coE-News: April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011 The Friday Post                                                   […]


April 8, 2011



April 8, 2011 The Friday Post                                                             Vol. 6, No. 4

You’re reading coE-News, an electronic newsletter produced several times a year by the College of Education News & Communications Office to keep faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends up-to-date on college news, activities and achievements.

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. (Include full titles and program areas of featured faculty and staff; for featured students, include their program area, degree status and major or concentration area.)

Dean’s Message

Dean Catherine EmihovichDeparting Dean Emihovich reflects on her tenure as head of COE, looks to future

As UF Education Dean Catherine Emihovich prepares to step down from the College’s top administrative post in August, she reflects in this column on her tenure as dean, cites the many accomplishments of COE faculty, staff and students that occurred “on her watch,” and looks ahead to the transition that both she and the College will face in the months and years to come. (more)


COE scholars out in force at massive AERA annual meeting

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg...5 AERA presentations

More than 80 UF College of Education faculty and graduate students will be among the 13,000 scholars who are gathering April 8-12 in New Orleans for the 92nd annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to examine critical issues of education research and public policy. A complete PDF listing of AERA paper presentations, poster sessions and round tables involving UF education faculty and students is available online on the COE Publications website. Out of some 2,000 sessions, a UF presentation on the role of Lastinger Center professors-in-residence was one of 15 scheduled AERA sessions previewed in the latest issue of Education Researcher journal. (more)

5 COE programs make top 20 in U.S. News national rankings

The latest U.S. News & World Report national rankings of U.S. graduate schools confirm that the University of Florida’s College of Education is one of America’s best education colleges. Five COE academic programs landed top 20 positions in their respective specialty areas, while the College overall moved up to within two slots of a top 50 position. (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

Rep. Mica (left) with COE deans Catherine Emihovich and Tom Dana on recent Norman Hall tour.

U.S. Rep. Mica (BAE ’67) visits Norman Hall for briefing, tour 

Congressman John Mica (BAE ’67) of Florida’s 7th district visited Norman Hall in March, meeting with key COE faculty and thought leaders to get briefed on some of the college’s core education reform initiatives. Mica, a 1967 graduate of the College, also received a guided tour of recent building renovations completed with the aid of $600,000 in federal funding (over five years), which Mica helped to secure for his alma mater.

UF appoints committee to lead nationwide dean’s search

UF Provost Joe Glover has appointed a nine-member search committee to lead the nationwide hunt for the next College of Education dean, with current dean Catherine Emihovich stepping down in August. The search committee, chaired by UF health and human performance dean Steve Dorman, includes four COE faculty members and an EduGator alumna who serves on the College’s advisory board. (more)

Delaware authority in mathematics education to guest-lecture April 18

University of Delaware education professor Nancy Jordan will present a guest lecture April 18, 9:30-11 a.m., on “Developing Number Sense in Children at Risk for Learning Difficulties in Mathematics.” The presentation will be held in the Norman Hall Terrace Room. No RSVP required. Contact:

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Honors & Appointments



Higher Ed institute chief leads draft of national policy brief

Luis Ponjuan, director of UF’s Institute of Higher Education and an authority on diversity in higher ed, was the lead author on a new issue brief released March 23 by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ commission on access, diversity and excellence. The brief documents the urgency for American public higher education to increase diversity among the college professor ranks to meet the dramatic shifts in the racial and ethnic composition of the student population projected to occur over the next decade.


Professor commended for design of state’s first Civics end-of-course assessment

UF social studies education professor Elizabeth Washington has received commendations from state and university officials for her contributions in designing Florida’s first statewide Civics course content assessment program. Washington served on the Florida Board of Education’s Middle School Civics End-of-Course Content Advisory Committee. Randall Felton, social studies coordinator at the Test Development Center of the Florida Department of Education, who cited Washington’s contributions in a letter to UF President Bernie Machen, said the group’s effort yielded the first Florida statewide assessment in a social science area in more than two decades.


AERA cites ‘groundbreaking’ dissertation on virtual schooling

Kathryn Kennedy (PhD ’10), a 2010 doctoral graduate in education technology, will receive the 2011 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Educational Research Association on April 9 at AERA’s Division K annual business meeting in New Orleans. Award judges described her dissertation study of teacher preparation for virtual schooling as “well-conceptualized, innovative and groundbreaking”. Kennedy’s report demonstrated the great potential of virtual schooling for changing the way we think about and practice schooling. Her research focused on UF’s virtual school apprenticeships for pre-service teachers, one of the few programs of its type in the nation.


Doctoral candidate lands AERA dissertation grant for early-child study

Tara McLaughlin, a doctoral candidate in special education and early childhood studies, has received a competitive dissertation grant from the American Educational Research Association for her proposal titled “Functional Profiles and Young Children’s Social Competence: Exploring Relationships in the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS) data set.” The AERA Grants Program is supported by the National Science Foundation.


UF selects 2 EduGators for Graduate Student Teaching honors

The University of Florida has named two UF education students to receive university-wide Graduate Student Teaching Awards. Recipients Kathy Alva, a graduate teaching assistant in ESOL/bilingual education, and Jessica Clawson, a Ph.D. student in social foundations of education, will be recognized at campuswide ceremonies April 22.


Alumni & Friends


Ex-athlete, Lastinger professor named COE Outstanding Young Alumni

An athlete-turned-educator and a rising star in an award-winning master-teacher training program at the University of Florida have been named the UF College of Education’s 2011 Outstanding Young Alumni.The recipients are David Horton (PhD ’09), a former college baseball standout who now stands out as an instructor and researcher at Ohio University’s School of Education, and Philip Poekert (PhD ’08), a professor-in-residence for Miami programs at UF’s Lastinger Center for Learning. (more)

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In the News

Below is a sampling of recent news media reports featuring the College of Education and its faculty, students and alumni.

March 19, 2011

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Catherine Emihovich (dean)
Dean Emihovich is quoted in a March 19 article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting how the sweeping teacher merit pay bill passed recently by the Florida Legislature has many teachers worried about the future of their jobs and profession. Said Emihovich: “We’re already hearing students raise questions about, ‘What is my long-term future as a teacher?’ ”

March 17, 2011


Education Week: Wendy Drexler & Cathy Cavanaugh (education technology)
Drexler and Cavanaugh are quoted in research article weighing the pros and cons of technology-driven personalized learning. Article appeared in Education Week’s annual Technology Counts report for 2011.

March 7, 2011

Gainesville Sun: Elizabeth Washington (social studies education)
Washington was quoted in a March 7 Gainesville Sun story about a local grassroots group attacking social studies textbooks used in area schools for having pro-Islam and anti-Christian, Jewish or Israel leanings.

March 3, 2011


Education Week: Paul Sindelar (special education)

Sindelar was quoted in an this Education Week article about instruction in Response to Intervention techniques, saying: “I do think that general education [teacher preparation] has an orientation toward kids who are living in poverty, don’t speak English, who are culturally and ethnically different. What I’m less sure about is whether that concept of difference includes students with disabilities.The expectations are upped in [an RTI] system. Teachers can’t simply refer kids to special education and expect them to be removed from their watch.”


March 1, 2011

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Sondra Smith-Adcock (counselor education)
Smith-Adcock, associate professor in counselor education, is quoted in a Radio Free Europe report analyzing the apparent mental-emotional state of Kolya Lukashenko, son of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenko.

Feb, 18, 2011

St. Petersburg Times: UF Lastinger Center for Learning’s national Teacher Education Award
The St. Petersburg Times education blog featured the national 2011 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award recently won by the graduate component of the Lastinger Center’s Florida Master Teacher program.

(Visit “COE In-the-News” Archives for more listings of media hits)

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