Hollingers are founders of new academy

 

Randy (BAE ’96 & MED ’98, Elem. Ed.) and Amy (BAE ’93 & MED ’94, Elem. Ed., EDS ’02, Ed. Leadership)  Hollinger, longtime educators at P.K. Yonge, are now bringing their love of teaching to Santa Rosa Beach.

The Hollingers have a history of being “out-of-the-box thinkers”, especially in education. They are the founders of the new TESLA (Technology Engineering Science Leadership Academy), an alternative learning environment.  According to the website, “students are engaged in learning that provides a balance of technology based and hands on approaches to their learning.”  The school opened more than a year ago with 15 students and has since grown to 33 students, ranging in age from second grade to high school.

Examples of the hands on projects the students at TESLA are involved in include raising Mexican Axolotls, an endangered, water-dwelling salamander, and building their own Tesla coil from scratch.

 

Randy Hollinger inherited his love of teaching from his parents.  Dr. Tom Hollinger is a retired professor at UF and his mom, Mrs. Sandy Hollinger is Deputy Superintendent of schools for Alachua County.  Says Randy, “My mom and my dad both are not just teachers, they’re really good teachers…I would think of the things people had said about my mom or what they’d said about my dad and think, ‘If I’m going to be a teacher, I want people to say those things about me someday'”. Turns out, he has achieved this goal having received numerous awards from a Scholarship of Engagement Award at UF, to being voted one of Gainesville’s most interesting people.

Amy Hollinger has served as assistant principal of P.K. Yonge’s Elementary School, and as a teacher at J.J. Finley Elementary school.  During her career, Amy has been very involved; leading and coordinating numerous programs, attending professional conferences, chairing committees including the School Advisory Council, and giving professional presentations.

Community college council honors ’08 higher ed graduate

Christopher M. Mullin (PhD ’08, higher education) has received the 2012 Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC). The annual award recognizes a scholar for writing an outstanding research publication that contributes to the professional body of knowledge about community colleges.

Mullin was cited for a series of articles about the student body and future of community colleges published between October 2011 and April 2012 by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). He is the program director for policy analysis of the AACC in Washington, D.C., where he conducts research and analysis to guide advocacy efforts for the organization.

UF’s Institute of Higher Education also honored Mullin as an Outstanding Graduate earlier this year.

CCSC, a division of the AACC, is a council of university researchers and community college professionals who work to advance the development and scholarship of community colleges. Mullin received the award at the council’s recent annual conference in Orlando.

COE graduate wins AERA Scholarly Award

After submitting a top-rated research article, recent College of Education doctoral graduate Stephanie Dodman (PhD ’11, curriculum and instruction) has been awarded a Special Interest Group Scholarly Award by the American Educational Research Association, a national interdisciplinary research association with about 25,000 professionals in the field.

Dodman, an elementary education assistant professor at George Mason University, was recognized for her dissertation-based paper by the School Effectiveness and School Improvement Special Interest Group (SIG), a division of AERA that encourages members in school effectiveness and improvement specialties to conduct research, evaluate school programs and exchange ideas. Dodman also received a $300 check.

Her dissertation underlined the issue of accountability for chronically failing high-poverty schools, building on previous research findings that without strong internal conditions, schools will not improve. Dodman presented a case study of effective internal reform in an underachieving, high-poverty elementary school and presented a theory of school reform based on her findings.

After receiving her bachelor’s and M.Ed. degrees from UF in 2001 and 2002, respectively, Dodman taught in Florida public schools and worked on a team at UF’s Florida Museum of Natural History creating a science-literacy curriculum for Head Start. Dodman joined George Mason’s education faculty last fall after earning her doctorate at UF.  In addition to teaching curriculum and instruction courses, she dedicates time to Westlawn Elementary in Virginia, where she is a Professional Development School university facilitator. She also works with a high-needs charter school in Washington, DC as part of a school improvement partnership effort.

Third-Year EduGator Chosen as Teacher of the Year

Rachel Gross (BAE ’08, MED ’09, Elementary Ed.) has been chosen as Teacher of the Year for her school, the Duval Charter School at Baymeadow, where she teaches third grade. This year Rachel’s students outscored the state and district on the FCAT.  Rachel has previously taught fourth grade at Stephen Foster Elementary and Metcalfe Elementary, where she also completed an internship.

Says Rachel, “the University of Florida has truly shaped me into the teacher I am today. The rigorous coursework and wonderful professors taught me to always be reflective, innovative, and meet every students’ need.  I am grateful for my experiences I had through UF, especially the East-side Internship program.  It gave me perspective and taught me the importance of establishing a rapport with students.”

Next year, Rachel will be teaching third grade Cambridge, an advanced studies program offered at Baymeadow.

“I will continue to grow and learn as an educator to hopefully inspire this new group of students.”

Recent Grad Describes Benefits of Her Degree

Truly Hardemon (MED 2012, Curriculum & Instruction) recently shared how her degree from the UF College of Education has impacted her life.

“Though it sounds cliche, going through the M.Ed. program has changed my life and confirmed my passion for life-long learning.  I have met so many interesting educators working with educational technology from a wide variety of perspectives.  The program opened new windows into online teaching and learning in higher education, exposed me to the rich history the military has in distance education and innovation, and gave me a better understanding of the exciting challenges of integrating technology into K-12 educational environments. I have the firm belief that my graduate degree will serve me well, whether I remain in higher education or take a bigger step and move toward K-12 education.”

CEC honors special ed alum for stellar career in teacher education

The Council for Exceptional Children, the world’s largest international organization of special education professionals, recently awarded University of Florida alumnus Fred Spooner (PhD ’80, special education) its prestigious 2012 TED/Merrill Award for Excellence in Teacher Education.

The honor recognizes Spooner for a lifetime of research productivity, masterly teaching and inspirational leadership in the special education field and advocacy for children with disabilities. Spooner, a longtime professor in special education at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, received his Ph.D. degree in special education from UF in 1980 and also was awarded the College of Education’s 2008 Alumnus Achievement Award.

Spooner’s latest honor from the CEC comes from an organization with more than 45,000 members. He is a past president of the North Carolina teacher education division of the CEC. Spooner received the TED/Merrill Award at the CEC’s annual convention in Denver.

During his 31-year career at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Spooner has become known as one of the nation’s leading authorities on teaching students with significant disabilities. He has published six books and more than 90 refereed articles and his work has appeared in influential publications such as The Journal of Special Education, Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities and Exceptional Children.

His academic success led him to editorships at three of the nation’s leading special education journals: Teaching Exceptional Children, The Journal of Special Education and Teacher Education and Special Education. He has also been a pioneer in the use of online instruction to prepare special education teachers—work that has gained Spooner national attention and convinced various state agencies and universities to seek out his advice on online education.

Higher Ed alum named to head new UF Innovation Academy

UF’s new Innovation Academy, one of the nation’s most forward-looking undergraduate enrollment programs, didn’t have to look far for its inaugural director—hiring Jeffrey Citty (EdD ’11), a recent doctoral graduate in higher education from UF’s College of Education.

Citty, whose appointment took effect in March, is responsible for overall administration and leadership of the academy, collaborating with an advisory board.

Instead of taking traditional fall and spring courses, between 400 and 500 students admitted to the Innovation Academy will be on campus during the spring and summer terms, leaving each fall semester free for online courses, studying abroad, internships, creative problem-solving, community service and unique employment opportunities. The first class of academy students will enroll for the spring 2013 semester.

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity for students who want a little more out of their undergraduate experience,” Citty said. “It targets entrepreneurial-minded students looking for a nontraditional college route. The IA model also increases access to UF by expanding capacity during the spring and summer when more space is available.”

Citty was the College of Engineering’s student affairs assistant director in 2011 and coordinated its academic support services from 2003-2011. He oversaw all aspects of the engineering freshman transition program, focusing on recruitment and retention. In 2009, he was recognized by the National Academic Advising Association with an award for Outstanding Advising.

Dale Campbell, professor and interim director at the College of Education’s School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education, called Citty “a passionate, student-centered adviser.”

“I have no doubt that he‘ll be very successful working with other units and colleges on campus to help the Innovation Academy grow and succeed,” Campbell said. “He’s highly prepared to provide leadership for the program.”

Senate aide, rising thought leader named Outstanding Young Alumni

One is a former Florida College Student of the Year and a rising star among thought leaders in American education. The other is making a national impact in the political arena as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.

They are Brian Dassler (MEd ’02, English education) and Jocelyn Moore (MEd ’00, student personnel in higher education), both named 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni by UF’s College of Education. The UF Alumni Association established the award in 2006 to recognize graduates who are 35 or younger and have distinguished themselves in their profession and community.

Read their profiles below and it’s easy to see why they were selected:

Brian Dassler (MEd ’02, English education)
Principal
KIPP Renaissance School, New Orleans

While an undergraduate at UF, Dassler’s numerous honors, scholarships and campus activities led Florida Leader magazine to select him as its 2001 Florida College Student of the Year. He received his M.Ed. degree from UF in 2002 and has been making his mark ever since, not only as a superb teacher, but as a national education thought leader.

He taught high school English for five years in Broward County and in 2007 became the district’s youngest recipient of its Teacher of the Year Award. Dassler last year was named the founding principal of the KIPP Renaissance School in New Orleans, a progressive charter school in the city’s impoverished Upper Ninth Ward. He trained for that position through a novel fellowship program of the national KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Foundation.

He has served on the Florida PTA Board of Directors and on several state education advisory groups. Opinion columns written by Dassler have received widespread coverage on hot education topics such as the achievement gap in America’s schools and the pros and cons of virtual schooling.

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Jocelyn Moore (MEd ’00, SPHE)
Legislative Director
Office of U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV

Jocelyn Moore chose an unconventional career path in public policy after earning her master’s in Student Personnel in Higher Education in 2000, but she attributes her problem-solving and creative-thinking skills to her UF graduate studies experience. She has worked for 12 years as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate, currently as the legislative director for Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV.

She oversees the progression of bills and initiatives he is involved in and also is staff director of the Senate finance subcommittee on health care that he chairs. Moore previously worked for former Florida U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and helped him develop a stipend program for all UF students interning on Capitol Hill. Her career highlights include helping to get President Barack Obama elected, working with mining companies to improve mine safety, and helping to lead our nation’s health care reform effort.

She volunteers with the Junior League of Washington to promote literacy and previously served on the board of the Washington, D.C., Gator Club. She received the 2010 First Focus Champion for Children Award and the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust Congressional Staff Leadership Award.

Jocelyn Moore honored as Outstanding Young Alumna

Jocelyn Moore chose an unconventional career path in public policy after earning her master’s in Student Personnel in Higher Education in 2000, but she attributes her problem-solving and creative-thinking skills to her UF graduate studies experience. She has worked for 12 years as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate, currently as the legislative director for Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV.  She oversees the progression of bills and initiatives he is involved in and also is staff director of the Senate finance subcommittee on health care that he chairs. Moore previously worked for former Florida U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and helped him develop a stipend program for all UF students interning on Capitol Hill. Her career highlights include helping to elect President Barack Obama, working with mining companies to improve mine safety, and helping to lead our nation’s health care reform effort. She is a Life Member of the UF Alumni Association and previously served on the board of the Washington, D.C., Gator Club. She volunteers with the Junior League of Washington to promote literacy. She received the 2010 First Focus Champion for Children Award and the 2009 Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust Congressional Staff Leadership Award.

 

 

 

COE has highest participation rate for Orange, Blue, and You Campaign

Despite budget cuts and economic woes, the College of Education had the highest involvement  at UF in the annual faculty and staff campaign; Orange, Blue & You.

Almost 50% of education faculty and staff gave to the campaign, making this year the highest-ranking campaigns for involvement.  Liz Martin, the college’s new Assistant Director of Development, led the campaign with unique ways of spreading the word to faculty and staff.

The University of Florida Foundation runs this campaign every year as a way for faculty and staff to give back and show that they believe in the work the university is doing.

“Orange, Blue and You is an annual campaign that encourages you, our faculty and staff, to donate to UF in support of those things that are important to you: academic research, classroom instruction, student scholarships and more.”

To learn more about the campaign and giving in general, contact Liz Martin.  To donate directly to the college, follow this link.