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Distinguished Alumni Awards Presented at November Dinner


Alumni Award Recipients (l to r) Lois Bloom, Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Ian K. Smith, Betty Sternberg, Jill W. Sheffield, and Francis McCue.

Alumni Award Recipients (l to r) Lois Bloom, Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Ian K. Smith, Betty Sternberg, Jill W. Sheffield, and Francis McCue.


What brought together the six people for a dinner at President Levine's home on November 17th was not just that they all are graduates of Teachers College, but graduates who have lead exemplary careers since earning their degrees. All six have touched the lives of many through their diverse work in non-profit, government, education and entertainment.

Two alumnae were presented with the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Awards and one was presented with a 2003 Early Career Award for their accomplishments.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients include Jill Wilkinson Sheffied and Betty J. Sternberg.

Sheffield, a 1963 master's graduate in Comparative and International Education is an advocate, innovator and educator in the field of women's health. She is the founder and leader of Family Care International (FCI), the first non-governmental organization to focus specifically on maternal health and safe motherhood as a core element of its mission. FCI's advocacy materials and messages have reached over 170 countries, and have provided direct technical assistance to local partners in more than 24 countries.

Sternberg, a 1972 master's graduate in Mathematics Education has served the Connecticut State Department of Education for more than 20 years, and is currently Commissioner of Education.

Frances McCue, a 2001 graduate, who co-founded and is Director of the Richard Hugo House, a literary center in Seattle, Washington, received an Early Career Award for her work. The mission of the Richard Hugo House is to build a vital learning community that develops and sustains practicing writers doing essential work. It is a place that brings innovative and effective writing education to people of all ages and backgrounds.

In addition, two Distinguished Alumni Award winners and one Early Career Award winner from 2002 were present to receive their awards since the dinner scheduled for December 5, 2002, to honor them was cancelled due to snow.

Among those recipients is Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, who received an M.A. in Social Studies from Teachers College and is now Dean of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. Lagemann is also president of the The Spencer Foundation. She has been a Professor of History and Education at both New York University and Columbia University, where she received her Ph.D. in History and Education.

Lois Bloom, a 1968 Ph.D. recipient, is the Edward Lee Thorndike Professor Emerita of Psychology and Education at Teachers College. She began her professional career in 1956 as a speech-language pathologist in Baltimore County Public Schools. Bloom has received fellowships from numerous professional organizations and she has published several books and many articles on language development.

Ian K. Smith, who received his master's in Science Education in 1993 from TC, and was a medical/health reporter for NewsChannel 4 and medical correspondent for NBC News network. He also is a columnist for both the New York Daily News and Time Magazine. Smith has published two books, The Take-Control Diet, and Dr. Ian Smith's Guide to Medical Websites.

Another winner from last year's group of distinguished alumni, Mort Lindsey, who received his M.A. in 1948 and his Ed.D. in 1974 in Music and Music Education at TC, received his award at an alumni event in Los Angeles last year. Lindsey is currently the Musical Director for Merv Griffin. He was also the Musical Director for Judy Garland, the Staff Conductor for both WCBS-TV and ABC Networks, and the composer and conductor for several motion pictures. He won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and a Grammy Award for musical direction of the album of the year.

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