- School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award (2019)
- Fulbright Award (1994)
- Fulbright Award
Marilyn Friend served as a professor of special education in the School of Education at IUPUI from 1992 to 1999. As an alum of IU, she received both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Special Education from IU Bloomington in 1978 and 1981 after receiving her B.S. in Special Education from Butler University in 1974. Friend left IU in 1999 for a faculty appointment in the Department of Specialized Education Services at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she also served as department chairperson. Currently, she holds the title of professor emerita of education in the Department of Specialized Education Services at UNC Greensboro and is the owner and consultant for Marilyn Friend, Inc., an educational consulting business, which she established in 2002.
Prior to joining IU, she served on the faculty at Northern Illinois University from 1986 to 1992 and the University of Oklahoma from 1982 to 1986 teaching special education. Friend is an internationally recognized expert on co-teaching and the author or co-author of three widely used college textbooks on special education topics, more than 70 published articles and chapters in refereed professional journals and books, and a variety of co-teaching materials for teachers and administrators.
Friend received a Fulbright award in 1994 where she served as a Fulbright scholar lecturing and conducting research at Oporto Teacher Training College in Portugal, Spain in 1995. She is the recipient of the 2016 Teacher Education Division (CEC)/Pearson Excellence in Special Education Teacher Education Award and 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU School of Education. Friend is an active member and a past president of the Council for Exceptional Children.