The National Dropout Prevention Center recognizes the far-reaching impact of Dr. Jay Smink’s work through the establishment of the Dr. Jay Smink Lifetime Achievement Award.
Professor Emerita of Learning and Teaching, 2001 – 2017
Eugene T. Moore Professor of Early Childhood Education College of Health, Education, and Human Development, Clemson University
Dolores (Dee) Stegelin was an associate professor of early childhood education in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University. Dr. Stegelin facilitated the development of an expanded undergraduate and graduate early childhood teacher education program at Clemson. She pursued research in early literacy, public policy, inclusion of children with disabilities, public school early childhood programs, the Reggio Emilia approach, and parent involvement. Her research focused on Educational Policy and Curriculum Theory. Her publications include ‘Early Childhood Teacher Beliefs About STEAM Education After a Professional Development Conference‘. She is the author of four textbooks and numerous professional articles.
Dr. Stegelin has been active in the National Association of Early Childhood Education, the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators, the Association of Childhood Education International, and the American Educational Research Association, all at the national level. She has served as the public policy chair for the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children. She has also been involved in the research and instructional dimensions of the First Steps to School Readiness early childhood program in South Carolina.
The National Dropout Prevention Center recognizes the far-reaching impact of Dr. Jay Smink’s work through the establishment of the Dr. Jay Smink Lifetime Achievement Award, naming Dr. Smink as its inaugural recipient.
Dr. Jay Smink served as executive director of the National Dropout Prevention Center for 24 years and was awarded professor emeritus in Clemson University’s College of Health, Education, and Human Development. His work in dropout prevention led to the identification of 15 Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention that can and do have a positive effect on the challenge of dropouts. The importance of these strategies is recognized nationwide as guidelines for school improve-ment and at-risk student intervention. They continue to be the foundation on which the NDPC operates, resulting in his lasting legacy to education and, more important, to helping at-risk youth graduate. His national leadership and authority on truancy and dropout prevention, mentoring, alternative schools, after-school programs, learning styles, service-learning, school-to-work, vocational education research, safe school environments, project evaluation and accountability, education marketing and dissemination, and program management secured his professional status as a well-respected leader in dropout prevention.
Dr. Smink’s career has also included classroom teaching in public schools, leadership positions in state agencies, and research and administrative positions in the national Career and Technical Education Center at The Ohio State University.
After retiring as executive director of the National Dropout Prevention Center in 2011, he continues to impact dropout prevention efforts in countless schools nationwide. Dr. Smink served on numerous national and state boards, including the American Bar Association Advisory Commission on Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Problems, National Association for Industry-Education Cooperative, the National Mentoring Partnership, the Center for Career and Technical Education at The Ohio State University, and the South Carolina Commission on National and Community Service. In 2013, Dr. Smink was awarded the Governor and Mrs. Richard W. Riley Award for significant contributions to the advancement of dropout prevention initiatives in the state of South Carolina. In 2006, Dr. Smink was presented the National Dropout Prevention Center’s Crystal Star Award of Excellence Distinguished Leadership and Service award.
The Dr. Jay Smink Lifetime Achievement Award will be given annually to individuals who have made a significant impact in dropout prevention as a longtime partner of the National Dropout Prevention Center.