Fall 2018

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields headshot Recently, I was driving home from the University and listening to NPR’s On Point broadcast. The evening’s show was The Global Affairs Roundup and featured reporters stationed in Europe and Asia discussing the international news and the changes shaping the globe. The show’s host stated, “All eyes might be on Washington these days, but there is plenty happening out there around the world.” As I continued to listen, I reflected on the phrase, “plenty happening out there around the world,” as an appropriate summary of the global focus and engagement of our work in Graduate Education.

As you will see in this fall edition of our e-newsletter, faculty, staff and students in Graduate Education have led courses, professional development, and community engagement on the increasing diversity in our local schools while we are also realizing the need to appreciate and experience our diverse global environment. We believe that we need to create learning experiences in our academic programs and conduct research that understands and exposes differences in cultures, norms, and languages in schools and organizations across the globe.

In this edition, we celebrate two graduates, Tim Gruber and Gabrielle Robinson, who were awarded Fulbright grant recipients to travel to Malaysia and Panama, respectively, for English Teaching Assistantships. You will also read about how Dr. Bob Spires, our most recent addition to the Graduate Education faculty, works with teachers and administrators in rural Cambodia. Dr. Spires has been a great addition to our faculty and in the coming months we will provide an opportunity for our community to hear about his work and research in Cambodia. You will also read about the Global Context of Educational Leadership class in which 11 SPCS graduate students and four SPCS faculty members traveled to Germany to participate in a Sumer Study Abroad course. Students from three SPCS graduate programs — Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, Curriculum & Instruction, and Nonprofit Studies — compared how leadership in schools and non-profits in the U.S. and in Germany approach equity and inclusiveness.

The e-newsletter also highlights how we continue to meets the needs of local school divisions with professional development in problem solving and creative thinking, teaching of English Language Learners, and understanding the well-being of adolescents. As always, you will read about the many awards, honors, and changes happening with our incredible students, staff, and faculty.

As the heat of summer and backyard parties gives way to cooler temps and changing leaves, our attention turns to the start of the school year. Those of us who have the privilege of being in the field of education believe this time of year holds the promise of a fresh start and new beginnings. We hope the autumn season brings new opportunities and a sense of renewal in all that you do. Enjoy.

Be safe and be well!

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