College of Education dean named Vantage 2015 Visionary Educator
Dr. Don Schillinger, dean of Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education and Chase Bank Endowed Associate Professor, has been recognized as the Vantage Health Plan 2015 Visionary Educator. The Visionary Educator honor is reserved for outstanding educational leaders working to build Louisiana Tech’s reputation of being a leader in quality programming and projects for university students.“I am very grateful to Vantage Health Plan for providing annual recognition to Louisiana Tech educators who are striving to innovate and make a difference in their respective fields,” said Schillinger. “This award is representative of the outstanding faculty, staff and students of the College of Education who endeavor every day to achieve excellence through setting and then meeting high standards.” Schillinger, who was named dean of the College of Education in July, has been awarded over $6 million in grant funding during his career. In December 2014, he was awarded a $1.45 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Math Science Initiative to replicate an innovative system to graduate highly qualified STEM educators. The grant will support an exciting new program called “UTeachTech,” which is poised to revolutionize secondary STEM educator preparation at Louisiana Tech University and throughout the region. Louisiana Tech was one of just five universities nationwide selected to receive the highly-competitive Howard Hughes Medical Institute and National Math Science Initiative grant, joining an exclusive national network of research universities in the expansion of the UTeach teacher preparation program. Schillinger says funding from grants such as UTeachTech provides activation energy that spurs further innovation and collaboration not only in the various departments of Louisiana Tech’s College of Education, but also with research and practitioner colleagues in the other colleges on campus. “Louisiana Tech is unique in that it is home to rich inter and intra-college collaborative environments where shared ideas and resources yield high quality outcomes that are greater than the sum of their parts,” Schillinger said. “These outcomes include internships, scholarship and other opportunities for students as well as improved research facilities, and enhanced instruction for students involved with STEM education as either future teachers or leaders in STEM related areas in business and industry.” Before being named dean of the College of Education, Schillinger served as an associate professor, associate dean of undergraduate studies and director of clinical and field experiences, and director of assessment and accreditation (IT supervision.) Prior to his arrival at Louisiana Tech in 2006, Schillinger was a department head in McNeese State University’s Burton College of Education. He came to Louisiana from Mississippi where he served as co-director for assessment for the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation at the University of Mississippi, and director of the Teach Mississippi Institute. During his tenure at Louisiana Tech, Schillinger has been honored with the College of Education’s Outstanding Service Award (2009) and Outstanding Faculty Grants Award (2008) as well as the College’s Outstanding Grantsmanship Award in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (2008.) He is a member of the State of Louisiana ACT Council and the Advisory Board for L-STEM: The Louisiana STEM Initiative. Schillinger earned his Ph.D. in secondary education (science) from the University of Mississippi in 2004. He also earned a master of education degree in secondary education (chemistry) from the University of Mississippi and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry education from the University of Central Florida.