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Graduate Education Newsletter

Winter 2018

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields - image

The start of the new year is always a great opportunity to revisit personal and professional expectations and to focus on our goals for the future. As you will see in this e-newsletter, the faculty and staff in Graduate Education are deeply committed to making sure our graduate programs are the best in creating future teachers, school leaders, and practitioners. We are also providing opportunities to the community for reflection and discussion on the changing context of K-12 education. With these main goals and expectations, we enter this spring’s semester with enthusiasm and energy.

Throughout the e-newsletter you will read about the successes of our faculty — both full-time and adjunct — in garnering awards for their teaching, service, and engagement with students and the community. Alumni of our programs continue to receive accolades for their teaching and work with students, while others are receiving promotions and positions across Virginia and even the nation.

You will also read about how faculty and staff are staying abreast of the rapid changes occurring in K-12 education. We have focused on three main areas which are of interest to school divisions: equity, diversity, and innovation and creativity in curricula. These areas are also the main focus of the Virginia Board of Education, local superintendents, and school boards as they begin to implement the federal government’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. In this edition of the e-newsletter, you will read about how faculty and staff are conducting amazing research, creating timely professional development and course offerings, and receiving large grants in these three areas. I have stated it before and truly believe it — UR Graduate Education is small, but incredibly impactful.

With each passing week of the spring semester, the daylight will grow longer and the temperature will climb higher. On behalf of all the faculty and staff of Graduate Education, we hope that energy, warmth, and light of the coming spring will bring a renewed spirit and commitment to your own goals and expectations.

Have a happy and productive spring!

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

In This Issue

Scroll to read each each section.

  • Alumni Notes
  • Upcoming Events & Deadlines
  • News & Information
  • Faculty & Staff Updates
  • Student Reminders
  • Photo Gallery
  • Contact Us & Connect

Previous Issues

Farewells & Welcome

Miriam Blackmon

The Graduate Education program welcomes Miriam Blackmon as the Teacher Licensure Preparation program’s new admissions coordinator. She’ll will work on a variety of admissions-related duties, and we look forward to working with her!

Scott Bray

The Teacher Licensure Preparation program bids fond farewell to long-time Assistant Chair, Dr. Scott Bray, who joined Henrico County Public Schools as their newly appointed Director of Curriculum and Instruction this past fall. We wish him every success in his new position!

Mary Ewing

Our prayers and condolences are with the family of long-time former Administrative Coordinator, Mary Ewing, who passed away earlier this year. Mrs. Ewing retired from University of Richmond’s Education department after serving our faculty, staff, and students for over eighteen years. She will be missed by so many including her UR family. Mrs. Ewing’s obituary is available online.

Laura Kuti

The Teacher Licensure Preparation program welcomes a familiar face and congratulates Dr. Laura Kuti, who was recently named Interim Assistant Chair of TLP while continuing as Assistant Chair of and Curriculum & Instruction. The Education program faculty and staff look forward to continued excellence under Dr. Kuti’s leadership.

Renee Peterson

Congratulations to Renee Peterson on her appointment to a full-time position in the University of Richmond Registrar’s Office. Peterson provided invaluable admissions and administrative support to the Education program for over two years, and we thank her for service.

Branding image: Speaker Series

Graduate Education Speaker Series

This past academic year the Graduate Education program continued to sponsor a Speaker Series that examines issues that are at the forefront of K-12 education. The goal of the Graduate Education Speaker Series is to provide an opportunity for practitioners and community members to hear and engage in a discussion with experts, school representatives and advocates about high-profile issues in K-12 schools.

The fall 2017 Graduate Education Speaker Series event, “Is Our Education System Prepared to Assist Immigrant Children?,” was held November 2 in the Carole Weinstein International Center with nearly 100 people in attendance. Community members gathered to hear panelists discuss how our local schools are working to assist immigrant children and their families. The featured panelists were Ms. Val Gooss, ESL Specialist for Henrico County Public Schools and former Virginia Department of Education ESL/Title III Coordinator, Mr. Juan Santacoloma, Chesterfield County Multicultural Liaison and Dr. Elizabeth Kissling, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics, University of Richmond. There are pictures of this event on this e-newsletter (see below).

The spring Graduate Education Speaker Series event, Promoting Emotional Health & Well-being in Adolescents, will be held on Thursday, April 19 at 6 p.m. in the International Commons of the Carole Weinstein International Center. This will be another panel discussion featuring an academic expert and school and youth counseling representatives from across the Richmond area. This panel discussion invites attendees to join a discussion on the current social and emotional state of affairs among adolescents and what families, schools, and communities can do to support adolescent well-being and safety. This event is free and open to all — additional information and registration details can be found here.

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Fall 2018 Student Teaching

If you missed the February 7 Student Teaching meeting for students intending to complete their student teaching experience in Fall 2018, please contact Dr. Deborah Napoli immediately.

End of Year Graduate Education Reception

The annual Graduate Education end of year reception will take place on May 8, 2018. Mark your calendars and we look forward to seeing you then!

Scholarship Deadline for Spring

The deadline for scholarship applications is June 1, 2018, for the Fall 2018 semester. Visit the Scholarships page for details.

Graduate Education Speaker Series 2017-18

Visit the Graduate Education Speaker Series page for information on 2018 events.

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.

Graduate Education Alumni Updates

  • Nicole Hood, GC'15, named director at The Bryn Mawr School

    Dr. Nicole G. Hood, GC’15, has been named to the position of Upper School Director at The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore effective July 1, 2018. Hood earned a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

  • Frenishee Smith, GC'12, GC'16

    Frenishee Smith, GC’12, GC’16, has been awarded a 2017 R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence by The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation. Smith’s award will fund visiting schools that engage students living in poverty in innovative ways along with attending The International Conference on Urban Education in Nassau, Bahamas.

  • Grace Creasey, GC'14

    Grace Creasey, GC’14, has been named the Executive Director for the Virginia Council for Private Education, effective October 16, 2017. Creasey earned a master of education degree in educational leadership and policy studies in December 2014.

Student Reminders

Spring Academic Schedule

Spring courses began the week of January 16. Please visit the Academic Calendar via the Registrar’s Office webpage for important spring semester dates and deadlines.

Comprehensive Exams

Spring Comprehensive Exams will take place in April. Eligible students have already been contacted by their respective program and will receive their study packets in the coming weeks. Please contact your respective program with any specific questions.

Commencement & Graduation

  1. If you plan on graduating in May 2018 or August 2018, you should have already submitted your degree application (deadline was in October). If you missed this deadline and require assistance, please contact your respective Graduate Education program ASAP.
  2. Order your commencement regalia by February 5, 2018. If you are unable to participate in commencement, you must request absentia status. More details on both cap and gowns and absentia can be found on the Registrar’s Office and Commencement websites.
  3. If you plan on graduating in December 2018, please file a degree application via BannerWeb by February 23 — review details.
Graduate Education Speaker Series Panel: Is Our Education System Prepared to Assist Immigrant Children?
Is Our Education System Prepared to Assist Immigrant Children?
Is Our Education System Prepared to Assist Immigrant Children?
Is Our Education System Prepared to Assist Immigrant Children?

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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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