College of Education Newsletter

May 2019

Message from the Dean:

Welcome to Summer! One of the most exciting things happening every summer is our summer camps for K-12 students. It's our chance to reconnect with children and share exciting learning experiences. Many of our faculty and college students staff these camps. The camps promote summer learning with hands-on discovery activities and technology rich experiences in reading, writing, science, coding, and mathematics. Our summer experiences are designed to engage K-12 students in authentic and meaningful learning environments. Regardless of the camp, children love interacting with our College of Education faculty on the UCA campus.

Here's a special shout out to our camp directors: Dr. Donna Wake (BearsWrite), Dr. Jeff Whittingham (BearsWrite), Ashton Hankins (GirlsCode), Dr. Debbie Dailey (STEMulate Engineering Academy), Lisa Herrington (UCA Challenge), and Jamie Dallas (UCA Super Kids).

2019 Conway Elementary Robotics Competition:

Conway Gifted and Talented fourth graders competed in our Second Annual Robotics Competition hosted by the UCA's College of Education on May 6th. Seventy students, including eight teams of fourth-graders, engaged in coding and computational thinking challenges with Lego EV3 Robots. The challenges included: programming movement, sensors, and they even created art pieces using the robots. The challenges were judged by UCA faculty from various departments including: Teaching & Learning, Computer Science, Leadership Studies, Technology Learning Center (TLC), and Elementary, Literacy and Special Education as well as volunteers from Acxiom.

Ida Burns Elementary won the competition for the second year in a row.

2019 Partnership Cafe:

The UCA College of Education held its 3rd annual Partnership Cafe on May 7th. The purpose of the Cafe is to help ensure the COE is providing our partners and candidates with the support and resources they need during early and advanced field placements. The Cafe provides an opportunity for our partners to share their thoughts and ideas and to provide input on how best to move forward in our field practices. Attendees include UCA faculty, K-12 administrators and teachers, community partners, and current and former UCA graduates.

At this year's Partnership Cafe, the COE presented awards to our school partners. Darlene Sorenson, Administrative Assistant at Conway Junior High School, received the Above and Beyond Award. The Administrator of the Year award was given to Amy Jordan, Principal of Courtway Middle School. Our School Partner of the Year was South Conway County School District who was represented by the Assistant Superintendent Lora Hendrix.

2019 College of Education Faculty Awards:

On Thursday, April 18th, Drs. Nykela Jackson, Deborah Dailey, and Jason Trumble were recognized at the COE End of Year Reception as faculty award winners.

Dr. Jackson received the COE Research Award. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning where she teaches in the MAT and Gifted programs. Her research focuses on differentiated instruction, technology integration, recruiting and retaining teachers of color, and culturally responsive teaching. Over the past five years, she has authored multiple publications and has presented at conferences at the state, national, and international levels.

Dr. Dailey received the COE Teaching Award. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and coordinates the gifted education program. Dr. Dailey focuses on making her instruction both exciting and engaging. Her philosophy of education focuses on social learning theory, and her courses involve an established community of learning both online and in face-to-face teaching contexts. She models student-centered active learning and responsive teaching. At UCA, her primary goal is to help develop responsive, reflective, and informed educators who can make a difference with children in their own classrooms.

Dr. Trumble received the COE Service Award. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Trumble has a clear record of service to department, college, university, and the profession. He has served on multiple committees at the department, college, and university levels. Notable is his work in the COE technology committee, he was able to be involved with the renovation of the shared technology focused learning spaces working across departments in the creative process. Dr. Trumble’s professional service in the community includes work with the STEMulate Academy and STEMulate Saturdays. He has also been active with both Vilonia and Greenbrier students involved in a maker pedagogy project.

2019 College of Education Student Awards:

Several COE students received student awards at the 2019 COE Teacher Pinning Ceremony held on May 3rd in Ida Waldron Auditorium.

Ricki Stevens - Kappa Delta Pi Outstanding Undergraduate Intern (Fall 2018) - Ricki was nominated by her UCA supervisor, field placement coordinator, and her mentor. She majored in Special Education. Ricki's mentor noted, "Ricki has always been on it. She is extremely responsible and conscious of time frames, due process dates, meetings, student grades, and school calendar dates. I have been blessed by having her as my intern. She has taught me many things and reminded me of important things. She is a one-of-a-kind young lady."

Jacob Waymon - Kappa Delta Pi Outstanding Undergraduate Intern (Spring 2019) - Jason was nominated by his UCA supervisor who noted, 'Jacob is one of the finest interns with whom I have had the pleasure of working. He is deeply committed to student success and reflects deeply on his teaching, both of which have helped him to grow in his professional practice this semester." Jacob is a music education major.

Jacqueline Bearden - Kappa Delta Pi Outstanding MAT Intern (Fall 2018) - Jacqueline was nominated by her UCA supervisor who stated, "Jacki exceeds all of the expectations of the MAT program and demonstrates that she is a distinguished educator on the TESS rubric. Expertly, she designs and aligns the curriculum, instruction, and assessments to build upon their current status, show her care, and allow for each student's autonomy to relate to and express their learning in ways that showcase their greater strengths and support their lesser strengths fairly, yet firmly."

Amy Jones - Kappa Delta Pi Outstanding MAT Intern (Spring 2019) - Amy was nominated by her UCA supervisor who notes, 'Amy demonstrates incredible insight and inspiration via her abilities to center the teaching and learning on social justice as knowledge, skills, and dispositions. She wants her students to understand US History from multiple perspectives that tell everyone's story."

Brooke Winstead - Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE) Student of the Year - Brooke is an elementary education major during which she has worked in classrooms at Amboy Elementary, Anne Watson Elementary, and Westside Elementary. She is the current student representative for the Undergraduate Elementary Advisory Board. Throughout her time as a teacher candidate at UCA, she has consistently demonstrated integrity, passion, and a resilient dedication to the profession that drew her in as a young child.

Triston Clements - Teaching & Learning Undergraduate Student of the Year - Triston began pursuing his Biochemistry/Pre-Med degree with the intent of going to medical school but then had a change of heart and recognized his true love of teaching in STEM as well as coaching. He has had a strong positive attitude and devotion to teaching, which has been evident throughout his time in the STEM program.

Sarah Alt - Teaching & Learning Graduate Student of the Year - Sarah is a 2nd grade teacher at Maumelle Charter School, where she started in 2015 as a Title 1 Interventionist. She is a born educator and someone who holds the highest standards of professional preparation and passion for enthusiasm for engaging classroom environments, knowing that early education done well ignites, inspires, and helps students see themselves as being able to change the world to one that will be better for all and not just some.

Molly Rottman - College of Education Student of the Year - Molly is earning her BS in Education with plans to teach high school history. She is an active member of Kappa Delta Pi, has helped with the BearsRead Literacy Program, has served as a COE Student Ambassador, has assisted faculty with several social studies education projects, has volunteered in middle school classrooms, and has participated in the college faculty mentoring project for four years.

Arkansas Department of Education: Pathway Credentials

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) recently approved UCA's 15-hour K-12 Dyslexia endorsement as a proficiency in science of reading Phase I Pathway. Our program is part of Pathway R.

According to the ADE webpage, "Act 1063 of 2017, the Right to Read Act states: “By the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year: A) All teachers employed in a teaching position that requires an elementary education (K-6) license or special education (K-12) license shall demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction; and B) All other teachers shall demonstrate awareness in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction." The ADE has established various pathways for teachers who must demonstrate Proficiency or Awareness in scientific reading instruction (

For more information about our Reading/Dyslexia program, please visit

Education Week: UCA Prepares their Teachers in the Science of Reading

The UCA Reading/Dyslexia program was recently featured on the PBS NewsHour. Education Week filmed Dee Dee Cain (Clinical Instructor in the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education at UCA), Kristi Starks (Dyslexia Coordinator and Literacy Facilitator at Anne Watson Elementary), as well as teacher candidates and the students they work with at Anne Watson Elementary in Bigelow. The video provides information about the science of reading and the work the work UCA COE is doing with some of the students at Anne Watson.

To watch the video online please click the story below.

Student News:

Taylor Beevers

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its End of Year Banquet on Monday, April 22nd. Taylor Beevers, the SGA COE representative and an Elementary Education major, was awarded the Larry Burns Senator of the Year award for her outstanding contributions to SGA and her leadership. Most notable was her leadership in the OER resolution and installment of feminine hygiene dispensers in every UCA building.

Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis was announced as one of two winners of the Gladys Sachse Endowed Scholarship. She will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to support her studies in the Graduate Library Media Program for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Andrea is currently a Kindergarten teacher at Cherokee Elementary School in Highland, Arkansas. She plans to graduate from UCA's Library Media program in 2021. Andrea said, "When I graduate I intend to become an elementary school librarian in the Highland School District. Some of the plans I have include: collaborating with grade level teachers to plan lessons that correlate with what students are learning in the classroom, integrate more technology into our library to meet the needs of the students, design the library to be the hub of the school with a fun and exciting atmosphere, help teachers understand copyright laws, and update the current collection of books."

Lindsay Phillips

Lindsay Phillips was announced as one of two winners of the Gladys Sachse Endowed Scholarship. She will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to support her studies in the Graduate Library Media Program for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Lindsay is currently the media specialist at MicroSociety Magnet in Jonesboro, AR. This is her 10th year of teaching. She taught three years in Kindergarten and six years in 4th grade literacy. Andrea plans to graduate from UCA’s Library Media program in December 2019. Her initial plans as a library media specialist are: create a 21st century library, replace tables and chairs with flexible seating, begin creating MakerSpace areas for the library, collaborate with teachers on technology lessons, and conduct workshops on technology for teachers once a month.

Faculty News:

Dr. Jud Copeland

Dr. Copeland, Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership Studies, recently had an article published. His article titled, "The emergence of the Metis classification system: The challenge to Dewey" was published in the Winter 2019 volume 81, number 3 edition of Louisiana Libraries Journal. The article focuses on the current initiative by school librarians nationwide to adopt the Metis Classification System and “ditch” the Dewey Decimal System.

The Louisiana Libraries Journal reviews articles for publication through a blind review process.

Dr. Stephanie Huffman

The Arkansas Association of Instructional Media announced Dr. Huffman as the winner of AAIM’s Herb Lawrence Leadership Service Award. She will receive the award at the AAIM Annual Conference in Rogers, AR. Dr. Huffman currently serves as a Professor in the Department of Leadership Studies at UCA. She was recently named Department Head of Reading, Foundations, and Technology at Missouri State University.

The AAIM Herb Lawrence Leadership Service Award may be given to honor an AAIM member who has made significant contribution to AAIM and its progress through outstanding service to the Association. Dr. Huffman was nominated by her peer, Dr. Erin Shaw who said, “Her service to AAIM has been ongoing - as Legislative Committee Chair, Retirement Conference Committee Chair, intermittent Board Member and sharing numerous presentations of best practices and research in the fields of school library and information technology at many of the annual AAIM conferences. She has contributed significantly in the area of leadership and service by sharing her expertise and volunteering her time to the betterment of AAIM, and library and technology professions in the state of Arkansas. Dr. Huffman has been a professor instructing and mentoring future school librarians for over 17 years. Her influence has ensured graduates of the UCA library media program are prepared to lead school libraries successfully.”

For more information about the AAIM Awards, please visit

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