Faculty & Staff E-news 1.19.16

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Welcome back to all our faculty and staff! I hope each of you had enjoyable holidays and a rejuvenating break, and I am looking forward to continuing our great work in 2016 and in welcoming a new dean later this year. While we indicated last year that we would not recommence enews until January 25th, we decided to resume this week to share all our recent news with you.

The School of Education successfully submitted three proposals for UMKC FY 17 strategic funding for an online graduate certificate in Instructional Technology, SOE website redesign and development, and (with the School of Computing and Engineering) the development of the MyCPE Enterprise Resource Planning System for operational efficiencies. My sincere thanks to Dr. Micheal Strohschein, Ms. Barbara Schaaf Petty and Ms. Amanda Toomey for their work in researching, writing and re-writing these proposals in a short period of time to meet the deadline earlier this month. All of the proposed projects will positively impact student recruitment and engagement and I am excited by the potential they pose. Stay tuned; awards are expected to be announced in early summer.

I also am pleased to report that two of our 2015-16 Winter Session course offerings ‘made’. We had 22 students in Adolescent Development and 15 in Educational Psychology. My thanks to those in CPE and CEP who assured the success of these classes.

On January 12th, we held another school-wide adjunct orientation to provide our adjunct faculty with information and resources to help them have a successful semester.  In addition to hearing from our assistant dean, division chairs, and assessment coordinator on a variety of topics (e.g., syllabus requirements, student evaluations, student services, technology), they also had the opportunity to hear from special guests who addressed specific areas of competence.  This semester the special guests were Mr. Scott Laurent, director of Disability Support Services, and Ms. Melissa Messina, instructional design specialist.  Scott answered questions on what faculty should know about accommodation requests by students with disabilities, and Melissa discussed ways to better meet the needs of students with (and without) disabilities through technology.  More than 20 new and returning adjunct faculty attended.

The dean’s search committee will be hosting candidate interviews at the airport January 22nd and 23rd and expects to bring selected candidates to campus for interviews the week of February 8th. Please make yourselves available to meet with the candidates as schedules allow since feedback from all faculty and staff is vital to the process of selecting our next dynamic leader. A detailed schedule will be available later this month.

I trust you will help me welcome Dr. Daesik Lee, professor of special education at Gyeongin National University of Education in Incheon, Korea, as a visiting scholar through the fall 2016 semester. Dr. Lee joined us January 13th and will be working closely with Dr. Rita Barger and other faculty in TE&CS, particularly in the areas of curriculum, special education, TESOL and English linguistics. We look forward to the many opportunities to engage with him and learn from his experiences as he spends the next two semesters with the SOE.

I also extend a warm welcome to Mr. Mark Maxwell who joined us January 4th as the SOE’s new technology resource coordinator. Mark holds his Master of Education in Applied Technology and Performance Improvement degree from the University of North Texas and most recently was employed as a technical services engineer and technical training manager at a technology corporation in Overland Park. He has taught at the high school level and currently serves as an adjunct in technology-related courses at area community colleges.

A drum roll, please, that after two long years, we now have received approval to move forward in filling our recruiter specialist position! The search committee, chaired by Ms. Christine Timmerman, is comprised of Dr. Julia Atiles, Ms. Shay Dodson, Ms. Barbara Schaaf Petty and Ms. Karly Scholl (associate director of Student Support Services in Admissions). My thanks to these individuals for giving their time and insights into this important hire. They will be meeting this week to select candidates to interview later in the month.

I wish to thank Drs. Donna Davis, Jennifer Friend, Gus Jacob, Rob Leachman and Eddie Smith who, with Dr. Loyce Caruthers as chair, are serving on the search committee to fill the position of Assistant/Associate Professor in PK-12 Educational Administration. I appreciate the start of their hard work and diligence in selecting a candidate to bring on board for the fall semester.

The School’s seventh annual Urban Education and Community Forum is less than three months away and I urge anyone teaching this semester to build the presentation into course syllabi if you have not already done so. Gloria Ladson-Billings, Ph.D., will speak on “What it takes for effective urban education: The Role of Youth Culture in Transforming Teaching.” Doors to room 401 of the UMKC Student Union will open at 4:30 p.m., with the event free and open to the public. Please RSVP and plan to join us.

I wish you a productive and rewarding semester now that our students have returned to campus! Happy New Year.