College of Education Newsletter

December 2021

Message from the Dean:

Have you heard the legend of the Peacock Vow? It's said that after the Christmas season, knights would gather to feast and take a Peacock Vow that reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry. The Peacock Vow would challenge knights to act with courage, honor, justice, and a readiness to help those less fortunate. This might have been one of the earlier forms of a New Year's Resolution.

I'm particularly interested in the Peacock Vow because unlike New Year's Resolutions, the focus is on what you might do for others. What if we reimagined our New Year's Resolution to focus on the good we could do in our communities? How would this play out in our lives and the lives of others? It's certainly nice to imagine.

I want to wish you all a happy holiday season. I'm looking forward to the new year and I'll be making my Peacock Vow this year instead of a New Year's Resolution (that's just as well because I never lost those 10 pounds from last year anyway).

Vicki Groves-Scott

Forward Arkansas:

*The article below was originally posted on the UCA News webpage*

The University of Central Arkansas was one of eight Arkansas universities that will participate in a Forward Arkansas program designed to help transform K-12 teacher recruitment, training and retention in the state.

The University of Central Arkansas will receive a $100,000 grant as part of the nonprofit’s Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Design Collaborative.

“The Forward Arkansas grant process has given Educator Preparation Programs in Arkansas the opportunity to dream beyond their limited resources to reimage teacher preparation. UCA will use the process as a catalyst to invigorate and stimulate innovation,” said Victoria Groves-Scott, dean of the UCA College of Education. “We are excited to work with our K-12 partners as we participate in the Forward design collaborative.”

The other institutions are Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, Harding University, Southern Arkansas University, the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Forward selected the universities through a competitive statewide process. It sought a cohort of institutions of varying sizes and locations. It also looked for universities with proven commitments to increasing teacher diversity and track records of placing educators in high-need locations.

“We want to support and champion Arkansas institutions that have the bold ideas and committed leadership needed to transform our state’s teacher pipeline,” said Ben Kutylo, Forward Arkansas’s executive director. “Through the collaborative, we aim to help Arkansas recruit more qualified teachers, better prepare educators for the challenges of the classroom and improve overall teacher retention rates.”

Forward’s Collaborative will also include the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). This spring, UAPB began its EPP transformation efforts with a grant from Alice Walton, through the Walton Family Foundation. As a participant in Forward’s cohort, UAPB will join the broader state-wide initiative and lend insights it has developed to other participating universities.

Forward initially intended to partner with six universities but, due to high interest, it expanded its EPP Design Collaborative to include eight institutions. The universities will receive design and technical assistance from Forward and its partners to develop a “transformation plan” that captures their vision for change and aligns with the Arkansas Department of Education’s future direction for educator preparation. In the summer of 2022, a select number of institutions will have the opportunity to pursue additional funding for implementation.

About Forward Arkansas
Forward Arkansas was established in 2014 with grants from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Walton Family Foundation with the goal of improving outcomes for all students. It works with districts, schools, educational partners and state leaders to transform learning, build educator capacity and provide equitable resources to ensure every student has access to and is prepared for opportunities in life and career. To learn more, visit

Student/Alumni News:

Meghan Rice:

Meghan Rice, a graduate of UCA's education program, was recently on a panel for a KIDS event in Illinois. Meghan shared, "My family and I partnered with ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) this summer and helped make videos for families, educators, caregivers of young children."

The KIDS videos for families are a series of 14, two-minute videos (provided in English and Spanish) that feature real families and give concrete examples of how caregivers can support their young children as they develop social-emotional, math and literacy skills.

Faculty/Staff News:

Dr. Thomas Bruick:

Dr. Thomas Bruick (Department of Leadership Studies) and 11 students from the College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) recently participated in the annual conference for the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) in Norfolk, VA. Dr. Bruick organized a UCA CSPA Past & Present lunch at the conference with 24 people in attendance (11 students & 13 alumni).

Lexi Clark, second-year CSPA student, and Milan Novakovic, first-year CSPA student, placed third in the case study competition that included graduate student teams from programs across the region.

Trevis Belle, a May 2021 graduate of the CSPA program, was announced as the Graduate Student of the Year recipient during the opening session of the conference.

Dr. Bruick also presented on a research project entitled Scholar-Practitioner Identity in Student Affairs: A Content Analysis of Entry-Level Job Descriptions. This project was supported by the COE Research and Scholarly Activities Award from Summer 2021.

Dr. Debbie Dailey:

Dr. Debbie Dailey (Chair of the Department of Teaching & Learning) was recently recognized at the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Conference in Denver, CO. Dr. Dailey received a plaque in appreciation for her dedicated service as STEM network chair.

Drs. Patty Kohler, Deanna Kay Rice, and Stefanie Sorbet:

Drs. Patty Kohler, Deanna Kay Rice, and Stefanie Sorbet (all faculty in the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) recently had an article published in Faculty Focus. Their article, "Using the Labyrinth as a Self-care Tool for University Students" explores how a labyrinth can serve as a wonderful tool in assisting students to find quiet, foster peace, and to reduce stress.

You can read their article by going to

Ms. Catherine Miller:

Ms. Catherine Miller (faculty in the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) was recently selected as an Up to Us Voting Modules Fellow for 2021-2022. Fellows receive a $500 award to empower students to explore solutions to pressing issues (affordable healthcare, climate change, racial equity, student debt) affecting their future economic opportunities and to gain the skills to become life-long fiscal thinkers and civic leaders.

On September 24, Catherine presented with Dr. Nancy P. Gallavan at the 2021 Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators (ArATE) conference. Their presentation was titled, "Educator Preparation for an Uncertain Future: Preparing Antifragile Teachers."

Dr. Malcolm North:

Dr. Malcolm North (faculty in the Department of Leadership Studies) co-published an article titled, "The Good, the Bad, and the Toxic: Profiling Unethical Leaders". The article was co-written with Dr. Shannon Clowney Johnson from a post-doctoral analysis of her graduating dissertation from the Phd Leadership Studies program. The article exposes the cognitive valuation patterns of unethical leaders who devalue, manipulate, and control others for personal gain.

Dr. Amy Thompson & Ms. Sheri Hight (Alumnus):

Dr. Amy Thompson (faculty in the Department of Elementary, LIteracy, Special Education) and Ms. Sheri Hight (MSE in Reading alumnus) recently presented on the IDA On-Demand Conference Platform for the 2021 International Dyslexia Association Conference. Their presentation was entitled, "Orthographic What? Moving from Phonological Awareness to Automaticity."

Tech Bytes:


Kaltura is a cloud-based video management system integrated within Blackboard. It is a tool used to upload media that enables usage in a variety of areas across University sites, including multiple Blackboard courses at once. Kaltura allows media to be inserted into Blackboard assignments, quizzes, exams, and course content by either the instructor's result for Kaltura or the student.

The advantage of using Kaltura is that your media is converted into multiple file formats which can be viewed in a browser without installing additional browser plugins. Using Kaltura rather than YouTube or Vimeo provides secure and private video publishing ensuring only students enrolled in a Blackboard course have access to videos uploaded to that course.

UCA Information Technology has a database of training videos for implementing Kaltura into your Blackboard courses, as well as live training events throughout the semester.

Technology Learning Center (TLC) Resources:

The TLC (Mashburn 102) has something for everyone! Our Makerspace houses several resources to enhance your classroom with technology. These tech tools are available for use by College of Education students and classes. While some of our tech tools and resources are strictly for on-campus classroom and Makerspace use, students may check out several of our materials. To view our material list or get ideas for how to use some of our tools with your own K-12 students, check out our Wakelet. For more information, visit our website at

Edpuzzle is an easy-to-use platform where you can make any video your lesson. You can find video lessons created by other teachers, including formative assessment! Or you can adapt that video by embedding your own questions or audio. You can also choose a new video and create your own questions. Then, assign it to your students and get analytics: see who watched the video, who didn't understand the lesson, and who did a good job. Students can re-watch the video as many times as they need at their own pace, while you can easily check their progress from your account.
Training videos and documents are available on their website!

Flipgrid is a simple, free video discussion platform that makes learning fun, fulfilling, and empowering. It only takes a few minutes to start sparking meaningful discussions that will inspire your learners to share their voice and creativity.

Use Flipgrid to replace student discussions on Blackboard, as a reflective assessment, or as a way for students to record tutorials and screencasts. Their website includes multiple training videos and tutorials. Plus, you can earn badges the more you use their platform or become a Flipgrid Certified Educator by completing a series of training sessions.

COE Newsletter Archive:

Missed an issue? You can view past issues of the COE Newsletter by going to