College of Education Newsletter

November 2017

Message from the Dean:

Gratitude, Thankful, Appreciative

Dr. Robert Emmons, professor at the University of California, Davis, and one of the leading researchers on the the science of gratitude, has been studying the effect of keeping a gratitude journal. It turns out that there is a a link between consciously thinking about what one is grateful for and well-being. Specifically, gratitude can increase happiness and reduce depression. Gratitude has also been linked to better physical health, reduction in aggression, improved sleep, greater resilience and higher self-esteem. So, how can you reap the benefits of a gratitude journal? Start slow, and don't over do it. It's suggested that you should only write in your gratitude journal once or twice a week. Think about the things that mean something special to you. Don't spend time reflecting on the trivial. Although dinner on Tuesday might have been yummy, think about why you are particularly thankful for that dinner. Did you eat with someone special, are you proud that you accomplished a complicated dish that your family enjoyed, did you get some quiet time to eat dinner alone and recharge, did your meal remind you of something from your childhood? When writing, get personal, think more about people than things.

As William Ward says, " Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." Here is wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving full of peace, family, and love. I personally am grateful for all that you do!!!! Vicki

Read more about the research-proven benefits of gratitude.

Take this gratitude quiz to learn how grateful you are.

Mashburn Technology Suite Ribbon Cutting:

The College of Education celebrated the grand opening of the newly renovated Mashburn Technology Suite on November 6th.

The suite consists of a state of the art technology enhanced classroom (equipped with MacBook computers, modular furniture, and televisions), a makers space, a digital learning commons (or Technology Learning Center), and a large meeting room.

Dean Victoria Groves-Scott remarked, "This is not about the renovation of a space, this is about the outward expression of the College of Education's commitment to effective pedagogy. We have moved beyond the "sage on the stage" method of teaching into teaching as facilitating deep and meaningful learning. We will use these spaces to create collaborative environments to spur innovation, creativity, and learning for transformation."

Dr. Michael Mills, Teaching and Learning Chair, stated "The renovated TLC gives us a tremendous opportunity to change the way we teach our candidates, giving them a glimpse of how they can transform their own classrooms into spaces that engage students and give them agency in their learning."

Thank you so much for everyone who attended, and thank you to the students, faculty, and staff for your patience while the renovations took place!

2+2 Partner Symposium:

The College of Education hosted a 2+2 Partner Symposium on November 10th. The focus of the Symposium was on strengthening our collaboration and building seamless transitions for students from 2 year colleges to UCA in teacher education. It even included a panel of UCA students who transferred from a 2 year college.

Thanks to Brian Corbin, Yolanda Mitchell, and (especially) Gary Bunn for organizing this great event. And thanks to our partners who came from near and far to work together.

Quotes from our Community College partners (related to the Summit):

  • The UCA 2+2 degrees provide seamless and guaranteed course transfer opportunities for our students. The support that we receive from Brian (Corbin) on degree development and maintenance and Geoff on advising are unparalleled -- they have no rivals or equals.
  • UCA is a valuable partner that truly understands the concept of 2+2.
  • I don't have a lot of students right not who are transferring to UCA, but I hope that will change in the future.
  • Dealing with UCA is easy and friendly.
  • Thank you for helping to make a 4-year degree more accessible to community college students.

2017 Mid-South Educational Research Association (MSERA) Annual Meeting:

Seven faculty from the College of Education traveled to Starkville, Mississippi to present and engage at the Mid-South Educational Research Association's annual meeting for 2017. Dr. Valerie Couture, Dr. NaMi Bang, Dr. Angela Harless from the department of Leadership Studies, and Dr. Jason Trumble, Dr. Nykela Jackson, Dr. Michael Mills, and Dr. Rachelle Miller from the department of Teaching & Learning presented eight research presentations over the course of three days. They engaged in meaningful collaboration with colleagues from other universities in development of their approaches to research design, implementation, and analysis. To cap off the UCA COE participation at MSERA, Dr. Jackson and Dr. Miller were awarded the distinguished paper award for MSERA 2017.
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UCA Kappa Delta Pi:

Congratulations to UCA Kappa Delta Pi! They recently won a program award under the communications category at the KDP Convocation in Pittsburgh, PA on October 26-28.

Jacob Wilkerson and Noel Nims represented UCA at the KDP Convocation, and Mrs. Mara Cawein, KDP counselor in the Teaching & Learning Department, accompanied Jacob and Noel in Pittsburgh.

Student Accomplishments:

Faculty Accomplishments:

Retirement: Laura Kendrick

The College of Education would like to announce the retirement of Ms. Laura Kendrick. Ms Laura, as she is affectionately called by Teaching and Learning (T&L) students has been at UCA since August of 1986. She began working in the College of Business and later transitioned to the College of Education. Dr. Tammy Benson, Professor in T&L, stated that Laura was the first and only Administrative Assistant for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program and helped her build the program. MAT students in particular have always loved Ms. Laura because of her ability to be helpful, calm, and positive. She has always gone the extra mile for students.

Laura's presence in T&L and the College of Education will be greatly missed. Please join us in celebrating her 31 years of service on Thursday, November 30th from 1:30 - 3:30 in Mashburn 103.