School of Education recognizes outstanding students, faculty

The school hosted its annual awards ceremony on May 5 to recognize high achievement from students and faculty during the past academic year.  

Elon University’s School of Education recognized the achievements of both students and faculty during the past year at the school’s annual awards ceremony on May 5 in Lakeside Hall. At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, Deborah Long, interim dean of the school of education and professor of education, stated “the future of children are in great hands.” 


Eight outstanding seniors were honored for their exceptional contributions in and out of the classroom with the Arnold Strauch Award. Those honored meet the highest academic standards, demonstrate superior student teaching performance and high levels of professionalism, and have great potential for contributing to the field of education.

Anna Brown ’16, Elementary Education

“Caring, supportive teaching, focused on children learning is the kind of teaching we need in schools today; and Anna is a teacher who does that,” said Mark Enfield, associate professor of education, during his award presentation.

Morgan Goldstein ’16, Special and Elementary Education

During his award presentation, Stephen Byrd, associate professor of education stated that “Morgan has a great passion for teaching kids with special needs. She is knowledgeable about research based strategies and curricula whether it is in reading, mathematics or writing. But more than that, she has the desire to set the standards high for her students. Morgan will be going to Toledo Spain as a Fulbright to teach English. What a great honor. I truly believe that when she returns, she will bring those rich experiences into her special education classroom.”

Anna Lewis ’16, Secondary Science Education

“Anna will be an amazing teacher, touching the lives of students and leaving a legacy of love for science in every class she teaches,” said Terry Tomasek, associate professor of education and director of Elon academy, during her award presentation.

Amy Livingston ’16, Early Childhood Education

During her award presentation, Mary Knight McKenna, associate professor of education, described Amy as a “hard working, dedicated student and student teacher.” Professor Knight-McKenna shared the details from one of Amy’s lessons and how “she bounded her students’ sensory experiences with just exactly the right amount of teacher structure.” In her closing remarks, Professor Knight-McKenna said “Amy has dedicated herself to both moving forward with purpose and taking delight in children’s learning. Please join me in congratulating this highly deserving student teacher with this wonderful honor.”

Jenna Mason ’16, Middle Grades and Special Education

Ren Bryan, assistant professor of education and computing sciences, said “Jenna has worked to engage her students in creative ways and has tried to help them be successful. Jenna has sought opportunities to learn about all aspects of the school environment and will make an excellent teacher.”

ALLISON ROTEMAN ’16, Elementary Education

During her award presentation, Erin Hone, lecturer in education, said, “The term ‘Ms. Roteman’ has become an adjective among Allie’s peers and even teachers that she works with.  You hear others say they want to be described as ‘Ms. Roteman.’  Anyone who has the privilege of knowing Allie recognizes her strong work ethic, creativity, humility, and passion for this profession.  I am just ecstatic to know future students will have the opportunity to have Ms. Roteman as their teacher!”

Kelly Schimmel ’16, Math Education

During her award presentation, Jan Mays, senior lecturer in mathematics, said, “Kelly has the self-confidence to push her skills as a teacher. Her variety of approaches helped keep her students engaged and actively learning in the classroom. She is organized, prepared, creative, and most of all – effective in the classroom.”

Jennifer Taylor ’16, Music Education

“Jennifer’s enthusiasm and dedication to the student teaching experience never diminished, which contributed to sustained growth over the entire course of the semester. The quality of her reflections on her overall student teaching experiences and the pedagogical decisions reveal that she has the potential to make substantial contributions to the field of education,” stated by Gerald Knight, associate professor of music, during his award presentation.


Following the student awards, four faculty members in the School of Education were recognized for their outstanding work this academic year. Professor Marna Winter presented Heidi Hollingsworth, assistant professor of education, with the Excellence in Teaching award. Resa Walch, senior lecturer in health and human performance, and Barbara Taylor, associate professor of computing sciences, were presented with Excellence in Service awards. Mary Knight-McKenna, associate professor of education, presented Cherrel Miller Dyce, assistant professor of education, with the Excellence in Scholarship award.


Consistent with Elon’s philosophy of outstanding teaching, this award seeks to recognize a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding teaching in the previous three years. The selection will be made using the criteria for teaching performance evaluation. Included in these criteria will be evidence of excellence in faculty advising as a critical component of teaching. Evidence of engaging students in active learning and applications of theory to practice in substantive and meaningful ways will be important evidence in selection. Mentoring students in undergraduate research is also evidence of engaging students in active learning.

​Heidi Hollingsworth – Excellence in Teaching Recipient

In her award presentation, Marna Winter, lecturer in education and director of education outreach, described Professor Hollingsworth as a “superior master teacher who continuously strives for excellence.” Professor Winter described her teaching as “powerful” and stated that her courses are “well organized, well-articulated, rigorous and challenging.” Professor Winter shared the following remarks from a colleague to demonstrate Professor Hollingsworth’s excellence in teaching:

“Many of the students in Heidi’s early childhood math/science course come with a negative view of math and science based on their previous educational experiences. By the end of the course, their views have been transformed. One student said, “I do not typically enjoy math… and this {course} has changed my opinion about having to teach it to young children. Also, at the beginning of the semester I was thinking about leaving school, and this class. Due to the professor and other class members, I decided to stay.”

To conclude her award presentation, Professor Winter shared the following remarks of a graduating senior:

“Dr. Hollingsworth encouraged me to be passionate about early childhood education, specifically within the local community. Her dedication to the Little Village motivated me to push through each late Tuesday evening that we spent with students. Dr. Hollingsworth redefined the importance of education in my life, and through her hard work, she has helped me find my passion for working with English as a second language students. Thank you Dr. Hollingsworth for everything you have done for me during these last four years.”


The Excellence in Service Award is designed to recognize the faculty member who has served to advance the School of Education, Elon University, and the teaching profession. Service on committees, recruitment activities, and other tasks that better the institution are to be considered in the service award. Recipients of the service award have provided leadership and promoted collegiality within the School of Education. This award is intended primarily to recognize faculty whose service is internal to the institution.

Resa Walch – Excellence in Service Recipient

During her award presentation, Amanda Tapler, chair and senior lecturer in health and human performance, highlighted the strong leadership and outstanding accomplishments of Resa Walch, senior lecturer in health and human performance. During her tenure, Professor Walch has served as the chair of the department of health and human performance. Under her leadership, the department developed new, innovative minors; she advocated for departmental faculty members and the unique contributions each one makes to the Elon community; she created a stronger integration of her department within the School of Education and empowered faculty to work toward meeting their professional goals. Professor Walch has served as a Faculty Fellow for over ten years and co-chaired the university committee on alcohol and other drugs. She has pioneered the student health 101 initiative, Elon’s first social-media based approach delivering health and wellness information specifically geared toward college students. Professor Walch also serves on the Presidential Task Force on Social Spaces and Engaged Learning, serves on COR council, the alliance for a healthy Elon, co-leads the Faculty Learning Community on Contemplative Pedagogy and co-created the Live Well/Teach Well program. To conclude her presentation, Professor Tapler stated, “Resa has continuously served both proactively and progressively to advance many aspects of Elon University, tirelessly going above and beyond, embracing the vision of an academic community that transform mind, body and spirit.”

Barbara Taylor – Excellence in Service Recipient

In her award presentation, Mary Knight-McKenna, associate professor of education, described Barbara Taylor, associate professor of computing sciences, as “always willing to help faculty in any way she could to increase our effectiveness for using technology in our teaching.” During her thirty-seven years at Elon, Professor Taylor has served as the Director of Academic Computing from 1983-1988 which led to significant expansion in the number of personal computers on campus. Professor Taylor has taught for the Department of Computing Sciences since 1989 and in recent years her teaching has been focused on instructional technology courses for students in the teacher education program. Beyond her teaching, she has assisted faculty with integrating technology into their courses, offering workshops for student teachers, and has collected and analyzed assessment data. Professor Taylor has served on countless elected and appointed committees and task forces, including two terms on Academic Council. Most recently, she has served on the School of Education’s Scholarship Committee, the Master of Education Task Force, and was a valuable member on Team NCATE. Professor Knight-McKenna concluded with this statement – “the impact of Barbara’s important work continues to this day, and regardless of the year inscribed on the plaque, this award is truly a lifetime achievement award.”


The Excellence in Scholarship Award is designed to recognize the faculty member who exemplifies the Elon University teacher-scholar.  Scholarship that advances the knowledge of one’s discipline and supports one’s teaching is the hallmark of the Elon Teacher-Scholar.  Such scholarship is recognized by one’s peers through peer review.  Evidence of scholarship may be demonstrated by publications, conference presentations, and other appropriate venues. Collaborative efforts with colleagues and with students are valued aspects of scholarly endeavors.  The Excellence in Scholarship Award is based on the previous year’s work.

Cherrel Miller Dyce – Excellence in Scholarship Recipient

In her award presentation, Mary Knight-McKenna, associate professor of education, described Cherrel Miller Dyce, assistant professor of education, as “making a noteworthy difference with both the productivity and substance of her work.” Professor Knight-McKenna highlighted the significant contributions Professor Dyce is making to the field of education including the topics of diversity education, college access and academic success for African-American males, parental engagement, and the experiences of African-American women earning graduate degrees. She states, “Professor Dyce focuses on individuals and groups who are grappling with the harsh realities of systemic racism in education – and she is relentless in doing so. Her body of scholarship is an effort, in conjunction with others, to realize justice and equity for those who have been denied.” Professor Dyce has conducted 11 national/international presentations, and 11 regional/local presentation in just four short years. Professor Knight-McKenna concluded her award presentation by stating that “her work not only shines a light on injustices, she also highlights programs that have had success in supporting African-American males’ education,” and her work “informs us, guides, and inspires us.”