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Graduate Education Newsletter

Winter 2017

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields - image

As educators, we work to impact our students, but sometimes we don’t know until months or even years later the extent of that impact. It is a highlight of our profession to receive an email, note, or to bump into former students and hear what they learned in our classes, how much they have achieved in their positions, or where they are in their life’s journey. Staying connected with students is truly one of the greatest rewards of our profession — a gift that keeps on giving. One thing is for sure, Graduate Education faculty and staff love to hear about our students’ successes — big and small!

In this edition of the Graduate Education e-newsletter, we celebrate some of the incredible successes of our students. You will learn about a current student recently awarded “Teacher of the Year” by her school division, others who have won major regional awards for their instruction, and some who are writing blogs, op-eds, and articles on cutting edge topics in education. And this is just a small sample of the accolades that are being received by our tremendously skilled current and former students. So, please continue to inform us of the successes and celebrations that are happening in your lives — we love to hear from you!

We also realize that an academic community shouldn’t stop at the classroom door. In response, we seek opportunities to create conversations with our students, graduates, and practitioners on topics that are important to K-12 education and to raise awareness regarding the quality of our graduate programs. We started this in the fall semester when we sponsored a book talk by Dr. Genevieve Siegel-Hawley on K-12 school segregation in the Richmond area. This talk was well-received with over 100 people in attendance.

Building on the success of that fall event, Graduate Education set out to develop a spring speaker series focused on critical K-12 topics. These events range from a book talk by an award-winning children’s author and illustrator, a discussion on the Commonwealth’s need for quality education in a changing economy, and a film screening and related panel discussion on trauma and resiliency practices in schools.

As you will read, there is a lot going on in Graduate Education this spring semester. We hope to see you at a spring event, look forward to celebrating with you at the end of the semester (keep reading for details on our annual Graduate Education party!), and wish you each a fantastic spring 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
  • Student Teacher Orientation
  • Contact Us & Connect

Previous Issues

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Role of Education in a Transformed Virginia Economy

The Graduate Education program will sponsor a morning forum titled “The Role of Education in a Transformed Virginia Economy.” The keynote speaker will be Steve Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction. Panelists are Jamelle Wilson, SPCS Dean; James Lane, Superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools; and two Chesterfield County students who have benefitted from high school redesign. Moderator: Scott Bray, Assistant Chair, TLP. Monday, April 24, 8:30-10 a.m., Jepson Alumni Center; free and open to the public, Continental breakfast included.

Department of Education Children’s Author

The Department of Education will be hosting a book talk by children’s author and illustrator Jason Chin. Wednesday, February 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Keller Hall Reception Room. Free and open to the public.

Trauma Informed Care & Practices Film Screening

The Graduate Education program will host a screening of the documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope (KPJR Films, 2016) followed by a moderated panel discussion. Thursday, March 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Ukrop Auditorium; free and open to the public, light refreshments included.

Annual Graduate Education Student Reception

Calling all Graduate Education Students! You are invited to join faculty, staff, and fellow students for our annual Graduate Education End-of-Year Reception. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 2, 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Westhampton Green in front of North Court.

News & Information

View more related articles

Faculty & Staff Updates

  • Roberts named chair of statewide school attorneys council

    Wendell C. Roberts, adjunct associate professor of education, has been elected chair of the Virginia Council of School Attorneys (VCOSA). The council is an affiliate of the National Council of School Attorneys and the only statewide organization for attorneys who represent public K-12 school boards.

  • Carpenter to serve on Staff Engagement Committee

    Liza Carpenter, administrative coordinator in the Education department, has been invited to serve for a second term (academic year 2020-2021) on the School of Arts & Sciences Staff Engagement Committee.

  • Spires earns promotion to associate professor

    Dr. Bob Spires, professor in the SPCS graduate education program, has been approved by the University Board of Trustees for promotion from assistant professor to the rank of associate professor.

  • 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.

  • Wilson addresses leadership summit

    Dr. Jamelle Wilson, dean of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, recently addressed attendees of the Virginia Foundation of Independent College’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Development Summit in Richmond. She spoke on “Leading Authentically,” positing that we lead most effectively from a place of knowing who we are and where we are at a particular time.

  • 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.

  • Spires collaborates on article

    Dr. Bob Spires, assistant professor of education, published an article co-written with graduate students & colleagues from Valdosta State University. The article, Effects of the Post-It Note Strategy on Reading Achievement among Eighth-Grade Students with Learning Disabilities, appears in Becoming: Journal of the Georgia Middle School Association.

  • Laursen co-authors article with SPCS graduate

    Dr. Erik Laursen, adjunct associate professor of education, has co-authored with alum Kirsten Logan, GC’18, the article Does Mindfulness Strengthen Self-efficacy in First Grade Students? in the Journal of Teacher Action Research.

  • 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.

Student Reminders

Career Services

Career advising is available to all UR graduate education students! Please contact Tonya Osmond (Assistant Director and Career Advisor) for individualized assistance and learn more about services offered including Spider Connect (main portal), UR Online (an alumni database), and Resume Check (a resume database) at

Comprehensive Exams

Spring 2017 Comprehensive Exams for Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction will take place in April. Each respective program will be contacting all students scheduled to take their spring comprehensive exams later this month.

Commencement and Graduation Reminders

Do you plan to graduate in either May or August of 2017? If so, please remember to register to participate in the May 2017 Commencement Ceremony and contact the Registrar’s Office to apply to graduate on your respective date.

Inclement Weather Reminder

As winter weather easily creates travel hazards, please check UR Alerts for inclement weather and campus closure updates at

Spring 2017 TLP Student Teacher Orientation
TLP Student Teacher Orientation
TLP Student Teacher Orientation
TLP Student Teacher Orientation

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Graduate Education Program
School of Professional & Continuing Studies
North Court
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, Va. 23173

(804) 289-8133 • fax (804) 289-8138

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