Alumni Awards Nominations

Calling all alumni and friends! Do you know an exceptional scholar? Someone who has either conducted impactful research, used their education and passion for humanity to transform the community around them, leads an organization to advance educational opportunities, or someone in the beginning stages of their career that has a bright future ahead.

Here is an opportunity to celebrate that person(s) for his/her affinity to make good on the promise of public education. Please use the categories below and nominate a College of Education alum who you feel is deserving of this honor.  Submit your nominations

2018 Researcher of the Year

This award will be bestowed upon a College of Education graduate that has contributed innovative scholarship to the field of urban education that has resulted in impactful change. All alumni will be considered.

2018 Rising Scholar

This award will be bestowed upon a College of Education alum who has graduated within the previous five years. He/She is making a noticeable impact in their career and has a foreseeable trajectory for a successful future in urban education. Only those holding a Bachelor degree will be considered. No graduate or terminal degrees.

2018 Humanitarian of the Year

This award will be bestowed upon a College of Education graduate that has demonstrated selfless acts within the larger community that has benefited the welfare of others. All alumni will be considered.

2018 Educational Leader of the Year

This award will be bestowed upon a College of Education graduate that currently works in a leadership capacity within an organization. He/She embodies the mission of the College and serves as an ambassador for high-quality public education that is equitable for all. Only those holding a PhD or EdD will be considered.

Nomination Deadline

Voting closes on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 5 p.m.

Submit your nominations

If you have any questions, please contact Ed Briscoe at

Gala Videos and Photos

Thank you to all our alumni, faculty, staff, students, donors and friends who made our Fourth Annual Alumni Honors Gala a great success!

Honorees Video Presentation

Gala Photos

Ernesto Matias accepts his alumni award from Dean Alfred Tatum.

Alumni celebrate at the craps table during the Night at the Casino portion of the event.

Two alumni pose for a photo at the gala.

A group photo of alumni dancing during the gala.

Alumna Cheryl Watkins mans the DJ booth.

Alumna Aisha El-Amin shares a laugh at the Night at the Casino event.

Alumni and faculty at the blackjack table during the Night at the Casino event.

COE Alumni Board

Mission Statement

The purpose of the COE Alumni Board shall be to maximize involvement of COE alumni and students in the affairs of the College by developing programs and activities that provide opportunities for professional and social interaction, build lifelong relationships, and support the College’s mission of ensuring that all children and youth in America’s urban schools receive a quality education.

  • To recognize contributions of distinguished alumni, students and faculty of the College
  • To stimulate interest in education as a career among outstanding students
  • To maintain a direct line of communication and involvement between the College and its alumni

For more information, contact Ed Briscoe at

Alumni in the News

WCIU Feature: Alumna Chala Holland

Chala Holland.

WCIU's morning news program, You and Me, profiled EdD Urban Education Leadership alumna Chala Holland on her journey from growing up in Philadelphia to a teaching career in the Chicago suburbs to the principalship at Lake Forest High School.
Watch the video

Classroom Instant Replay

Latino student working on a math problem.

Alumna Kathryn Chval strapped cameras to English language learners' heads to uncover how teachers affect students' academic, communicative and social competencies in math, finding teacher actions that call out ELL students can lead to unintended consequences.  Read the story

The Atlantic Cites COE Research

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The Atlantic magazine highlighted research by professor David Stovall and alumna Ebony McGee in an article about how acts of racism exact mental costs on Black college students, citing their evidence on how Black students display resiliency overcoming these acts.  Read the story

A Teacher as a Father

Taylor 200.jpg

Evan Taylor, BA Urban Education: Elementary Education '14, reflects on his third-grade students at Roosevelt Elementary School describing him as a father and the class as a family, and how these moments have changed his perceptions about his role as a teacher and community leader.  Read the story


Read more alumni and student stories at The Recess Blog.

Career Resources

Job Seekers

The University of Illinois Alumni Association Alumni Career Center offers resources to job seekers and those advancing in their careers.  The Center edits resumes and cover letters, prepares candidates for interviews, and actively maintains a job board of employers looking specifically to hire University of Illinois graduates.  We encourage you to take advantage of these free resources.

Help us build the COE network

The College is currently building out its own job board, specifically devoted to our alumni seeking professions as teachers, educators, school leaders, early childhood managers and more.  Help us strengthen the COE network by sending in job opportunities at your place of work. Send job openings to