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Alumni Society Awards

a list of Alumni awards granted by the Penn State College of Education Alumni Society

The College of Education Alumni Society supports awards in five categories. These are presented each year to graduates and student teachers who have distinguished themselves in their profession. Please scroll down to view a list of awards and criteria.

To submit a nomination:

Alumni Award Nomination Form

Send completed nominations to:

Alumni Society Awards Program
247 Chambers Building
University Park, PA 16802

Nominations are accepted throughout the year. Award recipients are chosen each spring.
The deadline for the 2021 Awards is 
January 31, 2021
Nominations received after the deadline will be considered for the next year.

General Guidelines for all Awards

Complete nominations shall consist of:

  • Completed Alumni Award Nomination Form
  • Resume or Vita
  • Letters of Support

1 from Nominator
2 additional letters of support


Nominations remain active for two selection periods.
Selections are made by Alumni Society committees.
Honorees are announced in the spring.
Honorees are invited to a Recognition Dinner during the fall semester.

    For more information about the awards program, please contact the office of Alumni and Development at 814-863-2216.

    Congratulations to our 2019 College of Education Alumni Society Board award winners. Honored recently were, back row, from left: Megan Johnston, outstanding student teaching; Mark DiRocco, leadership and service; John C. Foster, alumni excellence; Caleb Gildea, outstanding new graduate; Blake Lyter, outstanding student teaching. Front row, from left: Stacey Miller, outstanding teaching; Dorothy J. Krecker Yukish, service to Penn State; Dean Kim Lawless; Allyson McCready, outstanding student teaching; and Andrew Francis Conyers, outstanding student teaching.

    2019 College of Education Alumni Society Award recipients
    Front L-R: Stacey Miller, Dorothy Yukish, Kimberly Lawless, Allyson McCready, and Andrew Conyers
    Back L-R: Megan Johnston, Mark D. DiRocco, John C. Foster, Caleb Gildea, and Blake Lyter.

    Alumni Excellence

    John C. Foster '76 B.S., '82 M.Ed., '97 Ph.D. Workforce Education
    President and CEO
    NOCTI and NOCTI Business Solutions
    Carlisle, PA

    Service to Penn State

    Dorothy Yukish '71 B.A. EK ED; '85 M.Ed. C&I
    Volunteer and Retired Teacher & Instructional Support Coordinator
    Connellsville Area Schools (Connellsville, PA)
    Boalsburg, PA

    Outstanding Teaching

    Stacey Miller '02 B.S. EK ED
    Fourth Grade Mathematics & Science Teacher
    Pleasant Gap Elementary
    Pleasant Gap, PA

    Leadership & Service

    Mark D. DiRocco '97 Ph.D. INSYS
    Executive Director
    PA Association of School Administrators
    Harrisburg, PA

    Outstanding New Graduate

    Caleb Gildea '16 B.S. Education
    Third Grade Teacher
    Fairfax County Public Schools
    Annandale, VA

    Outstanding Student Teaching

    Andrew Conyers '18 B.S. C&I
    Teacher, AP American & Standard American Government
    Woodlawn High School
    Baltimore County, MD

    Blake Lyter '19 B.S. MLE
    8th and 9th Grade Math Teacher
    Mifflin County Junior/Senior High School
    Lewistown, PA

    Megan Johnston '19 B.S. EECE
    Graduate Student, Penn State Master's of SPLED

    Allyson McCready '19 B.S. EECE
    4th Grade Teacher
    Weyanoke Elementary-Fairfax Country Public Schools
    Alexandria, VA

    Description and Award Criteria

    Alumni Excellence Award (formerly the Excellence in Education Award-revised 2014)

    The Alumni Excellence Award is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni of the College of Education. It is awarded to recognize career-long, sustained excellence of contribution and achievement in the nominee's chosen profession.

    Specific criteria:

    1. Nominees will be evaluated for significant contributions to their chosen profession (in or out of the field of education) over the span of their career, for a period of 15 years or more;

    2. The nomination should include clear, compelling, and documented evidence of excellence through contributions to the nominees chosen field as exemplified in leadership, innovation, commitment, and/or service;

    3. Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).

    View previous Alumni Excellence and Excellence in Education Award recipients

    Outstanding Teaching Award

    This Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes an exemplary individual in a full-time teaching capacity in the education profession. Selection is made on the basis of overall excellence in teaching methodologies, knowledge of the subject matter and the ability to inspire students.

    Specific criteria:

    1. Nominee must be employed full-time in the teaching profession (traditional or non-traditional setting);

    2. Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).

    View previous Outstanding Teaching Award recipients

    Leadership & Service Award

    The Leadership and Service Award recognizes those alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession, in or out of the field of education. Selection is made on the basis of leadership and service within a career, a community or to society in general.

    Specific criteria:

    1. Achievement in a chosen field, in a community, or in society;

    2. Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).

    View previous Leadership and Service Award recipients

    Outstanding New Graduate Award

    The Outstanding New Graduate Award recognizes recent graduates who have distinguished themselves in their new careers. Selection is made on the basis of the individual's advancement and excellence in a new job, in or out of the field of education.

    Specific criteria:

    1. Outstanding contributions to and achievements in a new job;

    2. Nominees must be graduates from any program and of any degree level within the College of Education within five years of the date of nomination.

    View previous Outstanding New Graduate Award honorees

    Service to Penn State Award

    The Service to Penn State Award (new in 2014), recognizes those alumni and friends who have made significant contributions of time and talent to the College and/or the University.

    Specific Criteria:

    1. Nominee will be evaluated on the basis of demonstrated commitment and dedication to enhancing the objectives of the College and/or the University.

    View previous Service to Penn State Award honorees

    Outstanding Student Teaching Award

    This award recognizes up to four outstanding student teachers every academic year. (Note: Nominations for this award are solicited through the College of Education’s Office of Curriculum & Instruction Field Experiences.)

    View previous Outstanding Student Teacher Award recipients