Prize Winner Video Bios
Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education winners have dedicated their careers to transforming education for students of all ages and making a difference in their lives today and in the future. Explore McGraw Prize winners’ impact below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Introducing transformative perspectives
Dr. Carol D. Lee (Northwestern University), the 2021 McGraw Prize winner in Learning Science Research, has had a profound and lasting impact on the learning sciences by introducing transformative perspectives to the field.
Improving the educational trajectories of children with special learning needs
Trailblazers in the field of special education, Drs. Douglas H. and Lynn S. Fuchs (Vanderbilt University), the 2021 McGraw Prize winners in PreK-12 Education, have played a key role in improving the educational trajectories of children with special learning needs.
Pushing the boundaries on personalized learning
Engineer, entrepreneur, and researcher Dr. Richard G. Baraniuk (Rice University), the 2021 McGraw Prize winner in Higher Education, has pushed the boundaries on personalized learning and revolutionized college publishing by putting free and open-source books in the hands of tens of millions of students and faculty worldwide through OpenStax.
Moving from Diversity to Equity in Higher Education
Estela Bensimon (University of Southern California) has dedicated her career to solving racial inequity and fighting for racial justice in order to build a better system of higher education for all students nationwide. Bensimon’s equity scorecard process stimulated a paradigmatic shift in higher education, inspiring faculty and administrators to accept institutional responsibility for student success. Through the Center for Urban Education, Dr. Bensimon's methods for recognizing and addressing racialized behavior have reached more than 600 higher education institutions and university systems.
Illuminating How Students Learn
Michelene Chi (Arizona State University) has shaped our understanding of how students learn, transforming how educators teach science to students of all ages. Dr. Chi’s work has advanced our understanding of how active learning, self-explanation, and learning in interactive settings can increase student understanding and retention to ultimately reduce achievement gaps.
Igniting Joy in Science Learning
Joseph S. Krajcik (Michigan State University) has worked with science teachers to reform teaching in order to promote student engagement in and the learning of science through project-based learning. He led the development of the Next Generation Science Standards and the framework on which they’re based, leading to advancements in science education that have been adopted by teachers, districts, and states across the nation and impacted systems worldwide. His work has opened the door for traditionally marginalized students to learn like scientists—and ultimately become scientists.