Poplin And Okenye Win Education Graduate Awards At Lee University

Friday, August 30, 2013
From left, Dean of HDCOE Dr. Bill Estes, Mary Ann Poplin (the Schimmels Teaching Award Winner), Kaylee Kennedy Okenye (the Riggins Writing Award Winner) and Gary Riggins.
From left, Dean of HDCOE Dr. Bill Estes, Mary Ann Poplin (the Schimmels Teaching Award Winner), Kaylee Kennedy Okenye (the Riggins Writing Award Winner) and Gary Riggins.

The faculty of the Graduate Studies in Education at Lee University have named Mary Ann Poplin and Kaylee Kennedy Okenye as the recipients of two of its highest honors in the Helen DeVos College of Education. 

Ms. Poplin was selected as the 2012-13 winner of the Cliff Schimmels Classroom Teaching Award, and Ms. Okenye received the Gary L. Riggins Graduate Education Writing Award.

Ms. Poplin recently completed the Master of Arts in Teaching degree and is currently employed with the Cleveland City School system.

Ms. Poplin, an elementary art teacher, sees the creative arts as “a valuable tool to teach other subjects.”  She, along with her Mayfield Elementary students, wrote, illustrated and published a book this spring, titled, “The Very Courageous Cowboy.”

The Cliff Schimmels Award is presented annually to the graduate student demonstrating outstanding teaching in the classroom. It was named in honor of former professor Dr. Cliff Schimmels, a nationally acclaimed educational expert who passed away in May of 2001. 

Ms. Okenye, who also recently completed the MAT program, teaches chemistry and math at Polk County High School.

Ms. Okenye’s award-winning thesis, “Molarity, Moods, and Monomials:  The Impact of Attitudes Toward Science and Math At Polk County High School,” explored high school students’ attitudinal differences toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses. Ms. Okenye is originally from Oregon and currently resides in Cleveland.  

The Gary L. Riggins Graduate Education Writing Award was established to honor Dr. Gary L. Riggins, the longtime director of graduate programs in education at Lee.  It is given annually to the graduate student who demonstrates superior writing skills and is determined by a vote of the graduate faculty. 

“On behalf of our faculty, we are pleased to recognize the distinguished work of these two recipients,” said Dr. Gary Riggins.  “They represent the best and brightest Lee has to offer our community, and I know that their students are in the competent hands of exemplary educators.”

For more information about these awards please contact the Helen DeVos College of Education at 617-8175.
   



Cleveland State Employees Receive In-Service Awards

Two Cleveland State Community College employees received awards at a staff in-service.   Emily Hill received the Rising Star Award, while Sheila Smith received the Excellence Award.  The Rising Star Award goes to an employee who has less than three years and a minimum of six months of service to CSCC, displays a positive attitude and a spirit of enthusiasm, ... (click for more)

Lee's Summer Honors Program Has Record Attendance

Lee University’s Summer Honors residential program concluded another two-week term, exposing high-achieving students to numerous aspects of college life at Lee.  This year’s Summer Honors drew 173 students to Lee’s campus, an all-time record for attendance.   While at Summer Honors, students got a head start on their college career by earning six hours of academic ... (click for more)

Muslim Advocacy Group Questions House Arrest For Signal Mountain Man Charged In Threats Against Muslim Village In New York

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Saturday questioned the release of a Signal Mountain man who admitted to planning what it called "a Charleston-style terror attack" on a Muslim community in New York. CAIR also called for stepped up protection for the community targeted in the plot. Judge ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)