Today’s featured award winner is JT Taylor, who received the college’s Climate Enhancement Award.
This award recognizes contributions to the pursuit of the College of Education’s diversity agenda. Taylor, associate professor in special education, has research interests that include science education for students with disabilities, evaluating innovative classroom practices, and bullying issues with autism, learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders.
“Dr. Taylor has devoted his career to supporting and enhancing diversity in all of its forms in an effort to create and sustain a welcoming environment that enables everyone to thrive,” said Betsy Campbell, assistant professor and research associate. “His work is making a positive difference to his field, to the students and faculty of the College of Education, and to the University community and beyond.”
Andrea McCloskey, associate professor of education in mathematics education, said Taylor is proactive in reaching out, in collaborating and building projects together, especially across traditional boundaries.
“Dr. Taylor values diversity and this includes diversity in approaches to research. This is something all of us faculty members can learn from. It’s easy to get locked in our echo chambers — talking, reading and writing with people who already agree with us and think like we do. Dr. Taylor models the practice of making a routine of collaborating with colleagues. He makes our college a better place to be,” McCloskey said.
Scott McDonald, associate professor of education (science education), said what makes Taylor’s commitment exceptional is his understanding that enhancing the climate and diversity of the college is daily, relational work done one-on-one with members of the college community.
“It is Dr. Taylor’s willingness to work on issues of equity and climate enhancement on multiple levels and with a diversity of approaches that has allowed him to make the remarkable impact that he has on our community,” McDonald said.
“Our college is a much better, more diverse, more respectful and welcoming place as a result of all the big and little things that Dr. Taylor has done every day during his time here at Penn State. He is an exceptional member of our faculty.”
Award winners are:
- Climate Enhancement Award: JT Taylor
- Outstanding Teaching Award: Uju Anya
- Outstanding Senior Researcher Award: Gerald LeTendre
- Outstanding Junior Researcher Award: Jennifer Frank
- Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award: Ashley Patterson
- Career Achievement Award: Simon Hooper
- Outstanding Staff Award: Megan Foster and Darlene Kolesar
- Graduate Student Recognition Award: Kaela Fuentes-Packnick
- Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award: Taylor Young