I’ve received here today.”

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