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Kera Ackerman has been awarded The Myrle E. and Verle D. Nietzel Visiting Distinguished Faculty Program Award to support bringing Dr. Mary Brownell, the Irving and Rose Fien Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Florida, to the University of Kentucky to serve as the outside examiner for her dissertation defense.

Ackerman is a lecturer in the UK College of Education, and is pursuing a doctorate in special education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Her dissertation is titled: Examining the Efficacy of Co-teaching at the Secondary Level: Special Educators’ Perceptions of their Productivity as Co-teachers.

Ackerman’s lifelong focus has been on increasing academic and social outcomes for children with disabilities.  She holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in special education. The first 11 years of her career were spent as a special educator in public schools in four states.

This Nietzel award enriches the dissertation experience for selected doctoral students whose dissertations are judged to be especially meritorious. The program also promotes to academic leaders at other institutions the high quality of scholarship achieved by our doctoral students. Moreover, the program serves to enhance the overall intellectual and research environment at UK through colloquia offered by some of the world’s exemplary scholars.

In conjunction with Ackerman’s dissertation defense in April 2017, Brownell will hold a colloquium for the College of Education faculty and students.