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Honoring TC Alumni Who Have Made Their Mark

When Teachers College graduates leave to pursue their careers, they may start out in one direction and end up doing things they never expected to do. Or they can have a vision from the time they begin their graduate studies and make it their life's work. After a number of years, they may even find that the work they have been doing has led to many interesting and important developments in their field of study. The next thing they know, they are being honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College.

Three such people were singled out to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards this year-Betty Sullivan for her work in media and education; Darlene Yee, for her research and practice in long-term care administration; and Edmund Gordon, for his work as an academic, a researcher and a consultant on issues relating to urban and minority education.

Betty Sullivan
Betty Sullivan


Betty Sullivan, who is the co-founder of Use The News Foundation and its affiliate, Sullivan Communications, Inc., in San Francisco, received her Ed.M. in 1984 and Ed.D. in 1991 from the Department of Languages, Literature and Social Studies. In her work, she developed an expertise in using media content as a resource in education after working in public schools and universities in the poverty-ridden area of the Mississippi Delta, where many of the students had never traveled outside the borders of the county where they were born.

"Ultimately, it was through access to information available from the media that adolescent and young adult students found hope of obtaining the information needed to broaden their personal horizons and be in control of their own lives," she said.

These experiences in her initial years of teaching led her to look more closely at helping young people evaluate media content and ask questions about media messages. As a result, opportunities opened up for her to work with other communities around the country and around the world.

She served for eight years as the National Director of Education Programs for the Newspaper Association of American Foundation in Washington, D.C. She also led delegations of visitors to areas with emerging literacy populations-Cape Town, South Africa, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-to discuss the role of media in those areas.

Darlene Yee
Darlene Yee


Darlene Yee's dissertation, Correlations Between What Automobile Drivers Aged 55 and Over "Say" and "Feel" About Their Mobility and Safety Needs and Problems, was just one of her many studies on the health and safety issues in the field of gerontology. As a result of her work, Yee has been a consultant to national and international agencies and programs that cover gerontology, health education and traffic safety. One agency is the NIH Office for Protection from Research Risks and another is the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health. She also is a grant reviewer for the NIH Research Enhancement Awards Program.

Yee, herself, has authored a number of papers that have been presented at conferences regionally, nationally and internationally. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, such as Educational Gerontology, Journal of Health Education, Family and Community Health, and Journal of Women and Aging, to name a few. She is on the editorial boards of several journals and is a manuscript reviewer for Journal of Aging and Health.

In the area of leadership, Yee has chaired several committees at San Francisco State University, where she is a Professor of Gerontology in the College of Health and Human Services. She is also on the Board of Directors for several organizations, and she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging in 1998.

Edmund Gordon
Edmund Gordon


Edmund Gordon, whose most recent role was as Interim Dean at Teachers College, has been a part of the TC community for more than 50 years-as a student, an alumnus, a professor, a researcher, Interim Dean, and currently Director of the Institute on Urban and Minority Education.

As Gordon's academic role was developing, he became widely recognized as a preeminent member in the field of psychology and education. In the 1960s, he was a consultant to the U.S. Office of Education in developing research related to disadvantaged and segregated people. He was also head of the Division of Research and Evaluation for Project Head Start.

He returned to Teachers College in the 1970s, being named Richard March Hoe Memorial Professor in Psychology and Education. During his tenure at TC he designed and headed the Institute on Urban and Minority Education, which he currently directs. Gordon left Teachers College in 1979 to become the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology at Yale University, returning to Teachers College in 1999 after his retirement from Yale.

The award winners were honored at a dinner on November 29 at the Columbia-Princeton Club in midtown Manhattan. President Arthur Levine presented each with a citation describing their accomplishments.

Call for Nominations

Alumni Council and Distinguished Alumni Award - Deadline, February 1, 2002

The Alumni Council's nominating and awards committees are reaching out to the TC community for nominees to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Early Career Award, and for membership to the Alumni Council.

We invite you to nominate Teachers College graduates who have distinguished themselves in their fields and have earned high respect among their colleagues and the general community to receive the prestigious awards.

We also invite you to nominate graduates for the Alumni Council. The Council is an advisory body to the President of Teachers College, representing the needs and interests of our graduates.

Please contact Nicholas Gulde, Director of Alumni Relations, at 212-678-3797 or e-mail for more information or to request nomination forms.


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