coE-News: February 2010, Vol. 5, Issue 4

Dean's Message

Improved accountability could elevate teaching profession


December 3, 2009



Dean’s Message

Improved accountability could elevate teaching profession

If teaching is to become widely recognized and acknowledged as the rigorous profession that it should be, all teacher preparation programs should meet national accreditation standards that not only address issues of program quality and continuous improvement, but also the impact teacher candidates have on student learning in P-12 settings. (more)


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With $800,000 grant, UF tackles dire shortage of teachers, professors in special education

portrait of Diane Ryndak

With an $800,000 federal grant, COE Associate Professor Diane Ryndak is leading a new effort to help institutions of higher education resolve the shortage of special education professors in the field of severe disabilities. (more)

Professor speaks at D.C. briefing on educational crisis facing minority males

Luis Ponjuan, assistant professor in educational administration and policy, participated in a national briefing on Capitol Hill Jan. 26 to raise awareness of the overwhelming barriers that minority male students continue to face in educational achievement. He was one of five national experts on minority education who participated in a panel discussion at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. (more)

Community counseling needed for U.S. relatives of Haiti earthquake victims, UF professor says

portrait of Cerecie West-OlatunjiA UF counselor education scholar sees an urgent need for community-wide counseling services here in the United States for family members and others close to the victims and survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. Since the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Jan. 12, Associate Professor Cirecie West-Olatunji has been involved in the efforts of two national counseling organizations to share information with fellow counselors about symptoms of traumatic stress and associated interventions. (more)


Visit the college home page for links to these and other reports about College activities, accomplishments and faculty-staff-student-alumni news and achievements.

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College News & Notices

UF CROP students tour–and march–in Atlanta

Forty Alachua County middle and high school students from the College Reach Out Program at UF participated in the 5th annual CROP Atlanta tour Jan. 14-18 and marched in the city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade (pictured above). They also toured several local colleges and historical sites. CROP is based at the College of Education, where collegewide fundraising efforts helped cover trip expenses. CROP is a statewide project designed to increase the number of disadvantaged students who successfully complete a postsecondary education. The UF-based program is directed by Bobby Welch and provides tutoring, counseling and other services for about 200 Alachua County students. (Photo courtesy of CROP.)

Alliance holds financial aid workshops

The UF Alliance recently held a series of parent workshops on student financial aid for college at each of its partner schools in Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami. Alliance staff assisted parents in completing their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms to ensure that students fully qualify for any available assistance. At press time, more than 80 families had participated in workshops held in three of the six Alliance schools. The workshops were to continue through Feb. 11.

Saving energy at Norman Hall

UF Physical Plant energy specialists will offer tips and advice on energy usage and conservation Feb. 24, 2 to 4 p.m., in a presentation to COE faculty, staff and students. Their presentation, set for Room 250, is tailored specifically for Norman Hall. The presentation sets the stage for the College of Education’s participation in UF’s newest energy conservation campaign, “Chomp Down on Energy”, with an ambitious aim of carbon neutraility and zero waste campuswide. Check out details at Contact COE Green Team Captain Christine Cook ( for more information.

Completed Census forms boost education funding

logo of 2010 census promoThis March, the 2010 Census will arrive in every Gainesville resident’s mailbox. The responses will directly affect the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal funding for education, healthcare, transportation and the environment. Off-campus students must fill out the form with their housemates and return it by mail before April 1. It is important that everyone in Gainesville fill out the census form to ensure funding that will help keep The Gator Nation–and the EduGator Nation–great. For more information, visit

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Awards & Appointments


portrait of Anita Zucker

Anita Zucker (BAE ’72) receives UF Distinguished Alumni Award

It’s difficult to pin a label on COE graduate Anita Zucker (BAE ’72), this year’s UF Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. She is a former educator, a lifetime education advocate, a committed philanthropist, a history-making businesswoman, and one of Charleston, South Carolina’s leading citizens. (more)

Dean named to blue-ribbon panel on teacher preparation reform

The nation’s largest accrediting body for teacher education programs has enlisted UF education dean Catherine Emihovich for a blue-ribbon panel of educators and policymakers charged with bringing major reforms to colleges of education and school districts. (more)

portrait of Matt HodgeHodge appointed senior director of development-alumni affairs

Matthew (Matt) Hodge has been appointed to the new position of senior director of development and alumni affairs at the College of Education. Hodge has more than 15 years of higher education fundraising experience, serving for the past five years as vice president for institutional advancement at Seminole State College. (more)

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*Indicates co-author is a current or former COE student

portrait of Andrea DixonDixon, A. L., & Hansen, N. (2010). Fortid, nutid, fremtid (past, present, future): Professional counseling in Denmark. Journal of Counseling & Development, 88, 38-42.

Flower, K.* & Clark, M.A. (2010, July). Tackling Male Underachievement. American School Counselor Association Annual Conference, Boston.

Alliance reports address learning gap, dropout preventions

The UF Alliance program reports staff made the following presentations at recent major conferences. At the 2010 Holmes Partnership Conference in Charleston, S.C., Alliance staff presented two reports: (1) Attacking the Achievement Gap through College Access and Outreach: The UF Alliance Experience; and, (2) Parental Engagement: A Necessary Ingredient for Addressing The Achievement Gap in Low-Performing Schools. Alliance staff also presented Identity and Resiliency: Key Components in Dropout Prevention at the Hispanic Organizations Program Enhancement (HOPE) Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their report highlighted the use of technology to enhance retention among students.

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P.K. Yonge Update

LATW performers work with PK Yonge theater studentsLA radio-theater group works with PKY student performers

PKY students in Sherwin Mackintosh’s third-period vocal ensemble class got a special treat Feb. 4 when two performers from L.A. Theatre Works (Kyle Colerider-Krugh and John Wesley) stopped by to lead a master class on monologues (pictured right). The touring LATW troupe made a Gainesville stopover for an evening performance at UF’s Phillips Center. The troupe is on an early leg of a national tour of “RFK: The Journey to Justice,” a live radio theater-style docudrama chronicling Robert Kennedy’s personal transformation into a champion and crusader for the Civil Rights Movement.

Middle school magazine rates superior

P.K. Yonge’s middle school literary magazine, Making Waves, has been awarded a SUPERIOR rating from the National Council of Teachers of English for their 2009 magazine. PKY was one of only two middle schools to receive the highest mark. Student editors were Austin Landis, Kaleigh Wasdin and Blythe Ferguson. Carolyn Harrell is the faculty advisor. 

Discount advance tickets for Curtains now on sale

picture of Curtains posterAdvance tickets for PKY’s spring production of the Tony-award winning murder-mystery musical comedy, Curtains, are now on sale. Get them now before prices go up. The PKY box office is open every Wednesday 3-6 p.m. Starting April 12 through May 2, box office hours extend from 12-6 p.m. weekdays. Reserved seating tickets may also be purchased online at A mail-in order form is available to print out on the P.K. Yonge website.  Advance tickets are $7 for students and $12 for adults until March 1, when prices go up to $12 and $15, respectively. For more information, visit the PKY website or contact the boxoffice hotline at 392-1850.

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COE In The News

*Coverage generated by UFCOE news release

*Feb. 4, 2010 — Diane Ryndak, special education
Under an $800,000 USDOE grant, UF special education researcher Diane Ryndak is leading a new effort to help institutions of higher education resolve the shortage of special education professors in the field of severe disabilities.  

*Jan. 21 — Cerecie West-Olatunji, counselor education
Since the devastating earthquake struck in Haiti Jan. 12, Associate Professor Cirecie West-Olatunji has worked with two national counseling organizations to provide community-wide counseling services in the U.S. for family members of victims and survivors of the earthquake.

*Jan. 20 — Luis Ponjuan, educational administration and policy
Assistant Professor Luis Ponjuan is one of five national experts on minority education who participated in a national briefing on Capitol Hill to raise awareness of the overwhelming barriers that minority male students face in educational achievement.

Jan. 14 & 20 — UF CROP Program
Forty Alachua County middle and high school students from the College Reach Out Program at UF participated in the 5th annual CROP Atlanta tour Jan. 14-18.

*Jan. 11 — Lastinger Center for Learning
About 30 teachers at Jacksonville Raines and Ribault high schools will have the opportunity to get their master’s degrees free if they commit to working at the schools for five years, thanks to a UF Lastinger Center for Learning program.

portrait of Catherine Emihovich*Jan. 5 — Catherine Emihovich
The nation’s largest accreditor of teacher education programs has named UF education dean Catherine Emihovich to a blue-ribbon panel of educators and policymakers charged with bringing major reforms to colleges of education and school districts.

Dec. 16, 2009 — Mary Ann Williams (alumna)
In a story about UF’s commencement ceremony, Mary Ann Williams, recent COE doctoral graduate in mental health counseling, was cited as an example of graduates who can still “land a dream job” in this difficult job market.

*Nov. 27, 2009 — Catherine Emihovich
Gainesville Sun
In a Speaking Out column submitted to the Opinions page, Dean Emihovich responded to policymakers’ latest criticisms that U.S. colleges of education are not sufficiently meeting the challenges of today’s tumultuous education world. She responds with examples of how UF, like many major education colleges, “are (indeed) up to the task of preparing the next generation of America’s teachers.”

*Nov. 20, 2009 — Lastinger Center for Learning
Aided by a $1.6 million grant from the Helios Education Foundation, as many as 500 middle and high school math and science teachers in Pinellas County will have a shot at getting advanced degrees and training, thanks to a new program being launched by UF’s Lastinger Center for Learning.

portrait of Catherine CavanaughNov. 20, 2009 — Cathy Cavanaugh, education technology
T.H.E. JOURNAL (Transforming Education Through Technology)
The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) selected Cathy Cavanaugh to receive one of its first annual Online Innovator Awards, recognizing her for important new research in education technology.

*Nov. 17, 2009 — Catherine Emihovich and Lastinger Center for Learning
There is “no more pressing problem” in schools than low achievement in math and science, UF COE Dean Catherine Emihovich told a UF summit on math and science education, sponsored by the Lastinger Center for Learning.

Oct. 29, 2009 — Cathy Cavanaugh, education technology
PASADENA STAR NEWS (Education magazine supplement)
Cavanaugh was quoted in an article on the emergence of virtual learning in K-12 classrooms, saying” “Within the last decade K-12 education has become much more consumer-diven. Virtual schooling happens to be an attractive and effective option.”

*Oct. 14, 2009 — P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School
A group of nearly 30 town and school leaders from Pike Road, Ala., visited P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School last week to “scout out” PKY as a model school for the town’s efforts to start its own school system.

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