Commencement Award Recipients 2022
Congratulations to our 2022 Duquesne University School of Education undergraduate, graduate, and alumni award winners! Our award winners are selected annually by a School of Education faculty committee who review their work and contributions in education - both inside and outside the classroom. These recipients have been chosen for their outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service in education aligned to Duquesne University's Spiritan Tradition of Caring.
School of Education Undergraduate Leading Teacher Program (LTP) Excellence Award
Ms. Camryn Camp
Ms. Camryn Camp's academic record has continually shone, making the Dean's list each year of her studies in the B.S.Ed. Early Childhood Education '22 program here at Duquesne University's School of Education as academics were her top priority. She is continually driven to instill academic excellence and the pursuit of lifelong learning in the young learners of her classroom both as a 1st-grade student teacher at Scott Primary School in the Shaler Area School District and in her future work as a day-to-day substitute teacher at Shaler Area School District that she will continue after graduating this year. She greatly enjoys this work at Shaler, and she looks forward to a classroom of her own soon in the Pittsburgh area.
As a student teacher, Ms. Camp delved into the experience and in addition to lesson preparation and rapport building within her 1st-grade classroom, she worked on differentiating for individual student needs and worked closely with three students who were supported by Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). She collaborated with other professionals regarding individualizing student goals, implementing positive behavior systems, and tracking noticeable growth over a short period of time. From this work, Ms. Camp helped a student experiencing an intellectual disability write on their own. Ms. Camp notes this as her most rewarding college career experience. Ms. Camp shares some reflections on how her degree from Duquesne will help her reach bigger goals:
"...My educational experiences have prepared me to encourage students as lifelong learners. Each day of my student teaching experience provided me with something new, which forced me to adapt and develop strategies that best suited all student learning styles. Throughout my courses at Duquesne, I have learned the importance of diversity, leadership, and technology within the school community. I am confident that I can implement these themes into my future classroom to help students succeed in their learning careers. Duquesne University provided me with the opportunity to connect with the Shaler Area School District where I am now a day-to-day substitute. Additionally, Duquesne allowed me to build strong relationships with other professionals. These professionals will support me throughout my career, and I am eternally grateful for these connections."
School of Education Distinguished Graduate Student Award
Ms. Nina Liu-Guechev
As Ms. Nina Liu-Guechev was in Zoom classrooms in the thick of the pandemic, her love of the course material in pursuit of her M.S. Clinical Mental Health ’22 degree allowed her to absorb all she could, affording her a high GPA to qualify for fraternal membership in the Delta Upsilon chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, a professional counseling organization. She deepened her academic endeavors as she presented with a colleague at the 2022 Duquesne University Graduate Research Symposium on their research regarding heritability of and specific genetic markers associated with PTSD.
In her clinical experience at her internship site, Ms. Liu-Guechev used the classic and favorited roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) to explore how roleplaying and character creation could have therapeutic benefits for adolescents. This provided insight as well as rapport building for her work with clients at her internship site. She looks forward to continuing to work with D&D as a form of adolescent/adult play therapy, she explains, “The identity work and exploration doesn’t just stop at character creation; it only starts there. Players are able to practice aspects of their identities that they may not feel comfortable performing in real life, and externalizing personal flaws/strengths onto a character can make identifying them (and patterns) much easier. There is a lot of potential for additional insight, processing, and of course, fun.”
Ms. Liu-Guechev regards her time at Duquesne as instrumental in preparing for life after graduation as she has made lifelong friends and colleagues and worked with incredible professors who have shaped her own experiences. After graduation, she will be working as an outpatient therapist at the Nord Center in Lorain, Ohio. She looks forward to “working in the mental health field and conducting research to not only serve my community, but also our society as a whole.”
School of Education Distinguished Alumni Student Award
Dr. Brian Miller
Superintendent of Pine-Richland School District and Duquesne University School of Education alum Dr. Brian Miller has leveraged his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership ’09 degree and Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility education from Duquesne to pursue multiple opportunities throughout his career, noting, “My experience at Duquesne…formal and informal were equally important for establishing an environment to learn and grow.”
With Dr. Miller’s leadership and the resultant team effort from the staff and everyone at Pine-Richland, the school district was named a 2021 Excellence Award recipient from the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE). MAAPE is a non-profit corporation that specifically helps a myriad of organizations improve performance and outcomes, and Pine-Richland won this select award and was the first education sector Excellence Award recipient. Only seven organizations in the past 15 years have been given this honor by MAAPE.
In addition to Dr. Miller’s dedicated leadership at Pine-Richland, he has served as a volunteer member of the national board of examiners for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program operated through the National Institute of Standards and Technology for 10 years. Dr. Miller’s leadership skills, commitment, and care for his work have helped to shape the success of Pine-Richland’s School District and its students.