National Nonprofit Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Top Quote Rutgers Professor, Dr. Maurice J. Elias, to receive 2013 Sanford N. McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 30, 2013 - Washington, DC --The Character Education Partnership (CEP) has chosen Dr. Maurice J. Elias, a professor at Rutgers University, to receive the 2013 Sanford N. McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education.

    Dr. Elias is an internationally recognized authority on character education and social-emotional learning (SEL). He has presented on the topics throughout the U.S., Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. His books and publications number in the hundreds. One book, Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, has been translated into nine languages. Dr. Elias' blog on Edutopia is read by hundreds of thousands of educators worldwide.

    "But the most important role that he doesn't even realize he fills in life is a mentor and coach for those considered to be the 'younger generation' within the Social-Emotional Character Development (SECD) field," said Donna Snyder, manager of ASCD's Whole Child Programs, and one of the educators who nominated Dr. Elias for the award.

    At Rutgers, Dr. Elias serves as Director of the Social-Emotional Learning Lab, Coordinator of the Expert Advisory Group to the NJ Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, Academic Director of The Collaborative, Rutgers' Center for Community-Based Research, Service, and Public Scholarship, Coordinator of Practica/Internships for the Clinical Ph.D. Training Program in Psychology, and Coordinator for Improving School Climate for Academic and Life Success at Rutgers' Center for Applied Psychology.

    In his practice, Dr. Elias has created the Developing Safe and Civil Schools initiative where Character and SEL programming has been introduced to more than 200 schools in New Jersey. He also co-created a series of online courses in Social Emotional and Character Development (SECD) for Rutgers. He has also served on the Blue Ribbon Panel for National Schools of Character and is on the Educational Advisory Council of CEP.

    "Maurice has recognized that for one to live a life of good character, one must possess the social emotional skills necessary to handle one's impulses, create and maintain healthy relationships and be able to problem solve effectively. For one to practice social emotional competence in a caring, community-supportive way, one must be a person of clear values and good character," said Dr. Ed Dunkelblau, Director of the Institute for Emotionally Intelligent Learning, who also nominated Dr. Elias for the award.

    Another nominator, Fred Bilofsky said, "Listing all of Dr. Elias' achievements would be to miss the essence of the man who always leaves room for others to speak, always gives others the chance to teach him, to shine in their own light. Imagine spending time with this unassuming gentleman and then continually finding colleagues throughout the country in the field of Character Education/Social Emotional Learning, who have been coached by him, professionally and personally. Dr. Elias' work is recognized across the world."

    CEP President and CEO Mark Hyatt said, "Dr Elias has helped educators worldwide with his incisive research, practical applications and encouragement to all stakeholders in communities that work to help all young people reach their full potential. He is one of my heroes and at the top of my list of people I call for advice on how to create new ways to put best practices into action throughout America."

    This annual lifetime achievement award is named in honor of Sanford N. McDonnell, Chairman Emeritus of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation and CEP. It is also CEP's highest honor. The award goes to an individual who, over a significant period of time, has been an outstanding role model of good character and has also met one or more of the following criteria:
    1. Strong and widely influential advocacy of quality character education.
    2. Outstanding contributions that have broad impact on any or all of the domains in which character development takes place (school, family, community and sports)
    3. Being a friend and supporter of character education by mentoring character education leaders or supporting the field philanthropically.

    Dr. Elias will receive the award on Oct. 25 in Washington, DC, during the 2013 National Forum on Character Education, before an audience of more than 1,000 educators from across the country, along with representatives from approximately 20 different countries. Learning for Life sponsors this annual award ceremony.

    About CEP and the Award: Character Education Partnership (CEP),, is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition of organizations and individuals based in Washington, DC. It is led by business and educational leaders who are dedicated to the advancement of quality character development in all schools as a key component of positive school transformation, improved academic achievement, responsible citizenship and the pursuit of one's best work in school and life.

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