College of Education Newsletter
Message from the Dean:
What keeps you bouncy?
- The support of my ELSE co-workers! - Alicia Brown
- My family! - Erin Shaw
- A significant way to bounce back is to take care of myself. I don’t take self-care for granted, no matter how small. I also try to restrategize when things become overwhelming. I will try to take some time off and come back to the activity later. - Odunola Oyeniyi
- My Christian faith keeps me bouncy. I know that I have been given an opportunity to change lives, and I take on that responsibility with joy. That joy is expressed with something fun I share with my students - a comic strip to laugh at together, an activity to engage in together, and a conversation to share together. Every day should be a razzle-dazzle day! - Michelle Buchanan
- Creating art - which gives me the ability to let go through the expression of my creativity. - Louis Nadelson
- Playing a friendly competitive game of pickleball with my friends! - Darla Escamilla
- My students when they smile big just after they taught a successful lesson and managed the behavior well. - Stefanie Sorbet
- I am inspired by colleagues and students! I am very lucky to work with amazing people! - Donna Wake
- Reading my daily devotional. - Lisa Herrington
- I look at every experience as a learning opportunity. Some experiences are sunshine and some are fertilizer. You need both to grow! - Catherine Miller
- My faith in a higher power and a higher purpose.- Debbie Dailey
- I always try to focus on the positive side of things and always stick to my routines and try to be self-disciplined. - Shoudong Feng
- Having a strong supportive family, loving friends, compassionate co-workers, the most supportive dogs ever, inspiring students, walks in nature, time with God, and strong coffee keep me going. - Crystal Voegele
- Knowing my purpose - TK Anderson
- Our young people depend on the difference we can make together. - Stacey Loyless
- What keeps me bouncy is being able to pause and step away from whatever is overwhelming me. I allow myself to not think about it for about a day. Then I reflect, reassess the situation, and make a plan for how to accomplish the task that is overwhelming me. Going through this process gives me the motivation and drive to tackle the situation or task with positivity and optimism. - Rachelle Miller
- Teamwork keeps me bouncy because everything is better when I have the support and encouragement of colleagues to stay the course. - Renee Calhoon
- Having a supportive network of colleagues helps me bounce back. I feel really fortunate to have a group of colleagues here in the COE, in K-12 schools, and at other universities that challenge me to always keep learning and growing in my work. When I come up against challenges, it's the people in my community that encourage and motivate me, and I'm so grateful for those people! - Jessica Herring Watson
- My family keeps me "bouncy". - Nathan White
- If resilience is the ability to bounce back, I am reminded that bouncing back implies engagement with some object or form with which I have contact. If bounce begins with contact, mine is represented by daily practice at dawn. After greeting and feeding five dogs which contain enough energy to supply bounce for a week, I engage in a few daily asanas, meditate and walk the labyrinth. Before fully greeting the day, I enjoy a couple of cups of coffee, then move on to share a cherished walk with my friend Susan. The final flourish is the resolution of all the problems in the world by 8:00 am. - Patty Kohler
Mid-South Educational Research Association Conference 2022:
The Mid-South Educational Research Association recently celebrated its 50th year in Little Rock, Arkansas and was well represented by faculty and students from the UCA College of Education. The Mid-South Educational Research Association was formed in 1972 as a nonprofit incorporated educational organization to encourage and provide results of quality educational research in elementary and secondary schools and in institutions of higher learning. This year's annual meeting was led and organized by Dr. Michael S. Mills, 2022 President, and Drs. Nykela Jackson and Rachelle Miller, Co-Program Chairs. Other members of the UCA faculty who served on the 2022 MSERA board include Dr. Stefanie Sorbet, Arkansas Director and Local Arrangements, Mrs. Sunny Styles-Foster, Membership and Local Arrangements, Dr. Michelle Buchanan, Local Arrangements, and Dr. Jessica Herring-Watson, At-Large Member.
UCA students and faculty who participated as a presenter are listed below:
Baldwin, Amy - Bell, Jennifer - Bentley, Kristy - Bruick, Thomas - Buchanan, Michelle - Cotabish, Alicia - Couture, Valerie - Curry-Browne, Ruthann - Dailey, Deborah - Duncan, Taine - Felix, Rochelle - Feng, Shoudong - Freed, Allison - Gieringer, Noël - Gomes, Leslie - Green, Charlotte - Groves-Scott, Victoria - Hawkins, Amy - Herring Watson, Jessica - Jackson, Nykela - Kohler, Patricia - Lenz, Keith - Marshall, Laura - Miller, Rachelle - Mills, Michael - Nadelson, Louis - Oyeniyi, Odunola - Price, Vincent - Sartain, Kimberley - Shaw, Erin - Smith, Melissa - Sorbet, Stefanie - Styles-Foster, Sunny - Thompson, Amy - Trumble, Jason - Voegele, Crystal - Wake, Donna
* See photos below
Educators Rising 2022:
The UCA College of Education hosted the Region 2 Educators Rising Conference on Wed., Nov. 30, 2022, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Both high school Educators Rising members enrolled in a pre-educator program of study and collegiate preservice students attended. We hosted 108 high school students and 35 college students (UCA students and ASU Beebe). High schools included Batesville, Vilonia, Conway, Southside Charter, Beebe, Arkansas Virtual Academy, Greenbrier, and Mountain Home.
Students began the day with an inspirational keynote address from Jessica Saum, 2022 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. Students engaged in professional development sessions focused on Universal Design for Learning, STEM, social emotional learning, college readiness, culturally responsive learning, and work/life balance. A third of the students participated in education-related competitions: children’s literature; interactive bulletin board; job interview; lesson planning; public speaking; impromptu speaking; inside our school presentation; teacher created materials; and exploring administrative, non-core, and education support careers.
Dr. Nykela Jackson (Department of Teaching and Learning) serves as the Region 2 Coordinator/Educators Rising Campus Advisor. Dr. T.K. Anderson (Department of Teaching and Learning) and Ms. Catherine Miller (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) also serve as campus advisors.
Thank you to the faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and student workers who helped plan, organize, volunteer, serve as judges, and present sessions. This was a fantastic, college-wide event with faculty and staff support from every department and office in the UCA College of Education.
For more information about Educators Rising please visit https://sites.google.com/pdarkansas.net/edrisingarkansas/home.
*See photos below
Acceleration of Learning Communities of Practices Grant:
Drs. Debbie Dailey (Department of Teaching and Learning), Brandy Walthall (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education), and Nathan White (Department of Leadership Studies). attended the Acceleration of Learning Communities of Practices Grant Kickoff event on Saturday, December 5, 2022.
According to an email from Karli Saracini (Arkansas Department of Education), the grant supports the Arkansas Initiative for Instructional Materials (AIIM) that is focused on every student in Arkansas having equitable access to high-quality instructional materials (HQIM), grade-level instruction, and responsive practices leading to opportunities to reach college, career, and life goals. The Communities of Practice (CoP) will be focused around Identifying Learning Loss and Accelerating Learning using High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM).
Education Service Co-ops, in partnership with a national partner, will bring together groups of Arkansas system leaders (district and school teams as well as EPP leaders). The CoP will explore the leadership practices essential to overseeing the implementation of learning supports that meet the moment, while staying focused on long-term recovery and acceleration goals. Also, the CoP includes a series of sessions that includes research and evidence-based strategies to
- identify learning loss in mathematics and literacy
- address and plan for acceleration of learning using HQIM
The purpose of the kickoff event was to learn more about the grant opportunity, research, and promising practices that will support this effort.
*See photo (from left to right: Dr. Brandy Walthall, Dr. Debbie Dailey, and Dr. Nathan White)
Student Labyrinth Guide Training:
UCA and Veriditas, an organization “dedicated to inspiring transformation through the labyrinth experience” recently collaborated on providing the first ever Student Labyrinth Guide Training. Lars Howlett, Master Labyrinth Builder and Advanced Labyrinth Facilitator led the virtual training for nine UCA students, including three students and two faculty members from the College of Education. The participating faculty members were Dr. Susan Perry and Dr. Deanna Rice, and the COE student participants were Alli Earl and Adelaide Spradling, K-6 majors, and Kyle Brott, graduate student in the Leadership SMLA program. Students from California, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania also helped facilitate the training.
Increasingly, the labyrinth is being used as a mindfulness tool on college and university campuses. UCA’s labyrinth is one of two labyrinths in Arkansas on higher education campuses. Ashley Cooksey (TLC Director) made wooden finger labyrinths which were mailed to participants. During the training, all participants engaged in finger labyrinth walks and walking meditation activities. For more information on our labyrinth, here is a link to an article about the UCA labyrinth’s installation in 2013: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2013/may/05/uca-gets-first-labyrinth/ and a video about its installation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o5AhOkjtiQ.
*See photos below
In the Classroom:
*See photos below
*See photos below
*See photo to the right
*See photos below
*See photo (left-right: Dr. Herring-Watson, Ms. Forrest)
On Saturday, November 5, Jada Simpson, a sophomore elementary education major, was crowned Miss University of Central Arkansas 2023.
In addition to winning the title and crown, Jada also won:
- Overall Private Interview
- Academic Achievement Award (highest gpa)
- Overall Dance Performance (Talent)
- Producers Award
Jada’s mission is to use her platform to promote her anti-bullying campaign: Be a H.E.R.O. and Just Say NO to Bullying while representing the university with grace, confidence, and dignity. After graduation, she has the goal of pursing a master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Deb Kuster:
According to Amazon.com, "Jake the Deer-Hearted is a hopeful story about a curious, ill-proportioned dog who wanders away from his dog family. The lost puppy is befriended by a small herd of deer in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Jake is the unexpected hero who overcomes hardships, learns about values and companionship, and realizes his dreams of becoming deer-like and finding his human family."
Dr. Vincent Price:
Dr. Jason Trumble:
The article, "Three Domains for Technology Integration in Science Teacher Education", proposes three domains for the integration of technology and science in science teacher education. You can read the article by going to https://citejournal.org/volume-22/issue-4-22/science/three-domains-for-technology-integration-in-science-teacher-education/.
Dr. Jake Walker:
When asked what prepared him for this position he said, "Honestly, my life. In my family...on my mom's side of the family...my generation is the first to graduate high school." He's also held numerous jobs since he was 13. "I was a soda jerk, a puppeteer, an actor, worked in food service, I've done every job in a chicken plant, waited tables, certified nurses aid, family service worker for DHS, graduate research assistant..."
Dr. Walker holds a B.S. in Medical Sociology from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Technologies from Mississippi State University (MSU), an M.S. in Sociology from MSU, and a Ph.D. in Education - Instructional Systems and Workforce Development from MSU.
"Education on its own will never get someone out of poverty. You have to have a culture change. You have to have a support system around you that values education." - Dr. Jake Walker
For more information about ARC please go to https://arc.arkansas.gov/arcweb/about_us.html.