School of Education News


School of Education Faculty Honored at Annual Leaders in Learning Celebration

Four School of Education faculty were among the honorees at the annual Leaders in Learning celebration held on September 17th, which recognizes faculty for excellence in teaching and research.

Carolyn BarberCarolyn Barber, Ph.D., associate dean and faculty member in the division of educational leadership, policy, and foundations, was recognized for her promotion to professor. Dr. Barber’s research uses large-scale quantitative methodologies to examine contexts for positive youth development, and her teaching has included coursework in developmental and educational psychology, research methodology, and statistics.

Loyce Caruthers, Ph.D., professor in the division of educational leadership, policy, and foundations, was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring. This award recognizes UMKC graduate faculty advisors with a long-established career at the university who have made significant contributions to higher education through exceptional mentoring.

Omiunota UkpokoduOmiunota Ukpokodu, Ph.D., professor in the division of teacher education and curriculum studies, was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Embracing Diversity. This award recognizes and celebrates UMKC faculty, staff and registered student organizations that embrace diversity by celebrating diversity in all aspects of university life, creating inclusive environments, culturally competent citizens and globally-oriented curricula and programs.

Youfu (Michael) WeiMichael Wei, Ph.D., associate professor in the division of teacher education and curriculum studies, was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in teaching. The university’s highest honor for excellence in teaching recognizes and celebrates UMKC faculty who are consistently superior teachers at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level over an extended period of time.

Complete story in UMKC Today





UMKC Receives $1 Million Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)

A team of faculty from the School of Education, Schools of Computing and Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences recently received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The team, which includes Michelle Maher, Ph.D., chair of educational leadership, policy and foundations at the School of Education and Jacob Marszalek, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and research fellow in the UMKC Urban Education Research Center, worked collaboratively to design a program that would have maximum impact for the students it aims to serve – primarily students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Complete story in UMKC Today


School of Education Professor brings Educational Historians’ Conference to Kansas City

Donna M. Davis, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations, serves as Vice-President and Program Chair for the Organization of Educational Historians. Dr. Davis is leading the effort to bring the group’s annual meeting to Kansas City this year. The meeting will be held at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center on October 4-5, 2019. Dozens of scholars and graduate students from around the country, including many from the UMKC School of Education, are expected to participate in this conference. It is the first time the conference will be held outside of Chicago, and the first national conference to be hosted by a member of the Division of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations in many years.

Since 1965, the Organization of Educational Historians, formerly the Midwest History of Education Society, has brought together a wide range of scholars to examine the history of education through a broad framing of perspectives and possibilities. The theme of this year’s annual conference, “Lift Every Voice: Uncovering Hidden Stories in the History of Education,” requires scholars to examine those groups of individuals whose educational experiences may have been left out of critical conversations. At this conference, historians of education and other scholars will be encouraged to explore previously silenced spaces in an effort to bring voice to folks who, for whatever reason, have been quieted. These might include youth who identify with specific ethnic and/or cultural groups, those who identify as LGBTQIA, or those who thrive with varying degrees of ability. Indeed, the goal of this line of inquiry is to allow for rich discussions around issues of equity and social justice, as they have been defined—or ignored—in educational settings. Local, national, and international topics will be presented.

In addition to the paper presentations, the meeting’s Keynote Speaker will be John L. Rury, Ph.D., professor at the University of Kansas. A nationally renowned historian of education, Dr. Rury will present his current research on the history of schooling in the Kansas City community.

For more information about the conference, including registration information, please visit the Organization of Educational Historians’ website or contact Dr. Davis directly via email.

School of Education Professor Receives Fulbright Award

Rita Barger, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the School of Education, will serve as a Fulbright Specialist at Trakya University in Turkey for the 2019-20 year.

Barger will serve as a Fulbright Specialist in mathematics education and creative problem solving at Trakya University in Turkey.

“For almost 20 years I have been teaching a course in creative problem solving that is designed to help students, especially pre-service and in-service teachers, develop the ability to look at problems from different perspectives,” Barger said. “This allows them to move beyond the traditional answers to real world problems and problems in the classroom, to new answers and approaches that are significantly different from the common practice in today’s classrooms.”

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Alumna Educator Selected for NSF Grant Study

School of Education selects Deborah Siebern-Dennis to receive Alumni Award

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. In 2019, UMKC School of Education is honoring Deborah Siebern-Dennis (B.A. ’05) with their Alumni Achievement Award.

As a seventh-grade science teacher at Bode Middle School in St. Joseph, Missouri, Siebern-Dennis is known for her engaging lessons, understanding of students’ needs and passion for learning. She is currently one of 45 middle school science teachers from across the U.S. selected to participate in a two-year teaching and learning project funded by the National Science Foundation. The project will emphasize disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts. She sat down with us to share the scoop on teaching.

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Education Research Shows Girls’ School Graduates Have Clear Edge

Stronger academic skills than co-educated peers cited along with confidence and community involvement.

Graduates of all-girls schools have a definitive edge over their coeducated peers in academic achievement, community involvement and self-confidence in the sciences, according to research led by a School of Education professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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UMKC School of Education Earns Initial-Licensure Accreditation

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation has granted UMKC’s School of Education national accreditation at the initial-licensure level for meeting rigorous professional standards of excellence in teacher preparation, effective between 2018 and 2025.

In the accreditation action report, all five Council standards were met, with no areas for improvement or stipulations identified. This is the best accreditation decision possible. Continue reading “UMKC School of Education Earns Initial-Licensure Accreditation”