Please join us in congratulating our 2020 SOE Alumni Award winners: Dr. Scott P. Culclasure, Dr. Stephanie Kurtts, Dr. Donna Cox Peters, and Dr. Dana Stachowiak!

To learn more about the SOE Alumni Awards, visit

Early Career Award

UNC Greensboro SOE Alumnus/a who has received achievement in his/her profession 8 years since the most recent UNC Greensboro degree

Dana Stachowiak

Dr. Dana Stachowiak
Ph.D. Educational Studies 2013

Dr. Dana Stachowiak is currently the Director of the Gender Studies and Research Center (GSRC) and an Associate Professor in Curriculum Studies at UNC Wilmington. Previously, Dana was an Assistant Professor of Diversity Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a teacher and curriculum specialist in North Carolina.

As Director, Dana oversees the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) program and develops the research agenda and educational and cultural programming for the center. In her first year, Dana worked to successfully re-image the GSRC to more closely align with UNCW’s focus on research, build stronger interdisciplinary and community collaborations, strengthen the WGS curriculum, and expand the reach of the center.

As an Associate Professor, Dana spearheaded the transformation of the Master of Education in Curriculum to focus on equity and offer students a unique action-based program. She researches, publishes, and presents extensively on trans/gender equity in education, healing centered engagement, social justice education, and literacy curriculum development.

Dr. Stachowiak is active in her professional and personal communities, where she chairs committees, holds board memberships, edits journals, collaborates with community members, and volunteers to rescue all the dogs and cats.

Distinguished Career Award Winner

​UNC Greensboro SOE Alumnus/a who has conducted exemplary service to his/her profession​

Scott Culclasure, Alumni Award Winner 2020

Dr. Scott P. Culclasure
Ph.D. Curriculum & Teaching 1996

M.Ed. Social Studies 1986

With a passion for history, Scott recently completed a forty-year career as a classroom teacher divided almost equally between two very different local schools: High Point Central High School and the American Hebrew Academy. Scott was born in Greensboro and was an honors graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in history and education. Continuing his studies at UNC Greensboro, Scott completed his master’s degree in education in 1986 and his PhD in 1996 with a dissertation later published as The Past As Liberation from History. His mentors at the University include the late Lois Edinger, Robert Calhoon, and Svi Shapiro. Scott’s desire to do the work of a historian also resulted in co-editing with Chuck Bolton The Confessions of Edward Isham: A Poor White Life of the Antebellum South.

In addition to teaching more delightful students than he can count, Scott is proudest of his work at High Point Central to organize and lead one of Guilford County Schools’ first International Baccalaureate Diploma programs. The challenges of opening a new kind of school at the American Hebrew Academy also helped bolster his sense of educating the whole person.

Since his own school days, Scott has worked as a volunteer at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, where he continues to conduct summertime walking tours.

Distinguished Service Award Winners

​UNC Greensboro SOE Alumnus/a who has earned state, national, or international distinction in his/her career​

Inspirational Educator 2019

Dr. Donna Cox Peters
Ph.D. Curriculum & Teaching 1999

MSBE Business Education 1980

Dr. Donna Cox Peters has devoted her career to educating North Carolina’s K-12 children and has led from the positions of classroom teacher through superintendent in North Carolina public schools. She continues this leadership work and passion in her role as partner in Leadership Solutions Group, LLC, focusing on preparing, developing, and supporting school leaders.

Donna is a certified John Maxwell speaker, teacher, and coach. As principal, she was awarded the Patrick Francis Daly Memorial Award for Excellence by the Yale Child Study Center in 1998 for excellence in school leadership. Donna was recognized by the NC Association of School Administrators and the NC School Board Association as the 2010 NC Superintendent of the Year. In 2019, she was recognized as a UNC Greensboro School of Education Inspirational Educator, nominated by Sandhills Leadership Academy graduates she served during their principal preparation. Donna has been a member of the UNC Greensboro School of Education Advisory Board for 13 years, including two years as chair, and she currently serves as lecturer in the Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) Department.

Stephanie Kurtts, Alumni Award Winner 2020

Dr. Stephanie Kurtts
Ph.D. Curriculum & Teaching 1998

After completing her Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching at UNC Greensboro in 1998, Dr. Stephanie Kurtts returned in 2001 as a faculty member in the newly formed department of Specialized Education Services (SES) in the School of Education. She served 10 years as the program coordinator for the special education teacher education programs, and was part of the collaborative planning and implementation of the dual major in elementary education and special education with her colleague Dr. Sam Miller in Teacher Education and Higher Education (TEHE). Most recently, Stephanie served as the interim department chair of SES.

During her time at UNC Greensboro, Stephanie has served the university and the community in numerous activities. Among those, she was a member and chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the School of Education’s representative to the General Education Council. She served as a Faculty Fellow in the Office of Leadership and Service-Learning and as a Faculty Fellow (Exploring Teaching as a Profession) with the Grogan Learning Communities. In 2013, Stephanie received the School of Education’s Mentoring/Advising/ Supervision award. She was also the recipient of the Marina Wilder Distinguished Service Award of the Arc of Greensboro.