Outstanding Student Awards 2023 – School of Education

Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.  

Read below to view the complete list of 2023 Outstanding Student Award recipients in the School of Education.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education Award 

Outstanding Dissertation Award 

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Lauren Biscardi

Masters and Bachelors Awards

Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning 

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Kirsten Ellen Youngquist


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Ashleigh Tanis

Physical Education

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Darlene J. Mojado-Ligan



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Mariam Ahmed Abdelwahab

Clinical Mental Health Counseling 

Teresa Elizabeth Mercedes Padgett

Teresa Elizabeth Mercedes Padgett

School Counseling

Early Childhood Education for Diverse Learners

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Heather Lynn Patterson


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Gabriela Briseno-Delbosque


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Ausra Kauffman


Early Childhood Special Education

Headshot of Neryl Meg Tagle Marquez-Ascher 

Neryl Meg Tagle Marquez-Ascher 

Education Leadership 

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Kate Adams

 Educational Psychology 

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Haley McKeen

Assessment, Evaluation, and Testing

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Carrie E. May

Learning, Cognition, and Motivation

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Hope Elizabeth Bennett

Learning, Cognition, and Motivation

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Sarah Marie Conley

Learning and Decision-Making in Leadership

Elementary Education 

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Sara Alyssa Switzer


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Anna Rose Welch


John R. Linn Memorial Award for Outstanding Student Athlete 

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Jack Bolz

Learning Technologies 

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Benjamn James Hardin

Learning Design and Technology

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Heather Shank-Givens

Learning Design and Technology


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Megan Cejka Pavelich 

Mathematics Education Leadership 

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Amanda Lee Guzman

K–8 Math Specialist Program

Secondary Education 

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Yong-joon Park

Computer Science

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Michaela Leann Fox


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Yoosun Han


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ErinGrace Drake


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Kyle I. Nathanson

Social Studies

Special Education 

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Erika Lynn Hanback

Undergraduate—Adapted Curriculum, K–12

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Emily J. Bankson

Graduate—Adapted  Curriculum Licensure, K–12

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Arielle Damasco Morton

Applied Behavior Analysis

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Sidney Elcan Birchfield

Assistive Technology

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Alicia Brown

Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate

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Hannah Tori Geller

Graduate Blindness and Visual Impairments Licensure, K-12

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Madison Thomas

Undergraduate —General Curriculum, K–12

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Bryce Andrew Benson

Graduate—General Curriculum Licensure, K–12

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Brooke Lee Johansen


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Diana Carolina Romero Guerrero


Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Exceptional Learners 

Nicole Catherine Anderson (English as a Second Language) 

Minhei Kang (Foreign Language) 

Krystle Elise Perez (International Elementary) 

Nicole Catherine Anderson

English as a Second Language

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Minhei Kang

Foreign Language

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Krystle Elise Perez

International Elementary

Tony DeGregorio Memorial Award for the Outstanding Student in Health and Physical Education   

Headshot of Dana Jeanjaquet Briosos

Dana Jeanjaquet Briosos

Transformative Teaching 

The Program Award is given in honor of the Transformative Teaching (TT) graduating class of 2023, a learning community made up of critically reflective practitioners whose extensive knowledge, diverse experiences, multiple perspectives and enduring commitments to teaching and learning provide fertile ground for the personal and professional growth of all members of the community. The TT Class of 2023 has weathered unprecedented storms and managed to successfully complete the master’s degree program, in many cases with exceptional effort.