One of my greatest pleasures serving as Interim Dean is to learn more about the many ways others across the campus and in the community advance the work of the SOE. Last Tuesday evening, I had the extraordinary experience to visit the UMKC Call Center, located inside the Cherry Street parking structure, with Ms. Rachael Steel and others. From 12 cubicles for six hours on Sunday and three hours Monday through Thursday, student fundraisers call alumni, parents and other supporters on behalf of various academic units providing updates, stewarding fundraising efforts, updating contact information and, of course, seeking new or renewed gift commitments for the alumni fund. Working from a script and armed with facts and figures, Tuesday night was devoted to calling SOE alumni and other friends. We were able to interact with some of these amazing students prior to the start of their calling shift and listen in as they engaged SOE alumni in conversation. These students were an impressive group, very ably performing what can prove very challenging work. If one of our SOE students ever tells you they work at the UMKC Call Center, please tell them how much you appreciate the important work they do on the SOE’s behalf!
On Thursday, November 13th, I was pleased to be among UMKC campus leadership (Provost Gail Hackett, Vice Chancellor Mel Tyler, Deputy Provost Cindy Pemberton, Associate Vice Provost Kim McNeley, Director of Admissions Tamara Byland, among others) who met with UM System President Tim Wolfe and UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton to discuss UMKC’s efforts to balance support for charter schools with support for the public education system. I need to thank Drs. Patty McHatton and Ed Underwood for their participation in this discussion as related to SOE’s efforts and collaborations with KCPS in the preparation of our teacher candidates and President’s Wolfe’s interest in the Institute for Urban Education. Let me also thank Dr. Jennifer Waddell for her participation during the lunch meeting and for securing the participation of the following IUE students/alumni who were among the invited guests that attended the lunch meeting with President Wolfe and UMKC leadership to discuss enrollment and recruitment: Marquis Hall [IUE student studying Elementary Education who is completing an internship (one day per week) at Gladstone Academy in KCPS], Ashley Holmes (IUE graduate; teaches 7th grade English/Language Arts at Northeast Middle School in KCPS) and Susana Ozaeta (IUE student studying Elementary Education and student teaching 2nd grade at Gladstone Academy in KCPS).
As previously mentioned, the SOE will be offering two Winter Intersession courses from December 22, 2014 – January 16, 2015. Please remember that Adolescent Development (class number 18063, section 0009) and Educational Psychology (class number 18064, section 0010) are UNDERGRADUATE (400-level) offerings. Graduate students may enroll but only if they have permission from their faculty advisors to take these courses at the 400-level.
I am happy to see the early success of our holiday toy drive, with 40 of the 75 gifts already spoken for as of last week. There are 35 still available and SOE students are welcome to participate! I hope that in the spirit of the season, many SOE faculty and staff will again find it in their hearts to provide gifts for area foster children. Details are available in the dean’s suite or on the first floor bulletin board across from the elevator. My appreciation to the Culture and Climate Committee for coordinating this project for us.
If you plan to join us after Friday’s faculty meeting for the professional development workshop, please be sure to RSVP (password: pdsession) as lunch will be provided. I encourage all faculty to be a part of this very important discussion as it is critical that we have a shared understanding of what is needed for our Spring 2018 accreditation visit.
For faculty still wishing to participate in mid-year commencement on Friday, December 19th at 1:00 p.m., please contact Gail Schartel by this Friday, November 21st, so she can order regalia. Our summer and fall graduates will appreciate a strong turnout by faculty and staff as they embark on the next steps in their life journey.
Our year-end Strategic Action Plan Update and Celebration is now less than a month away! Please plan to join us December 12th from 12-2 p.m. at Grand Street Café for the update and the chance to reconnect with colleagues in an informal atmosphere. A holiday lunch will be included; please RSVP (password: grandstreet) to save your seat!
Finally, we will take a short break from enews but resume December 1st. I do wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends as we celebrate those things that enrich us and for which we are truly thankful.