UF recognizes COE’s Kumar for superior mentoring


Swapna Kumar

Twenty-five. That’s how many times Associate Professor Swapna Kumar returned the proposals and drafts Michael Kung had written for his dissertation.

All of the careful editing and feedback illustrate how Kumar drives her students to achieve academic excellence.

Kung said he nominated Kumar for UF’s Superior Accomplishment Award because of her dedication to mentoring and pushing him and other doctoral candidates to do their very best work. Kung graduated last year with a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction and now directs of Global Education at UF’s College of Design.

Kumar, a clinical associate professor in Educational Technology, was recently named among the University of Florida’s 29 division winners for the award.

Kumar’s student mentoring goes “the extra mile and beyond normal assigned duties,”said Jonathan Peine, chair of the award selection committee.

While she is thankful for the recognition from the university, Kumar said she is most gratified because it comes from her students.

“My role at UF is essentially about teaching, advising and mentoring, so I am honored and humbled to have been nominated by students,” Kumar said.

Kumar, a COE faculty member since 2009, will receive the award on Wednesday, March 23 at 9:30 a.m. at Emerson Alumni Hall on West University Avenue. A $200 check, certificate and coffee mug will accompany the accolade.

This award qualifies her to become a finalist for a universitywide Superior Accomplishment Award. The final award winners, chosen in April, will receive a gift of at least $1,000.

    SOURCE: Swapna Kumar, 352-273-4175
    WRITER: Katelin Mariner, UF College of Education, 352-373-4449
    MEDIA LIAISON: Larry Lansford, communications director, UF College of Education






ETC’s John Donaldson receives UF Superior Accomplishment Award

John Donaldson, director of operations for the COE’s e-learning, technology and creative services (ETC) unit, has received a UF divisional Superior Accomplishment Award for his outstanding contributions to the college and university. 

John Donaldson, ETC operations

John Donaldson, ETC operations

The award includes an invitation to attend a ceremony in mid-March, where each recipient will receive a certificate, coffee mug and a $200 stipend. Each division winner also will be considered for a university-wide Superior Accomplishment Award.

“My accomplishments are largely the result of the great team I work with and their tireless efforts to assist in the pursuit of excellence in all we do for the college,” Donaldson wrote in response to a congratulatory letter he received from COE Dean Glenn Good.

Donaldson has faced – and met – countless challenges while holding several positions since he came to UF more than 12 years ago. Among other duties, he serves as the director of technology for the CEEDAR (Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform) Center. CEEDAR is housed at the COE and directed by UF special education faculty through a $25 million grant from the federal Office of Special Education Programs.. 

CEEDAR project coordinator Margaret “Meg” Kamman said she nominated Donaldson because she admires his supportive nature and strong work ethic.

“I’m always thinking about ways to provide products and services that are user-friendly, effective and far-reaching,” Kamman said. “Technology is central to these efforts, and John has been integral to what we’ve accomplished. What makes him stand out is his genuine interest in our ultimate goal, which is to improve learning opportunities for teachers and leaders who are preparing students with disabilities for college and careers.”

Jessa Carpenter, ETC’s online concurrent enrollment student services coordinator,  echoed Kamman’s sentiments: “John is a master juggler who keeps several projects moving along at the same time. The University of Florida, the College of Education and ETC are lucky to have such a hard working, loyal and capable individual.”