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Past Award Winners

Past Award Winners

Outstanding Contribution to Career Education for Exceptional Children

Ken Hoyt – April, 1979


Outstanding Contribution to Handicapped Persons

Angie Gialas – April, 1979


Assistance to DCDT

Gene Nagle –1980 


Continued Dedication & Outstanding Contribution 

June Robinson  – April, 1983


Outstanding Service & Lifetime Service Award

Joanne Balmer – April, 1995, Historian, Newsletter Editor, Membership Chair


Lifetime Achievement Award

Donn Brolin – April 2, 1996


Lifetime Achievement Award

Andrew Halpern – April 2006


Employer of the Year

Federal Reserve Bank-2021

This award is presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated innovation in transition services. The award is named after Marc Gold whose innovative “Try Another Way” approach opened the door employment for many students with severe disabilities.



West Allis – West Milwaukee School District

Iowa Central Community CollegeSpecial School District of St. Louis County


Cleveland Ohio Public Schools – Robert Keim

Slice of Life Curriculum Project, Fremont Union High School, Sunnyvale CA – Teen

Matkowski, Project Director

The Galeway House Society Program in Delta, BC – Joanne Seip, PD

1983 Millard South High School, Omaha, NE
1984 Community Class Program, Woodhaven School for Mentally Retarded
1985 LEAP of Greater Washington, DC – Arlene Silverstein

The Experimental Learning Program, BOCES Southern Westchester County – Robert Hanson


Orange County Public Schools Hospitality Training Program – Mary Jo Brackett & Betty Barr

1988 Supported Work Programs, Greenville County School District, SC – Bruce Menchetti

Utah Community-Based Transition Project for Secondary Students with Severe Handicaps

1990 Riverside Hospital Cooperative Training Project, OH – Robert Syner
1991 Tim and Melody Urbanic, Shawnee Hills, WV
1992 P.A.C.E. Program, Shawnee Mission, KS
1993 Omaha Public Schools Vocational Work Experience Program
1994 Albuquerque Public Schools Supported Employment Program
1995 Worthington School District, Worthington, OH – Sharon Marshall

Greer High School Transition Program, Greer, SC – John Mauldin (Program winner)

Cathy Ferrara-Costa – Fort Pierce Central High School, FL (Individual)

1997 Fairfax County Schools, VA, – Henry Engel
1998 Wahluke School District (Mattawa, WA)
1999 Steve Snyder, District of Columbia Public Schools
2000 Katie Haslag (Rolla, MO)
2001 Blue Valley School District, Kansas
2002 ARC of Livingston/Wyoming Counties, NY
2003 Transition Services Program, Brevard Public Schools, FL
2006 Dr. Beth Mount
2008 Sharon Slover, Huntley, IL
2009 Barbra Guy
2011 Paul Brookes Publishing Company
2012 Martha Mock
2013 Jami De La Cerda
2014 Margo Izzo
2015 Transition Coalition (Mary Morningstar and Dana Latin)
2016 Wayne Fogelson
2017 Bonnie Boaz
2018 University of Iowa’s Realizing Educational and Career Hopes (REACH) program
2020 Tara Rowe
2021 Melanie Allen
2023 Jill Long


This practitioner honor is awarded to an educator who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the career education and transition of students with disabilities. The award is named in recognition of Iva Dean Cook, a DCDT founding member, past president and a pioneer in teacher preparation in transition.



Martha Hansen

1990 Wynne Begun, Kansas
1991 Ann Church, Henderson, NC
1992 Michael O’Shea, DesPlaines, IL
1993 Karen Larson, Eau Claire, WI
1994 JoAnn Vandorn
1995 Andrea Freeman, Union School District, NJ
1996 Mary Hunter, Columbia, MI
1997 Linda Matson, Greeley, CO
1998 Susan Thomas, NC
1999 Marcy McGahee-Kovak, Fairfax, VA
2000 Lynn Nelson (Worthington Schools, Worthington, OH)
2001 Linda Davies, Springdale, AR
2002 Keith Powell, Greenville, SC
2003 Lee Ann Brunson, Pratt, KS
2004 Deborah Scott
2006 Jeff Cavanaugh, School District of Cudahy, Cudahy, WI

Evette Simmons-Reed, Ohio State School for the Blind

Julie Paradise, Shawnee Mission (KS) Schools

2008 LaRon Scott, Henrico County, VA

Sandy Martin

Jane Collins

2011 Matthew Elburn
2012 Lindsey Anderson
2013 Jennifer Shohoney
2014 David Test
2015 Louise Yoho
2016 Teresa Pena
2017 Stacy Budzinsky
2018 Megan Curry
2021 Rebecca Foster Shelia Vander Tuig 
2022 Ramona Roberts
2023 Cassie Reilly


The Oliver P. Kolstoe Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the field of career development and transition through means other than direct classroom instruction (which is recognized by the Iva Dean Cook Teacher of the Year Award). The award is named in recognition of Oliver P. Kolstoe, a DCDT founding member and past president whose early research and publications significantly shaped the field of transition.



Bud Kolstoe


Judy Egelston-Dodd


Bruce Leney


Pam Leconte

1992 Andrew Halpern
1993 Gary Clark
1994 Michael Ward
1995 Pat Sitlington
1996 Patience Haydock-White
1997 William Halloran, USDOE
1998 Jim Patton
1999 Mike Benz, University of Oregon
2000 Ed O’Leary, Mountain States Regional Resource Center/ Bureau of Indian Affairs
2001 Paula Kohler, MI
2002 Carol Kochhar-Bryant, Washington DC
2003 Sherrilyn Fisher, KS
2004 George Tilson, Ed.D. Senior Vice President, TransCen, Inc
2005 Ginger Blalock, University of New Mexico
2006 James Martin, University of Oklahoma

EDiane Bassett, University of Northern Colorado

Fred Swanson, Madison (Wisconsin) Metropolitan Public School

2008 Margo Izzo, Ohio State University

Stan Shaw, University of Connecticut

Joan McGuire

2013 Colleen Thoma, Virginia Commonwealth University
2014 Jane Razeghi
2015 Cindi Nixon
2016 David W. Test
2017 Mary E. Morningstar
2018 Dr. Joseph Madaus
2020 Dr. Kris Webb
2021 Joy Banks 
2022 Dr. Catherine Fowler
2023 Deanne Unruh


This honor is awarded to an individual who has provided significant leadership and service in transition to a state or province. Donn Brolin was a founding member and the first president of DCDT and as author of the Life Centered Career Education curriculum was influential in the career development and early transition movement.


1998 Stephanie Corbey
1999 Carole Brito, New Mexico State Dept. of Education
2001 Janet Adams and Michelle Polland, Florida DOE
2002 Colorado State Department of Education
2003 Jan Yoak-Newman, Lansing, MI
2004 Mark Chamberlin, Delaware
2005 Joy Ivester, South Carolina

Susan Walter, IL

Steve Gilles WI


Jeanne Repetto, FloridaSusan Gronewald, New Mexico DOE

2008 Donna Mundy, FL

Barbra Palmer

2010 Bonnie Boaz
2011 Marianne Moore
2012 Jordan Knab
2013 Kim Osmoni
2014 Robert W. Flexer
2015 Susan Loving
2016 Joy Godshall Ivester

Dr. James P. Heiden

Dr. Vickie J. Mitchell

2018 Dale Matesuvich
2020 W. Drew Andrews
2021 Daniel Biegun 
2022 Shakeysa Ogletree
2023 Karen Akom


This award is presented to an individual who has contributed to more positive outcomes for transition-aged youth and to the field of transition through a body of research in transition. The award is named in honor of Patricia Sitlington, a DCDT past-president who has contributed significantly to knowledge in the field through research.



Patricia Sitlington


Michael Wehmeyer

2008 Debra Neubert

David Test

2010 David Test
2012 Erik Carter
2013 Michael Bullis
2014 Richard Luecking
2015 Audrey Trainor
2016 Paula Kohler  

Robert Morgan

2018 Dr. Meg Grigal
2020 Dr. David Johnson
2021 LaRon Scott
2022 Dr. Valerie Mazzotti 
2023 Leena Landmark


This Award Honors a Secondary Teacher who is in his or hers first five years of teaching.  It will be awarded to an educator who has demonstrated outstanding, innovative and committed services to the career education and transition of secondary students with disabilities.  The award is named in recognition of Andrew Halpern, a DCDT past president whose research and publications significantly shaped the field of transition.


2015 Joshua Pulos
2016 Amy Quebbem

Emily Wolfgram

2018 Hunter Matusevich
2023 Deidre Tilley


This award recognizes a graduate student who, through research completed during their doctoral program, shows significant promise for contributing to positive outcomes for transition-aged youth and to the field of transition through transition research. To be considered for the award, graduate students (or recent graduates whose research was completed during their doctoral program) must submit their research for the DCDT Patricia L Sitlington Emerging Researcher poster session.  Each student’s poster will be reviewed by a committee during the poster session with awards made to the top students during the DCDT annual conference.

  1st 2nd 3rd
2015 Marcus Poppen Joanna Keel Kara Hirano
2016 James Sinclair Kara Hirano Carly Blustein
2017 Mayumi Hagiwara Kelly Clark  
2018 Elisabeth Kutscher Sheida Raley Jessica Monahan
2019 Jenn Bumble Kate Bromley  

Sheida Raley

2020 Mary Barczak  Malarie Deardorff    Kyle Reardon  



  • Leslie Bross, University of Kansas
    • Evidence-Based Practices for Young Adults with Autism in Employment Settings
  • Kelly A. Clark, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    • UPGRADE Your Job Performance Grant
  • Hyejung Kim, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    • Intersectionality in the Transition to Postsecondary Education among Korean-American Students with Autism
  • L. Danielle “Danie” Roberts-Dahm, University of South Florida
    • Inclusive Higher Education and Employment: An Analysis of Program Components
  • Misty Terrell, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    • Effects of Using Behavior Chain Interruption Strategy on Increased Social Interactions of Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism



  • Lauren Bruno, Virginia Commonwealth University
    • Investigating Secondary Special Educator Transition Competencies and Attrition
  • Jennifer L. Bumble, Vanderbilt University
    • Building Interagency Collaboration: Examining the Personal and Professional Networks of Transition Educators
  • Christina Gushanas, Texas A & M
    • Examining the Effects of Video Self-monitoring on Communication Within an Employment Setting Among Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Sheida Raley, University of Kansas
    • Examining Whole-Class Implementation of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction in Inclusive High School Mathematics Classes
  • Tracy Sinclair, University of Oklahoma
    • Using Self-Evaluation to Improve Work Performance of Transition-Age Youth in Community Work Settings



  • Wen-hsuan Chang, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
    • The Effects of Asynchronous Online Parent Training on Knowledge of Secondary Transition Services for Parents of Transition Age Youth with Disabilities
  • Cynde Katherine Josol, Michigan State University
    • Exploring the Development of Friendships Between Young Adults with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Jessica Monahan, University of Connecticut
    • College and Career Readiness and Teacher Expectations of Students with and Without Disabilities
  • Joshua Pulos, University of Oklahoma
    • Effects of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction on Academic and Non-Academic Behaviors: A Meta-Analysis
  • Wen Zeng, University of Cincinnati
    • A Mixed Methods Study of Postsecondary Enrollment and Completion of Students with Learning Disabilities



  • Belkis Choiseul-Praslin, University of Oklahoma
    • Validation of the Spanish and Chinese Versions of the Transition and Assessment Goal Generator (TAGG)
  • Kaitlyn Millen, University of Northern Colorado
    • Exploring Self-Determination in Youth and Young Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Vidya Munandar, University of Kansas
    • Planned Happenstance Skills and College Students with Disabilities
  • Quinn Perkins, Grand Canyon University
    • Parent Involvement in Transition Programs: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
  • Mary Whirley, Texas A&M University
    • Investigation of a Check-in Check-out Procedure to Increase Communication between Employees with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and their Supervisors
  1st place 2nd place 3rd place
2021 Anwar Alsalamah Wen-hsuan Chang Belkis Choiseul-Praslin


2020 Steve Smith, President & CEO of Food City
2021 Federal Reserve Bank
2022 Catalyst Fabric Solutions
2023 St Louis Zoo


2022 Weaver Industries, Inc


Last Updated:  16 November, 2021

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