Daniel P. Hallahan

Dan Hallahan

Charles S. Robb Professor of Education

At Curry Since 1971

Dan Hallahan retires at the end of the 2012-13 academic year after 42 years at the Curry School. Professor John Lloyd, a colleague and friend offered a tribute to Hallahan’s legacy at the annual Curry Spring Luncheon on May 17:

I’m really honored to represent the faculty today in celebrating Dan’s contributions.

And an honor it is, because we are celebrating an unusual career at Curry and, indeed, in education. Dan’s arrival at U.Va. in 1971—three buildings ago—came at a time when only a few schools of education were preeminent in special education, and Curry was not among them.

By the end of the 70s, though, thanks to work by Dan and his collaborators (there are many in this room), U.Va. special education was a player everyone in our discipline was watching.

A major part of that rapid ascendance was two books. Hallahan and [James] Kauffman’s Introduction to Learning Disabilities: A Psycho-behavioral Approach in 1976 and then Hallahan and Kauffman’s Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education in 1977. They hit the sweet spot.

Dan Hallahan, John Lloyd, and Jim Kauffman were reunited at the 2013 Curry School Annual Spring Luncheon
Dan Hallahan, John Lloyd, and Jim Kauffman were reunited at the 2013 Curry School Annual Spring Luncheon

But those books weren’t the only thing Dan (or Jim) was doing. Dan had doctoral students beginning back then and continuing until a few years ago. He made them study hard. He sent them to Mavis Hetherington’s developmental psych class, which he sat in on himself before sending students to it. So, Dan modeled good scholarly behavior for students.

He collaborated with colleagues on books. He worked with students on articles and chapters. And he wrote a lot…a whole lot: more than 100 articles by 2000, almost 20 books (many in multiple editions), nearly 40 book chapters, and eight encyclopedia entries.

Dan has been honored by many different organizations. He’s been recognized by both the Z and the Seven societies on Grounds. He is a member of the Raven Society and Omicron Delta Kappa.

Dan received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Outstanding Research in Special Education Award. He received the University’s Outstanding Teacher Award and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Dan has provided service, too: department chair, faculty senate, university grievance committee, and is a past president of the Division for Learning Disabilities of the CEC.

Over the years, Dan has mentored many excellent students, often including them as co-authors in his scholarship. And those students have made Curry’s special education program famous. Sure, his research, publications, presentations, and such have had a substantial impact. But the graduates who have gone on to great success have been the big win. If you look at Dan’s vita closely, you’ll see that it’s littered with the names of students whom he helped during their early careers and who are now leaders in special education. They chair departments, preside over professional organizations, write influential books, secure funding, and otherwise lead our field.

Daniel P. Hallahan is a multi-talented contributor—someone who’s done the scholarship (both quantity and quality), teaching, and service (right here at Curry and U.Va., as well as internationally)—whom I am honored to call a colleague and a pal.

Dan, thanks for all you’ve done.

The Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award

In 2012 the Council for Exceptional Children Division for Research established the Kauffman-Hallahan Distinguished Researcher Award. It is funded through earnings of the Handbook of Special Education, edited by James Kauffman and Daniel Hallahan and published by Routledge in 2011. The award recognizes individuals or research teams whose research has resulted in more effective services or education for exceptional individuals. The award, co-sponsored by Routledge Press, includes $1,000.