H.K. Barker Center Shines Bright, Wins Prestigious 2023 Award


Two employees with the H.K. Barker Center posing with an award from the Council for Economic Education

Malaki Fleming, an undergraduate fellow, and Dr. Brad Maguth, director of the H.K. Barker Center and professor in the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education, accept the award.

The H.K. Barker Center at The University of Akron was awarded the 2023 Albert Beekhuis Award by the Council for Economic Education (CEE) at its national conference on September 22. This award recognizes one of the nation’s centers for outstanding performance in working with teachers and exhibiting excellence in the delivery of high-quality programs and outreach to its community. This is one of the CEE’s highest awards to any state council or center, last received in 2022 by California State University at Fullerton.

“This award is a testament to the hard work the Center has been doing in financial and economic education since its founding in 1974,” said Dr. Brad Maguth, director of the Center for Economic Education and professor in the LeBron James Family Foundation School of Education. “I am blessed to lead a group of talented folks in the Center, as they are the true heroes behind our work. This includes members of our Business Advisory Board, our instructors, staff and all those donors that invest in our mission.”

The Center’s undergraduate fellow, Malaki Fleming, was in attendance with Maguth to accept the honor. This student fellowship position provides valuable networking and leadership opportunities in advancing the teaching of economics for education majors.

Fleming commented, “It was truly an honor to represent The University of Akron and the H.K. Barker Center at this year's national CEE conference. CEE provided us with a variety of opportunities to share best practices, tips and tricks, to assist educators from around the country in enriching collaborations and programing to best advance economic and financial education.”

Educator and Family Outreach

In 2022-23 the Barker Center reached hundreds of educations through its: 

  • in-person and virtual workshop training opportunities for K-12 educators, all tagged to Ohio’s learning standards;
  • launching of an inaugural, statewide teaching financial literacy conference; and
  • organized a summer study tour for local educators to Ireland the UK in area of global economic education.

In addition, the Center reached hundreds of area families and youth through its “Family Financial Fun Nights” hosted at area elementary and high schools, and its sponsorship of the 2023 National Personal Finance Challenge. The Center also maintains a collection of standards-based instructional resources for educators and families in its library.

“The Center for Economic Education’s efforts at outreach are bearing fruit,” explained Maguth. “We know through our evaluation work that educators who complete our Center’s training report gains in confidence, competence and efficacy when teaching economics and personal finance.”

About the Center

With the passage of a historic law in December of 2021, the state mandates that all Ohio youth must pass a semester-long course in financial literacy to graduate from high school. In addition, educators teaching those classes must be certified and trained. The Center has collaborated with the Ohio Department of Education and several school districts to assist in this training and certification process.


Story by Lisa Craig, BCAS Marketing