November 2019
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Welcome New Staff!
Headshot of Megan Kasper
Megan Kasper is the college’s new clinical coordinator for the Talk it Out program. She is joining the program with over 10 years of experience working within publicly and grant funded programs serving diverse populations. Kasper moved to Arizona from Illinois in 2013 and has been working as a therapist within the Regional Behavioral Health Authority in Tucson since 2014. She has experience working with children and adults experiencing general mental health, serious mental health, and substance abuse issues. Her practice includes the use of anti-oppressive and client-centered philosophies in conjunction with evidence-based interventions. In addition to direct practice, Kasper has experience in program development and oversight. She is eager to transition into her new role and is passionate about fostering professional development to fellow clinicians. She is excited to support the growth of the TIO program and is looking forward to working with the student interns as they begin their professional journey.
Headshot of Jessica Lujan
Jessica Lujan is the newest advisor for the College of Education. An Arizona alum, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. Prior to coming to the University of Arizona, Jessica worked in vocational rehabilitation services assisting transition-aged youth with disabilities with finding employment and career exploration. Jessica has experience working with various rehabilitation, behavioral health, and non-profit agencies around Tucson, as well as different high schools. Jessica is excited to be back at the University assisting and guiding students in starting off their careers.  
Z Nicolazzo awarded 2019 ASHE Early Career Award

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Z Nicolazzo , who was recently awarded the 2019 ASHE Early Career Award!

"The scholarly accomplishments of Dr. Nicolazzo, which are linked to her accomplishments in outreach as a public intellectual and in her advising as a mentor are truly exceptional, exemplifying the best of what a professor can be. I can say with full confidence that Dr. Z Nicolazzo’s record of accomplishment is on a level achieved by only a couple of other scholars in that time. It is hard for me to imagine how anyone could have done more in their capacity as an assistant professor."

Sherard Robbins headshot
Sherard Robbins named 40 under 40

Congratulations to Associate Director of Equity & Inclusion for Community Engagement Sherard Robbins , who was recently named a 40 under 40 winner for 2019 ! He and the other honorees will be honored on December 2 at the 40 Under 40 Awards Breakfast Celebration hosted by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Daily Star
What's New?
President Robbins' visit to the Cooper Center

Last month, Dean Bruce Johnson and Cooper Center Director Colin Waite welcomed President Robert Robbins to the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning to highlight the center's programs and to talk about their impact on The University of Arizona and the local community. The three were joined by TUSD Assistant Superintendent Brian Lambert , UA Office of Sustainability Director Trevor Ledbetter , COE Development Director Lee O'Rourke , and Cooper Center Campus Outreach Team coordinator and graduate student Deanna Kulbeth .

Director Waite shared the history of "Camp Cooper" and the strong partnership between the College of Education and Tucson Unified School District. President Robbins expressed his excitement in knowing that the University and COE are doing such important work with the schools of Southern Arizona.

Cooper Center's programs focus on sharing the natural world with learners of all ages, teaching key ecological understandings, fostering positive emotional connections to the environment, and inspiring students to live more sustainably on our planet.
Bruce Johnson Colin Waite and President Robbins at the Cooper Center
Education in Cambodia and China

Dean Bruce Johnson , Professor Mary Carol Combs , and Eve Rifkin , co-founder of City High School, visited Phnom Penh in October to learn about secondary education and teacher preparation in Cambodia. UA Global has asked the College of Education for help in designing early university access to UA general education courses for high school students in Cambodia in partnership with UA’s Microcampus at the American University of Phnom Penh .

While overseas, Johnson gave two presentations on earth education programs and research -- one at the Institute for Ocean and Marine Research in Xiamen, China and the other at the Mangrove Conservation Foundation in Shenzhen, China.
Bruce Johnson Headshot
Headshot of Mary Carol Combs
Headshot of Eve Rifkin
College of Education faculty members demonstrate dedication and leadership through UROC mentorship

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium , or UROC, consists of five research programs, including AWARDSS, that offer students invaluable research training and graduate school preparation. Through the program, each student participant receives training and preparation through mentorship from Arizona faculty members. The College of Education is proud to say that ten of our faculty members served as mentors for UROC students this year. 
Thanks to the faculty members listed below, UROC students produced an in-depth research paper, presentation, poster, and abstract to showcase their research from the summer.
Assistant Professor Carol Brochin
Assistant Dean Sara Chavarria
Assistant Professor Lia Falco
EPSP Affiliate Faculty Member Marla Franco
Assistant Professor Kevin Henry
Research Scientist Corey Knox
Associate Professor Jill Koyama
Associate Dean and Professor Francesca Lopez
Assistant Professor of Practice Vanessa Perry
Associate Professor Michael Sulkowski
Dean Marx
Strategizing for a more comprehensive approach to health care

In late September, Professor Ron Marx participated in a planning meeting for the next decade of work in the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine . Along with participants from medicine, nursing, and insurance, Marx provided advice to Center Founder Andrew Weil and Center Executive Director Victoria Maizes on strategic priorities that could guide the work for the center as it strives to provide a more integrated and holistic approach to health care.
UA Cares

The 2019  UA Cares  campaign has begun and continues through November 15. Participation is easy; you can contribute through payroll deduction, personal check, or credit card. Sign up through UAccess or with a printed paper pledge form , which can be returned to Emma Mendenhall . Any form of giving is greatly appreciated! Fill out your pledge form  here .

Visit  to learn more.
Wilma and Wilbur high fiving with red balloons in the background
In the Media
Shyla Dogan with a book
Recent educational leadership graduate shares the value of support

Recent graduate of the educational leadership doctoral program Shyla Dogan was featured in an article by The University of Arizona Alumni Association about the ups and downs of her journey to earning a Ph.D.

“I have relatives who say, ‘We can’t believe we have a Ph.D. in the family,’” says Shyla Dogan. “And that shows their children something. It shows people who start where we did can do it.” In high school, Dogan’s homework wasn’t always done because she dealt with recurring homelessness. Her counselor told her not to enroll in an SAT prep class because she would take up the space of someone who would actually go to college."

Read more stories from Arizona alumni about how #wondermakesus.
Latinx Intelligentsia logo
Is scholar-activism possible in higher education?

Last month, Associate Professor Nolan Cabrera spoke with  University of Maryland  Associate Professor Michelle Espino (a proud College of Education graduate) on her podcast,  Latinx Intelligentsia , about how to engage in scholar-activism with intention and humility. Listen to the full episode .
Faculty Presentations
Desiree Vega delivers keynote speech at UROC Conference

In early August, Associate Professor Desiree Vega delivered the keynote presentation at the 24th Annual Undergraduate Research Opportunities Consortium Research Conference Poster Session at the University of Arizona. Learn more .
Nolan Cabrera travels coast to coast to talk about race

October was a busy month for Associate Professor Nolan Cabrera , who traveled to the Carolinas and Washington state to talk about race. On October 14, Cabrera visited East Carolina University in Greenville, NC to deliver the keynote presentation, titled Honest history: Colonialism, White racism, and the need for Native American Studies , for the first annual, campus-wide Indigenous Peoples Day celebration. While on the east coast, he also visited Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, SC to deliver two keynote lectures the first titled White Guys on Campus and other conversations about race and the second titled From resistance to renaissance: Mexican American Studies, the Old Pueblo, and the nationwide Ethnic Studies movement .

Early in the month, he visited Seattle University to deliver a two-part keynote lecture titled Yes, White Guys Wanna Talk About Race (and their thoughts are telling). He also delivered a presentation to the Student Development Administration Program .
Learn how to lead an Earthwalk

The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning is excited to host an earth education training for people who are interested in learning how to improve their connection with nature and help others do the same. The Earthwalk Leadership Workshop , which will be held at the Cooper Center on Tuesday, November 5, will offer attendees the leadership skills necessary to offer an Earthwalk. Participants will be guided through two Earthwalks during the day, experience a thorough analysis of one of them, and will design their own walk to use when they return to their centers. This event is open to all. Learn more
children looking at cactus
Free Creek Walks

Now through December, University of Arizona students, faculty, and staff can discover Tucson's riparian gems with Watershed Management Group for free! You’ll explore the great outdoors, get connected to the larger Tucson watershed, learn about WMG's River Run Network movement, and learn how you and your fellow Wildcats can help restore groundwater levels and flow to Southern Arizona’s rivers. All of the events listed below are free thanks to a sponsorship by Coca-Cola. Learn more and register at .
  • Saturday, October 26: Flowing Waters - From Farms to River Restoration @ 9 a.m. – noon
  • Thursday, November 14: UArizona Old Main @ 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 23: Santa Cruz River @ 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Friday, November 29: Black Friday & Beavers at Ciénega Creek @ 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 4: Bike Ride from Old Main to the Santa Cruz River @ 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Free Creek Walks flyer - image of water in a creek
Headshot of Nicola Daly
An introduction to Aotearoa/New Zealand children’s literature

Meet Nicola Daly and explore the exciting world of children’s books in Aotearoa/New Zealand at the Worlds of Words on Tuesday, November 5, from 12 – 1 p.m. This presentation features the trends and themes in these books and introduces both established and new authors and illustrators. These trends include a significant presence and emphasis on books highlighting Māori culture and language and the publication of many dual language picture books. Daly, a visiting Fulbright Scholar, is a senior lecturer at Te Hononga, the School of Curriculum & Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education, where she focuses on language learning and children’s literature. Her research explores New Zealand picture books and the linguistic landscapes of dual language picture books.

Visit for more information.
Faculty Publications
Examining the college choice experiences of the largest ethnic group in the United States

Associate Professor Desiree Vega , along with three of her doctoral students (Jaclyn Wolf, Michele Stathatos, and Dylan Barton) and two former students (Veronica Guzman and Juanita Arellano), recently published a book chapter in First-Generation College Student Research Studies . The chapter details the college choice experiences of first-generation Latinas. Read a sample of the chapter .
Vega, D., Wolf, J. N., Stathatos, M., Barton, D. O., Guzman, V., & Arellano, J. (2019). “I Always Knew I Was Going To Go To College”: First-Generation Latinas’ College Choice Experiences. First-Generation College Student Research Studies.

Identifying the training experiences and needs of bilingual school psychologists
Associate Professor Desiree Vega and five of her doctoral students (Jaclyn Wolf, Dylan Barton, Michele Stathatos, Charlotte Iurino, and Lily Hammer) recently published an article titled Identifying the training experiences and needs of bilingual school psychologists . “The purpose of this pilot study was to better understand the training experiences of bilingual school psychologists (BSPs) and identify their training needs in the provision of psychological services to English language learner students.” Read the full article .
Vega, D., Wolf, J. N., Barton, D. O., Stathatos, M., Iurino, C., & Hammer, L. (2019). Identifying the training experiences and needs of bilingual school psychologists. Psychology in the Schools.
Can deeper engagement between sociology and education scholars of race/racism further both disciplines?
Associate Professor Nolan Cabrera recently edited a symposium of Equity & Excellence in Education entitled Ethnic Studies in an Age of Expansion . He also published, as part of a special issue, an article titled Race(ing) across the disciplines. In the article, he “explores the history of racial analysis in sociology and education, especially the 1990s and early 2000s, where theorists moved the larger discourse around racism from an issue of individual prejudice to one of structured racial oppression.” Read the full article .
Cabrera, N. L. (2019). Critical Race Theory v. Deficit Models. Equity & Excellence in Education, 52(1), 47-54.
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Headshot of Kristin Wook
Spotlight on Stellar Students!

Name : Kristin Wook
Major : Literacy, Learning, and Leadership (Online)
Minor : Recreation and Sport in Communities, Parks, and Schools
Expected graduation : December 2020
Hometown : Tucson, Arizona
Spirit animal : Tiger
What led you to the University of Arizona College of Education?  
I have always loved engaging young children in play and learning. I was so excited to learn about the literacy, learning, and leadership program because the curriculum is closely related to the work I’ve been doing for the past 10 years. Before I started the LLL program, I helped open the Tucson chapter of the Lil’ Kickers Soccer League , a child development soccer program for children ages 18 months to 12 years old. It’s a really great organization that I’m happy to still be involved with as a coach.
What have you learned in the College of Education that's made a difference to you?
There are so many different possibilities with what you choose to do. The instructors are very helpful and are a great resource to all students.
Tell us about an extracurricular activity you're involved in and how it's impacted your life. 
Internships are amazing. I believe interning is an amazing opportunity to learn about different programs and how they benefit our community. I’ve learned so much through my internships with both Girls on the Run and the Children’s Museum . My experiences there have helped me build professional relationships and improve my skills so that I will be successful in any career. At Girls on the Run, I’ve gained a wide variety of experience, like fundraising, grant writing, and event planning, among other responsibilities.
How do you stay involved as an online student? 
I try to attend on-campus events and workshops when possible. I regularly ask questions and engage with the instructors and other students.
What are your post-graduation plans as of now?
I plan on following a career path as an educator in an informal learning environment. I’d like to continue engaging children in educational activities outside of a traditional classroom setting. Wherever I end up, I want to have fun!
What advice do you have for students just getting started in the College of Education?
Enjoy every moment and always ask questions.