Five graduating students honored for outstanding achievement

Five UF College of Education students – two in graduate school and three undergrads — have been honored for their academic and professional achievements as part of the COE’s 2014 […]


April 11, 2014



Five UF College of Education students – two in graduate school and three undergrads — have been honored for their academic and professional achievements as part of the COE’s 2014 Recognition Banquet. The annual event was held April 11 at the UF Hilton.

Timothy Wilson, a doctoral candidate in higher education, received the Outstanding Graduate Leadership Award after demonstrating his leadership skills while serving as the only student on the campuswide Internationalization Task Force. The committee represents 16 UF colleges charged with creating a globally aware campus environment that prepares UF students to succeed in today’s international marketplace.

Wilson also has spent the past three years serving more than 300 community college presidents, administrators and trustees in program planning and implementation of the Community College Futures Assembly, an annual public policy summit sponsored by the COE’s Institute of Higher Education.

Other winners included:

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.26.30 AMJulie Brown, a doctoral candidate and graduate fellow in curriculum and instruction. Brown was presented with the Outstanding Graduate Research Award for her work that addresses professional development as a vehicle for supporting culturally responsive and reform-based science instruction.

She independently secured funding from the UF Lastinger Center for Learning, and the National Association for Research in Science Teaching has recognized her as a Basu Scholar. Brown’s professional development model for science teachers has been incorporated within a major partnership between UF and Palm Beach County Schools. She also serves as a mentor for aspiring science and mathematics teachers.

Brown earned her master’s in science education from UF, graduating magna cum laude, and is a magna cum laude bachelor’s graduate of Rhode Island University.

BURNS, Jamey 10-09 045Jamey Burns, a graduate student who serves as the educational programs coordinator for the UF Lastinger Center for Learning. Burns, who also is a student in the Professional Practice doctoral program, was given the Outstanding Professional Practice Award.

She works closely with high-poverty schools in districts throughout Florida to provide inquiry-based professional development for hundreds of instructional coaches, teachers and principals. Focused on sharing her work, Burns has co-authored a book and written another book chapter on teacher inquiry, and has presented at seven state and national conferences. She earned her master’s degree in special education and her bachelor’s in elementary education from UF.


Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.32.10 AMLida “Kate” Smiley, described as an exceptional student whose enthusiasm about her chosen career as an early childhood professional stand out. Smiley was honored as the Outstanding Undergraduate Student because of the high standards she has set for herself as a learner and a teacher.

Though she has a quiet demeanor, Smiley’s passion for teaching is demonstrated in class activities, discussions and cooperative assignments. She has a 3.9 grade point average and is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Education honor society. Smiley also is active in the Education College Council and the Florida Education Association, and serves as media coordinator for the Florida Swimming and Diving Club.


Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.38.12 AMKaitlin “Katie” Stults, a bright and highly motivated student with a 3.97 grade point average. Stults, who is a Lancaster Award recipient and was recently named a UF Anderson Scholar, was named Unified Elementary ProTeach Student of the Year by the college.

Stults also has been awarded a Delta Kappa Gamma Society international scholarship, and is president of Kappa Delta Pi, an international education honor society. She is a Golden Key Honor Society member, and took classes at prestigious King’s College in London, England, as part of a study abroad program.

Stults also taught at a primary school in Paris, France, as part of UF’s “Teach the World” study abroad program.