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New Gifts, Endowments, and Bequests

Champions for Education


Charles H. Aurand (Ph.D. ’71) of Tucson, Arizona, recently documented an estate gift establishing the Charles H. Aurand Early Career Faculty Enhancement Fund to provide financial support to early career tenure-track faculty in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education to advance their research. Aurand enjoyed a long career as a professor of music, including serving as chairman of the Department of Music at Hiram College, Dean of the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, and Dean of the College of Creative and Communication Arts at Northern Arizona University.

To honor the memory of their colleague, faculty in the SOE established the David K. Cohen Scholarship to support graduate students who, like Cohen, demonstrate an interest in the relationship between policy and practice, and connecting the two in ways that influence and support successful teaching practices. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education, transformed how scholars understand educational improvement. He passed away on September 23, 2020 after a brief illness.

Starting with his activism in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Cohen probed how education policy affected practice, and why it so often did not succeed at improving teaching and learning. Collaborating with colleagues over five decades, Cohen studied practice itself, in high schools and elementary schools, examining how teachers and school leaders interpreted and enacted policy initiatives. He analyzed policies and showed how often they lacked the guidance that would support implementation in context. Examining education systems in several other countries, including Australia, France, and Singapore, Cohen showed that teaching in the United States lacked an underlying system or infrastructure to guide it, and thus made it much more difficult for practitioners than is true in other professions. As a whole, his work was optimistic about what was possible in education if pessimistic about the ways in which the United States has repeatedly not provided the needed conditions to support that improvement. His work has influenced not only many researchers, policymakers, and school leaders, but also states, districts, and charter networks that have sought to create the conditions that he argued were important for successful reform.

The Feinberg family

Mindy and Marc Feinberg have created the Feinberg Scholarship to support undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in elementary or secondary education, with a preference for those who graduate from the School at Marygrove. A second preference is to support students who are pursuing the profession of teaching via the Detroit teaching pathway. Mindy says, “We felt it was important to help a student graduate from the School of Education and enter the field of teaching without the burden of massive student loans, or give the opportunity to a student who would not otherwise be able to afford it. It was our pleasure to set up this scholarship and we do so with great gratitude to the School of Education and Dean Moje. Go Blue!”

Launched by friends and family of SOE Professor Stuart Karabenick, the primary purpose of the Stuart A. Karabenick Award will be to provide scholarship or fellowship support to CPEP graduate students conducting psychological research to address important educational topics. First preference will be given to students whose research forges innovative school-university partnerships or explores novel interventions to improve educational practice. Karabenick’s children, Scott, Robin, Rachel, and Leah, have committed their support, and CPEP alum Eric Fretz (AB ’85, MS ’02, PhD ’10) has generously committed to matching donations to this fund dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000.

Karabenick was a scholar with wide-ranging interests who significantly contributed to understanding the role of motivation and self-regulated learning. Devoting his professional life to research and mentoring, Karabenick published with his students and a lengthy list of collaborators throughout the world. With his kindness, professionalism, wisdom, positive disposition, and open mindset, he shaped the growth of countless graduate students and colleagues. He left an indelible mark on the fields of strategic help-seeking, self-regulated learning, relevance for learning and motivation in education, academic delay of gratification, perceived achievement goal structures, teacher responsibility and motivation for professional development, culturally diverse instructional practices, and computer-mediated instruction.

The Valerie E. Lee Award was initiated by Robert Croninger (PhD ’97), one of her former students, to honor Lee’s memory and recognize her as a prolific scholar, dedicated teacher, ardent mentor, and friend to many. The award will support graduate students in the School of Education who are completing their dissertations, and are addressing educational inequities and social injustices through innovative research.

Lee, who retired in 2011, focused her research largely on public policy with respect to educational equity, and on identifying characteristics of schools that make them simultaneously excellent and equitable. Although much of her research focused on secondary schools, she also studied similar issues in the early grades and broadened her focus to study schools’ effects in Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa. In recognition of her many contributions to the field of education, she received the Rackham Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 2008 and was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2010.

Tom Ostrander (AB ’72) and Kelli Turner (BBA ’92, JD ’97) of Nashville, Tennessee, recently made a planned gift to the Dean's Discretionary Fund. Ostrander and Turner have been longtime volunteers for and donors to U-M, supporting initiatives at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Law School, and Michigan Ross, among others. Ostrander, a Detroit native whose maternal grandparents met on the Diag in 1899 and whose son graduated from U-M 110 years later, was recently introduced to some of the School of Education's initiatives in Detroit and has been an ambassador for the school’s work at The School at Marygrove and within the Detroit P-20 Partnership. This particular gift is made in recognition of Dean Elizabeth Moje and her leadership of the school.

Realized Planned Gifts

An unrestricted gift from the Edna Gross Trust was designated to the SOE Fund For Excellence. For Gross, U-M was a family affair: she and her husband were both U-M alumni, and their son earned an undergraduate degree from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Quinn Harrison

An unrestricted gift from the Elizabeth Harrison Estate was designated to the SOE Fund For Excellence. Elizabeth (Betsy) Quinn Harrison graduated from U-M with a bachelor of arts degree in education and teaching certification in 1965 and embarked on a career in teaching and volunteer work. Harrison later served as president of the Flint chapter of the University of Michigan Alumni Association and the Chairwoman of the National Alumnae Council from 1991–1993. She worked on committees to refurbish the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre and build a new alumni center on campus. Her leadership earned her the Alumnae Council Award in 1985 and the Distinguished Alumnae Service Award in 1987.

An unrestricted gift from the Vesta P. Hons Estate was designated to the SOE Fund For Excellence. Hons earned a master’s degree from the SOE in 1954.

An unrestricted gift from the Selma K. Richardson Estate was designated to the SOE Fund For Excellence. Richardson earned a PhD from the SOE in 1969.

An unrestricted gift from the Helene C. Rowehl (née Conlin) Estate was designated to the SOE Fund For Excellence. Rowehl earned her BA and teacher certification from the SOE in 1959.

Support SOE

There are many ways to contribute to the School of Education. We welcome you to contact us anytime to discuss your philanthropic goals.

Krissa Rumsey
Director, Office of Development
(734) 763-4880
[email protected]

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