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Research Spotlight: F. Chris Curran

Q & A with F. Chris Curran, Associate Professor in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

My research is fundamentally driven by an effort to understand the ways in which public policy can be leveraged to increase equitable educational outcomes for groups of students who have historically been discriminated against by public institutions.  In particular, I seek to examine how the laws, policies, and practices of public schooling shape educational outcomes for students of color, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and other marginalized groups.  My current research focuses on three strands: school discipline and safety, early elementary science education, and teacher labor markets.  My recent work has explored the effects of state zero tolerance laws on racial disparities in school discipline, the relationship between preschool attendance and early elementary science performance, and the ability of alternative route teaching programs to address teacher vacancies in disadvantaged rural school districts.  Across all of this work, I link findings to actionable items for policymakers and educators so that the answers to these basic questions can potentially improve the lives of students nationwide.

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Research Spotlight: Lori Dassa

Q & A with Lori Dassa, Director of Clinical Experiences and Partnerships in the School of Teaching and Learning

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

In my current position, I have the opportunity to work with clinical experiences and key partners (community, district) to develop cohesive and sustainable relationships to better the experiences of our teacher candidates.  These experiences in the teacher preparation arena at the College of Education lead to teacher retention.

Although this is more of an administrative role, it still aligns with my previous research.  My research has always asked the question: how do we develop and sustain the pipeline from teacher preparation to teacher retention?  I have followed an alternative perspective of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) that specifically relates to pre-service teachers.  The literature defines the idea of the Zone of Teacher Development (ZPTD) as, “the distance between what teacher candidates can do on their own without assistance and a proximal level they might attain through strategically mediated assistance from capable others i.e., methods instructors or supervisors” (Warford, 2001, p. 253).

To expand on this theory, my research question is, how do we develop a teacher preparation and induction program that scaffolds our pre-service teachers to enter and stay in the field, cultivating into strong veteran teachers?

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Reminder: FastLane and Research.gov Will Be Unavailable from November 8 until November 12

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is migrating its business applications to a modern and flexible platform from November 8, 2019 at 8:00 pm EST through November 12, 2019 at 6:00 am EST.

During this outage, there will be no access to these websites. Proposals cannot be prepared or submitted in FastLane and Research.gov, and project reports and cash requests cannot be submitted in Research.gov. However, previously saved information and uploaded documents in FastLane and Research.gov, including in-progress proposals and project reports, will be accessible after the migration is completed.

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UF Office of Research Provides Support of Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences

It is highly desirable for faculty to participate in the organization of national meetings that are sponsored by the University of Florida. To recognize the importance of these activities, the UF Office of Research will entertain requests for a modest level of cost sharing from the university to assist (for example) with travel expenses of an invited guest, student registration, an honorarium, preparation of materials for the program, etc. The source of support must be acknowledged in material related to the meeting.

The UF Office of Research has established guidelines that cap support for meetings in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 with the possibility of deviation from this level in exceptional circumstances. Only one allocation will be made in a fiscal year.

To apply, submit the form Support of Meeting, Workshops and Conferences to Dr. David P. Norton, Vice President for Research, P.O. Box 115500, 223 Grinter Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-5500.

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30 Helpful Tips for Preparing a Visit with a Funding Agency

The questions below might be helpful to prepare for a visit with a funding agency as you pursue external funding. We hope you will have a successful visit! 

  1. Which Request for Proposals (RFP) is in focus?
  2. Do you have a previously denied proposal that you will be revising for the current RFP?
  3. What funding have you already applied for?
  4. What are the funding agency’s current funding priorities?
  5. What has the funding agency already funded for previous versions of this RFP?
  6. What is the timeline/deadline for submission of required documents (e.g., Letter of Interest (LOI), preproposal, full proposal)?
  7. Have you identified the right division and program officer(s) to visit?
  8. Have you made any contact (e.g., email, phone call) with the program officer(s)?
  9. Have you made an appointment with the program officer(s)?
  10. Who are your collaborators? Will they be on the visit with you?

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Save the Date: The 2020 Provost’s Annual Faculty Gathering

Please save the date Friday, January 10, 2020 from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm EST for the 2020 Provost’s Annual Faculty Gathering: Building Trust in Research (formerly known as the Provost’s Symposium) at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the UF Cultural Plaza.

This event is free for UF faculty, academic staff, and graduate students to attend, but seating is limited.

Lock in your REGISTRATION today.

For more information, see http://trust.jou.ufl.edu/provostgathering/

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HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration

The UF Provost’s Office is now accepting nominations for the 2020 HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration. This is a great opportunity to advance the women leaders in your college or unit.

Please submit a letter of nomination and candidate’s CV (4 page maximum highlighting academic leadership) to Rosie Connolly, rconnolly@aa.ufl.edu by Monday, November 4, 2019.

Further information about HERS can be found here: https://www.hersnetwork.org/

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Fall 2019 NSF IUSE Program Proposal Preparation Webinar Series: Registration Is Open

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will offer the second 90-minute webinar about preparing proposals for the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program. The webinar on November 13, 2019 from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm will specifically focus on the Institutional and Community Transformation Track (ICT) of the IUSE Program.

For more information and to register, please click here.

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Fall 2019 NSF Grants Conference Webcast: Registration Is Open

The plenary sessions of the upcoming National Science Foundation (NSF) Fall 2019 Grants Conference in Boston, MA on November 18 – 19, 2019 will be webcast live to the research community.

View the plenary sessions to gain key insights into a wide range of current issues at NSF including the state of current funding, proposal preparation, merit review policies and procedures, and pertinent administrative issues.

For more information and to register, please see the NSF Grants Conference website.  Read more

International Education Week 2019: “Go Greater, Go Global!”

The University of Florida is pleased to once again participate in the celebration of International Education Week (IEW) November 18 – 22, 2019 under the theme “Go Greater, Go Global!”

The College of Education will host several events:

  • International Scholarship Roundtable, November 18, 1-225 Norman, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm
  • International Movie Matinee, November 19, 1-225 Norman, 2 pm–4 pm
  • International Festival, November 20, Friendship Plaza (across from 2-130 Norman), 1 pm–4 pm

For more information, see International Week at the College of Education or contact

Ana Puig: anapuig@coe.ufl.edu or Jo Kozuma: jkozuma@coe.ufl.edu

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Apply Now for the Strategic Communications Academy for UF Leaders and Scholars

The UF Center for Public Interest Communications in the College of Journalism and Communications and UF Training & Organizational Development are pleased to offer the Strategic Communications Academy for UF Leaders and Scholars designed for faculty, researchers, administrators, and staff ready to take their communication skills to the next level.

This program will meet monthly from March to September 2020 and include half-day and full-day sessions. A coaching session with a communications expert is also included.  The deadline to apply is January 22, 2020.

For more information and to apply, please visit the program website.

This lively, engaging, and science-driven program will help participants to complete the following:

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Awarded Projects for October 2019

Congratulations to Alice Kaye Emery for her award from the Florida Department of Education; Nicholas Gage, Ashley MacSuga-Gage, and Joni Splett for their award from the U.S. Department of Education/OSEP; Kristy Boyer and Maya Israel for their award from the National Science Foundation; Herman Knopf and Elizabeth Shenkman for their subcontract award DHHS Flow Through from the Florida Office of Early Learning; Philip Poekert for his subcontract award DHHS Flow Through from WestEd; Philip Poekert for his award from Study Edge; Philip Poekert and Paige Pullen for their award from the Florida Department of Education; Philip Poekert and Paige Pullen for their award from the Charleston County School District; Philip Poekert and Walter Leite for their subcontract award IES Flow Through from the University of North Carolina; Philip Poekert for his award from the Children First Professional Development Center; Philip Poekert for his award from Lauren’s Kids; Philip Poekert for his award from the Alachua County School Board; Paige Pullen for her award from Trident United Way; and Joni Splett for her subcontract award NIH Flow Through from the Medical University of South Carolina.

For more details, see the Awarded Projects table.

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Submitted Projects for October 2019

Best wishes to Maureen Conroy for her subcontract proposal NIH Flow Through from Virginia Commonwealth University; Carrie Geiger for her proposal to Major League Baseball; Lynda Hayes for her subcontract proposal Florida Department of Education Flow-Through from the University of South Florida; Walter Leite for his proposal to the National Science Foundation; Ashley MacSuga-Gage for her subcontract proposal Florida Department of Education Flow-Through from the University of South Florida; Michelina MacDonald for her proposal to the St. Johns River Water Management District; Justin Ortagus, Lindsay Lynch, and Pasha Antonenko for their proposal to the National Science Foundation; Philip Poekert for his subcontract proposal DHHS Flow Through from Florida’s Office of Early Learning; Philip Poekert and Paige Pullen for their proposal to the University of Florida Office of Research; Philip Poekert and Thomasenia Lott Adams for their proposal to the Technical Education Research Center; Paige Pullen for her proposal to Trident United Way; Matthew Schmidt for his subcontract proposals NIH Flow Through from the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center; Kimberly Driscoll and Matthew Schmidt for their subcontract proposal NIH Flow Through from the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center; Zuchao “William” Shen and Walter Leite for their proposal to the Spencer Foundation; and Wanli Xing for his proposal to the Spencer Foundation.

For more details, see the Submitted Projects table.

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