At Celebrations, Students Thank Dean Mary Brabeck

Students showed their appreciation for Mary Brabeck, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the Steinhardt School, at special ceremonies in May.

Undergraduate students awarded the dean the Linda Vega Award for Excellence at their annual USG Awards Ceremony.

At the GSO Awards Ceremony, Dean Brabeck was the inaugural recipient of the Mary Brabeck Shooting Star Faculty Award.  The new award will be given annually to a Steinhardt faculty member who is dedicated to enriching the student experience.

“We faculty love watching the arc of our students’ shooting stars as you take your place in society, fulfilling the mission of our school:  advancing knowledge, creativity, and innovation at the crossroads of human learning, culture, development, and well-being,” Dean Brabeck said accepting the award.

At the USG Award Ceremony, Dean Brabeck was honored by students for “working tirelessly to make Steinhardt a school we are all proud of and for supporting students in their academic and professional endeavors.”

“Mary’s extraordinary efforts have increased the available resources for faculty and students and improved the lives of all Steinhardt students,” said Brianna Fernandez, vice president of the USG.  “Her second annual Steinhardt Vision Award Gala raised $1 million for scholarships this year.”

At an all-University celebration, students spoke of learning values and research skills from the dean.

Joe Gery, a rising senior and president of the USG, recalled meeting Dean Brabeck at an NYU Open House information session.

“What was unique about Mary’s approach was that she didn’t list the ways that Steinhardt was better than other universities; she asked us what we could bring to the school and the world,” Gery said.  “Since the moment I first saw Mary speak, I’ve never stopped thinking about how I can affect the lives of those around me, both at Steinhardt and within the larger community.”

For Rachel Wahl (PhD ’13), working closely with Dean Brabeck on a project to prepare schools of education for new standards was an extraordinary learning experience.












“Mary is an exceptional mentor,” Wahl said. “She has a rare capacity to understand and pinpoint exactly what about a question is most central.  She will listen carefully to an idea and then tell me how to sharpen it, what to read, and how to improve the design of a study to get at what I want most to understand.”

When she steps down on May 31st, Dean Brabeck, a professor in the Department of Applied Psychology will teach and pursue her own research.  She will be back in the classroom, touching the lives of those she has touched the most.

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(Photos, top to bottom:   Dean Mary Brabeck at podium accepts the Linda Vega Award for Excellence, Credit Chantelle St.Clair.  Rachael Wahl thanks Dean Mary Brabeck at an event held in her honor.  Credit, Sara Fry.)