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Nov. 28, 2011
Dr. Max Ruhl, who spent 35 years as a leader in education before retiring last year as Northwest Missouri State University’s dean of the College of Education and Human Services, was inducted earlier this month into the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame.
The Mid-America Education Hall of Fame said it selected Ruhl for his commitment to education, history of working to improve the quality of life in the community, efforts to increase educational opportunities for others and his work to make changes that have improved the quality of education.
The Mid-America Education Hall of Fame was established in 1996 by the Kansas City College Endowment Association to identify and recognize individuals, organizations and corporate supporters notable for their contributions to education.
Ruhl said he is particularly proud of the efforts he and Northwest made to assist Kansas City schools as well as rural school districts near Northwest. Ruhl played active roles in the formation of the Kansas City Pilot Residential Internship program, the development of the Diversity Advisory Council, the creation of the summer Kauffman Scholar’s program that brought eighth grade students to the college campus and helping author the federally funded TEACH Grant.
“It’s a culmination of one’s career when you move into retirement, and to have colleagues support you and have something positive to say about you is a nice thing,” Ruhl said. “This is a tribute to all of the efforts we made throughout the University relative to Kansas City.”
Ruhl was formally honored during the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame’s 16th annual induction ceremony Nov. 5. Ruhl’s successor at Northwest, Dr. Joyce Piveral, nominated him for the honor.
“Max deserved this honor and so much more for all of the initiatives he supported in our region that made a difference for educators and their students,” Piveral said. “His mission was always multiplied by the lives he touched in a very positive way.”
Ruhl came to Northwest in 1987 as an associate professor of educational leadership and was promoted to professor in 1995. He also was chair of the Department of Educational Leadership from 1990 until he was named dean in 1997. He retired July 1, 2010.
Under his leadership, the College of Education and Human Services, its programs and its graduates claimed numerous awards and recognition. The Horace Mann Laboratory School was cited as Missouri's Exemplary Reading Program by the International Reading Association and Northwest's urban work was cited by Teacher's College, Columbia University, as a "program to watch." The College also was recognized with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ 2006 National Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. Professional education graduates during Ruhl's tenure were selected as Missouri Teacher of the Year, Iowa Superintendent of the Year and American Star of Teaching in Missouri.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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