Honors for Two LSOE Veterans

Honors for Two LSOE Veterans

Walsh is Kearns Chair, Cawthorne is namesake of new professorship

The Lynch School of Education has announced the appointment of Prof. Mary Walsh as inaugural holder of one recently endowed chair, and the creation of a second chair honoring Associate Dean for Students and Outreach John E. Cawthorne.

Mary Walsh and John Cawthorne. Photo by Lee Pellegrini
Walsh, a member of the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology, was named to the Daniel E. Kearns Chair in Education and Innovative Leadership, established in 2002 to honor the self-described "working stiff" and 1951 alumnus who served as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent in the Boston Public Schools.

The Kearns Chair was endowed by a gift from James '52 and Carolyn Birmingham, life-long friends of Kearns.

The newly established John E. Cawthorne Chair in Teacher Education for Urban Schools will be awarded to a senior member of the Lynch School faculty who is an outstanding scholar and researcher, actively working to enhance the education of teachers for urban schools. The chairholder will be a person who brings together the insights of theory and practice, avidly supports graduate and undergraduate research activities, and has a record of scholarship and service to the profession.

The chair is endowed by a pledge from the Mahoney family, whose members include Jay Mahoney '69 and his daughter, Erin '02. A faculty member from the Lynch School will be appointed to the chair upon completion of the pledge, following the recommendation of the endowed chairs committee.

Cawthorne's LSOE colleague and Kearns Chair holder Walsh, who joined the faculty in 1989, has served as an associate dean and department chair and is now director of BC's Center for Child, Family and Community Partnerships. She has authored or co-authored four books, notably her study of homeless children and families, Moving to Nowhere, which won the Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society National Book Award in 1995. She also has published scores of refereed journal articles, monographs and book chapters.

Recognized as a major authority on school-community-university partnerships, Walsh and LSOE colleague Asst. Prof. Michele Montavon recently completed a large-scale study of the non-academic barriers to learning in a large public school setting. She is currently studying the ways in which urban students of different ages explain school success and school failure.

Since 1990, Walsh has been working with local elementary schools, including the Gardner School in Allston, where she was a major partner in the transformation of the Gardner into a nationally recognized model of a "full-service school." By addressing the non-academic barriers to learning, such as the lack of adequate health, mental health, social services and youth development opportunities, the Gardner School has substantially increased the academic performance of its students.

Walsh has also led the design and implementation of CONNECTfive, an educational partnership initiative among Boston College, the Boston Public Schools and the YMCA of Greater Boston. CONNECTfive works to enhance the delivery of student support services within schools, to increase the linkage between schools and community agencies, and to address the implementation of family support systems in the community.

Cawthorne, as associate dean for students and outreach at LSOE, coordinates the activities of the Office of Professional Practicum Experiences and provides advising services to all undergraduate and master's degree students.

Among his other achievements and activities, Cawthorne helped organize a drive to help the financially troubled Holy Family School of Natchez, Miss., one of the oldest African-American Catholic schools in the country.

In 2002, Dean Cawthorne received the Mary Kaye Waldron Award presented annually to the Boston College administrator or faculty member who has done the most to enhance student life at the University.

Cawthorne's association with LSOE began in 1989, when he joined the school's Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy as a research associate. In 1995, Cawthorne was named vice president for education for the National Urban League, and in concert with his one-year appointment the civil rights organization's educational office was relocated to Campion Hall.

He was appointed the school's assistant dean for students and outreach in 1997 and associate dean in 2001.


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