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Walden News // Nov 22, 2010

Walden Announces 2010 Recipients of Ann “Tunky” Riley Scholarships

Minneapolis—November 22, 2010—Walden University announced today that teachers Kaylin Hansen of Indian Hills, Colo., and Tamara J. Whitcomb of Deming, Wash., are the 2010 recipients of the Ann “Tunky” Riley Excellence in Education scholarships for new students in The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University.

The scholarships for educators, first awarded in 2009, are dedicated to the memory of Ann “Tunky” Riley, a teacher and passionate advocate for high-quality public education for all children and the late wife of Richard W. Riley, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Hansen is enrolled in Walden’s MS in Instructional Design and Technology program with a specialization in Online Learning. Ms. Whitcomb is enrolled in Walden’s MS in Education program with a specialization in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.

“I am so proud of this scholarship program in my wife’s honor because it supports remarkable educators who make indelible contributions to their students, colleagues and schools every day,” said Secretary Riley. “Tunky would be very proud of Kaylin and Tamara, as am I, because of their impressive achievements in their classrooms and communities.”

All scholarship applicants wrote an essay on their contributions to their students or colleagues or to an economically disadvantaged school or community. Each applicant also submitted a letter of recommendation from a school official discussing the applicant’s passion for teaching and its impact on their students, school or community. A committee from the Riley College of Education and Leadership, including Secretary Riley, reviewed the submissions and selected the finalists.

In her essay, Ms. Hansen described her work as an English teacher for at-risk teens at Brady Exploration School. “I have made a monumental difference in students’ lives by showing them that they can be successful in all circumstances. I create a safe and welcoming environment based on trust, empathy and unconditional positive regard. This allows students to feel accepted and open to learning. My enthusiasm and ability to relate subject matter to students’ lives unlocks doors to learning that have been closed for many years.”

Ms. Whitcomb wrote about her responsibility as an agriculture teacher at Mount Baker High School to help her students be successful in life. “When you live and teach in the Mount Baker School District, one of the most important things you learn is that any student has the potential for greatness. I say that because so many of the young people I see on a daily basis might come to school just looking for a hot meal or a warm, safe place to be. They don’t realize yet that by stepping into my classroom, a place of positive energy, a friendly atmosphere and high expectations that they can change their fate. They can develop the ability to be good students, leaders in their community and have a future in any career they choose.”

Walden’s 40-year history of educating educators has created a community of more than 45,000 students and alumni who are leaders in their classrooms and schools. As a leading provider of education degrees online, the Riley College of Education and Leadership is dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness and student achievement by connecting its students with nationally recognized education experts, researchers and scholars. Walden’s programs, while strongly grounded in theory, emphasize practical skills and analytical tools educators can immediately use to enhance student learning and outcomes. For more information about Walden’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, visit

About Walden University
For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 42,500 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 50 online and campus-based universities in 21 countries.

Walden offers more than 45 degree programs with more than 195 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include: health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration, technology and engineering. For more information, visit Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association,