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Professor Discusses Special Education at Kimball Lecture Oct. 16

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
October 7, 2009

Georgia Kerns, associate professor of education, will deliver the distinguished Kimball Lecture Friday, Oct. 16, 2009. The title of her lecture is "What's so Special About Special Education."

The Kimball Lecture will take place at 3:30 p.m. Richards Auditorium, Murkland Hall. It is free and open to the public.

"The Kimball Fellowship is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained leadership which has benefited our students and the education of our youth. Georgia has been that leader. For over two decades she has dedicated her professional life to enhance the education, the lives, and the understanding of individuals with disabilities. She is a tireless teacher, researcher, and advocate for individuals with special needs. Her life models the precepts of inclusion, understanding, and acceptance that she teaches. Georgia leads by example," said Todd DeMitchell, chair of the UNH department of education.

Kerns is the 13th recipient the Roland B. and Charlotte Kimball Faculty Fellowship, which is awarded each year to an outstanding member of the Department of Education who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in his or her field. Past recipients have included Todd DeMitchell, John Carney, Michael Andrew, Ann Diller, Nodie Oja, Grant Cioffi and Barbara Houston.

Kerns received a master’s degree from UNH in early childhood/special needs and her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in special education with a focus on law, policy, and families.

Kerns studies professional development in special education, including the impact of mentoring on interns and the utilization of case study pedagogy at the post-secondary level. She has published in “Education,” “Teacher Education and Special Education,” several monographs and other venues. Her work has been presented at numerous conferences, both in the United States and abroad. Her work is currently focusing on post-secondary transitions for students with exceptionalities and Universal Design for Learning applications in public school settings. Kerns has received a Teaching Excellence Award from UNH and the Nasim Dil Service Award from the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Kerns has served on numerous state committees related to special education in New Hampshire. She also served as president of the teacher education division of the Council for Exceptional Children. In this role, she collaborated with the technology and media division to host a conference. She is currently co-chair for the teacher education division 2010 conference in St. Louis.

Prior to joining the faculty at UNH, Kerns spent 17 years in the public schools. She taught in both general education and special education classrooms in Delaware, Kansas, and New Hampshire. She began her career at UNH working on several personnel preparation grants, before moving into a tenure track position in 1991.

The fellowship was established by the Kimballs following the retirement of Chuck Kimball, former long-time department chair and interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

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