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.
John Campbell (PhD ’07, MS ’91, BA ’89)
John Campbell is vice provost at West Virginia University, where he is responsible for operational units including enrollment management, financial aid, information technology, online learning and student accounts. He began his career at West Virginia University as the associate provost and chief information officer—assuming system-wide leadership of the growing technology infrastructure. He provided oversight to a system-wide restructuring of the central information technology resources used by the nearly 10,000 faculty and staff on campus.
Before coming to Morgantown, Campbell was the associate vice president for academic technologies at Purdue University. His research focused on the use of academic analytics to identify students at risk of failing their courses. His group was awarded the 2016 Technology Pioneer Award from the Education Advisory Board. He founded the Signals project, which gives instructors real-time feedback and lets them intervene with struggling students as early as the second week of class. Signals was featured on NBC Nightly News and in the Chronicle of Higher Education and won numerous awards.
Patricia Albjerg Graham (MS ’57, BS ’55)
Patricia Albjerg Graham, Charles Warren Professor of the History of Education emerita at Harvard University, is a leading historian of American education. Her career in teaching, administration and scholarship spans more than four decades.
She began her career as a classroom teacher and high-school guidance counselor. She has held positions as a lecturer and professor at Indiana University, a visiting professor at Northern Michigan University and a professor of history and education at Columbia University. In 1977 she was appointed by the President of the United States as the director of the National Institute of Education, then the federal government’s educational research agency, where she served until 1979. She made history at Harvard by being appointed as the first female to be named dean of a whole faculty—the Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty. Additionally, she was president of the Spencer Foundation, chair of the board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and vice-chair of the board of Central European University.
Sheila Klinker (MS ’70, BS ’61)
Sheila Klinker is an Indiana state representative for Indiana House District 27 where she has served since 1982. Prior to being elected, she was an elementary school teacher in the Lafayette School Corporation for more than two decades and was the outreach liaison for the Purdue University’s College of Education.
She has worked tirelessly towards advocating for the rights of children and families, as well as individuals who are mentally ill or developmentally challenged. As a leader on the House Ways and Means Committee, Klinker is a tenacious advocate for funding home and community based services for people with mental illness. She has pushed legislation to all levels of education, prenatal substance abuse initiatives, First Steps, guardianship issues, veterans’ issues, protection and advocacy issues, as well as most recently authoring legislation to create Lifelong Learning Accounts (LiLAs) for low-income working adults pursuing education or job training.
Sarah Powley (MS ’85)
Sarah Powley serves as an instructional coach for secondary teachers of all disciplines in the Tippecanoe School Corporation in Lafayette, Indiana. For 27 years prior to that, she was an English teacher at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette and Chair for High School Language Arts in the Tippecanoe School Corporation. She has also taught English in middle schools in Wisconsin and Connecticut and in the Tippecanoe School Corporation.
Powley is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, among them the Milken National Educator Award, the US/NIS Teaching Excellence Award, two Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowships, the Purdue Education Department’s Crystal Apple Award, and the Irena Sendler Award for Holocaust Education. Recently, she was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the YWCA of Lafayette. Mrs. Powley maintains a blog, In an American Classroom, in which she reflects on the experiences of educators and describes best practices in secondary classrooms. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National Education Association and its local and state affiliates.
Gilman Whiting (PhD ’04)
Gilman Whiting is an associate professor and director of graduate studies for African American and diaspora studies, He directs the Scholar Identity Institute and the Black male initiative at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. His areas of research include educational disparity; special and gifted education; sociology of race, sports, and American culture; research methods, and fatherhood initiatives.
Whiting has authored more than 60 scholarly articles in journals such as the Roeper Review, Journal for Secondary Gifted Education, and The International Journal of Sport and Society as well as numerous book chapters. In 2006 Whiting re-conceptualized his dissertation on young Black and Brown fathers and created the Scholar Identity Model™, a psycho-social model to assist whole communities to rethink ways to combat academic apathy. He is the founding chair of the Achievement Gap Institute at the George W. Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt. Additionally, Whiting consults with dozens of school districts and programs nationally and internationally.