College of Education Newsletter

October 2022

Message from the Dean:

In 2019, the College of Education embarked on a journey to center educational equity. We partnered with the Disruptive Educational Equity Project and engaged in intensive equity professional development to deepen our awareness, take a critical and necessary review of our policies, diagnose inequities, and engage in correction. At this point, all of our faculty and staff have attended workshops, learning circles, and/or book clubs to gain new information. We have surveyed faculty and students to gain their feedback on their sense of belonging in the college. Dr. Candice Maxwell has led the Equity Committee in its effort to influence equity. This includes creating the Centering Equity Conference and Learning Series, launching the Equity Clearinghouse and Lib Guide, developing the DBIE statement, and serving as an ally to many underrepresented groups of students, faculty and staff. Dr. Michael Mills, Dr. Candice Maxwell, Dr. Melissa Smith, and I work with interns each semester to discuss issues in the field related to equity and allyship. These are very well received by students. We have accomplished a lot and continue to identify areas where we can improve.

The intent of all of this work is to ensure that we are all doing the work necessary to make sure that all of our faculty, staff, and students feel valued and supported. I want to reiterate my personal commitment to equity. I also want to thank each one of you for your continued support for inclusion, equity, and belonging. I believe that diversity must be an integral part of our discussions if we are to cultivate a climate where excellence is obtainable for all. We, in the College of Education, must be leaders in our College, University, and community as we combat inequity, while recognizing that we cannot reach the College's goals alone. Let's all reaffirm our commitment to building a more just and equitable environment for all members of our community.

Victoria Groves-Scott


College of Education Mock Interviews:

Mock interviews were held for College of Education (COE) Internship II candidates on Thursday, October 13th. Students were interviewed by administrators from some of our partner institutions. The purpose of the mock interviews is to give our Internship II candidates the practice/experience of job interviewing with school administrators.

*See photos below

In the Classroom:

Internship I students in Ms. Catherine Miller’s (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) Math and Science Strategies classroom participate in Facilitating Number Talks. Number Talks teach students how to share and justify their answers while respecting and accepting the different strategies of their peers.
Students in Dr. Brandy Walthall’s (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) Foundations of Reading class learned about the areas of the brain and how the brain learns to read. They also created Scarborough’s Reading Rope.

According to, "The Reading Rope consists of lower and upper strands. The word-recognition strands (phonological awareness, decoding, and sight recognition of familiar words) work together as the reader becomes accurate, fluent, and increasingly automatic with repetition and practice. Concurrently, the language-comprehension strands (background knowledge, vocabulary, language structures, verbal reasoning, and literacy knowledge) reinforce one another and then weave together with the word-recognition strands to produce a skilled reader. This does not happen overnight; it requires instruction and practice over time."

Dr. Walthall's Foundations of Reading Class had an Environmental Print Hunt and then Harry Potter Escape Room. At the end of the escape room, the students were left in the literacy lab where they found their Literacy Lab Assignment for Intervention. Glad they got out!

UCA Alumna Named 2023 Arkansas Teacher of the Year:

Capri Salaam:

Capri Salaam, a UCA alumna, was recently named the 20223 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. Capri is currently a social studies teacher at North Little Rock Middle School in North Little Rock, AR.

Capri holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCA, a Master of Arts in Teaching in Middle Level Education from Arkansas Tech University, and a Master of Science in Special Education from Harding University. She is working on a Learning Systems Technology Education Graduate Certificate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

For more information about Capri you can visit

*See photo (left to right): Johnny Key (Arkansas Department of Education Secretary), Capri Salaam, and Dr. Gregory Pilewski (North Little Rock School District Superintendent).

Where Are They Now:

The COE Newsletter encourages you to share UCA COE alumni stories. "Where Are They Now" articles will highlight our alumni and their impact. Please share your story by going to

Dr. Matthew Farr:

Matthew N. Farr, Ed.D., is a UCA Grad, currently serving as principal of Lee Senior High School in Marianna, AR. Dr. Farr began his career in Little Rock as a Choir Director before moving into Administration. He still believes that all students can learn at high levels and is humbled to have the opportunity to impact both teaching and learning.

Student/Alumni News:

Chenal Dale:

Asbell Elementary School teacher Chenel Dale was recently presented a check for $500 for her classroom as part of Arvest Bank's "We Loves Teachers" campaign.

Chenal is a 2022 graduate of UCA with a degree in Elementary Education.

Alexis Schubert:

Cotter Public Schools first grade teacher Alexis Schubert, was recently awarded $500 classroom money from Arvest Bank. Arvest has a We Love Teachers initiative, which awards money to educators all around.

Alexis is a 2021 graduate of UCA with a degree in Elementary Education.

Faculty/Staff News:

Dr. Shoudong Feng and Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi:

Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi (Department of Leadership Studies) and Dr. Shoudong Feng (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) recently presented at the Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators conference in Pine Bluff, AR. Their topic was "Navigating Roles of Educators and Counselors in the Pandemic: Literature Review."

Dr. Vicki Groves-Scott

Dr. Vicki Groves-Scott (Dean of the College of Education) recently shared her Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity (DBIE) experience during the inagural DBIE week at UCA. To read Dr. Groves-Scott experience please go to

For more information about DBIE please visit

Mollie Mae Henager:

Director of Development, Mollie Mae Henager, was recently selected for the Leadership Greater Little Rock program.

Established in 1985, Leadership Greater Little Rock seeks to develop community leaders by training and informing participants on a wide array of local public policy issues and concerns. In-depth training sessions focus on these issues, exploring their background, origin and present-day status. The program covers a full slate of topics, including government, the area’s economy, education, social services and much more. The sessions combine lectures, tours, dialogue and interaction between speakers and participants (

Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi:

Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi (Department of Leadership Studies) recently published an article in the International Journal of Applied Guidance and Counseling. The topic is "Mental Health Struggles and the Perceptions of Implementing Counseling Clinics on University Campuses: The Voices of Students." The article can be accessed via

Dr. Jason Trumble:

Dr. Jason Trumble attended the invitation-only National Technology Leadership Summit in Washington DC. The National Technology Leadership Summit (NTLS) brings together national leaders from educational associations, as well as editors of educational technology journals, directors of non-profit foundations, federal policymakers, and corporate representatives. Recommendations and guidelines emerging from the summit are published in a range of educational technology journals and are featured on the programs of educational conferences. The goal is to accelerate the meaningful impact of digital technologies in education for the 21st century. This ongoing series of leadership summits is underwritten with combined support from participating professional associations, including SITE, corporate partners, and non-profit foundations. Special thanks for support of this year’s leadership summit by the National Education Association, MathHappens, LearnPlatform, and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education.

One specific outcome of Dr. Trumble’s involvement in NTLS is the development of a new journal section of the Contemporary Issues in Teacher Education (CITE) Journal that is focused on developing a repository of vetted and applicable objects to think with that provide teachers and teacher educators the opportunity to learn through evaluation of engineered objects and experiencing the engineering process. This new journal section is directly connected to the Society of Information Technology in Teacher Education (SITE) and the International Technology and Engineer Educators Association (ITEEA). Additionally, in an effort led by Dr. Glen Bull from the University of Virginia, an NSF POSE grant was awarded, and through the process of the POSE grant, the working group is planning on integrating a variety of open source learning experiences for young learners to engage in high-level engineering learning. There are future plans for additional NSF funding that will support students in Arkansas through the development of this new vetted open-source repository. Dr. Trumble also engaged in discussions around the EPPs For Digital Equity and Transformation pledge and further work toward developing actions for institutions to implement the five tenants of the pledge with fidelity. These projects impact the teachers that UCA graduates and supports ongoing excellence in teacher development.

Tech Bytes:

Masking images in Google Slides allows you to transform an image from a quadrilateral (square or rectangle) to other shapes.
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