Alumni Engagement at the College

Meet our outstanding alumni and emeriti faculty recognized at recent events.

2017 Alumni Honoree: Ken Fujimoto

Ken Fujimoto accepts his award from Dean Alfred Tatum and poses for a picture while doing so at the 2017 Alumni Honors Gala.

Ken Fujimoto is an assistant professor at the Loyola University Chicago College of Education.  Earning his PhD Educational Psychology degree in 2014, Fujimoto specializes in studying the quality of educational and psychological test data, using novel Bayesian nonparametric item response theory models.  Another aspect of his research focuses on evaluating and refining rating instruments that measure the quality of daycare centers and mental health-related constructs.

2017 Alumni Honoree: Ernesto Matias

Ernesto Matias accepts his award from Dean Alfred Tatum and poses for a picture while doing so at the 2017 Alumni Honors Gala.

Ernesto Matias is the Chief of Schools for Network 4 in Chicago Public Schools, responsible for more than 30 schools on the north and northeast sides of the city.  He focuses on improving student academic outcomes to strengthen life opportunities.  One of his major focuses is exploring how race and race relations impact student learning, and he is leading efforts to bring together students and educators from minority and majority groups to tackle these questions.  Matias earned his EdD Urban Education Leadership degree in 2015.

2017 Alumni Honoree: Cheryl Watkins

Cheryl Watkins accepts her award from Dean Alfred Tatum and poses for a picture while doing so at the 2017 Alumni Honors Gala.

Cheryl Watkins, BA Urban Education ’92 and PhD Special Education ’15, is the Chief of Schools for Network 13 within the Chicago Public Schools. She supervises leadership, teaching and learning in 35 schools on the far south and southeast side areas of the city, specifically in the Roseland, Pullman and Hegewich communities (30 elementary schools and 5 high schools).  Previously, Watkins was the Chief of Schools for Network 11 in in Chicago Public Schools.

2016 Proud Of Our History Honoree: Mark Smylie

Mark Smylie shakes hands with Dean Alfred Tatum at the 2016 Proud Of Our History Luncheon.

Mark Smylie, PhD, professor emeritus of educational policy studies, focused his research efforts on school organization and processes of school organizational change, administrative and teacher leadership and development and urban school improvement.  He served as a department chair at the College, secretary-treasurer of the National Society for the Study of Education and director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. As a scholar, he earned a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship, the William J. Davis Award from the University Council for Educational Administration and the American EducationalResearch Association’s Research Review Award.

Previous POOH Honorees