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UF Anderson Scholars program honors 17 ProTeach students–most ever!–plus 2 faculty mentors

Seventeen COE ProTeach elementary education students have been named UF Anderson Scholars for their outstanding academic performances during their first two years at UF—the most education students to receive the award in recent memory.

Two education faculty members—Mary Ann Nelson and Caitlin Gallingane—also were recognized for the second year in a row for mentoring or inspiring several of the honored students.

Anderson Scholars awarded with highest distinction are, from left, Katelyn Mayer, Caley Rappa and Krista Steele.

Anderson Scholars awarded with highest distinction are, from left, Katelyn Mayer, Caley Rappa and Krista Steele.

The Anderson award is the highest recognition bestowed on undergraduate students for their academic excellence. Anderson Scholar certificates are given campuswide by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to students who have earned cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.90 (with distinction); 3.95 (high distinction); and 4.0 (highest distinction) during their freshman and sophomore years.

College of Education students receiving the Anderson Scholar award with highest distinction are Katelyn Mayer, Caley Rappa and Krista Steele.

Education students awarded with high distinction are Simona Blanarikova, Lindsay Burn, Lauren Cassell, Autumn Finke, Felica Hanley, Margaret Kelly, Abby Newman, Caley Rappa and Alexandra Smart.

Scholars honored with distinction are Shannan Campbell, Sicily Guarisco, Cassandra Lussier, Tori Rubloff and Sydney Vail.

“Being recognized as an Anderson Scholar is a huge honor. It also reaffirms that our school takes pride in our accomplishments and that they recognize us for doing so,” said Krista Steele of Orlando. She said she hopes to teach first or second grade after graduation “and make a difference in students’ lives and the education field.”

NELSON, Mary Ann 2014 resized

Mary Ann Nelson

Anderson Scholars faculty honoree Mary Ann Nelson is a special education lecturer; her colleague Caitlin Gallingane is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Teaching and Learning. Each student honoree can anonymously nominate one instructor for the faculty honor. Nelson actually has been selected three times overall for the faculty award.

“You go into teaching with the hope of inspiring students. It is always an honor when a student acknowledges any contribution you might have made in that direction,” Nelson said. “I love what I teach and who I teach and it is such a privilege to be a part of their professional training.  I think of them as junior colleagues and it pleases me to be able to share my knowledge and experience with them.”

Student winner Caley Rappa, also from Orlando, described faculty honoree Gallingane as “the teacher we all want to be when we grow up, not just as a professor but especially an elementary school teacher. I believe Dr. Gallingane is the heart and soul of the College of Education.”

GALLINGANE, Caitie (2013)

Caitlin Gallingane

Gallingane said she and other COE professors work as closely as they can with undergraduate students because they identify with students’ concerns as they prepare for careers in a constantly evolving profession.

“I try to see things from their perspective and give them the support they need to be successful,” Gallingane said. “I act as an advocate because I care about their experience at UF.”

The Scholars award program is named in honor of James N. Anderson, who served as the first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1910 until 1930. Anderson Hall bears his name.

WRITER: Larry Lansford, director, news and communications, UF College of Education;; 352-273-4137


Eight education majors named ‘Anderson scholars’

Faculty mentor honoree Dustin Jones, center, poses with four of the eight Anderson Scholars (pictured from left): Brenna Burke, Janelle Lopez, Date Logan and Katie Stults.

Eight College of Education undergraduates have received a prestigious campus-wide award for academic achievement, and an education faculty member was recognized for his mentorship of several of the honored students.

The College of Education student recipients are ProTeach elementary education majors Brenna Burke, Kate Logan, Janelle Lopez, Alexandra Ramlow, Katherine Romero, Carolyn Smith, and Katie Stults; and ProTeach early childhood education major Jennifer Standsfield.

Mathematics education instructor Dustin Jones, who was nominated by Logan and Lopez, was chosen as an Anderson Scholar Faculty Honoree. Jones is a visiting clinical assistant professor and just finished his first semester at the university.

The students were awarded the Anderson School Certificate of Distinction, High Distinction or Highest Distinction, which is given by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to UF students who have maintained a full, uninterrupted course load and at least a 3.90, 3.95 or 4.00 GPA, respectively, during their first two years at the university.

“It is nice to be recognized for my efforts during my first two years and to know that my accomplishments have not been overlooked,” Lopez said. “I’m glad that my fellow education majors and I have been distinguished as high-achieving students, and I hope we can represent all education majors as hardworking and talented students.”

The Anderson Scholar Faculty Honoree recognizes professors who have mentored Anderson scholars.

“It warms my heart to be identified by my students as inspiring and influential,” Jones said. “These eight Anderson scholars are well on their way to becoming successful teachers who will inspire and influence the next generation of students.”

The Anderson scholar and faculty honoree awards are named after James Nesbitt Anderson, who served as the first dean of what used to be the College of Arts and Sciences between 1910 and 1930. The award was initiated a few years ago by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in part because of the historical role the college has played in the education of undergraduate students during their first two years at UF.