When she retired in 2008, Judith Bondurant-Utz, professor emerita of exceptional education, knew she wanted to continue her life’s work in a very special way. Bondurant-Utz joined the Buffalo State faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor in the learning and behavioral disorders program. She became coordinator of the program in 1980 and was instrumental in developing the college’s early childhood special education graduate program. In her three decades of service to the university, she taught every class in early childhood special ed that the department offered and wrote two books on the subject.
“When I retired, I decided to put my mark on the program with a scholarship,” said Bondurant-Utz, who is also a member of the Peterson Society (Buffalo State’s honor society for those who have made a gift to the college in their wills or through other estate-planning techniques).
Recipients of the Dr. Judith Bondurant-Utz Early Childhood Special Education Scholarship demonstrate excellence in achievement, dedication to the field of early childhood special education, and potential and excellence in teaching young children with special needs. The award is specifically earmarked for graduate students.
“There aren’t a lot of scholarships for master’s-level students,” Bondurant-Utz said. “These students are often going to school and working full time; they may have children. I felt the need to support them.”