As an undergraduate at UMKC, Lauren Thompson (B.F.A. ’09, B.A. ’09, M.A. ’12) would dance for six hours a day, then go to her psychology classes. Along the way, she also decided to get a minor in gender and women’s studies. A year after graduation, she was back at UMKC, pursuing her master’s in counseling and guidance, with a focus on mental health. She later opened her Pilates studio, Thrive Pilates in Kansas City’s Westside, which incorporates this wide range of training and experiences. She wanted to meet the multifaceted needs of women from both physical and mental health perspectives, and her diverse background gave her the skills she needed to do it.
Eric Camburn, Ph.D., Professor and Sherman Family Foundation Endowed Chair and director of the Urban Education Research Center, has spent months studying teachers and their work. His recent research has focused on understanding teachers’ practices in ways that increase student engagement while supporting teachers’ work lives and well-being. These projects were featured in the UMKC Office of Research and Development’s Explore magazine.
Darryl Chamberlain has helped more than 200 students learn to play instruments
At 10 years old, Darryl Chamberlain (B.A. ’15, ’16) walked to school composing music in his head. Despite having no formal training and no instruments in his home, the music still came to him at an early age. Now, more than 40 years later, Chamberlain is actually composing some of those melodies for the Kansas City children in his A-Flat Youth Orchestra
Astrid Vega’s career aspirations are inspired by her life experiences
Astrid Vega was five years old when she and her family moved from Mexico to the United States. As the product of two Spanish-speaking parents and a native Spanish speaker herself, starting school was a challenge due to the language barrier she had to overcome.
IGI Global, a leading international academic publisher, called Applied Linguistics for Teachers of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners “an essential scholarly publication that seeks to contribute to TESOL (teaching English to students of other languages) and language teacher education programs.” The book, co-written by Michael Wei, associate professor and TESOL program director in the Division of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies at the UMKC School of Education, covers every aspect of applied linguistics for ESOL teachers: morphology, syntax, semantics, phonetics and sociolinguistics — to name a few.
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 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 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.
Michael 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.
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.
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.
Polly Prendergast, senior director of programs and project operations at UMKC’s Berkley Child and Family Development Center, was given Fox4KC’s Pay-It-Forward Award for her work with Kansas City area children and their families. Prendergast was nominated by a student’s mother, who wanted to thank Prendergast for her passion and dedication.
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Omiunota N. Ukpokodu, Ph.D., Professor, UMKC School of Education, received awards from two Special Interest Groups (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association. She was presented the Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Lifetime Scholarship and the Outstanding Contribution Award at the AERA annual conference that was held in Toronto, Canada, April 5-9, 2019.
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