WINONA LAKE — Grace College senior Hannah Rose was awarded the 2020 Indiana Council for Exceptional Children Student Member of the Year at the Individualized Education Program “Focus on Inclusion Conference” Jan. 30 in Indianapolis.
Rose received the recognition alongside her professor and chair of special education at Grace College, Dr. Cheryl Bremer, who was awarded the 2020 CEC Professor of the Year.
The CEC is a national association of educators that serves students with exceptionalities through advocacy, professional development and training. The Indiana CEC awards a Student Member of the Year once annually to an outstanding special education college student who not only demonstrates proficient teaching skills but surpasses expectations in student teaching and serves as a role model to students and colleagues.
According to a Grace College press release, Rose was inspired by the conference and grateful to receive the award.
“It was an honor to be recognized for something I’m passionate about doing,” said Rose. “It felt good to be awarded for igniting other Grace students with the same passion and reaching a population that needs to be loved and feel welcomed.”
Rose’s dream to be a special education teacher originated at the young age of seven when she befriended a classmate with cerebral palsy in her second-grade class. That dream was spurred on when she came to Grace and began to accrue hands-on experience in the field. Rose has student-taught at multiple schools in the Warsaw area and has partnered with Cardinal Services to create opportunities for young adults with disabilities including Coffee Buddies and Lancer League. A member of CEC since her freshman year, Rose is now the president of Grace’s chapter.
Rose will realize her dream to teach special education in the near future. She plans to graduate in December and hopes to complete the Intense Intervention Graduate Licensure Program at Grace.
According to the press release, the CEC Outstanding Professor of the Year Award is given to a professor who demonstrates knowledge, skill and sensitivity in teaching university students about persons with disabilities, goes above and beyond expectations, and serves as a role model and inspiration to his or her students.
Bremer’s commitment to Grace’s CEC chapter, advocacy for her program’s mission, and initiative to create the Intense Intervention Licensure Program qualified her for the award.
“The honor of receiving this award comes with the responsibility to prepare teachers to be excellent, which is especially important in special education,” said Bremer. “So much of the award was because of the student outcomes in the program. It’s fun to hang on their shirttails and appreciate their hard work.”