College of Education Dean Selected as Higher Education Professional of the Year

College of Education Dean Paula Summers Calderon was recently selected by the Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children as the Higher Education Professional of the Year.

The Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children Higher Education Professional of the Year Award recognizes a professional who currently provides direct services to students with exceptionalities. The Professional of the Year is an outstanding member of the education profession whose work exemplifies the best of special education services. His or her work reflects significant educational success for students, continuous professional development, and the highest standards of educational quality.

“As the Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Calderon has been a significant advocate for the Lions Connected program, an inclusive, comprehensive post-secondary transition program at Southeastern for students with intellectual disabilities,” said Director of Lions Connected Gerlinde Beckers. “She has gone above and beyond to help Lions Connected become the outstanding program that it is for college students with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Calderon never says ‘No.’ She says, ‘We will find a way.’”

Beckers was also recently recognized for her work with Lions Connected, taking home the prestigious Iva Dean Cook Educator of the Year Award at the 2019 Division of Career Development & Transition International Conference.

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is an international organization that sets the standard for high-quality education for individuals with exceptionalities. Beckers said the CEC is known as the primary source for advocacy, ethics, standards, resources, and professional development that directly impacts the lives of individuals with disabilities.

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