Clemson’s College of Education has established the Teaching and Learning Online M.Ed. Award to recognize exemplary educators who show evidence and potential as a leader in their field. Leadership in the college’s teaching and learning department has recognized one graduate student from each of the M.Ed. program’s three specializations with the award.
According to Cynthia Deaton, chair of the teaching and learning department, award recipients prioritize the professional growth of others as part of their own professional development. They serve in leadership roles by finding ways to share their knowledge, resources and experiences.
“The award recipients are committed to finding ways to influence the teaching and learning experiences of others regardless of the educational setting in which they find themselves,” Deaton said. “When we hear how they plan to develop as leaders in education, it’s obvious that they are already making a positive impact in their fields.”
Kelly McNeil is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s STEAM specialization. McNeil said she chose the program because of its ranking by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top online graduate education programs in the nation. She said Clemson has lived up to that recognition in her experience, and she values the program’s interaction with faculty and its flexibility.
“I have experienced caring, responsive and exceptional faculty and relevant coursework that has been put to use immediately in my current teaching career,” McNeil said. “I am impressed by the collaboration, engagement and authentic coursework that my professors have fostered in a completely online environment allowing me the flexibility to stay at my job while earning my master’s degree.”
Emma Chiappetta is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s instructional coaching specialization. Chiappetta specifically cited how applicable the content from the master’s program has been in her own teaching. She said faculty have taught her to be more intentional with her teaching with built-in opportunities for students to be reflective.
“During each assignment and reading I find myself reflecting on my own practice and pausing from my Clemson work to tweak or update a lesson for the classes that I teach,” Chiappetta said. “I have seen the positive impact that such strategies have had on my students and I am excited to continue to learn and grow at Clemson.”
Ana Ardon is the awardee from the M.Ed. program’s experiential learning for early childhood specialization. While Ardon also cited the program’s flexibility and course content as major strengths, she said the ways she is already developing as a leader through the program are just as important.
“I have already attended several major conferences and further established professional networks in workshops specifically for early childhood educators,” Ardon said. “I plan to continue using my growing knowledge and present my experiences and professional insight.”
Awardees will enjoy a $6,000 tuition reduction as part of the recognition.
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