December 2019
saguaro with lights at sunset
Happy Holidays!
As the year wraps up — and what a year it has been! — I’d like to wish you all a joyful holiday filled with peace, family, and friends. 

We've celebrated many accomplishments this year, and they are still coming in even as we begin to close the door on 2019. 

One of our biggest accomplishments? We are happy to report we have made it to the finish line with the College of Education Strategic Plan. An almost two-year process, we began with data gathering from all our constituents, then analyzed all the data. We reworked and revised — and revised and reworked! — until we came up with something everyone could agree upon. The finished plan, which will guide us for the next five years, is published and available on our website. While we say “finished plan,” the truth of the matter is this is a living, breathing document, meant to evolve as we move forward. If you have the time, please email me your thoughts.

pathway in the desert
There are pathways all over the place

Our new pilot program, Pathways to Teaching, designed to help ease Arizona’s teacher shortage, is getting quite a bit of attention.

The program, a collaboration with the Sunnyside Unified School District, starts January 6.

Here’s a sampling of the recent media coverage: 

Pathways to Teaching is an incredible example of what Arizona can do despite some of the most significant education funding cuts in the nation. We need to support Arizona’s educators by addressing issues such as professional development, access to better curricular resources, class size, pay, and more. We must work together to ensure every student receives an excellent, equitable education that helps them become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and life-long learners — from their earliest years through their first jobs and beyond. Read this Expect More Arizona blog on Arizona's need to address the achievement gap.

mexico tourism poster
Collaboration going strong

Last month, we told you about our cross-border collaborations and the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, which exists to strengthen Arizona’s ties to Mexico and build a cross-border community of professionals from nearly every industry from agriculture to medicine.

Things are moving forward as just this month a group of preservice teachers and faculty members from the Escuela Normal Superior in Hermosillo, Sonora, visited us to learn about graduate programs and explore possible institutional collaborations. The visit is part of an institutional agreement with Centro Regional de Formación Profesional Docente de Sonora. The group also visited the Bisbee Science Lab, local schools, and attended activities organized by the college and Arizona Global — Mexico Initiatives. 

project focus grads
Support our indomitable Project FOCUS

The College of Education is home to an amazing program: Project FOCUS enables young adults (ages 18-22) with intellectual disabilities to experience the excitement of going to college.

The program works like so:

Students with intellectual disabilities complete a two-year program at the university, giving them a strong bridge to employment. The program is powerful with fabulous outcomes: graduates have more than double the rate of community engagement and employment when compared to the same-aged peers with intellectual disabilities. Project FOCUS is dedicated to closing the gap between individuals with and without intellectual disabilities by graduating students who are self-determined and better prepared to live their own lives. 

To continue to support these students, Project FOCUS is holding a crowdfunding campaign through December 31. Your contribution goes toward scholarships, salaries for lead peer mentors and job coaches, city bus passes so peer mentors can support students in independent travel, and costs related to on-campus social activities so peer mentors can support the students in having the full university experience. Please help give these students the tools and support they need by making a gift today!

global image
Meet our new minor

Do you have a passion for learning about cultures, geographies, histories, and current issues across the globe?

Our new global education minor prepares students for careers in education that involve diverse international populations in the United States and abroad. 

two female grads
It's graduation time!

Congratulations to all our students who are graduating this month, including these stellar standouts:

Rena Mendoza
Outstanding Senior, College of Education

Colin Eischeid
Outstanding Graduate Student, College of Education

Catherine Lyons
Outstanding Senior, Deaf Studies

Avriana Martinez
Outstanding Senior, Rehabilitation Studies and Services

Celia Romick
Outstanding Senior, Literacy, Learning & Leadership

Jessica Dannelley
Outstanding Student Teacher, Elementary Education

You can watch the awards ceremony live on Wednesday, December 18, at 3:30 p.m.

Convocation is the following day, Thursday, December 19, at 4 p.m. If you can’t make it to the convocation ceremony, you also can watch it live.

School Psychologist of the Year

We are so proud of our Disability & Psychoeducational Studies Adjunct Assistant Professor of Practice Kristen Lilly, who was named School Psychologist of the Year by the Arizona Association of School Psychologists

The association aims to "promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and youth."

Lilly was recognized for her work as a school psychologist, for training and serving as a field supervisor to graduate students, and for serving as the Arizona Association of School Psychologists' government and professional relations representative.

Lilly, above center, is shown with fellow Adjunct Assistant Professors Michael Buchsbaum and Jamie Timmerman

painting of erasmus
Announcing our Erasmus Circle Fellows and Scholars

The Erasmus Circle, named for the Renaissance scholar whose work in education changed humanity, recognizes donors who provide crucial support that allows the College of Education to invest in scholarships for students and faculty support. Members are passionate about education initiatives and advocating for educators and leaders in our community.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have awarded 397 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students and 26 Faculty Fellows in programs throughout the college!

Last month, we honored our Erasmus Circle members and the newest Erasmus Circle Scholars during a reception that brings the two groups together so they can get to know one another.

Erasmus Circle Scholars are outstanding students who show promise in their areas of study and have made contributions to their communities, the college, and the university. Through the generosity of our donors, we honored 33 scholars. Our undergraduate student speaker was Eva Ascencio, an elementary education major graduating this December, and our graduate speaker was Judy Salcido, a fifth-year doctoral student in language, reading, and culture, focusing on Indigenous education and social justice. 

2019 Erasmus Circle Undergraduate Scholars
With matched patron or benefactor
Eva Ascencio, Patron: Shirley Ann Hartman
Courtney Cardinal, Benefactors: Barbara & Russell Miller
Jessica Dannelley, Benefactor: Emily Meschter
Brennen Feder, Patrons: Danielle & Steven Thu
Lauren Fisher, Patrons: Patty & Carl Liaupsin
Tori Grillo, Patrons: Judith & Theron Ovitt
Kristen Hillig, Patron: Barbara Cropper
Hayley Kral, Benefactors: Margaret & Bruce Johnson
Jessica Roberts, Patrons: Patrice & Ronald Brown
Bekka Weismantle, Benefactors: Peggy & Steve Goulding
Taylor Williams, Benefactor: Emily Meschter
2019 Erasmus Circle Graduate Scholars
With matched patron or benefactor
Matthew Austin, Patron: Nancy Woodling
Amanda Bermudez, Benefactors: Barbara & Russell Miller
Sergio Castro, Benefactors: Lynn & Jim Engel
Colleen Corcoran, Patrons: Susan & Robin Richards
Austin Cruz, Patrons: Barbara & Jim Sullivan
Angela Cruze, Patrons: Bonne & Dave Overstreet
Cole Eskridge, Patrons: Bahar & Richard Delgado
Rebecca Friese, Patrons: Carol & Larry Bahill
Charlinda Haudley, Benefactors: Lynn & Jim Engel
Angela Labistre Champion, Patron: Kris Bosworth
Kirsten Lansey, Patron: Barbara Myers 
Amanda LeClair-Diaz, Patrons: Renee & Richard Clift
Aubrey Neihaus, Patrons: Kathleen & Raymond Naylor
Rebecca Perez, Patrons: Dell & Jerry Bromiel
Victoria Rodriguez, Patron: Linda Alepin
Stacy Saathoff, Benefactors: Kathy & Jerry Short
Judith Salcido, Benefactors: Kathy & Jerry Short
Camlia Shaheed, Patron: Jinx Patterson
Marisela Silva, Benefactors: Margaret & Bruce Johnson
Madison Sween, Benefactors: Peggy & Steve Goulding
Tamela Thomas, Patrons: Francesca & Javier Lopez
Garrison Tsinajinie, Patron: Shirin Antia
Erasmus Circle Members
Ann & Fred Boice
Sara Chavarria
Jane Erin
Charlotte Harris
Marie Ruiz
Erasmus Circle Legacy
Bahar & Richard Delgado

Erasmus Circle Lifetime
Therese Berg
Nancy Haddad Berge
Ann & Fred Boice
Sally Drachman Salvatore
Mr. & Mrs. Albert Fessler
Keith McKenzie
Emily Meschter
Wilma Miller
Mary Louise Rentfrow

2019 Erasmus Circle Fellows
Assistant Professor, Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Assistant Professor, Education Policy Studies & Practice

If you would like more information about The Erasmus Circle, please contact College of Education Director of Development Lee O’Rourke at 520-621-3413.
erasmus graduate scholars
Erasmus Circle Graduate Scholars

erasmus undergraduate scholars
Erasmus Circle Undergraduate Scholars

poster of lopez for virtual summit

Dean's Office

Associate Dean Francesca López is part of a free online event designed to inform, improve, and inspire educators to ensure equity in their schools. The Leading Equity Virtual Summit is January 2-7, and López will present research on moving from deficit to asset approaches on January 6. 

Register for the online summit

López also was the featured speaker at Penn State’s Inaugural Dean’s Symposium on Educational Equity

Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Alumnus Dan Clere, who received a master’s degree in rehabilitation in 1970, writes: “I attribute my two years at the University of Arizona as changing my life and, I hope, a few student lives with whom I came in touch.” 

Clere worked at a Huntington Beach, California, community college that was searching for someone with a counseling education to start a program for deaf students. He was the first person hired, and his initial duties were to find teachers, interpreters, and students who would benefit from the college's services. 

“I interviewed and evaluated all incoming students from Southern California, several states, and three countries. It was a hugely successful program. I was their counselor for nine years. I moved on to Texas, where I became the director of assessment at a college for the deaf in a small town in west Texas.”

Thank you, Dan Clere. We love to hear from our alumni!

Lia Falco headshot
Assistant Professor Lia Falco and Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies Associate Professor Jessica J. Summers published an article, Social Persuasions in Math and Their Prediction of STEM Courses Self-Efficacy in Middle School, in The Journal of Experimental Education

Headshot of Kirsten Lansey
The Higher Education Consortium for Special Education selected doctoral student Kirsten Lansey to attend the HECSE Short Course in Washington, D.C., in January.

She and a select group of special education doctoral students from other universities will meet with HECSE representatives in D.C. and hear from speakers representing congressional staff, national education associations, and the U.S. Department of Education. They also will visit congressional offices and the Department of Education.

Lansey will join Assistant Professor Adai Tefera and Department Head Carl Liaupsin at the HECSE Winter Summit for additional meetings and briefings with key leadership in Washington, D.C.
Last month, we told you about Assistant Professor of Practice Stephanie MacFarland’s impressive award, the June Downing Breakthroughs in Inclusive Education Award.

Staff at The Daily Wildcat saw our story and decided they wanted to sit down and have their own chat with MacFarland to learn how her career led to this award.

bosworth with group
Educational Policy Studies & Practice

Professor Kris Bosworth (in the blue-patterned jacket) was the keynote speaker on school-based drug prevention at the 20th International Congress on Addictions in Mexico City. 


Cabrera also was part of the inaugural University of Arizona Faculty Showcase series. His talk, White Immunity: Working through the Pedagogical Pitfalls of Privilege, was held in the Student Union Memorial Center's Arizona Room.

Headshot of Jenny Lee 2019
Professor Jenny Lee and doctoral student John Haupt published Winners and Losers in U.S.-China Scientific Research Collaborations in the International Journal of Higher Education Research. As a result, Inside Higher Ed wrote this story about the research. 

The college’s Education Policy Center Morris Fellows, Joseph Sturm, Giselle Maria Delcid, and Julia Pérez, traveled to Phoenix to present preliminary findings from their research projects at the Arizona Educational Research Organization, a professional state-level organization affiliated with 

Dean Marx
Educational Psychology

Professor and Dean Emeritus Ronald W. Marx published Feel Free to Fail Once in a While: We all Do! That's How We Learn from Life's Lessons — a nod to acquired wisdom — in Education Review.

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies
Filmmaker, director, and producer Luis Carlos Davis, who received his doctorate in 2016 from the college's language, reading, and culture program and was raised in ambos lados (both sides of Nogales), was featured in this story about a filmmaking workshop he led in Douglas, Arizona, and Agua Prieta, Sonora. He started the workshop by asking the aspiring filmmakers how border communities are depicted in the media. 

Doctoral student Angela Gunder is the new vice president of learning for the Online Learning Consortium, the leading professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of digital learning worldwide.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Louis Joseph, who received a bachelor’s degree in our literacy, learning, and leadership program in 2016, returned to teaching through the TEACH NOW Veterans Initiative Program after more than a decade in the military. The Purple Heart Award recipient now teaches math, reading, and language to more than 20 inmate students at the Arizona State Prison in Tucson and was featured in this story on

See you in the next decade!

Bruce Johnson
You are invited to join the Erasmus Circle

The Erasmus Circle provides crucial support for the College of Education to invest in scholarship, teaching, and research. Erasmus Circle members are passionate about supporting education initiatives and advocating for educators and leaders in our community. There are three membership levels: Partner ($1,000), Patron ($1,500), and Benefactor ($2,500). Both the Patron and Benefactor levels provide $1000 scholarships, matching you with one or two Erasmus Circle Scholars for the year. 

Erasmus Circle donors are invited to a fall reception to meet and celebrate the scholars and to a spring donor appreciation reception to meet the Erasmus Circle Faculty Fellow. The Erasmus Circle Faculty Fellow is selected annually and honors an outstanding College of Education faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in his or her field.

Become a member, and thank you for your consideration.
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
We want to hear from you! Send your news to  [email protected] .
College of Education
1430 E. Second Street | P.O. Box 210069 | Tucson, Arizona 85721 | 520-621-1461