2017 Thomas F. Donlon Memorial Award
Dr. Marcy Delcourt
for Distinguished Mentoring
, the recipient of NERA’s 2017 Thomas F. Donlon Memorial Award for Distinguished Mentoring, is by all accounts an exceptional mentor, leader, and educator. Her nominator described her as one who has a “passion to grow leaders, support them, create a lasting professional community, and meet the personal and career needs of those under her mentorship.” Another supporter wrote of Dr. Delcourt that, “Her voice, educational vision and beliefs live in the minds of her students, and her impact is far-reaching. Her love of research and unending questioning is a voice in my head that I hear loud and clear when I am exploring ideas to make changes and/or improvements in my leadership practice. Her focus on scholarly research has built a foundation in all of the doctoral students who have spread out across the tri-state area. Her love of continuous learning, her devotion to the doctoral program, and her strong desire to make a difference in the world of educational leadership is unmatched.”
Her dedication to her students is attested to by yet another supporter, who stated that Dr. Delcourt is one who, “holds high expectations for her students' performance; understands their needs and interests, and demonstrates effective teaching, professionalism, patience, and flexibility as she guides her students throughout their program. She is always ready and willing to provide her students with the unlimited support needed to move forward. She often met with me in person on Saturdays, Skyped on Sundays, stayed for hours after her classes in the evenings, and constantly challenged me on how to think outside the box and improve my work.”
In addition to her extraordinary record as a mentor and educator, Dr. Delcourt worked tirelessly for years to establish the EdD Instructional Leadership program at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU). Her hard work paid off, as that program is now a model for similar programs in the US, Canada, and India. Due to her vision and high standards, she has had a tremendous impact on the preparation of educational leaders. Her former students hold educational leadership position in school districts across the tri-state area. As one such leader stated, through the program at WCSU, he has obtained “the research skills needed to question, vet, and select research-based instructional strategies and practices for students in grades K-12, underachieving, gifted, and males and females from diverse and homogeneous backgrounds across most content areas.”
And yet another nominator stated “the leadership qualities and educational expertise gained through the program have pushed me to complete my New York State Administrative certifications, so that I may one day become a district leader. None of these goals would have been possible without the knowledge, attributes, and leadership potential gained by the doctoral work. and by the exceptional program offered through Western Connecticut State University.”
NERA is proud to have Dr. Delcourt among its members. She epitomizes the mentorship qualities embodied in the Donlon award, and it is with the greatest pleasure and deepest respect that the award committee members chose her for this year’s award.