College of Education Newsletter

December 2019

Message from the Dean:

As Winter Break is fast approaching, many of us are preparing time to spend with our children and/or grandchildren. There is nothing better than the affection of a child. I'm reminded of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Here is an excerpt:

The Children's Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

Here's to a pleasant winter break filled with love, friends, family, and warmth.


Kappa Delta Pi:

The UCA Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) initiated 23 new members this semester. Initiation was held on November 20th in Mashburn Hall. Dr. Patty Phelps assisted with the festivities.

Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society for education majors. The three goals of KDP are:

  • Recognize educators who exhibit the ideals of scholarship, high personal standards, and commitment to the educational profession.
  • Address the needs of members throughout all phases of their career in education.
  • Provide a learning community that supports professional growth.

For more information about KDP please contact one of the counselors listed below.

Crystal Voegele

Dr. Nancy Gallavan

Hour of Code:

EDUC 4210 students hosted an Hour of Code for 90 Conway elementary students on Friday, November 22nd. Third and Fourth grade gifted students from all Conway elementary schools participated in a variety of hands-on coding and robotics activities. These activities included: exploring Swift Playgrounds, programming Dash robots to navigate mazes, creating art with Sphero, navigating a coding-themed escape room, and using Splats to complete a PE-integrated coding activity.

The event was facilitated by EDUC 4210 faculty Dr. Jason Trumble and Ms. Jessica Herring-Watson.

UCA COE Students are Merry and Bright!

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Where Are They Now:

Mr. Heath Dow:

Heath is a 2009 UCA Early Childhood Education major. He has been teaching in the Conway School District since graduating from UCA. Heath completed his Masters in Educational Leadership and he is now the Assistant Principal at Theodore Jones Elementary. Additionally, Heath is a K-2 RISE Trainer and leads RISE training for teachers throughout Conway School District.

Heath shared, "Every Friday, I make popcorn for our teachers, just as a happy Friday surprise. Dr. Tammy Woosley, Theodore Jones Elementary Principal, has been going around to classrooms with a cart with little surprises for our teachers for some time now. Our popcorn and cotton candy machines became extensions of what she started here. I got the idea for the popcorn and cotton candy machines while I was at Florence Mattison Elementary. We also will use it and the cotton candy machine for parties for our students. We have had classes that have earned either a popcorn or cotton candy party for collecting canned goods, raising money for veterans, and to reward their hard work."

Heath said, "I am so proud of the work our school is doing for our kids. We have teachers that go so far beyond what is required for our students. They are helping to change kids' lives!"

Where Are They Now Submissions:

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

Faculty News:

Ms. Jamie Dallas:

Jamie Dallas, Clinical Instructor in the department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education, was chosen by Emily Doss and Lexi Miller (ELSE candidates and UCA Volleyball team members) to be recognized at the Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night game that was held on November 14th.

Ms. Lisa Herrington:

Students in Ms. Lisa Herrington's ELSE 3305 class recently participated in a Book Tasting. Ms. Herrington uses this approach as a way to introduce non-fiction books in a unique way. This also serves as a way to teach her students how to host a Book Tasting in their own classroom. Tables are arranged with biographies, autobiographies, informational text, and other nonfiction books on social studies topics. Students are asked to provide feedback at the end. Here is what one had to say, "This was such a fun way to explore different books! I enjoyed getting to look through so many different kinds of nonfiction."

Dr. Stefanie Sorbet:

Dr. Stefanie Sorbet, Assistant Professor in the department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education, recently learned her research article titled, Mentoring Matters: The Exchange Between a Mentor and Mentee and the Effect on Teacher Retention, will be published in the fall journal of ArATE (Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators).

Dr. Amy Thompson:

Dr. Amy Thompson, Assistant Professor in the department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education; recently presented at the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers conference in Corpus Christi, TX.

Dr. Thompson presented, "Principles, Practices, Professionalism, and Promise: The P's in ExPeriential Learning" and "Comparative Perceptions of Teacher Candidates’ Reading Clinical Experiences" which is a joint research paper with Dr. Donna Wake (UCA COE Associate Dean). Dr. Thompson, along with ELSE student Taylor Beevers, also presented "Confidence and Its Impact on a Short-Term Literacy Intervention Program" which is a joint research paper with Dr. Shoudong Feng (Associate Professor in ELSE) and Ms. Beevers.

According to the ALER website, they seek to stimulate the self-development and professional growth of professors, teachers, reading specialists and students at all educational levels.

Dr. Jeff Whittingham:

Dr. Jeff Whittingham, Professor and ASTL Program Coordinator in the department of Teaching and Learning, has a blog entry in the Teaching Matters @ UCA blog for the CTE. Please go to to read "Hooked on Teaching" by Dr. Whittingham.

Student News:

Ms. Ann Broyles:

Recently, Arkansas Online Media Initiatives, in partnership with the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, offered a grant opportunity to increase the capacity of students and educators to utilize and create digital media content for the enhancement of student-focused education in Arkansas ( Arkansas public school educators will have the opportunity to use grant funds to create innovative classroom projects, develop professional growth activities, and provide students with the tools to create online media content.

In November 2019, some of the UCA Instructional Technology program students participated in this grant writing activity. One of our current students, Ann Broyles, successfully received an award from the Digital Media Production Tools Grant in the amount of $500. She will be able to use these funds to purchase a much-needed HD camcorder for the EAST program at her school. Ann is employed as an EAST facilitator at Maumelle Middle School. Congratulations, Ann! Way to go!

Thanks to Ms. Rachel Schell, Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative Technology Coordinator, who shared the information about the grant!

Ms. Allison Covington:

LIBM Practicum student Allison Covington is already showing success in the field. The grant she wrote with her field supervisor, Amber Heigle of West Junior High in West Memphis, was recently awarded. The Mobile Beacon Grant is worth approximately $25,000.

Thanks to @mobilebeacon’s Connect for Success digital inclusion technology grant, more students at West Junior High School will be able to go online to complete homework assignments, research new topics, and so much more. The grant awarded Includes 25 laptops and 25 4G LTE mobile hotspots with free, unlimited 4G LTE data plans for 12 months. UCA is so excited for the opportunities that this grant will offer the West Junior High students. Congrats to Allison, who graduates with her MS in Library Media and Information Technologies in December.

Ms. Rachel Sanders and Ms. Chayla Rutledge:

Congratulations to Rachel Sanders and Chayla Rutledge, UCA Doctoral Students in School Psychology, on their recent publication titled, Challenges with mathematics response to intervention: A graduate student perspective. This article will be published in Communique.

The Communique is the newsletter of the National Association of School Psychologists. The school psychology program partnered with North Little Rock Middle School - 6th-grade campus to develop Response to Intervention supports at the school. The school psychology practicum students served on Teacher Teams, provided interventions to students, and conducted group counseling with students. This article is an overview of our perspective on the process and the challenges we faced.

Dr. Josh Wilson

Congratulations to Dr. Josh Wilson for successfully defending his dissertation for a PhD in Leadership Studies. Josh's dissertation, "Hinging on Perceptions: Emergence of Leader Identity," focuses on emerging leadership within a socially marginalized and devalued group of people because of their intellectual and physical disabilities. He also co-authored, with his committee, two articles (chapters 4 & 6 of his dissertation) currently being peer-reviewed for high impact journals in leadership.

Dr. Rhonda McClellan served as chair of Josh's dissertation committee. Other committee members are Drs. Malcolm North, Duston Morris, and Tim Atkinson.

Ms. Marlowe Wilson and Ms. Savannah Raup:

Marlowe Wilson and Savannah Raup represented the College of Education in November at the National Council for Teachers of English 2019 Annual Convention. They presented a session titled The Wonders of the Adolescent Mind at an event titled The Future is Now: Exploring 21st Century Teaching Ideas with the Next Generation of English Teachers. Both Marlowe and Savannah are middle level education candidates. They were able to secure funding for their trip through the undergraduate student research fund. Ms. Sunny Styles-Foster with the Department of Teaching and Learning served as a mentor for the session.

Upcoming Events:

Arkansas SIM Update Conference:

The UCA Mashburn Center for Learning will be hosting an Arkansas SIM Update at the University of Central Arkansas on January 23 and 24, 2020. This event is free to all Arkansas educators and will meet the requirement for SIM Professional Developers to renew their certification.

The conference will feature school leaders from Warren, El Dorado, Berryville, and Watson Chapel, to name a few. These leaders will share their successes with implementation of Learning Strategies, Content Enhancement Routines, and Xtreme Reading. In addition, nationally recognized speakers and facilitators include Jocelyn Washburn, Director of Professional Development for the Strategic Instruction Model at KU, Jean Schumaker, Co-founder, Center for Research on Learning, KU, Jim Knight, author of numerous coaching resources and Director, Instructional Coaching Group, and Janice Creneti, Lead Instructional Staff Developer for Florida's State Personnel Development Grant SIM Project. This promises to be an exciting AND free conference, co-hosted by the UCA Mashburn Center and the Arkansas Department of Education.