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Graduate Education Newsletter

Fall 2016

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields - image

Greetings. Hope you have had a productive, but relaxing summer. We all need the opportunity to take time away from our hectic lives to decompress and reflect on the past year and recharge our batteries for the upcoming school year. This could be done by walking a beach, hiking a mountain, traveling to see friends or family, or maybe hopping on an airplane for a far-off destination. Whatever our means of relaxation, we all need the ability to stop, contemplate, and understand what motivates us and fulfills our purpose.  

Similarly, our organizations need to perform this reflection and understanding of purpose and meaning. In fact, healthy and purposeful institutions constantly need to understand changes happening in the external environment and redefine expectations, including mission and vision, for future growth. For an organization, this is usually done through strategic planning and can be a very engaging and helpful process.

At the University level, our new President, Dr. Ronald Crutcher, has embarked on a multi-year strategic planning process. This process has involved many stakeholders and looks to build on the success and foundation of our last strategic plan, The Richmond Promise. I have the privilege of serving on the Thriving and Inclusive Community Working Group, one of several working groups that has been created to help guide the plan. The link to the process and emerging plan for the University can be found at

At the School level, our new Dean, Jamelle Wilson, embarked on a strategic planning process for the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. This has been a very thoughtful and engaging process. A Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been created and Graduate Education is fortunate to have Dr. Scott Bray, Assistant Chair of the Teacher Licensure Program, and Dr. Julia Burke, Program Manager, be members of that group. We are pleased that full-time faculty and staff in Graduate Education are well-represented and engaged in these processes. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the program Assistant Chairs if you have questions or concerns about the processes or plans.

In this fall edition of our e-newsletter, you will read about the work and successes of our Graduate Education faculty, staff, and students. We bid a fond professional farewell to Dr. Thelma Wheeler, extend a Spider welcome to two new Education Department team members, offer hearty congratulations to several of our alumni and adjunct instructors, highlight a newly published article on redistricting and school closures in Richmond Public Schools, and feature the most pressing professional development needs as identified by our area’s school divisions. Please mark your calendars for October 20 and join us on campus for an event co-sponsored by the Center for Educational Leadership and Graduate Education — a discussion with Dr. Genevieve Siegel Hawley on her new book, When the Fences Come Down: Twenty-First-Century Lessons from Metropolitan School Desegregation

As we start another academic year, the faculty and staff of Graduate Education wish you all the best with your studies and teaching. This time of year is always full of excitement and anticipation and we hope that you have an amazing semester full of wonder, inquiry, and enrichment.

Tom J. Shields, Ph.D.
Graduate Education Chair

In This Issue

Scroll to read each each section.

  • Upcoming Events & Deadlines
  • News & Information
  • Faculty & Staff Updates
  • Student Reminders
  • Education Features
  • Submit Your News
  • Join our Facebook Group
  • Connect

Previous Issues

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Desegregation Book Talk

The Center for Leadership and Education and the Graduate Education program will sponsor a book talk by Genevieve Siegel-Hawley on her book When the Fences Come Down: 21st-Century Lessons from Metropolitan School Desegregation on October 20, 2016.

Spring SPCS Scholarship Deadline

The application deadline for SPCS scholarships for the spring 2017 semester is November 1, 2016.

Spring Semester Registration

Spring 2017 course registration begins November 8. If required by your program, please remember to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your course plan prior to registering for spring courses.

Comprehensive Exams for M.Ed. Students

Comprehensive exams for ELPS and C&I students will take place on Saturday, November 12. Eligible students will be contacted with further details by their respective program in early fall.

News & Information

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Faculty & Staff Updates

  • Spires co-authors journal article

    Dr. Bob Spires, Assistant Professor of Education, co-authored Cambodian Youth Perspectives on Social and Educational Barriers, a case study published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. Spires’ co-authors are Jeremy Tost of Colorado Mesa University and Sokleng In of Love Without Boundaries in Poipet, Cambodia.

  • Spires to participate in anti-slavery research

    Dr. Bob Spires, assistant professor of education, will participate this summer with Dr. Monti Datta, associate professor of political science, in grant-funded research in Assam, India, to assess the effectiveness of NGOs in liberating enslaved people.

  • Education faculty present at leadership conference

    Four members of the Graduate Education faculty — Dr. Tom Shields, Dr. Kate Cassada, Dr. Dionne Ward and Dr. Dave Myers — co-presented Undergraduate Leadership Studies Curriculum and K-12 School Leader Development at the global meeting of the International Leadership Association in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Sandra Peart, Dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, chaired the panel.

  • Shields co-authors report highlighting value of school diversity

    Dr. Tom Shields, SPCS associate dean and associate professor of education & leadership studies, has co-authored a report highlighting the value of school diversity. Written with scholars from VCU and the Virginia Housing Alliance, the report focuses on Richmond’s school rezoning efforts.

  • Spires publishes article on Hong Kong youth

    Dr. Bob Spires, assistant professor of education in SPCS, has published with two co-authors the article Generalized Self-Efficacy of Youth in the New Territories [of Hong Kong] in the Asian Studies & Development Studies journal.

  • Carpenter named officer on engagement committee

    Liza Carpenter, administrative coordinator in the Education department, has been named recording secretary as an officer on the A&S Staff Engagement Committee. In her role, Carpenter engages students, faculty and staff in Schools of Arts & Sciences and Professional & Continuing Studies.

  • Milby selected to serve on VDOE committee

    Dr. Tammy Milby, Director of Reading, has been selected to serve on the Virginia Department of Education English Steering Committee as the Department prepares to implement fully the new English Standards of Learning that were adopted in 2017.

  • Education department's Blackmon & Carpenter recognized for sustainability efforts

    Miriam Blackmon, Master of Teaching Admissions Coordinator, and Liza Carpenter, Administrative Coordinator, were recognized by the University’s Office for Sustainability for digitizing and securely shredding admissions and licensure documents dating back decades.

  • Edinger published in Journal of Psychology

    Adjunct professor of education Dr. Matthew Edinger recently published an article with Suzanne Edinger titled Improving Teacher Job Satisfaction: The Roles of Social Capital, Teacher Efficacy, and Support in the Journal of Psychology.

  • Spires serves on Inequality & Human Trafficking panel

    Assistant professor of education Bob Spires served on a panel on Inequality & Human Trafficking at the Annual Atlanta Global Studies Symposium at Georgia Tech University on April 26. Panelists from North America, West Africa & Asia examined causes, consequences & solutions to address global human trafficking.

Student Reminders

Graduation Application Reminder

Do you plan to complete your graduate certificate or degree in December 2016, May 2017, or August 2017? If so, please remember to file your degree application in BannerWeb. Degree applications for SPCS students are due by Friday, October 28, 2016. Additional details regarding degree application and commencement can be found on the Registrar’s website. Please contact your respective Graduate Education program for additional assistance.

Student Employment

Effective, August 22, 2016, certificate students enrolled at least half-time in the Teacher Licensure Preparation Program are eligible for Student Employment and to be paid under Student Payroll. TLP students enrolled at least half time and who are interested in Student Employment should visit The only exception to this policy are full-time UR staff members enrolled on a half time basis in a certificate program in any given term. An individual cannot be employed as a student while also employed as a regular staff person.

Inclement Weather Reminder

In case of inclement weather, the University is open unless an official announcement is posted to the emergency hotline (804-289-8760) and website (, or broadcast by voicemail or email from the Emergency Response Team (ERT). The University normally operates on schedule even when other area schools and businesses are closed, so always check the hotline or website for the latest update. When the University remains open during inclement weather, commuting students, faculty and non-essential staff should exercise their best personal judgment with regard to road conditions and other safety concerns. Be sure to update your contact information for alerts: Log in to BannerWeb, click on the Personal Information tab, and then click on Emergency Information Collection.

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Engage with other members of the University of Richmond Teacher Education community by joining our Facebook Group.

The group is for students, alumni, faculty and staff affiliated with the Teacher Education programs at the University of Richmond. The group celebrates the accomplishments of our members and shares information related to teaching and learning.

Group membership must be approved by a group administrator or other member of the group.

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