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coE-News: May 15, 2007 VOL. 2 ISSUE 8

Published: May 15th, 2007 •• Category: coE-News


MAY 15 , 2007

You’re reading coE-News, an electronic newsletter produced monthly during the academic year by the College of Education News & Publications Office to keep faculty and staff up-to-date on college news and activities. Click here to download a PDF version of this edition. You will need a PDF reader to view this document.

GOT NEWS? We want to hear it. Submit individual or unit news and calendar events of collegewide interest to news@coe.ufl.edu for publication consideration. All submissions must be in writing or via e-mail and must include contact information for follow-up questions.

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Above us, only sky
Dean Catherine Emihovich looks back on the 2006-07 school year – and looks ahead to new faculty and new opportunities.

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Video of commencements available online
Did you miss this year’s Spring commencement ceremonies? Would you like to hear a few great speeches, or see a friend “walk” – without sitting through all the pomp and circumstance? The College of Education’s spring graduate and undergraduate commencements are both available for viewing online. Click here to see them.

Five top K-12 administrators feted at Distinguished Educators banquet
Five standout school administrators were honored with UF Distinguished Educator Awards at Spring Commencement, and in a banquet the night before the ceremony. To find out who was honored and why, click here.

COE honors educators, students for ‘public scholarship’ that benefits schools, community
The UF College of Education honored educators and students from UF and Alachua County public schools for their scholarly outreach activities April 25 in the annual Scholarship of Engagement Banquet.

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Collier County teachers gather for Inquiry Expo
Seventy-two Collier County teachers gathered in Immokalee April 26 to present their research in a Teacher Inquiry Expo, organized by the Lastinger Center. Organizers say the event proved to be very popular, with the Collier County school superintendent and many other district administrators in attendance this year. One third of the teachers who presented at the Immokalee event are now enrolled as UF graduate students.

Holocaust Institute returns to UF
Professor Linda Lamme, of the School of Teaching and Learning, will join UF history professor Geoffrey Giles to teach a Summer Holocaust Institute for Florida Teachers (SHIFT) June 11-15. The event is held every summer to help teachers effectively incorporate awareness of the Holocaust into their teaching. The Institute includes a field trip to the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, talks by Holocaust survivors and presentations by teachers who integrate Holocaust education into their curriculum. Registration is online at the UF Center for Jewish Studies Web site: http://web.jst.ufl.edu/

Counselor Ed cleans up at homeless camp
Late spring is a busy time in a college town – but on April 21, a group of Counselor Education students took time out of their busy pre-finals schedule to help some of Gainesville’s overlooked residents. In one intense day of cleaning, students hauled 196 bags of garbage – totaling more than 3,000 pounds – out of one of the area’s homeless camps. Students also listened to camp members’ stories of struggle and survival.

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UF study looks at preservice teachers’ Facebook entries
In colleges of education, nothing says “generation gap” quite like Facebook. Professors are flustered at the idea of preservice teachers posting intimate details of their lives on the Web. A new UF study took a closer look at the issue, surveying the Facebook sites of hundreds of prospective teachers.

COE professor to take ed tech to African nation
When you think of developing countries that are ripe for a boom in educational technology, Rwanda is probably one of the last places that come to mind. Associate Professor Rick Ferdig says the central African nation, best known for the ruinous conflicts it endured in the 1990s, is now eager to move into the 21st Century. Thanks to a grant from UF’s Center for African Studies, Ferdig is traveling to Rwanda to find ways information technology can be used to bring more educational opportunity to Rwandans.

Professor to study intervention programs for Detroit area
Associate Professor William Conwill is joining forces with the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) to study the effects of a new counseling intervention being used by social service agencies in the Detroit area. In recent years, the mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare systems in Wayne County, Oregon, have been exploring the use of “Parent Management Training – the Oregon Model,” an intervention in which parents learn how to speak to their children in ways that are less likely to create divisions between parent and child. The system, also known as PMTO, is already in use by government agencies in Norway, Iceland and other countries. Conwill will work with OSLC scientist Marion Forgatch and her colleagues to investigate the effectiveness of PMTO in the economically-stressed Detroit area.

Professor hosts town hall meeting for Alachua County schools

Assistant Professor Cirecie West-Olatunji presented the results of a recent study at a town hall meeting for parents of Alachua County schoolchildren. West-Olatunji studied self-reports of effective parenting practices by parents of academically successful African American elementary school students. She and her collaborators, doctoral student Tiffany Sanders, master’s/specialist student Sejal Mehta and Assistant Professor Walter Leite, plan to put those results to use in creating a Parent Proficiencies Questionnaire to help school counselors provide counseling and training to parents whose behaviors do not correlate to academic success. The project was funded with a Tutt-Jones Memorial Research Grant from the African-American Success Foundation.

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Vallance recognized for ‘superior accomplishment
Vickie Vallance, program assistant for the UF Alliance, has been honored with a Divisional UF Superior Accomplishment Award . The university-wide awards are given annually to staff members who make exceptional contributions to UF’s efficiency and economy and contribute to the quality of life provided to students and employees. Vallance was cited for going above and beyond her normal duties to help the Alliance in a time of transition. Among other things, Vallance, whose duties are primarily budget-related, took on additional duties as department secretary when that position was vacated twice.

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COE doctoral candidates honored with Multicultural Awards
Two College of Education students were among those honored for efforts to cross cultural divides when the University of Florida gave out its Multicultural Awards in March.

Three from COE among UF’s ‘Outstanding International Students’
Every April, UF honors some of its most impressive international and foreign-born students with its Outstanding International Student Awards. This year three graduate students from the College of Education made the list of award recipients.

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Professor to bring inclusion expertise to Eastern Europe, South America
Associate Professor Diane Ryndak has been invited to conduct a course on the inclusion of students with disabilities – in Poland. Ryndak will travel to the Eastern European country in September to prepare teachers and administrators who are developing inclusive services for the Polish school system. Poland is not the only international stop on Ryndak’s itinerary: this summer, she will present a paper to the Biannual Conference of the Division of International Special Education Services in Lima, Peru.

EAP chair presents at American Association of Community Colleges
Professor Linda Serra Hagedorn, chair of the Department of Educational Administration and Policy, made three presentations at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges in St. Petersburg April 13. Presentation topics included “New Visions for Research on Community College,” “Enhancing Data-Driven Decision-Making Processes: An Inside-Out Approach to Institutional Change,” and “Second College Choice; Transfer Paths of New College Students.”


Wittmer, J. & Clark, M.A. (2007). Managing Your School Counseling Program: K-12 Developmental Strategies (3rd ed.). Educational Media Corporation: Minneapolis, MN.

Vogt, C. M., Hocevar, D., & Hagedorn, L.S. (2007).  A social cognitive construct validation: determining women and men’s success in engineering programs. Journal of Higher Education (78), 3, 337-364

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Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the following dissertation defenses. Please RSVP if you plan to attend:

An Analysis of Zero Tolerance Policies in Florida School Districts
Doctoral candidate: Brian Schoonover
1 p.m. May 17, 290 Norman Hall
RSVP to: Jim Doud, jldoud@coe.ufl.edu

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P.K. Yonge shines in FCAT – again
P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School has had another year of great results on the FCAT. The school logged its highest-ever average scores in third-grade mathematics, ranking in the 83rd percentile nationally, with 32 of the school’s 54 third-grade students scoring a Level 4 or Level 5 on math. PKY ranked second in the state in 10th-grade writing scores. As Principal Fran Vandiver told The Gainesville Sun, the strong FCAT showing “reinforces our philosophy that (the test) is not our curriculum, that if we do what we are supposed to be doing every day – teaching the whole child, keeping our whole program intact, providing a place where kids feel good about coming to school and giving what they need to do well – they are going to do well.”

Third championship for PKY
It isn’t just the Gators who are racking up multiple sports championships lately. On April 27, the Blue Wave boys’ track team won its third consecutive state championship. Congratulations to the team members and coaches on this rare accomplishment.

Research grant for literacy researchers
Congratulations to PKY University School Associate Professor Lynda Hayes and COE Associate Professor Nancy Waldron, who were awarded a $3,000 College Research Initiative Fund grant for their project titled “Summer Adventures in Literacy: Accelerating Achievement for Struggling Readers.”

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A recent sampling of “media hits” from the College of Education, many of them resulting from press releases or media requests coordinated by COE News & Publications:

St. Augustine Record—Associate Professor Kara Dawson, STL (4/27/07)
Dawson was quoted in a story on the controversy over an elementary school that divided students into two separate classes – those for students who own laptops and those who do not.

AM 850 Professor Nancy Dana, STL (4/17/07)
Dana was quoted in a story about the Teaching Inquiry and Innovation Showcase hosted by the Center for School Improvement. The Showcase was also announced in the Gainesville Sun’s “Chalkboard” column.

Florida Times-Union—Professor and Chair James McLeskey, Special Education (5/7/07)
McLeskey was quoted in a story on Duval County’s efforts toward classroom inclusion of students with disabilities.

Gainesville Sun – Instructor Michelina McDonald, P.K. Yonge
The “Chalkboard” column noted McDonald’s receipt of a Toyota TAPESTRY grant for an innovative science teaching project.

A much-debated proposal to name the College of Education after former Governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush was defeated in the Legislature in early May. The debate over the proposed naming was the subject of stories in a number of news outlets over the past month, including the Associated Press, The Gainesville Sun, The Independent Florida Alligator, The Palm Beach Post and The Lakeland Ledger.

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JUNE 5-10

Constitutional Issues for Social Studies Methods Professors
UF Hilton Hotel and Conference Center
Contact: eyeager@coe.ufl.edu

JULY 19-29

Literacies of Hope: Making Meaning Across Boundaries
Beijing, PRC
Contact: Phone: (573) 884-8862 / (573) 882 -8394, Fax: (573) 884-2917, foxr@missouri.edu

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UF: www.ufl.edu
College of Education: education.ufl.edu
coE-News: Publications
Education Times magazine: Publications

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coE-News is produced by:
College of Education, University of Florida
Dean’s Office/News & Publications
Dean: Catherine Emihovich (cemihovich@coe.ufl.edu)
Director: Larry Lansford (llansford@coe.ufl.edu)
Editor: Tim Lockette (Lockette@coe.ufl.edu)

Alexander Stern, Student Writer
Marta Pollitt, P.K. Yonge (mpollitt@pky.ufl.edu)