College of Education Newsletter

May 2022

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Centering Equity Conference 2022:

The Centering Equity Conference was held virtually May 11-12. This year's theme was Centering Equity through Allyships. Centering equity means that you are intentionally engaged in interrupting thinking, interrogating systems, investing in the lives of others, and fostering a culture to implement equitable change. This year's conference was attended by over 100 people from across the country. The speakers were dynamic, informative, and incredibly passionate about their work.

The conference kicked off with a pre-conference session which was attended by over 40 people. The speaker, Rev. Dr. Denise Donnell, who was the keynote speaker last year, led the session. Her session was on Disrupting the Patterns of Narrative Deception. There's no doubt that attendees left the session with many ideas to unpack about the narratives which suggest that success, worth, and value are shaped by the perspectives of others and are not necessarily the authentic narratives people create for themselves. The keynote speaker this year was Mr. Jarrod Benjamin, CEO and Founder of LEADFirm. His message was not only powerful, but it was pragmatic in how individuals approach equity and the equitable convictions that guide them to develop new habits and not engage in performative behaviors. One of the many points that rang true from his address was the importance of looking through the lenses of your privileges which will help you see opportunities for change and that can help you determine how you can be an ally for others. The featured speakers were Dr. Andrea Brown-Thirston, Founder of Optimal Learning Solutions, and Mr. Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. Additional conference speakers were Maggie Wood, Bow Hendrix, Pamela Reed, Dr. Lille Fears, and Joyce Patillo.

Next year's conference will be held May 10-11, 2023. The theme is Centering the Personal Journeys in Equity Work. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Christopher Smith, who also presented at this year's conference.

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COE Internship I Board and Brush Event:

Jennifer Sherrod, Internship I Supervisor for the Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education, shared pictures from a recent Internship I event. On April 5, students from Internship I celebrated the end of the year by going to Board & Brush. Ms. Sherrod said, "The interns painted wooden supply/flower boxes to give to their mentor teacher in appreciation for all of their guidance during the spring semester."

In the Classroom:

Students in Ms. Lisa Herrington‘s (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) Child and Young Adult Literature class engaged in a Book Tasting using nonfiction texts. This is a way in which students can sample a variety of nonfiction texts in a short amount of time. The featured genres included biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, informational, and bibliotherapy texts. The students provided feedback at the end of the class which included statements such as, “I found a lot of nonfiction that I was interested in and that was surprising!”, “I wish we had more time to look at all the titles on each table," and “I had fun seeing the variety of books that can be used to help students with soft skills.”

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Students in Mrs. Alicia Brown's (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) ELSE 4306 class made lily pad and toad decorations for Milestones Inc.'s Omelets with the Toadmaster fundraiser in May.

They are making toads out of boxes and lilypads to be used on the tables at the Milestones, Inc. Omelets with the Toadmaster fundraiser

UCA's Educators Rising Collegiate chapter members planned educational activities for Conway's Ecofest held Sat., April 23, at 5th Avenue Park. Kids from the community participated in activities centered around the 7 R's: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. Students from ELSE 4316 (Math & Science Strategies) joined in on the fun, serving as volunteers alongside the Educators Rising members.

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Student/Alumni News:

DyJuana Davis:

College of Education student DyJuana Davis successfully presented her Honors Capstone Project entitled "The Effects of Integrated Technology on Students and Teachers Regarding the Implementation Thereof." DyJuana surveyed practicing educators to learn about their perceptions of educational technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a senior in the Middle Level Education program.

Kimberly "Duke" Raup:

Kimberly "Duke" Raup was recently named the Arkansas Computer Science Teacher of the Year. Ms. Raup has been at Conway High School for 15 years. This is her 4th year being selected as a finalist.

Ms. Raup has three degrees from UCA: a BBA in Marketing ‘97, BSE in Business Marketing Education ‘04, and MS in Instructional Education ’11. She is in the process of applying for the Ed.S in Digital Age Technology & Learning.

Faculty/Staff News:

Dr. Jessica Herring-Watson:

Dr. Jessica Herring-Watson (Dept. of Teaching & Learning) recently published an article in ISTE's Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE) in collaboration with Dr. Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw at the University of Memphis. The article, titled Developing and Validating the Intention to use Technology-Enabled Learning (I-TEL) Scale, describes the development and validation of a survey instrument to measure preservice teachers' intention to use technology-enabled learning in their future classrooms.

The article can be found at

Dr. Patty Kohler:

Dr. Patty Kohler (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) recently had her article, You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup: Nurturing Ourselves to Support our Students, published on You can access her article by clicking the link below.

Dr. Candice Maxwell:

Dr. Candice Maxwell (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education & Distinguished Equity Fellow) recently had her book, Shatter the System: Equity Leadership and Social Justice Advocacy in Education, published.

When asked about her recent publication, Dr. Maxwell said "I wrote this book after processing many conversations with people who were as frustrated with aspects of the educational system as I was. Like them, I had come to a conclusion that in order for the educational system to live up to its potential we, educators, needed to examine our complicity in perpetuating the status quo, interrogate the system to identify and diagnose the inequities and work together to achieve sustainable, transformative, and equitable outcomes. Shatter the System explores the social and cultural conditions that affect education but also provides practices and plans to build an equity ecosystem that moves from conversation to correction."

Dr. Maxwell's book is currently available online to purchase.

Dr. Amy Thompson:

Dr. Amy Thompson (Department of Elementary, Literacy, and Special Education) received the Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist certification through the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI), an affiliate of the International Dyslexia Association.

Recipients of the certification must complete a minimum of 135 training hours, 150 hours of intervention, and have a passing score on the KPEERI exam. Dr. Thompson was lauded for her work with not only K-12 students in intervention but also for her work in coaching and mentoring students throughout the MSE in Literacy and Graduate Certificate programs.

Tech Bytes:

Google Dropdown and Building Block Options:

Google's new dropdown and building block options allow you to create more interactive Docs. The dropdown default is designed for project management; however, you can customize the options to create dynamic documents for students (like offering multiple-choice options within the document). The built-in Building Blocks are perfect for collaborative workflow or keeping track of where students are in a lengthy project.


COE Summer Professional Learning Series:

Registration is now open for our UCA COE 2022 Summer Professional Learning Series.

Go to to register for sessions TODAY! #UCAbears #UCAcoe#UCAteacherED #eduAR #teachAR #TeachArkansas

Note: you will receive an email confirmation and link to the session. Please save this information!


COE Byte-Sized Tech:

The UCA COE Technology Committee is charged with sharing information and tips regarding the use of technology in the classroom. Please join us this Spring for self-selected byte-sized professional learning opportunities. Each session's topic has carefully been chosen based on responses from the January survey that was completed during our professional development day.

The full schedule can be found at Once a a session has been held, you can revisit the schedule page to view a slide deck or video of the session.

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