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GSE honors four alumni for excellence in education

July 31, 2017
By Carrie Spector
This year's alumni award recipients are (clockwise from top left) David Berliner, Jeff Gilbert, Gary Mukai and Kirstin Milks.
This year's alumni award recipients are (clockwise from top left) David Berliner, Jeff Gilbert, Gary Mukai and Kirstin Milks.
David Berliner, Jeff Gilbert, Kirstin Milks and Gary Mukai are recognized for their impact on teaching and learning.

Four alumni from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education have been selected to receive awards for their uncommon leadership, commitment or innovation in the field of education.

Three will receive the annual Alumni Excellence in Education Award for 2017:

  • Jeff Gilbert, ’89, MA ’90, principal of Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, Calif.
  • Kirstin Milks, PhD ’09, MA ’10, science teacher at Bloomington High School South in Bloomington, Ind.
  • Gary Mukai, MA ’81, director of the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE)                

In addition, the school will present a Lifetime Achievement Award this year in honor of the GSE’s centennial. David Berliner, PhD ’68, regents’ professor of education emeritus at Arizona State University, will receive the inaugural distinction.

“GSE alumni are transforming education in countless ways—locally, nationally and internationally,” said Dean Daniel Schwartz. “We’re proud to call these honorees our own and celebrate the far-reaching impact of their work.”

Gilbert is being honored for building and sustaining Hillsdale High School’s Small Learning Community (SLC) program. Under Gilbert’s leadership, Hillsdale has become a national model with its success redefining the comprehensive high school, enhancing teacher capacity and improving college-going rates.

Milks, who teaches both introductory science and AP Biology at Bloomington High School, is receiving the award for her work with students, university faculty and teachers across the country to design authentic science experiences for high school classrooms.

Mukai is being recognized for his commitment to international and cross-cultural education. A leader in designing curriculum resources on global themes, he is devoted to teaching young people about the interconnectedness of the world and building empathy among those with different perspectives.

Berliner is being lauded for a lifetime of prolific and exceptional scholarship in education. A staunch advocate for public schooling as essential to democracy, he translates and articulates decades of data and research for practitioners, the public and politicians. 

The award recipients are selected by a panel that includes GSE alumni, faculty and the dean. Awardees receive an honorarium made possible through the generosity and vision of Angela, ’93, and David Filo, MS ’90, and the Yellow Chair Foundation. 

The dean will present the four awards at a reception on campus Oct. 13 during Reunion Homecoming Weekend.

In the meantime, find out more about the award, see profiles of these and previous recipients and learn about and register for this year's award reception and other GSE Reunion 2017 events.