Congratulations to Our
2013 Student Award and Scholarship Recipients!

CEC presented the 2013 Student Awards and Scholarships at its CEC 2013 Convention & Expo in San Antonio. These recipients represent the highest standards in special education and are to be commended for their devotion to the field and their outstanding contributions to the education of children with exceptionalities. 

2013 Susan Phillips Gorin Award

Andrea Hathcote  photo (2)

Andrea Hathcote
Assistant Professor of Special Education
Northern State University
Aberdeen, S.D.

Andrea Hathcote has been an assistant professor of special education at Northern State University (NSU) for more than two years. In her short time at NSU, Andrea created a student chapter of CEC, one that would go on to be recognized as the largest student chapter in South Dakota with the largest attendance at the state CEC conferences. She even went so far as to help several student members budget for, attend and present at the 2012 CEC Convention & Expo.

Andrea has encouraged the student chapter of CEC to take part in their community as well. The chapter has participated in Read Across America, bringing disability awareness to the community. Under Andrea’s supervision, the chapter also created a reading tutor program for local students. Within a year, some students had increased their reading ability by two grade levels.

In addition, Andrea contributes to the local school systems by supervising student teachers, providing mentoring and support to teachers and designing professional development seminars for teachers to attend.

Outside of the University student chapter, Andrea serves on the South Dakota CEC State Conference Planning Committee and serves as the South Dakota CEC Children and Youth Action Network Coordinator. She currently serves as the South Dakota CEC Chairperson Pro-Tem, assuming the president duties until the formal Board election.

Her nominator, Peggy Heermann said,

“Andrea is an extraordinary professor, mentor and role model. Since her arrival at Northern State University two years ago, our special education department changed drastically for the better. She has not only improved our educational training, but Andrea has also inspired us to become more passionate towards the field of special education and CEC.”

2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Member of the Year Award

Saba Mir  photo

Saba Mir
PhD Candidate, Developmental Psychology and Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE/UT)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Since joining CEC in 2007, Saba Mir has been an active constituent at the regional, provincial and international levels. As the president of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)/University of Toronto Student Chapter from 2007–10, she oversaw the organization of numerous workshops, information sessions and expert panels on affective special education instructional practices, attended by hundreds of students, parents and educational professionals.

In addition to her membership and fundraising efforts, Saba also oversaw the chapter’s participation in the CEC/CEC Pioneers Division Student Mentoring Program.

At the Provincial level, Saba has expanded on her outreach efforts by chairing the Ontario-wide Student Activities Committee, serving as a liaison between Ontario CEC (OCEC) and regional chapters/subdivisions as a Member at Large and currently serves as the Province’s Membership Chair.

Furthermore, Saba represented Canada as a member of the International CEC Standing Student Committee and she has published articles in both the CEC international and provincial newsletters. For her efforts, she was presented with the OCEC Chapter President’s Award of Excellence.

Ontario CEC President and Saba’s nominator, Cindy Perras, said:

“As a graduate student member, Saba continues to bring to CEC her delightful personality, her infectious laugh and smile, her passion for special education and her unwavering commitment to mentoring other students.”

2013 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Member of the Year Award

Lindsay Stump  photoLindsay Stump
Undergraduate Student, Special Education
East Carolina University
Greenville, N. C.

Lindsay Stump has been active in CEC for more than three years and the majority of her college career. She quickly moved into leadership roles on the East Carolina University’s Student Chapter of CEC Executive Board, including treasurer and technology member for the Board. Lindsay manages development of meeting presentations, technology needed in chapter meetings and events, updating the chapter website and assisting with student fundraising.

At the state level, Lindsay has volunteered at the North Carolina CEC conference, serving as the technology support for presenters and student host for the conference. Earlier this year, she helped organize and support a book drive for the 2013 North Carolina CEC Conference, which included books that she and fellow CEC student chapter members adapted to meet the needs of various learners. Lindsay presented a poster entitled, “Adapting Books: A Universal Design for Learning Approach” at the North Carolina CEC Conference in January. She has also volunteered at the 2011 and 2012 Annual CEC Conventions.

At the University, Lindsay develops and facilitates professional development sessions on assistive technology for both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty. She helps lead the chapter’s CEC support group to a local school district where they develop and make hands-on activities for students in special education classes throughout the county.

Because of her work with the local school district, Lindsay was awarded the 2012 Student North Carolina CEC Scholarship Award. In a campus-wide competition at ECU, she was also awarded the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Award for a research project she conducted with preschool children who have autism, utilizing emerging SMART Board technologies.

Her nominators Laura H. King and CEC Board Member Debbie Metcalf said:

“Lindsay is a student of high integrity who exhibits passion for the special education field. She is an understated natural leader who demonstrates and models initiative and drive for her peers simply in her professional approach to roles.”

2013 CEC Graduate Student Scholarship

Rothfork_AnthonyAnthony Rothfork
Doctoral Candidate, Curriculum and Instruction—Special Education
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Ariz.

Anthony Rothfork is working on a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction with a content concentration in special education. His oral defense for his dissertation is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2013. His doctoral research into the effects that listening to music may have on reducing anxiety levels for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and autism spectrum disorders presents multiple opportunities for him to work with students from both these populations both at the university as well as in local public and private sectors.

After obtaining his doctoral degree, Anthony plans to teach in higher education and conduct research in the area of high-incidence disabilities as well as research self-efficacy levels among pre-service teachers for teaching multi-cultural students with disabilities.

Anthony has served in leadership roles including president with the South Carolina CCBD subdivision from 2005-2009, and is an active member of Arizona CEC and several CEC divisions. He also participates in the Northern Arizona chapter of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Anthony continuously demonstrates how he champions opportunities for all students to live an active, full and rewarding life regardless of physical, intellectual or cultural differences. We look forward to his career as a leader in the field.

2013 CEC Undergraduate Student Scholarship

Clausen_AmyAmy Clausen
Undergraduate Student, Elementary and Special Education
Morehead State University
Morehead, Ky.

Amy Clausen is a junior at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She is carrying a dual major in elementary and special education. Amy will graduate in May 2014, and plans to begin her career as a functional mental disability high school teacher, then earn her master’s degree in the field of special education and earn her National Board certification as an exceptional needs specialist.

Her objectives also include extending her knowledge in adapted physical education and generalize her knowledge across environments such as her home school district and the summer camp, Stepping Stones, where she annually works and volunteers.

Amy has been a leader on campus with her involvement in the CEC student chapter including serving as treasurer. She also serves at the state level--last year as state Student CEC secretary, and she is currently the vice president. Amy has led the state student CEC’s silent auction for two years, and she has presented her student research at the state conference as well as national CEC conferences.

Amy has been involved in many extracurricular activities. A few of them include traveling to Guatemala to assist in planning interventions for children with disabilities, volunteer at the Morehead State University’s Adapted Physical Education Clinic, Kappa Delta Pi and Honors Program member. Amy’s list of activities is much more extensive—we don’t know how she finds the time to serve in so many capacities!

2013 Kayte M. Fearn CEC Ethnic Diversity Scholarship

LandaVialard_OlayaOlaya Landa-Vialard
Doctorate of Education Candidate, Special Education
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

CEC annually confers the Kayte M. Fearn CEC Ethnic Diversity Scholarship to a CEC student member from an ethnic background who is currently pursuing a degree in special education. This award is named honor of Dr. Kayte M. Fearn, who in her 67-year career in special education worked to enhance educational opportunities and education success for professionals and students from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

This year’s recipient, Olaya Landa-Vialard, is a doctoral student at Texas Tech University. She was selected as a fellow for the National Leadership Consortium for Sensory Disabilities which has allowed her to pursue her doctorate in special education.

Olaya’s two passions as an educator are bilingualism and working with students with visual impairments. Her appreciation for diversity has been honed by 17 years of experience as a practitioner including teacher of the visually impaired, bilingual special education teacher, educational diagnostician, in-home trainer, consultant and teacher educator. Her experience in working with families and students whose first language is not English has influenced her entire career.

Another area of interest for Olaya is advocacy and public policy for appropriate educational services for children with visual impairment and additional challenges.

Olaya currently serves as the co-chair of the CEC Division on Visual Impairments Diversity Committee, and she will be contributing an article on assessing bilingual students who have a visual impairment for the division’s upcoming special issue on diversity.

Olaya is committed to excellence. This commitment reaches far beyond Texas Tech. She is a highly sought after consultant throughout Texas by school districts, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and State Education Service Centers.