College of Education Newsletter

July 2019

Message from the Dean:

Yesterday I attended a workshop at the National Conference of Academic Deans at UCA by Dr. Robert Cipriano. The workshop focused on Managing Conflict. I was reminded of some very important strategies to manage disruptive conflict.

1) Timing: If a discussion is heated and becomes counter productive, ending the discussion and allowing time to "cool off" and regroup is important. It's also important to regain the conversation because problems shouldn't be left to fester.

2) Know the Facts: Realizing that perceptions aren't always reality allows us to look for the facts and focus on resolutions.

3) Depersonalize the Issues: It's important to never use or allow personal attacks on an individual or to let personalities blur the facts.

4) Monitor and Control your Own Emotions: It's easy to become upset and angry in unreasonable situations, but it's better to end a conversation than to say something you'll regret later.

5) Understand what the Dispute is About. Avoid making assumptions.

6) Maintain Confidentiality: It's easy to get carried away and want to debrief after a conflict, but it's better to keep issues private when possible.

Conflict is inevitable, but positive conflict can be constructive in nature, leading to new ideas, problem solving, and innovation. Managing conflict can have positive effects on relationships and organizations. Thanks to Dr. Cipriano for these reminders.


Bearswrite: Pencils to Pixels

The UCA College of Education hosted Bearswrite 2019 the week of June 24-28. Forty-two students in grades 3-10 attended the camp. The camp involved the work of 6 local teachers (5 from Conway and 1 from Clinton) as well as 6 UCA candidate teaching assistants.

We involved the students in some exciting events this summer to include a trip to the Arkansas Shakespeare Theater production of Romeo and Juliet and a visit to the Torreyson Library to write book spine poetry followed by a lunch in the student center. On Wednesday students skyped with author John David Anderson, and on Thursday student groups worked with visiting author Jeff Zentner.

As always, we rounded out our event on Friday with our annual authors’ celebration.

UCA Challenge:

The UCA Challenge Camp just completed its 15th year at UCA. It is a five day science camp designed for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. This summer, the camp was attended by 58 students that participated in three different sessions: A Mystery Requiring Forensic Investigation, Media Monsters, and Sights and Sounds All Around. The theme of the camp changes each year so returning students don't experience the same thing each summer they attend. UCA Challenge is founded and directed by Lisa Herrington, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education at UCA.

For more information about the UCA Challenge you can read a recent story published by the Log Cabin Democrat at

**Photos by Hillary Andrews, LCD Staff**

UCA Media and Literacy Conference:

Mashburn Hall was recently the site for the 2nd annual UCA Media and Literacy Conference. College of Education faculty and staff from the Technology Learning Center (TLC) and departments of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education (ELSE), Teaching and Learning, and Leadership Studies planned and provided two days of professional development for teachers and librarians across the state of Arkansas.

The conference was sponsored by the UCA College of Education, Arkansas Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts (ACTELA), Arkansas Literacy Association (ALA), and the Arkansas Association of School Librarians (ARASL), a division of the Arkansas Library Association (ArLA).

This year’s theme was “Create, Curate, Collaborate.” Over 150 participants engaged in interactive sessions which focused on current issues in literacy and the use of media to support educators. The conference featured 8 sessions to connect via Skype and Zoom to children’s and young adult authors across the US - including New York, Wisconsin and Indiana. Local authors included young adult author James Babb and children’s author Rachel Shankles. Conference planners from the College of Education include Ms. Melissa Earls, Ms. Sunny Styles-Foster, Ms. Ashton Hankins, Dr. Erin Shaw, Dr. Amy Thompson, and Dr. Jeff Whittingham.

Welcome New Faculty:

Ms. Odunola Oyeniyi

Odunola is a doctoral candidate and former graduate teaching assistant in the Counselor Education program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. She will be graduating in August 2019 and will be teaching in the School Counseling program at UCA.

Odunola has worked in school, career, rehabilitation, and community mental health counseling settings. Her research interests include suicide prevention, school counseling advocacy, high school students’ academic success, bullying among high school students, familial risk factors for academic issues among minority students, multicultural counseling training and supervision, and drug abuse prevention.

Odunola stated she chose to work at UCA because diversity and inclusion are valued. She sees UCA as a place where she will be encouraged to reach her full potential and make significant contributions to the counseling profession and the world at large. She is excited to be part of the faculty at UCA.

Dr. Susan Perry

Susan will be joining the department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education in the Fall semester. She has over 24 years of experience working with children who have reading disorders. Susan has worked as a regular and special education teacher, literacy coach, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, K-12 ADE Literacy Specialist, college professor, and Orton-Gillingham trained dyslexia specialist using Alphabetic Phonics.

Susan is married to Marty Perry (chemist). She has two children, Siena and Koen, four dogs, one cat, and a bearded dragon. Susan loves nature and being outside whenever possible. She is a firm believer in animal rights.

Dr. Kevin Powell

Kevin is a new assistant professor of school library media in the department of Leadership Studies at UCA. As a former elementary school teacher-librarian and middle school language arts teacher, Kevin specializes in student engagement and collaboration between teacher-librarians and classroom teachers in inquiry-based instruction. He is excited to teach at a university that prioritizes diversity and inclusion, and to work together with colleagues and students committed to similar goals.

In his free time, Kevin enjoys bike rides around town, searching out the best banh mi sandwiches, and working on new tunes on the mandolin and guitar.

Dr. Deanna Kay Rice

Deanna is excited to be returning to UCA. After completing her master's degree in education at UCA in 2010, she went on to Louisiana State University where she earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. Deanna is a certified special education teacher and spent 10 years in public middle schools where she served students with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, and social and behavioral disorders. Education is a second career for Deanna. She had her first classroom at 41-years-old and knows she made the right decision to follow her dream of becoming an educator. She loves all aspects of education and is passionate about teacher preparation. Deanna is looking forward to being a member of the Teaching Bears community and working together to strengthen education in Arkansas and beyond.