Alumni News

School of Education honors seven at annual Alumni Awards Dinner

The School of Education has honored seven people – a vice president at the UNC system’s General Administration and six alumni – at its 15th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner.

“We are delighted to celebrate these accomplished educators,” said Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the School of Education. “They inspire us with their commitment. These are people who are working every day at the forefront of teaching, of serving, or finding knowledge that will advance the quality of life for students.”

At the dinner on Oct. 29, the School gave its highest honor – the Peabody Award – to Alisa Chapman, vice president for academic and university programs at the University of North Carolina’s General Administration.

Alisa Chapman,
Peabody Award Winner

Chapman was recognized for a career dedicated to efforts to improve and expand educational opportunity.

Chapman, who grew up in Lumberton, N.C., and got her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at East Carolina University, has worked in educational technology for Beaufort County Schools and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. She joined the UNC system’s General Administration in 1999, becoming vice president for academic and university programs in 2011.

Chapman leads efforts across the UNC system and its 15 schools of education to prepare teachers and school administrators and counselors for the state’s schools. She has led efforts to collect and organize data to measure the effectiveness of educator programs. She led development of the UNC Educator Quality Dashboard, built in conjunction with the analytics software firm SAS, which displays information about the performance of schools of education at UNC system schools.

Chapman also has led efforts to expand student recruitment by schools of education and development of the N.C. New Teacher Support Program, which helps young teachers, working to retain them in the teaching profession.

She has been recognized by the Center for Digital Education, receiving the group’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers Award in 2015.

Alumni Achievement Awards

Paula Myrick Short
(M.Ed. ’70, Ph.D. ’83)

Rick Jay Short (Ph.D. ’84)

Alumni Achievement Awards were given to Paula Myrick Short (M.Ed. ’70, Ph.D. ’83) and Rick Jay Short (Ph.D. ’84).

Paula Short is senior vice president for academic affairs and provost for the University of Houston, where she has served in that role since 2013, leading initiatives that are credited with raising graduation and retention rates, as well as narrowing student achievement gaps. She previously served at UH as the founding director of the Institute for Policy, Research, and Evaluation.

Previous to joining UH, Short served as vice chancellor for academic affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents, which governed a 19-campus university system. She has also worked as a teacher, at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and in tenured positions at Auburn University and Pennsylvania State University. She has won the Master Professor Award from the University Council for Educational Administration, the Paul A. Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award, and the Jack A. Culbertson Award, given for research contributions in educational administration.

Rick Short serves as dean of the College of Human Sciences and Humanities at University of Houston-Clear Lake in Houston, Texas., a position in which he has served since 2011. There he has developed partnerships with organizations such as NASA, Shell Oil Company and Microsoft Corp. to create opportunities for students to conduct research. In 2013, NASA awarded him its Silver Achievement Medal, the agency’s second-highest civilian award. From 2005 to 2011, Short was associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences at Middle Tennessee State University, where he directed teacher performance assessment in a statewide teacher education reform initiative.

He has also worked at the American Psychological Association as the assistant executive director for education. In recognition of his national leadership, Short was designated an APA Fellow in 2005. In 2011, the APA’s Division of School Psychology honored him with its Jack Bardon Distinguished Service Award. He has held faculty positions at research universities, including three years at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

Rick and Paula Short are married.

Distinguished Leadership Awards

Zoe Woodell Locklear
(M.Ed. ’79, Ph.D. ’89)

The Distinguished Leadership Award was given to Zoe Woodell Locklear (M.Ed. ’79, Ph.D. ’89). Locklear, a native of Pembroke, works as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNC-Pembroke, a university she has served for most of her career. She was the founding dean of UNCP’s School of Education, returning twice to serve in that role. Locklear has also worked as an assistant superintendent for Robeson County schools, as an associate superintendent at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and at the UNC system’s General Administration. She has served on the State Board of Education, becoming the first female American Indian to serve on the board. She has also served as chairperson of the State Advisory Council on Indian Education.

Locklear received the UNC-Pembroke Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2003, was a fellow with the Education Policy Fellowship Program in 2006-2007, and was the N.C. Counseling Association Administrator of the Year in 2013. Her two degrees from Carolina are in special education and she has worked as a teacher of students with disabilities and as a director of a school for students with disabilities.

Excellence in Teaching Award

Shane Arce (M.Ed. ’13)

Robert Berry III (Ph.D. ’03)

The School’s Excellence in Teaching Award was given to Shane Arce (M.Ed. ’13) and Robert Berry III (Ph.D. ’03)

Arce, a native of New York state, came to North Carolina in 2009 and started working for Wake County public schools, serving as a math department and team leader for gifted and talented magnet schools. He taught fifth grade at Fuller Elementary School, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2013. Since 2014, Arce has taught seventh grade at Moore Square Middle School, which named him its Teacher of the Year earlier this year. He also has worked as offensive coordinator for the Athens High School football team, as a Duke TIP instructor as a students’ run club coordinator and with Moore Square’s Teacher Leader Corps.

Berry is a faculty member at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, where he has worked since 2005. He started his teaching career as a middle school math, science, and technology teacher in Lynchburg, Va.; and as an elementary and middle school teacher in Newport News, Va., winning there two teacher of the year awards. He earned his M.A. in mathematics education from Christopher Newport University, then came to Chapel Hill, teaching eighth-grade math and science, then serving as assistant director and pre-college coordinator for UNC’s Center for Mathematics and Science Education. After obtaining his doctorate, as the late Carol Malloy’s first doctoral advisee, Berry joined the faculty of Old Dominion University.

In 2011, he won the University of Virginia’s All-University Teaching Award and the statewide Mathematics Educator of the Year award. He has twice won the Linking Research and Practice Outstanding Publication Award from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He co-authored the landmark 2014 publication “Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All.”

Outstanding Young Alumna Award

Mallory Nickel (UNC-BEST ’12)

The Outstanding Young Alumna Award was given to Mallory Nickel (UNC-BEST ’12). Nickel, after graduating from Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in geology and licensure to teach by completing the UNC-BEST program, has taught science at Lee Early College High School in Sanford since 2013. Nickel also serves as the school’s AVID site coordinator and as an Advisory Professional Learning Community leader, assists with the district’s beginning teacher program, has presented at school board meetings, and has planned and presented school, districtwide, and statewide professional development presentations.

After growing up in Raleigh, Nickel came to Carolina as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. During her undergraduate career, she volunteered in science at three middle schools, assisted Morehead Planetarium education, and won a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. In 2012, Mallory was a Buckley Public Service Scholar and worked as a substitute teacher and a research field assistant. She is pursuing a master’s degree in learning sciences at UNC-Greensboro with the goal of working with new teachers, helping them find ways to build a reflective teaching practice.