Saint Louis University

College of Education and Public Service Distinguished Alumni Awards

College of Education and Public Service Distinguished Alumni Award

The College of Education and Public Service Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to professional development in the profession, broadly conceived. The award ceremony, held as the culminating event at the annual spring professional development conference, brings together alumni, faculty, students, and community members as a professional network for a celebratory awards luncheon. Recipients are dedicated to strengthening and contributing to the SLU network of professionals as consultants, mentors and leaders in service to the College mission to transform individuals and communities.

Yearly Recipients


Dr. Chris Nicastro (Ph.D. Educational Administration, 1991)
Title and Affiliation: Commissioner of Education, State of Missouri
Dr. Chris Nicastro became only the fifth person - and the first woman - to serve as Missouri's top official for public schools when she was appointed in 2009. Dr. Nicastro began her career in Missouri public schools in the Northwest R-I High School (Jefferson County), working as a social studies teacher and assistant superintendent (1976-1984). She worked 11 years as an assistant superintendent in the Ritenour School District, St. Louis County (1984-1995). She was superintendent of the Riverview Gardens School District (St. Louis County) for seven years (1995-2002). She was superintendent of the Hazelwood School District (almost 19,000 students), in St. Louis County, from 2002-2009. She was honored as the 2009 "Superintendent of the Year" by the Missouri Association of School Administrators.

Kathryn A. Chipperfield, LCSW (Master of Social Work, 1976)
Title and Affiliation: Vice President, St. Louis Council-Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Kathy Chipperfield earned her Master's Degree in Social Work from Saint Louis University in 1976. Kathy currently is a Missouri Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Kathy began her career at Grace Hill Neighborhood Health Center, serving as a medical social worker, a director of medical records and intake, and, eventually, as the Director of Home Health Care. While at Grace Hill, she also served as a Practicum Instructor for Saint Louis University, Washington University, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Kathy moved on from Grace Hill, accepting a job as the Director of the Health Care Division of Olsten of St. Louis. In 1991, Kathy retired from active employment to devote her time to volunteer and non-profit interests. Kathy has served on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Branch of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, spearheaded several fundraising activities for Saint Louis Priory School, and remained actively involved in various community and church groups. Kathy devotes the majority of her time to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, for which she currently serves as Vice President and also is involved in crisis intervention and hands-on practice with many local family agencies. In addition, Kathy is a charter member of the Executive Advisory Board of the SLU School of Social Work and also sponsors the Kathryn Chipperfield Scholarship for MSW students in gerontology.

Dr. Richard Dawe (Ph.D., Public Policy Analysis and Administration, 2000)
Title and Affiliation: President, Ozarka College
Dr. Richard Dawe is the president of Ozarka College, a community college in Melbourne, Arkansas. Dawe, originally from the region, is a retired captain with the United States Navy, where he served as a naval aviator from 1981-2004. Dr. Dawe received his Ph.D. in public policy from Saint Louis University, his master's in financial management from Naval Postgraduate School and his bachelor's from Southern Illinois University. His education began at a community college, after receiving his associate of arts from Georgia Military College in Blytheville, Arkansas. Before assuming the presidency of Ozarka, Dawe was the vice chancellor of planning and organizational development at Ventura County Community College District in California. Prior to that assignment he was dean of work education at the College of the Ozarks in Branson, MO.

Dr. Joseph Worth (Ph.D., Counseling and Family Therapy, 2004)
Title and Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling, Florissant Valley Community College
Dr. Worth is the Department Chairperson and the Professor of Counseling at Saint Louis Community College in St. Louis, Missouri where he instructs courses and sees students for counseling and therapy. He is also a private practitioner specializing in the treatment of families with adolescents adjudicated to the criminal justice system. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling and Family Therapy from Saint Louis University in 2004. Since that time he has presented several times at both the national and local level on the topics of home-based family therapy and working with black families in therapy. He has also written literature for and been published by Family Therapy Magazine on the topics of anger in families and gender stereotypes in relationships. He has been recognized by St. Louis Community College for his contributions as a faculty member and continues to advocate statewide for more comprehensive mental health services on college campuses.

Dr. Mary McFarland (Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, 1977)
Title and Affiliation: Education Consultant; Director of Professional Development & Director of Social Studies Education,
K-12, Parkway School District, Chesterfield, Missouri (retired)
Dr. Mary A. McFarland, Education Consultant (Ph.D., Education, 1977)
Dr. Mary A. McFarland, alum of Saint Louis University (1977), is the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Educational Studies. She is a past president of the National and Missouri Councils for the Social Studies, has served as Director of Social Studies, K-12, and Professional Development for Parkway School District in St. Louis County, MO, and has taught elementary, high school, and university students. Dr. McFarland is currently a full-time curriculum developer, researcher, and education consultant. Recent projects include authoring Internet curriculum for a 32-volume social studies video library (sponsored by NCSS/Annenberg and produced by WGBH-Boston) and facilitating video workshops based on the library. She has served as a curriculum consultant for the state departments of Maine, Maryland, South Carolina, and Colorado; served on the task force developing the National Council for the Social Studies curriculum standards, and has co-authored social studies textbooks, K-8. She has presented professional development sessions at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University, Latvia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, and Canada, as well as throughout the United States. Currently, Dr. McFarland works with educators in several states, across curriculum areas and levels, serves on the faculty at Harvard summer institutes , and serves as instructor for WIDE World Online Professional Development courses, developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

2009 Inaugural Award
Colonel Daniel Isom (M.P.A. Public Policy Studies, 1999)
Title and Affiliation: Chief of Police, St. Louis Metropolitan Police

Colonel Daniel Isom joined the Metropolitan Police in 1988. He was appointed Chief of Police on October 6, 2008. Colonel Isom is the city's 33rd Chief of Police. He has served in patrol, investigative, training and administrative assignments during his tenure on the police department. He is a graduate of the Masters in Public Administration program in the Department of Public Policy Studies and also holds a Bachelor, Masters and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Colonel Isom is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Forum Senior Management Institute.


Ellen Ranney, (Ph.D. Counseling and Family Therapy, 1995)
Title and Affiliation: Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Associated Counselors of West County; Adjunct Faculty, Department of Counseling and Family Therapy
Ellen Ranney has demonstrated her commitment to the community and Saint Louis University through her personal and professional service to individuals, couples, and families in times of stress and crisis and her dedication to training new counselors and family therapists as an adjunct professor in the Department of Counseling and Family Therapy. Her involvement in training other clinicians and her interest in the interpersonal nature of development are driving forces in her efforts to educate and find options for clients' ongoing growth.

Dr. Karen Tichy, (Ed.D, Educational Administration, 1994)
Title and Affiliation: Associate Superintendent of Instruction, Archdiocese of St. Louis

Dr. Tichy served as a teacher and principal at two Catholic high schools prior to joining the staff of the Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis 1989. She was Director of Secondary Education for seven years, and is currently the Associate Superintendent for Instruction. As Associate Superintendent she is responsible for giving leadership and service to the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis regarding all aspects of their academic programs and for serving as the administrator of the Archdiocesan Department of Special Education.
Dr. Tichy's doctoral research was titled "Perceptions of Faculty Members in Selected Catholic High Schools Regarding North Central Association Evaluation Formats." Articles based on this research have been published in NCA Quarterly and A Journal of Inquiry and Practice in Catholic Education. She has served as the chairperson of almost 100 accreditation teams and currently serves as a Field Consultant and a Reader Reviewer for AdvancED, the umbrella organization of the North Central Association and the Southern Association Commissions on Accreditation and School Improvement

Patricia Wendling, J.D. (M.A. Urban Affairs, 1971)
Title and Affiliation: Assistant City Counselor, City of St. Louis
Ms. Patricia Wendling exemplifies the mission and core values of both the College of Education and Public Service and the Department of Public Policy Studies. Ms. Wendling is one of the first graduates of the Master of Arts in Urban Affairs program. She went on to earn her JD degree from the University of Colorado. Ms. Wendling is dedicated to service on behalf of others in her position as Assistant City Counselor for the City of St. Louis. She remains active in the affairs of CEPS, serving as a member of the College's Executive Advisory Board.

Tamitha Price (MSW, 1998)
Title and Affiliation: Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers: Missouri Chapter

Tamitha Price, Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers: Missouri Chapter, is the recipient of the 2009 Professional Develop Award award from the School of Social Work at Saint Louis University. A 1998 alum of the School's Master of Social Work Program, Ms. Price is recognized for her work to promote the social work profession in the state of Missouri. Among her greatest accomplishments, her lobbying efforts resulted in new social work baccalaureate and master's professional licenses, including the Licensed Advanced Macro Social Worker (LAMSW), the Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW), the Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker - Independent Practice (LBSW-IP), and the Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW). In addition, she works closely with schools of social work in Missouri to promote the profession among students. Two of Ms. Price's current efforts are student loan forgiveness for social workers and the recruitment of social workers to provide mental health services in rural areas.

Anna Heinold-Basler (BA Education: Early Childhood Education, 2007)
Title and Affiliation: Kindergarten Teacher, Parkway School District
Anna is the recipient of the CEPS Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Educational Studies. She is an outstanding Kindergarten teacher at Claymont School in the Parkway School District. Anna has created a positive classroom environment where young students are enthusiastic about learning both academically and socially. Anna also returned to Saint Louis University to talk with student teachers about being a first year teacher and the need for professional development. Anna embodies the mission of Saint Louis University by "giving to others." Several years ago, Anna spent a summer volunteering at Misericordia Orphanage in Chihuahua City. Upon her return to the U.S. she began raising funds to support the orphanage. She has been a successful fundraiser and stays in contact with the children at the orphanage maintaining strong relationships with them.

College of Education and Public Service
Mission Statement

Inspired by the Jesuit conviction that the world is good and human beings can make it a better place fro all to live and grow, the College of Education and Public Service educates, guides and transforms individuals and communities through its teaching, research and community engagement.

The College includes the School of Social Work, the Departments of Counseling and Family Therapy, Educational Leadership and Higher Education, Educational Studies and Public Policy Studies.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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