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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

  • 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

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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