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Graduate Education Newsletter

Fall 2017

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields - image

As I write this, we are grappling with the tragic and awful events that happened in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017. We are trying to understand — the incivility, the bigotry, the prejudice — that was on display and continues to grip our nation. I believe the key to restoring our democratic values of care, understanding and compassion is through our education system. To thwart the hateful beliefs — of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and xenophobia — we need to turn to our education system where we are able to confront these ugly behaviors and help students understand the importance of a pluralistic society.

In the coming weeks, children, young adults, and adult learners will return to classrooms with excitement and with some anxiety. It will be our job to make sure that they feel welcome, safe and secure, yet challenged to face the complexities of a diverse country. At this crucial juncture in our country’s long, embattled history with these issues, there is no greater calling than to be an educator where one is able to create a thoughtful and considerate dialogue with students. Paolo Freire, the great Latin American educational philosopher, called this the crafting of co-intentional knowledge where teacher and student have the opportunity to co-create an elevated conscientiousness of respect and trust.

Our faculty and staff in Graduate Education at the University of Richmond believe that teachers and school leaders serve as powerful role models of respect and tolerance. Over the coming academic year, we will do our best to assist our current students, graduates, and the greater community in understanding the importance of a civil and trusting culture in classrooms and schools. I believe the leadership of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education, said it best in a recent letter to its membership: “As educators, we must work together and support one another to educate children who are committed to creating a better and more just society.”

In this edition of the e-newsletter, you will see how our faculty, staff, students and graduates in UR’s Graduate Education are leading the way in their classrooms, in service to the community, in research and writing, in receiving honors and accolades for their practice, and in being leaders on state educational associations. As you will notice from the accomplishments that are detailed, we believe that nothing should hold us back from making sure our students and graduates are prepared for the challenges they will face in trying to create a just and tolerant world.

As we conclude a summer filled with challenges and injustices, we should look forward to the start of another academic year as an opportunity to fulfill what Martin Luther King, Jr. said about the role of education: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

Wishing you all the best with your studies and teaching this fall semester!

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

In This Issue

Scroll to read each each section.

  • Education Features
  • Upcoming Events & Deadlines
  • News & Information
  • Faculty & Staff Updates
  • Student Reminders
  • Contact Us & Connect

Previous Issues

Education Features

ELPS Students & Recent Grads at Fall 2017 CCPS Leadership Retreat

At the Chesterfield County Public Schools 2017-18 Leadership Retreat, students and graduates who have moved into leadership roles: Front, L to R: Jenny Andrews, GC’16, Cecelia Smith Greenwood, GC’16, Deanna Varljen, GC’18 & Elisa Tedona, GC’17; Back, L to R: Sandra Judge-Harden, GC’15, Lesley Harris, GC’16, Brittany Jones, GC’16, Kenneth White, GC’16 & Kimberly Lincoln, GC’16.

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

2017-18 Graduate Education Speaker Series

Details are being finalized for events in the 2017-2018 Graduate Education Speaker Series. Mark your calendar and look for additional details for the following events.

Overview and Explanation of Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA): September 7 at 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Lynn Sodat, Director of the Office of Program Administration and Accountability at the Virginia Department of Education, will give an overview and explanation of the Act. Thursday, September 7, 4:30 p.m., International Commons, Carole Weinstein International Center.

Henry Cole Book Talk and Signing: October 11 at 5 p.m.

Children’s author, illustrator, and Virginia native Henry Cole will give a presentation of his work on Wednesday, October 11 at 5:30 p.m., Alice Haynes Room, Tyler Haynes Commons. A book signing and reception will follow.​

Is Our Education System Prepared to Assist Immigrant Students? November 2, 6 p.m.

Panel representing a linguistic academic expert, local school division, state DOE, parent, and community advocate on Thursday, November 2, at 6 p.m., International Commons, Carole Weinstein International Center. Additional details TBA.

Awareness and Recognition of Trauma and Violence in Social Media: April 19, 6 p.m.

Panel representing a bullying academic expert, school representative, community advocate, parent and/or student on Thursday, April 19, 2018, 6 p.m., International Commons, Carole Weinstein International Center. Additional details TBA.

Book Talk with author Richard Rothstein: Spring 2018, Date TBA

Author Richard Rothstein will talk about his book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.

News & Information

View more related articles

Faculty & Staff Updates

  • 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.

  • Cassada presents at international conference

    Dr. Kate Cassada, Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, presented two papers at the 13th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference in Valencia, Spain. Both papers were co-written with Dr. Laura Kassner, Coordinator of Preschool Development Grants at the Virginia Department of Education.

Student Reminders

Fall Academic Schedule

Fall courses begin the week of August 28th. Please visit the Academic Calendar via the Registrar’s Office webpage for important fall semester dates and deadlines.

Comprehensive Exams

Fall Comprehensive Exams will take place in November. Eligible students will be contacted with further details by their respective program in early fall.

Commencement and Graduation Reminders

The online degree application is now available for all students intending to graduate in May or August 2018 (or also December 2017 for SPCS students). This application may be found on BannerWeb under Student Services and must be submitted by Friday, October 27. Students should contact the Registrar's Office with any questions about the degree application process.

Scholarship Deadline for Spring

The deadline for scholarship applications is November 1, 2017, for the Spring 2018 semester. Visit the Scholarships page for details.

Free VASCD Memberships for First-Year Teachers

VASCD is offering a free annual membership​ to any new teacher in Virginia. Visit for organization information, and download the membership offer flyer.

Photos from Spring & Summer 2017 Education Events
End-of-Year Education Celebration: Dr. Tom Shields, Chair, and Dr. Jamelle Wilson, Dean, address attendees.
End-of-Year Education Celebration: Faculty, staff and students join the festivities.
End-of-Year Education Celebration: Attendees gathered around Dr. Shields and Dr. Wilson.

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School of Professional & Continuing Studies
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University of Richmond, Va. 23173

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