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The University of Delaware College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) showcased student research and celebrated the achievements of undergraduate and graduate students during special events on May 2 at the Embassy Suites in Newark.

The day began with the 29th annual Marion H. Steele Symposium, during which students presented research papers and posters highlighting their knowledge about topics such as developmental outcomes for homeless children, encouraging student teachers to make mathematics tasks more culturally relevant, and the impact of positive behavior support in schools.

“The student presentations at the Steele Symposium were impressive and showcased the wide range of scholarly interests across our programs,” said CEHD Dean Lynn Okagaki. “Our students truly reflect our vision — working to solve the problems that face our schools and the challenges encountered by children, adults and families, and the communities in which they live.”

Due to the generosity of the Steele family, CEHD has been able to offer this symposium, allowing students to demonstrate research and presentation skills. Modeled after a professional research conference, more than 50 students presented their papers and posters.

Faculty, students and benefactors had an opportunity to hear about the students’ work, share feedback and generate discussion about the work presented.

The Steele Symposium concluded with a luncheon and keynote address from Dale Farran, professor of education and psychology and senior associate director of the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University.

Celebration of Excellence

That afternoon, CEHD hosted its Celebration of Excellence, during which the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and the School of Education each held ceremonies and presented awards. About 200 family, friends and faculty were in attendance as the students were recognized for their academic excellence, research, leadership and outstanding potential as professionals in the fields of education and human services.

Award winners were able to meet with benefactors and people for whom awards are named. Among those were associate professor emerita Mary Jane Strattner-Gregory, associate professor Julie Mapes Wilgen, Lt. Col. Michael C. Wilgen, and Mark and Mary Jo Mankin, all of whom were delighted to attend and meet the students receiving the awards.

Dara Lipschutz, recipient of the Victor Mankin Award, said, “I was honored to be recognized for my achievements in the school psychology program amongst my colleagues, professors, and family. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the Mankin family. It is truly incredible that Mark and Mary Jo Mankin support students in my program every year while honoring his father’s work as a former professor at UD.”

Complete lists of awards given for the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and the School of Education are available.

Following the Celebration of Excellence, attendees were welcomed to a reception featuring UDairy Creamery ice cream scooped by faculty members and staff.

Photos by Duane Perry

This article appeared on UDaily on 5/20/2014.