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Alumni National Awards

College of Education Award Recipients

JohnsonDistinguished Alumna of the Year Award
Dr. Adanna J. Johnson, Grad ’01, ’05 
Takoma Park, Md.

As the associate vice president for student equity and inclusion at Georgetown University, Dr. Adanna Johnson works as a servant leader to break down barriers.

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VarekaCounselor Education and Counseling Psychology Achievement Award   
Kristen C. Vareka, Grad ’08    
Wauwatosa, Wis. 

Kristen Vareka describes her role as a therapist as helping people identify what is and isn’t working in their lives -- be it a coping strategy, a relationship or their substance use. Whether it’s been in clinical settings as a therapist or in her former role as clinical services manager at the Guest House in Milwaukee, she has fostered this collaborative process to identify what people in therapy are willing and able to do to create lives more in line with their authentic selves.

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CocoranEducational Policy and Leadership Achievement Award   
Bryan S. Corcoran, Arts ’97    
Milwaukee, Wis. 

Middle school can be a time most people would like to forget -- it’s generally recognized as a time of awkwardness, puberty and growth spurts -- but Bryan Corcoran has dedicated himself to middle school students for more than 23 years as a sixth grade teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools.

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HirchakYoung Alumna of the Year Award
Dana Bellich Hirchak, Arts ’09    
Chicago, Ill. 

Dana Hirchak has dedicated the past 10 years of her career as a servant leader at the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School in Chicago helping some of the most vulnerable students in Illinois and throughout the country -- those struggling with severe mental health challenges.

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Watch recipient showcase videos beginning Monday, May 24, 2021.