College of Education Newsletter

February 2023

Message from the Dean:

This month I want to highlight our upcoming yearly Day of Giving scheduled for Thursday, March 9. Many of you generously give on that day. Because of your kind gifts, we were able to give seventeen $250 gifts to students since March of 2022. Your money helped our students (both graduate and undergraduate) buy gas and food, pay their rent or utilities, repair their car, repair their computer, pay for licensure tests, and renew subscriptions for Anthology/Chalk-n-Wire. When I send students the email telling them that we can help them, their responses are heartfelt and overwhelming. One student told me that she hadn't been able to sleep for a week worrying about how she could get to her Internship placement. One student said that her electricity was going to be turned off but now she would be able to pay that bill. They all tell me how grateful they are and promise to pay back our kindness by doing something for someone else, when they are able.

I want you to know that not only are your monetary gifts recognized, but your gifts of time and patience are also recognized by the students. The students talk about your concern for their well-being and success. So thank you! I can't imagine working with a more dedicated and compassionate group of faculty and staff.

If you are able, I hope you will support the COE Student Emergency Fund or the College Enhancement Fund this year.


Southern Association for College Student Affairs Annual Conference:

In November 2022, Dr. Thomas Bruick (Department of Leadership Studies) and 12 students from UCA's College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program attended the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) annual conference in Birmingham, AL. Six students participated in the case study competition with second-year students Kyle Brott and Milan Novakovic taking home second place.

Dr. Bruick and Milan Novakovic presented a session on Moving from Accommodation to Access for Disabled Students: A Practitioner Approach to Universal Design. Dr. Bruick also presented Seven Sins of Assessment Storytelling (And How You Can Avoid Them) with Dr. Sherry Woosley and Matt Venaas from Skyfactor Benchworks.

Kendra Erickson, a May 2022 graduate of the CSPA program, also presented her thesis study, Out of the Shadows: The Lived Experiences of Active-Duty Military Undergraduates.

*See photos below (from left to right):

Kyle Brott and Milan Novakovic receive their second-place case study awards, UCA CSPA delegation group photo, and Milan Novakovic and Dr. Bruick present.

African American Read-In Open Mic:

On February 9, Dr. Vincent Price (Department of Teaching and Learning) organized UCA's 1st African American Read-In, an event for celebrating both African American writing, past and present. At this event, the UCA community gathered to claim a space to celebrate and acknowledge Black lives, history, power, resistance, love, creativity, and excellence. Co-sponsored by Melissa and Byron Galloway and the College of Education as a DBIE (Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion, and Equity) event, the read-in showcased the voices of such figures as Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, and Langston Hughes. Fifty people attended the event. Students and faculty boldly stepped up to the mic to read--including UCA's own Drs. Vicki Groves-Scott (Dean of the College of Education), TK Anderson (Department of Teaching and Learning), Vincent Price, Riva Brown (School of Communication), and Crystal Harris (College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences).

Dr. Angela Webster (Chief Diversity Office and Vice President) shared via email, "I am totally tickled that this event was brought to campus in general, especially during Black History Month. The collective efforts of the College helped the campus to fulfill recommendations from the Campus Climate Survey indicating that students desire to attend events that allow them to learn more about each other. It was wonderful to see the leadership prowess of a fairly new faculty member (Dr. Price) at work in addition to the cloud of angels surrounding him to ensure that the event was successful."

*See photos below

Arkansas Instructional Innovation Association (AiiA) Conference 2023:

At the Ronnie Williams Student Center on the campus of UCA and sponsored by the UCA College of Education, the Arkansas Instructional Innovation Association hosted its annual conference. AiiA is a non-profit volunteer organization that supports teachers and other stakeholders with a particular focus on instructional innovation and technology integration. AiiA is an ISTE affiliate that seeks to be a home for teachers to collaborate and grow.

This year’s conference included a keynote address and workshop by Dr. Kristen Mattson. Dr. Mattson is an ISTE-published author and expert in digital citizenship education. She inspired us to think about digital citizenship as “the skills needed for people to fully participate academically, socially, ethically, politically, and economically in our rapidly evolving digital world.”

We enjoyed an incredible lunchtime address from Miss Arkansas Ebony Mitchell. The Harrison, Arkansas native encouraged teachers to teach internet safety at all levels so our students can thrive and succeed in a safe world.

The Arkansas Instructional Innovation Association conference brought together 90 professional educators, preservice teachers, and education stakeholders who are all passionate about inspiring student success. Throughout the day, we had interactive presentations from education leaders throughout the state, including UCA’s own Michael Mills, Jessica Herring-Watson, Noel Gerringer, Faith Forrest, Allison Freed, Ashley Cooksey, and Brandy Walthall. Jason Trumble is the current president of AiiA.

As AiiA enters its second full year as an organization, we see the value and impact we can have as a group of individuals with a heart for teaching and learning and kids throughout Arkansas. The UCA College of Education's continued support and the UCA faculty service made this event a success. We can’t wait until next year, so save the data February 10, 2024.

*See photos below

Educators Rising: Community Service

Members of the Educators Rising Collegiate Chapter at the University of Central Arkansas made Valentine’s Day cards for residents at College Square Retirement Community in Conway.

Many of the elderly in nursing homes have very few connections to the outside world. Members of Educators Rising thought that sending them cards would make their Valentine’s Day special!

Educators Rising is advised by Dr. T.K. Anderson (Teaching and Learning), Dr. Nykela Jackson (Teaching and Learning), and Ms. Catherine F. Miller (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education).

*See photos below

Faculty/Staff News:

Drs. Michelle Buchanan, Alicia Cotabish, Debbie Dailey, and Jason Trumble:

Drs. Alicia Cotabish, Michelle Buchanan, and Debbie Dailey (Department of Teaching and Learning) coauthored Science Curricular Considerations for Advanced Learners in the 4th edition of Content-Based Curriculum for Advanced Learners.

Drs. Dailey, Cotabish and Jason Trumble, (Department of Teaching and Learning) also coauthored a new chapter, Developing Experiences in Engineering Design Processes for Advanced Learners, in the 4th Edition of Content-Based Curriculum for Advanced Learners.

The book is edited by Joyce VanTassel-Baska and Catherine Little and published by Routledge.


Dr. Dailey was invited to participate in a webinar panel discussion with other authors

from the book sponsored by the Renzulli Center at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Jud Copeland:

Dr. Jud Copeland (Department of Leadership Studies) was recently informed that his manuscript on “The Challenges of Digital Citizenship” from Research Anthology on Combating Cyber-Aggression and Online Negativity was recently indexed by PsycInfo.

According to APA PsycInfo (, "For over 50 years, APA PsycInfo has been the most trusted index of psychological science in the world. With more than five million interdisciplinary bibliographic records, our database delivers targeted discovery across the full spectrum of behavioral and social sciences."

Drs. Odunola Oyeniyi and Shoudong Feng:

Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi (Department of Leadership Studies) and Dr. Shoudong Feng (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) recently had an article published in the ALA Reader, the scholarly journal of the Arkansas Literacy Association. The title is "LGBTQ-Related Counseling in Schools: Using Quality Children's Literature." The article can be accessed via

Dr. Jason Trumble:

Dr. Jason Trumble (Department of Teaching and Learning), along with his colleagues, has published an edited book titled "Theoretical and Practical Teaching strategies for K-12 Science Education in the Digital Age." Dr. Trumble collaborated with Dr. Sumreen Asim from Indiana University Southeast, Dr. Joshual Ellis from Florida International University, and Dr. David Slykhuis from Valdosta State University to publish this important work that connects theory and practice for K-12 Science Teachers.

Digital-age learners come to the science classroom equipped with a wide range of skills and a wealth of information at their fingertips. Although science and technology have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, the ubiquity of information technologies requires teachers to modify instruction and experiences for K-12 science learners. Environmental and societal changes have impacted how and when students acquire and synthesize knowledge. These changes compel us to modify and adjust to improve the practice of teaching science to meet the unique needs of students growing up in a society dominated by connected digital devices, constant communication, and the ubiquity of information.

Theoretical and Practical Teaching Strategies for K-12 Science Education in the Digital Age disseminates theory-informed practices for science teachers that increase their instructional effectiveness in teaching digital-age learners. It communicates how to increase science educators’ understandings of the needs of digital-age learners, develops theoretical and practical teaching strategies that align with science content, and integrates technologies for learning with fidelity. Covering topics such as design-based inclusive science, project-based learning, and science instruction, this premier reference source is an excellent resource for administrators and science educators within K-12 education, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, librarians, researchers, and academicians.

Here is a link to the e-book and chapters.

Tech Bytes:

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