JUNE 21, 2008 — EVANSTON, ILL. — Alongside 153 of colleagues, Daniel Reck was awarded the Master of Science in Education and Social Policy degree at a convocation at Northwestern University's Cahn Auditorium today.
The ceremony featured an address from Susan Fuhrman, president of the Columbia University Teachers College. "Schools need to move to a student-centered approach," she said. "Truly effective teaching must take into account the whole student."Mr. Reck's master's research thesis, "Revisiting the Greenhouse Institute: Examining the Student Life Outcomes," explored one holistic approach to student education by examining the extra-academic experiences of students graduated from a two-year residential high school specially targeted for gifted students. Furman's address directly commented on the use and misuse of technology in education, and Reck's research included review of these students' use of computers and social networking websites such as Facebook and Myspace as means of social communication in their residence hall environment.
"It was remarkable to find that when students at the Greenhouse Institute were first issued notebook computers, they would gather in the main lounge and instant message one another rather than simply talking to each other," said Reck. "The Greenhouse Institute existed, in fact, in two worlds. One was the physical campus, and the other—sometimes invisible to teachers and administrators—was virtual, existing entirely on the internet."
While performing his research, he assisted in Northwestern's Orientation and Parent Programs office, which works throughout the year to produce programming for new students and their families. He also was on staff at Northwestern's student union, the Norris University Center, where his duties included administration of the student employee recognition program.
Reck is the web designer for the Northwestern University "Wildcat" Marching Band and played clarinet and alto saxophone in the ensemble. Reck recalled, "I think my master's adviser thought I was crazy. I walked in to her office on the first day and said, 'I don't care how we do it, but I want to march in the band!'"
Before arriving at Northwestern, Reck held a professional position as Student Life Counselor at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities on the campus of Ball State University. While there, he also was assistant conductor and composer-in-residence for the University Schools Band.
Reck wishes to continue his career in higher education in a position related to student activities and fraternity and sorority life. He has applied for positions at liberal arts colleges and universities throughout the Midwest. "My experience at Northwestern has been a fantastic one, but I'm looking forward to getting back to small town USA," he said.
Photos by Rebecca M. Johnson.