coE-News: December, 2010, Vol. 6, No. 1

Headlines New interdisciplinary center will boost early childhood learning The growing movement to provide high-quality, early learning experiences for Florida’s youngest children received a major boost Tuesday (Dec. 14), when […]


December 15, 2010




New interdisciplinary center will boost early childhood learning

The growing movement to provide high-quality, early learning experiences for Florida’s youngest children received a major boost Tuesday (Dec. 14), when UF officials announced the creation of an interdisciplinary Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. (more)

Governor-elect taps UF learning center head for education transition team

Governor-elect Rick Scott has tapped UF Lastinger Center for Learning Director Don Pemberton for his education transition team. (more)

UF joins national ‘imperative’ to boost ranks, diversity of science-math teachers

The University of Florida is the newest member of a nationwide coalition of public research universities working to increase the number and diversity of high-quality middle and high school science and mathematics teachers in the U.S. UF is one of 125 institutions and 12 university systems to join the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI), launched in late 2008 by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. (more)

Alliance marks 10 years of improving college access for minority students

In 2000, only two seniors from Miami Carol City High School were accepted into UF. A decade later in 2010, UF enrolled 22 seniors from the inner-city, high-poverty school. School officials attribute the dramatic increase to the UF Alliance, the college’s statewide school improvement program that last month celebrated its 10th anniversary with a reception on campus at UF’s Reitz Union. Pictured right, Bernie Oliver acknowledges accolades for his five years as director of the Alliance program. He recently stepped down but remains on the education faculty. (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

COE launches open course for educators worldwide

The College of Education is launching a new online course that’s novel both for its content and because it’s free and open to educators across the globe. (more)

African Choir sets global mood at International Education event

Duncan Wambugu and his UF African Choir (pictured right) set the mood for the College of Education’s recent Comparative and International Education Week event, opening the half-day function with native music and dance from the people of the Dark Continent. (more)

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Awards & Appointments


T.L. Adams completes national women’s leadership institute

Thomasenia Lott Adams, UF professor in mathematics education, recently graduated from a prominent national leadership institute for women professors and administrators. Adams attended the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute for Women in Higher Education at the University of Denver. (more)

Mendoza joins editorial board, edits book

Pilar Mendoza, assistant professor in higher education administration, has accepted an invitation to serve on the editorial board of the journal, Community College Review, from 2011 to 2013. She also is co-editor of On Becoming A Scholar: Socialization and Development in Doctoral Education, a book by Stylus Publishing of Sterling, Va.

Vernetson leads FEAP advisory group for FLDOE

Theresa Vernetson, assistant dean for student affairs, was this year’s chair of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices advisory work group, composed of teachers, teacher educators and administrators. The group prepared revisions of the FEAPs for adoption into rule by the State Board of Education in November. The standards form the basis for all Florida teacher preparation programs, specifying the knowledge and skills required of every teacher certified to teach in a Florida public school.

Cavanaugh, Ferdig edit first book published by iNACOL

The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) has published its first book–and it’s co-edited by Cathy Cavanaugh, UF associate professor in education technology, and former COE faculty member Rick Ferdig. The book is titled “Lessons Learned from Virtual Schools: Experiences and Recommendations from the Field.”

3 COE scholars honored for excellence in research

The international journal, Teaching and Teacher Education, has selected three UF education scholars to receive its 2010 Nate Gage Award for excellence in educational research reporting. The journal honored co-authors Dorene Ross, Vicki Vescio and Alyson Adams for their 2008 published review on the educational impact of professional learning communities. (more)

State workforce council cites UF-aided effort to advance crucial math-science teaching

An unprecedented partnership between Florida’s three major research universities, including the University of Florida, is generating both results and recognition for their efforts to stem the crisis in mathematics and science education in America’s schools. (more)


UF student in early child-special education receives DEC’s doctoral student award

The Division for Early Childhood, part of the national Council for Exceptional Children, has named Tara McLaughlin, a UF doctoral candidate in early childhood-special special education, as the 2010 recipient of the J. David Sexton Doctoral Student Award. (more)

Science ed doctoral candidate earns regional award

Katie Brkich, a doctoral candidate in science and environmental education, recently received the Eddie Griffin Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Position Paper at the 2010 Southeastern Association for Science Teacher Education conference.  Her winning paper states that science education research should seek ways to make connections in earth science teaching to students’ everyday life. Rose Pringle is her faculty adviser.

Ed Psych’s Kwon wins APA dissertation competition

Education psychology doctoral candidate Heekyung Kwon won a 2010 American Psychological Associatiaon Dissertation Award for his study investigating constraint on absolute accuracy of metacomprehension assessments–addressing why even adult readers display significant gaps between their actual reading performance and the corresponding predictions or postdictions.

Alumni & Friends

UF President praises Lastinger Center founders at portrait unveiling

UF President Bernie Machen praised the contributions of Allen and Delores Lastinger during a recent unveiling of their portrait at the UF Lastinger Center for Learning. (more)

EduGator Sightings

Rolf Groseth (PhD ’78, education leadership) is the new chancellor of Montana State University-Billings. He previously was vice president for inter-campus affairs at Montana State University in Bozeman. His extensive experience in student affairs includes a stint at UF in the 1970s . . . Football coach Gene Chizik (BAE ’85), whose top-ranked Auburn Tigers will play Oregon for the national BCS championship Jan. 10, earned a degree from UF’s College of Education and played linebacker briefly as a walk-on for the Gator scout team  . . . Paige Pullen (BAE ’88, MEd ’90, PhD ’00, special education), a triple EduGator with three COE degrees, was  named the 2010 Outstanding Education Professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education . . . . . . The Florida Association of Community Colleges has chosen UF education alum James May (MEd ’99, EdD, ’07, curriculum and instruction), an ESOL instructor at Valencia Community College, as its 2010 Professor of the Year for innovative and effective teaching methods . . . Jennifer Graff (MEd ’02, EdD ’05, PhD ’07), a doctoral graduate in curriculum and instruction, recently was awarded one of six research fellowships at the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. The library, housed in the late-medieval Blutenburg Castle, boasts the world’s largest collection of international children’s and youth literature. Graff is an assistant professor in language and literacy education at the University of Georgia . . . Kathryn Kennedy (PhD ’10, curriculum and instruction) has been awarded the 2010 International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) award for important research for her dissertation on titled “The Essence of the Virtual School Practicum: A phenomenological study of pre-service teachers’ experiences in a virtual school.”

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P.K. Yonge Update

PKY students, UF preservice teachers help each other learn in online writing partnerships

Ninth-graders at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School are partnering with UF preservice teachers in a mutually beneficial Online Writing Partnership program that helps improve the high school students’ writing skills while providing real-world experience in writing instruction to UF’s teachers-in-training. Pictured right, PKY teacher Jennifer Cheveallier(standing) observes a small group of UF-PKY writing partners review an assignment. (more)

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