Thanatology Program Director Named ADEC Academic Educator of the Year

  • Wednesday, Jul 5, 2023

Madison, Wis. (July 5, 2023) – The Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) recognizes Thanatology professionals for their commitment to the field and advancing the study of dying, death, and bereavement. Janet McCord, Ph.D., F.T., received their “Academic Educator of the Year” award at the annual conference in Columbus, Ohio. The academic educator award honors an individual with expertise in the field of dying, death, and bereavement as demonstrated by advanced academic degrees, professional honors, awards, and other contributions. Janet McCord and Galen Goben

Dr. McCord (seen here receiving the award from Galen Goben, Chair of the ADEC Conference Planning Committee) is an internationally known expert in the field of Thanatology and serves as the Director of the Master of Science in Thanatology program at Edgewood College. For nearly thirty years, Dr. McCord has been a practicing Thanatologist and Suicidologist. Her professional career in death education began in 2005 when she developed a continuing education certificate in end-of-life studies at a small liberal-arts college. In 2009 she launched an online master’s degree in thanatology, a curriculum she developed and a program she administered for 12 years. Dr. McCord retired in 2021, but was called back to the field, by Edgewood College, a year later to help launch the new Thanatology program.

ADEC received numerous nominations in support of Dr. McCord. All nominations had similar accolades describing an educator whose distinguished career is built with compassion for her students and passion for her subject matter. One nominator, Jill Kottmeier, is a former student and alumna. She writes, “I was lucky enough to have Dr. McCord as my first professor. I felt immediate relief upon meeting her, understanding her background and expectations of our relationship, and knowing how deeply rooted she was in my success, as well as the other students. As much as it was about furthering our education, there was a sense of pushing us as human beings to become better, and importance was indirectly placed on creating relationships with us as adult learners.”

The 100% online MS in Thanatology program prepares graduates for employment or volunteer work in any setting where care for those who are dying and those who are grieving are equally important. Edgewood College’s curriculum is grounded in and guided by the ADEC Body of Knowledge. The curriculum is designed to prepare individuals to create, implement, and provide non-medical support services for the dying and the bereaved.