Athens, Ga. – The College of Education at the University of Georgia honored five graduates for their career achievements and community leadership with distinguished alumni awards at its annual Spring Celebration April 24 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.
Crystal Apple Award
David Ragsdale, a literature and journalism teacher at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Ga., received the Crystal Apple Award, an honor given to alumni in K-12 education who have made a significant impact on student, school or school district performance.
Ragsdale (B.S.Ed. ’01, M.Ed. ’03), of Athens, was recognized for his enthusiasm and passion for teaching and his initiative as an institute leader with the Red Clay Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project.
He is also faculty advisor to Clarke Central’s news and literary magazines, which have won awards from the Georgia Scholastic Press Association, Columbia Scholastic Press Association and National Council of Teachers of English.
Alumni Service Award
Joan Berryman (M.Ed. ’62, Ed.D. ‘66), of Athens, received the Alumni Service Award for her outstanding and continued dedication in service and philanthropy to the college.
Berryman retired from UGA in 1994 after serving as research associate, professor, clinic director and finally department head of the communication sciences and disorders department.
During her tenure at UGA, she served as president of the Georgia Speech-Language Hearing Association. She is a charter member of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Advisory Board.
The Berryman Family Foundation annually contributes to the College of Education general support fund and the Speech and Hearing Clinic support fund.
Professional Achievement Award
Kris Biesinger, assistant vice chancellor for advanced learning technologies for the University System of Georgia and Vasti Torres, associate professor of higher education and student affairs and affiliate faculty in Latino Studies at Indiana University, received Professional Achievement Awards, an honor give to alumni in the midpoint of their careers who have demonstrated significant achievements in their fields.
Biesinger (M.Ed. ’80, Ph.D. ‘87), of Athens, received a commendation in 2006 from Gov. Sonny Perdue for her outstanding work in launching the new GAcollege411 program, a state-wide initiative that helps high-school students and their families plan for college, select a college and apply for admission and financial aid online.
Torres (M.Ed. ’86, Ph.D. ‘97), of Bloomington, Ind., is president-elect of the American College Personnel Association, the largest professional association in the student affairs administration field. ACPA has recognized her contributions to the field with the Wise Woman Award in 2005 and Outstanding Service Award in 2001. She also received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Outstanding Faculty Award in 2006.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Glenda Lappan, University Distinguished Professor in the department of mathematics at Michigan State University, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding success and significant impact in her field.
A native of Douglas, Ga., Lappan served as the program director for the teacher preparation program for the National Science Foundation from 1989-91. She was president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics from 1998-00.
Lappan (M.Ed. ’63, Ed.D. ’65), of East Lansing, Mich., was awarded the NCTM Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award in 2004. She received the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education by the Association for Women in Mathematics for her work as a mathematics teacher, researcher and national leader in 1996.