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The Teachers College Dean's Office

May 5, 2017

The Teachers College Honors Students, Retiring Faculty and Staff at End-of-Year Banquet

Eighty Emporia State University students from The Teachers College and seven retiring faculty and staff members received special recognition at The Teachers College 33rd Annual Honors Banquet held the evening of May 5. Twenty-nine received outstanding student awards and 56 students were honored for achievement of a 3.8 grade point average or higher.

Undergraduate and graduate students were honored for excellence in their respective departments. Nine students received outstanding undergraduate student awards and 17 students received outstanding graduate student awards.

The seven faculty and staff members from The Teachers College included individuals who retired in this academic year. In addition, as students studying to become teachers through Emporia State take courses to teach in specific content areas (math, science, reading, etc), special recognition was given to a retiring science professor.

Photos are available from here.

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The students honored included:



Ali Lee
Caldwell, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Athletic Training

Ali Lee is a dedicated student who always completed every task or assignment to the best of her ability, regardless of what else may have been on her plate. She maintained a high level of academic success while performing her required clinical experiences. Ali successfully took the Board of Certification Examination for Athletic Training in April and after graduation, she plans to continue her education by entering a physician assistant program.


Sarah Jost
Olathe, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Elementary Teacher Education

Sarah Jost has excelled in her coursework, producing top quality work in her assignments. During her internship, her professional behavior has been exemplary and she set high standards for herself in both work ethic and professional relations. Sarah added TESOL certification to her degree and has already demonstrated an ability to teach high needs students. Sarah has accepted a position teaching at Washington Elementary in Olathe, KS.


Emily Redeker
Olpe, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Health Education

Emily Redeker has demonstrated both outstanding academic achievement and an impressive work ethic, showing professionalism and integrity far beyond her years. Emmy is organized, prepared and creative in her teaching and shows genuine charisma and empathy for her students, peers and colleagues. Her enthusiasm for health education has led her to accept a graduate assistantship at ESU while she pursues a master’s degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

not in attendance

Taylor Heins
Americus, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Health Promotion

Taylor Heins is an extremely bright young woman who is truly passionate about helping others. She has an amazing work ethic and a drive for excellence. Not only is Taylor an outstanding student in the classroom, she demonstrates a variety of leadership skills and is viewed as a role model both as a student and a future professional. Following graduation, Taylor plans on pursuing a doctorate in Physical Therapy. 


Rachel Eck
Goddard, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Middle & Secondary Teacher Education

Rachel Eck has been exceptional in both her rigorous mathematics coursework and in her student teaching. Rachel’s lesson planning is very creative and establishes a learning environment where all students are successful. Her sense of humor shines through genuinely and appropriately in the classroom, allowing the students to bond easily with her. Rachel has accepted a position teaching mathematics and coaching in the Goddard School District.


Ruochen Shen
Beijing, China

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Physical Education

Ruochen “Charlie” Shen always strives to go above and beyond to become the best teacher that he can be. In addition to his classes, Charlie works at the child care center on campus and coaches several different sports at a nearby school district. He is particularly dedicated to working with youth with special needs, and following his graduation from ESU, Charlie will join the University of Kansas graduate program in Special Education MSE/Low Incidence Disabilities.


Emily Schoenfeld
Topeka, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Psychology

Emily Schoenfeld is an attentive scholar who works hard to earn the highest grades and is actively involved in the Psychology Club and the Psi Chi Honor Society. In addition to her academic success, Emily is an accomplished athlete and captain of the ESU women’s cross-country team. She also finds time to work as a community volunteer. Emily plans to pursue a master’s degree in school psychology.

Kaitlyn Pattrick
Baldwin City, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Recreation

Kaitlyn Pattrick possesses a special sensitivity that enables her to work with all age groups and types of people. She constantly seeks new challenges and often volunteers to serve others. Katie is an active member of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association and has served in leadership positions in many campus organizations. Following her internship at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District this summer, Katie will seek a full-time position as a recreation professional.

Josie Williams
Hutchinson, KS

Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Rehabilitation Services Education

Josie Williams is a creative thinker who solves problems effectively, and has extraordinary interpersonal skills. As an undergrad, Josie demonstrated an exceptional ability to balance the demands of her athletic career in volleyball and her undergraduate coursework in rehabilitation. Her commitment to children with disabilities is significant, and she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in school counseling at Emporia State.


Anna Davis
Lawrence, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Art Therapy

Anna Davis is passionate about what she does and will be an exemplary art therapist. Anna is able to see each individual's unique needs and adapt art interventions to meet those needs. She demonstrates professionalism in every aspect of her work, and maintains positive and effective working relationships. She believes art therapy can promote meaningful, lasting change in the lives of students and, therefore, plans to work in a school setting.

Meghan Anderson
Indianapolis, IN

Outstanding Graduate Award in Clinical Counseling

Meghan Anderson has shown exceptional ability in the field of counseling. She has collaborated with faculty on a conference presentation and is co-teaching a graduate level counseling course this spring. She expects excellence, is committed to the field, and–most importantly–to the clients with whom she works. Meghan plans to continue her education in order to pursue her PhD in a counseling-related field.

Jacqueline Albin
WaKeeney, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Clinical Psychology

Jacqueline Albin has been a shining star in the Clinical Psychology program, excelling in every role, and setting the standard in every class. She has served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant every semester, and has consistently earned outstanding reviews from her students. Jackie is currently completing her clinical internship at Prairie View Mental Health Center in Newton, KS and intends to focus her career on serving children and adolescents.
not in attendance

Elizabeth Paddock
Wichita, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Curriculum & Instruction

Elizabeth Paddock is a dedicated professional and outstanding graduate student. The faculty place her at the top of all the outstanding students who they have had the opportunity to teach.  Elizabeth is an exceptional teacher and is very student focused. She provides leadership in curriculum development and is in charge of the high school math curriculum at the school in Bogota, Colombia, where she teaches. Her work has always been outstanding, particularly because of her willingness to learn and apply new concepts along with the intellectual reflection she practices on a regular basis. 

Lesley Ketcham
Lenexa, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Early Childhood Education, Birth to Kindergarten

Lesley Ketcham goes above and beyond in the depth and detail of her coursework and practicum experiences. As part of her program course work, she is implementing the development of support groups and resources for parents of children with special needs. Currently in her 11th year working as a music therapist in the Olathe school district, Lesley plans to move to an early childhood autism classroom following her degree completion.

Libia Fernandini
Emporia, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Early Childhood Education, Birth to 8 Years Old

Libia Fernandini has demonstrated outstanding scholarship throughout her degree program–exemplifying content and knowledge through application. As part of her coursework, she created a Bilingual Handbook of Terminologies for Special Education Families. Libia is currently a foreign language teacher in the South Lyon County district and she plans to continue in the challenging field of early childhood special education.


Tyler Weinbrenner
Inman, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Educational Administration

Tyler Weinbrenner exemplifies the very best in the educational administration program, and is passionate about students and his profession. He perceives every assignment as a learning opportunity and takes maximum advantage of each one. Tyler is not only completing his program in a first-rate manner, he is also serving as both middle and high school principal for Inman USD 448 this year.
not in attendance

William Gibbons
Shrewsbury, MA

Outstanding Graduate Award in Health, Physical Education & Recreation

William Gibbons exudes confidence in his academic ability and has always been one of the top students in any class. In 2016, he was awarded the most coveted graduate level scholarships offered at ESU when he earned the Boylen Scholarship. In his community in Worchester, Massachusetts, Bill is very service-oriented, as he organizes fundraisers for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization, offers his time and skills to various youth sport clinics, and serves as a volunteer at the Mercy Centre School for the mentally challenged.


Cecely Jones
Cashion, OK

Outstanding Graduate Award in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Cecely Jones is a highly capable student who is articulate, works hard, and grasps difficult concepts. She is also an excellent leader. As the President of the Student Society of Industrial-Organizational Psychology, she set difficult goals for the group in order to enhance the students’ professional development–but she made sure the goals were attainable. Cecely is looking forward to a career in human resources management or consulting.


Kendra Wedde
Paola, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Instructional Specialist: Elementary STEM

Kendra Wedde is an excellent student who always meets or exceeds the expectations set for her. A recent ESU alum who did her undergraduate work through the JCCC partnership, Kendra is passionate about improving the teaching of STEM topics in the K-5 classroom, and has pursued numerous independent studies during her program to deepen her understanding. Kendra is currently a third-grade teacher at Rolling Ridge Elementary in the Olathe district.


Lauren Niccum
Overland Park, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Instructional Specialist: Reading Specialist

Lauren Niccum is an outstanding professional who demonstrates a thorough understanding of the diagnostic and instructional needs of readers ranging from Pre-K through high school levels. Lauren’s professors applauded her attention to detail when completing assignments and her interest in learning from others through online collaboration. Currently, Lauren is a fourth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School in the Olathe School District.


Julie La Combe
Abilene, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Instructional Design & Technology

Julie La Combe is an incredibly hard working, detail oriented and tech-savvy student. She also is an excellent researcher and writer who always brings her A-game to whatever she does. Julie has recently obtained a job as Clinical Informatics Educator for a Medical Center in south central Kansas. In this new job, she will plan a learning solution for more than 400 clinical employees (doctors and nurses) for a major upgrade to their electronic health record platform.

not in attendance

Theresa Smith
Alexandria, VA

Outstanding Graduate Award in Master of Education in Teaching

Theresa Smith is a dedicated teacher and outstanding graduate student. She took the knowledge and skills she learned in the Master of Education in Teaching program to develop a standards-based grading and assessment program for English students at South County High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. This program has been praised by colleagues and administrators for being on the cutting edge of student assessment, adding rigor to a curriculum designed to prepare students for their future in college and the workforce. Throughout the program, Theresa consistently submitted quality work, reflected on what she learned and applied it to her teaching.


Erin Metsker

Outstanding Graduate Award in School Counseling

Erin Metsker is a dedicated and innovative school counselor. She has challenged herself throughout her degree program and has been willing and motivated to grow and flourish as a graduate student. Erin has been helpful to her peers, a consistent motivator in her relationships with others, and a compassionate advocate for children. She is currently working with students in a counseling role at Lincoln Elementary School in the Ottawa Public Schools.


Amanda Brabec
Emporia, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in School Psychology

Amanda Brabec is an exemplary student who maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her rigorous graduate program and was held in high regard by both faculty and her peers. Amanda consistently demonstrated leadership as president of the School Psychology Student Society and Psi Chi honor society; and she eagerly embraced all professional development opportunities, both as a participant and a presenter. Amanda will be completing a fully-paid school psychology internship position over the 17-18 academic year.

not in attendance

Suzanne Albers
Halstead, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Special Education/Adaptive

Suzanne Albers has consistently maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her MA studies in Adaptive Special Education from 2013 to December 2016 when she completed. Her ePortfolio and formal faculty presentation were outstanding and all work submitted excel those of others.  Her Capstone project focused on implementing accommodations and modifications for students with special needs in the classroom. During her in-service training workshop for teachers and paraprofessionals, Suzanne provided evidence-based information on selecting and implementing appropriate accommodations and modifications for students with special needs, and provided eBook resources for all participants. She received highly rated evaluation from all participants.


Sarah Mahoney
Lawrence, KS

Outstanding Graduate Award in Special Education/Gifted

Sarah Mahoney draws upon her extensive preparation and experiences in language arts, social sciences, and PK-12 English as a Second Language to teach gifted learners at Southwest Middle School in Lawrence. Sarah engages students creatively and makes connections between gifted learners and the community. She has shared her expertise with peers and colleagues at venues ranging from local to international; and she plans to pursue PhD studies in the future.


Mo Wang
Liaoning, China

Outstanding Graduate Award in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Mo Wang is a hardworking individual who pays very serious attention to her studies and is always working to help others. She researched a language learning strategy to use among Chinese ESL students at Emporia State, and also joined the Girl Scouts as a volunteer to promote children’s communication skills among different culture/social backgrounds. Mo plans use her skills and knowledge to become a TESOL teacher.

The 2017 Graduate Research Awards went to Instructional Design & Technology students Milton Knopp, Topeka, KS, and Julie A. La Combe, Abilene, KS, for their research project titled, “Something for Everyone–2017 Training Proposal.” Milton and Julie’s project and presentation were entered in the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2016 International Design and Development competition and won first place. They are graduate students in the Department Instructional Design and Technology. The faculty sponsor for their research project was Dr. Zeni Colorado Resa.

Honored Students

The following 56 undergraduate students were recognized for a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or higher (as of the end of the Fall semester). They are due to graduate or have graduated in December 2016, May 2017, or Summer 2017: 

not in attendance

Stephanie Albert
Hesston, KS


Jackie Arnold
Neodesha, KS

not in attendance

Angela Bartlow
Topeka, KS

Michelle Berg
Wichita, KS

not in attendance

Maria Betancourt Vasquez
Olathe, KS

Victoria Biles
Prairie Village, KS

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not in attendance

Stevie Born
Shawnee, KS

Hannah Carlson
Lindsborg, KS

not in attendance

Alyssa Cherney
Merriam, KS
Crystal Chitwood
Wamego, KS


Ethan Crapser
Overland Park, KS


Holly Ann Davis
Valley Falls, KS


Shelby Deghand
De Soto, KS


Jennifer Demaree
Winfield, KS

not in attendance

Kate Dorian
Kansas City, KS

Rachel Eck
Goddard, KS


Cheyenne England
Lenexa, KS

not in attendance

Jackie Euler
Lansing, KS


Lindsey Hale
Olathe, KS

not in attendance

Joseph Hamer
Wichita, KS


Alison Harlow
Bucyrus, KS

not in attendance

Taylor Heins
Americus, KS

not in attendance

Olivia Henning
Newton, KS

not in attendance

Christine Henson
Leavenworth, KS


Mikayla Jackson Barth
Manhattan, KS


Kaitlin Jennings
Wichita, KS

Sanghui Ji
Emporia, KS

not in attendance

Jeana Johnson
Topeka, KS

not in attendance

Miranda Johnson
Augusta, KS


Sarah Jost
Olathe, KS


Katie Kelly
Overland Park, KS

not in attendance

Mynnette Kitchen
Derby, KS


Alexandria Klema
Windsor, CO


Luke Langston
Olathe, KS


Sarah Lawrence
Eureka, KS


Shelby Loganbill
Moundridge, KS

not in attendance

Breyana Miller
Topeka, KS

not in attendance

Katarina Miller
Hutchinson, KS

not in attendance

Megan Moore
Overland Park, KS


Alyssa Rabiola
Lawrence, KS

not in attendance

Catherine Riddle
Shawnee, KS


Kori Schlesener
Topeka, KS


Emily Schoenfeld
Topeka, KS

not in attendance

Jessica Shadoin
Haven, KS


Dallas Shafer
Emporia, KS

not in attendance

Lauren Shurley
Mission, KS


Kaitlyn Silveira
Olathe, KS

not in attendance

Jaden Strobel
Andover, KS

not in attendance

Tara Thacker
Emporia, KS

not in attendance

Julia Traxson
La Monte, MO


Mario Triana
El Dorado, KS

not in attendance

Bridget Wages
Emporia, KS

not in attendance

Bethany Webb
Overland Park, KS

not in attendance

Rachael Werth
Olathe, KS

not in attendance

Carrie Wiebe
Whitewater, KS

not in attendance

Katherine Wolfe
Topeka, KS


Honored Faculty and Staff


thompson-k-med Special recognition was given to retiring science professor Dr. Kenneth W. Thompson. Since 1991, Thompson was a professor of physical science and coordinator of the chemistry, physics, earth and space science, and middle level science programs. He advised and prepared secondary teachers in the physical sciences and mentored master of science students with distinction for decades.  

The seven faculty and staff members of The Teachers College included individuals who retired in this academic year.  Each of these individuals has loyally served Emporia State University and its students. Three were able to attend the banquet:



Dr. Carol Daniels, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

2017 marks Dr. Carol “Charlie” Daniels’ 46th year in education.  Charlie started her career as an elementary teacher in the St. Louis schools.   She has worked as a remedial reading teacher, learning disabilities teacher, teacher of students with mental handicaps, psychological examiner, school counselor, and school psychologist.  In 2008 she joined the Department of Psychology in The Teachers College, where she has taught courses in educational psychology for the education majors, learning and cognitive theory for the psychology majors, and virtually all of the school psychology graduate courses at one time or another.

Professionally during her career, Charlie has served in the roles of state delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists from both Missouri and Kansas, and in multiple board positions for the state school psychological associations of both Missouri and Kansas, including as President. At ESU, she has regularly attended student research conferences such Psychological and Educational Research in Kansas and Great Plains, in support of student research.

Charlie’s main areas of scholarly interest have included bullying, psychoeducational assessment, and academic and behavioral interventions.

Charlie’s plan is to return home to the St. Louis area to be near family, including grandchildren. Charlie, The Teachers College wishes you the best in your retirement and thanks you for your years of service to the profession, the college and the university.


Mr. Robert Aman, Instructor, Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education

After working for 40 years as a teacher in the public schools, Bob Aman came to The Teachers College at Emporia State University, where he has worked for the past ten years. He worked all ten of those years in the High Incidence Special Education Program (formerly called the Adaptive Program) in the Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education.  Across those ten years, Bob also worked in two other departments. He worked for the Department of School Leadership as an instructor, and he worked for the Department of Psychology as an instructor and as a faculty advisor for the undergraduate program. Additionally, he worked for several years as the Director of the Future Teachers Academy, which is also located in The Teachers College. 

On campus, Bob always had his door open for students, faculty, and staff where he welcomed everyone with open-arms.  His work would take him off-campus, too. For four years, he worked as a Grant Coordinator for the special education program where one of his duties was to travel the state to meet with Special Education Directors. Bob would update the directors about the opportunities available in the special education program at Emporia State University, and he would seek out their feedback regarding the training of special education teachers so the ESU special education program could adjust in kind.      

With regard to another area of Bob’s life, it is widely known he loved officiating. He was active in officiating basketball, softball, and volleyball games across Kansas and in surrounding states. It is also widely known that Bob actively promoted Emporia State University, and especially the programs in The Teachers College, as he traveled throughout the state and around the Midwest to officiate. Even though he did not have the title, he was one of Emporia State University’s leading “recruiters.”  

In closing, on a daily basis, Bob demonstrated his enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. He supported Emporia State University, the faculty and staff, and especially the students, with everything he had. During his time in The Teachers College, Bob can be described as an educator who truly “walked the walk.”   


Ms. Marla Darby, Instructor, Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education

After working for nearly 25 years as a special education teacher in the public schools, Marla Darby came to The Teachers College at Emporia State University, where she has worked for the past 21 years. She first began working for TTC as an adjunct professor beginning in 1996. Then she began working full-time in TTC in 1997, as the Director of the Teachers College Resource Center, which was a joint effort with the Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative for USD 253. She worked as the Director for eleven years.  Following this, she became a full-time instructor of special education in the Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education, located in TTC, in 2008. She has held this position from 2008 to the present.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Marla has been active in many service roles for the TTC and for the larger university. She worked as TTC coordinator for diversity and inclusion. She was a member of the Tilford Conference planning committee at Emporia State University from 2009 to present, and this included a year as the co-chair of the Michael Tilford Statewide Conference on Diversity in Higher Education.  Additionally, Marla has served for years as the faculty sponsor for SPECS, which is the Special Education Community Service student organization. Also, during her time at Emporia State University, Marla has earned several awards including the Darrell E. Wood Service Award in 2003 and the Presidential Award for Diversity in 2013.   

During her time in the TTC, Marla has taught many special education courses and advised many students, thus growing into her role as a university instructor. In this role, she was especially fond of teaching a course on Collaboration and Strategies for Inclusive Settings. This was a course focused on teaching strategies to include students with disabilities in general education settings. This course symbolized her passion for teaching future teachers how to teach students with disabilities. While Marla started her career as a passionate teacher, her career in TTC was one where she became a passionate, “teacher of teachers.”  Marla, thank you for your service to ESU and The Teachers College. 

Honored in absentia were:

Mr. Earl Martin, Instructor, Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education

Ms. Sharon Brown, Elementary Advising Coordinator, Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education

Ms. Arlene Dodge, Administrative Specialist, Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education

Ms. Debbie Mulsow, Administrative Specialist, University Copy Center