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.






’65 grad Delores Lastinger named UF Distinguished Alumna

Delores Lastinger, a leading civic leader, philanthropist and former Jacksonville high school teacher known for her tremendous contributions to the Northeast Florida community and the University of Florida, has been chosen to receive the 2012 University of Florida Distinguished Alumna Award.

She was honored May 5 at UF’s commencement ceremony in Gainesville.

Lastinger, a longtime Jacksonville resident who, with her husband Allen, moved to St. Augustine in 2001, earned her bachelor’s degree in education from UF’s College of Education in 1965 and has always displayed a deep commitment to education. The Lastingers in 2002 created a $4 million endowment at UF to establish the Lastinger Center for Learning at the college.

The renowned center reflects the Lastingers’ vision of practical training that improves teacher practice and student learning. Little did they know that the center would grow in a few short years to link some 300 partnering high-poverty schools across Florida with UF research scholars from multiple disciplines, forming powerful learning communities in support of school improvement, teacher advancement and children’s early learning and healthy development. The Lastingers are active board members who continuously contribute to the center’s success.

“Close to 10 years ago, Allen and Delores, who’ve worked hard in life, found themselves in a position to give something back,” said Lastinger Center Director Don Pemberton. “They invested in education and planted a seed here in the College of Education. That seed has grown and grown and grown.”

Delores is vice president of the Lastinger Family Foundation and her devotion to education and charitable work has been a lifelong labor of love. After graduating from UF, she earned a master’s in education administration and supervision from the University of North Florida and taught for many years at Episcopal High School in Jacksonville before having children and moving into high-profile volunteer work and philanthropy.

UF has been the beneficiary of the Lastingers’ generosity on several occasions. Delores and Allen are joint lifetime members of the UF Alumni Association and are members of the President’s Council. (Allen has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from UF and is the retired CEO of Barnett Banks.) Delores also serves on the UF Foundation’s leadership gifts council and campaign steering council.

Besides the center, the Lastingers have made substantial donations to UF’s archeology program, the John V. Lombardi Scholarship Program, the UF 150th Anniversary Cultural Plaza Endowment-UF Performing Arts, and the David Lawrence Jr. Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Studies (also in the College of Education.)

Delores Lastinger’s generosity is well known throughout Northeast Florida. She and Allen co-chaired a successful $15 million capital campaign for Jacksonville Episcopal High, where Delores serves on the board of trustees. She also served on the board of directors for Leadership Jacksonville and developed the group’s annual fundraising program for its Youth Jacksonville Program, which supports more than 800 high school students. She’s also held board leadership positions for the Hubbard House (a domestic violence shelter), Hope Haven Children’s Clinic and Family Center and other charities.

Delores has volunteered for many years at the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida inpatient care center in St. Augustine and helped the center establish its pediatric hospice program. She’s also a trustee of Flagler College in St. Augustine and the Lastingers have campaigned to help preserve the college’s historic buildings.

IHE Outstanding Graduate to be honored as CSCC Townsend Emerging Scholar

Dr. Chris Mullen (PHD ’08, Higher Ed.) has been selected to receive the 2012 Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC). This award recognizes a scholar for an outstanding theoretical and/ or applied research publication that contributes to the professional body of knowledge about community college.  The awards presentation is scheduled on April 20 at the annual CSCC meeting.

Dr. Mullin was honored as an Institute of Higher Education Outstanding Graduate earlier this year at the annual Community College Futures Assembly in Orlando, Florida.


Dr. Fred Spooner to Recieve TED/Pearson Award for Work in Special Ed

Fred Spooner (PhD ’80, Special Ed.),  a faculty member in the College of Education’s Department of Special Education and Child Development at UNC Charlotte, will receive the 2012 TED/Pearson Award for Excellence in Education. The honor, from the Council for Exceptional Children’s Teacher Education Division, will be presented at the organization’s annual meeting in Denver.

According to the CEC, the TED/Pearson Award for Excellence in Education recognizes an individual who has “demonstrated an exemplary commitment to teacher education in special education; preparation of future leaders and/or quality educators; and/or research supporting the preparation of teachers and/or delivery of services to children with disabilities, legislative leadership and scholarly works.” (UNCC Campus News)

According to his CV, Dr. Spooner was a Doctoral Research Fellow and Research Assistant during his 3 years at UF before working as a Post Doctoral Research Assistant at the University of Washington in 1980.  He served as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Appalachian State from 1982 to 1986.  He joined UNC in 1981 as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Teaching Specialties.

Dr. Spooner has been featured in numerous publications and participated in a many presentations, all surrounding his passion for Special Education.

In addition to professor, Dr. Spooner has held numerous other titles. The list includes President for the North Carolina Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, Senior Council Advisor for the North Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis (2007-present), Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Special Education (2006-present), and Associate Editor for Research and Practices for Persons with Severe Disabilities (2001-present).


Education Career Night

The college held its annual Education Career Night February 23 at UF’s Reitz Union for UF and Santa Fe College students.  The event featured several prominent education alumni who discussed their career paths since graduating from UF’s College of Education.  The purpose of the event is to showcase alternative career paths for education graduates…teaching is just one several options!

This year’s panelists included Brian Dassler (MEd ’02, English ed), Margaret Fields (PhD ’02, higher ed administration), Sandy Hollinger (MS ’82, reading ed), Robert McClure (PhD ’10, ed leadership), and Bob Muni (Med ’77, secondary ed).

Dassler is the founding principal at KIPP Renaissance School in New Orleans, a progressive charter school in the city’s impoverished Upper Ninth Ward. He was named 2001 Florida College Student of the year by Florida Leader magazine and Broward County’s Teacher of the Year award in 2007 and is emerging as a national thought leader on education trends.


Fields has been an assistant dean at UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2004.  She previously was coordinator of administrative services for the zoology department and vice president of operations for a research institute.



Hollinger is the deputy superintendent of schools at the Alachua County School Board.  She oversees curriculum, the exceptional education program and student support services for the school district. She has served as principal at Gainesville Eastside High and J.J. Finley Elementary School.



McClure is president and CEO at the James Madison Institute, a nonpartisan, public-policy research organization in Tallahassee.  He serves on numerous policy-centered committees and has published at the state and national level.  McClure is a member of Florida Gov. Scott’s economic advisory council and served on the Florida Elections Commission.



Muni is a Gainesville banker but he’s also a longtime innovator in non-traditional education. In the 1980s, he helped lead the grassroots movement that now allows home-schooled children in Florida to participate in local school extracurricular activities.  He also is the founding board chairman for the Florida Virtual School and helped start a private Christian school in Gainesville.



Introducing the UF Class of 2028

Lauren May (MED ’09, Early Childhood Ed.) is a kindergarten teacher at St. Pius Catholic school (Jacksonville).  For the past few years, May has found creative ways to promote college to her young class.  “College is the goal for graduates from St. Pius,” states May. “We start early with high expectations.”

May, who is VP of Athletics for the Gator Club of Jacksonville and has been awarded Young Alumni Coordinator of the Year by the UF Alumni Association, remains involved with her Alma mater and finds joy in promoting the university with her class each year. “It is fun to introduce them to the University of Florida in Kindergarten. I am able to share my love of the Gators with my students and their families.”

This year May’s class made t-shirts that read, “Future Gator, Class of 2028”.


Sloan Consortium Announces COE Alum as New Executive Director and CEO

Bruce Chaloux (MED ’72) has been hired as the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Sloan Consortium.

Chaloux is a national expert on online learning policy and distance learning. Prior to joining Sloan-C Chaloux served as director of student access programs and services for the Southern Regional Education Board.  He founded and directed the Electronic Campus, a 16-state consortia of some 300 colleges and universities in the South, that make available more than 40,000 online courses and 2,000 degree programs.

Previously, Dr. Chaloux served in the Graduate School at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, on the staff of the Virginia State Council of Higher Education and as a faculty member and academic administrator at Castleton State College in his native state of Vermont.

He holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Florida State University, a Master of Education from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Science from Castleton State. Dr. Chaloux previously served as president of the Sloan Consortium Board of Directors and has been active in many higher education leadership organizations.

Chaloux succeeds John Bourne, who is retiring from Sloan-C in March.  He will begin work in his new position on March 19.

According to their website, Sloan-C is a consortium of individuals, institutions and organizations committed to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of online education.


Higher Ed Alum Given Outstanding Grad Award

Anna Lebesch (EDD ’11, Higher Ed) is one of eleven chosen as this year’s Institute of Higher Education Outstanding Graduates. Lebesch, who is Vice President for Workforce Development at St. Johns River State College, was unable to receive the award at this year’s IHE Award and Reunion Dinner and instead was given the award by Dr. Dale Campbell during SJR State’s February Board Meeting.

Lebesch was featured in a press release by St. Johns River State College which can be found here.

Institute of Higher Education 2012 Outstanding Graduates

Congratulations to the 2012 Institute of Higher Education Outstanding Graduates!

On January 28, officials at the UF Institute of Higher Education announced this year’s 11 recipients at a special gathering of their peers at their alumni reunion and awards banquet held concurrently with the annual gathering of the Community College Futures Assembly in Orlando.

The competitive awards program recognizes selected professionals–all Ph.D. or Ed.D. graduates of UF’s higher education administration program–for their effectiveness as community college administrators, participation in collegewide strategic planning, community involvement, and professional activities at the state, regional and national levels.

To read about the award winners and for the complete article, please click here.

To see photos from the event please click here.

The 2012 IHE Outstanding Graduates. From left: Glenn Good (Dean), Anne Kress, Jeanna Mastrodicasa, Devi Drexler, Kristy Presswood, Carl Hite, Tina O’Daniels, Deanne Williams, Hank Dunn, Dale Campbell (Program Director).






UF-PKY alumna still has plenty to teach children—through poetry

UF education alumna Margaret Rosenberger (BAE ’49, MEd ’52), a fifth-generation Florida native and a 1939 graduate of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, has been writing poetry since she was 10. Now, at 90, she is looking to publish her latest book of poetry, “A Guide: Ways to Succeed,” to sway troubled elementary students away criminal tendencies and toward a more positive future.

The idea for the book was born in 2005 at a meeting of the Alachua County Children’s Committee…

To read the complete article, please click here.