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The University of Alabama

UA Education’s Inaugural McCrory Faculty Excellence Awards Announced

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Three University of Alabama College of Education faculty were awarded the inaugural Nellie Rose McCrory Faculty Excellence Awards this spring.

Named after the late Nellie Rose McCrory, the McCrory Awards recognize the good work of faculty in three separate areas: teaching, research and service.

McCrory began her professional career at Gaston College in Dallas, N.C., where she was a faculty member in the English department and where she served as department chair from 1989 until her retirement in 2006. She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church and appreciated church organ music. She also enjoyed the performing arts, museums, art shows, exhibits and lectures, and she rarely missed performances by the Charlotte Symphony and Opera Carolina.

McCrory was an avid reader, an enthusiastic traveler who loved traveling to England, and she was a proud supporter of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. McCrory was the first member of her family to go to college, and she earned her master’s degree and doctorate in education from The University of Alabama.

The McCrory Award for Teaching
Dr. John E. Petrovic
Associate Professor, Social Foundations of Education

Dr. John Petrovic is an associate professor in social foundations of education. The goal of his teaching is to get students to explore ideas and concepts that are either new to them or ideologically foreign to them. He said he believes that the former involves getting students to commit intellectually in ways they may not have before and the latter requires getting them to dig through the opaqueness of ideology.

He offers his students a way to read the world from different angles. He said he believes the exploration of ideas is important and therefore discussion is a large part of his class format.

According to his students, Petrovic creates a collegial atmosphere among students where it is encouraged to share questions and ideas and ask for clarification. His classes create an environment to broaden one’s understanding of diverse cultures and languages. The discussions are always engaging. His classes are very eye opening and involve critical thinking. As one student stated, “Petrovic makes the course. He is well-read, blends recent information with older information, and has high expectations of his students.”

The McCrory Award for Research
Dr. Randall Schumacker
Professor, Educational Research

Dr. Randall Schumacker is an internationally recognized scholar in educational statistics and measurement and regularly publishes in the leading journal in his field. His research agenda includes the evaluation of school data, structural equation modeling and cognitive assessments. He is a member of the editorial board of Educational and Psychological Measurement, one of the field’s oldest and most prestigious international journals.

He is editor emeritus of Structural Equation Modeling and the former editor of Multiple Linear Regression Viewpoints.

Over the past three years, Schumacker has published 13 articles in refereed journals. He also published two text books: “A Beginner’s Guide to Structural Equation Modeling” and “Understanding Statistics Using R” (with Sara Tomek). His text, addressing structural equation modeling, is in a third edition. Schumacker has been a lauded researcher, and his work makes significant contributions to his discipline, educational research, and to education in general.

The McCrory Award for Service
Dr. Mark Leggett
Clinical Associate Professor, Counselor Education

Dr. Mark Leggett is a clinical associate professor in the counselor education program. He said he believes “helper role modeling” is a critical counseling skill, and he teaches it throughout his courses. His actions toward service are based on his personal values and his professional commitment to the professional, academic and civic communities he serves.

Leggett has served in multiple capacities in his profession, including the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling, the Alabama Counseling Association (ALGBTICAL, Chapter III, secretary, co-chair of the awards committee, chair of the awards committee, chair of national awards committee, state liaison of the state and national governmental relations committee, and executive council).

Concerning his academic citizenship, Leggett has also served in multiple capacities: UA Faculty Senate Alternate; College of Education scholarship committee; chair of College of Education United Way campaign; faculty adviser of Chi Sigma Iota National Counseling Honor Society; six dissertation committees; graduate assistant supervisor; clinical director and coordinator of counseling laboratory; inquiry leader – prospective student inquiry meetings; faculty adviser of Canterbury Student Forum; and the Capstone Alliance.

Though not typically associated with faculty expectations, Leggett has also been an active leader in community efforts closely aligned with UA initiatives. He is a member of church vestry and senior warden of the Canterbury Episcopal Church; a volunteer for Meals on Wheels; and a volunteer for West Alabama AIDS Outreach.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.