Outstanding GSE students recognized by PSU

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GSE students honored by Portland State University in 2011

  • Stephanie (Blackman) Stokamer, EdD – President’s Commendation Award
  • Tyler Green, BTP, MEd – President’s Excellence Award and President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement
  • Charles Huff, GTEP, MEd – President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement
  • Denissia Withers, LECL, MEd – President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement
  • Kjerstin Brinton, GTEP, MEd – President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

Read more about Stephanie Stokamer and Tyler Green in this recent blog article.

In addition to presidential awards, university-wide winners Stephanie Stokamer and Tyler Green, three other GSE students gained university-wide recognition this year. In fact, GSE students were awarded four of the 12 total PSU Community Engagement Awards.

Charles Huff earned a PSU President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement for his contributions to a new school, A Renaissance School of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Huff was nominated by his supervising teacher and founding member of the school, Sally Wells, who says his work was “inspirational and academically supportive.” School staff and parents noted his involvement extended from sunrise to sunset, always with cheerful enthusiasm. They note that he demonstrates a tireless commitment to working with his student group in creative activities and exploration.

Upon graduating with a MEd, Mr. Huff has taken a new assignment at the Helen Gordon Child Development Center on PSU campus.

Denissia Withers, a master’s graduate in Leadership in Sustainability Education, also received a PSU President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement.

She was chosen for a community-based project she started while still an undergraduate and expanded on through her master’s work. The project was an assessment plan for the Oregon Food Bank’s “Seed to Supper” program that involved advanced research (including onsite work, data collection,  and analysis) that provided valuable information the Food Bank did not have the resources to collect.

Ms. Withers was nominated by Dr. Lisa H. Weasel, associate professor of biology at PSU. “Denissia is one of those students who goes above and beyond expectations, and is pushing the boundaries of what we consider community engagement,” she says. Ms. Withers has presented the results of her work in Washington, DC, and locally.

She continues to promote equitable and sustainable research partnerships that address food security by offering classes at the Housing Authority of Clackamas County’s Hillside Manor complex.

Kjerstin Brinton, a GTEP and master’s graduate, was also awarded a PSU President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement.

As an undergraduate, her experiences took her to Washington, DC, where she worked as a student lobbyist for Weber State University and interned for Senator Orrin Hatch. Her strong academic background and a degree in political science earned her the Gayle Thieman Scholarship for Social Science, and a Jeannette Drew Endowed Scholarship at PSU.

While student teaching at Parkrose Middle and High Schools, she prepared lessons that drew from her background in U.S. history. “Kjerstin is one of the most outstanding social studies preservice teachers I have taught in over ten years at PSU,” says Associate Professor Gayle Thieman, who nominated her for this award. “She was able to differentiate her lessons for culturally and academically diverse students and incorporate technology creatively and appropriately.”

Ms. Brinton volunteers for the Make a Wish Foundation in Oregon, and plans to get an endorsement in English as a second language.

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