Faculty & Staff E-news

August 25, 2014

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The start of the 2014-15 academic year is here and I am excited for what the year has in store for us! I hope everyone has returned with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to our students and I extend my best wishes for a productive and enjoyable year.

I wish to give a shout out to our faculty (and graduate student) who submitted several grant proposals over the summer months. We trust their hard work and persistence will pay off in the form of funded awards in the coming months. Drs. Michele Foster and Clare Bell submitted “Accelerating Mathematics Achievement in Kansas City Public Schools” to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (GKCCF); Dr. Michele Foster submitted “Going to Kansas City:  Preparing Education Researchers for Urban Contexts” to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES); Drs. Rita Barger and Clare Bell, along with Mr. Erdem Demiroz, collaborated with a UM-Columbia colleague to submit an inter-campus proposal, “Kinesthetic Mathematics Learning in Virtual Environments”, to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Additionally, Dr. Johanna Nilsson and I received notification of a two-year $353,340 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources to fund the Psi CARE program (“Psychologists Collaborating and Advocating to Restore Equity:  An Integrated Training Program in Behavioral Health Care for Underserved Urban Communities”).  Please remember that Karen King, grant support coordinator, is available to assist you as needed in the many steps required in grant submissions and now is here full-time.

On August 20th we held a Chairs Team retreat where the focus of our discussions was again largely on recruitment and retention. It was a very productive meeting with positive outcomes. Moving forward we agreed to form a School-wide enrollment management committee; details will follow. Looking ahead, we also discussed courses to be offered during the winter intersession which will be held December 22nd through January 16th.

I am pleased to report that the Provost’s office is continuing the process of identifying members to serve on the dean’s search committee and has scheduled the first meeting for September 10th. With regard to our one-year instructor position in urban teacher education, Mr. Conner Warner has verbally accepted our offer to teach literacy, reading and language arts courses this year.

As mentioned in last week’s news, Connie Fischer will be leaving the SOE at the end of August to join the staff at UMKC’s Applied Language Institute. A farewell reception will be held for her on August 27th from 3-3:45 p.m. in room 307. Please join us! And, after 25 years of service to UMKC, I regret to announce the retirement of Bobby “Jean” Hayward who most recently served as office support assistant at the Charter School Center, where she started in May 2006. Please join us at a reception in her honor on Thursday, August 28th from 3-5 p.m. at the Charter School Center (5306 Holmes Street).

As mentioned previously, this year’s Welcome Back Picnic for all faculty and staff will now be held after the faculty meeting on September 19th from noon – 1:30 p.m. on the SOE patio. Catered by Backyard Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, burgers, brats and veggie burgers with all the fixings will be available. Our thanks to the Culture and Climate Team for continuing with this enjoyable annual event! Please RSVP (password: picnic).

UMKC’s second annual 5K Regalia Run will be held September 28th during Founder’s Week and this year the SOE has its own team! Join fellow SOE alums, faculty/staff and students for a morning of fun; proceeds from the run will support student scholarships across campus. Register to participate before September 26th.

And, on a sad note, I am sorry to report that Dean Emeritus Don Mocker passed away suddenly yesterday afternoon. He served as interim dean for the SOE from 1988-89 and dean from 1989-1993 and continued to be an ardent supporter of the SOE since then. Between the various UM campuses, he served more than 30 years with us. Friends and family established the Donald W. Mocker Faculty Development Fund at the SOE in 1997 to continue faculty’s professional growth and Don and his wife made an estate gift in 2007 to further endow that fund. At the time of his death, he was an active member of the UMKC Retirees Association Capital Campaign Committee. And, just this past weekend, Dr. Mocker sent in an RSVP to attend our 2014 Scholar Donor Luncheon next month. He will certainly be missed. We will share information about final arrangement as they become available.

Have a great week!