coE-News: April 15, 2008, VOL 3 ISSUE 7


Apr. 15, 2008


April 15, 2008




Apr. 15, 2008

You’re reading coE-News, an electronic newsletter produced monthly during the academic year by the College of Education News & Communications 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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Research funding. Research funding. Research funding.
Our peers rate UF’s College of Education higher than any other education college in the state — yet we dropped in the U.S. News and World Report rankings this year. A look at the rankings data will tell you why: research funding. While UF excels at doing a lot with a little, says Dean Catherine Emihovich, our relative lack of research dollars is beginning to have a bite. In her April message, Dean Emihovich explains how we will find the funds to match our talents. (more)

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Eric Smith

UF alumnus/Florida Commissioner of Education to speak at Spring 2008 commencement
Eric J. Smith, the COE graduate who reformed district-level school systems in North Carolina and Maryland before becoming Florida’s Commissioner of Education, will be the featured speaker at the college’s Spring 2008 Commencement for bachelor’s degree recipients May 3 at the Philips Center for the Performing Arts. For more information on the ceremony, go here.

Clark named 2008 Graduate Teacher of the Year
Her students describe her as genuine, candid and caring. Her research gets to the heart of one of most perplexing mysteries in education today—gender differences in learning. Small wonder that Mary Ann Clark, an associate professor in Counselor Education and B. O. Smith Research Professor, has been selected as the University of Florida College of Education Graduate Teacher of the Year for 2008. (more)

Ferdig named UF Research Foundation Professor
Associate Professor Rick Ferdig, an expert on virtual schooling and one of the leaders in the new movement to harness the power of video games in the classroom, has been awarded a University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship. (more)


K-12 teachers, administrators to share research in Inquiry Showcase
How do you get students to care about the course content and not just the grade? Will pre-writing strategies help first-graders with writing anxiety? How do you keep your high-performing students on task in classroom discussions about literature? Teachers from K-12 schools across North Central Florida have done research on these and dozens of other real-world dilemmas of the classroom. On April 18-19, those teachers (some 400 of them) will converge on Gainesville to present their results to each other at the annual Teaching Inquiry and Innovation Showcase, co-hosted by UF’s Center for School Improvement and P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School. For more information about the showcase, go here.

“Go-to” coworkers win COE Staff Member of the Year Awards
COE faculty and staff members in Norman Hall have long known Libbie Richardson and Ric T’Felt as their “go to” people for some of the thorniest problems in college administration. Now COE staff have made their appreciation official by selecting both Richardson and T’Felt for this year’s Staff Member of the Year Awards. (more)

Banquet to honor educators for public-minded scholarship
Some of North Central Florida’s most committed teachers, school administrators and education professors will be honored for their impact on the community in the College of Education’s Scholarship of Engagement banquet April 17 at the UF Hilton Conference Center. (more)

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Students, faculty offer 27 examples of “What’s Good in Education” in contest
Last month, coE-News asked you to look beyond the bad news—budget cuts, bureaucracy and all—and write on the topic “What’s Good in Education?” The results were fantastic: 27 tightly-written, well-reasoned essays from students and faculty who have seen our schools up close and have come away with hope for the future. Responses ranged from the deeply philosophical to the minutely detailed, from news-you-can-use to heartbreaking classroom narratives. Choosing a contest winner was difficult, and the overall submissions were so strong, we decided to post all of them on the Web—including the winning entry. Click here to see who won the $500 first-place prize, read all the entries, and make your own judgment.

SAGE symposium to showcase graduate student research
Faculty, staff and students have until April 25 to register for the SAGE Symposium, the annual summer event in which the college’s graduate students present their research. Sponsored by the Student Alliance of Graduates in Education, the event will be held June 6 in the Norman Terrace Room. Admission to the event is free and lunch will be served. To register, send an e-mail to with “Symposium Registration” in the subject line.


Students use graffiti in fight against domestic violence
Long before there was a blogosphere, there was the wall. High-traffic areas such as the 34th Street wall and the 13th Street tunnel have long been Gainesville’s de-facto free expression zones, where anyone could paint a message that everyone can see. In early April, students in Counselor Education Professor William Conwill’s undergraduate course on domestic violence took their message to the 13th Street pedestrian underpass, covering a large swath of the passageway with anti-violence slogans of their own creation.

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Ferdig to edit new journal on video games and learning
Associate Professor Rick Ferdig (STL) has been invited to become the first editor of The International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations—a new journal that will be among the few peer-reviewed publications in the growing field of video game studies. (more)

COE researchers win Biggs-Pine Award for religiosity study
Does your religion, and the amount of effort you devote to it, have any effect on your eventual educational outcome? Assistant Scholar Ana Puig and Associate Professor Mary Ann Clark recently won the Biggs-Pine Writing Excellence Award for a study that explores that question. Titled “The role of religiosity in postsecondary degree attainment,” the paper summarized the complicated results of a look at data on thousands of individuals, their religious beliefs, and their likelihood of finishing a bachelor’s degree. The paper appeared in the October 2007 issue of Counseling and Values, the journal of the Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVC), which sponsors the Biggs-Pine Award. Puig accepted the honor on behalf of herself, Clark and co-author and UF alumnus Sang Min Lee of Korea University March 28 at the annual conference of the American Counseling Association.

Snyder appointed to federal review panel for early childhood research
Patricia Snyder, the David Lawrence Jr. Chair in Early Childhood Studies, has been appointed to the Early Childhood Education Scientific Review Panel at the U.S. Department of Education’s primary research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences (or IES). During her three-year appointment, Snyder—who is known nationally for her own research in early childhood issues—will collaborate with colleagues on peer review of research funded by IES.

Dixon named ‘Young Emerging Leader’ in cross-cultural counseling
Associate Professor Andrea Dixon received the 2008 Young Emerging Leader Award from the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) at the annual conference of the American Counseling Association in Honolulu in March. In addition to her research into the role of “mattering” as a counseling tool, Dixon conducts research on gender and ethnic minority identity development, cross-cultural competence, and multicultural counseling.

Mendoza to co-chair 2009 AERA section on faculty, teaching and learning
Assistant Professor Pilar Mendoza (STL)—one of the dozens of UF faculty members who presented at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference in New York City in March—has been asked to co-chair AERA’s Division J (higher education), Section 3 (faculty, teaching and learning) at the organization’s 2009 meeting in San Diego. The position means Mendoza will oversee the review process of the proposals submitted to Section 3 and provide programmatic recommendations to the Division J Chair about the proposals selected to be part of the 2009 AERA Conference Program

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Mathematics educator receives UF Graduate Student Teaching Award
Doctoral student Emily Peterek, who teaches a mathematics education course in the Unified Elementary ProTeach Program, has been selected for a university-wide Graduate Student Teaching Award. According to professors in the School of Teaching and Learning, Peterek does an excellent job of modeling the best methods for teaching mathematics to young students, promoting critical thinking about mathematics, and reflecting on her own teaching. “The excellence of Ms. Peterek’s teaching is clearly evident in her dedication to preparation, implementation and analysis of her teaching,” said Professor Tom Dana, director of the School of Teaching and Learning.

Sandhu Award

Homeless work earns counselor education student a Multicultural Counseling Award
Doctoral student Michael Brubaker assembled a group of his fellow counselor education students for a three-hour counseling session with residents of a Gainesville homeless shelter—and found that the counselors were much more open to working with homeless people because of the interaction. This pilot study helped Brubaker earn the first Dr. Daya and Mrs. Usha Sandhu Multicultural Counseling and Diversity Student Research Award. (Pictured here are, from left, Assistant Professor Cirecie West-Olatunji, Brubaker, Usha Sandhu and Daya Sandhu.) (more)

UF honors Yacco with Multicultural Student Award
COE doctoral student Summer Yacco has been selected for a Multicultural Student Award, presented annually to a small number of UF students across campus. While pursuing her doctorate in counselor education (on the school counseling track), Yacco has helped UF students learn to manage their own inner pressures as a teacher of the undergraduate elective course Stress and Anxiety Management. A graduate assistant in various graduate-level courses, Yacco has also supervised master’s students in clinical experiences, and has presented her work at conferences. This fall, she hopes to intern with the counseling coordinator for Alachua County Schools.

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COE professors write book on ‘top 10’ of professional development communities
Professor Nancy Dana and Associate Professor Diane Yendol-Hoppey are known across Florida for their efforts to turn K-12 schools into communities of inquirers, where teachers improve their own practice by researching classroom problems and teaching strategies. Now the two COE professors are sharing their strategies for developing inquiry-based professional development communities in a new book from Corwin Press and the National Staff Development Council. (more)

Alliance presents best practices at Toronto conference
The UF Alliance program was selected to participate in the Best Practices Gallery at the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation’s “Neither a Moment nor a Mind to Waste” conference. The conference, held April 6-10 in Toronto, focused on strategies for broadening access to higher education for underrepresented students. For more information go to:

COE professor’s textbook goes into fourth edition
It’s difficult to keep a textbook up-to-date when the topic is education finance. As portions of the economy go through boom and bust cycles, schools can go from not-quite-feast to famine in a single year. COE Professor R. Craig Wood is doing his part to keep up: he recently completed the fourth edition of his textbook Money and Schools. Wood, co-director of the UF’ Center for Education Finance and director of the national American Education Finance Association, has worked with several states as a consultant on their education finance systems, and his textbook has been adopted by colleges across the country.


Behar-Horenstein, L. S. (March, 2008). The critical thinking skills toolkit. Presented to the Change and Curriculum Innovation Group of the American Dental Educational Association. Dallas.

Behar-Horenstein, L. S. and Mitchell, G. S. (March, 2008). Faculty experiences in a professional development seminar. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Dental Education Association, Dallas.

Garrett, M. T. and Torres Rivera, E. (2008, February). Opening session: Bringing the natural elements of relation to life in group work: A Native American Perspective. Invited presentation at the annual conference of the Association for Specialists in Group Work, St. Pete Beach, FL.

Goodman, R. D., West-Olatunji, C. A. and Mehta, S. (2008, March). “Advocacy and outreach in Southern Africa: Using critical consciousness to engage in social justice,” Poster session presented at the International Counseling Psychology Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

Herrera, Susan W. and Hagedorn, L.S. (March 26, 2008). Presented at AERA conference in New York, Assessing Global Competence and Global Consciousness: Measuring the Impact of Internationalizing the Curriculum.

Mendoza, P. (2008). How Doctoral Socialization Shapes the Academic Culture. Symposium: Expanding models of doctoral student socialization. The 2008 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New York City

Mendoza, P., Kuntz, A. and Berger, J.B. (2008). The effects of market forces on faculty work in science and engineering. The 2008 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New York City (research paper)

Mendoza, P., Mendez, J.P. and Malcom, Z. (2008). Financial accessibility in community colleges: Assessing the impact of Oklahoma’s Promise program vs. the Federal Pell grant and Stafford Loans. The 2008 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, New York City.

Molina, B., Garrett, M. T., Schmidt, B., Madwid, R. (2008, February). Closing session: Honoring the circle of life, love, and harmony. Invited presentation at the annual conference of the Association for Specialists in Group Work, St. Pete Beach, FL.

Oliver, B., Archer-Banks, D., Melendez, D., Maxis, S., Primack, M., and Basallo, J. (April 2008). Enhancing College Access for Poor Minority Students: A Perspective from a Leading American Research University. Toronto, Canada.

Oliver, B., Archer-Banks, D., Melendez, D., Maxis, S., Primack, M. and Basallo, J. (April 2008). Enhancing College Access for Poor Minority Students: A Perspective from a Leading American Research University. Toronto, Canada. Neither a moment nor a mind to waste: Strategies for broadening Access to Post-secondary Education International Conference.

Peabody, D. and Behar-Horenstein, L. S. (March, 2008). Beliefs and instructional practices among secondary teachers within selected high- and low-performing high schools. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

Thomas, V. and Garrett, M. T. (2008, February). Best practices guidelines: Examining the role of diversity in group work. Panel presentation at the annual conference of the Association for Specialists in Group Work, St. Pete Beach, FL.

West-Olatunji, C. A., Roysircar-Sodowsky, G., Goodman, R. D., West, C. A. C. and Brooks, M. (2008, March). “Culture centered disaster outreach: Working with AIDS survivors in southern Africa,” Paper presented at the American Counseling Association Annual Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii.


Behar-Horenstein, L. S., and Amatea, E. S. (2007). Organizational paradigms, school leadership and change: Contributions from Constantine’s theory. Educational and Society, 25, 27-49.

Behar-Horenstein, L. S.(2008). A Critical Thinking Skills Toolkit. An interactive website created for the American Dental Educational Association. 81 pages plus 4 videotapes.

Garrett, M. T. (2008). Culturally-alert counseling with Native Americans. In G. McAuliffe (Ed.), Culturally-alert counseling: A comprehensive introduction (pp. 220-254). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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

Goodman, R. D. and West-Olatunji, C. A. (2008). Transgenerational trauma and resilience: Improving mental health counseling for survivors on Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 30, 121-136.
Lee, S., Puig, A. and Clark, M.A. (2007). The role of religiosity on postsecondary degree attainment. Counseling and Values 52 (1), pp. 25-39.
Rameau, P., Louime, C. and Behar-Horenstein, L. (2007). A plan for the creation of a community college system in developing countries: Case study Haiti. European Journal of Social Sciences, 5, 104-120.

Tasso, K. and Behar-Horenstein, L.S. (2008). Attributes of patient-physician interactions in a teaching hospital. Hospital Topics, 86, 21-28.
West-Olatunji, C. (2008). Equal Access, Unequal resources: Appreciating cultural, social and economic diversity in families. In E. Amatea (Ed.). Building culturally responsive family-school partnerships: From theory to practice (pp. 144-168). Thousand Oaks, CA: Allyn and Bacon.

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A recent sampling of “media hits” from the College of Education:

The Gainesville SunDean Catherine Emihovich (03/29/08)—Dean Emihovich was quoted in a story on this year’s U.S. News and World Report rankings of graduate schools. She noted that the COE’s drop in rankings was probably caused by a change in how the college formulates its research expenditures and the retirement of several senior faculty members that has resulted in the loss of significant research funding. The Independent Florida Alligator also covered the story.

Inside Higher Education –UFCollege of Education (04/07/08)—Sherman Dorn, an education professor at the University of South Florida, mentioned UF’s drop in the U.S. News rankings in an editorial. Dorn suggested that the rankings would be more accurate if U.S. News looked at the quality of dissertations coming out of each college. You can read the piece here.

Inside Higher Education—Doctoral candidate Chris Mullin, Educational Administration and Policy (04/08/08)—Reporting from the convention of the American Association of Community Colleges in Philadelphia, the online education magazine covered Mullin’s recent presentation on rising tuition in community colleges—and community college administrators’ response to it. You can read the story here.

The Independent Florida Alligator—Professor and Director Tom Dana, School of Teaching and Learning (03/18/08)—Dana was quoted in a story on Florida PROMiSE, the new $5.9 million mathematics and science education initiative launched jointly at UF, the University of South Florida and the University of Miami.

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Peterson Death Education Series
Living and Loving Fully in the Face of Death and Loss: Facilitating Relational Resilience
Froma Walsh
8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m., UF Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, Century A

Scholarship of Engagement Banquet
6:30 p.m., UF Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, Ballroom
Contact: or (352) 392-0728, ext: 250

COE Distance Education Showcase
1-3 p.m., Norman Terrace Room

APRIL 18-19
Fourth Annual Teaching, Inquiry, and Innovation Showcase
Savannah Grande (Evening of April 18)
P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School (Morning of April 19)
Contact: Nancy Dana at or (352) 392-0728, ext. 299

Elluminate Advanced Techniques
12:15 p.m.—1:30 p.m., room G518

SAS Programming Course
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
See for more information
Contact: Cynthia Wilson Garvan,

Podcasting in Higher Education: Current Trends and Applications
12:15—1:30 p.m., room G518

UF Advanced Degree Commencement
9 a.m., Stephen C. O’Connell Center

Distinguished Educators Luncheon
Noon, Reitz Union, room 283
Contact: or (352) 392-0728, ext: 250

COE Baccalaureate Commencement
6 p.m., Center for the Performing Arts

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College of Education:
coE-News: Publications
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University of Florida

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, Copy Editor
Marta Pollitt, P.K. Yonge (