coE-News: April 19, 2010, Vol. 5, Issue 5


To predict student success, there’s no place like home: UF study


April 5, 2010




To predict student success, there’s no place like home: UF study

Current school reform efforts, like No Child Left Behind, emphasize teacher quality as the most important factor in student success, but UF counselor education researchers have identified another, stunningly accurate predictor of classroom performance—the student’s home address. Right down to the neighborhood and street number. (more)

UF professors work to influence how NCLB overhaul affects special education teaching

Two UF special education professors, Mary Brownell and Paul Sindelar, have applied their expertise to influence how the proposed revision of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law addresses the preparation and assessment of teachers of students with disabilities.

‘Virtual’ internships prepare student teachers for new world of online schooling

UF student-teacher John Giddo’s seventh graders don’t need to raise their hands to answer a question or pose their own. They can post their response on the class’s online discussion board instead. Giddo is one of a new breed of “virtual” teaching interns, spending part of his last spring semester at UF in an apprenticeship with the Orlando-based Florida Virtual School (FLVS), the nation’s largest K-12 virtual school.


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

Guest professor to lecture May 11 at COE

Asha JitendraPRESENTATION TITLE: Improving Students’ Proportional Thinking Using
Schema-Based Instruction
TIME/PLACE: Tuesday, May 11, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Norman Rm. 1331
SPEAKER: Asha K. Jitendra, Ph.D.
The Rodney Wallace Professor for the Advancement of
Teaching and Learning
Department of Educational Psychology
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
SPONSOR: School of Special Education, School Psychology & Early
Childhood Studies
(funding by USDOE grant; co-PI’s: Cynthia Griffin,
Joseph Gagnon, Stephen Pape)

STL launches online doctoral degree in curriculum teaching

UF’s School of Teaching and Learning has admitted the first cohort of 25 students into its new, online professional-practice doctoral program in Curriculum Teaching and Teacher Education (CTTE). The new distance-learning program connects advanced graduate study with the problems of teaching practice encountered by educational leaders and will prepare students to create a more seamless connection between theory, research, and practice. The course’s job-embedded, self-directed format allows practicing educators to earn an advanced graduate degree from UF while continuing their full-time teaching and family responsibilities. For more information, contact Professor Dorene Ross at

REM adds new minor in qualitative methods

The college has added a new minor in Research and Evaluation Methodology with a qualitative focus, to go along with its traditional quantitative methods track. Both options are available to any UF doctoral student outside the REM doctoral program. The quantitative minor emphasizes research methods, educational statistics and psychometrics. The qualitative focus adds a strong foundation in epistemologies, research approaches, and data collection and analysis methods suitable for qualitative inquiry.

Health ed virtual simulator opens 10-year run at Tampa museum

Pictured, right, School of Teaching and Learning doctoral fellow Joseph DiPietro demonstrates the “You, M.D.” virtual reality simulator at the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). DiPietro collaborated with UF researchers in computer science and medicine in creating the simulator, which places users in the role of a physician to help diagnose the conditions of virtual patients. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, was the focus of DiPietro’s dissertation. The simulator exhibit, designed to spark interest in medical careers, opened this month and will be on display at MOSI for 10 years.

Pictured from left, Staff Members of Year Sandy Durham and Jodi MountCollege business, events in good hands with 2010 Staff Members of Year

Congratulations to (pictured, from left) Sandy Durham and Jodi Mount, the college’s 2010 Staff Members of the Year. Sandy is a key point person in the college business office, while Jodi is the quintessential organizer of the college’s many events for alumni and employees and she also heads up alumni affairs. The dynamic duo was honored at the recent Staff Appreciation  Luncheon, which featured a lively, colorful Mardi Gras theme. (Photo by Jennifer Tormo, Intern, COE News-Commun.)

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Awards & Appointments


Cavanaugh named Fulbright Scholar for online learning project in Nepal

Catherine Cavanaugh, associate professor of education technology, will spend part of 2011 in Kathmandu, Nepal, representing UF and the U.S. as a Fulbright Scholar.

Special ed professor lands CEC honor for excellence in teacher education

A lifetime of research productivity, masterly teaching and inspirational leadership has earned UF special education professor James McLeskey the prestigious 2010 TED/Merrill Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, awarded by the Council for Exceptional Children. (more)

AMCD names Conwill VP, senior editor

William Conwill, assistant professor of counselor education, has been elected to a three-year term as vice president for African-American concerns by the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development, a division of the American Counseling Association.  He also was named senior editor for the group’s newsletter, The Multicultural Counselor.


Phi Beta Kappa inducts 5 from ProTeach

Five UF Elementary ProTeach students were recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and best known academic society. Not only does this prestigious honor recognize outstanding academic achievement, it’s also a tribute to the quality of instruction and mentorship the ProTeach inductees have received from UF education faculty and clinical supervisors. The new Phi Betta Kappa EduGators are:

  • Andre Gutierrez
  • Kathryn Hermansen
  • Lindsey Jameson
  • Claire Pulignano
  • Rachel Wright

New ECC officers elected

Congratulations to the new student officers for the 2010-11 Education College Council . . .
President: Alyssa Perez
Vice President: Randi Richardson
Treasurer: Kara Nesser
Secretary: Hannah Meckstroth
Historian: Jazmin Calderon
Outreach Coordinator: Ciara Rodgers

31 minority scholarship students attend FFMT conference

Thirty-one UF College of Education recipients of the Minority Teacher Education Scholarship, offered through the state’s Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., attended FFMT’s 14th annual Recruitment and Retention Conference in March in Orlando. (more)

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

National Research Team (Daniels, J., Malott, K., Schaefle, S., Conwill, W., Cates, J., & D’Andrea, M. (in press). Using group work strategies to continue the national discussion on race, justice, and peace. Journal for Specialists in Group Work (Special Issue on Social Justice and Group Work).

Conwill, W.L.(2010). Domestic violence among the Black poor: Intersectionality and social justice. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 32(1), 31-45.

Conwill, W.L.(2009). Factors affecting the presence of Black males on counseling and psychology faculties, pp. 287-315. In H.T. Frierson, J.H. Wyche, & W. Pearson, Jr. (Eds.), Black American males and higher education: Research, programs and academe. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Conwill, W.L.(2010). Interview with Edil Torres Rivera


. The Multicultural Counselor, 1(1), p.3.

Yendol-Hoppey, D., & Dana, N.F. (2010). Powerful Professional Development: Building Expertise Within the Four Walls of Your School. Thousand Oaks, CA. Corwin Press.

Gardner, S.K., Mendoza, P., co-editors. (In press, June 2010.) On Becoming a Scholar: Socialization and Development in Doctoral Education. Sterling, VA.. Stylus Publishing.

West-Olatunji, C.A. & Conwill, W.L.(In press). Counseling African Americans. Book in the Supplementary Monograph Series, Multicultural Counseling Primers. San Francisco: Houghton Mifflin Company/Cengage Press.

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Conwill, W.L. Rules for “Home-Grown Bruthahs” in Counseling and Psychology: What You Must Know. Presented at the 2010 Black, Brown & College Bound” Meeting the Challenge of Higher Education Summit Program, Tampa, FL.

Schaefle, S., Cates, J., Conwill, W., Daniels, J., & D’Andrea, M. (2010. Results from a National Community Building and Research Project: What Counselors Can Do to Combat Oppression. Presented at the Annual Conference of the American Counseling Association, Social Justice Academy, Pittsburgh, PA.

Mendoza, P. (2010). Does Student Debt Impact College Completion? A Causal Model. To be presented in May as a Fellow at the 2010 Houston Higher Education Finance Roundtable, sponsored by the University of Houston Law Center’s Institute of Higher Education Law and Governance, Houston, TX.

West-Olatunji, C. (2010). Trauma and Resilience in the Wake of Disaster. Plenary presentation at annual conference of the International Association for Counseling (IAC), April 16, in Bucharest, Romania.

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P.K. Yonge Update

Barbergators find harmony at PKY

The Gainesville Barbergators have struck a partnership with the P.K. Yonge choral program and will soon be making beautiful music together. The Barbergators, the local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, have started holding their weekly practices in the PKY choral room. In exchange, members of the four-part, a cappella men’s chorus will serve as mentors to PKY a cappella groups and will stage collaboratorive performances with the Blue Wave chorus.

Kathy Byrne earns rep as school’s ‘drama queen’

As if daily school life didn’t have enough drama, Kathy Byrne is doing all she can to bring even more drama to P.K. Yonge. That’s okay, though, because she’s the school’s drama teacher and, man, have she and her students been busy. In February, Byrne presented an essay on Hamlet at a teachers’ symposium in Dallas. In March, she directed two one-act plays by Milcha Sanchez-Scott at Santa Fe College. And this month her drama students performed several musical and theater acts–previously judged superior at district competition–at the Florida State Thespian Conference in Tampa. Their performance of “Dinner with the Mac Guffins” was the only one-act play chosen from the Gainesville area to represent District Two.

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-Comm press release or media coordination

*Feb. 11, 2010 – Harry Daniels, counselor education
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
(South Florida Education Blog)
Researchers explore ties between affluence, school achievement. Harry Daniels, a professor at UF‘s College of Education, recently wrapped up a study of two Florida school districts that tracked children from working poor families compared with more well-off counterparts.

Diane Ryndak*Feb. 17, 2010 — Diane Ryndak, special education
GATOR NEWS (UF Alumni Association e-newsletter)
UF tackles dire shortage of special ed professors. Under an $800,000 USDOE grant, UFeducation 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.

Feb. 28, 2010 – CROP program

CROP teens get glimpse of ‘real world’. Sixty-five high school and middle school students came from five Florida counties to attend workshops at the “Day in the Real World” student conference hosted by UF’s College Reach-Out Program (CROP). (See story)

*March 8, 2010 – Paul George, Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Stressed 8th graders prepare for FCAT. Pity the stressed eighth-graders: They are the only students who must take every FCAT in a single year. “Constant testing and assessment not only narrows the curriculum, it narrows the lives of the kids who participate in it,” said Paul George, UF distinguished professor of education emeritus. (See story)

Griff Jones as Galileo*March 8, 2010 – Griff Jones, UF Teach

‘Griff Jones and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’. UF award-winning science education teacher Griff Jones was selected to work with the IIHS  to make two videos about understanding the science behind car crashes. (See story)

March 17, 2010 – Suzy Colvin, STL

Organizations show off summer programs. Summer activities are important for children because they foster growth and help them maintain the skills they have learned, according to Suzy Colvin, associate director of Elementary and Secondary Education at UF’s  College of Education. (See story)

*March 2010 – UF alums Jamee and Gilbert Miller

Seminole County teacher, husband create UF fellowship in ed tech. Jamee Cagle Miller and her husband, freelance writer Gilbert Miller, of Sanford, have created a $30,000 fellowship in education technology at UF’s College of Education. (See story)

*March 22, 2010 – Harry Daniels, counselor education
Harry DanielsASSOCIATED PRESS NEWSWIRE, ORLANDO SENTINEL, PANAMA CITY NEWS-HERALD, UF NEWS WEBSITE, ESPN GATORCOUNTRY.COM GATOR NEWS (UF Alumni Assoc. e-newsletter), DIRECTIONSMAG.COM (leading geospatial technology trade publication), DOLLARS & NONSENSE (personal finance website), DAILY ME (personalized international news site), COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SYSTEM WEBSITE, DAILY KOS (premier online political blog, 2.5M visitors/month), MAUPINHOUSE WEBSITE (Professional Resources for K-12 Educators)

To predict student success, there’s no place like home. UF counselor education researchers have identified a stunningly accurate predictor of classroom performance — the student’s home address. The researchers attribute their finding to a profound correlation they documented between home location, family lifestyles and students’ achievement on state standardized tests.

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