“Education Celebration” Honors Graduating Seniors, Alumni
On Friday, May 3, the St. John Fisher College Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education held an “Education Celebration” to recognize and celebrate the College’s support for education, educators, and community leadership. Graduating seniors, graduate candidates, and alumni were honored at the event.
Three new distinguished alumni awards were given to alumni who exemplify the School of Education’s highest values of diversity, achievement, compassion, knowledge, and service.
The Distinguished Teaching Award honors an alumnus or alumna who exemplifies the highest standards of teaching. This year’s recipient is Maria Katsetos ’09, ’11 (MS), a special education teacher at Victor Senior High School. Katsetos started her teaching career as a first grade teacher at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation preschool. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Adolescence Education, American Studies, and Special Education at Fisher, and returned to receive her master’s in Literacy while working in the Rochester City School District.
The Distinguished Educational Leadership Award honors an alumnus or alumna of the Educational Leadership Program who has a distinguished career in leading schools toward excellence. The recipient is Dr. Mathis Calvin III ’04, Superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind in Batavia. Before becoming Superintendent, Calvin served in a variety of capacities in general and special education, from teacher to administrator at the School for the Blind. He is also a minister, assistant youth pastor, and head of men’s ministries at a Pentecostal Church in Rochester. Calvin is a graduate of Fisher’s Educational Leadership Program, and earned his doctorate from the University of Rochester.
And the Arthur L. Walton, Jr. Award for Executive Leadership honors an alumnus or alumna of the Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership Program who has gained distinction in his/her career for extraordinarily effective leadership through applied scholarship in professions including health, criminal justice, education, government, and community service. This year, the award was presented to Dr. Matthew Augustine ’10, President and CEO of Biodrill Technical Solutions. Prior to Biodrill, Augustine was the CEO of Eltrex Industries, and also held management positions at Adage and Polaroid Corporation. In addition, he was a faculty member at the Rochester Institute of Technology and in the College’s Executive Leadership Doctoral Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Education from Fisher. Augustine is a member of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame and has received the Annual Rochester Rotary Award. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Black Heritage Pioneer Award. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Augustine served for one year in Vietnam and was awarded the Joint Services Commendation Medal.
Eight members of the Class of 2013 were also honored with awards.
The Teacher as Researcher Award is given to a candidate who conducted an exceptional action research project that addressed a significant issue in literacy. Timothy Coon and Taylor Giarizzo, Literacy Education majors, received the award.
The Outstanding Childhood Education Student Teacher Award is given to a candidate who demonstrated that he/she will lead a distinguished career and be a leader in a diverse, rapidly changing, and increasingly technological society through his/her coursework and fieldwork. The recipient also utilized exemplary knowledge, skills, and dispositions to have a great impact on student learning during student teaching. This year’s recipient was Jennifer Popp, a Childhood Special Education major.
The Excellence in Preparation to Teach English Award honors a candidate for his/her outstanding coursework, capstone project, and student teaching in English. Katie Ganter, an Adolescent Education major, received the award.
The Excellence in Preparation to Teach Social Studies Award is given to a candidate who has displayed outstanding coursework, capstone project, and student teaching in social studies. Patrick Palmisano, an Adolescent Education major, received the honor.
The Excellence in Capstone Research Award is given to a candidate who has written a high quality literature review, developed a creative and/or innovative action research project, and completed action research that will help expand the field of special education. The 2013 recipient was Courtney Wheater, a Special Education major.
The Dr. Ronald Edmonds Award is given to a graduating candidate who has demonstrated significant progress in meeting the goals and standards of the Master of Science in Educational Leadership program, and who exemplifies the characteristics of leaders in effective schools. Joseph Koehler from the Educational Leadership program received this year’s award.
The last award presented was the Distinguished Leadership Award, which recognizes candidates who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to class discussions and group projects, and exemplify the attributes and values of effective leadership. The award was given to Sarah Callahan from the Educational Leadership Program.
Dr. Mathis Calvin III '04.
From L to R: Dr. Matthew Augustine ’10; Maria Katsetos ’09, ’11 (MS); Dr. Mathis Calvin III '04; and Dr. Michael Wischnowski, Dean, School of Education.