The Dr. David Prasse ISPA Student Leadership Award

It is hard to believe that we have celebrated our 40th anniversary as an association since first chartered in 1979. We are grateful to the countless hours poured forth from the many members who were elected or who volunteered for leadership roles in the close to four decades of ISPA’s existence. There is no doubt that by virtue of the office, the Presidents, all of them, were catalysts for change and the growth of the association over the years. There was no better example of a catalyst for change than Dr. David Prasse. Therefore, we would like to introduce you to the The Dr. David Prasse ISPA Student Leadership Award that will be completely funded by Life Members and Past Presidents. The David Prasse ISPA Student Leadership Award offers a free membership to 18 selected first and second year School Psychology graduate students in each of the 9 Illinois School Psychology programs in exchange for one year of service to ISPA by the students.

Dr. David Prasse, a gifted writer and thinker, quickly rose to national prominence, becoming known for his expertise in the legal aspects of delivering school psychological and special education services. He held several administrative positions at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) prior to leaving in 1993 and joining the faculty at Governors State University in Illinois where he served as Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in School Psychology. David joined Loyola University Chicago in 1999 as a Professor and Chair of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Psychology, becoming Dean of the School of Education in 2005. As part of Loyola's partnerships with neighborhood schools, David designed and implemented Loyola's successful relationship that helped transform Senn High School. On a national level, David was instrumental in the development of Response to Intervention (RtI), an educational innovation on the delivery of instruction to students and identification of special education students. In 2013, David became Vice Provost and oversaw the major operational responsibilities of the Office of the Provost.  David was a catalyst for change and a leader in our profession, was involved with three training programs across two states, and was incredibly loved and respected by students. This sentiment was mutual between him and his students.For more information on the remarkable life that he lived: David Prasse Obituary

Focusing on students, guiding them, and fostering their potential was important to David. This was so well stated at the memorial service held for David at Loyola University where Terri Pigott, past Dean of the School of Education said, “What unites all of these accomplishments, however, is something a little more down to earth and elemental - and that is the ability to guide and teach those around him to reach their own potential – to work with students, faculty, and others to help them achieve something they didn’t know they could achieve.”

ISPA Leadership hopes that you will continue help us move in the direction of change by assisting to address a recently identified concern. We find that there are numerous financial challenges that students in training face as compared to students in the past. Students often express hardships in terms of joining the association because of financial concerns and we would like to lessen the load, if even for just a few students each year. We also feel that we could use this opportunity to introduce students to the leadership aspects of ISPA. If you would like to help, then we would like to offer you the opportunity to contribute regularly to this award.   We would like to offer two awards of $40 each to our nine programs throughout the state. We consider this somewhat of a reward in that of all of our member categories, students and interns outnumber the number of members vs non-members than any other category. We predict that regular membership represents close to 60% of practicing school psychologists while membership in the student/intern category regularly approaches close to 90% of the pool. We hope that you will consider contributing to this important cause.