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Dr. Debra Lively, professor of education

2015 Recipient House Family Award for Teacher Impact

Note: The House Family Award for Teacher Impact recognizes annually faculty members in the business, arts, humanities, or education program that have had a profound and positive impact on a student’s life. Nominations are made by graduating SVSU seniors. A former executive-in-residence of the College of Business and Management, Robert House created the House award in honor of his late wife Jeanette. 

An SVSU faculty member for 14 years, Lively has been noted for her kindness and her willingness to develop relationships with her Debra Lively, professor of education students and take  special interest in them as individuals. One student nominator wrote, “For the first time I felt I had a professor that was a mentor; someone that really cared about me. I had originally enrolled in SVSU to obtain my Early Childhood endorsement. Dr. Lively encouraged me to obtain my master’s degree. So, here I am now almost completed with something I once thought was beyond my reach.”

A noted advocate for early childhood and special education, Lively was a founding member of the American Association of Home-Based Early Interventionists, president for the Michigan Division of Early Childhood, and is now the president of the Council of Exceptional Children’s National Division of Communicative Disabilities and Deafness.

A professor of teacher education, Lively specializes in early childhood and special education. Prior to SVSU, she spent 29 years in K-12 education, primarily with the Saginaw Public Schools.  During that time, Lively worked to develop a general education program for families of young children ages birth through three with and without special needs.

Lively completed a Ph.D. in special education, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University.

In her own words . . .

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James E. Tarr, Ph.D.

Acting Assistant Dean & Professor

Colleen D'Arcy, Ph.D.


College of Education Dean's Office
Gilbertson Hall, North 275
University Center, MI 48710


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