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Rachel Karchmer-Klein and Laurie Palmer

Rewarding excellence

Photo by Alison Burris

CEHD recognizes faculty dedicated to research, education, service

Research, education and service are the three tenets embraced by the University of Delaware’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD).

In May, CEHD recognized four faculty members who have demonstrated superior commitment to their fields.

College awards

On May 6, Carol Vukelich, interim dean, presented the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award and Dean’s Faculty Research Award during an all-college meeting. 

Adrian Pasquarella received the Dean’s Faculty Research Award, which recognizes an assistant or associate professor who has developed a strong program of research, received external funding to support that research, published in top research journals and is committed to advancing the research mission of the college.

Pasquarella is an assistant professor of literacy education. He teaches courses related to literacy instruction, specifically for English Language Learners (ELLs). 

“Adrian is an outstanding scholar, engaged in ground-breaking new research in the English Language Learner area,” said Vukelich. “In addition, he has been prolific at submitting his work for publication in high impact journals.”

His research areas include language and literacy acquisition and development in multi-lingual populations, understanding universal and language specific aspects of reading comprehension, cross-language transfer, and developing research-based educational programs to improve language and literacy in diverse groups of ELL children and adolescents. 

His work has been published in the Journal of Education Psychology, Scientific Studies of Reading, Developmental Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, Reading and Writing, Journal of Research in Reading and Topics in Language Disorders.

Sharon Walpole, professor of education, was awarded the CEHD Excellence in Teaching Award, designed to recognize and reward a CEHD faculty member who demonstrates an outstanding model of teaching that promotes excellence in teaching among other CEHD faculty. Walpole also received UD’s 2016 Excellence in Teaching award.

Walpole is admired and respected by her students, who offer glowing recommendations in their evaluations. Her teaching embodies the highest principles of ethical instruction, and the college’s teacher candidates and the students they serve benefit from her example. She also works diligently with doctoral students to ensure their professional success, including holding weekend writing retreats.

Through her research on literacy education, Walpole has had a positive and long-lasting impact on students in Delaware schools. Her passion, knowledge and guiding influence has impacted the way teachers provide instruction, significantly improving the children’s quality of work. Finally, she is known as a collaborative and unselfish colleague, serving as a catalyst for positive change in the department. 

School of Education awards

On May 13, CEHD held its Celebration of Excellence, honoring undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, for their accomplishments. The School of Education (SOE) presented awards to two faculty members: 

Laurie Palmer received the Second Mile Award in recognition and appreciation of exemplary support and service to the field of education.

Palmer became SOE’s program coordinator for the elementary teacher education program in July 2015, after serving as the Southern Delaware program coordinator where she advised the Georgetown Associate in Arts Program elementary teacher education (ETE) students. Once transitioned onto the Newark campus, Palmer began to review and revise the ETE courses, identify strategies to improve the student teaching experience for both students and faculty, and met with students and staff to resolve disposition issues. 

“These are just a few of the many tasks that Laurie does, always with a smile and without complaint. She deserves the Second Mile Award because she definitely goes far above and beyond her assigned duties in order to make the ETE program the best that it can be,” said Elizabeth Pemberton, assistant professor in the SOE.

Rachel Karchmer-Klein, associate professor, was presented the Distinguished Faculty Award. This award is presented to a full-time faculty member in the School of Education to recognize outstanding achievement in research, teaching and/or service that is clearly beyond the expectations of the position.

She serves as coordinator for the school’s first online master’s program in teacher leadership and plays a critical role in its success. 

“It is perhaps most important to note that Dr. Karchmer-Klein’s contribution to SOE is entirely unique. She is the only instructor who teaches in online environments for both undergraduate and graduate courses. She has designed eight courses delivered entirely online, with another two developed as hybrids,” said Elizabeth Farley-Ripple, associate director of the SOE. “Dr. Karchmer-Klein has been a pioneer in SOE for the design of high quality online instruction.”

Karchmer-Klein has also maintained an active research agenda, showcased in both literacy and instructional technology journals. The quality of her work has earned her a strong reputation in her field. She has set herself apart as a thoughtful, skilled, and reflective educator, with the dispositions to continue her own learning while making significant scholarly contributions in literacy and educational technology, in Delaware, regionally, and nationally.


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