ISU's Lee Receives Prestigious Award
Robert Lee, director of the Illinois State University Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline Programs and Partnerships, has been named the 2012 David Strand Diversity Achievement Award recipient.
Lee is the 19th recipient of the award, which was established and endowed by President Emeritus David Strand to honor a faculty or staff member whose efforts result in heightened sensitivity to diversity on campus.
Lee will be honored at the Founders Day Convocation and will receive a check and his name on the Strand Diversity Achievement Award plaque on the Wall of Fame in the Bone Student Center.
Prior to joining Illinois State’s College of Education, Lee was program director for the Global Educators Outreach at DePaul University and program director for the Effective Teacher Network Program at the DePaul Center for Urban Education in partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Office of Language and Cultural Education.
At Illinois State, Lee launched or assisted with the launch of many programs and initiatives, including STEP-UP: Summer Teacher Education Partnership for Urban Preparation; PARTNER: Professional Articulation for Recruiting/Retaining Teachers for Neighborhood Engagement and Renewal; Engaging the Urban Community: The Importance of Understanding Cultural Contexts for Effective Classroom Management in Latino and African-American Schools; Education in the New Millennium: Experiential Learning, Language Development and Connected Community Engagements in Little Village and Michoacan, Mexico; and the Chrysalis Summer Bridge: Paving the Road and Enhancing College Access, Preparation and Persistence for Traditionally Underrepresented Students.
Lee also administers the Course Development Grant Program, which offers monetary assistance to faculty to transform an existing course into a class that better prepares students to work in underserved communities. To date, 49 courses across 19 disciplines have been redesigned.
Lee has received more than $8.4 million in federal grants to support the Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline and $1.2 million in state grants for the Grow Your Own Consortium, Illinois 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and STEM programs. He also has received National Science Foundation and State Farm Companies Foundation support for his program initiatives.
In a nomination letter, Lee was praised for “playing an instrumental role in providing oversight to major programs that involve the preparation of Chicago Public Schools students for careers in education.” Another nominator outlined Lee’s “strong urban presence for Illinois State in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, which is a Hispanic community” along with his “excellent reputation with principals and administrators” and his “complete devotion to multiculturalism.”
Another nominator wrote about Lee’s “vision and leadership substantiating what was really only an idea of a pipeline through the hard, slow work of fostering relationships with teachers, students and administrators in the Chicago Public Schools and around the other pipeline neighborhoods.”
Past recipients of the Strand Diversity Achievement Award are Alison Bailey, Nancy Tolson, Christopher Horvath, Kim Pereira, Marilyn Boyd, Maria Canabal, Madeleine Hoss, Ming-Gon John Lian, Maura Toro-Morn, Louis Perez, Ron Strickland, Julia Visor, Savario Mungo, Paula Ressler, Ronald Swan, Ricardo Cortez Cruz, Rick Lewis and Beverly Nance.
Posted in Community Highlights, Education Initiatives