College of Education Newsletter

November 2021

Message from the Dean:

Every year I talk about the things I'm grateful for in the November newsletter. This year is no exception. However I'm going to focus on my pets this time. If you are a "dog person", "cat person", "bunny person", or "animal person", you'll understand when I say that I'd like to be the person my dog thinks I am. I've been privileged to have loved and lost a wonderful boxer dog last year, Saint Louis. Now I have a sweet, energetic, energetic (did I say energetic?) one year old boxer named Nola.

Our pets have a way of centering us, making us feel loved, and providing a constant source of comfort. As a special education teacher I can speak to the power and healing of a good service animal. This year on Thanksgiving, I'd like to express my gratitude for my lovely pets because they are so much more than just a pet.

- Vicki Groves-Scott

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In the Classroom:

Students from Mrs. Alicia Brown’s (Clinical Instructor in the department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) 4301 Math and Science for Diverse Learners class designed and made activities for Milestones Services Inc. Monster Bash Trunk or Treat held Tuesday, October 26th.
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Internship I students in the Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE) program have participated in the Project Learning Tree Certification program. On November 3rd, students in the ELSE 4316 Mathematics and Science Strategies for K-6 Educators course completed this training program.

Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education initiative designed for teachers and other educators, parents, natural resource professionals, and community leaders working with youth from preschool to grade 12.

Project Learning Tree activities helps develop students’ awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the environment, builds their skills and ability to make informed decisions, and encourages them to take personal responsibility for sustaining the environment and our quality of life that depends on it. The PLT is a source of interdisciplinary instructional activities that work in both urban and rural settings, whether there is a forest or a single tree.

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Junior block students in Mrs. Dee Dee Cain’s (Senior Clinical Instructor in the department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) class are learning about Dr. Hollis Scarborough’s Reading Rope by making their own with colored pipe cleaners. Each of the 8 components of teaching reading effectively is represented by a different color pipe cleaner. This wonderful activity was shared at UCA by Caroline Gore, IDA, in 2016.
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UCA graduate students in the School and District Educational Leadership programs enjoyed interacting with a special guest speaker invited to the School Board Relations online course. Dr. Michael DiPaola, a renowned scholar at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, shared his insights and research about the role of superintendent and working with school boards. Dr. Bronwyn MacFarlane said, "It was a huge honor to have such an illustrious scholar be part of our class discussion." A student wrote, "Thank you so much for inviting Dr. DiPaola to class. I enjoyed his candidness and all his thoughts on working with the school board."
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MSERA Conference:

The Mid-South Education Research Association (MSERA) conference was held in New Orleans, LA November 10-12. The College of Education is proud to announce we had 12 attendees.

Dr. Nykela Jackson and Mrs. Jessica Herring Watson (department of Teaching and Learning) were named recipients of the James McLean Distinguished Paper Award. The focus of their paper is on using a case study approach to help teacher candidates engage in more culturally responsive classroom management. Dr. Michael Mills (COE Associate Dean) was installed as the incoming president of MSERA. Dr. Stefanie Sorbet (department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) serves at the Arkansas state director for MSERA.

COE faculty that presented at the conference were: Dr. Sorbet, Dr. Patty Kohler Evans (ELSE), Dr. Donna Wake (T&L), Dr. Renee Calhoon (ELSE), Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi (department of Leadership Studies), Dr. Shoudong Feng (ELSE), Mrs. Sunny Styles-Foster (T&L), and Dr. Keith Lenz (ELSE).


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

John Anglin:

John Anglin is a 2020 graduate of the Educational Leadership program. He is currently a physics professor at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

Anna Copeland:

Anna Copeland is a 2020 graduate of UCA with a degree in Biology/STEM Education. She is currently the EAST facilitator at Walnut Ridge High School, in Walnut Ridge, AR. She currently teaches anatomy and physiology.

Rochelle Flores:

Rochelle Flores is a 2019 Mathematics Education graduate of UCA. She is currently in her second year of teaching Geometry at Cabot High School. Rochelle shared, "I am two classes away from finishing my Masters in Mathematics Education. My husband and I are currently awaiting the arrival of our first child in 2022. I am proud to have survived my first two years of teaching in a pandemic."

Joe Graveley:

Joe Graveley is a 2019 UCA graduate with a degree in Chemistry/STEM Education. Joe shared, "I work for Rose Bud School District as the 7th and 8th grade science teacher. The curricula are a combination of physics, earth science, and life science. I am on track to begin teaching the AP and regular chemistry classes at the high school in the next couple of years when our veteran chemistry teacher retires. She has been a wonderful mentor to me in my short teaching career; thanks Mrs. Moon!"

Pamela Okolo:

Pamela Okolo is a 2017 elementary education graduate. Pamela shared, "Since I have graduated from UCA, I taught for 3 years for Mount Pleasant ISD in Mount Pleasant, Texas. I taught 4th grade writing my first year, and then I taught 1st grade in the dual-language program for two years. During my time working for Mount Pleasant ISD, I was voted for by the community as the #1 Favorite Teacher for Salute to Teachers by the Mount Pleasant Tribune. I was the only teacher in the entire school district to receive this special honor. I received my Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington, and I graduated with my Master's degree in December 2020. This school year is my fourth year in education. Currently, I am a middle school dyslexia interventionist for Dallas ISD in Dallas, Texas, and this is my first year in this role."

Dr. Jeremy Owoh:

Dr. Jeremy Owoh, was recently interviewed for a podcast episode on UCA Career Services' podcast entitled "Noteworthy Networks." Jeremy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from UCA in 2003. He was recently selected as the new superintendent of the Jacksonville/North Pulaski school district. His interview is featured in episode 4 for Season 1: Becoming an Effective Leader in Today’s Society with Dr. Jeremy Owoh.

You can listen to the episode featuring Dr. Jeremy Owoh here or find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.


Dr. TK Anderson:

Dr. TK Anderson’s (Clinical Instructor in the department of Teaching & Learning) recent dissertation, Representation of Black Men Educators in K-12 Public Schools: Impact on Recruitment, Retention, and Responsibilities to Education, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Distinguished Dissertation in Teacher Education Award. She will be represented at the 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago in February.

Dr. Debbie Dailey and Dr. Michelle Buchanan:

Dr. Debbie Dailey (Department Chair and Assistant Professor in the department of Teaching and Learning) and Dr. Michelle Buchanan (STEMteach Master Teacher/Clinical Instructor II in the department of Teaching & Learning) contributed a chapter, Recognizing and Developing STEM Talent Among Diverse Populations, to a recently released book, Creating Equitable Services for the Gifted: Protocols for Identification, Implementation, and Evaluation. The book, published by IGI Global, emphasizes research-based protocols to identify, serve, and evaluate programs for diverse gifted learners. Drs. Dailey and Buchanan's chapter explores methods to encourage STEM talent development and persistence in students from underrepresented populations.

Dr. Allison Freed

Dr. Allison Freed will join the department of Leadership Studies on January, 1, 2022. She will be an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the ITEC program.

Allison is a former high school science teacher. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University in 2015. After which, she began her career in academia at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. While at the University of the Ozarks, she was the Director of Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Science Education. Allison has several research interests. Currently, her research is focused on the transformational power of innovative learning experiences on students’ learning, development, and sense of place.

Allison loves to travel and has led a number of study abroad experiences for students from high school to college. During her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga, spending time on Greers Ferry Lake, and playing sports with her three kids (Liam (7), Logan (5), and Alexander (5 months)) and her husband Jesse.

Dr. Amy Thompson & Dr. Sun Thao

A multidisciplinary team of Dr. Sun Thao from Communication Sciences and Disorders and Dr. Amy Thompson from Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education presented an IDA On-Demand Conference session on digital literacy at the annual conference of International Dyslexia Association (IDA). The title of their presentation was Digital Literacy: Impact of Reading Disabilities on Online Learning. Student presenter Amber Gleghorn (Communication Sciences and Disorders) presented with them.

Dr. Jason Trumble:

Dr. Jason Trumble (department of Teaching & Learning) was recently voted as President Elect of ArkSTE (Arkansas Society for Technology in Education). He also recently published an online article in Tales from the Classroom (

Dr. Jeff Whittingham:

Dr. Jeff Whittingham (Professor in the department of Teaching & Learning) was awarded the Bessie B. Moore Trustee Award at the Arkansas Library Association Conference on October 14, 2021. The award is given to an individual trustee who has made a significant contribution to the development of a library at the local, regional or state level. Jeff serves as a trustee on the Faulkner County Library Board.

Tech Bytes:

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Academic Leadership (CETAL):

CETAL hosts several professional learning opportunities throughout the year. From Learning Communities and Book Groups to Lunch & Learn opportunities, CETAL continues to provide faculty and adjunct instructors with the tools they need to make their courses the best they can be.

CETAL also provides Instructional Consultation for new and seasoned online courses. Instructional consultations focus on course design, content delivery, and assessment of learning.

UCA IT Help Desk:

UCA's IT Help Desk is your one-stop-shop for all things Information Technology at UCA. The Help Desk is an online cache of tech tips, tutorials, and a place to request IT help. The help desk is where you will submit "tickets" for technology issues ranging from troubleshooting computer and software issues to requesting a new Zoom account. Simply go to the IT Help Desk, click on Submit a Help Desk request, choose your topic, enter the information, and send in your ticket. You'll receive a confirmation email from IT, and they'll follow up with any questions they may have to help solve the problem.

Google Workspace Training:

UCA offers the full Google Suite to employees. Join us to learn the best ways to use features in Google. Each month from October to April, one Google App will be featured. Take a look at the offerings below and register to attend.

Training sessions will be held on Zoom*. Links to join the Zoom meeting will be sent in Google Calendar invitations a few days prior to the scheduled session. Click the schedule (below) to register for sessions.

*The training session for Google Meet will use the Google Meet App.


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