2007 Brock Prize Jurors


Nicholas Burckel
Dean of Libraries, Associate Professor of History, Marquette University

Dr. Burckel is currently Dean of Libraries and Associate Professor of History at Marquette University where he led efforts to plan and construct a state-of-the-art $55 million library that opened in the fall of 2003. Previously he served as Director of Public Services and Collection Development and later as Associate Dean of Libraries at Washington University in St. Louis. He was also Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of Missouri’s School of Library and Information Science. He served in a variety of capacities at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside: Director of Archives and Area Research Center, Associate Director of the Library/Learning Center, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, and Assistant Vice Chancellor.

Dr. Burckel received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his MA and Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; his MLS is from UW-Milwaukee. He is the editor or co-author of six books, more than a dozen articles, and 100 reviews in archival, library, and historical journals. His publications have received awards from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and the American Association for State and Local History. He was awarded a Council on Library Resources academic library management internship at the University of Chicago and was a senior fellow at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science.

Dr. Burckel is past president of the Midwest Archives Conference and is a Fellow and past president of the Society of American Archivists. He currently serves on the Beta Phi Mu Library Honor Society Executive Board, the University Libraries Advisory Committee of the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Editorial Board of Portal: Libraries and the Academy. In 1996 President Clinton appointed him to a four-year term on the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. He was reappointed to a second term on the Commission and served on its executive committee from 1997 to 2003. In 2002 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and in 2003 was named Librarian of the Year by the Wisconsin Library Association.


Joan C. Countryman
Head of School (retired) , Lincoln School , Providence, Rhode Island

Contact Nominee

Joan Countryman retired in June 2005 after twelve years as Head of Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, a Quaker school for girls in grades kindergarten through twelve with co-educational infant and pre-school programs. Previously, she served as Assistant Head for Academic Planning and Director of Studies at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia where she taught mathematics from 1970 to 1993. She has also lectured at the University of Pennsylvania and served as a consultant to the School District of Philadelphia. Her publications include Writing to Learn Mathematics (1992), “Is Gender an Issue in Math?” in Math and Science for Girls (1993), and Black Images in American Literature(1977).

Ms. Countryman is a member of the Board of Managers of Haverford College, the Board of Trustees of Sarah Lawrence College, the Board of the Providence Journal Company, the Board of Trustees of Women and Infants Hospital, the Advisory Council of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, and the Board of Trustees of the Paul Cuffee School, a non-profit, public charter school. She has served on the boards of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls, and the National Association of Independent Schools.

Ms Countryman grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was the first African-American graduate of Germantown Friends School. She received her B. A. from Sarah Lawrence College, a Master’s from Yale University, and studied at the London School of Economics as a Fulbright Scholar. She and her husband, Edward Jakmauh, an architect and Principal with Ballinger Associates, live in Providence and Philadelphia. They have two children and four grandchildren.


Sarah D. Jerome
Superintendent School District of Kettle Moraine , Wales, Wisconsin 1991-2006 , Arlington Heights School District 25 , Arlington Heights, Illinois

Contact Nominee

Sarah Jerome, Ed.D., is superintendent in the Arlington Heights School District 25. She served as superintendent in the School District of Kettle Moraine for the past 15 years. Dr. Jerome has recently been elected as president-elect of The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and is the second woman elected to serve as president in the organization’s 141-year history. Dr. Jerome was named Wisconsin Superintendent of The Year 2005 and one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of The Year. She has championed international education and was named by Friends of Global Education as Global Education Administrator of the Year in 2004. She has served as president of the Wisconsin School Music Association for two terms and was named YWCA Woman of Distinction in 1998. Dr. Jerome led the Kettle Moraine District to collaboration with several researchers interested in cognitive development and to all six district schools named as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education – the only school district in Wisconsin to receive this distinction. Dr. Jerome earned degrees at Greensboro College with BA in History and Duke University with MAT and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. She completed study at Marquette University. She has been a professional educator for 38 years serving in North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Illinois.


Jim Perry
Professor of Water Quality, Head of the Department of Fisheries, , Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota

Contact Nominee

Jim Perry is Professor of Water Quality and Head of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. He previously served as Director of Graduate Studies in Water Resource Science and currently is Director of Graduate Studies in Wildlife Conservation. He also serves as a member of the graduate faculties in Conservation Biology and Natural Resource Science and Management. He was a Professor in Forest Resources for 18 years before joining Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology as Head in 2000 (clearly this guy cannot hold a job). He has won the Morse Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, the Richard C Newman Award for the Art of Teaching, the University of Minnesota Award for Outstanding Service, and been elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Jim received his Ph.D. in biology from Idaho State University in 1981. Prior to coming to Minnesota, he served as Area Manager for a consulting firm in Salt Lake City and served 9 years as Senior Water Quality Specialist for the State of Idaho. He also worked in Costa Rica for two years as Ichthyologist for the Peace Corps (this guy is as old as the hills). He has worked in more than 50 countries, including serving for six years as Deputy Director of the US AID Environmental Training Project for Central and Eastern Europe. He has served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Natural Resource and Life Science Education since 1999. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy since 1996 and currently is Board Vice-Chair. His research interests center on informed natural resource decision making at the landscape scale. Jim and his students are active currently in six other countries as well as the US. They pose questions about the ways ecosystems are structured, how they function and how they are distributed in landscapes; and how management practices affect those systems and society makes wise decisions about management of landscapes. He wrote the leading text in his field (Perry and VanDerklein Water Quality: Management of a Natural Resource) and he led preparation of Perry et al. Ecosystem Management in Central and Eastern Europe: Decision Making for the Future.


Dr. James H. Ryan
Vice President Emeritus for Outreach The Pennsylvania State University

Contact Nominee

James Ryan served for 13 years as Penn State's first Vice President for Outreach. In this position, he was responsible for the coordination of the University's external outreach initiatives and for the administrative units of Continuing Education, Distance Education/World campus, Public Broadcasting, and Cooperative Extension. With over 1000 faculty and staff, Penn State Outreach is the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, serving more than 5 million students, participants, viewers, and listeners at over 500 locations, from all 50 states and 80 countries annually.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Ryan was the Campus Executive Officer [Chancellor] for the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus for nine years. He has also served as a faculty member in public administration and held various administrative positions in academic affairs, institutional advancement, and college student personnel with Indiana University and at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since his retirement in 2004, he has been active as a consultant with various universities and the Worldwide Universities Network.

A native of Danville, Pennsylvania, he received his baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees from SUNY, Buffalo. Dr. Ryan has taught, written, and lectured widely on leadership, managerial decision-making, organizational change and development, information technology, distance education and the role of higher education in economic development. He has been active in many national and community organizations where he has served in leadership positions. He has received numerous awards and recognitions including the University Continuing Education Association [UCEA] International Futures Award for Exceptional and Innovative Leadership.


Susan J. Simpson
Superintendent , White Settlement Independent School District , Fort Worth, Texas , Ph.D. in Educational Administration , Texas A&M University

Contact Nominee

Susan J. Simpson, a 4th generation educator from Texas, has been a teacher, coach, principal, college professor and administrator in Texas schools for over twenty-five years. For sixteen of these years she has led four different school districts as the superintendent , beginning with her first job as superintendent at the age of thirty-one. Dr. Simpson is presently superintendent of the White Settlement Independent School District, serving in this position for the past six years.

Having recently been named Texas Superintendent of the Year from among over 1100 superintendents across the state of Texas, Dr. Simpson attributes much of her success to understanding the importance of relationships. She often cites her own first grade teacher, Mary Lee Braswell, as one of those key individuals who taught her the importance of making people feel special. It was from an early age that Mrs. Braswell instilled the confidence in Dr. Simpson that she should take the risks to be all that she desired to be. It is this philosophy that has encouraged Dr. Simpson to nominate Flip Flippen for the Brock Award.

Dr. Simpson has received several honors including: keynoting several conferences including Texas Council of Women School Executives, recognition as a recipient of the Honorary Lifetime Parent Teacher Association Award, presenter for multiple conferences such as Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of Schools Boards Midwinter Conference, and publisher of several journal articles.

Dr. Simpson graduated from East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas in 1980, with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and Physical Education. In 1987, she earned a Master of Education from East Texas State University in Commerce, in Educational Administration, and in Psychology. Most recently, Dr. Simpson graduated from Texas A&M University, in College Station with a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration.

Dr. Simpson is the mother of three children. Erin, her twenty year old daughter is a junior attending Texas A&M University and her eighteen year old daughter, Laci, will be attending Blinn/Texas A&M University this fall. Dr. Simpson's son, Seth is fifteen and will be a sophomore at Brewer High School in White Settlement Independent School District.


Lucy F. Smith
Superintendent , McAlester Public Schools , McAlester, Oklahoma , Ph.D. in Educational Psychology , The University of Oklahoma

Contact Nominee

Dr. Lucy Smith has served in her present position as the Superintendent for McAlester Public Schools since 1985. She began her career as a classroom teacher from 1963-1978, served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma from 1976-1977, and returned to McAlester where she became a public school administrator, serving as Director of Guidance from 1978-1981, and Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction from 1982-1985. She has been in the education profession for 45 years, 40 of which have been in Oklahoma.

Dr. Smith is a graduate of McAlester High School and received her B.A. in Music (summa cum laude) from Abilene Christian College in Abilene, Texas. She continued her education and received her M.T. in Elementary Education from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Smith has been a member of the Oklahoma State Superintendent's Advisory Council from 1986 to present; served as president of the Oklahoma Curriculum Improvement Commission; Board of Directors, Oklahoma Association of School Administrators; Board of Trustees, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence; and Board of Directors, Educators Leadership Academy. She is also a member of the American Association of School Administrators, Oklahoma Association of School Business Officials, United Suburban School Association, Phi Delta Kappa, and Delta Kappa Gamma.

Dr. Smith has been honored with numerous awards throughout her career. The most recent include Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame, 2006; Oklahoma Association of School Administrators, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2006; University of Oklahoma College of Education, Career Achievement Award and Seventy Five Who Made A Difference, 2005; and Oklahoma Association of School Administrators, Administrator of the Year, 2005.