SOE faculty members Martha McCarthy and Enikia Ford-Morthel were honored at the LMU Faculty Awards ceremony April 26.
McCarthy, the President’s Professor of Educational Leadership, received the Rains Award for Excellence in Scholarship or Creative Works. An internationally renowned expert in educational leadership and educational law, McCarthy has examined issues related to church-state relationships, the First Amendment, anti-discrimination, student testing, bullying, and the use of social media in schools, among others, through her research. She is also a national expert in the areas of student privacy, rights of children with disabilities, employment discrimination, and leadership.
“Martha’s broad scholarship, through the integration of complex legal principles, contributes to the common good of society through the ongoing education of leaders, teachers, attorneys, and federal judges in the area of educational law,” said SOE Dean Shane P. Martin, who presented McCarthy with the award. “She is committed to social justice in her work in research, scholarship, and teaching, and she successfully integrates teaching and scholarship for our LMU students and faculty while extending this deep integration on a national level.”
Although McCarthy has received countless honors, including career and lifetime achievement awards from the Education Law Association, National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, and University Council for Educational Administration, the latest honor carries special significance. “Nothing means more than being recognized by your colleagues at home, so I will cherish this award always,” McCarthy said. “And no one achieves awards in isolation — I am part of an incredible Department of Educational Leadership and School of Education at LMU. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by smart, productive, and amazing colleagues and students who continue to energize and inspire me.”
Ford-Morthel, a part-time faculty member in SOE’s Specialized Programs in Urban Education Department, received the Part-Time Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award. At SOE’s regional sites in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, Ford-Morthel instructs new teachers working toward their credential or who are engaged in master’s-level research in urban education, including members of the LMU/Teach For America partnership. She has done so while serving as Assistant Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District. Ford-Morthel has facilitated the turnaround of underperforming schools in some of the Bay Area’s highest-need communities.
“Enikia views her work in public education as social justice in action,” Martin said in presenting Ford-Morthel with the award. “She sees her purpose as an educator to engage, empower, educate, and enhance perspectives, understanding the possibility of the student to be a steward of change for the community as a teacher. Her view of teaching as a moral imperative applies to her own teaching — rigorous, inspiring, supportive, participatory, and engaging.”
“I am humbled go be given an award for work that I sincerely find intrinsically rewarding,” Ford-Morthel said. “I have the privilege of working with young teachers who embody so much of what I think education should be and is yearning for. Working with them keeps me hopeful for the future of urban education and believing in the potential for dramatic change for our most underserved communities.”