Diverse practitioners headline Education Career Night April 8

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Four College of Education alumni will offer career advice that extends well beyond teaching during the college’s annual Education Career Night set for April 8 at the Reitz Union Auditorium.

The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to all.

Panel CollageThis year’s four-member panel will share wisdom they each have gathered along four distinctly different career paths. Panel members include Tina Calderone, school board member at Seminole County Public Schools, Jayne Ellspermann, principal of Ocala’s West Port High School, Steve Freedman, executive director of the Institute for Child Health Policy of the State University System of Florida, and Skip Marshall, vice president and CTO of Tribridge, a technology services firm.

Calderone, who received her Ed.D in educational leadership in 1999, was elected to the Seminole County School Board in 2010 and served as board chairman in 2011-2012. She has established a diverse and successful career that includes education, marketing, sales, public relations, fundraising and training. Previously, she worked as a college administrator at Stetson University and the University of Florida, and an adjunct instructor at both Seminole State College and the University of Central Florida.

Ellspermann received her M.Ed. in educational administration and supervision in 1983. Recently, the National Association of Secondary School Principals recognized her as Principal of the Year. During her 11 years as principal of West Port High, she changed the school’s entire philosophy by spearheading a college-going culture personalized for students. Under her leadership, course failure has nearly disappeared, the graduation rate has jumped 15 points and participation in activities has increased seven-fold to nearly 70 percent.

Freedman earned his BAE‘ 95 and MAE‘97 in education, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1983. When he’s not working as an executive director, he doubles as a USF professor of pediatrics, political science and public health. Previously, he was a professor of child health policy at the University of Florida for over 20 years. His lifetime achievements warrant his distinction as one of a handful of non-physicians elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Marshall earned everything at UF from his BAE’ 95 in education to his MBA ’09 in business management at UF. He can be considered as the brains behind many online learning operations. He specializes in instructional design theory, integrative content design, learning program solutions and learning systems integration. He is a former faculty member at the University of South Florida and a teaching and technology fellow at the University of Florida.

Following the panel discussion, UF’s award-winning Career Resource Center is hosting “Careers in Education” Career Fair in the Reitz Union Ballroom from 5 to 7 p.m.

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   SOURCE: Jodi Mount, Associate Director of Alumni Relations & Events, UF College of Education; 
   WRITER: Candice Wynter, communications intern, UF College of Education;


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Diverse practitioners headline Education Career Night Feb. 20

Four College of Education alumni – three of whom earned their doctorates at UF — will offer career advice that extends well beyond teaching during the college’s annual Education Career Night scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20 in Norman Hall.

 The event is set for 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in room 250 at Norman Hall and is open to all.

Clockwise, from top left: Drexler, Hite, Mullin and Kicklighter

Clockwise, from top left: Drexler, Hite, Mullin and Kicklighter

This year’s four-member panel will share wisdom they each have gathered along four distinctly different career paths. Panel members include Wendy Drexler, chief innovation officer for the International Society for Technology in Education; Carl Hite, who recently retired as president of Cleveland State Community College; Melissa Kicklighter, vice president of the Florida PTA; and Christopher Mullin, assistant vice chancellor for policy and research for the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida. 

Drexler, who received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction in 2010, is a former director of online development at Brown University who led the design and production of Brown’s first online courses. She has been a champion for effective integration of technology in K-12, higher education and corporate settings. 

Drexler also managed the research portion of the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) federal Title II grant across 23 Florida school districts, as well as eLearning design teams at IBM and AT&T. She has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as undergraduate and graduate students at the collegiate level.

Hite received his Ph.D. in educational leadership in 1975, and served as the campus vice president and provost of Hillsborough Community College’s Tampa and Brandon campuses. He served as chairman of the National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges, and currently serves as vice chair on the executive council of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He recently was awarded UF’s Institute of Higher Education Outstanding Graduate award in recognition for his accomplishments in his profession, college and community.
Kicklighter earned an E.D.S. in Student Personnel in Higher Education in 1996, and is the Florida PTA vice president for regions and councils, as well as a wellness manager for Duval County (Fla.) Public Schools. She also is a civic/parent leader and advocate who serves on various committees and task forces related to child welfare, family engagement, and community advocacy. Kicklighter has worked in a variety of K-20, corporate and community education, training and advising roles and has been honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change.”

Mullin joined the Florida SUS Board of Governors staff last August as the program director for policy analysis at the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, D.C. As a UF doctoral student, he helped launch and edit the Florida Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, published by the College of Education’s higher education administration unit. He received his bachelor’s in art education and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from UF, along with a master’s in education from Columbia University.

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