Southeastern Professor of Education Gerlinde Beckers received the Iva Dean Cook Educator of the Year Award recently at the 2019 Division of Career Development & Transition International Conference in Seattle.

The practitioner honor is awarded to an educator, including a higher education professional, who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the career education and transition of students with disabilities. The award is named in recognition of Iva Dean Cook, a DCDT founding member, past president and a pioneer in teacher preparation in transition.

A resident of Loranger, Beckers received the award for her work with the Lions Connected Program, a program that provides personalized, post-secondary educational experiences for individuals with intellectual disabilities and recently received national recognition as the Exemplary Program for Vocational Training and Transition from the American Council on Rural Special Education.

“While Dr. Beckers is a busy associate professor in the College of Education, she still finds time to remain connected in the community, state, and across the nation, campaigning for rights and opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Dean of the College of Education Dr. Paula Summers Calderon. “As director of our post-secondary transition program, Lions Connected, Dr. Beckers has the opportunity to mentor colleagues and university students, motivating them to become active in programs for people with disabilities and to become voices and advocates.”

The mission of DCDT is to promote national and international efforts to improve the quality of and access to career/vocational and transition services, increase the participation of education in career development and transition goals, and to influence policies affecting career development and transition services for persons with disabilities.

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