Wilkes University Celebration of Education Honors Student and Alumni Educators on Nov. 13

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Faculty, staff and students honor fellow educators during Wilkes University’s virtual Celebration of Education event from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13. The event will be held via Zoom. Honorees are recognized by the School of Education for their outstanding contributions on campus and in the community. The event kicks off American Education Week.

Awards and honorees represent each level of study within the School of Education:

Educator of the Year Award – Erika Jacobs, ’01. The Wilkes University Educator of the Year Award celebrates excellence as demonstrated by a competent, caring and ethical educator who is a graduate of and embodies the mission of the Wilkes education program. The award recognizes a teacher who is a lifelong learner, reflective practitioner and an effective communicator who continues to grow academically and professionally while presenting the ethic of service and dedication to all students within the learning community. Jacobs, of Nanticoke, Pa., is a teacher in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education from Wilkes in 2001. She went on to earn her master’s degree in educational leadership with PK-12 principal certification from Wilkes in 2006.

Joseph and Barbara Bellucci Distinguished Graduate Award – Karen Mae Medalla, ’22. The Joseph and Barbara Bellucci Distinguished Graduate Award honors students pursuing an educational master’s degree from Wilkes and demonstrate courage in the face of adversity, dedication to academic success and selfless commitment to their school and community.  Medalla, of Khartoum, Sudan, is a student in the School of Education master’s degree in Instruction Technology while earning a STEM letter of endorsement. She is a chemistry teacher at Khartoum International Community School in the Philippines.

The Diane Place Doctoral Dissertation Award – Richard Garibay, Ed.D. ‘21. The Diane Place Doctoral Dissertation Award honors Wilkes graduate students who exhibit perseverance in completing doctoral studies, commitment to lifelong learning, resilience in the face of adversity, strength of character to advance in life through education, collegiality with peers, leadership in education, and excellence in academics. Garibay, of Ghana, West Africa, is an operations director in the Pope Francis School and Health Centre in the Volta Region of Ghana. He earned his Ed.D. in 2021 in International Instructional Leadership.

All are invited to join this celebration of local and global educators. Attendees should contact Janelle Ellsworth for Zoom access at Janelle.ellsworth@wilkes.edu.

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