Six College of Education scholars took a break from their studies to pick up awards for their outstanding graduate or undergraduate achievements and leadership.

The college bestowed the awards on April 21 at its annual recognition dinner, when COE alumni, donors, faculty and other supporters are invited to campus to hear updates about the college and honor the academic year’s high-achieving EduGators.

Thomasenia Adams, associate dean of research and faculty development, said the graduate students were selected by faculty committees, whose members evaluated the advanced-degree students’ achievements and letters of recommendation written by faculty.

The undergraduates were chosen from students enrolled in either the Unified Elementary ProTeach or Unified Early Childhood program in recognition of their superior academic work and accomplishments.

Graduate Student Awards

Brian Zaboski (left), Rachelle Glickson Curcio (center), and Elizabeth Currin (right)

Rachelle “Shelly” Curcio received the Outstanding Professional Practice Award for her extensive professional educator preparation activities, including pedagogy, best practices, assessment and the translation of research to improve practice.

Curcio has bachelor’s (‘95) and master’s (‘96) degrees in Elementary Education from UF, and this August expects to earn a doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching and Teacher Education. Before returning to Gainesville for her Ph.D., Curcio spent 13 years as an elementary classroom teacher, reading coach and assistant principal at schools in Sanford and Tampa. She trained as a certified instructional coach and has piloted a distance-learning coaching program for the Lastinger Center for Learning, the college’s education innovation incubator. Curcio hasdrawn praise from faculty mentors for her skills as a teacher, researcher and supervisor of interns. Her dissertation is a study of how mentoring relationships can result in learning for interns and their mentors.

Elizabeth Currin accepted the Graduate Leadership Award, given to the advanced-degree student who most demonstrates a commitment to service and leadership for the college, university and community.

Currin is a Ph.D. candidate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education. She has a master’s of arts in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (’07) and earned summa cum laude honors in receiving a bachelor’s of arts in English from Wake Forest (’05). She has taught English at high schools in Clemmons, N.C., and Gainesville. As the president of UF’s Student Alliance of Graduates in Education (SAGE), Currin received praise from faculty for organizing a research symposium for scholars at the college. She has written and co-written many scholarly articles based on her research.

Brian Zaboski earned the Graduate Research Award for his outstanding scholarship and strong evidence of publications, professional development activities and presentations in support of the mission of the College of Education.

He expects to receive his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the College of Education in August 2018. His dissertation is a study of the efficacy of group counseling for social anxiety among postsecondary students. He earned a master’s in School Psychology from the college in 2015 and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Scranton in 2010. As writer or co-writer, he has published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals and professional publications, has seven more under review or preparation, and made 16 presentations at professional conferences. He serves as an advanced practicum student at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital and provides weekly cognitive-behavioral therapy at UF Health’s Springhill outpatient clinic. Faculty members describe Zaboski as one of the School Psychology program’s finest and brightest students.

Undergraduate Awards

Vivianne Riveria (left), Sulhae Christina Na (center), and Abigail Andrews (right)

Abigail Andrews received the Outstanding Unified Elementary Education ProTeach Award. She is on track to complete the ProTeach master’s teacher preparation program. She has a 3.95 GPA and appeared multiple times on the Dean’s List. Active in the campus community, she has served as president of her sorority and is a member of the UF’s education honor society, Kappa Delta Pi. She has taught violin, worked as a summer camp counselor, participates in campus and community service organizations and works as a childcare provider.

Sulhae Christina Na received one of the two Outstanding Unified Early Childhood Education awards. She is completing a bachelor’s in education and plans to earn a master’s through the college’s ProTeach early childhood program. She has received numerous honors and scholarships, including being named by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as an Anderson Scholar of Distinction, the highest recognition bestowed on students for their first two years of course work, and is a member of UF’s education honor society, Kappa Delta Pi.

Vivianne Rivera also received an Outstanding Unified Early Childhood Education Award. She graduated this spring with a bachelor’s of arts in special education with a 3.9 GPA and this summer she will begin work on a master’s in the college’s ProTeach program. Among her honors, she is a member of UF’s Golden Key International Honour Society and she is a Minority Teacher Education Scholar. She works as a private nanny and as a teaching assistant at the Baby Gator Child Development Center.