Indiana State University Newsroom

Tuttle, Whitaker receive President's Medal

April 25, 2013

Indiana State faculty members Indiana State University honored nine educators during its annual Faculty Recognition Banquet Thursday (April 25).

President Dan Bradley presented the President's Medal, the university's highest award for faculty, to Elaina Tuttle, professor of biology, and Todd Whitaker, professor of educational leadership, in recognition of their "outstanding performance and unwavering dedication" to the university.

Co-founder of the Center for Genomic Advocacy, part of the university's Unbounded Possibilities Initiative, Tuttle has been a faculty member in Indiana State's College of Arts and Sciences for 13 years. She has created and taught 18 distinct, highly popular and rigorous courses and received extremely high teaching evaluations, Bradley noted in presenting the award.

Tuttle has served as primary research advisor for undergraduate, masters, doctoral and post-doctoral students and "her mentorship has shepherded many of these students to reach their goals, which includes them securing extramural funds for their own research activities," Bradley said.

Tuttle has mentored high school students who have won awards from the U.S. Army, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Her own research has resulted in 19 peer reviewed publications and more than $1.5 million in external funding from such agencies as the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. Her research has led to recognition as an ISU Promising Scholar, the university's Theodore Dreiser Research and Creativity Award and appointment as an affiliate faculty with the Center for Integrative Study of Animal Behavior at Indiana University.

She has served in university leadership positions, including interim department chair, chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, as well as associate editor of a biology publication and a reviewer for scientific journals and grant proposals at the federal level. She has also coordinated biology and science workshops for the community and served as a speaker and lecturer in local schools and for community organizations.

In presenting the medal to Whitaker, Bradley said the 19-year faculty member in the Bayh College of Education "has been fortunate to be able to blend his passion with his career. Recognized as a leading author and presenter in the field of education, his message about the importance of teaching has resonated with educators around the world. He has spent his life pursuing his love of education by researching and studying effective teachers and principals."

Whitaker has instructed and guided numerous future and present administrators as a teacher, intern supervisor and dissertation chair and has dedicated countless hours to mentoring current and past students as they pursue positions in educational administration, Bradley noted. Whitaker has taught courses in school law, principalship, instructional leadership and educational research.

"Dr. Whitaker loves the creative challenge of dissertation design and has supported scores of Ph.D. candidates as they work to complete their research studies," Bradley said.

Whitaker's book "What Great Teachers Do Differently" is one of the best-selling education books of all time and has sold more than 500,000 copies in the United States alone. He has published 32 books during his tenure at Indiana State and has sold more than 1.5 million books during his publishing career. His book "The Ball" won the Axiom Business Book Award 2011 Silver Medal Winner Business Fable and 2011 USA Best Book Awards winner in Business/Motivational. His publication "Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good People from Liars, Criers, and other Slackers" was named USA Book News winner in business: management and leadership category.

Whitaker's books have been published in German, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Chinese and English. His book topics have been in the areas of leadership, teacher and principal effectiveness, employee motivation and organizational change.

He has completed three additional books scheduled for publication by the end of 2013. He has written and published more than 30 articles and was co-editor of Contemporary Education for three years. He is active in social media and has more than 19,000 followers on Twitter.

Whitaker is a highly sought after presenter and educational consultant and has been invited to speak in all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries. He has served as a keynote speaker for state, national and international conferences and presented to more than 1 million educators on a wide range of topics.

Whitaker's honors include the 2008 Indiana Association of School Principals President's Award and the Citation of Merit for Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Service from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was commencement speaker at Missouri in spring 2012 for his daughter's graduation. He also received the 2012 March On! Philanthropy Award from the Indiana State University Foundation.

Finally, Bradley added, Whitaker "has served as a diehard (non-fair weather) fan of the Indiana State Sycamores men's basketball team from the moment he was hired."

Other awards and their recipients were:

• Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award: Mandy Reid, associate professor of English and women's studies, and James Smallwood, professor of applied engineering and technology management

• Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award: Diana Hews, professor of biology and Aaron Morales, associate professor of English and women's studies

• Community-Based Learning and Scholarship Award: Roseanne Fairchild, assistant professor of nursing

• Faculty Distinguished Service Award: Randy Peters, associate professor of applied engineering and technology management, and Ann Rider, associate professor of German and women's studies.

Photo: - Elaina Tuttle

Photo: - Todd Whitaker

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or