Distinguished Alumni Awards

The College of Education presents Distinguished Education Alumni Awards to recognize notable professional achievements of college alumni. The honorees are selected by the college leadership and are recognized biennially.

The Distinguished Education Alumni Award (DEAA) is the highest recognition for an alumnus of the College of Education and recognizes notable career and life achievements of our alumni.  Awarded biennially, the next awards will be presented in the fall of 2021. 

Do you know of a notable College of Education alumnus? Nominate them by November 30, 2020. College leadership will review the nominations and select our 2021 honorees.

The award is not meant to be restrictive in its criteria, but rather inclusive of all of the various life paths our alumni may take.  

Do you want to know who’s been honored in the past? See the full list of prior recipients below.

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2019 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)

Pamela ClinkenbeardPamela R. Clinkenbeard (PhD ’84, MS ’80) Pamela R. Clinkenbeard is a professor of educational foundations and the co-director of Challenging Advanced Learners programs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she teaches courses in educational psychology, educational research and the psychology and education of gifted and talented students. In addition to her degrees from Purdue University, she also holds a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University. Her research interests include the development of student motivation, psychology and education of gifted students, neuroscience of early childhood giftedness and policy research on diversity and economics in gifted education. She is also a member of our Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute advisory board.

James McDonaldJames T. McDonald, III (PhD ’02) James McDonald III, a former elementary and middle school teacher, is a professor of science education and director of the Central Michigan GEMS Education Center at Central Michigan University (CMU). In addition to his Purdue degree, he also holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, California State University-East Bay and Saint Olaf College. He has been honored with the Michigan Science Teachers Association College Science Teacher of the Year and as one of the Top 25 Education Professors in Michigan, both in 2013, and the Distinguished Faculty Service Award from CMU in 2018. McDonald is the former chair of the CMU Academic Senate, former president-elect for the Council for Elementary Science International and past president for the Michigan Science Education Leadership Association. He’s currently the Michigan representative for the NASA Solar System Ambassador, NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory and a member of our Dean’s Advocacy Council.

Martha NyikosMartha Nyikos (PhD ’87) Martha Nyikos is an associate professor of literacy, culture and language education and director of world languages and second language education programs at Indiana University. She has been the principal investigator on multiple STARTALK grants from the National Security Agency in addition to numerous other cross-disciplinary and dual language research grants. Nyikos’ teaching excellence has been twice recognized with the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award and was a nominee once again in 2018. She regularly provides professional development workshops on dual language teaching and issues in language acquisition in the U.S. and abroad.

2017 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)

2015 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)

2013 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)

2011 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)

2009 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)

2007 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)

2006 – 1991 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (show/hide)