EduGators Making a Difference: Dr. Kathleen Farrand

Congratulations to Dr. Kathleen Farrand (MED ’06) on her new position at Arizona State University as an Assistant Professor!

Recently awarded 2015 Outstanding CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) Graduate Student of the Year, Farrand has been making strides to improve the social and academic success of all early childhood students. With a focus of dramatic inquiry in inclusive classrooms for students in a variety of settings, her research has helped to implement progressive learning and engagement strategies throughout classrooms.

Aside from being an Associate Professor, Farrand also serves as the editor of the Visual Impairment and Deafblind Education Quarterly Journal and as an executive board member of the Division on Visual Impairments and Deaf Blindness.

She has published several articles to date, which have been presented at conferences for the CEC, the Association for Science Teacher Education, the Ohio Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Ethnography in Education Research Forum.

And she has not stopped there! Farrand has continually worked in leadership roles with early childhood students and continues to impress colleagues with her ability to relate to students with disabilities.

Go Dr. Farrand & Go EduGators!

Share your story at https://education.ufl.edu/alumni/update-info/

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Tammy Ryan

tammyryancostarica-library2Dr. Tammy Ryan (BAE ’83) is getting attention far and wide for her leadership in helping children to read and preparing teachers to improve literacy among K-12 students.

Ryan, an associate professor of reading education at Jacksonville University, was awarded the university’s 2015 Woman of the Year award for her outstanding contributions to the campus and the community, including running a reading lab to help improve the literacy of Duval County youngsters.

More recently, Ryan, established a 500-book library in Uvita, Costa Rica, a small village with few children’s books and no school libraries. Ryan, her three nieces and other volunteers rounded up Spanish and English books to establish the library at an after-school center for kindergarten-to-fifth-graders. They used mobile devices and apps to create a book inventory, provide library cards and set up an efficient checkout system.

Now Ryan is getting the word out to help others to establish similar libraries. Read more about her international work.

Go Dr. Ryan and go EduGators!

2015 COE Edugator Tailgate

The College of Education hosted an EduGator Tailgate at the Brick Plaza of Norman Hall Saturday, October 3rd. Over a hundred COE alumni and friends gathered together for food, drinks, conversation, and to watch some good ole’ football. The College of Education plans to host future EduGator Alumni Tailgates.

Thank you to all our alumni and guests who were able to attend this event!

To see all of the photos from the event, click here.

Alumni Spotlight: Maryanne Swegles

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This EduGator is Literally Going Everywhere – Maryanne Swegles

Maryanne Swegles (BAE ’77) is leaving New England after a 20+ year career in art education to see the United States in her new Airstream Flying Cloud. Maryanne is preparing to take on this new stage in life with her husband, retired Lt. Commander USCG Michael Swegles. Happy travels, Maryanne & Michael! Follow their blog: https://therollingtoaster.wordpress.com/

Go EduGators!

Share your story at https://education.ufl.edu/alumni/update-info/

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Ann Marie O’Roark

Oroark Congratulations to EduGator, Dr. Ann Marie O’Roark Ann Marie O’Roark (PhD ’74, foundations of education, MEd ‘72) received the 2015 Frances Mullen Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Psychology from the International Council of Psychologists. The award, presented on Aug. 3 at the council’s annual conference in Toronto, recognizes O’Roark for 37 years of leadership to the international association, including serving as president, secretary and director. Go EduGators!

Alumni Spotlight: Deborah Dugan

EduGators Who Are Making a Difference — Deborah Dugan

Deb DuganDeborah Dugan (BAE ‘80) is the current CEO of (RED), a non-profit organization that is working to end the world transmission of AIDS from mothers to their babies. Co-founded by music star Bono, (RED) took on Deborah Dugan as their CEO in 2011. Since then (RED) has partnered up with global corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, Bank of America and several others in efforts to make the prevention of AIDs easy and accessible on a mass scale. Prior to (RED), Deborah has served as President of Disney Publishing Worldwide, overseeing 275 magazines and publishing for more than 4,000 new book titles. Deborah has written for the Huffington Post and McKinsey’s Social Innovation publication and was also named one of the “100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes Magazine. Deborah is making us proud – Go EduGators!

Share your story at https://education.ufl.edu/alumni/update-info/

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Christopher Rampacek

EDUGATORS WHO ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE – Dr. Christopher Rampacek

We are proud of our alum Dr. Christopher Rampacek (BSPE ’77 MEd ’78) for reminding us that the EduGator Nation really is everywhere. For the past two years he has been working on contracted teaching assignments in China, Thailand and Malaysia involving physical education and sport coaching for the U.S. Sports Academy. Christopher says, “It is a great opportunity to represent my country, share my educational passion and influence my students to become better teachers and coaches.”
Go EduGators!

Share your story at https://education.ufl.edu/alumni/update-info/

Christopher R.

St. Augustine EduGator Alumni Reception

The College of Education hosted an EduGator Alumni Reception at The Garden’s at the Oldest Wooden School House in St. Augustine on May 14. Thirty COE alumni and friends gathered together for food, drinks, conversation, and to hear the latest updates on the college’s initiatives. The College of Education plans to host future EduGator alumni gatherings around the state of Florida.

Thank you to all our alumni and guests who were able to attend this event!

To see all of the photos from the event, click here.

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Ohlson collaborating on writing instruction and technology integration project

Tiffany Ohlson (Ph.D. ’11, curriculum and instruction) is using her position as a Research Fellow for Early Learning and Literacy at the University of North Florida’s Florida Institute of Education to collaborate with practitioners and other researchers to design and implement a blended professional learning experience for pre-kindergarten and elementary school teachers on writing instruction and technology integration.

The initiative is designed to gain knowledge about how blended professional learning sessions on literacy, research-based instructional strategies and embedded tablet technology can impact classroom instruction and student achievement; as well as increase teachers’ knowledge and skills in the fields of literacy and technology. Results will be shared at the state and national levels.

Ohlson has presented at international, national, and regional conferences on effective literacy practices and technology integration. She recently wrote a chapter to be published in the third edition of Comprehension Instruction: Research-Based Best Practices due out this summer.

Alumna Awarded Counseling Fellowship from NBCC and Affiliates


Melanie Varney (MAE ’14 & EDS ’14, Mental Health Counseling) was selected for the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program by The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors.  As an NBCC MFP Fellow, Varney will receive funding and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations.

Melanie Varney received her Master’s and Specialist degree, both in Mental Health Counseling, in 2014 from the University of Florida.  During her time at UF, Melanie received the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling’s (AARC) 2013 Master’s Exemplary Research and Practice Award.  Currently, Varney is a doctoral student in the counselor education and practice program at Georgia State University in Atlanta.  Her research areas include social privilege and oppression, the experiences of students of color in counseling programs, systemic racism, the long-term effects of racism, and intersectionality.

To read the press release, click here.