College of Education Newsletter

July 2022

Message from the Dean:

Most of you know by now that I had a hiking accident in May. This left me with surgery on my right wrist and the inability to use my arm and hand. The good news is that I'm working with physical therapy and that I should regain full use of my arm and hand in the next few months. For someone who has lived their life with the motto "I can do that," this has been a testing experience. I find myself in a position where each day I say numerous times "I can't do that." There are many things that I'm not able to do (YET): type, open water bottle, sign my name, fold laundry, use a fork in my right hand..... Every time I run up against an obstacle I think about my background in special education. In disability studies people are often referred to as TABs, temporarily able bodied. The notion is that at some point of our life we will be unable to do things independently. I clearly fit into this category right now (although it's getting better every day). This experience has made me more acutely aware of those around me who work around obstacles every day. Their resilience, determination, and positive attitudes are inspiring. It has also pushed me to identify all of the positive things in my life. One of which is the constant humor I get while using dictation. For example, UCA turns into "You See A," Chairs Council is "Cheers Council," ASU Beebe is "ASU Baby," and my name is spelled: Vicky, Vickie, Vikki, Dickie, Mickey. I'm also overwhelmed by the support that I've been given this summer and the privilege that I have. I was able to work at home for a few days after surgery so I could elevate my arm and avoid driving. Many people have offered to drive me to appointments, have delivered food to my house, have checked in on me, and have sent me cheery notes. I'm deeply grateful for these acts of kindness. My sons recently took me to the river (my happy place). There's nothing like having your adult sons plop you in an inner tube, send you down the river, and then extract you from said innertube at the end of a short float. Getting hoisted out of an inner tube is definitely one of the things that I will put on my list of humbling experiences.

All of this being said, it brings me a greater appreciation for my family, my job, and for everyone with whom I work. It's always good to be reminded that we are all human and we all need a helping hand at one time or the other. I hope you all enjoy the last few months of summer and get time to reflect on your gifts. I look forward to seeing you all back in the building soon.

-Vicky, Vickie, Vikki, Dickie, Mickey, Vicki Groves-Scott

The Rock Fairy Strikes UCA:

You might have seen painted rocks around the UCA campus...especially outside of Mashburn.

The "Rock Fairy" started her production in 2020 as a way to serve teachers during Covid. She first placed the painted rocks at a middle school near her home at the teachers' entrances. Then branched out to the UCA campus and typically placed them outside Mashburn and the Student Center for both students and faculty to find. Words painted on the colorful rocks such as Patience, Joy, Calm, Hope, etc., were meant to encourage others during the pandemic.

If picking up or just seeing a painted rock brings a smile to another person, the Rock Fairy is happy! She has no plans to discontinue what has become a hobby now as she often creates rocks with messages and colors specific to various seasons/occasions (e.g., autumn, spring, back to school, etc.).

*See photos below

ISTE Educator Preparation Programs for Digital Equity and Transformation Pledge:

Digital environments continue to change and impact every level of education and UCA's College of Education is leading the way toward equitable effective digital age teacher preparation. With full attention to the future of educator preparation, the UCA COE has pledged to continue incorporating best practices and digital innovation. Dr. Vicki Groves-Scott signed the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Educator Preparation Program's EPPs FOR DIGITAL EQUITY AND TRANSFORMATION PLEDGE

As described on the ISTE website, COVID-19 has transformed the education landscape, creating urgency to build teacher skills that support student success in digital environments. This once-in-a-generation moment can empower us to create lasting changes in how we prepare new teachers.

ISTE in partnership with the US Department of Education and with support from AACTE, AAQEP, SITE, and CAEP is working to support educator preparation programs (EPPs) in order to meet this need through the ISTE Standards. As a framework for effective teaching and learning with technology, the standards are recognized by all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Along with other education preparation programs, we have decided to continue our exemplary record of training teachers to successfully engage all-digital age learners in this complex, diverse, and ever-evolving digital world. The pledge includes five elements to which the UCA COE is fully committed.

  1. Prepare teachers to thrive in digital learning environments.

  2. Prepare teachers to use technology to pursue on-going professional learning.

  3. Prepare teachers to apply frameworks to accelerate transformative digital learning.

  4. Equip all faculty to continuously improve expertise in technology for learning.

  5. Collaborate with school leaders to identify shared digital teaching competencies.

As the US Department of Education works on the next iteration of the National Education Technology Plan (NETP), this commitment positions UCA and our partnerships at the forefront of best practices for preparing teachers to enter the classroom now and to innovate their instruction for years into the future.

2022 College of Education Summer Professional Development Series:

This summer, the College of Education once again presented the Summer Professional Development Series. This series offers free professional development sessions with each attendee able to earn two hours of professional development credit. Speakers consisted of UCA College of Education faculty members, students, and staff from Arkansas IDEAS and Arkansas Public School Resource Center.

Dr. Amy Thompson (Program Coordinator for the graduate Literacy/Dyslexia program in the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) utilized a graduate school recruitment grant to bring in literacy/dyslexia themed speakers for the professional development series. Speakers included: Dr. Jan Wasowicz, Dr. Mary Dahlgren, Dr. Peg Dawson, and Natalie Wexler.

So far, approximately 660 attendees have attended over 20 sessions. There are three sessions remaining in the series. For more information, to view past presented sessions, or to register for one of our remaining sessions, please visit

Bearswrite: From Pencils to Pixels

After a two-year COVID-related hiatus, the UCA College of Education hosted Bearwrite: From Pencils to Pixels. The camp involved 50+ students in grades 4-9, six teachers from the Conway School District, and multiple faculty and volunteers. Students spent the week working with visiting authors Jeff Zentner, Kimberly Willis Holt, Maria Hoskins, and Sheila Jeffries. Students also visited the Torreyson Library, the Ronnie Williams Student Center, and Christian Cafeteria. The week started with a visit from Archie, the Arch Ford emotional support dog. When asked what they liked best about their time at the camp, most students replied "the free writing." We call that a successful camp!

*See photos below

College of Education Grab & Go Maker Kits

In lieu of a summer camp, the Technology Learning Center (TLC) assembled Grab and Go Maker Kits for students in grades K-6. Each pack contained an activity to be assembled that was created on our Glowforge, a book, activity booklet, UCA swag, and other materials needed to complete each activity.

This year, we were able to distribute 50 kits with five themes available: Amelia Earhart,

Alphabet and Handwriting, Koalas, Kindness, and Knights and Castles.

We would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors!

UCA Bookstore - UCA swag

Kristen L. Gray, author - books and bookmarks

Dr. Erin Shaw, UCA Library Media & Information Technologies program - Knights/Castles pack

Dr. Amy Thompson, UCA MSE Literacy / Dyslexia Endorsement program - Alphabet & Handwriting pack

Student/Alumni News:

Aida Kuettle:

Aida Kuettle, UCA Alumna, was recently named a 2022 Outstanding Alumna for the University of Arkansas Community College, Morrilton.

Since she started her career twenty years ago as an educator in 2009, Aida has had a personal commitment and moral obligation to help fellow language learners in her classroom as either English learners or Spanish learners. A native of Cuernavaca, Mexico, Aida moved to the United States to study English and to be closer to her extended family. Aida has been a volunteer translator and interpreter for Conway County since 2001. Her passion for helping others through her ability to communicate in two languages inspired her to return to school and pursue an Associate of Arts in General Education. She enrolled at the University of Arkansas Community College in Morrilton as a non-traditional student and graduated with honors as she completed an Associate of Arts in General Education degree. Her academic records at UACCM made her eligible to receive a Transfer Scholarship to the University of Central Arkansas to complete her bachelor's degree in Spanish Education with an ESL endorsement.

Aida completed a Master of Science of Education in Advance Studies and Teacher Leadership in 2015 and a Master of Arts in Spanish Literature and Linguistics in 2018, both degrees with the University of Central Arkansas. Aida is continuing her graduate education as a Ph.D. student in the Change Leadership for Equity and Inclusion Program at the University of Central Arkansas.

As a secondary educator in Morrilton High school, Aida has been able to support language learners as an ESOL instructor helping her senior students to obtain the Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy for the first time in the history of the South Conway County School District. She is also the recipient of the Arkansas Bilingual Interpreters Credential in Education, a professional credential recognized by the Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education. She was also recently selected as the Morrilton High School 2022 Teacher of the Year.

Faculty/Staff News:

Michele Pawlik

Michele Pawlik joins the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE) as a Visiting Professor. She has been a resident of Central Arkansas her entire life. Michele is a lifelong college student and came from modest beginnings at UACCM, where she earned two associate's degrees; Arkansas Tech University with two bachelor's degrees and UCA with a master's degree in reading while attending the therapist program with the APPLE Group in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate in literacy at St. John's University in Queens, New York.

During her 27-year college journey, Michele worked at the South Conway School District, Wonderview High School, and UACCM, the college where it all started. Over the years, she has taught many students and is blessed to have impacted their lives. She looks forward to continuing to share her love of learning with the students of UCA.

Michele is the proudest of her relationship with Jesus and her son, Dillon. Her hobbies are exploring Arkansas, hiking to waterfalls, trail rides in the mountains, and camping.

Dr. Susan Perry

Dr. Susan Perry, Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE) recently received funding from the Nora Roberts Foundation.

This funding will help launch Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT) certification within ELSE's MSE Reading program. The funds will cover the cost of

materials needed for Dr. Perry’s Qualified Instructor (QI) training, which is the necessary first step in having the ability to train CALTs at UCA.

For more information about the Nora Roberts Foundation please go to

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