College of Education and Human Development faculty and staff awards announced

The recipients of this year’s University of Maine College of Education and Human Development faculty and staff awards were announced at a college-wide meeting on Friday, April 21.

The awards recognize the hard work and dedication of those who work in college, including contributions to teaching, research and service at UMaine and beyond.

Sara Flanagan, Full-Time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Assistant professor of special education Sara Flanagan joined the college in 2017 and teaches primarily graduate courses in special education. She has collaborated with the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning to provide guidance to other faculty members on how to use Universal Design for Learning principles in their course design. Flanagan is also a nationally recognized expert in writing instruction and the use of technology to assist students with disabilities in written expression.

“Each semester, she has gone above and beyond to meet with her students, mentor her students, and make sure that her online classes are designed so that they are accessible to busy education professionals,” wrote Flanagan’s nominators. “She guides her students through the science of good teaching for all students — those with and without disabilities.”

Jamie Treworgy, Part-Time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award

Jamie Treworgy has taught special education courses as an adjunct for several years. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Treworgy earned her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Prevention and Intervention Studies from the College of Education and Human Development in December 2022. Her thesis was titled “An Examination of Teachers’ Ability to Use Function-Based Thinking to Support Students with Mild but Persistent Challenging Behaviors in General Education Settings.”

According to her nomination letter, Treworgy has taken “her knowledge as a BCBA and applied her skills that we learn to use with students in school with adults at the college level. She really knows how to set up a course and how to help build your skills so that you feel more and more confident and not overwhelmed by the sheer amount of reading.”

Catharine Biddle, Faculty Service Award

Associate professor of educational leadership Catharine Biddle joined the college in 2015. Since then, her efforts have enhanced school-community relations, changed K-12 educational paradigms and influenced the focus of rural education research nationwide. Biddle is co-founder of the Rural Vitality Lab, a research-practice partnership with researchers at both UMaine and Colby College, which brings whole-school trauma-responsive approaches to schools in Maine’s Washington County. Biddle is also an active and engaged leader in two major professional organizations — the American Educational Research Association and the National Rural Education Association. Her position as a preeminent rural scholar helped bring the Rural Schools Collaborative’s New England Rural Education Hub to UMaine, where Biddle is leading efforts to address rural K-12 education workforce issues throughout the region.

“She has demonstrated distinguished achievement in public engagement as part of her university work, and her efforts have produced enduring and tangibly positive outcomes for the university and the broader community,” says Biddle’s nomination letter.

Jo-Ellen Carr, Staff Service Award

Administrative specialist for graduate records Jo-Ellen Carr is entrusted with managing the records of the college’s approximately 700 graduate students and supporting 39 graduate faculty members to ensure requisite paperwork is filed and deadlines are met.

Carr’s nominators shared: “The care with which she undertakes these tasks cannot be understated. Her interactions with students, whether in person or by email are never perfunctory. Her ability to humanize the paperwork has a way of turning the seemingly mundane into a welcome opportunity to connect and share a pleasant thought or observation. She treats each student interaction in a way that communicates they matter and that their graduate records are in good hands. For faculty, she is an invaluable source of information and support. She fields and answers many questions, and if she doesn’t know the answer, we can always count on her to connect us with the information in a timely way.”

Timothy Reagan, Research and Creative Achievement Award

Timothy Reagan joined the college in 2016 as dean and currently serves as a professor of education with a focus on world language education in the Literacy, Language and Culture program, part of the School of Learning and Teaching. His scholarly work addresses issues of language diversity, language legitimacy, language policy and language planning in education, raciolinguistics, critical applied linguistics and world language education. He has published extensively in the areas of educational policy and reform, comparative and international education, teacher education and reflective practice, critical pedagogy, and the history and philosophy of non-western educational traditions. During his most recent post tenure review, Reagan published three books, co-authored a textbook designed for use in college’s introductory course for education majors, EHD 101: The Art and Science of Teaching, and co-edited another book. He also wrote and published nine refereed journal articles, eight book chapters, a major book review and one conference proceeding. He also presented five papers at national conferences, and gave a total of six keynote addresses, four of which took place at international venues, including in India and Malta live, and Poland and South Africa virtually. Finally, he gave invited lectures to classes at Haverford College, the University of South Florida, and William Peace University.

Reagan’s nomination letter states that he “exemplifies what it means to be a researcher engaged in scholarly activity. He fully engages in teaching and service while maintaining a robust research agenda. He epitomizes what it means to understand the cyclical nature of research and continues to maintain an active research and scholarship agenda.”