backpack with hand sanitizer and masks
Welcome to the fall semester!
Well, that summer was different.

Never in the history of the College of Education have we experienced a summer quite like this one, but guess what? We made it, and we’re here and ready to welcome you back, no matter how and where that may be.

We've created this video to welcome everyone to the fall semester and to give you an insider's look at what we are doing to make this semester a great experience for everyone.
This month's feature story:
Dogs 'n' Denim Fashion Show wins on so many levels!
katie on the catwalk with adelaide
By now, you probably know about our amazing Project FOCUS program, a post-high school option for students ages 18-21 with intellectual disabilities. The program provides access to the University of Arizona’s academic offerings and campus life in order to increase each student’s self-reliance and employability.

Each student in Project FOCUS receives instructional support and enrolls in a minimum of six credits per semester for two years. In addition to academic coursework, students are provided instructional supports related to campus life, employment, and overall self-reliance.

Project FOCUS is all about collaborations across campus and with Pima County schools. One of the best examples of Project FOCUS comes in the form of the course, Introduction to Fashion Retail Retailing and Consumer Sciences, offered by Associate Professor of Practice Charlette Padilla. One of the final projects in the class was a fashion show of capes student teams had made for their dogs.

Project FOCUS Academic Learning Specialist Lesley Smith asked Professor Padilla if it would be possible to collaborate with Tucson’s Cause for Canines, an all-volunteer, foster-based rescue group dedicated to saving the lives of homeless dogs. Padilla loved the idea, so TCFC set up a table with raffle tickets for gift baskets, T-shirts promoting the rescue, information on volunteering for the organization, and how to adopt a dog. Students walked through the audience with doggy bags of treats for a small donation. Mind you, this was all prior to the pandemic. The funds raised through the event were split between TCFC and the fashion retail program.

Professor Padilla and her students set up a catwalk with lights, music, and an emcee. The event was open to the university community as well as the Tucson Community. The students collaborated as a team, developed their designs, and created the capes. A member of each team walked the dog down the catwalk when the emcee announced the dog, describing the cape and whether or not the dog was available for adoption with a short bio on the available dogs.

Katie Pratt-Ferguson (seen above), a second-year student in Project FOCUS, created a cape with her student team for Adelaide, and had the experience of walking with Adelaide, a darling Maltese Poodle mix, down the catwalk. Even better, lucky Adelaide ended up being adopted, thanks to the event!

Professor Padilla was so pleased, she wants to continue to collaborate and partner with the rescue for the annual event.
mentoring illustration
A giant BOOST for 560 students!

Thanks to a new $1.3 million grant we just received, hundreds of students interested in teaching mostly first-generation, low socioeconomic status, or special needs are about to get a giant boost in their education.

The TRiO Student Support Services Teacher Prep grant from the U.S. Department of Education will provide these students with services, tutoring, mentoring, trainings, workshops, materials, and other learning experiences.

The best part? The grant applies to 140 students each year for five years for a total of 560 students who will benefit. Students will be recruited as early as their first year and served through all four years. Special thanks to Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies Department Head and Professor Marcy Wood, the principal investigator of the grant, and Director of Academic Advising Sara Knepper, who serves as the co-PI.

carranza with student
Into uncertainty?

With every state experiencing a different COVID infection rate, schools across the country are reopening with a mix of in-person and virtual instruction and the insecurities, disagreements, and fears about protecting children remain. New York City Chancellor Richard Carranza, a native Tucsonan and College of Education alumnus from 1991, was interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning about the difficult choices parents and teachers face about sending students back to class in the midst of a pandemic.

sad child
Talk It Out

Tucson Unified School District also is back in session, and Talk it Out, our free mental health services program offered to families in TUSD through the college’s counseling program, is now providing expanded services. More days and times are available, especially important with so many families feeling the impact of COVID-19.

Watch this KOLD, our CBS affiliate, news story about this much-needed program.
If you or someone you know who is affiliated with TUSD needs support, please contact a school counselor or any TUSD Family Resource Center for more information. Walk-ins are welcome.

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies
knows how to bring in the grants!
The summer institute to explore erased histories
The college's TLS department was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to create a two-week summer institute for 30 K-12 educators. The 2021 institute, We the People: Migrant Waves in the Making of America, will examine Arizona as a case study. While U.S. history is often taught from the perspective of the 13 colonies, looking at this history from the perspective of the last coterminous state added to the union invites participants to explore stories and perspectives left out of traditional narratives, particularly those of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color. Teachers will learn through the combination of literature, historical records, social science research, artifacts, film, and hands-on inquiry, exploring what histories have been erased, and how they might be recovered. Congratulations to Associate Professor Carol Brochin, Assistant Professor Leah Durán, and Professor Kathy Short for their work on acquiring the grant.

The trifecta
Professor Erin Turner was awarded two additional National Science Foundation grants this year (we told you about the first one in the last message). Here’s the latest:

Together — Parents, Teachers, and Multilingual Children Doing Mathematics
Co-PI Professor Marta Civil
An innovative mathematical partnership that engages teachers, parents, and multilingual children in grades 3-5 from underserved communities in mathematical experiences by integrating two different approaches to advancing equity in mathematics education.

Growing Mathletes: STEM of Baseball in Informal Settings
Co-PIs Professor Ricardo Valerdi and Associate Research Professor Sanlyn Buxner
A four-year Innovations in Development project that integrates sports, math and science concepts, and growth mindset to broaden participation and enhance math and science learning and engagement in grades 4-8 for underrepresented students in STEM fields, particularly Latinx and Black students.

The middle school science contexts
Professor Kristin Gunckel also landed an NSF grant: Learning Progressions in Science: Analyzing and Deconstructing the Multiple Dimensions in Assessment 
Teases apart practices, patterns, and content in each of the foundational middle school science contexts of physical, life, and Earth sciences.

kathy hoffman
Hoffman draws a crowd

Our Education Policy Center invited Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman to a virtual event for the community on August 13 to discuss the challenges of reopening schools during a pandemic. The much-needed conversation, held as both a Zoom webinar and a Facebook Live event, attracted almost 200 people in the community. If you missed the event, you are not out of luck, as you can still watch the recording.

Happenings at Cooper
brace yourselves, there are A LOT!
separate images of people at cooper
mrs. green
It's easy being friends with Mrs. Green
The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning always has been grateful to have Mrs. Green’s World in its corner. Cooper Director Colin Waite and Mrs. Green (aka Gina Murphy-Darling, our longtime supporter and friend) were interviewed for this podcast on KXCI.

Impact of COVID-19 on environmental education
Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies doctoral student Kelly Jay Smith wrote this article on the impact of COVID-19 on environmental education and outdoor science education for Arizona Association for Environmental Education. In the article, he features Camp Cooper Online, a free video series for K-5 students. The videos, created by the educators at the Cooper Center, feature activities that can be done at home while viewing the videos.

Crowdfunding especially needed this year
Last year, the Cooper Center served more than 3,000 students with day and overnight trips at Camp Cooper, making it our biggest year since we started our annual crowdfunding campaigns. We were on track to surpass these numbers, but, sadly, we saw our numbers drop as we adapted to the pandemic. On a positive note, however, our education team quickly pivoted to providing online content about science, ecology – uniquely suited to our audiences and our geography – connecting with hundreds of children in the Tucson area during the summer.

The truth is, there has never been a more important time to give what you can to keep the Cooper Center strong, extending our impact to more students in the years to come. We understand and sympathize with those who are not in a position to donate, and we are grateful for every donation big or small. Please donate to our crowdfunding campaign beginning September 1.

You’re invited to the Cooper Zoom Happy Hour
Join us for a free livestream Happy Hour with music and entertainment, including singing star Ann Hampton Callaway all in support of the Cooper Center!

Friday, September 18
5:30-6:30 p.m., Arizona Time
happy hour flyer
colorful letters spelling the word people
monika cabrera
Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

School counseling graduate student Monika “Momo” Cristina Cabrera was named a fellow for the NBCC Foundation's Minority Fellowship Program, which reduces health disparities and improves behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse and underserved populations.
As a fellow of the program, Cabrera will receive funding and training to support her education and her service to underserved populations.

Educational Policy Studies & Practice

Megan Baker, a doctoral student in our higher education program, just received a 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Student Grant, which brings together faculty from the University of Arizona and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez to create collaborative learning experiences. The nine-month grant, which begins in spring, will allow Baker to explore how curriculum and classroom experiences can be designed to expose students to multiple perspectives and trigger new ways of approaching issues.

gary rhoades
News of the University of Arizona’s planned acquisition of Ashford University did not go over well for many Arizona faculty members. Professor Gary Rhoades, who has an extensive background in the research of higher education, was featured in this Inside Higher Education story about the backlash.


Professor and Department Head Regina Deil-Amen was interviewed about the Ashford acquisition in this KOLD news story.

university administration building on news

And both Rhoades and Deil-Amen wrote this op-ed about the acquisition for the Arizona Daily Star.

Jenny Lee headshot

Professor Jenny Lee was quoted in a Latin Times story about how scientific collaboration between China and the U.S. has grown despite their poor relations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thomas Good Headshot
Educational Psychology

Professor Emeritus Thomas L. Good was awarded the prestigious E. L. Thorndike Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. The award is among the most prestigious given to living educational psychologists for their substantial, career-long achievements, and contributions to the field. Some past recipients include Albert Bandura, B.F. Skinner, Sandra Graham, and Jacquelynne S. Eccles.

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

Each year, the Arizona Educational Foundation identifies 10 educators who become candidates for Teacher of the Year. One teacher is ultimately selected from hundreds of nominations to become Arizona's Teacher of the Year and our state's representative for National Teacher of the Year. While one teacher wins the top title, nine additional teachers are celebrated each year at the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony and through various recognition events. We’re happy to report that one of our Teach Arizona graduates, Jeffrey Mann ’09, a teacher at Flowing Wells High School, was just named as a finalist! We’ll keep you posted if he moves on to the semi-finals.

casondra martinez
In a recent message, we told you about Alumna Casondra Martinez ’06 ’20, who graduated with a master’s degree in educational leadership in May and was the recipient of the Arizona School Administrators Outstanding Master's Student in Educational Leadership for the University of Arizona. She already has a new job as an assistant director of special education for TUSD. Her sister, Pila Martinez, writes, "It’s amazing how quickly she was able to move into leadership after completing her master's degree in educational leadership."

The Data Science Institute announced a new cohort of data science ambassadors for various colleges at the university. TLS doctoral student Laurie Sheldon was named the college's 2020-21 Data Science Ambassador. DSAs serve as champions for data science literacy in their colleges, develop training or other data literacy programs specific to their colleges, and answer data science-related questions through consults, training, and referrals to resources and experts on campus or online.

Wishing everyone a great start to the fall semester (just ignore the temperature)! If you have anything you’d like to discuss with me about the College of Education and how we are continuing our work during these difficult days, please contact me.

Bruce Johnson
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