coE-News: October 15, 2007, VOL. 3 ISSUE 2


OCT. 15 , 2007


October 15, 2007




OCT. 15 , 2007

You’re reading coE-News, an electronic newsletter produced monthly during the academic year by the College of Education News & Publications Office to keep faculty and staff up-to-date on college news and activities. Click here to download a PDF version of this edition. You will need a PDF reader to view this document.

GOT NEWS? We want to hear it. Submit individual or unit news and calendar events of collegewide interest to for publication consideration. All submissions must be in writing or via e-mail and must include contact information for follow-up questions.

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How to survive – even thrive – in an era of budget cuts
When Tallahassee catches a cold, Gainesville sneezes. But no matter what emerges from the budget-cutting session in the state capital, Dean Catherine Emihovich writes, the can-do spirit of the UF College of Education remains the same, and the college is bringing in impressive amounts of grant funding from sources other than the state. (more)

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From left to right: Chris Mullin, Linda Hagedorn, and Ben Walker

EAP launches new journal for school leaders, education policy scholars
Concerned about math and science education in America? Want to know how the French school system is reacting to riots in the Paris suburbs? Need to know how to prepare East Asian graduate students for study in your college? These and other timely topics are addressed in the first issue of the Florida Journal of Education Administration and Policy, the University of Florida’s new outlet for scholarship on the issues affecting school leaders from pre-kindergarten to the university level. (more)

UF alum chosen as Florida’s Commissioner of Education
Eric Smith, a UF College of Education alumnus known for his reform efforts as a superintendent in North Carolina, has been selected to fill the highest post in Florida’s school system. The Florida Board of Education voted on Oct. 5 to offer Smith the post of Commissioner of Education, the top administrator for Florida schools. (more)

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Adams pens new education column for local paper
Publish or perish, they say. With dozens of articles and presentations to her credit, STL Associate Professor Thomasenia Adams is in no danger of perishing, but now she has added a new kind of writing to her list of accomplishments. Last month, Adams began co-authoring a monthly column on education for The Gainesville Guardian. She and co-author Karen Cole-Smith, director of outreach at Santa Fe Community College, addressed child-rearing issues in the first installment of the column, but their plan is to develop the column as a place to discuss African-American issues in higher education. The move is part of The Guardian’s plan to increase its circulation beyond East Gainesville and into the UF campus, Adams says. The next installment will hit the stands Thursday, Oct. 18. You can read the current column here.

Workshops to focus on distance education
Want to know more about using technology to support teaching and learning? Curious about what the college is doing to advance the cause of distance education? Throughout the month of October, the college’s Office of Distance Education is hosting events designed to demonstrate new technologies and introduce new concepts in the field. For more information, click here.

Explore a world of learning at international education event
Learning knows no boundaries – so why not look beyond the U.S. for answers to your classroom challenges? COE will honor International and Comparative Education Week with a half-day event starting at noon Nov. 13 in the Norman Terrace Room. Events will include a student panel on education in China and a speech by UF alumnus Suzann Cornell, of Whispering Winds Charter School. More information is available here.

Help the homeless at CSJ brown bag lunch
First she was an attorney and professor at UF’s law school. Then she became a writer and an activist for Gainesville’s homeless. Come hear Liz McCulloch talk about her days as one of the first volunteers for Gainesville’s HOME Van – a local program that provides services to the homeless population – and about her work on other social justice issues in a brown bag lunch, sponsored by Counselors for Social Justice, on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at noon in the Norman Terrace Room. All students and faculty are invited, and all attendees are asked to bring an item (canned food, socks, bug spray, etc.) for the HOME Van.

New Lastinger cohort to begin in January
One of UF’s most powerful efforts to reach underprivileged kids is about to expand into new territory. At the beginning of the spring semester, COE’s Lastinger Center for Learning will begin training a new cohort of teachers in Pinellas County. The center’s job-embedded graduate program is already helping 160 teachers – all from low-income urban schools – study and earn graduate degrees through COE. Earlier this year, more than 400 teachers from schools in the participating counties (Alachua, Duval, Miami-Dade and Pinellas) participated in the center’s Summer Institute, covering a variety of topics from best practices for developmentally appropriate instruction to the strengthening of school culture to support all learning.

College of Medicine seeks evaluation/accreditation expert for faculty position
UF’s College of Medicine is seeking candidates for a full-time, non-tenure faculty position in its Physician Assistant Program, a graduate-level, two-year program. Applicants should have education or experience in the development an educational evaluation system and be knowledgeable about the principles of a professional program’s national accreditation process. Applicants do not have to be physician’s assistants, but those who are must be eligible for licensure in Florida. For more information, e-mail

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NSF-funded study looks at how African American girls are steered away from science and math
Are you a “math person” or a “word person?” Ask almost anyone that question, and they can give you an instant answer. But how did each of us decide we belong with the math whizzes or the budding novelists? How much of this is our own decision, and how much is forced on us by teachers and parents? And what roles do race and gender play in all of this? These questions are the focus of a new study by three professors at the UF’s College of Education. Funded by a $439,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the study will look into the ways African American girls are steered – and learn to steer themselves – away from science, mathematics and other technical subjects. (more)

Federal grant helps UF to prepare next generation of special education leaders
Who will lead special education services in America’s public schools in the 21st Century? With baby-boom-age administrators headed for retirement en masse, and schools already scrambling to find qualified special education teachers, a serious shortage of qualified special education administrators may be just a few years away. Equipped with an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, two COE faculty members are preparing the next generation of leaders to make sure special needs students get the education they deserve. (more)

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Larry Lansford, in view of the shuttle

Adams honored by FATE
The Florida Association of Teacher Educators presented Professor and Associate Dean Thomasenia Adams with its Mary L. Collins Award at its annual meeting in Orlando Sept. 28-29. The award is presented each year to a Florida education professor who has made an outstanding and substantial contribution to the profession.

COE staffer lends PR talents to NASA
When he isn’t doing public relations for the College of Education, News and Publications Director Larry Lansford is, well, doing public relations. Lansford took a brief leave of absence over the summer to work as a volunteer for NASA, shepherding the press through the much-anticipated launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. For a day-by-day account of the experience, complete with dazzling launch pictures, click here.

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Professor speaks out on parents of successful African American schoolchildren
“Why don’t we give parents the credit they are due?” wondered Professor Cirecie West-Olatunji in a recent op-ed article for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Earlier this year, West-Olatunji completed a study of a group largely overlooked by the public: African American students who thrive in the school system, and the parents who nurture them. She shared some of what she learned about these parents, and their techniques, with the Alachua County School Board. In her June 18 Sun-Sentinel article, West-Olatunji celebrated these parents as “exemplifying the authoritative style of parenting: discipline coupled with demonstrative caring” and urged the public to pay more attention to educational successes in the African American community.

Dr. Conwill and his wife Professor Faye Harrison

Conwill presents at UF/NEA symposium on Florida writer
Assistant Professor William Conwill (shown here with his wife, Professor Faye Harrison of UF’s Anthropology Department) presented “The Portrayal of Domestic Violence in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God” Sept. 29 at a discussion on the famed Florida novelist. The event, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, UF’s Museum of Natural History, the UF African-American Studies Program and the Alachua County Library District, was the culminating event of the local installment of “The Big Read,” an NEA initiative to restore reading to the center of American culture.

COE professor addresses university/K-12 “rules of engagement”
Assistant Professor William Conwill presented “University-School Partnerships: the Rules of Engagement” at a conference on university-school cooperation Sept. 25 at the University of Tennessee’s Howard Baker Center for Public Policy.

Jones receives grant for incorporating Africa into science curriculum
In September, Professor Linda Cronin Jones of the School of Teaching and Learning received a grant from UF’s Center for African Studies for the development of materials to help K-12 teachers infuse African issues into the science curriculum. Earlier this month, she traveled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to present those materials as an invited speaker at the annual conference of the Association of American Schools in Central America, Colombia, Caribbean, and Mexico.

Professor consults on juvenile justice issues in Indiana, D.C.
Professor Joseph Gagnon, of UF’s Department of Special Education, recently filed reports as an expert and monitor in two court cases involving education in the juvenile justice system. Gagnon is an expert consultant on the education of incarcerated youth in the case District of Columbia Public Schools and Department of Corrections [defendants], and Court Monitor for J.C. et al. v. Vance, et al. He is also monitoring conditions of confinement and provision of educational services in the South Bend, Indiana juvenile corrections system for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.


Garrett, M. T. (2007).  Nuwati: Native American medicine, healing, and the sacred way of being.  A. Eisen, & G. Laderman (Eds.), Science, religion, and society: History, culture, and controversy (pp. 654-664).  Armonk, NY: Sharpe.

Cutting, C., & Gagnon, J. C. (2007). Teaching mathematics to secondary students with emotional/behavioral disorders. In L. M. Bullock & R. A. Gable (Eds.), Seventh CCBD mini-library series. Arlington, VA: Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders.

Terzian, S.G. & Grunzke A.L. (2007) Scrambled eggheads: ambivalent representations of scientists in six Hollywood film comedies from 1961 to 1965. Public Understanding of Science, 16, 407.

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Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the following dissertation defenses. Please RSVP if you plan to attend:

Doctoral candidate: Ronald C. Lester
11 a.m. Oct. 17, 290 Norman Hall
Title: “Student Success and Its Relationship to Occupational Status Score in the Los Angeles Community College District”
RSVP to: Linda Hagedorn,

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A recent sampling of “media hits” from the College of Education, many of them resulting from press releases or media requests coordinated by COE News & Publications:

Bradford County Telegraph (10/08/07) The college was mentioned in an article about U.S. Department of Education grants to Bradford County Schools. COE faculty are involved in two of the projects funded under the grants: the Let’s Talk Science project (a science initiative for K-5 students) and Exploring Science Content: Digital Strategies (an initiative to develop and evaluate online science modules for use in the high school classroom).

Yahoo! Finance – Associate Professor Rick Ferdig, STL (10/05/07) – Ferdig presented preliminary findings of his AT&T-funded study of online learning techniques to AT&T officials on Oct. 5. The press release about the event was reprinted on dozens of telecommunications- and finance-related websites, including the “news ticker” features for Yahoo!Finance, Reuters UK and the online edition of the German newspaper Die Welt.

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OCT. 16

CSJ Brown Bag w/Liz McCulloch, of Gainesville’s HOME Van
Noon, Norman Terrace Room
Please bring canned food or other item to donate to the homeless.

OCT. 16

Distance Education Conversation
Noon, 158 Norman

OCT. 25

Distance Education Showcase
3 p.m., G518 Norman

OCT. 30

Elluminate Demonstration
Noon, G518 Norman

NOV. 2

Homecoming – No Classes/Holiday for UF Staff

NOV. 2

Homecoming Alumni Gathering
(contact: or (352) 392-0728, ext: 250)

NOV. 12

Veterans Day Observed

NOV. 13

International and Comparative Education Event
Noon-5 p.m., Norman Terrace Room

NOV. 16

Grand Guard – UF alumni 50-year reunion
(contact: or (352) 392-0728, ext: 250)

NOV. 22–23

Thanksgiving Holiday

DEC. 5

Last day of fall classes

DEC. 14

Fall Advanced Degree Commencement Ceremony
3:30 p.m., Stephen C. O’Connell Center

DEC. 14

Distinguished Educators Dinner
7 p.m. Reitz Union
(contact: or (352) 392-0728, ext: 250)

DEC. 15

Education Commencement
2 p.m., Stephen C. O’Connell Center

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College of Education:
coE-News: Publications
Education Times magazine: Publications

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coE-News is produced by:
College of Education, University of Florida
Dean’s Office/News & Publications
Dean: Catherine Emihovich (
Director: Larry Lansford (
Editor: Tim Lockette (

Wendy Norman, Student Writer/Copy Editor
Marta Pollitt, P.K. Yonge (