Deborah Appleman to Receive Tolley Medal for Leadership in Lifelong Learning

The School of Education will present the William Pearson Tolley Medal for leadership in lifelong learning to Deborah Appleman of Carleton College on Thursday, Oct. 25. The presentation of the Tolley Medal will take place as part of the School of Education’s Landscape of Urban Education lecture series presentation of Appleman’s talk, “Liberal Learning Behind Bars: Literacy Education with the Incarcerated.”

Deborah ApplemanIn her talk, Appleman will describe her experiences teaching writing and literature at a high-security men’s prison. She will explore both the challenges and rewards of offering literacy education to the incarcerated.  She will discuss the transformative nature of literacy learning by sharing some of the work included in a creative writing anthology she and her incarcerated students published, “From the Inside Out: Letters to Young Men and Other Writings” (Student Press Initiative, Teachers College, 2009).

“It will be an honor to bestow the Tolley Medal on Professor Deborah Appleman, as the award honors educators who exemplify engaged scholarship and a commitment to fostering life-long learning,” says School of Education Dean Douglas Biklen.  “Her work in literacy with incarcerated young men addresses a national disgrace too often forgotten.”

Deborah Appleman is the Hollis L. Caswell Professor of Educational Studies and director of the Summer Writing Program at Carleton College. Her recent research has focused on teaching college-level language and literature courses at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater for inmates who are interested in pursing post-secondary education.

The Tolley Medal

For four decades, William Pearson Tolley was one of the nation’s pre-eminent leaders in higher education. By the time he retired in 1969, having served as Syracuse University’s chancellor for 27 years, he had reconfigured the Syracuse campus, tripled enrollment and made lifelong learning his career legacy.

Syracuse University established the Tolley Medal in 1966 to recognize outstanding contributions by national and international leaders in what was then known as adult education. In naming the award for Tolley, SU’s Board of Trustees paid tribute to a man whose own interest was expressed in consistent, personal support of Syracuse’s program and of adult education activities worldwide.

Past recipients are:

  • Ethel Blatt of Syracuse University (2011)
  • Tom Skrtic of the University of Kansas (2009)
  • Morris Keeton of the Institute for Research and Assessment in Higher Education at the University of Maryland University College (2004)
  • Kay J. Kohl of the University Continuing Education Association (2003)
  • Milton Reid Stern of the University of California, Berkeley (1994)
  • Alexander Nathaniel Charters, SU professor emeritus of adult education (1986)
  • Paul Henry Bertelsen of UNESCO (1983)
  • Thurman James White of the University of Oklahoma (1979)
  • Lalage Brown of Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria (1975)
  • James Robbins Kidd of The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (1973)
  • Kenneth G. Bartlett, SU professor emeritus and first dean of University College (1971)
  • Sidney G. Raybould of the University of Leeds, England (1970)
  • Mohan S. Mehta of the Indian Adult Education Association (1969)
  • Cyril O. Houle of the University of Chicago (1966).