School of Education to honor seven with Peabody, Alumni awards

Saturday, October 3, 2015

George Watts Hill Alumni Center

The School of Education will honor seven people – five alumni and two longtime advocates of public education – at its 14th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on Oct. 3.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Sept. 29 to Laurie Norman, director of alumni relations, by emailing at, or by calling 919-843-6979.

The event will be held at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“We are delighted to showcase these individuals and celebrate their contributions to the important work of education and of equal opportunity,” Dean Bill MacDiarmid. “Each of these honorees has done meaningful work, and we take pride in having an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments.”

The School will give its highest honor, the Peabody Award, to Dudley Flood and posthumously to Gene Causby. Flood and Causby worked together for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, providing assistance and guidance to school districts as they implemented desegregation orders during the 1970s.

Flood started his career in 1955 teaching eighth-graders, and later taught high school while also coaching football and basketball. In 1967, he started work as a principal until he began working with DPI and Causby in 1970.

Flood has authored three books and been published in more than 25 journals. He has taught in the Principals Executive Program, and served 12 years on the UNC Board of Governors. After retiring in 1990 as associate state superintendent, Flood served five years as executive director of the N.C. Association of School Administrators.

Among his more than 350 awards, Flood has received the doctorate of humane letters from N.C. Central and UNC-Asheville, outstanding alumni awards from N.C. Central University and East Carolina University, and the Longleaf Pine Award, the state’s highest civic award, from three governors.

Causby, who died in November, began his teaching and coaching career in 1957 in Salisbury. From 1960 to 1965, he was an award-winning teacher, athletic director, and head football coach at Goldsboro High School. He also served as a principal and as administrative assistant of Goldsboro City Schools.

After working with Flood in their desegregation efforts, Causby became an assistant state superintendent, then executive director of the N.C. School Boards Association until 1994. He worked as a lobbyist, often for education-related groups.

Among his awards, Causby received the Jay Robinson Leadership Award from the N.C. Public School Forum in 2013.

Other awards

Two Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented to Lisa McNew Chapman (Ed.D. ’07) and Tracy Savell Weeks (A.B.Ed. ’95).

Chapman is senior vice president and chief academic officer of the N.C. Community College system, where she oversees the Division of Programs and Student Services. The division provides leadership, assistance, and consultation to North Carolina's 58 community colleges in the areas of academic programs, adult basic education, workforce development, continuing education, student success initiatives, financial aid, and national post-secondary education policy research. Before assuming that position in 2014, Chapman served as executive vice president of Central Carolina Community College in Sanford and had been with CCCC for 27 years.

Weeks works at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, serving as chief of academics and digital learning, a position that for the first time incorporates digital learning with curriculum and instruction responsibilities. Weeks leads deployment of the Home Base online teacher-support system, which houses student information, professional learning opportunities, resources and assessments. She also leads several DPI divisions – Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education Services, Career and Technical Education, the NC Virtual Public School and Digital Teaching and Learning. Before joining DPI, Weeks was a public school teacher, technology leader at the district level and chief academic officer at the NC Virtual Public School.

The Distinguished Leadership Award will be awarded to J. Michael Ortiz (Ph.D. ’81), who stepped down last year as president of California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif. Ortiz had been president of Cal Poly Pomona since 2003. Serving as president capped a 43-year career in education that included stints at Appalachian State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo and Fresno State. His many honors include UNC-Chapel Hill’s Latino/Latina Alumnus Award; and selection as one of Hispanic Business magazine’s 100 most influential Hispanics and as one of the Top 25 Latinos in Education by Latino Magazine. He has served in numerous national and local leadership roles.

The Excellence in Teaching Award will be given to Fred Pfohl Crouch II (M.A.T. ’71). Crouch is a retired public school teacher who spent 38 years teaching, most of those years spent in classrooms in Prince George's County, Maryland. Crouch developed strong relationships with students, as he worked to champion equity in educational opportunity. He has been active in civil rights organizations. At Carolina, he has supported the Pine Tree Scholarship Fund, which offers need-based financial assistance to gay and lesbian students. He has served the School of Education on its Alumni Council.

The Outstanding Young Alumna Award will be given to Cynthia Demetriou (Ph.D. ’14), associate dean in the Office of Student Retention at UNC-Chapel Hill. Demetriou’s dissertation project led to winning a $3.3 million federal grant to launch the Finish Line Project to help under-represented, under-prepared and low-income college students. The grant is designed to help make the Finish Line Project a model that can be implemented at universities across the country. Before coming to Chapel Hill to work on her doctorate, she worked at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., as manager of advisement systems.