College of Education Newsletter

May 2020

Message from the Dean:

I've been reading a book called The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow, and I've been thinking about doors. Doors mean so many things, an opening, a closing, a change in environment, an exit, an escape, a sanctuary, a trap. The author writes, "Maybe you've even seen one for yourself, standing half-ajar and rotten in an old church, or oiled and shining in a brick wall. Maybe, if you're one of those fanciful persons who find their feet running toward unexpected places, you've even walked through one and found yourself in a very unexpected place indeed." Doors are dividing points. "They separate here from there, us and them, mundane and magical." Some doors to metaphysical places once opened can never be closed.

I wonder if we are at a threshold between how education used to look and what it will look like in the future. The sudden move to an online teaching format has made us aware that we can do a lot of things virtually, and we can do it well. It has also given us a blatant look at the inequity that exists in access to digital technology. I believe that this sudden and forced shift will make us stronger. It might make us contemplate the relevancy of what we teach in K-12 classrooms and see possibilities to on-line instruction for us all. I hope this door leads to greater respect for the profession of teaching and enhanced compassion for our students, their caregivers, and their communities. Maybe this door will open our minds and our hearts to embrace difference and fuel our commitment for equity.

“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.”― William Blake. May all of your doors lead to opportunity and happiness.

--Vicki Groves-Scott

A Message from Our Students:

The students in Internship I, Block A, would like to share this message with the COE faculty.
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Congratulations Spring 2020 Graduates!

As a graduate from an initial licensure program (BSE, MAT, MAT Special Ed.), each student will receive a teacher pin during the annual Pinning Ceremony. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the COE was unable to hold the ceremony in-person. So students did not miss out, the College of Education assembled a virtual version of the Pinning Ceremony. Each initial licensure graduate received a purple envelope which included: teacher pin in a purple bag, confetti, and a card explaining the meaning of the pin along with a QR code that took them to a special message from the Dean.

Congratulations to all of our 2020 Spring graduates!

UCA College of Education Pinning Ceremony 2019-2020

2020 COE Student Award Winners:

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The History of the COE Faculty Awards:

The College of Education Faculty Awards were initiated during the 2010-2011 academic year by Dr. Nancy Gallavan. In fall, 2010, Nancy shared with Dean Diana Pounder that the College of Education was one of the few colleges at UCA that did not recognize faculty excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. However, Nancy did not only suggest to the Dean that the COE begin a faculty award program, Nancy also began annual gifting through the UCA Foundation to support the COE awards. Within a few years, the COE increased the annual award amounts. In her way, Nancy asked that this information not to be shared publicly until her retirement...which happens later this semester. This year marks the 10th year since Nancy's initiation of and her annual gifts supporting the COE Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.

Spring 2020 Retirees:

Each of our COE retirees will be receiving this beautiful work of art. Dean Groves-Scott has contacted the artist to have them made and each will be delivered to the retirees upon their completion.

Mr. Dan Barrington:

Mr. Dan Barrington is a Senior Clinical Instructor in the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE). Upon his retirement this semester, Dr. Janet Filer, Chair of ELSE, had the following to share about Dan.

Dan came to UCA in 1997, but he had a life before that…Dan worked as a special education teacher in El Dorado Public Schools and Millcreek Behavioral Institute. He then stepped away from education for a short time to manage a Beale Ladyman store in Little Rock where he also did some modeling. Dan returned to education as a special education resource and fifth grade teacher at Mayflower Elementary. As a respected teacher and colleague, Dan was honored at Mayflower as Teacher of the Year.

Dan brought his experience and knowledge to the University of Central Arkansas in 1997 where he quickly earned the respect of his colleagues and students. He initially wore two hats: field services and instructor of elementary math and science classes. Eventually he moved full time to the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education where again, he wore two hats: instructor for teaching methods in math and science classes for elementary teacher candidates and director of the UCA Summer Clinic, which provided extended school year for students with disabilities.

Dan was the recipient of the 2012-2013 College of Education Teacher of the Year Award. Dan ended his time with UCA but not before becoming the program coordinator for our elementary K-6 program, making sure our program prepares the best future teachers.

As a teacher dedicated to the success of his students, there is no better way of summing up his impact than what Dan’s students have to say about him:

· Mr. Barrington is the perfect example of what a good educator is. He is organized, caring, and devoted to helping his students.

· You make the COE GREAT!

· Mr. Barrington is FANTASTIC! His class literally couldn’t be laid out any better. He is well organized, his assignments all taught me something valuable, and his class was engaging and fun. Don’t change the class at all and FOR SURE DON’T change the instructor. He is the strength of this class.

· Math and Science have never been my strong suit. Mr. Barrington presented it in a way that I wish I would have had in elementary school. I cannot wait to apply some of the methods he taught us in my own classroom.

Mr. Barrington, your colleagues and students HATE TO SEE YOU GO, but we wish you the best in your future endeavors in retirement!

Dr. Nancy Gallavan:

Dr. Nancy Gallavan is a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning (T&L). Upon her retirement this semester, Dr. Michael Mills, Chair of T&L, had the following to share about Nancy.

During Dr. Nancy Gallavan’s 45-year career, she has served in a variety of roles and has received numerous awards in teaching, scholarship, and service at every institution she has served, including the University of Denver, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Central Arkansas.

At UCA, Dr. Gallavan has received the university faculty excellence award for scholarship, the institutional diversity award, and was a finalist multiple times for the UCA faculty excellence awards in teaching and service. Over the course of Dr. Gallavan’s career, she has authored or edited approximately 200 peer-reviewed publications (including 20 books) and has given hundreds of presentations. Additionally, Dr. Gallavan initiated the Lighthouse Beacons initiative, served as Kappa Delta Pi advisor, and dedicated enormous time and energy as president of the Association of Teacher Educators and as president, board member, and leader of many other organizations, such as SRATE and ArATE.

Mrs. Carolyn Ishee:

Mrs. Carolyn Ishee, is the Director of Planned Giving and Senior Director of Development for the College of Education (COE). Upon her retirement, Dr. Victoria Groves-Scott, Dean of the COE, had the following to share about Carolyn.

Carolyn Ishee has been a cheerleader for the University of Central Arkansas for over forty years. An undergraduate English major, English education, journalism minor, and head cheerleader graduating in 1975, Carolyn came to UCA from California. She immediately fell in love with UCA and Conway. Her deep and abiding desire to promote UCA and it's values can be seen in the numerous positions she's held at UCA.

Over the past 34 years, Carolyn has served as Project Coordinator, Director of Alumni and Special Programs, Associate Director of Development, Special Assistant to the President, Director of Development, Major Gifts Officer, Director of Planned Giving and Senior Director of Development-College of Education/Director of Planned Giving. Her long history with UCA and commitment to the College of Education enhanced her ability to build the college friend base and establish the COE Student Emergency Fund. Her retirement will be deeply felt in the College of Education, but I'm sure we will continue to see her cheering on the Bears. Nothing can sideline her enthusiasm for UCA!

Congratulations, Carolyn! We thank you for all you've done for UCA and wish you the best!

Where Are They Now:

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

Susan Presto:

Susan is a 2012 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. She currently works at Dartmouth College as an Assistant Director of Residential Education. Susan recently participated in the Global Housing Training Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

Jenny Kyle:

Jenny is a 2010 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. She currently serves as the Director of Alumni Engagement at Hendrix College.

Maddie DeBucce:

Maddie is a 2018 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. She currently works for the University of Arkansas as a Coordinator for Residence Education. Maddie says, "I get the pleasure of serving an all-women's hall on campus and a staff of students in the hall. I also get to work with those involved in the No Woman Left Behind internship program and our on-campus student government."

She added, "My proudest and most fulfilling moments in my position is working with these students to develop professional skills that will make them successful for their post-graduation goals. Seeing them succeed is the best part even if my small role was working on the perfect spreadsheet with them or challenging and supporting them through scenarios and their own self-advocacy development. It’s very rare you find a job that makes you laugh each day while also giving you new challenges."

Kiet Le:

Kiet is a 2012 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. He currently works at Lamar State College-Port Arthur as the Director of Student Activities. Kiet said, "I'm taking seminary classes towards my license/ordination and volunteer as the Missions, and Communications Director at my church." Kiet was named Philanthropist of the Year at his undergrad for Black Alumni Gala in 2019. He also started a home business called Living Peace Designs that funds mission trips.

Daniel Sheets:

Daniel is a 2009 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. He works at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL where he has been since he graduated from UCA in 2009. Having worked in different roles in University Housing over the last 10+ years, he currently is the Associate Director of Facility Services in University Housing.

Andrew Wiemer:

Andrew is a 2006 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA.

He earned his B.A. in Business Administration (Management) from Doane University. Currently, Andrew serves as the Director of the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development at the University of Miami and is also pursuing his Ph.D. in Education and Human Resource Studies with specialization in Higher Education Administration from Colorado State University.

In addition to serving as an administrator in higher education, Andrew is an adjunct faculty member at Miami Dade College - Kendall Campus in the Social Sciences Department teaching Student Life Skills courses. He currently serves as the chair of the Athletic Coast Conference (ACC) Leadership Symposium, serves as co-chair of the LGBTQ Faculty & Staff Network, serves as a member on the UM President’s Campus Coalition on Sexual Violence Prevention and Education and serves as a UDialogue Facilitator for the Intergroup Dialogue program within the UM Office of Institutional Culture. Previously, Andrew provided oversight and co-chaired the UM LGBTQ Task Force and Implementation Committee to help foster diversity and inclusion for all students. Through this work, he has been instrumental in collaborating closely with students, faculty and community partners to develop and implement effective civic engagement, diversity and leadership programming.

Rikki Turner:

Rikki is a 2008 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. She is the Vice President for Strategic Development at BBA Corp (campus bookstores) based in Little Rock. Rikki is currently working on obtaining IRB approval for her dissertation in Higher Education Administration. Her dissertation topic is faculty's role in suicide prevention. She plans to publish and speak on the topic once it is finished. Prior to working for BBA Corp, Rikki worked at UA Little Rock for ten years where she was ultimately the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs - Operations.

Kien Yow:

Kien is a 2007 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. Kien said, "Together with a small team, we founded Kuala Lumpur Steiner School, a private school in a forest setting offering the Steiner/Waldorf educational philosophy. The school was launched in January 2019 and we have more than doubled our growth since then."

Relius Johnson:

Relius is a 2016 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. After graduating from UCA, he received a full-time position as a Residence Life Coordinator at Louisiana State University. Relius is a full-time graduate student pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Research Counseling and his 2nd Masters in Applied Research Measurement, and Evaluation.

Relius volunteers with 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Upward Bound at LSU and many other organizations. In his free time he is a motivational speaker and student leadership facilitator.

Christian Wells:

Christian is a 2010 graduate of the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program at UCA. She is an Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life at Mercer University. Christian graduated from Mercer University in May 2019 with her Ph.D. in Higher Educational Leadership.

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