coE-News: March 16, 2009, VOL 4 ISSUE 6

Dean's Message

Decision on budget reduction proposal will come after legislative session ends May 1


March 11, 2009



Dean’s Message

Decision on budget reduction proposal will come after legislative session ends May 1

Reports about the possibility of the College of Education becoming a graduate-level-only college have been widely publicized and discussed over the past couple of weeks. The proposal could entail the elimination or significant reduction of our highly regarded undergraduate teacher-preparation programs in elementary education and early childhood education. UF Provost Joseph Glover has asked us—along with the College of Nursing—to prepare an analysis of the pros and cons of such a move as part of the university’s overall budget reduction planning process. This is only one of several alternatives being discussed in dealing with budget shortfalls. I intend to share the analyses and our final budget reduction plan with the college community in an open forum on March 20, 2-4 p.m., in the Norman Hall Auditorium. Our final plan will be submitted April 1 to Provost Glover. No decisions about our budget proposals and the analyses will be made until President Bernie Machen reviews them with his cabinet and discusses the overall UF budget plan with the university’s Board of Trustees. (more)

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Top Story

Schoolyard Wildlife Program chosen as ‘success story’ for Obama’s environmental team

A UF-produced program that shows educators how to use school grounds as effective outdoor science learning laboratories has been selected as a model success story in a national report requested by President Obama’s environmental transition team. The “Schoolyard Wildlife Program,” created by UF science education professor Linda Cronin Jones (right), was one of three model environmental education programs identified by the state of Florida. (more)

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News & Notices

COE scholars will be out in force at AERA annual meeting

As always, the College of Education will have a major presence at this year’s annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, April 12-17 in San Diego. AERA’s online program lists some 30 COE faculty and a like-sized contingent of graduate students presenting or participating in more than 60 presentations, panel discussions and meetings. You can view or print out a complete list of presentations by COE faculty and students, in PDF format, by clicking here. (more)

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Awards & Appointments

NEA fetes retired ex-professor Walter L. Smith

The National Education Association has announced it will honor Walter L. Smith (right), a former professor and graduate coordinator in educational administration and policy, for educational activities “contributing to international understanding and motivating youth to work for world peace.” Smith will receive the NEA’s prestigious 2009 Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award July 2 at the association’s 2009 Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly in San Diego. He was a member of the UF education faculty from 1995-2000. (more)

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Lefave, M., Behar-Horenstein, L.S. & Dix, A. C. (2009). “Productivity and relevance of the curriculum professors’ research.” Journal of Faculty Development 22(3), 179–190.

Goodman, R. D., & West-Olatunji, C. A. (2008). “Traumatic stress, systemic oppression, and resilience in post-Katrina New Orleans.” Spaces for Difference: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 1(2), 51–68.

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P. K. Yonge News

The P.K.Yonge Vocal Ensemble performed at the UF President’s Home recently for a benefit for Climb for Cancer. The performance had an African theme centered around climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Among other selections, the group performed a Shongan song that Sherman Mackintosh, instructor and director of the PKY Performing Arts Center, brought from South Africa, as well as “He Lives in You” from the musical “The Lion King.” Climb For Cancer is a not-for-profit foundation which funds leading-edge cancer research while supporting patients who need treatment now.

High schoolers break new ground at Spanish conference

Advanced placement Spanish Literature students  Jennifer Aranda-Cordero (12th grade), Celeste de la Llana (11th grade) and Gisela Fernández (11th grade) presented literary research papers at the 9th Spanish Graduate Association (SAGA) Annual Colloquium  on Feb. 27 at the University of Central Florida.  Previously, only graduate students or faculty members were invited to participate in the conference. This year, however, high school students were included.  Students chose and researched literary topics, using at least 10 books or literary journals. Each then wrote a six-page paper and presented her findings in a 20-minute talk. Conference presentation can be daunting, even for seasoned graduate students. But high school students are seldom expected to perform at this level of scholarship. PKY’s AP Spanish teacher Grisell Santiago, expected more, though, and she got it. The conference committee was so impressed that they have decided to continue inviting high school students.

PKY instructors receive grant for greening the golden rule

Ninth grade instructors Mickey MacDonald and Jennifer Cheveallier have received a 2009 Toyota Tapestry Large Grant worth $10,000 through the National Science Teachers Association.  Out of 459 applications, their grant proposal was one of only 50 selected to receive funding.  They will implement their project – titled “Educating Sustainability and Social Responsibility through P.K. Yonge’s Community Garden and Farmers’ Market” – during the 2009-10 school year. MacDonald and Cheveallier will guide their 9th grade biology students from garden planning to selling their food crops at the planned on-campus farmers’ market. Proceeds will go to the St. Francis House homeless shelter in downtown Gainesville. Students will also visit the shelter, interview homeless guests and compile a book of essays—“Giving Voice to the Homeless.”

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In the News

The Independent Florida Alligator (2/3/09)—Troy Sadler, Science Education

The Alligator announced Assistant Professor Troy Sadler’s receipt of one of science education’s premier honors. The National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST) will award Sadler its Early Career Research Award at the group’s annual conference in April.

The Gainesville Sun (2/25/09)—College of Education

The Gainesville Sun ran a story about the College considering the move to becoming a graduate-program only school.

The Gainesville Sun (3/1/09)—Cathy Cavanaugh, Kara Dawson, Distance Learning

In response to an opinion column by journalist Bill Maxwell about distance learning, the Gainesville Sun printed an article written by the School of Teaching and Learning’s Cathy Cavanaugh, assistant professor, and Kara Dawson, associate professor. Citing their own professional experience as well as current research, Cavanaugh and Dawson point out that distance learning “works very well for millions of students who learn with instructors prepared to lead 21st century learning environments.”

The Independent Florida Alligator/National Education Association (3/1/09)—College of Education

The Alligator covered a March 4 candlelight vigil staged by approximately 160 students, faculty and community members in protest of the proposed cuts in undergraduate programs at the College. The story also was picked up by the National Education Association (NEA) website.

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