Eight from Montclair State Receive Teacher Preparation Awards

Pictured left to right: New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks, Dean Ada Beth Cutler, Chair of the Governor's Higher Education Council John McGoldrick, President Susan A. Cole, and State Assemblywoman Celeste Riley.

Eight Montclair State University faculty and staff members were honored with awards at the New Jersey Showcase of Exemplary Practice in Teacher Preparation held on April 20 at the Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center in Princeton, New Jersey.

The event, with more than 75 nominees from around the state, was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary for Higher Education and the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Ada Beth Cutler, dean of the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS), was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks. Dean Cutler was recognized for being an active contributor and leader for education policy and programs in the state of New Jersey.

An author of articles and book chapters on teacher learning, education policy, and school-university partnerships, Cutler currently serves on the executive committee of the Governing Council of the National Network for Education Renewal and chaired the Higher Education Taskforce for the New Jersey Department of Education.

Three faculty members were honored as Distinguished Faculty for their contributions to teacher education—Laura Nicosia, Ana Maria Villegas, and Danné Davis.

Villegas, professor of Curriculum and Teaching in CEHS, is the director of the doctoral program in Teacher Education and Teacher Development and has been named a 2012 American Educational Research Association Fellow.

Nicosia, associate professor of English in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, was named 2012 Outstanding English Language Arts Educator by the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English. She is also the director of English Education for undergraduate students at Montclair State.

Davis, assistant professor of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education in CEHS, was awarded the 2011 G. Pritchy Smith Multicultural Educator of the Year Award by the National Association for Multicultural Education.

Jennifer Goeke and Jennifer Robinson were each recognized for obtaining major grants.

Geoke, associate professor of Curriculum and Teaching in CEHS, was awarded a five-year, $1.4 million federal grant for a project that will restructure Montclair State’s existing Master of Arts in Teaching Dual Certification program to prepare middle and secondary educators.

Robinson, executive director of the Center of Pedagogy in CEHS, is the primary investigator for the Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency Program, which received a five-year, $6.3 million federal grant. The program seeks to improve student achievement by pairing 100 teacher residents in paid clinical apprenticeships with mentor teachers.

Two Montclair State staff members received Distinguished Staff Awards. Gregg Festa, director of the ADP Center for Teacher Preparation and Learning Technologies, was named to Tech & Learning magazine’s list of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech for 2011.

Biologist and educator Jacalyn Giacalone Willis, the designer of successful science and mathematics professional development programs, founded Montclair State’s PRISM, a professional development center for science and math.

Read more about the award winners at Awards.