coE-News: May 20, 2011

May 20, 2011                                                      The Friday Post                                                Vol. 6, […]


May 20, 2011



May 20, 2011                                                      The Friday Post                                                Vol. 6, No. 6

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.)


UF to host symposium June 13 on plight of Latino males in Florida’s schools and colleges


Education and community leaders and Latino male students from Alachua County and around the state will gather at a University of Florida-hosted, interactive symposium June 13 to discuss strategies for helping Latino males overcome the overwhelming barriers they face in Florida’s schools and colleges. The “Latino Boys in Peril” workshop will be at UF’s Emerson Alumni Hall. UF’s College of Education is hosting the event, led by faculty researchers Luis Ponjuan, director of the college’s Institute of Higher Education, and counselor education scholar Mary Ann Clark. Attendance is by invitation only. (more)

Lastinger Center study aids $8M effort to help at-risk children in south Fla.

A recent study by the University of Florida’s Lastinger Center for Learning was key in helping a south Florida community divide nearly $8 million in charitable grants among local social service agencies to meet the needs of more than 50,000 underprivileged and at-risk children. The Naples (Fla.) Children and Education Foundation had commissioned the UF study to evaluate the current conditions and needs of children in Collier County and to document the impact of the group’s previous investments on the children’s lives. (more)

Center for Learning showcases 1,100 teaching presentations around state

Pinellas elementary school principal Thea Saccasyn presents her inquiry-based research project.

More than 1,300 public school educators presented 1,100 problem-shooting research projects this month at University of Florida showcases around the state. The UF Lastinger Center for Learning staged the showcases with its partner school districts in Miami-Dade, Duval, Pinellas and Collier counties as part of its award-winning Florida Master Teacher Initiative. The events highlighted educator-conducted, classroom-oriented inquiry projects designed to boost student achievement.

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College News & Notices

OMG! College Facebook fan count tops 1,600

The number of fans following the College of Education’s Facebook site topped 1,600 in late April. That’s 3.5 times more than the 457 followers of a year ago. Much of the growth occurred over the past five months, nearly doubling from 839 fans in mid-December. The site was created in August 2009. Becoming a fan on Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with fellow students, alumni, faculty and staff, and our FB fans are among the first to get the latest news from the College.

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Honors & Appointments


Special ed researcher is first to receive provost’s junior faculty award

University of Florida special education researcher Joseph Gagnon recently became the first College of Education faculty member to receive the UF Provost’s Excellence Award for Assistant Professors.The annual honor recognizes up and coming junior faculty members from several colleges across campus for excellence in research.  (more)

Ex-chair McLeskey named to website’s Special Ed Professional Hall of Fame

UF professor and former chair of special education James McLeskey is one of 15 educators and clinicians listed in the Special Education Professional Hall of Fame on the website “Special Ed. From A to Zed.” The list cites McLeskey’s “lifetime of research productivity, masterly teaching and inspirational leadership” in the field which earned him the prestigious 2010 TED/Merrill Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, awarded by the Council for Exceptional Children. McLeskey headed UF’s nationally ranked special education department for 10 years through 2008 and currently directs  the College of Education’s new Center for Disability Policy and Practice.

Adams named interim associate dean of research

Math education professor Thomasenia Adams has been appointed interim associate dean of research for 2011-2012 as the college transitions to a new dean. She has previously served as COE director of graduate studies and also as a Fellow in the UF provost’s office. In her new position, Adams will oversee development of a database of all active contracts and grants in the College that will yield a comprehensive picture of all research and development activity underway. She also will assess and improve the infrastructure of the Office of Educational Research to support faculty seeking external funding. Adams will work with outgoing associate dean John Kranzler over the summer on transition issues and will assume her new position Aug. 15.

Dana selected Fellow in SEC leadership program

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Tom Dana has been selected as a Fellow in the 2011-12 Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium’s academic leadership development program. He is one of three UF associate deans chosen. The trio will participate in regional workshops over the next year with other SEC Fellows exploring a wide range of state, national and international leadership issues in higher education. They also will participate in local initiatives to learn more about UF’s organizational structure and relationship to other state and regional institutions. The program is designed to prepare selected faculty as academic leaders for the participating universities.


Staley (center) celebrates her award.

Master Teacher graduate student is finalist for Florida Teacher of Year

Tracy Staley, a fifth-grade teacher at Ponce de Leon Elementary in Clearwater and a graduate student in the COE’s Master Teacher Initiative (run by the Lastinger Center for Learning), is one of five finalists for Florida Teacher of the Year. She was named Pinellas County’s 2011 Outstanding Educator in March. When Staley was being observed by the Teacher of the Year judges, she was teaching a lesson she learned in one of her job-embedded Master Teacher courses.


Rowe, Rivera are staff members of year; 11 staff receive service pins

Dean Emihovich (center) presents award to Rivera (l), Rowe.

Rowe and Rivera. No, they are not senior partners in a personal-injury law firm. And they’re not the middle infielders on the Florida Gators’ baseball team. Rowe and Rivera are Angela Rowe and Donna Rivera–the College’s 2011 Staff Members of the Year. Rowe is the graduate secretary in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education, and Rivera is the office manager in the School of Teaching and Learning. Here’s why their co-workers thought they deserved the honor. (more)


Hispanic alumni group honors EduGator Amalia Alvarez

COE alumna Amalia Alvarez (BAE ’68), the first Hispanic woman to receive a doctorate from UF, was presented the 2011 Gran Caiman Award May 14 by the University of Florida Association of Hispanic Alumni. She was honored for her many efforts to improve education and for her continuing support of UF. Alvarez, a Spanish teacher at Gainesville High School, worked with the Alachua County Public Schools to create a first-of-its-kind bilingual education program that helped both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children integrate into the public school system. The ESOL program soon became a model for public schools statewide. Alvarez, a Cuban immigrant, also helped found the UF AHA and La Casita, the Institute of Hispanic Latino Cultures. (Her 1974 Ph.D. degree was in Spanish language from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.)

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P.K. Yonge Update

News from P..K. Yonge Developmental Research School, UF’s K-12 laboratory school . . .

portrait of Lynda HayesResearch head Lynda Hayes named school’s new director

Lynda Hayes, director of research and outreach at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and an affiliated university school professor at the College of Education, has been named the K-12 school’s new director. She will assume the UF laboratory school’s top administrative post July 1. (WUFT-FM radio news report) (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.

May 16, 2011

WUFT-FM Radio: Linda Hayes, new director of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School

UF’s public radio station reported on the appointment of Linda Hayes as the new director of P.K. Yonge, UF’s renowned K-12 laboratory school since 1934. Hayes is the school’s current director of research and outreach. (Audio report)

May 10, 2011

Clearwater Current: Lastinger Center’s statewide inquiry showcases

(Also reported in: Old Northeast-Downtown St. Pete PATCH (e-newsletter); insideEDGE (Pinellas County Schools monthly newsletter; State of Florida Facts news highlighting website)
More than 1,300 public school educators are presenting 1,100 problem-shooting research projects this month at University of Florida showcases around the state. Pinellas County educators will present 746 of the projects at a showcase scheduled at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Wednesday, May 11 beginning at 3:45 p.m. The UF Lastinger Center for Learning is staging the showcases with its partner school districts around the state. (The Clearwater Current is an online newspaper for Clearwater Beach, Old Clearwater Bay and Dunedin communities.)

May 12, 2011

Bay News Ch. 9 (Tampa Bay area): Lastinger Center-Pinellas schools showcase

Pinellas County teachers lead the state in classroom research projects, and on Wednesday they had the chance to showcase their work at an event sponsored by the school district and UF’s Lastinger Center for Learning. Bay News 9 covered the story.

May, 2011

insideEDGE (Pinellas County Schools monthly newsletter): TLSI graduate degree

The graduate degree component (Teacher Leadership for School Improvement) of the Florida Master Teacher Initiative, offered to Pinellas teachers at area schools partnering with UF’s Lastinger Center for Learning, received the 2011 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award by the Association of Teacher Educators.

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

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