Each year the BYU Faculty Awards Committee selects a distinguished faculty member who demonstrates exemplary character, citizenship, teaching, and research to receive the Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Award. Mary Anne Prater, professor and recent chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education, has been selected as the 2010 honored recipient.
“I was very surprised when I received the award,” Prater expressed. “A lot of people don’t get the award the first time they’re nominated, so this is really an honor.” With the award she will receive a cash prize of $1,000.
Prater has just completed seven and one-half years of service as chair of the CPSE department. Faculty members in that department affirm that during this time she demonstrated exemplary character through her leadership. “One of my major goals was to have the faculty create department goals, which were reviewed annually,” Prater said. “We ended up accomplishing all our goals together.” Faculty members have remarked that through Prater’s service the department, has become more organized, structured, streamlined, and unified in purpose.
Prater also stands out as a professor of counseling psychology and special education who is dedicated to the learning and achievement of her students. CPSE faculty member Betty Ashbakerremarked, “I’ve noticed how Mary Anne identifies desired learning outcomes for her students, then provides organized syllabi, assignments, and exams to support those outcomes. She supports students so they become successful through her mentoring.”
But Prater’s influence doesn’t end at the CPSE department or the McKay School. She has served on multiple university committees and within national professional organizations, including four years as a national officer of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, the nation’s premier special education association.
Despite her demanding administrative responsibilities, Prater has continued to publish nationally recognized material. Her research has led to a better understanding of how disabilities are portrayed in literature written for children and young adults and how this literature can be used in the classroom, She also helped start a children’s literature award—the Dolly Gray Award—that is sponsored by one of the divisions of the Council for Exceptional Children.
President Cecil Samuelson recently acknowledged Prater’s accomplishments in his address at the Annual University Conference. She delivered the Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Faculty Lecture on October 28, 2010 in the Maeser Building.