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The Graduate School of Education on April 13, 2021. Credit: Yosef Robele

The Penn Graduate School of Education awarded the 2022 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education to three leaders in education, including a Penn graduate, on Wednesday. 

The prize, a partnership between Penn GSE and the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation, is awarded annually to educators doing groundbreaking work in three categories: higher education, learning science research, and pre-K-12 education. Each winner receives $50,000 and an awards sculpture. 

Cheryl Logan, a 2017 graduate of Penn GSE, was awarded in the pre-K-12 category for her leadership during COVID-19 as superintendent of Omaha Public Schools. By running a pilot study with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Logan enabled her district to be one of the first large, urban school districts in the country to return to in-person learning in 2020. 

Barry Dunn was acknowledged in the higher education category for his work as president of South Dakota State University to improve college access for Native Americans. He created the Wokini Initiative to increase support for Native students in the state and advocated for federally funded grants for Native students at 22 universities. Dunn, an alumnus of SDSU, was named president in April 2016.

In the learning science research category, Roy Pea was recognized for his years of impact as the former director of the Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute and co-principal investigator of the LIFE Center — both at Stanford University. His contributions include building training programs in learning technology and design at universities, creating research partnerships, and developing professional development programs for teachers. 

Penn alumni have recently been well represented among this award’s recipients. Of four winners last year, two were Penn graduates. Past winners of the award include Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, and other innovators in education, including former First Lady Barbara Bush.