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The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education recognizes innovators who unleash human potential through technology, methodology, and leadership. Since its creation, more than 100 remarkable leaders in all fields of education have been recognized and celebrated, many of whom continue to play transformative roles today.

2023 Prize Winners

Pre-K-12 Education

Superintendent, Los Angeles County Office of Education

Higher Education

President, Morgan State University

Lifelong Learning

Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Oakland University

Recent Winner Video Bios

Winner Video Bio

Barbara Oakley, 2023 McGraw Prize winner for Lifelong Learning

Dr. Barbara Oakley has made learning easier for millions of people from all walks of life by revealing how insights from neuroscience can improve our understanding of challenging concepts in math and engineering—and countless other fields. More than 5 million people worldwide have taken her free massive open online courses (MOOCs), such as “Learning How to Learn,” one of the most popular MOOCs of all time.

Winner Video Bio

David Wilson, 2023 McGraw Prize winner for Higher Education

Dr. David Wilson is a leader among university presidents nationwide and a vigorous advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). As president of Morgan State University, he has overseen a dramatic increase in graduation rates by revamping the university’s advising model and adopting data-driven initiatives to identify students at risk of dropping out. He is also recognized for engaging with adult learners in the Baltimore community and granting college credit for their prior learning experiences.

Winner Video Bio

Debra Duardo, 2023 McGraw Prize winner for Pre-K–12 Education

Dr. Debra Duardo has made the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) the premier hub of innovation in California’s efforts to transform education through a whole-child, whole-family approach. As the superintendent of the nation’s most populous and diverse regional education agency, she has led the way in integrating resources and activities to improve student outcomes, individual and collective well-being, and organizational excellence.

Winner Video Bio

Laying the Groundwork for a More Socially Just Education Design System

Throughout his foundational career, Dr. Roy Pea (Stanford University), the 2022 McGraw Prize winner in Learning Science Research, has worked to advance a more scientifically sound and socially just education design system. Pea was among the first scholars to identify and study multimedia learning environments bringing both students and educators into his applied work to help shape the future of education.

Winner Video Bio

Supporting American Indian Student Success and Indigenous Nation-Building

As President of South Dakota State University, Dr. Barry Dunn, the 2022 McGraw Prize winner in Higher Education, has transformed campus to foster a sense of belonging and expand access for Native American students. Dunn’s groundbreaking Wokini Initiative welcomes Native American students and faculty from tribal colleges and weaves indigenous culture into the learning experience for all.

Winner Video Bio

Making the Impossible Possible during a Global Pandemic

Even before schools and offices around the United States were shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Cheryl Logan (Omaha Public Schools), the 2022 McGraw Prize winner in PreK–12 Education, set plans into motion to ensure students’ equitable access to learning during school closures. Logan’s foresight in piloting and scaling COVID-19 testing for students enabled her district to lead the way in safely returning students to school buildings the following semester.