M E S S A G E  
F R O M  T H E  D E A N
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March 2019

bruce johnson

The latest U.S. News & World Report rankings just came out, and our rehabilitation counseling program is once again one of the top 10 best programs of its kind in the country with a tied ranking of fourth place. 

But we already knew that!

Learn more about the UA rankings here .

students at cooper
In other big news, Angel Charity for Children awarded our Cooper Center for Environmental Learning $10,000 to create the Angel Charity for Children Scholarship.  The impact of this award is tremendous and will allow 940 students from low-income schools and neighborhoods to attend overnight field trips to Cooper for free! 

In some cases, this will be the first time these students have the opportunity to spend time in the Sonoran Desert. 

Watch this story on KVOA about the new scholarship.

cheromiah with francesca and javier lopez
We're also excited to announce that Educational Policy Studies & Practice graduate student Amanda Cheromiah was honored with the Maria Teresa Velez Diversity Leadership Scholarship Award. Her tireless dedication to Native SOAR and all her contributions to the UA and Tucson communities make her most deserving of this prestigious honor. Cheromiah was selected from among a list of distinguished graduate students. The award provides a $25,000 cash stipend plus coverage of full tuition and student health insurance.

Please join me in congratulating our newly minted Erasmus Circle Fellows: Disability & Psychoeducational Studies Assistant Professor Lia Falco and Educational Policy Studies & Practice Assistant Professor Kevin Lawrence Henry, Jr. Erasmus Circle Fellows are faculty leaders who have demonstrated excellence in their fields. The title of Erasmus Circle Fellow is one of the highest honors bestowed upon its faculty by the College of Education. They will be recognized at the Annual Erasmus Circle & Donor Recognition Reception on March 28.



You're Invited to a Free Screening

child with backpack spilling cash
The UA College of Education and School of Government and Public Policy invite you to a free screening of this documentary about the real cost of privatizing education in America's schools on Tuesday, April 2, from 5-7 p.m. in the Modern Languages Building, room 350. RSVP

Cats at the Capitol

cats at the capitol

Four of our Arizona Teachers Academy  scholars (three current student teachers and one graduate, all in the Teach Arizona master's program) attended Cats at the Capitol in Phoenix to demonstrate the impact of the program to Arizona legislators.

At the event, they met with Senator Sylvia Allen and Representative Michelle Udall, chairpersons for their respective chamber's education committee, to highlight how instrumental academy scholarships were in their decisions to pursue teaching in Arizona. They also stressed how important teacher-preparation programs like Teach Arizona are to improving student outcomes and creating positive classroom environments.

Special thanks to our Arizona Teachers Academy representatives -- Caryn Langolf, Emily Sewell, Elizabeth Sharp, and graduate Charisse White -- for representing the college and Teach Arizona so well!

Speaking of Arizona Teachers Academy, Arizona Big Media published this story on our work to expand the program.

Marginalized and Misunderstood

A group of nationally known English-language-learner scholars, including Associate Dean Francesca López, issued a biting critique of the working paper, "An Extra Year to Learn English? Early Grade Retention and the Human Capital Development of English Learners" from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In a letter challenging the research, the scholars, known as the Working Group on ELL Policy, urged policymakers in other states to tread carefully before trying to pitch a similar approach as it could have negative consequences for students who are often marginalized and misunderstood. More than a dozen faculty members, including many from our college, signed the letter in support.

Education Week reported on the story here.

You're Invited to a Reception for the Announcement 
of the 2019 Richard Ruiz Scholar/Artist in Residence

Resplandor International will announce the 2019 Richard Ruiz Scholar/Artist in Residence during a reception on Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m. in Worlds of Words. The event, a collaboration with the College of Education, World of Words, and Learning A-Z, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The selected scholar or artist will provide an international presence for the collaborating institutions in the greater community of Guanajuato, Mexico. The residency expands intercultural understandings and global perspectives through the use of quality, culturally authentic international literature.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Todd Fletcher.  

Talking with Ofelia Zepeda about AILDI


The American Indian Language Development Institute, which works diligently to keep Indigenous languages alive, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Coincidentally, 2019 also was designated the International Year of Indigenous Languages by UNESCO. 

We sat down with AILDI Director Ofelia Zepeda to learn more about the institute and how AILDI is celebrating 40 years and the 2019 UNESCO designation.

Help Project FOCUS Reach $20,000!

old stormies with project focus

For eight years, students with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been fully included at the UA, thanks to Project FOCUS, a two-year innovative transition program out of the College of Education. Since the program's inception, Project FOCUS has provided 65 students with intellectual and developmental disabilities with access to inclusive college classes, internship opportunities throughout the Tucson community, and a large, supportive network both off- and on-campus.

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 March 29. Please consider donating to help reach the project's $20,000 goal. 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 UA experience.

Donate to the Project FOCUS crowdfunding campaign here.

Learn more about the program here.
And be on the lookout for two other crowdfunding campaigns: The Indigenous Teacher Education Program starts today, March 18. Cooper Center for Environmental Learning begins April 1.

Calling Future Native American Teachers: We Need You!

itep logo

Our Indigenous Teacher Education Project is looking for future Native American teachers committed to Indigenous education in exchange for some terrific benefits. The application for this great program is officially open!

What do participants receive?
  • Loan-for-services aid to cover tuition, books, stipends, and technology. 
  • A focus on Indigenizing pedagogies, Indigenous language education, and STEM.
  • Work in schools serving Indigenous students.
The application deadline is Friday, April 19. Learn more at  itep.coe.arizona.edu.

CPR Training for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community

The UA Sarver Heart Center and Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind created a chest-compression-only CPR video for people in the Arizona deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The six-minute video, featuring Disability & Psychoeducational Studies Instructor Jason Gervase, provides accessible information on vital skills using American Sign Language (ASL), voice-over, and captions. Check out the video below for a quick refresher on CPR, and don't forget the three Cs: Check, Call, and Compress! 



Glendale Daily Planet interviewed Gervase and DPS Associate Professor of Practice Cindy Volk for this story

Watch the training video here.

Now, You Can Do Your Student Teaching in a Local School or, Say, Norway, Mexico, or China!
istp student teachers

The International Student Teaching Program, a new program at the UA operated by our college and Study Abroad, was established last year for students studying elementary education and mild to moderate special education at the university. The program, which is coordinated by the college's Maggie Shafer and Sylvia Munsen, provides UA students with an opportunity to gain student teaching experience in China, Norway, or Mexico. ISTP participants teach internationally for nearly eight weeks after teaching in a local Tucson school for seven and a half weeks. This spring semester, four students are teaching in China, four are teaching in Mexico, and five are teaching in Norway.

The student teachers gain an appreciation, understanding, and respect for another culture, while sharing part of their American culture; compare and contrast the American system of education with that of another country and bring back new ideas and strategies to their future teaching; and grow both professionally and personally while serving as an "American Ambassador."

Shafer, director of the college's field experience, adds, "An additional goal for students traveling to China and Norway is to gain first-hand experience as an English-language learner while they teach in English to ELL students. This experience vastly increases their capacity to teach English learners after graduation."

Environmental Costs of Fashion

true cost flier

How much water was used to make the last T-shirt you bought? What about the dye on that shirt -- what kind of chemicals are on your skin? And where was your shirt made? Is the manufacturing currently sustainable?

On Thursday, March 28, the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning, through a partnership with local sustainable clothing company Fed By Threads, will host a screening of the video, The True Cost, at 6:30 p.m., in ENR2, room N120. 

The documentary offers an inside look at the environmental costs of the fashion industry. Following the screening will be a special panel discussion on the topics and information shared through the film, including globalization, environmental justice and health, the supply chain, human rights, and more.

The Daily Wildcat wrote this story about the partnership between the Cooper Center, Fed By Threads, and the UA Office of Sustainability.

Go see the film because there's another bonus: 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales go toward the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona!

Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.


Dean's Office

The New York Times wrote an article about the difference in funding between school districts that predominantly serve students of color and school districts that predominantly serve white students. Associate Dean Francesca López was interviewed for the article about how these differences impact the classroom. More.

Santa Fe New Mexican also picked up the story .

Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Professor Linda Shaw was awarded the James F. Garrett Award for a Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Research by the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association. The award recognizes excellence in research contributions over one's career and will be presented to Shaw at the 2019 American Counseling Association Conference Expo in New Orleans on March 28.  Learn more about the James F. Garrett Award.

Associate Professor Sam Steen is the recipient of the Professional Advancement Award from the Association for Specialists in Group Work, a division of the American Counseling Association. The award recognizes the outstanding activities of a person who has helped advance the field of group work through research, development of a new technique or theory, public relations, or legislative activities. The award will be presented to Steen at the ASGW Business Meeting at the 2019 ACA ARCA Conference in New Orleans.

Associate Professor Michael Sulkowski was quoted in this story about mitigating school shootings through threat reporting.

fellows word
Incoming school psychology student Marie Tanaka was selected to receive the UA's most prestigious graduate recruitment fellowship, the University Fellows Award. The fellowship is sponsored by the Graduate College for the most distinguished graduate students in the nation. The award provides financial resources, professional development opportunities, and an interdisciplinary community of fellows and faculty members throughout the university.

Educational Policy Studies and Practice

Assistant Professor Jameson David Lopez co-authored an open letter with University of Texas at San Antonio Assistant Professor Claudia Garcia-Louis to faculty of color with children. In the letter, Lopez reflects on his responsibilities as a faculty member and tribal member and how his role within each community affects his decision-making as a parent. The letter was published on the Diverse: Issues In Higher Education website. Read the full letter here.

jenny j lee
Earlier this month, Waseda University Assistant Professor Will Brehm hosted our  Professor Jenny Lee on his podcast, FreshEd. More than  a million international students study in U.S. universities today. Lee's research looks at international students' experiences in American higher education. In the episode, she discusses the underlying political climate for international students and scholars. She shares about the rise of racism and hate crimes and the presence of neoracism on campus, and says neoracism is a sense of national superiority used to justify mistreatment of those outside of one's nation-state, culture, or nation. Listen to the full episode here.
On Friday, March 22, Associate Professor Jill Koyama will present Neoliberalism, Sovereignty, and Language Learning at McClelland Hall in room 132 from 4-5 p.m. She will
 draw on a 42-month ethnography to discuss how the divergence of sovereignty is exerted over refugee students and their families in public education in Arizona. She will demonstrate the linkages between the federal education policy, Arizona's Proposition 203, and the school districts' approach to teaching English to refugee students.  
Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies

Associate Dean Francesca López
and Professor Mary Carol Combs were quoted in an  Arizona Daily Star article about the new Arizona law that grants school districts more autonomy in how English-language-learner students are instructed in public schools throughout the state. Before the new law was signed, beginner ELL students were required to spend four hours, the majority of the school day, in an English immersion block.  More .  

Cooper Center for Environmental Learning Director Colin Waite was featured on Mrs. Green's World as a #DisruptorForGood. Waite adds,  "The greatest thing I can do is to pass along my knowledge and experience to others, and I do that as a regular part of my work and at home with my children. Sharing the natural world with children is my passion and calling, and when I see the wonder in their faces as we explore, it allows me to forget the cares of the world, if only for a little while."  Read the full spotlight here .
Associate Professor Kristin Gunckel  contributed to the soon-to-be released book, STEM of Desire: Queer Theories and Science Education . The book "locates, creates, and investigates intersections of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and queer theorizing." Gunckel's chapter, "What Does Queer Theory Have to Do with Teaching Science in Elementary Schools?", demonstrates that queer theory is a relevant and useful lens for interrogating how school science, as typically taught in elementary schools, perpetuates binaries harmful to LGBTQ+ people and limits teachers' and children's opportunities to engage in scientific inquiry. The book is scheduled for publication later this month. More .

amanda agate

Amanda Agate '16, a literacy, learning, and leadership grad, received the Fulbright-Hays Group Project award to participate in teacher training in China.
Barcelo is holding the flowers

Julian Barceló '98, an elementary education grad and first-grade teacher at Davis Bilingual Elementary Magnet School, was given Tucson Values Teachers February Teacher Excellence Award. More.

Until next time,
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Bruce Johnson


You can make a difference!

The College of Education prepares exceptional teachers, educators, community leaders, policy-makers, and research scholars who will transform education. Our students dedicate their lives to inspiring others.  Unfortunately, due to the rising cost of tuition, many of our students struggle to support themselves and continue their education. More than half of our undergraduate students receive Pell grants. Even with Pell grants and other financial aid, these students still have a funding gap average of $9,879 per year.

With your help, students can receive much needed support so that funding is not a barrier to pursuing their education, especially for our student teachers who work full time in the classroom while taking a full load of classes making it nearly impossible to work even a part-time job.

You can make dreams come true with a gift to our existing scholarships or by creating your own legacy. Please contact me if you would like to learn more about supporting our scholarship program.

Lee O'Rourke
Director of Development

We want to hear from you! Send your news to anat@u.arizona.edu .