Walden University honored two faculty members with its 2011 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence, including Dr. Patricia Thurmond, of The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, for her work to prepare the M.S. in Education program for its 2011 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) visit and for her commitment to student success and positive student experiences.

“Dr. Thurmond has played a key leadership role in the growth and development of the Riley College of Education and Leadership,” explained Walden University Board of Directors member Dr. Anita McDonald, during the January awards ceremony. “She has been instrumental in the design and implementation of its student assessment system and personally assisted in the redesign of the M.S. in Education specialization in Middle Level Education. What’s more, during a time of significant changes in programs and curriculum, Dr. Thurmond has remained focused on and committed to providing her students with a positive and rewarding learning experience.”
“I believe when we help our Walden University students succeed, we help a nation succeed,” explains Thurmond. “By being committed to our students’ success and ensuring they have a positive experience, I am helping to change the climate of education. Our students complete the program with a renewed sense of purpose that generates positive change at the classroom, school, district, and national levels.”

Encouraging Student Success Through Positive Experiences

Thurmond’s goal as an educator is to help students think beyond their textbooks and other course materials to think critically about the larger questions raised by their studies. “I want them to question, to wonder, to consider the ‘what ifs,’” she says.

She also works tirelessly to remind her students that effecting positive social change in their communities is as simple as volunteering for a school project, coaching, or contributing to a committee. Thurmond is equally serious about her mentorships. “I approach student mentorships as if I were working with students face-to-face,” she says. “I take the time to read between the lines when answering emails so I can answer questions asked and not asked.” She’s also quick to pick up the phone to connect with students. “I work hard to give students a high level of interaction and care,” she says.

“In today’s climate, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most in education,” Thurmond emphasizes. “Walden has helped me focus on what matters most—the student.”

Thurmond has worked at Walden since 2003, and is an active member on several committees.

About the Award

The award is bestowed upon Walden faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the university. It recognizes their leadership and commitment to providing the highest-quality student experience as well as to upholding Walden’s mission of promoting positive social change.

Read more about the Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence and past recipients.

Man sitting at latop
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Contact Information
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Please provide a valid zipcode
Additional Information
Get Started

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.


By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy