2021 Recipients

The School of Education (SOE) is excited to announce the 2021 SOE Excellence Award Recipients. Please join us in congratulating these recipients for all of their great achievements and contributions to the SOE community.

On April 20, 2021 the School of Education celebrated our recipients at our Celebration of Excellence. Click here to Watch the Celebration.

2021 SOE Excellence Awards - Wenjin Guo

Wenjin Guo

My name is Wenjin Guo, a fourth-year doctoral candidate from the People’s Republic of China. I am now pursuing a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.D) at Loyola. My dissertation, titled A Transformative Framework to Investigate the Influences of Chineseness on Chinese International Students’ Learning Experiences on U.S. College Campuses, is to improve Chinese international students learning experiences from a culturally responsive lens. Through the dissertation, I hope to incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy to higher education contexts to support Chinese international students’ employment of effective strategies, as well as provide U.S. faculty members with curriculum design and classroom instructions, so they can better support their current and future international students across various disciplines.   
My research scholarships also involve bilingual education, culturally-responsive teacher education programs, transformative teaching pedagogy, educational evaluation, as well as I-Ching to empower the historically marginalized communities to tell their counter-story narratives and establish cross-cultural & interdisciplinary conversations between the East and the West. 
2021 SOE Excellence Awards - Dawn Hill

Dawn Hill

It is an honor and privilege to be a recipient of the 2021 Transformative Research Excellence award.  I will take full advantage of this opportunity to support my dissertation on inclusive education for students with disabilities and contribute to the field.  I am grateful to Loyola School of Education faculty and staff, family and friends for their unwavering commitment and support during my academic journey.  I look forward to completing my doctoral degree in the Administration and Supervision Superintendent Endorsement EdD program this semester.
2021 SOE Excellence Awards - Quortne Hutchings

Quortne R. Hutchings 

My name is Quortne R. Hutchings (they, them, their), and I am a fourth year, recently defended my dissertation in the higher education program at Loyola. First, I would like to thank the Student Development Committee for selecting me for this School of Education award. It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be one of the recipients of the Transformative Education award. I owe great gratitude and appreciation to the higher education faculty, Dr. Blanca Torres-Olave, Dr. Darren Pierre, Dr. Demetri Morgan, Dra. Aurora Chang and Dr. Lorenzo Baber. You all have been inspirations of transformative education pillars to model as educators. It is my intention that as a recipient of this award, I continue to reflect introspectively, critically, and thoughtfully in my teaching practices as a scholar-practitioner in ensuring the educational realm will continue to be a space of change in the field of higher education and student affairs
2021 SOE Excellence Awards - Han Na Lee

Han Na Lee

I am a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology department under the supervision of Dr. Eunju Yoon. My passion for advancing equity in education in service of social justice is represented through my research, clinical practice, and community service. I have research and clinical interests in culturally diverse individuals and families including immigrant populations due to my international upbringing in Korea, China, and Germany. I am passionate about developing culturally nuanced research and interventions that bring positive change in underprivileged individuals’ lives. I volunteer with the Korean American Wellness Association, and the Mustard Seed Generation through which I have presented workshops on the model minority myth, anti-blackness in Korean communities and bicultural identity development. I also participated in empirical studies whose topics include multiracial individuals’ identity development, cross-cultural comparison of depression, orphans’ psychological and social experiences, cultural syndromes, migratory loss, and COVID-related discrimination and racial awakening among Asian Americans.
2021 SOE Excellence Awards - Jonathan Okstad 

Jonathan J. Okstad

I am honored to receive the School of Education’s Service Leadership Excellence Award. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the SOE Student Development Committee and my nominators for this award. It is a privilege to be awarded alongside incredible peers receiving an SOE Excellence Award. I share this award with my incredible Higher Education Program colleagues and peers. 
As a second-year doctoral student in the Higher Education Program and a relatively new transplant to Chicago, I have had the opportunity to serve in several capacities at Loyola and in the community. I have found a strong sense of community within my program and the Higher Education Student Association (HESA) and because of the support from my program faculty and HESA community, I have been able to get involved and do the work I’m passionate about—creating equitable and inclusive learning environments.