Dec. 10, 2007
Dick Owens, a retired Morningside College education professor, received a volunteer award from Iowa Gov. Chet Culver recently during a ceremony held in Storm Lake, Iowa.
The Governor’s Volunteer Award program was established in 1982 to honor and recognize volunteers for their commitment, service, and time in contributing to Iowa’s government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Owens was nominated for the award by Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa board members for his work to ensure appropriate education and services for persons with learning disabilities locally and throughout the state. He has placed informational materials about learning disabilities in all public libraries in the state, worked with educators to ensure reading readiness in preschool children, and answered countless questions from the public regarding advocacy issues in the field of disabilities.
He initiated a project locally to screen preschool children and help parents follow up in addressing potential learning deficits before children fall behind in school. The Sioux City Community School District used this screening and follow-up program last spring during kindergarten registration.
Owens has a doctorate in education from the University of Nebraska. He spent more than 20 years teaching in K-12 schools in Nebraska and Iowa, eight years supporting K-12 schools as an administrator for Western Hills Area Education Agency, and about 20 years teaching at Morningside College. He retired eight years ago from his position at Morningside as a full-time education professor and has since worked part-time in the college’s education department as the professional development coordinator.