Union University
Union University School of Education
Miranda Lindsey works as a student teacher at Medina Elementary

Education Story

Dr. Ralph Leverett Awarded The Jefferson Award for Public Service in Education and Literacy

April 12, 2007 - Union University Education Professor Dr. Ralph G. Leverett was recently awarded The Jefferson Award for Public Service in Education and Literacy. The prestigious award was established in 1972 when Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard founded the American Institute for Public Service, a 501c3 public foundation, to establish a Nobel Prize for public and community service - The Jefferson Awards.

The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. National award recipients represent a "Who's Who" of outstanding Americans. On the local level, Jefferson Awards recipients are ordinary people who do extraordinary things without expectation of recognition or reward.

Dr. Leverett, Union University's Director of the Master of Education (M.Ed.) Program and Professor of Special Education, was nominated for the award by Dr. Tom R. Rosebrough, Dean of the College of Education and Human Studies at Union University. In his nomination letter, Dr. Rosebrough acknowledged Dr. Leverett's valuable expertise and experience, stating: "Dr. Leverett utilizes a depth of preparation and a wealth of experience in serving undergraduate and graduate college students as well as children with speech and hearing disabilities."

In addition to his service at Union, Dr. Leverett has a long history of service with children with speech-hearing disabilities. He is currently a Speech-Language Pathologist and consultant for the West Tennessee School for the Deaf.

Dr. Leverett earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in Program and Staff Development-Speech and Hearing Science in 1983. He has related credentials and experience as a public school special education teacher for nine years, as a speech pathologist in private practice, and as a Senior Disability Analyst. He served at three universities before arriving at Union University in 1996.

At Union he is known for his student-centered sensitivity and high expectations. His students seek him out for his knowledge and wisdom in language disorders and special education. Dr. Leverett's colleagues value him as a special person whose values lead him to serving others. Ralph recently completed his second trip to Belarus with colleagues from Vanderbilt and Baptist missionaries to share his knowledge of special education and speech pathology. He is scheduled to make a similar trip to Russia in 2007.

At West Tennessee School for the Deaf, Dr. Leverett utilizes his extraordinary knowledge to assist students with speech and language problems. He serves as a clinician with students daily and mentors other educators in the field of deaf education. This service provides a practitioner's perspective at the university as Ralph teaches reading and language skills in the special education field.

In addition, Dr. Leverett is a published author in the scholarly areas of catastrophic illness, communication disorders, and learning disabilities.

Related Web Resource: http://www.uu.edu/programs/education/news/RalphLeverett-150.jpg