March 27, 2007
For immediate release
Nicolette Nefdt of the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara awarded the prestigious
Richard Thurman Award from the California Association of Professors of Special Education
Nicolette Nefdt has been selected by the California Association of Professors of Special Education (CAPSE) to be this year’s recipient of the Richard Thurman Scholarship and Award that recognizes outstanding California graduate students. Nefdt earned her Ph.D. in special education, disability, and risk studies at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School. She will formally receive the award at the annual CAPSE meeting to be held March 29th in San Jose as part of the California Council on Teacher Education Conference (CCTE).
The Richard Thurman Memorial Award – presented to early career teacher educators in special education – was created to honor Dr. Thurman’s commitment to the field and his extraordinary ability to bring together far-reaching constituencies on behalf of teachers of students with special needs, especially in the area of mental health.
“To be recognized this way, in the very earliest stages of her career, is very rare, but Nicolette impresses everyone she meets in this way,” states Dr. Michael Gerber, Chair of the Department of Education at the Gevirtz School. “She has a passion for helping children with disabilities and their families. Having her as a colleague actually honors all of us who work in this field.”
Nicolette Nefdt works with Drs. Bob and Lynn Koegel at the Autism Research & Training Center. Nefdt has worked extensively with families with children with autism and presented research at regional, state, and national conventions. Her research interests include early identification, pediatrician training and short-term parent education for families awaiting intervention.
“It is blessing just to be able do what I am passionate about for a career,” Nefdt says about the honor. “The families and faculty that I interact with teach me so much every day. I just hope to be able to impart this knowledge to others in the field.”
[Nicolette Nefdt is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]