SOE News

School of Education honoring five at 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon

The School of Education and its Alumni Council will hold its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 15, where five people will be honored for their contributions to education.

Bob Eaves Jr., a businessman who has been a longtime supporter of the School of Education and other education causes, will be presented the Distinguished Leadership Award.

Eaves established the Robert Wendell Eaves Sr. Professorship in Educational Leadership at the School of Education to honor his father, who had worked as a teacher and principal before serving as executive secretary of the National Education Association’s Department of Elementary School Principals. Eaves also has served on the boards of education-related groups, such as the Public School Forum of North Carolina and the James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy, working to advance informed decision-making among education policy leaders.

Two alumni – Janice Davis (B.S.S.T. ’71, M.A.T. ’75, Ph.D. ’78) and Luis Urrieta (Ph.D. ’03) – will receive Alumni Achievement Awards.

Davis has worked as a teacher and administrator in a long career of accomplishment in public education. After serving in leadership positions in Granville and Durham counties, she worked at the N.C. Department of Public Instruction as deputy state superintendent and interim superintendent. She has also worked with the North Carolina New Schools Project, and now consults for school districts, foundations and other education-related organizations across the country.

Urrieta, an associate professor at the University of Texas, is recognized as a leading Latino educational issues scholar. Born in East Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents, Urrieta focuses his research on Chicana and Chicano identity, learning and activism. He is the author of the award-winning 2009 book, “Working From Within: Chicana and Chicano Activist Educators in Whitestream Schools.”

The Excellence in Teaching Award will be given to Jason Painter (Ph.D. ’11), director of N.C. State University’s Science House, which works to cultivate and diversify the pool of students pursuing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Previously, he served for six years as executive director of the North Carolina Science Olympiad, the largest K-12 science competition in the state and N.C. State University’s largest pre-college outreach program in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Nicole Pfleger (M.Ed. ’06), named the 2012 School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association, will be given the Young Alumni Award. Pfleger is a school counselor at an elementary school in her native Cobb County, Ga.

The event will be held at the Carolina Inn, adjacent to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

For more information about the event, contact Laurie Norman, director of alumni affairs at the School of Education, by emailing her at or by calling 919-843-6979.