Awards and Accreditations

UD’s College of Education and Human Development is recognized nationally for its quality research and education.   Our School of Education Graduate Program is consistently ranked by US News & World Report as one of the top 50 education programs in America in both the “Best Graduate Education Schools” and Online Graduate Education categories.  

  • In 2018, the University of Delaware Social Studies Partnership received a Social Studies Programs of Excellence Certificate from the Middle States Council for the Social Studies. This interdisciplinary team includes CEHD’s Professional Development Center for Educators, The Democracy Project, Delaware Geographic Alliance, and the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, was recognized for their instrumental role developing curriculum for social studies educators.
  • Our Human Services program was reaccredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education in 2017. UD is the only Research 1 institution with an accredited HS major.
  • Our Mathematics Education Undergraduate Program for Elementary Teachers received the national 2013 Wisniewski Award, given by the Society of Professors of Education for demonstrating “singularly significant contributions to the theory and practice of teacher education.”
  • The Early Learning Center was recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) during their accreditation in 2011, with Commendations for 10 of their 12 measurements.
  • The Delaware Center for Teacher Education were reaccredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for teacher preparation and advance preparation levels, receiving a special congratulations from the Board who identified “no areas for improvement relative to any of the standards.

Alumni Awards

UD CEHD faculty pose with Dean Carol Vukelich

National Educational Administrator of the Year – Kevin Fitzgerald, EdD ’03, superintendent of Caesar Rodney School District was named National Educational Administrator of the Year in 2019 by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals.The NAEOP is composed of educational office professionals at both K-12 and post-secondary institutions of higher learning.

CEHD Alumni Awards – On June 7, 2019, CEHD recognized three alumni for their contributions to the fields of education and social services. Recipients were:

  • Shelby Dorr, B.S. ’15, M.Ed ’16 – Excellence in Education Award
  • Michael Hannon, B.S. ’98, M.Ed ’00 – New Graduate Alumni Award
  • Cary Riches, M.I. ’07, ED.d. ’16 – Leadership and Community Service Award

Outstanding Dissertation Award – Dandan Chen (MA, now a doctoral student in SOE) was presented the prestigious Outstanding Dissertation Award by AERA’s special interest group in School Community, Climate and Culture. Chen’s dissertation, “Optimizing the precision and efficiency of the Delaware School Climate Scale: An application of multivariate generalizability theory,” investigates the accuracy of “school climate” survey data, which assesses how students, parents and teachers perceive the school environment.

Kentucky Superintendent of the Year– Emmanuel Caulk, ETE ’96, M ’02, was named 2019 Kentucky’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year. Caulk has served as superintendent of KY’s Fayette County School District since 2015.

Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award – Laura Cutler, ECE ’03 and current PhD student, received the Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching Award from the University of Delaware. She is the sole instructor for a course in developmental disabilities.

National Educational Administrator of the Year – Kevin Fitzgerald, EdD ’03, superintendent of Caesar Rodney School District was named National Educational Administrator of the Year in 2019 by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals.

Success Academy’s Excellence in Education Awards – Cori Breindel (HS ’17), Alexis Holzmann (‘17), Carleigh Antico (ETE ’18), and Kelsey Shallow (ETE ’18) have been recognized by Success Academy, New York City’s largest and highest performing public charter school network, for their exceptional talent and commitment.

State Teachers of the Year – Three alumni and one graduate student from the University of Delaware’s College of Education and Human Development have been named as finalists for the 2020 State Teacher of the Year Award: Rebecca Vitelli (ETE ’14, MEd ’16) Colwyck Center, Colonial District, Brennan Clarke (current MA student) Shields Elementary, Cape Henlopen District, Stephen Landry (HS ’06) Appoquinimink High School, Appoquinimink District, Erica Richard (MEd ’17) East Dover Elementary, Capital District. On October 15, 2019, Rebecca Vitelli was named Teacher of the Year. She is Delaware’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year, a title she hopes will allow her to share her message about the importance of all children having access to quality early childhood education.
University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame – Casey (Howard) Shelor, ETE ’10, was inducted into the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame as one of the most prolific goal scorers in the history of UD field hockey. She is a fourth grade teacher at Nellie Stokes Elementary School in Camden, Delaware.
WNBA Most Valuable Player – Elena Delle Donne, HS ’13, was named the 2019 WNBA Most Valuable Player. She is the first player in WNBA history to earn the honor with two different teams as she was also selected as MVP in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky.

National Superintendent of the Year – Kevin Fitzgerald, EdD ’03, superintendent of Caesar Rodney School District was named National Superintendent of the Year in 2018 by the National Association of School Superintendents.

CEHD Alumni Awards – On June 1, CEHD recognized four alumni for their contributions to the fields of education and social services. Recipients were:

  • Corey Miklus – Leadership and Community Service Award
  • Dawn Alexander – Excellence in Education Award
  • Barbara Prillaman– Service to CEHD Award
  • Valerie Shinas – New Graduate Alumni Award

Outstanding Dissertation Award – Alison Hooper, HDFS M ’13, PhD ’17, was recognized by the Early Education and Child Development Executive Board and the SIG’s Dissertation Award Committee for her high quality dissertation research and writing in the field of early childhood.

Leader to Learn From – Emmanuel Caulk, M.I.,’02, superintendent of Fayette County Public School District in Kentucky, was selected by Education Week as a Leader to Learn From. Caulk has spearheaded the implementation of  a successful improvement plan,  focused heavily on fostering broad community support and addressing the needs of students who struggle the most.

  • CEHD Alumni Awards – On June 2, CEHD recognized four alumni for their contributions to the fields of education and social services. Recipients were:
    • Sally Gore, M.Ed. ’76 – Leadership and Community Service Award
    • Mark Holodick, Ed.D ’08 – Excellence in Education Award
    • Nick Baker, Ed.D. ’09 – Service to CEHD Award
    • Zoi Philippakos, Ph.D. ’12 – New Graduate Alumni Award
  • Outstanding Educator Award – Matt Schifano, ARTC, business teacher for Selbyville Middle School, was named 2017 Outstanding Educator by the National Association for Alternative Certification.
  • UD’s Interdisciplinary Research Prize was presented to Amanda Brooke Jennings, Ph.D. in Economics Education during the 2017 doctoral hooding ceremony.
  • All-Pro Teacher of the Year Award – Brooks Twilley, STEM teacher at Mount Pleasant High School was named the 2017 Teacher of the Year by the Philadelphia Eagles and Axalta Coatings Systems.
  • Mel Miller Outstanding Social Studies Leader Award – Nicholas Baker, Ed.D. ’09, supervisor of curriculum and instruction at the Colonial School District, was presented this award by the National Social Studies Supervisors Association.
  • National Distinguished Principal Award 2016- Jennifer Nauman, principal at Richard A. Shields Elementary School was selected as Delaware’s outstanding elementary school principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – the nation’s highest honor for math and science teachers was awarded to 3-time UD alumnus John Scali, an integrated science teacher at MOT Charter High School in Middletown, Delaware, and Kristin Gray, ETE ’96, a mathematics specialist at Richard A. Shields Elementary School in Lewes.
  • American Chemical Society’s Teacher of the Year (Delaware Award) 2016 – Nader Makarious, Ed.D., a chemistry teacher at Brandywine High School.
  • Delaware BioScience Association Educator of Year 2016 – Melanie Mundell, MI ’09, a biotechnology teacher at Newark Charter High School.
  • Bessie B. Collins Award 2016 – Christy Mannering, HS ’15, was recognized as a UD Woman of Promise, presented to female adult student who is continuing her education, has overcome difficulties, excelled in scholarship, and is giving back to her community.
  • Mel Miller Outstanding Social Studies Leader Award – Rebecca Reed, MA ’00, the social studies supervisor for Red Clay Consolidated School District received this award from the National Social Studies Supervisors Association.
  • Ryan Award – Lamont Browne, Ed.D, CEO Eastside Charter School was presented with this national award for exceptional leadership in closing the achievement gap in urban K-12 schools.
  • Grosvenor Teacher Fellow was bestowed upon Teagan Thomas, ETE ’13, by the National Geographic Society. The award allowed Thomas, a 6th grade science teacher at Las Americas ASPIRA Academy, to travel to the Arctic Sea to research wildlife and climate, develop activities for use in her classroom.
  • Delaware School Psychologist of the Year – Gabi Koury, M’12, a school psychologist in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, was recognized by the Delaware Association of School Psychologists for her commitment to student diversity, community collaboration, demonstrated leadership, and the development of her students’ academic and social skills.

Faculty & Staff Awards

UD Professor accepts and award

American Educational Research Association Fellows – Roberta Golinkoff, Jim Hiebert and Laura Desimone have been named 2019 AERA Fellows. This honor recognizes excellence in research as well as scholarship that constitutes and enriches education research as an interdisciplinary field.

Dean Family Endowed Professorship for Teacher Education – Nancy C. Jordan has become the first faculty member appointed to this endowed professorship, which was established through a charitable trust created for the purpose of attracting and retaining an outstanding educator and scholar.

Excellence in Teaching Award – William Lewis and Rob Palkovitz received this award from the University of Delaware which honors outstanding faculty members who demonstrate true excellence in teaching.

Faculty Excellence in Scholarly Community Engagement Award – Roberta Golinkoff received this award from the University of Delaware, which is given to a faculty member who has displayed excellence in mutually beneficial, scholarly engaged teaching, research or creative activities and/or service.

Mid-Career Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award – Elizabeth Farley Ripple received this award from the University of Delaware. This award highlights UD’s commitment to excellence in research, scholarship and creative endeavors.

Psychology and AIDS Distinguished Leadership Award – Valerie Earnshaw received this award from the American Psychological Association, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding effort and leadership in the conduct, dissemination and translation of high-quality research in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment/care and/or policy.

CEHD Dean’s Research Award –  Steve Amendum (SOE) and Mellissa Gordon (HDFS) received the CEHD Research Award, given to an assistant/associate professor with a strong program of research, received external funding, published in high-quality journals and/or published a book with a leading academic press.

Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award – Roberta Golinkoff, Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Chair, and her long-time collaborator Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek (Temple University), received this award during the 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference.

Linking Research to Practice Outstanding Publication Award – Amanda Jansen, professor in the University of Delaware School of Education, was recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for her article, “Rough Draft Talk in Mathematics Classrooms,” co-written with three Delaware teachers and published in the 2016-17 volume of Mathematics Teaching in Middle School.

UD’s Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising Award – Elizabeth Pemberton, professor in Education was selected to receive this award on May 7, 2018. Nominations are submitted by students, alumni, faculty, and staff to recognize dedication to our students’ success.

Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award – Sharon Walpole received this award at the 2018 International Literacy Association conference in Austin, TX. This international award honors an outstanding college or university teacher of reading methods or reading-related courses.

  • Technology in Reading Research Award– Rachel Karchmer-Klein, associate professor, School of Education, received the 2016 Technology in Reading Research Award from the International Literacy Association’s Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).
  • AAIDD Fellow – Nancy Weiss, director, National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, was named a fellow in 2016 by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).
  • Fulbright Scholar – Allison Karyn, associate director CRESP, has been selected as a 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board  to measure and address food insecurity in the Bahamas.
  • AERA Fellow – Jinfa Cai, professor of mathematical sciences with a joint appointment in the School of Education was named a 2016 fellow of the American Educational Research Association.
  • Early Career Achievement Award – Steven Amendum, DCTE Faculty Scholar, was recognized by the Literacy Research Association in 2015 for making significant contributions to literacy research and education.
  • James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award – Roberta Golinkoff, professor SOE (and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University) were presented this lifetime achievement award by the Association for Psychological Science in 2015.
  • Torch Award – Barbara Settles, HDFS professor, was recognized in 2015 for her decades-long effort to ensure women’s equality at UD.
  • NCFR Fellow – In 2014, the National Council on Family Relations conferred its prestigious fellow status on Bahira S. Trask, HDFS professor, associate chair and graduate coordinator.
  • Senior Scholar – James Hiebert, Robert J. Barkley Professor of Education, was presented the SIG-RME national scholar award in 2015 for significant contributions in mathematics education.
  • Dybwad Humanitarian Award – Nancy Weiss, director of UD’s  National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, was presented the Humanitarian Award by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) for significantly promoting human welfare and social reform in ways that positively affect the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Leadership Award – Steven Eidelman received the 2015 AAIDD leadership award for his work advancing the services used by people with disabilities.


Our programs are nationally accredited by:

  • American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • American Library Association/American Association of School Librarians (ALA/AASL)
  • Association for Education Communications and Technology (AECT)
  • Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE)
  • Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC)
  • International Reading Association (IRA)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
  • National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

The University of Delaware provides a list of all accreditations received by the university.