College of Education Newsletter

December 2018

Message from the Dean:

Sending you Warm Winter Wishes from The College of Education,

The holiday season brings many celebrations, festive lights, and sounds of peace. Faculty and students are looking forward to a long winter break (and possibly a long winter's nap). As we close out this semester we can be extremely proud of our accomplishments. As you end the semester, I'd like to wish you a winter break filled with warmth, comfort and cheer.


Apple Distinguished School:

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) was recently selected as an Apple Distinguished School. Per the Apple website, Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of excellence that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology — and we believe they are some of the most innovative schools in the world. There are only 400 Apple Distinguished Schools in the world...UCA marks only the third in the state of Arkansas, and the only college of education.

In order to be considered for the honor of Apple Distinguished School, the school must establish a one-to-one iPad or Mac program, faculty must have proven proficiency with iPad or Mac, and there must be documented results. The COE applied for the Apple Distinguished School program by compiling and creating the required application iBook and providing the data from their one-to-one initiative while also highlighting the great things faculty have accomplished with this initiative.

Dr. Victoria Groves-Scott, Dean of the COE, shared, "The College of Education started the Apple 1-1 Mobile Initiative in 2015. The catalyst for the initiative was not to showcase technology or to be recognized externally (although both of those things have happened), it was to create a teaching environment within the college that supported and encouraged engagement. We set out to enhance the instructors engagement with students, student to student engagement, student engagement with technology, and engagement with authentic content. Our goal was (and is) to train every teacher to use technology to increase student voice, choice, access, and achievement. The technology is just one tool or medium for good teaching pedagogy. Over the course of three years we have build capacity within our infrastructure: renovating classrooms spaces and enhancing wifi technology. We have facilitated the growth of our technology expert faculty and our technology novice faculty. We have pushed for authenticity and integrity. The COE faculty have been the backbone of this initiative as a model of innovation, perseverance, and risk taking. At the end, we dedicate this achievement to our students, who will make the world a better place, one-child-at-a-time."

The COE is proud to have 5 faculty members who are recognized as Apple Distinguished Educators: Dr. Groves-Scott, Dr. Donna Wake (COE Associate Dean), Dr. Michael Mills (Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning), Dr. Louis Nadelson (Chair of the Department of Leadership Studies), and Mrs Jessica Herring-Watson (Instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning). They were all instrumental in making the Apple Distinguished School a possibility.

**You can view the UCA Apple Distinguished School Application Book by clicking on the PDF file below**

Richard J. and Nancy P. Gallavan, Ph.D. Endowed Grant for Faculty Diversity:

The UCA Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion held a reception in November to announce the Richard J. and Nancy P. Gallavan, Ph.D. Endowed Grant for Faculty Diversity. The Gallavan Grant provides support to historically underrepresented, domestic racial/ethnic minority faculty members. Examples of initiatives include: recruitment of historically underrepresented, domestic racial/ethnic minority faculty members, travel for scholarly/creative development or dissemination of scholarly/creative work; summer mini-grants for scholarly/creative projects; mentor/protégé projects between assistant professors and senior members of faculty for the design and execution of scholarly/creative projects that are essential to progress toward tenure and promotion; and membership, webinars, seminars, and/or writing groups, etc., with the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.

Dr. Angela Webster, Associate Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, welcomed guests to “The reception as a celebration of the goodness that has risen from the lives of Richard and Nancy Gallavan. Before there was an Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Nancy was a beacon of light in the College of Education and throughout the campus. As the only African American tenure track faculty member in the college of education in 2006, Nancy shepherded me through tenure and promotion. She served on and chaired the CoE Diversity committee for years. She has chaired dissertations of the majority of African American candidates in the Interdisciplinary Leadership PhD program. She served as an Academic Liaison in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. She has received more than one faculty excellence award. Now this endowed grant will help to attract, affirm, and advance faculty, thereby commemorating the goodness of the Gallavans into perpetuity."

Provost Patty S. Poulter added in her letter, “The Gallavans have a long-standing commitment to the value and importance of diverse faculty. This generous gift is further evidence of their deep commitment which will have a long-lasting effect on the positive culture and climate at the University of Central Arkansas.”

Mr. Richard Gallavan is a retired computer design engineer who worked at Qualcomm in San Diego, CA. Dr. Nancy P. Gallavan is a professor of teacher education in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at UCA. Dr. Gallavan’s educational journey has been dedicated to issues of democratic principles, human rights, educational equity, and social justice. Made visible in her teaching, scholarship, and service --particularly mentoring teacher candidates and academic colleagues, the Gallavan Grant allows their advocacy to continue. At the reception, Dr. Gallavan shared, “Throughout our lives, we have sought avenues to advance education and to lift the lives of other people. My critical consciousness model emphasizes the value of information, access, and opportunity for all people. I am fortunate that God puts ideas in my head and they come out my fingers.”

Hour of Code:

The College of Education celebrated Computer Science Education Week with our Hour of Code event on November 30th. Eighty third and fourth grade students from Conway Schools participated in the event. Seventy-five pre-service teachers from our Integrating Technology and Teaching class (EDUC 4210) created/assisted with the Hour of Code activities

There were various coding and computational thinking activities that were developed and facilitated by our pre-service teachers. The elementary students experienced everything from coding robots, coding and creating personal emojis, and coding a recipe for banana pudding. Many of the challenges included problem-solving and literacy connections where students analyzed text, created stories and weaved Sphero robots through plot twists and obstacles associated with literature.

The Hour of Code was led by Dr. Jason Trumble and Mrs. Jessica Herring Watson.

Arkansas Literacy Association Conference:

ELSE Students Carl Ratliff, Bailey Abels, and Samantha Goodman recently presented at the Arkansas Literacy Teacher Educators Session of the Arkansas Literacy Association's fall conference. Students were guided by their instructors, Dr. Amy Thompson and Mrs. DeeDee Cain as they completed case studies during their Practicum experiences at Bigelow during Internship I. The presentation was entitled, "Elementary School Literacy Case Studies in a Clinically Embedded Field Experience." Other College of Education faculty presenting at the conference included Mrs. Brandy Walthall, Mrs. Crystal Voegele, Dr. Amy Thompson, Dr. Shoudong Feng, Mrs. Kristen Doran, Mrs. DeeDee Cain, and Dr. Tammy Benson.

UCA Food Fight:

Dr. Victoria Groves-Scott, Dean of the College of Education, accepted the UCA Student Government Association's Food Fight Trophy on behalf of the College of Education. Presented at the Dean's Council, the COE raised more food donations, before Thanksgiving, for the BearEssentials Food Pantry than any of the other academic colleges.

Final Exams:

Final exams were held December 10 - 14. Many students spent time studying and finishing projects in the College of Education's Technology Learning Center (TLC). The TLC underwent extensive renovations last summer which included new furniture, carpet, and state of the art updates to the TLC Computer Lab (MacBook Air cart, flat screen TV's, Apple TV's, new tables and chairs, and a green screen wall).

Faculty News:

Mrs. Michelle Buchanan

Congratulations, Michelle, on being selected to participate in the STEM Grant Writing Workshop. The two-day workshop, intended to improve competitiveness among submissions to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program, will be held at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

After two rounds of competition, the interdisciplinary group of faculty from the College of Education, College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, and College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics learned their proposal was accepted to the workshop. Their workshop proposal, a preliminary draft of a full $650,000 grant proposal, seeks funding to offer five to 10 competitive scholarships of $10,000 per academic year for five years, while also providing curricular and co-curricular activities that address common factors affecting students in STEM majors. This program aspires to train a cohort of new future Arkansas chemists from a variety of backgrounds.

Other UCA faculty selected are Dr. Patrick Desrochers, Dr. Lori Isom, Dr. Makenzie Long, Dr. Marsha Massey and Dr. Faith Yarberry from the Department of Chemistry, and Dr. Darshon Anderson from the Department of Psychology and Counseling.

Mrs. T.J. Hendrix

The College of Education wishes TJ Hendrix well on her new journey. TJ has taught as a Clinical Instructor in both the Middle Level and Master of Arts in Teaching programs in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She and her family will now embark on a new journey at Ft. Benning military base in Columbus, Georgia. In the College of Education, TJ has been an advocate for students and has challenged them to think and teach with all students in mind. Her out-of-the-box approach prompted her to add service-learning to her instruction and cultivate relationships with community leaders in order to make learning authentic for the students we serve.

Though we do not know where she will go after UCA, we do know that she is a gifted educator with a heart for advocacy towards secondary education. For now, she will enjoy being a support spouse for her husband and children and pursue writing projects in fiction and education.

Dr. Amy Thompson

Dr. Amy Thompson was nominated by a previous student from the 2017-2018 school year to be recognized for continuing support of UCA Athletics and Sugar Bear Volleyball. Dr. Thompson was recognized during Homecoming Week immediately before the Sugar Bear Volleyball game. Samantha Anderson, pictured, is a senior Elementary Education major. Samantha was in Dr. Thompson's Literacy Assessment and Intervention course. She stood out, not only for her skills on the court, but for her skills in assessment and intervention during her Internship I experience. Dr. Thompson shared, "I am humbled and honored to be recognized by Samantha."

Staff News:

Ms. Ashton Hankins

Congratulations to Mrs. Ashton Hankins for being named Director of the Technology Learning Center (TLC) in the College of Education.

Ashton began working in the TLC in May 2010 as a graduate assistant while pursuing a master’s degree in Instructional Technology. After her graduation in December 2011, she worked in computer support at UCA’s Torreyson Library. Ashton returned to the College of Education and TLC in November 2013 as a Technology Specialist, a position she has continued to hold for the past 5 years.