College of Education Newsletter

October 2019

Message from the Dean:

The tradition of homecoming has been around since the 19th century. It serves as an event to welcome back members of the university community, who cheer on their team as they honor the past and look forward to the future of the university. You may or may not know that UCA didn't adopt the bear as the mascot for sports until 1920. Before we were the Bears, we were the fighting "pedadgogues"! The term pedagogues comes from our roots as the Arkansas State Normal School dedicated to preparing those who would become teachers.

This year, the College of Education had its first homecoming queen nominee. KristiAnna Arechiga was nominated for homecoming queen by the College of Education Ambassadors. Although she didn't win, we were thrilled to see her represent our college so well. KirstiAnna and her classmates are the future that we celebrate in teacher education. To honor our COE past, Carolyn Ishee (COE Director of Development) is pictured from 1974 UCA Homecoming parade. Carolyn was the homecoming Maid of Honor representing the UCA cheerleaders. Like Carolyn, all of our alumni, are the foundation upon which we have built our past and will support our future. Go Bears! Go UCA COE Bears! Vicki Groves-Scott

EDGE@Hughes Hall: UCA’s Residential College for the College of Education

For over ten years, Hughes Hall has been home to the EDGE Residential College. Two years ago, the College of Education joined EDGE and the College of Liberal Arts as an academic partner. EDGE (Educating for Diversity and Global Engagement) is the only residential college in Arkansas affiliated with a College of Education.

Dr. Wendy A. Rickman, Rector for the CoE, joins Dr. Peter Mehl, Rector for Liberal Arts, and Ms. Andrea Lively, Academic Director for EDGE, as the curators for EDGE@Hughes Hall. EDGE provides specific courses for its residential college students each term in the Hughes Hall classroom. Additional access to faculty of both colleges and co-curricular activities for all residential college students is part of the mission of EDGE. Recently, Dr. Rickman hosted a “Mindfulness and Zombies” evening on the lawn of Hughes Hall. Other CoE activities throughout the semester will be hosted by the Dean of the college, Dr. Vicki Groves-Scott, and the members of CAC (College Administrative Council). The CoE has historically offered several courses for EDGE students. Currently, Dr. Rickman teaches a Lower-Division Core class: EDUC 2330 - Topics in Social Justice. The class fosters dialogue with students and a variety of culturally responsive/social justice topics as well as engages in field experience activities.

EDGE@Hughes Hall is one of five residential colleges on the campus of UCA. For further information, see EDGE@Hughes (, CoE@EDGE ( or The College of EDGE Program (

UCA COE Homecoming 2019:

The College of Education hosted its Second Annual Children's Homecoming Tailgate during UCA Homecoming on Saturday, October 26th. Tailgate activities included: Ring the Pumpkin, Plinko, charades, duct tape makerspace activities, a cookie decorating station, and a STEM station where participants were able to use tech tools from the COE Technology Learning Center (Osmo apps and Ozobots).

The event is co-chaired by Dr. Erin Shaw and Mrs. Debbie Barnes. Volunteers were: Dr. Nancy Gallavan and students from Teachers of Tomorrow (TOT), Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC), and COE Student Ambassadors.

ELSE Goes 90's for Homecoming Week:

The department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE) blasted back to the 90's in celebration of Homecoming Week 2019. Playing off the theme of Homecoming 2019, Jennifer Mason and Heather Harmon, Admin. Assistants in ELSE, decorated the suite doors, faculty office doors, and other areas in the suite. Faculty and staff even dressed in 90's threads.

ELSE was announced as the first place winner in the Academic Category of this year's Homecoming Office Decorating Contest. They will receive a trophy and lunch for up to 20 people.

Faculty News:

Dr. Charlotte Green:

Dr. Green was recently named the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Minority Enterprise Development Awards on October 3rd.

The annual Minority Enterprise Development Awards recognize the achievements of minority entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Conway area. Through this event, the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce aims to foster growth and sustainability of minority businesses and recognize minority businesses and their supporters.

Dr. Stefanie Sorbet:

Dr. Sorbet's Positive Classroom Behavior courses have been learning how to infuse social emotional learning through greetings, sharing, and activities. Here they are pictured in a circle sharing “a goal they hoped to accomplish today.” There are also pictures of them standing in groups untying “The Human Knot.”

The students will be facilitating their own morning meetings that they write in class with peers prior to teaching one in their field placements this semester. Role play and rehearsing lessons such as these build confidence in students and help them prepare for their lesson by practicing with peers before they instruct children in the field.

Mrs. Brandy Walthall:

Mrs. Brandy Walthall's classes are learning about writing mini-lessons. One week was all about bats. They read the book "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat" and talked about adding nonfiction bat facts or nonfiction books to the lesson. They finished by making bat hats to remember the experience.

Student News:

Joel Lookadoo (Arkansas Teacher of the Year):

Congratulations to Joel Lookadoo for being named the 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the year. Joel is a graduate of the Math Education program at UCA. He also holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Joel is licensed to teach 7-12 math, K-12 PE/Health, and English as a Second Language (ESL). He is also licensed as a building level administrator and is National Board Certified in 7-12 mathematics. For the last several years, he was a math teacher at Lakeside Junior High School and recently began a new position as Instructional Facilitator at Tyson School of Innovation.

The Arkansas Teacher of the Year program is part of the National Teacher of the Year program, which recognizes teachers for their teaching and leadership skills. As winner of the Arkansas Teacher of the Year, Joel will receive a $14,000 cash award from the Walton Family Foundation. He can now apply to become the 2020 National Teacher of the Year.

We reached out to Joel and he said, "I am honored to receive the 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year award. There are many great educators across our state, and I cannot wait to meet and learn from many of them throughout this process. Education is a great career where teachers make an impact every single day. Students need teachers who care for them, model a great attitude and effort each day, and set high expectations for learning regardless of the student’s background, race, or socioeconomic status. UCA was a great place for me to learn and begin my journey in education!"