College of Education Newsletter

January 2021

Message from the Dean:

Welcome Back to the Spring Semester! I hope everyone had a relaxing winter break and was able to recharge. Last week we participated in a COE professional development series filled with numerous topics and insightful presentations. I heard from many of you that you enjoyed the sessions and came away with new ideas and information. One particularly powerful session was focused on the Importance of Religious Tolerance. Many would agree that religion can be a powerful and life-altering experience that shapes and guides life. Comparing religious similarities, learning about other religious beliefs, and practicing religious tolerance benefits us individually and collectively. Our chat box during the workshop was filled with messages about respect, kindness, and inclusion. Several of you mentioned that looking for the meaning associated with religious holidays gives us the opportunity to focus on common ideals such as thankfulness, family, peace, love, renewal, and community. I think there is no better way to begin the semester than to ponder our common ground and to explore how we can make everyone feel included.


UCA Career Services Merit Fellows:

Career Services recently introduced the December 2020 (Class VII) Merit Fellows.

Career Services Merit Fellows are a group of prestigious graduates who completed career development designed to enhance professionalism, employer engagement, and educational experience. They all had a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and were distinguished by wearing a black and gold honor cord during the commencement ceremony. Join us in congratulating this class of hard-working and dedicated graduates!!

Fellows from the College of Education are: Sara Martinez and Tara Swaffar. Congratulations!

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CSPA (College Student Personnel Administration) Students Receive Awards:

Several CSPA students recently received awards/special achievements:

Trevis Belle, a second-year student in the CSPA program, was awarded:

- 2020 Rising Star Graduate Student Award by NASPA Region IV-West

- 2020 Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year by Arkansas Student Affairs Association

Four first-year CSPA students were selected for The Placement Exchange (TPE) Ambassador Program:

Dai Bledsoe

Hannah Doederlein

Alana St.Cyr

Sadeja Harper

UCA's CSPA program provides professional preparation for students seeking student services positions in both two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions. The program is interdisciplinary to prepare student services administrators for diverse areas of responsibility, including campus climate and diversity, finance, budgeting, grant writing, assessment, leadership, and legal/ethical issues. For more information please visit the CSPA website at

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Your UCA College Experience:

Students, are you excited about UCA and the College of Education? Share your story for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. In less than a minute, share how the College of Education has made a difference in your life. Make it personal. Make it professional. Speak from the heart. We want to hear from you!!!

Click here:

School Leadership, Management, and Administration Program

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Faculty News:

Drs. Helen Hu, Donna Wake, Erin Shaw, Uma Garimella, Rachelle Miller, and Valerie Couture:

Dr. Helen Hu (Leadership Studies) recently presented a session titled “Algebra Connecting Concepts: An Evaluation of a Professional Development Program” at the MSERA 2020 Virtual Conference with Dr. Uma Garimella, director of UCA STEM Institute. Dr. Hu also worked with Drs. Donna Wake (T&L) and Erin Shaw (Leadership Studies) to present a session titled “The Voices of AMI: From District Library Media and Instructional Technology Specialists.”

Dr. Helen Hu (Leadership Studies), Dr. Na Mi Bang, & Dr. Valerie Couture (Leadership Studies) gave a presentation titled “Technology Progression in School Counseling and Counselor Education: To Meet Diverse Needs” at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) International Virtual Conference.

Drs. Helen Hu (Leadership Studies), Donna Wake (T&L) and Rachelle Miller (T&L) recently had a paper accepted for the 2021 Virtual American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. AERA received more than 10,000 submissions this year. Their paper is titled, "Online School Librarian Preparation: Technology Acceptance and Integration to Engage More Students."

Dr. Malcolm North:

Dr. Malcolm North (Leadership Studies) published the article, Freedom from Prejudice: The Value Creation Path to Human Flourishing in the Journal of Formal Axiology: Theory and Practice, 13, pp 27-40

This paper is the result of 8 years studying leaders' thinking, bias, problem-solving, and decision-making patterns. Using data from a doctoral level course in human flourishing and leadership series lectures, it discusses how to mitigate bias and improve thinking, judgment and decision-making in leaders. The paper introduces the concept of pre-judgment and its role in producing common, everyday biases that form the cognitive basis of uncritical thinking and prejudice. It concludes with a phenomenological application of de-biasing to develop strengths and human potential at the individual, group and societal levels. The article can be accessed through the Philosopher's Index database or Journal of Formal Axiology and is one in a series focussed on leadership equity, inclusion, and social change.

Dr. Stefanie Sorbet and Ms. Patti Hunter:

In the Fall of 2020, Dr. Stefanie R. Sorbet and Ms. Patti Hunter applied for a small service learning grant of $250 through UCA’s Outreach and Community Engagement Office. The grant was awarded and used to purchase social, emotional, and diverse children’s literature to donate to classrooms of our community partners in the North Little Rock school district. These books were packaged and delivered in December to the mentor teachers' classrooms in North Little Rock schools where ELSE's K-6 junior block students were completing their field experiences. Specific schools to receive these books included Boone Park, Crestwood, Glenview, Amboy, and Indian Hills Elementary. We are very appreciative of these mentor teachers and the administration who continue to support and welcome our ELSE students into their schools while continuing to provide our students with authentic field experiences especially during these difficult times.

Dr. Angela Webster:

Dr. Angela Webster (Associate VP for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion & Associate Professor in the department of Leadership Studies) recently had several publications.

Webster, A (2021). Education and the Black experience. In Michael Mwenda Kithinji and Ogechi Emmanuel Anyanwu (Eds). Africana World in Perspective: An Introduction to Africa and the African Diaspora (2nd ed.), (pp.231-251). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Webster, A. and Burke, M. (2020, Spring). How Arkansas teachers grapple with cultural diversity. Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators Electronic Journal, 10, 1, 62-78.

Student News:

Kristianna Mathes:

Congratulations to UCA COE alumni, Kristianna Mathes, on being selected December teacher of the month at Julia Lee Moore Elementary. Mrs. Mathes is a first grade teacher.

COE Town Hall:

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Newsletter Archives:

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