Faculty & Staff E-news 8.17.15

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As we gear up for what will undoubtedly be another successful semester, there is a lot to report. First, as most of you know, effective this semester, the SOE has changed the name of Curriculum and Instructional Leadership to Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies (TE&CS) to represent the primary function of that division. Read more.

Let me give a warm welcome back to our faculty and a reminder that our first faculty meeting of the year will be September 18th. I hope to see all of you there where we will all get to reconnect as well as meet our three new faculty members who will be starting September 1st.

One of our new faculty members for fall is one whom we haven’t yet announced; Ms. Leah Panther, who is joining us for a one-year Language and Literacy instructor in TE&CS. Leah is currently an iPhD student in Curriculum and Instruction as her primary discipline and ELPF as co-discipline. She has spent seven years as a classroom teacher and served as an adjunct and GRA in the SOE last year.

My deep appreciation to all who contributed/donated to this year’s summer Backpack Drive sponsored by the Culture and Climate Team. We made our goal to provide and fill 24 backpacks with school supplies for primary grade students who are in foster care. Thank you for your support of our community!

For those of you who don’t know, the last 10 days have been a whirlwind of activity for six early childhood education students and their dean/professor from Kansas City’s sister city, Kurashiki, Japan, who visited the SOE for our first ever International Summer Institute. The delegation arrived a little after midnight on August 1st and was cheerfully met by Assistant Dean Chris Timmerman. The next day they had a brief tour of central Kansas City led by representatives from the Japan-America Society and enjoyed a welcome dinner at the SOE, joined by me, Ms. Chris Timmerman, Continuing and Professional Education director Dr. Mike Strohschein, Berkley Child and Family Education Center’s Polly Prendergast and Becky West, AFIA’s Dr. Tricia DeGraff; Mr. Adam Shoemaker from the Applied Language Institute; and Drs. Rita Barger, Clare Bell, Karrie Snider and Maggie Holley. After a tour of campus by the International Students Association (ISAO), they then had eight days of classes that included how to be a successful UMKC student, history and philosophies of early childhood education in America, the importance of play, the Project Approach, teacher/child relationships, developmentally appropriate practice, special education, and culturally relevant teaching. Guest speakers joined the group for lunch periodically throughout the Institute: Dr. Zach McCall, Ms. Polly Prendergast, Drs. Kindel Nash and Tricia DeGraff, and Ms. Erica Hernandez-Scott. Every day the group walked over to the Berkley Child and Family Center to observe, interact with children, and even teach them origami, a whirligig game and Japanese and American songs and fingerplays. These activities, both course related and for fun, would have been much more challenging if not for the expert help of interpreter Hiroko Keightley. Her knowledge of education, positive attitude and skill helped made this first Institute a success! My thanks to everyone involved in this very rewarding, informative and well-run Institute; its masterful execution and the appreciation expressed by our visitors are, indeed, a feather in our collective cap! Watch for a further wrap-up on the SOE home page later this week.

This coming weekend, New Student Convocation 2015 will be Sunday, August 23rd—the day before fall classes begin—with robing beginning at 12:30 in the Atterbury Student Success Center, room 238.  It will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Swinney Recreation Center and be completed by 2:00 p.m.  New SOE freshmen and transfer students then will adjourn to the SOE’s 129/Learning Commons at the conclusion of Convocation for information about the SOE, our student organizations and SOE resources.  I encourage your participation as schedules allow.

I wish to congratulate Dr. Candace Schlein who has been promoted to associate professor with tenure, effective September 1st. Dr. Schlein previously was an assistant professor in what was previously CIL since 2009 and holds her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Her hard work and commitment to our mission and our students is evident and much appreciated!

I also extend my congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Waddell who has been appointed to serve as UMKC’s coordinator of general education in addition to serving as associate professor and associate director of the IUE. In the role of Coordinator, Dr. Waddell will work closely with the chair of the General Education Curriculum Committee, the deputy provost and the director of assessment.

A well-deserved honor, I also am pleased to report that Dr. Bonita Butner, most recently as chair of ELPF until her retirement last year, has been named by interim provost Cindy Pemberton, Ph.D., as associate professor emeritus status. She was a valued member of our faculty, serving the SOE for nearly ten years, and making notable contributions to the Higher Education Program, her division and the university. Congratulations!

Please also congratulate Mr. Brad Martens who was offered and accepted the position of Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator (Data and Certification Manager) given Ms. Gail Metcalf Schartel’s impending retirement. Ms. Metcalf-Schartel will assist in training Mr. Martens during September. Mr. Martens started with the SOE in 2007 as a student assistant and then GRA. He has been an academic advisor for seven years and holds his M.A. in Educational Administration/Higher Education from the SOE.

And, with regret, I also announce that Mr. Jay Meyers, administrative assistant in Student Services, will be leaving the university September 4th to work in Clinton, Missouri, his hometown and current residence. We will miss his dedication to our students, his can-do attitude, and the contributions he has made within the last year.

Finally, the Kansas City Young Matrons move is still expected to occur in late August or early September. We will be losing 62 spaces in our student parking lot to the west so parking will no doubt be at a premium once classes resume.

Again, welcome back and have a great week!