Student News

Kurz, Garayua-Tudryn, Walton win School Counseling program awards

Three masters of education candidates in the School of Education's school counseling program - Maureen Kurz, Barbie Garayua-Tudryn and Laura Walton - have won awards from the program.

Garayua-Tudryn and Laura Walton were awarded the Galassi-Brown Advocacy Award, which is presented annually to the school counseling student who is judged by the faculty to have gone beyond expectations and demonstrated exceptional advocacy for the students he or she serves, the schools where he or she works and the school counseling profession.

Kurz was awarded the W.D. Perry Award, which recognizes the student who is judged by the faculty to have demonstrated excellence of achievement in academics, outstanding performance in the counseling field coupled with unwavering adherence to ethical and professional standards, and demonstrated student leadership.

The Galassi-Brown Advocacy Award

Garayua-Tudryn, from Chapel Hill, interned at Creekside Elementary School in Durham. She was praised by a nominator for helping students win scholarships for summer camps, and for actively sharing information with parents about the assistance counselors can provide families. Another singled out her work helping Latino students.

"Her passion for helping others and reaching out to the community is evident within just a few minutes of speaking with her about her role as a school counselor," one nominator said.

Walton, from Durham, received praise her work at Morehead Montessori Elementary School in Durham, NC.

"Daily, Laura goes above and beyond the expectations of our Montessori community," said one nominator. "When she sees a need, she eagerly and appropriately finds a way to meet that need. Laura has extraordinary compassion and sensitivity for others - especially those who may feel "less than" or feel somewhat excluded."

Walton developed and implemented an anti-bullying campaign for first- through third-grade students which resulted in a 91 percent reduction in reported bullying, the nominator said.

"Now, student seek out Laura for help in resolving conflicts or negotiating the social scene," the nominator said. "They know that Laura understands them and, even more importantly, will help them to learn needed skills and strategies that they may be lacking."

The Galassi-Brown Advocacy Award was named after John Galassi and Duane Brown, professors at the School of Education who have contributed more than 60 years of combined service.

The W.D. Perry Award

Kurz, from Washington D.C., interned at Salem Middle School in Apex.

Her nominators praised her work with struggling students, her work with families and her stellar work in the program's coursework.

"She is a passionate advocate for students struggling with academics and social pressures," said one nominator. "She developed and delivered assistance to both boys and girls through small group settings in helping them identify and set goals for overcoming obstacles in their lives."

Kurz was praised for seeking out families who could benefit from tutoring provided by the school's PTA - tutoring that otherwise the students would not have been able to afford.

The W.D. Perry Award was named for William D. Perry, a former full professor who provided more than 30 years of leadership at the School. After coming to the UNC-Chapel Hill in 1939, Perry exerted a major influence in the development both of the counseling program and the Guidance and Testing Center. The Center continued to serve the University for many years after Perry retired in 1973.