School of Education recognizes outstanding faculty and staff

School of Education faculty members Katie Baker, Mark Enfield, Heidi Hollingsworth and Mary Knight-McKenna were recognized on May 21 for faculty excellence at the annual school awards banquet. In addition, staff member Jennifer Fish was recognized for her promotion to associate director of Teaching Fellows. 

On May 21, the School of Education hosted its annual faculty awards banquet.

To start the ceremony, Ann Bullock, dean and professor of education, and Jeff Carpenter, associate professor of education and director of Teaching Fellows, recognized Jennifer Fish for her recent promotion to associate director of Teaching Fellows.

Fish recently celebrated ten years of service at Elon University. She began as the administrative assistant for the Teaching Fellows program and soon after she transitioned into the role of assistant director of the Teaching Fellows program.

In his comments, Carpenter stated, "we knew early on that Jennifer was a strong employee in the School of Education who was interested in advancing the School of Education, not just the Teaching Fellows program." This stood out to both Carpenter and Glenda Crawford, adjunct professor emerita of education and former director of Teaching Fellows, and they co-nominated her for the Phoenix Rising Award. Fish was the first staff member to receive the Phoenix Rising Award which is presented annually to one newer member of the Elon staff who has consistently displayed excellence in pursuit of the Elon Commitment with an engaged mind, inspired leadership and global citizenship. Congratulations on this well-deserved promotion.

Following, School of Education faculty members Katie Baker, Mark Enfield, Heidi Hollingsworth and Mary Knight-McKenna were recognized for faculty excellence in the School of Education.

Katie Baker
Assistant Professor of Education

Katie Baker, assistant professor of education
This inaugural award is presented by the Dean of the School of Education to a young faculty member who demonstrates outstanding scholarship at the beginning of their career at Elon University.

Since joining the faculty in 2017, Katie Baker, assistant professor of education, has received consistently outstanding teaching evaluations. In addition, in just two short years, she has served on five departmental committees and one university committee. Baker already has several publications in press and several publications underway. Most recently, she was accepted as a STaR (Service, Teaching, and Research) Fellow for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE). This mentoring program supports the next generation of mathematics teacher educators in higher education through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

In her closing remarks, Bullock stated, "Katie deserves this award. She has come out of the gate strong!"


Mark Enfield
Associate Professor of Education

Mark Enfield, associate professor of education
Consistent with Elon’s call for a rich intellectual community characterized by active student engagement, the Faculty Excellence award seeks to recognize contributions of a faculty member of distinction in one or more areas of teaching, scholarship, mentoring and service-leadership.

In her nomination, Katie Baker, assistant professor of education states, "Mark is a servant leader, both in the School of Education and across campus. His leadership style is often exhibited through his willingness to serve across the university and on behalf of the common good of the School of Education."

Enfield has served on multiple committees both at the university and school level. Just in the past three years, he has represented the School of Education on Academic Council, the Committee on Committees, Promotion & Tenure, the Global Education Curriculum Committee, Teaching Fellows Advisory committee, CRC advisory committee, and as an Adventures in Leadership faculty mentor. This year, he stepped into the Non-Licensure Coordinator role. In this role, Enfield facilitated non-licensure meetings to support the advancement of our Physical Education and Health, Physical Education, Wellness and Health Education, and Adventure Based Learning courses regarding recruitment, curriculum, and equipment needs. He was also responsible for overseeing the creation of the new major, Adventure, Health, and Physical Education’s assessment plan of student learning. One colleague noted that “Mark has been an absolute asset in this role.”

In her nomination, Erin Hone, lecturer in education, stated, "Mark is an interdisciplinary teacher whose influence exists within the School of Education, across the university, and beyond the education profession.

One of Enfield's student teachers from this year stated, "Dr. Enfield always provided feedback after observations that was supportive and helpful. He would constantly offer different resources I could use for my lessons. For example, when planning a lesson on force and motion, he offered to bring me a case full of iPads and motion sensors that determined the amount of force and velocity of different objects. He was very willing to provide references and was very helpful throughout the entire student teaching experience."

Enfield also shapes students across campus through his instruction in COR 110, the upper core he created: Designing Learning, and his winter term course in Costa Rica. A student who took Enfield's section of COR 110 this past fall stated, "Throughout the course, he taught me about the major disparities and discrepancies that still occur within our society today, by utilizing books, movies, and in-class discussions. From him, I learned that as young people, we have the power to influence what goes on in our world, and that we have the power to truly make a difference. I now see things differently, and realize how crucial it is to be educated on the inequalities that our society still faces, as well to be educated on how we can fix these issues. I have Dr. Enfield to thank for that. Experiencing his passion for education and knowledge, I am even more convinced that I want to become a teacher someday and impact the lives of my students, the way he did for his."

Baker also noted in her nomination that Enfield's efforts to collaborate within the School of Education have resulted in successful outcomes for all parties involved.

Baker stated, "Mark was a critical voice in the Elementary Education program revisions. He provided the historical context of our program and often helped us to stay focused on our original goals of providing flexibility for our students. Mark has collaborated with several students in the SOE over the past few years, resulting in a book publication with a student named as second author and a presentation with several students at the NC Association for Colleges of Teacher Education."

In addition, a student who presented with Enfield, stated, "Being a pre-service teacher, it was an incredible opportunity that Professor Enfield wanted to include us in presenting at the conference. Professor Enfield allowed us to take over the presentation and share our experiences from the STEM enrichment program. I am eternally grateful to him and the experiences that he has provided us, to prepare for our own classrooms in the future.”

In her closing remarks, Hone stated, "Because of Mark’s contributions to the department, fostering a community of researchers, serving as a leader in various capacities, and his impactful teaching, he is quite deserving of this faculty excellence award. Mark, you are an advocate for the School of Education and we appreciate all that you do!"

Heidi Hollingsworth, Associate Professor of Education
Mary Knight-McKenna, Associate Professor of Education and Director of M.Ed. Program

Heidi Hollingsworth, associate professor of education
Consistent with Elon’s call for a rich intellectual community characterized by active student engagement, the Faculty Excellence award seeks to recognize contributions of a faculty member of distinction in one or more areas of teaching, scholarship, mentoring and service-leadership.

In his nomination, Jeff Carpenter, associate professor of education and director of teaching fellows program, stated, "I am a believer that research is a team sport. Although those outside academia may imagine professors toiling in isolation, research is quite often the result of collaborative endeavors. I’m a believer that collaboration almost always improves the research process and its outcomes. Research questions are sharpened through dialogue and debate. Co-authors bring to bear their knowledge of different bodies of literature and theoretical lenses. Data analysis and discussion benefit from multiple points of view. So because of my belief in research being a team sport, I nominated two faculty members with an extensive history of collaboration for this year’s faculty excellence award."

Mary Knight-McKenna, associate professor education and director of M.Ed.
Hollingsworth and Knight-McKenna's co-authored works have been published in important journals in their field and they have been selected to present their research at competitive national and international conferences. They have an extended history of collaborative research endeavors that have led to at least four recent peer-reviewed publications and thirteen high-quality peer-reviewed presentations. This duo has even included undergraduate researchers in their collaboration. Hot off the presses, last week, their most recent peer-reviewed journal article, included an alum and current classroom teacher as the third author.

In addition to serving as models for collaborative research, their research has been integrated with teaching and service endeavors that have provided direct and tangible benefits to the local community and to Elon students through The Little Village.