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Counseling Psychology News

Three alumnae receive School's highest honors

May 21, 2008

Three outstanding alumnae returned to Madison this spring, when each participated in a special day-on-campus to celebrate their achievements and receive the School’s highest honors.

Noel Hefty (dance) and Tashia Morgridge (education) were honored with School of Education Alumni Achievement Awards. Kimberley Dawn Lakes (counseling psychology) received the School’s Outstanding Recent Graduate Award.

Below is text from the citations presented to each honoree at her award ceremony:

School of Education Alumni Achievement Award Citation

Every performing arts organization dreams of finding that rare leader who combines artistic creativity with administrative know-how. Organizations in Colorado have discovered just such an individual — Noel Hefty, who for more than 30 years has dedicated her time, intelligence, skills, experience, and creativity to a multitude of dance, theater and arts organizations.

This Dance Program alumna has worn the hats of dancer, choreographer, producer, presenter, and administrator.

One of her nominators, a fellow Dance student, describes Noel as a dynamo from the start. Immediately upon graduation, Noel began forging a unique leadership and service role in the arts. Not only did she start a dance program at Madison Memorial High School, but she persuaded the school to create a dance studio with a sprung floor.

After moving to Colorado, she quickly got involved and co-founded the Steamboat Dance Theatre, which provides opportunities for dance enthusiasts to create new works, take classes together, and develop teaching opportunities for children.

Noel added an accounting degree, which equipped her to work on both the creative and administrative sides. Her detailed understanding of financial management systems for non-profit arts organizations — along with her willingness to share her knowledge — has made her an incredible asset for arts organizations, particularly in Boulder County.

Not surprisingly, she has been involved in many capacities — from controller to board member — for a long list of organizations, including the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, Steamboat Arts Council, Steamboat Repertory Theatre, Colorado Council of the Arts, and the Theater and Dance departments at the University of Colorado. In recognition of her impact on the growth of dance in Colorado, she received the Patron Saint of Dance Award at the Colorado Dance Festival.

Noel hasn’t forgotten her alma mater, where she has served as a member and chair of the School of Education’s Board of Visitors.

One of her greatest joys is ensuring that young, talented dancers and actors without financial means have opportunities to study to become professional performing artists. To that end, she sponsors scholarships for Dance students at UW-Madison, as well as support for students to attend the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.

For her unique contributions to the arts and for her support of young artists, we are proud to present our Alumni Achievement Award to Noel Hefty.

School of Education Alumni Achievement Award Citation

The Wisconsin Idea has served splendidly as the guiding philosophy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for more than a century. More recently, this revered Idea has been amply reinforced by what could be called the Morgridge Principle.

Simply stated, the Morgridge Principle exhorts individuals to reach out, get involved, and apply their knowledge, experiences, and resources for the common good. This Principle is manifested through selective, thoughtful philanthropy coupled with direct, purposeful stewardship. It also embraces a deep commitment to public service.

Tashia Morgridge and her husband, John, have held fast to this Principle, while seeking to cultivate it in others. They have demonstrated a special commitment to their home state and alma mater. As an active member of the School of Education’s Board of Visitors, Tashia asks tough questions and provides advice of a quality that the School could not buy.

From her early days as a special education teacher, Tashia has believed deeply in the importance of educating young children, particularly those with special needs. Her activities demonstrate a profound commitment to literacy education and to community service.

After extensively reviewing the research, she became an enthusiastic champion for Reading Recovery, the individual intervention program for the lowest-achieving first graders. Her efforts include working directly with Reading Recovery teachers. Her advocacy and support led UW-Madison to establish Wisconsin’s first Reading Recovery research and training center. Last year, the Reading Recovery Council of North America honored her with its Teacher Leader Award.

Tashia also actively promotes the idea of engaging students in public service. She worked with former Chancellor David Ward to establish UW-Madison’s Morgridge Center for Public Service. She also serves as the citizen representative on the Board of Campus Compact, the national coalition of 1,100 college and university presidents, which represents 6 million students and is dedicated to promoting civic engagement in higher education.

Tashia and John’s investments of time and resources have benefited UW-Madison in many other ways. They have provided full or partial funding to capital projects for the Schools of Education and Business, the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, and the University in general — as well as generous support for student scholarships and chaired professorships.

One of her nominators writes: "Through my personal friendship and professional relationship with Tashia, I now believe in fairy godmothers here on Earth!"

We are proud to present the School’s Alumni Achievement Award to Tashia Morgridge.

School of Education Outstanding Recent Graduate Award Citation

Although barely five years out of graduate school, Kimberley Lakes seems well on her way to becoming a force in the field of child clinical psychology. Her colleagues describe her as a tremendously bright, productive, and multi-talented powerhouse, with a mature sense of leadership and consensus building that is rare for someone so early in her career.

As a doctoral student in the Department of Counseling Psychology, Kimberley’s interests focused on prevention and intervention for at-risk youth. She co-developed a martial arts training program for elementary school children, and co-wrote a grant to fund a pilot project and program evaluation demonstrating the efficacy of this intervention in promoting self-regulation skills.

At the same time, she showed her intellectual curiosity and skills by mastering a relatively esoteric research technique, and communicating the benefits of this approach to a less methodologically sophisticated audience.

As a post-doctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, she contributed to a clinical research team led by Dr. James Swanson, a respected researcher at the University of California, Irvine, known for developing behavioral interventions for children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

As an extension of her work with Swanson, Kimberley developed and co-directed the Community-University Initiatives for the Development of Attention and Readiness in San Bernardino County —with the aim of offering "services before diagnosis" to avoid the premature labeling of children. This initiative and others clearly showcased her abilities to foster partnerships and to bridge the linguistic and cultural divides among researchers, government and community agencies, the public and families and children in need.

Despite her heavy workload, she also took on a visiting assistant professorship at the University of Redlands, with a full teaching load, and began to lay the groundwork for a Center of Excellence to provide a full range of prevention/intervention services to children age 5 and under in San Bernardino County. The center became a reality in 2006, thanks to a $3 million grant from the county, the collaboration of researchers from three campuses, and support from a long list of community partner agencies.

Her major professor observes that "Kimberley displays a singular combination of abilities—scientific, entrepreneurial, administrative and political—that give her the potential to make a meaningful impact on educational and mental health services for at-risk youth."

We are proud to present our Outstanding Recent Graduate Award to Kimberley Lakes.

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