Faculty & Staff E-news 5.18.15

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Saturday was a day of celebration for our 2015 graduates at Swinney; what a fitting tribute to this journey in their academic career and another successful semester for all of us! We awarded 248 degrees this year, including 1 certificate, 89 bachelor’s degrees, 120 master’s degrees, 21 educational specialist degrees, and 17 doctoral degrees. I extend my thanks to the many of you who participated in the ceremonies or joined us as a cheerleader in the audience. Mayor Sly James, our commencement speaker, shared a story with our graduates of a photo on Imgur that has gone viral of a professor teaching while holding and calming a student’s child, urging them to similarly learn to problem solve, consider each individual’s needs, and in every action value and validate education.

I also extend my appreciation to the many contributions and attention to detail of our Student Services team for their unwavering support of our students and graduation exercises. During the ceremony, we publicly honored Ms. Gail Metcalf-Schartel for her 25 years of service to the SOE and, particularly, her capable management of two commencements per year—no small feat!—for most of her tenure. And, as some of you know, Gail will be retiring this year, with her last day in the office set for Wednesday, September 30th. We will miss her for her wealth of knowledge, commitment to our students, tenacity and outstanding contributions.

As one semester closes, we are still accepting students for summer session and the fall semester. As of May 12th, the University’s summer session headcount is up 6.08% from last year and up 5.09% in credit hours. SOE’s summer enrollment is up 1.21% in headcount and down .63% in credit hours. For Fall 2015 (based on the fifth week of registration), the University has registered 6,130 students, a .41% decrease compared to this time last year, and the School of Education has registered 401 students, representing an increase of .25% from last year.

Please be reminded that spring semester grades are due by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, May 19th. Everyone’s efforts in meeting this deadline on-time will be greatly appreciated.

This week, the SOE’s Technology Learning Lab (TLL) will relocate to the computer space previously occupied by IS in room 129. It will be closed for the duration of the move, part of a larger plan to provide expanded, cohesive and more welcoming space for SOE students. Some remodeling is also expected to take place later in the summer and will result in a new “Learning Commons”. Stay tuned!

I extend my congratulations to University Academy, one of the SOE’s charter schools, upon being named among U.S. News 2015 Best High Schools for the fourth consecutive year. And I wish to draw your attention to the tribute videos of the SOE alumni who were honored as the SOE Alumni Achievement Award winner or part of family who won the University’s Legacy Award.

A reminder that one additional candidate for the next UMKC Provost will be on campus this week. An open presentation for faculty, staff and students will be held at Pierson Auditorium.

  • Barb Bichelmeyer, Ph.D., Indiana University, Wednesday, May 20th, 1-15:-2:45 p.m.

At long last, the efforts of many colleagues to establish our first international Summer Institute in Early Childhood Education will be realized this summer when we host students/staff from Kurashiki City College (Kurashiki City, Japan) in August. Kudos especially to Ms. Christine Timmerman and Dr. Micheal Strohschein who have managed the multitude of communications and details with Dr. Reito Adachi, professor and Dean at Kurashiki City College. Dr. Maggie Holley and Ms. Karrie Snider will serve as faculty for the visiting students. This short-term study program is primarily designed to 1) widen and strengthen participants’ views on theories and practices of early childhood education through their hands-on experiences at UMKC; 2) improve participants’ cross-cultural understanding by providing opportunities to interact with people of different cultures; and 3) foster the development of friendship and cooperation between the SOE and Kurashiki City College by promoting cultural exchanges among students from the two academic institutions.  To finalize the agreement, I will be traveling to Japan to meet with Dr. Adachi and the mayor of Kurashiki City for a signing ceremony on May 29th. Associate Dean LaVerne Berkel will be your go-to person in my absence.

Finally, for those of you who will be taking extended time off this summer, I wish you relaxing and rewarding past-times and safe travels. For those of you who will remain working, know that this is the last issue of enews for a few weeks; we will resume June 8th. And to everyone, happy Memorial Day.

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