Faculty & Staff E-news 5.2.16

dean note banner


My thanks to those of you who attended the presentation of Rhoda Freelon, Ph.D., as she was on campus last week, interviewing for the position of PK-12 Assistant/Associate Professor in ELPF. We had a good turnout for an informative presentation.


Last week, we hosted our 14th annual spring celebration with an ice cream social to celebrate our 225 spring/summer 2016 graduates. We had a cool afternoon but escaped any rain!! My thanks to the planning committee members (Ms. Breann Branch, Ms. Dianna Brasington, Ms. Caitlyn Dunsford, Ms. Connie Fischer, Ms. Stephanie Harrington, Ms. Kimberly Johnson, Ms. Tamara Morris, Ms. Sheila Thomas and Ms. Christine Timmerman), the SOE Student Government, and our SOE Alumni Board for their support and funding for another very successful and fun celebration. Congratulations to the School’s outstanding student, faculty and staff awardees who were recognized during the event:

  • Adilene Mendiola, Outstanding Undergraduate Student, Elementary Education
  • Jon Harding, Outstanding Master’s or Educational Specialist Student, PK-12 Educational Specialist in Education Administration
  • Erdem Demiroz, Outstanding Doctoral Student, IPh.D., Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies
  • Paul Rutherford (Ph.D., ’99), 2016 Adjunct Faculty Teaching Award
  • Erica Hernandez-Scott (Ph.D. candidate), 2016 Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award
  • Christine Timmerman, 2016 Staff Excellence Award


And, I am delighted to announce this year’s Dean’s Small Grant recipients:

  • Loyce Caruthers, Jennifer Friend, Etta Hollins, Candace Schlein, Edward Underwood for their collaborative research proposal, “A Quest for Educational opportunities in Kansas City’s Desegregation Era: Listening to the Voices of African American Administrators, Teachers and Students”
  • Laurel Watson for her proposal, “Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Transgender Discrimination Scale”

Please help me recognize and congratulate these colleagues on their work and commitment to urban education.


A drum roll please: the new Learning Commons space in 129 is officially open for business!  There are just a few minor finishing touches that will be made soon (signage, wall hangings, etc.) but students are free to use the study space, lounge area, computer lab or to reserve the 135 meeting room.  The Learning Commons includes offices of Academic Advising, Field Placement, Certification, Assessment, Technology, and the Assistant Dean.  The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place in early fall but feel free to check out the space now. My thanks to everyone for their patience during construction and to the many individuals who saw this project through to fruition. Of course, we humbly recognize our alumni whose funds allowed us to transform this learning space for our students.


A reminder that grades are due at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17th.  Instructions for grading can be found here:  https://www.umkc.edu/registrar/grading.asp.


And, finally, in collaboration with Mike Camp, Ed.D., principal at C. A. Burke Elementary School in the Hickman Mills C-1 School District, I am pleased to announce that we will host a week long summer camp (under the very capable leadership of Language and Literacy Instructor, Ms. Leah Panther) that will group 50-60 students into “kidtreprenuer” teams who will work together to identify problems and, with the assistance of future and current educators, design solutions. The final day of the camp, invited guests will hear the students’ presentations and provide feedback, suggestions and awards for the most promising solutions. The teaching will be provided entirely by SOE undergraduates, who will have an additional layer of support with an instructional coach or coaches who have been working with the preservice teachers for the summer semester. I look forward to welcoming the students to the UMKC campus and our building the week of July 18th (from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. daily). Students will leave the week with supplemental instruction in English language arts, science, history, math, engineering and reading.


Happy May!