WMU News

Blind rehabilitation, science education get new names

May 20, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- At its May 17 meeting, the WMU Board of Trustees approved changing the name of the Department of Blind Rehabilitation to the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies. In addition, they approved changing the name of the Institute for Science Education to the Mallinson Institute for Science Education.

Established in 1961, what is now the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies has a long history. Department faculty and administration believe the old name was misleading and outdated. People outside the University often concluded that the department was a rehabilitation facility and that students were trained to work only with individuals who are totally blind. In reality, the majority of clients students serve are not totally blind, but have low vision. The new name also better reflects the extensive research activities of faculty and the work, mission and goals of the department.

The Institute for Science Education was formed in 2001 from the Department of Science Studies and the Center for Science Education. The new name recognizes the combined contributions of Drs. George and Jacqueline Mallinson to the institute and in particular honors the late George Mallinson for his role in development of science education at WMU.

George Mallinson, distinguished professor of science education emeritus, began his career at WMU in 1948 as associate professor of psychology and science education and became the University's first dean of the Graduate College in 1955, serving until his retirement in 1977. During his tenure as dean, he was very instrumental in developing and sustaining through external funding the science education curricula, including the Ph.D. in science education, one of the first doctoral programs established by the University. He also published more than 650 journal articles, monographs, reviews and books. Mallinson died in 1994

Jacqueline Mallinson has been an adjunct associate professor of science education at WMU since 1977. Her career has included teaching, leadership roles in national science education organizations, assisting school districts in developing science curricula and publication of more than 300 journal articles, reviews, and teaching manuals in science education. In addition to their leadership roles in development and maturation of science education, they have provided substantial financial support over the years for science education.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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