Purdue University honors alumni for the Distinguished Education Alumni Awards

Purdue University’s College of Education will honor three distinguished Purdue alumni during its 2019 Distinguished Education Alumni Awards (DEAA) event on Friday, Nov. 1. Pamela R. Clinkenbeard, James T. McDonald, III, and Martha Nyikos are the recipients of this year’s distinguished alumni award.

The DEAA was established in 2006 to honor outstanding professional achievements in the field of education and the awards are given biennially. Recipients of the DEAA are selected by college leadership and will be recognized at the Nov. 1 ceremony.

“This year’s Distinguished Education Alumni Awards ceremony honors individuals who embody the values and principles of Purdue’s College of Education,” said Nancy Marchand-Martella, the Suzi and Dale Gallagher Dean of Education.

“All three honorees are doing outstanding work within education and beyond.”

2019 Honorees:

  • Pamela R. Clinkenbeard (HHS PhD ’84, MS ’80)
    Pamela R. Clinkenbeard is a professor of educational foundations and the co-director of Challenging Advanced Learners programs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she teaches courses in educational psychology, educational research and the psychology and education of gifted and talented students. In addition to her degrees from Purdue University, she also holds a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University. Her research interests include the development of student motivation, psychology and education of gifted students, neuroscience of early childhood giftedness and policy research on diversity and economics in gifted education. She is also a very involved member of our Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute advisory board.
  • James T. McDonald, III (PhD ’02)
    James McDonald III, a former elementary and middle school teacher, is a professor of science education and director of the Central Michigan GEMS Education Center at Central Michigan University (CMU). In addition to his Purdue degree, he also holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, California State University-East Bay and Saint Olaf College. He has been honored with the Michigan Science Teachers Association College Science Teacher of the Year and as one of the Top 25 Education Professors in Michigan, both in 2013, and the Distinguished Faculty Service Award from CMU in 2018. McDonald is the former chair of the CMU Academic Senate, former president-elect for the Council for Elementary Science International and past president for the Michigan Science Education Leadership Association. He’s currently the Michigan representative for the NASA Solar System Ambassador, NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory and a member of our Dean’s Advocacy Council.
  • Martha Nyikos (PhD ’87)
    Martha Nyikos is an associate professor of literacy, culture and language education and director of world languages and second language education programs at Indiana University. She has been the principal investigator on multiple STARTALK grants from the National Security Agency in addition to numerous other cross-disciplinary and dual language research grants. Nyikos’ teaching excellence has been twice recognized with the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award and was a nominee once again in 2018. She regularly provides professional development workshops on dual language teaching and issues in language acquisition in the U.S. and abroad.

The event is open to the public and RSVPs will be accepted until Friday, October 25 by emailing Rachel Slauter at reslauter@prf.org.