Sacred Heart honors C.E.S. Executive Director Dr. Evan Pitkoff

On Oct. 9, Sacred Heart University’s College of Health Professionals honored Cooperative Educational Services (C.E.S.) Executive Director Dr. Evan Pitkoff as a 2015 winner of a Community Partner Award.

The award recognizes Dr. Pitkoff’s role in helping Sacred Heart establish its speech pathology program, as well as the great relationship that C.E.S. shares with the university.

“Sacred Heart has always been very supportive of C.E.S. and we are proud to be partners with the university,” Dr. Pitkoff said. “Many great Sacred Heart students have served as interns in our special education programs. Together, the university and C.E.S. have helped prepare students for rewarding and important careers.”

The university held an awards breakfast on Oct. 9 to celebrate the contributions of Pitkoff and two other award winners: Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, a professor emeritus of physical therapy at Washington University in St. Louis and Dr. Stu Steinman of WestSports Medicine.

Dr. Rhea Paul, a professor of speech and language pathology at Sacred Heart, nominated Dr. Pitkoff for the award and presented him with a plaque during the morning ceremony. She credited him with helping the university see the need and relevance of a speech and language pathology program as beneficial to students and Sacred Heart, as well as the state of Connecticut.

“Thanks to Dr. Pitkoff, we have a burgeoning program that will graduate its first class of students in the spring,” Paul said.

C.E.S. is one of six Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) in the state and serves 17 school districts throughout southern Fairfield County. In addition to operating magnet schools and offering numerous professional development opportunities and administrative services to districts, C.E.S. provides comprehensive special education services to families and schools. Many of those services are provided at C.E.S. locations in Trumbull, next door to Sacred Heart’s satellite campus on Oakview Drive.

The relationship between C.E.S. and Sacred Heart goes well beyond neighbors. For example, C.E.S. partners with the university in the Reaching Independence through Supported Education (RISE), a program for students 18-21 years old with limited cognitive functioning who can benefit from a placement in a more age-appropriate setting versus a high school environment.

The university also places many of its interns into C.E.S. programs, especially students enrolled in special education services such as occupational or physical therapy and speech and language pathology.

Quality special education is a priority for C.E.S. and Dr. Pitkoff, who began his career as a special education teacher in Brooklyn before earning his doctorate and becoming an administrator, has been executive director of C.E.S. since 2007.

Dr. Rhea Paul and Dr. Evan Pitkoff.

Dr. Rhea Paul and Dr. Evan Pitkoff.

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