coE-News: September 15, 2008, VOL 4 ISSUE 1


Sept. 17, 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.


September 17, 2008




Sept. 17, 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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Cuts and Restructuring—or, I Know What You Did Last Summer
This summer of budget cuts and departmental restructuring was a difficult season for the College of Education, but Dean Catherine Emihovich sees a new story emerging—one of determination and triumph amid adversity. (more)

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Brownell, Ross named Fien Professors
Professors Mary Brownell and Dorene Ross are the latest recipients of COE’s prestigious Fien Professorship. (more)

Kranzler named acting head of COE research program
Educational Psychology professor John Kranzler, a veteran of COE administration, is the new Acting Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development. (more)

Professor, husband, invest in the future of COE faculty
As UF struggled with statewide budget shortfalls this summer, Professor Dorene Ross and her husband Jack established a travel fund to help junior faculty members present their research. (more)

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Author to discuss “The Trouble with Boys”
It’s one of the hottest topics in education today. Are boys, as a group, really falling behind in school? Are educators unintentionally doing something to cause the lag—or is the problem in the culture outside the classroom? Newsweek writer Peg Tyre shook up popular thinking on the subject with her cover story, “The Boy Crisis.” Now she has penned a book, The Trouble with Boys, which further explores the topic. Tyre will visit UF Oct. 28 to discuss her book, in a free symposium from 4:30 -6 p.m. in the Norman Terrace Room. Seating is limited, so please RSVP to Rosie Warner at by Oct. 17.

COE Brick For You CampaignLeave your legacy with a commemorative brick

There’s a new way you can ensure your place in the history—and the future—of the College of Education. Now you can celebrate cherished UF memories, honor a colleague or favorite professor, or commemorate a birthday, retirement or graduation with a personalized brick paver at the COE’s Norman Hall Plaza (by the west archway entrance facing SW 13th Street). Space is limited, so act now!

See COE’s engaged scholarship at first Faculty Research Showcase
Fourteen College of Education professors and their co-investigators will present some of the groundbreaking work they’re doing to transform education in the college’s first-ever Faculty Research and Engaged Scholarship Showcase, to be held Homecoming weekend, Oct. 23, at the Paramount Plaza Hotel. If you want to attend, reply by Oct. 6, to For more information, go to

CROP brings new meaning to “teaching to the test”
In this age of school accountability, educators often complain that they are being pushed to “teach to the test.” After all, how are kids going to become true lifelong learners if their academic aspirations begin and end with passing the FCAT? The College Reach-Out Program, a state program based at UF’s College of Education, is working to correct that. In June, CROP held a summer camp that teaches all three FCAT subjects through the lens of future careers. (more)

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Study links religious devotion to academic outcomes
Students who identify themselves as “very religious” often have better educational outcomes than their less religious counterparts, according to a study by COE Research Director Ana Puig and Associate Professor Mary Ann Clark. (more)

Social Bullying‘Social bullying’ linked to adult depression
Sticks and stones may break bones, but names can also hurt. A study by COE doctoral student Allison Dempsey found that young victims of “relational aggression”—the form of bullying that involves name-calling and social shunning—can experience depression and anxiety that follows them well into adulthood. (more)

Future doctors share too much on Facebook, COE researchers say
Warnings about the dangers of Facebook have become just another part of the curriculum for pre-service teachers. But according to a study by COE researchers, students in another discipline—medicine—still have a lot to learn about what they should and shouldn’t post online. (more)

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Daniels gets Alumnus of Year nod
Professor Harry Daniels has been selected as Alumnus of the Year by the counselor education department at the University of Iowa. A 1978 graduate of UI, Daniels has been with UF’s top-ranked counselor education program since 1996 and is a past chair of the Counselor Education Department. He has already been featured in a profile in UI’s alumni magazine.

ConwillBlack Student Assembly honors Conwill
UF’s Black Student Assembly presented Assistant Professor William Conwill with its 2008 Scholarship Award in August, recognizing his long history of work on the intersection of race, gender and class in mental health counseling.

Dixon gets grant for study on “mattering” and high-achieving young African-American men
Counselor Education Assistant Professor Andrea Dixon and COE alumnus Catherine Tucker (now a faculty member at Indiana State University) are sharing a $1,000 grant from the North Central Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors for research they are conducting in Indianapolis, Ind. schools. The study is looking at the motivations of high-achieving male African-American students, with an eye toward the role of “mattering”—a student’s overall sense of being important to the community—in their academic success.

Fu given honorary doctorate at DePaul
Professor Danling Fu traveled to Chicago in June to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from DePaul University. In announcing the honorary doctorate, DePaul cited Fu for “pioneer(ing) comprehensive approaches to writing development and literacy for English language learners.”

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Doctoral student selected for training on kindergarten database
Rachael Goodman, a doctoral student in counselor education, was one of 16 graduate students from across the nation selected by the National Center for Educational Statistics for training on the use of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study database for the kindergarten class of 1998-99. Goodman will use the database in support of her research into academic underachievement among primary school students.

Major fellowship award for COE doctoral candidate
Jennifer Drake Patrick, a doctoral candidate in reading education, will receive a $25,000 stipend as part of an Adolescent Literacy Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Education. Patrick will use the funds to support work on her research project, titled “Secondary Science Teachers Learning to Teach Science as Specialized Discourse.”

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RyndakState Department asks Ryndak to speak on special education issues in Ukraine
Special Education Associate Professor Diane Ryndak spent late May at Crimea State University, speaking to Ukrainian school and government officials about methods and legislation to help better integrate people with disabilities into society in the Ukraine. She traveled to the former Soviet republic at the request of the U. S. State Department’s Office of International Information Programs, which hopes to share U.S. professors’ expertise on education issues with the Ukrainian government as that nation reforms its school system.

Brownell to speak at Global Summit in D.C.
Special Education Professor Mary Brownell will be one of the featured speakers at the U.S. Department of Education’s 2008 Global Summit on Education, to be held Sept. 19-20 in Washington, D.C. The theme of this year’s summit is “inclusive practices for students with disabilities,” and Brownell will speak in a panel discussion on teacher preparation in special education. Some 35 ministers of education worldwide are expected to attend the event. Brownell, co-holder of the college’s Irving and Rose Fien Professorship in Education, was personally invited to speak at the summit by John Hager, the U.S. assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services.

GamingGroundbreaking educational gaming handbook hits the press
Associate Professor Rick Ferdig is celebrating the August publication of the Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education, a three-volume, 1,759-page compendium that is believed to be the first collection of peer-reviewed research on the educational uses of video games. Ferdig edited the volume, which includes more than 150 articles from researchers in 15 countries.


Amatea, E. S. (2009).Building culturally responsive family-school relationships. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Conwill, W.L., & Jooma, K (2008). Thwarting ethnoviolence against Muslim women: Performing identity in social action. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, 1, 30-47.

Echevarria-Doan, S. & Hanney, H. (2009). Understanding family stress and change. In E. Amatea, Building culturally responsive family-school partnerships: From theory to practice (pp. 115-143). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Leibforth, T. & Clark, M.A. (2009). Getting acquainted with families. In E. Amatea, Building culturally responsive family-school partnerships: From theory to practice (pp. 201-251). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Miller, M. D. (2008). Data for school improvement and educational accountability: Reliability and validity practice. In K.E. Ryan & L.A. Shepard (Eds.), The future of test-based educational accountability. New York: Routledge.

Thomas, S. P., Thompson, C., Pollio, H. R., Greenberg, K., Conwill, W., Sall, A., Klukken, G., Davis, M. W., & Dias-Bowie, Y. (2007). Experiences of struggling African American students at a predominantly white university. Research in the Schools, 14, 1-17.

Torres RiveraTorres-Rivera, E., Nash, S., Sew, C. W. B. , & Ibrahim, S. B. (2008). Training school counselors in Singapore: First impressions of a multicultural challenge. Journal of Counseling and Development, 86, 219-223.

Tucker, C., & Smith-Adcock, S. (2009).Creating a support network for families in crisis. In E. Amatea, Building culturally responsive family-school partnerships: From theory to practice (pp. 337-363). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

West-Olatunji, C. (2009). Equal Access, Unequal resources: Appreciating cultural, social and economic diversity in families. In E. Amatea, Building culturally responsive family-school partnerships: From theory to practice (pp. 144-168). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

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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This summer, the College of Education said goodbye to a former dean and two of its closest friends, both of whom died while actively engaged in efforts to realize the goal of education for all.

SharpeBert Sharp, former COE dean and faculty member
Bert Sharp, who led the college through the turbulent, transformative 1970s, died in Naples Aug. 31. He was 81.Sharp was a faculty member in Counselor Education. As dean, he launched an abitious plan to transform the COE into a research institution worthy of national respect. (more)

Margaret Early, quiet benefactor of college access
Most of her neighbors knew Margaret Early as a well-respected emeritus professor and an authority on the teaching of English literature. Few knew that she was spending her savings on a plan to offer a college education to an entire class of urban school kids. (more)

Gloria Merriex, innovative mathematics teacher
Gloria Merriex may have had the answer. Working with struggling mathematics students at Duval Elementary School, she developed a music-based mathematics curriculum that tapped into her students talents and interests—and her work with the UF Lastinger Center for Learning was about to bring her nationwide renown. (more)

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

Miami Herald (08/04/08)Assistant Dean for Student AffairsTheresa Vernetson
Vernetson was quoted in a story on the recent sudden change in the labor market for K-12 teachers. While state officials were only recently decrying a shortage of qualified educators, recent budget cuts have forced districts to cut faculty positions still further—with the result that new teaching positions have become relatively scarce. Vernetson commented that the situation seems like a “drought, for now.”

Columbus (Ohio) Local News (08/05/08)– Dean Catherine Emihovich
Dean Emihovich, current president of the Holmes Partnership, was quoted in a news obituary for Columbus Education Association president John Grossman, who was a board member for the Holmes Partnership.

Gainesville Sun (07/31/08)—Professor Linda Serra Hagedorn
Hagedorn was quoted in a story on the name change that turned Santa Fe Community College’s into Santa Fe College—part of a growing trend toward dropping the “community” from the names of institutions in the community college system.

BlackAssociated Press (07/23/08)—Erik Black, graduate student
Black was quoted in an Associated Press story on a study of medical students’ Facebook profiles, which Black co-authored with Associate Professor Rick Ferdig and B.O. Smith Professor Kara Dawson in Education Technology. The story was also covered by MSNBC, Fox News Channel, The Miami Herald, The Palm Beach Post, The Orlando Sentinel, The (Austin) Daily Texan, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), WPMI-TV (Pensacola), WKRG-TV (Mobile, Ala.), WMAR-TV (Baltimore, Md.), WSB-TV (Atlanta), KPTV (Portland, Ore.), KMGH-TV (Denver, Colo.), WGAL (Susquehanna Valley, Pa.), The Boston (Mass.) Herald, The Naples Daily News, The Gainesville Sun, and The Independent Florida Alligator.

(Melbourne) Florida Today (07/13/08)—COE Research Director Ana Puig & B.O. Smith Research Professor Mary Ann Clark
Florida Today covered a study by Puig, Clark and UF alumnus Sang Min Lee, which found that students who identify as “very religious” in middle school are more likely to finish college than students who have a religious background, but describe themselves as “not religious” or “somewhat religious.” The study was also covered in The Orlando Sentinel’s “School Zone” blog, the St. Petersburg Times “Gradebook” blog, The (Austin) Daily Texan, The Independent Florida Alligator and WRUF-FM.

Gainesville Sun (07/02/08)—Dean Catherine Emihovich
The Sun covered “From Innocence to Hannah Montana: Childhood through the Visual Arts,” a new course, taught by Dean Emihovich and Harn Museum director Rebecca Nagy, which looks at depictions of childhood in art and popular culture.

Gainesville Sun (07/02/08)—Margaret Early (retired COE professor)
The Sun, The Ocala Star-Banner, and the The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post Standard all carried news obituaries on former COE professor Margaret Early, who died at her home in the Oak Hammock retirement community. After her death, Early’s friends in Gainesville discovered that she had quietly used her savings to offer college scholarships to an entire class of students in an urban New York school.

Gainesville Sun (06/16/08) –Jeff Boyer, graduate student
Jeff Boyer is the director of Digital Kids Tech Camp, a summer camp in which elementary-age children learn to create their own video games. The camp was covered in the Sun and by WUFT-TV. You can see the WUFT story here.

Inside Higher Education (06/16/08) — Professor Linda Hagedorn
Hagedorn was quoted in an article on Florida’s attempts to enlist community colleges to fill some of the roles traditionally filled by universities.

Gainesville Sun (06/15/08) — B.O. Smith Research Professor Mary Ann Clark
Clark wrote an opinion piece for the paper, responding to claims that there is no “gender gap” in academic achievement and outlining her own research on underachievement among male students.

FangFort Myers News-Press (05/25/08)—Associate Professor Zhihui Fang
Fang was quoted in a story about the Lee County School Board’s efforts to school K-12 students in the “lost art” of spelling—which is a growing problem as dictionary spellings give way to the truncated language of e-mail and instant messaging. Fang said that among its other virtues, bad spelling can give people a bad first impression of the writer.

Gainesville Guardian (05/23/08)—Lastinger Center Director Don Pemberton
Pemberton wrote a tribute to Gloria Jean Merriex, a Duval Elementary teacher, who died in May. Widely known for her groundbreaking approach to teaching mathematics, Merriex was working with the UF Lastinger Center for Learning on a number of project when she died. Pemberton was also quoted in news obituaries for Merriex in The Guardian, The Gainesville Sun, and The Independent Florida Alligator

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Sept. 15
Fall Faculty Meeting
2-4 p.m., room 250
Contact: Jodi Mount, or
(352) 392-0728 ext. 250

Sept. 24
Welcome Back
Ice Cream Social for COE Students
2:45 p.m.—4 p.m.,
Norman Courtyard
Contact: Jodi Mount, or
(352) 392-0728, ext. 250

Oct. 23
Faculty Research and Engaged Scholarship Showcase
5-7:30 p.m.,
Paramount Plaza Hotel
RSVP to:

Oct. 28
Symposium with Peg Tyre, author of The Trouble with Boys
2-4 p.m.,
Norman Terrace Room
RSVP to:

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UF: University of Florida

COE: College of Education

FPC: Faculty Practice Council

News & Communications: COE News & Communications

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coE-News is produced by:

College of Education
University of Florida

College Support Area
Catherine Emihovich

News & Communications
Director and Editor:
Larry Lansford

Marta Pollitt, P.K. Yonge