Distinction in Graduate Education
Tina Dyches receives Wesley P. Lloyd Award
CPSE professor Tina Dyches has worked for more than 25 years, at the McKay School and elsewhere, to support the well-being of children with disabilities and their families. Her compassion and hard work have enabled her to make the contributions for which she received the Wesley P. Lloyd Award for Distinction in Graduate Education, presented at the annual University Conference in August.
Dyches’ experience in helping people with disabilities began as a child in the first grade. “There was a girl in my class who was slower to learn things than the other kids, didn’t seem to have any friends, and was teased a lot,” Dyches said. “Kids were not very nice to her and I tried to befriend her. I guess my heart had compassion for her and for people who struggled to fit in and struggled to learn and be the best they could be given our human constraints.”
The nominations for the award, initiated by faculty and administrators, are evaluated based on specific qualifications, including “distinguished teaching at the graduate level, significant research or creative work, superior mentoring of graduate students, and exemplary service to the university in the creation, implementation, and supervision of graduate programs.”
Dyches has worked as program director of the undergraduate and graduate programs in special education for nine years. She fulfilled an important role in restructuring the graduate program to better meet the needs of the departments’ graduate students and those they serve. The program focuses on preparing special educators who provide collaborative leadership to foster the moral development and improve the learning and social competence of exceptional children with challenging behaviors.
Dyches insisted, “I don’t do anything different than anyone else.” She credited the concern and compassion all of the department faculty have for their students as contributing to her work. “I see students in our office having difficult discussions with professors. Professors know what’s going on in their lives, the struggles they have,” she said. “Our department is really concerned about our students’ lives and how we can help them progress in their education so they can become the best professionals and humans they can be, given their personal circumstances.”
October 23, 2012