Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished Alumni

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus/a by the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology at Teachers College. First presented in 2004, the award is voted on by current faculty of the department and is granted in recognition of achievements and contributions to the field of mathematics, science, or technology.

Dr. Manu Kapur
Chair of Learning Sciences and Higher Education
Professor, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences
ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

Prior to joining the faculty at ETH Zurich, Dr. Kapur was a Professor of Psychological Studies at The Education University of Hong Kong (EduHK), and Head of the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Academic Group (CTL AG) and Head of the Learning Sciences Lab (LSL) at the National Institute of Education (NIE) of Singapore. He was also a tenured Associate Professor of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning at the NIE.

Dr. Kapur conceptualized the notion of productive failure and has used it to explore the hidden efficacies in the seemingly failed efforts of small groups solving complex problems collaboratively in an online environment.

In 2006, Dr. Kapur received his Ed.D. in Instructional Technology & Media from Teachers College. He also earned an M.S. in Applied Statistics from TC (2005), an M.Ed. from the NIE, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Singapore.

Early on in his career as an educator, Dr. Kapur taught mathematics, headed the Department of Information Technology, and was Vice Principal (Acting) at the National Junior College, Singapore.

More information about Dr. Kapur and his work are available at his website.

Dr. Chin-Chung Tsai holds a B.Sc. in physics from National Taiwan Normal University. He received a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and completed his doctoral study at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1996. From 1996 to 2006, he joined the faculty of Center for Teacher Education and Institute of Education, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. He is currently a Chair Professor at the Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan. Since July 2009, he has been appointed as the Co-Editor of Computers & Education (published by Elsevier, ranked as the seventh among more than 200 educational journals indexed in SSCI by 2011 impact factor values). His research interests deal largely with constructivism, epistemological beliefs, and Internet-based instruction related to science education. His research work has been published in Learning and Instruction, Science Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, International Journal of Science Education, Instructional Science, Teaching & Teacher Education, Computers & Education, British Journal of Educational Technology, Educational Technology & Society, Interactive Learning Environments, Journal of Engineering Education and other educational journals. Since 1998, he has published more than 170 journal papers in international journals.


Karen Swan (Ed.D. 1989)
James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and a Faculty Associate in the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at the University of Illinois Springfield

Dr. Karen Swan serves on the steering committees for three educational technology conferences and on the editorial boards of eight journals in the learning sciences. She is a past chair of the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning and the Program Chair for the Online Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. She has published and presented over 70 journal articles, produced several hypermedia programs, and co-edited two books in the areas of educational technology and media and online learning. Dr. Swan’s scholarly interests include ubiquitous computing, data literacy, and online and blended learning.

Edward Silver (M.S., 1977; Ed.D. 1977) 
William A. Brownell Collegiate Professor, School of Education; Professor, Department of Mathematics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and Dean, University of Michigan-Dearborn School of Education.

Dr. Edward Silver serves as co-chair of the Research Committee of TODOS, a professional organization devoted to improving mathematics education for Latino/a students, is co-primary investigator of the Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics, and directs the BI:FOCAL project, which supports the professional learning of mathematics teachers. He recently completed a term as editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. His scholarly interests include the study of mathematical thinking, especially mathematical problem solving and problem posing, the design and analysis of innovative and equitable mathematics instruction for middle school students, effective methods of assessing and reporting mathematics achievement, and the professional development of mathematics teachers.

Joseph Bowman (Ed.D., 1991)

Service Associate Professor, Department of Educational Theory and Practice and Director of Center for Urban Youth and Technology, State University of New York at Albany

Dr. Joseph Bowman develops programs in research, instructional and curriculum design relating to technology and its impact on rural and urban communities. He created the Center for Urban Youth and Technology at Teachers College and later at SUNY Albany to implement technology-based research, development, and training in Urban school settings. Dr. Bowman served as the director of the Science Technology Entry Program at the University at Alban  from 1999 – 2002,  as a Regent to The University of the State of New York, representing educational policy issues for New York State, and has worked with the State Education Department to establish the Technology Policy and Practice Council.

J. Philip Smith (Ph.D., 1973)
Professor Emeritus, Mathematics, Southern Connecticut University

Dr. J. Philip Smith began his career as a member of the Mathematics Department of Southern Connecticut State University  before becoming its Chairperson, the Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and ultimately, the Interim President of SCSU. He served as the Chairperson of Connecticut State University representative to the State Board of Higher Education’s Advisory Committee on Accreditation from 1997-2004 as well as its Chairperson from 2003-2004.  Dr. Smith has published and presented extensively and most recently was a member of the faculty at Teachers College. Dr. Smith’s scholarly interests are mathematical problem solving, the history of mathematics, and postsecondary mathematics curriculum.

Sadie Bragg (Ed.D, 1980)
Provost/Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Mathematics at Borough of Manhattan Community College/The City University of New York

Dr. Sadie Bragg is actively involved in mathematics education at local, state, national, and international levels. She has served on many national mathematics boards and committees, including the Advisory Board to the Education and Human Resource Directorate of the National Science Foundation. She is a Past President of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) and the New York State Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges and a former member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction, the National Academy of Sciences, where she was selected to co-chair a Discussion Group at the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME 11). Dr. Bragg is co-author of over 60 mathematics textbooks for K-14 as well as numerous other publications, presentations, and papers.  Recognized for her service to the field, she was recently awarded the AMATYC Mathematics Excellence Award.

Jaime Sanchez (M.A., 1983; M.S. 1984; Ed.D., 1985)
Associate Professor,  Department of Computer Science, University of Chile

Dr. Jaime Sanchez was honored with the first ever Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Teachers College Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology. He is known for his innovative work in science education, applications of digital technology to education with a special emphasis on enhancing learning by students of widely different individual needs, and significant educational reforms in his home country of Chile. His research interests include computer education, human-computer interaction , educational software, multimedia/hypermedia, and educational computer games.

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