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March 12, 2004
CONTACT: Kathleen Shields

EMU's Williamson wins national award for educational leadership

YPSILANTI - Ron Williamson, an Eastern Michigan University associate professor in leadership and counseling, is the 2004 recipient of the Gruhn-Long-Melton Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership in Middle School Education. Williamson accepted the award at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 27.

"We are delighted that Dr. Williamson has been recognized in this way," said Jerry Robbins, dean of the College of Education. "It is a tribute to his scholarship and service contributions and reflects EMU's emerging status in middle level education."

This national award is given only periodically, when it is determined by a panel of former award winners that a candidate is exceptional in accomplishments pertaining to the education of middle school students. Only 13 winners have been honored. This year's panel recognized Williamson for "changing the conversation about middle-level reform to focus on improving the educational experience for all students."

The Gruhn-Long-Melton Award commemorates three experts, William Gruhn, Forrest Long and George Melton, whose work defined secondary school leadership in the 20th Century.

Williamson earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan in 1968; a master's degree in history from EMU in 1970; a master's degree in educational leadership (1978); a specialist's degree in educational leadership (1994); and a doctorate in educational leadership (1996), all from EMU.

Williamson began his teaching career in the Ann Arbor School District, where he served as an assistant principal, principal, curriculum director and associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction. After earning his doctorate, Williamson taught at the University of North Carolina, where he also directed the principal preparation center and program.  

Williamson joined the EMU education faculty in 2001. He also works closely with a California-based comprehensive school reform initiative which involves principals and schools throughout the U.S., and serves as a planning and assessment consultant to the NASSP and dozens of school districts.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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