My deep appreciation goes to Dr. Micheal Strohschein who organized and facilitated a meeting with representatives from the Blue Springs School District (in particular partnership with Dr. Annette Seago, deputy superintendent), and Fort Osage and Grain Valley School Districts on February 15th. This provided us the opportunity to address district needs in preparing educators, administrators and counselors to meet professional development needs and student outcomes. I am excited by the potential this meeting has opened up for us and will keep you updated as work continues throughout the year. My thanks, as well, for all the SOE participants who gave of their time and insights: Drs. Clare Bell, Julie Collins, Nancy Murdock, and Uzziel Pecina, along with Ms. Dean Marx, Mr. Brad Martens, Ms. Leah Panther, Ms. Christine Timmerman and Ms. Annetta Toomey.
Last Wednesday, UMKC Career Services and SOE Student Services sponsored another successful annual Teacher Recruitment Day where 60 of our future teachers and counselors interviewed for positions with 22 school districts. Representatives from the SOE Alumni Association also served on a panel offering career and job search advice to our candidates.
Last Friday, the Counseling and Educational Psychology division hosted 24 applicants/students for its annual interview day. The caliber of candidates was outstanding and this week we plan to extend offers and anticipate accepting seven of the students to begin the counseling psychology doctoral program in the fall. My thanks to the entire CEP faculty and staff for a very successful event.
I wish to extend my congratulations to Drs. Kindel Nash (PI) and Etta Hollins (Co-I) for obtaining funding from the Spencer Foundation for their proposal “Investigating High-Leverage Early Literacy Teaching Practices in Urban Schools.” The $47,716.00 award will allow them to investigate the high-leverage practices of high-performing, urban, early literacy teachers to determine common factors in these practices across contexts with similar populations. They will be aided in their research by Ms. Leah Panther, instructor in Urban Teacher Education.
We are delighted to be hosting three candidates for the position of Assistant/Associate Professor – Urban Teacher Education/Language and Literacy this week and next. I encourage all to attend as many of the presentations as your schedules allow:
- Nora Peterman, February 26th. “Consuming Identities: Exploring Adolescent Engagement with Branded Young Adult Literature.” She expects to receive her Ph.D. in May.
- Johnathan Burke Scarbrough, February 29th. “It’s Not Just You and Your Poem Up There: Generative Dilemmas in Engaging Youth Literacy Practices.”
- Sara Kersten, currently a Ph.D. candidate, March 2nd. “Nonfiction is not a fancy name for fiction: Co-constructing an understanding of the genre with 2nd grade students.”
All presentations will be given from 10:15-11:15 in room 307.
I am pleased to announce that we will have a Faculty/Staff professional development opportunity on March 18th. According to UMKC Online, the growing use of technology in education presents accessibility issues for students with disabilities. There are legal requirement that address accessibility issues for online courses, but most of what is required is also beneficial for faculty NOT teaching exclusively online. We have invited Ms. Melissa Messina, instructional designer for UMKC Online to discuss (online) course accessibility with us. The information will be useful whether you teach entire courses online, simply use Blackboard to support your face-to-face class, or if you do not teach at all! For example, did you know that there are simple ways to format your Word, PDF, and PowerPoint documents that will make them more accessible to students and others who use screen readers? Join us for what promises to be an enlightening discussion and presentation. Lunch will begin at noon in 307 with the presentation at 12:30 in room 34. Please RSVP.
My sincere congratulations to Dr. Etta Hollins whose edited book Rethinking Field Experiences in Preservice Teacher Preparation: Meeting New Challenges for Accountability has been chosen to receive the 2016 AACTE Outstanding Book Award. The award will be presented at the 68th AACTE Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 23rd. Dr. Connor Warner was among those who wrote letters of endorsement, and I know you will join me in recognizing Dr. Hollins for this honor. Dr. Hollins also will be presented with the 2016 American Educational Research Association, Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education) Legacy Award at the Division K Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 9th. Her scholarship and service justly has been recognized with this award and serves as inspiration to us all.
Late last year, as you know, we established a procedure to collect faculty and staff achievements. A reminder that you may submit faculty and staff achievements via http://education.umkc.edu/soe-achievements/ (password: achievements) or by going to the intranet link in the Quick Links section at the bottom of the SOE home page and from there choosing “SOE Achievements Submission Form”. I am pleased to report that we now have a location to display these submissions. Faculty achievements can be found on the Research tab of the SOE home page and staff achievements will be provided in a special section of enews (right hand column, click on “Staff Achievements”). Visit often to see the work of your colleagues! A plan to similarly recognize the contributions made by and honors bestowed on students is underway. It is a pleasure to see this idea turned into reality, thanks to the collective efforts of Dr. LaVerne Berkel, Mr. Mark Maxwell, Ms. Barbara Schaaf Petty and Ms. Carol Sargent in assisting with this project.
The deadline for nominations for UMKC’s 2017 Alumni Achievement Awards is fast approaching. If any of you know of alumni doing outstanding work in their field and deserving of recognition from their alma mater, please submit a nomination by the March 7th deadline. This process is confidential, so please do not alert individuals to the fact that they are being nominated. Questions may be directed to Ms. Tamara Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org or x6173.
A reminder that scholarship applications for undergraduate and graduate UMKC School of Education students for the 2016-17 academic year will be accepted until March 1st.
And finally, our seventh annual Urban Education and Community Forum will be April 5th from 5-6:30 p.m. in room 401 of the UMKC Student Union, featuring Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her presentation “What it takes for effective urban education: The role of youth culture in transforming teaching.” RSVP if you have not yet done so, and encourage your students to do the same!
Enjoy your week.