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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Two Students from Los Angeles Area First to Receive Klaassen Fellowships

Two Teachers College students who are both natives of the Los Angeles area are the first recipients of the Elsie Todd Klaassen Fellowships, established to honor the memory of a TC alumna who spent her career teaching children with mental retardation.

Suman N. Bhatia, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, is studying for her Ph.D. degree, and Christina H. Kim, a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, is studying for her Master of Arts degree. Both plan careers in the education of individuals with mental retardation.

Elsie Todd Klaassen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in special education at TC in 1940. She spent her career teaching in the New York City area. Mrs. Klaassen died in March of 1994 at the age of 87. Her husband, Willem Klaassen, died the following December. A bequest from his will established the awards.

Both Bhatia and Kim are now involved in a research project at TC that analyzes interpersonal decision-making by adults with mental retardation. The project is sponsored by the College's Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People With Disabilities and is directed by Linda Hickson, professor of education and coordinator of the programs in mental retardation.

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