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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
May 10, 2005

Future Teachers Receive Scholarship From Devoted Carnegie Mellon Alumna

PITTSBURGH—Thanks to the generosity of a Carnegie Mellon University alumna, two future teachers are one step closer to realizing their dreams.

Every year, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon gives the Gretchen Lankford Award to a senior or seniors who plan to go on to graduate school in order to pursue a career in education. This year's winners are Carolyn Elliott, an English major from Pittsburgh and the daughter of Carmon and Linda Elliott; and Kimberly Lackner, a major in social history from Mt. Lebanon, Pa., and the daughter of Richard and Cynthia Lackner.

After graduation, Elliott plans to earn a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pittsburgh and ultimately become a professor of English. She decided she wanted to teach after volunteering as a teacher at Woodland Hills High School in suburban Pittsburgh.

"I get pleasure out of poetry and I like sharing what I know. I was absolutely thrilled to get this scholarship and it means so much to me that the English faculty has recognized how much I love the field," Elliott said.

Lackner has nearly completed certification in secondary education at Chatham College in Pittsburgh and next year plans to pursue a graduate degree at Pitt's School of Education. She plans to teach social studies.

"I really like working with kids. I like history. And my 11th-grade history teacher in high school really inspired me," Lackner said.

The award is named for Gretchen Goldsmith Lankford, a 1943 graduate of Margaret Morrison Carnegie College, which closed in 1973. Margaret Morrison was an all-women's school that was one of the four original colleges in the Carnegie Institute of Technology, a predecessor of Carnegie Mellon. Lankford, a Pittsburgh native who now lives in Upper St. Clair, received a master's degree in public management in 1990 from what is now the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management.

Lankford met her late husband, Bill, while he was a doctoral student at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Several other members of her family are alumni of Carnegie Mellon, including her son, John, who is the executive director of Executive Education at the university's Tepper School of Business and an adjunct professor of marketing. Lankford's brother, William Goldsmith, is an alumnus and an emeritus member of the university's board of trustees.

"Carnegie Mellon is my home," Lankford said.


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