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Two CEHS faculty named Chester E. and Helen B. Derrick Endowed Professors

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The WVU College of Education and Human Services has named two long-time faculty members as Chester E. and Helen B. Derrick Endowed Professors. Reagan Curtis, professor in the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development, was named the Chester E. and Helen B. Derrick CEHS Endowed Professor. Sam F. Stack, Jr., professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies, was named the Chester E. and Helen B. Derrick Teacher Education Endowed Professor.

Regan Curtis

Reagan Curtis

Sam Stack

Sam F. Stack, Jr.

“Both Dr. Curtis and Dr. Stack have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service during their tenure in the College of Education and Human Services,” said CEHS Dean Tracy Morris. “We are grateful for their leadership and commitment to building the scholarly community in our College – and so pleased that they will be continuing to honor the legacies of Chester and Helen Derrick.”

Curtis has served on the faculty of the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development for 14 years. His research primarily focuses on social science research and evaluation methodologies as they pertain to deep learning, especially in areas related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Curtis’ record of scholarship includes 50 publications in academic journals and service as the principal investigator, co-principal investigator or lead evaluator for 15 grants and contracts. Curtis plans to use the support from the Chester E. and Helen B. Derrick Endowment to further his work in integrating design-based learning principles into STEM curriculum, which he initially undertook through a West Virginia Math Science Partnership Grant.

Curtis founded the WVU Program Evaluation and Research Center, which conducts research and evaluation to inform the work of practitioners and policymakers concerning the efficacy of existing programs and the needs of specific populations for improvement of educational and social outcomes. He is completing a term as chair of the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development on June 30, 2020.

“It feels especially poignant that our work in design-based learning had roots in Kanawha county where the Derricks spent most of their professional careers,” Curtis said. “I am humbled by this honor and look forward to continuing work in the spirit of the Derricks’ intention to support excellence in education.”

Stack joined the CEHS faculty in 1990 and is a member of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies. Stack studies the social and cultural foundations of education and has investigated issues surrounding race, gender, community and democratic theory. His goal in these pursuits has been to promote the improvement of teaching through a better understanding of its purpose in a democratic society. He plans to utilize the research support from the Chester E. and Helen B Derrick Endowment to continue this work.

Stack earned the Barbara Howe Award for Excellent Scholarship on New Deal Homesteads in 2004 for his research on the New Deal community in Arthurdale, West Virginia. He also received the CEHS Outstanding Teacher Award in 1995, CEHS Outstanding Research Award in 2004 and Laddie R. Bell Service Award in 2007. He has published three books and 43 professional articles and is a past chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed the Chester E. and Helen B. Derrick Teacher Education Endowed Professor in the College of Education and Human Services,” Stack said. “I will seek to represent the College with a social and political awareness that fosters the preparation of teachers in a democratic society and serve as an advocate for teachers and teacher education throughout our state and nation.”

The Chester E. and Helen B. Derrick Teacher Education and CEHS Endowed Professorships both provide a broad range of support for research, teaching and service, including but not limited to supplemental compensation, travel, research, technology enhancements, mission, and faculty and student support. The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the non-profit corporation that generates and administers private support for the University.

Curtis and Stack’s new titles will take effect on August 16, 2020.