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Professor honored by leading educational research organization

Kristen B. Morales

March 30, 2016

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A College of Education professor and department head has been honored by the country's leading educational research organization.

Cynthia Dillard, head of the College's Department of Educational Theory and Practice, has been given the Henry T. Trueba Award for Research Leading to the Transformation of the Social Contexts of Education from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). This award recognizes a scholar (or group of scholars) who has made "distinguished contributions leading to the transformation of the social contexts of education."

Trueba was known as an advocate for expanding learning opportunities for those in the greatest need, and for developing the talent of immigrant and marginalized populations. The award in his name is one of five given by AERA's Division G.

Dillard said this award holds special meaning to her after having met Trueba early in her career.

"I am grateful and very humbled to receive the 2016 AERA division G Henry Trueba Award, in honor of a man whom I so deeply respect and continue to admire," said Dillard. "Dr. Trueba was one of those mentors 'from afar,' whom I had the chance to meet only once, as a brand new assistant professor. But his impact on my thinking and the gentleness of his being taught me lessons that continue to guide me today.

"It is Dr. Trueba's wisdom that has given me the courage to work to transform the lives of others."

According to committee chair Sonia Nieto, Dillard was the unanimous winner among the nominees. She will accept the award during the division's business meeting on April 9 in Washington, DC.