2006: Ann Medlock
Ann Medlock receives this recognition for her work founding the Giraffe Heroes Project, one of the ways she demonstrates her self-proclaimed profession as "boat rocker." This project has grown to international importance and touched many countries, schools, businesses and professions, making a profound impact by inspiring positive actions. As she says, "In the early 80s, concerned that too few people saw themselves as capable of improving their world, I launched the Giraffe Project to encourage people to stick their necks out for the common good." She was editor-in-chief of the Children's Express news service. She has written for Look, The New York Times, The Journal of Commerce, Editor & Publisher, Working Woman, Lear's, CoEvolution Quarterly, and Education Week; counseled major corporations on media; and written speeches for US political figures and for the Aga Khan. The K-12 Giraffe Heroes curriculum is providing character-rich content for language arts and social studies in schools in all 50 states. Her commentaries on public radio have earned her awards as a broadcast journalist, and her public appearances have inspired and informed audiences across the country.
2005: Jason Ryan Dorsey
Jason Dorsey has worked on-site at over 500 schools across the US and spoken directly to over 500,000 people. He has the frontline insight into school culture critical for credibility with experienced education leaders. His breakthrough strategies for increasing student performance and personal responsibility have been featured on numerous media outlets including NBC's Today Show, ABC's The View, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Jason authored his first bestselling book at 18,Graduate to Your Perfect Job, now used as a course in over 1500 schools. His second book, Violence not Allowed, was recognized by the President for its practical solutions. At only 25 years old, Jason had already delivered over 1000 keynote speeches as far away as Egypt (Global Youth Summit) and at large US events such as the National Association for Gifted Children National Conference and the California Association for the Gifted Conference. Reportedly, he is the most experienced young education speaker in North America.
2004: Martin E. Kenney
Martin E. Kenney, Jr. serves as Chief Executive Officer and Director of WRC Media Inc., the leading supplementary educational publisher and media company. The company is the largest publisher of supplementary educational materials with four principal operating subsidiaries, all of which are market leaders in their segments: Weekly Reader Corporation which publishes Weekly Reader periodicals, Teen Newsweek, and other instructional materials serving over 7 million school children; World Almanac Education Group which publishes the World Almanac, Facts on File, Gareth Stevens, and Funk and Wagnalls and has a large subscriber base of many school, private, and public libraries; CompassLearning, Inc. which provides electronically delivered instruction and assessment to over 20,000 schools; and American Guidance Service, Inc. which published individually administered assessments to evaluate learner traits and a variety of high-interest, low reading-level instructional products.
2004: John Lienhard
For years, Dr. John Lienhard, professor of engineering and history at University of Houston, has been featured daily on KUHF radio (and through syndication on National Public Radio) with his 5-minute broadcasts entitled Engines of Our Ingenuity. He writes and hosts the series delivering 1,824 episodes since 1988. The series highlights creative inventions, processes, and events and tells the story of how our culture has been formed by human creativity. Episode topics range from cable cars to Civil War submarines, from the connection between Romantic poets and Victorian science to the invention of the bar code. The program uses the record of history to reveal the way art, technology, and ideas have shaped us.
2003: Constantine Papadakis
Dr. Constantine Papadakis, an innovator in higher education with extensive experience in both academe and the corporate world, had been president of Drexel University since 1995 and MCP Hahnemann University since 1998. Over the past seven years, Dr. Papadakis has used the historic strengths of Drexel to triple freshman applications, double full-time undergraduate enrollment, double research funding and annual fund-raising, and triple the university's endowment. In 1998, Drexel took over the operation of the bankrupt Allegheny University of the Health Sciences and partnered with Tenet Healthcare Corporation to keep the university's seven hospitals in operation. He has been honored with the Congressional Medal of Ellis Island for his success as an immigrant and received numerous other awards.