Bob Algozzine, professor of educational research in the Cato College of Education, is the 2017 recipient of the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal, UNC Charlotte’s most prestigious faculty award in recognition of excellence in research. He was honored formally at an awards ceremony held Wednesday, April 5, at the Harris Alumni Center.
Since 1987, the University annually, with the support from First Citizens Bank, presents this award to recognize and foster the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and creative endeavors.
Algozzine is a recognized leader who has influenced the thinking, investigation and practices in the field of special education. His work serves as a model for professionals within the discipline who seek to improve the education of all students, particularly those who are disadvantaged in any way.
As a preeminent researcher in the field, Algozzine has developed instructional strategies for children with special needs that are taught in most university programs. His more recent work on data-based decision-making and problem-solving systems for schools is being adopted across the nation.
Ellen McIntyre, dean of the Cato College of Education, noted that Algozzine has elevated the research status of the college and the entire University. “You not only brought in more than $12 million in funding in your career; you also were editor of the top journals in special education and published in some of the premier journals in special education and the field at large … The work you have done was not just remarkable in its quantity and prestige, but it is also high impact work — work that directly affects the lives of others. And to me, that is what is most important.”
Algozzine helped establish the Behavior and Reading Improvement Center, which is a cooperative agreement between UNC Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) focused on addressing issues of students who are at-risk for learning and social behavior problems. CMS adopted the comprehensive reading model and the school-wide positive behavior support systems implemented as part of the center’s research.
With a vast knowledge of special education, Algozzine has been able to reach out in fundamental ways to make lasting and substantive changes in education. Through his efforts, future researchers and educators will be encouraged to make educational decisions, whether about research or providing instruction and services to disadvantaged youth, on the basis of solid evidence.
“While Dr. Algozzine’s scholarship is remarkable, the characteristics that standout are his generosity, warmth and humility,” stated Claudia Flowers, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership in the Cato College of Education. “He often offers time and assistance to faculty and students with their research, and always does so in a down-to-earth, personal and collegial manner. His contributions to education and our field reflect one simple motto: Quality with a heart.”
A graduate of Wagner College with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Algozzine earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from SUNY Albany. He completed a doctorate in special education research from Pennsylvania State University.
“First Citizens Bank is delighted to continue its relationship with UNC Charlotte — now in its 30th year — to honor an exceptional faculty member with the Scholars Medal,” said Kim Allred, senior vice president for First Citizens Bank. “This award reflects our bank’s ‘Forever First’ commitment to the people, businesses and communities we serve. It’s a great privilege for us to join together with the University in recognizing Dr. Algozzine on his extensive work in the field of special education.”
The First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal was created to spotlight the important contributions UNC Charlotte and its faculty are making, not only in its community, but also throughout the Carolinas, the nation and the world. Past award recipients have influenced scholarship in a number of academic disciplines and fields, including engineering, psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, history and arts.
About First Citizens
Founded in 1898 and headquartered in North Carolina, First Citizens Bank serves customers in more than 500 branches in 21 states. First Citizens Bank is a major subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq: FCNCA), which has $33 billion in assets. For more information, call toll-free 1.888.FC DIRECT (1.888.323.4732) or visit firstcitizens.com. First Citizens Bank. Forever First®.