April 2021
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Sam Thomas named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Congratulations to educational leadership master's student Sam Thomas on being named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year!

The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.

Thomas, a star player on the Arizona Women's Basketball team, carries a 4.0 grade point average as a master's student in the college's Educational Leadership program. On the court, Thomas received Pac-12 All-Conference and All-Defensive Team accolades after averaging 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks through the regular season. She is the only player in the Pac-12 to average at least two steals and one block per game and is shooting 53% from three in her last eight games.

We are so proud to call Thomas an Education Wildcat! Learn more about her below in our Student Spotlight section. 
Headshot of Adai Tefera
Adai Tefera receives AERA 2021 Early Career Award

Congratulations to DPS Assistant Professor Adai Tefera on receiving the 2021 Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association Division G (Social Context of Education)!

Tefera's scholarship focuses on how educational policies aimed at improving equity among students at the intersections of race, disability, language, and other sociocultural differences are enacted and experienced by educators, leaders, and students.

Learn more about her work at coe.arizona.edu/person/adai-tefera.
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Jenny Lee elected vice president of AERA’s Division J: Postsecondary Education

Congratulations to EPSP Professor Jenny Lee on being named vice president-elect of AERA’s Division J: Postsecondary Education! This is a wonderful recognition of her expertise and scholarship, which examines how policies, geopolitics, and social forces shape inequities in higher education, in the US and abroad.
Jameson David Lopez named 2021 Erasmus Circle Fellow

Congratulations to EPSP Assistant Professor Jameson David Lopez being named the 2021 Erasmus Circle Fellow! Erasmus Circle Fellows are faculty leaders who have demonstrated excellence in their fields. They are nominated by their department heads and former Erasmus Circle Fellows and are selected by the College of Education National Advisory Board. The title of Erasmus Circle Fellow is one of the highest honors bestowed upon its faculty by the College of Education. Lopez has demonstrated integrity in research, instruction and service. He inspires both colleagues and students and is very deserving of this honor.
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Corey Knox selected as NSF QCM cohort member

Congratulations to Research Scientist Corey Knox on being selected as a National Science Foundation Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methods scholars cohort member! Through the program, Knox will work with other scholars and fellows to transform professions and scholarship through critical data science methodologies. A key focus of their efforts will be dismantling structural barriers to enable human flourishing for underrepresented communities, professionals, and young people.

Learn more about the program and other cohort members at icqcm.org/nsf2.
Mary Carol Combs and Desireé Vega awarded 2021 Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award

Every year the University of Arizona Graduate College recognizes two faculty members from across The University of Arizona with the Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award. We're excited to announce that both 2021 awardees are from the College of Education. They are TLS Professor Mary Carol Combs and DPS Associate Professor Desireé Vega!

Past COE awardees are Professor Emerita Yetta Goodman (2001) and Professor Emerita Patty Anders (2006).

Congratulations to Professor Combs and Associate Professor Vega on this well-deserved recognition of their excellent work with our graduate students!
Headshot of Mary Carol Combs
TLS Professor Mary Carol Combs
DPS Associate Professor Desireé Vega
Photo of Katherine Cheng standing in front of trees and a handrail. She is wearing a purple blouse smiling and looking to the left.
Katherine Cheng awarded Spencer Foundation Small Research Grant

Congratulations to Assistant Research Professor Katherine Cheng, who was recently awarded a Spencer Foundation Small Research Grant, along with her colleague Matthew Graham of the University of Oregon, for their project Examining the Relation between Pre-service Teachers’ Implicit Racial Biases and Cortisol Response. The grant will support an innovative study focusing on examining pre-service teachers’ implicit racial biases using multi-modal methods (e.g., the skin-tone Implicit Association Test, salivary cortisol for stress hormone sampling, and survey data collection) to explore ways to help student teachers confront potential biases, aiming to further improve teaching practices and equity in education for our nations’ children and youth.
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DPS programs receive accreditation

Some news worth celebrating! Two programs in the college's Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies recently received accreditation:

The Teacher of the Visually Impaired program is now accredited through the Association for Education & Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired for five years thanks to the hard work of Program Directors Sunngye Hong and Garrison Tsinajinie and Program Coordinator Kate Jahaske. And the Counseling, Ph.D., program is now accredited through CACREP thanks to the efforts of the counseling faculty members over the last couple of years.

Accreditation is vital, but can also be an arduous and time consuming process. Congratulations to those who worked so hard to make these accreditations happen! This achievement will be a major benefit to the programs, college, and, most importantly, our students.
Intern with Project FOCUS!

Project FOCUS is looking for interns to join their team for the Fall 2021 semester. Through the internship, students will support students with intellectual disabilities, gain leadership skills, and make an impact on their community. Watch this video to learn more about Project FOCUS or email Sylvi Gonzalez at sylvig@arizona.edu.
Teacher writing on chalkboard
Pathways to Teaching recruiting future educators in Cochise County

Recruiting is underway in Cochise County to find motivated teacher candidates for the Spring 2022 Pathways to Teaching program. The goal is to implement a cohort around the Sierra Vista community to start in January. Tuition is covered through Arizona Teacher Academy and the program provides a $1,000 monthly stipend while students train on-site in district classrooms. Learn more at coe.arizona.edu/pathways-teaching.
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Celebrate women in math on SK Day

To celebrate women in mathematics, The University of Arizona’s chapter of Association of Women in Mathematics is hosting Sonia Kovalevsky Day, or SK Day, on Saturday, April 17, for high school students! The free, virtual workshop will feature fun math activities, information about careers in math and STEM and talks from professional women who work in math and STEM-related careers.

The event is designed to increase the engagement and participation of women, girls and people with non-binary gender identities in mathematics. Register and learn more at bit.ly/SKDay2021.
headshot of Marcela Kepic
Healthy Relationships Inside the Household: Surviving to Thriving

The Jewish Family and Children Services has invited DPS Associate Professor of Practice Marcela Kepic to give a workshop to help families stay well during the COVID-19 pandemic. The LEAH program, which focuses on ending domestic violence and abuse, is predominantly concerned with supporting parents and caregivers during these challenging times when children are being schooled from home, thus offering parents and children recourses to navigate through these tough times and manage tense situation and come out of it stronger than before.

The workshop, titled Healthy Relationships Inside the Household: Surviving to Thriving, will take place Thursday, April 8, from 12 – 1 p.m.
Recapping the TLS Annual Graduate Student Colloquy

This past Friday, the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies held their annual graduate student colloquy. The event was held entirely online and featured Angela Gunder as the keynote speaker. Gunder spoke to how we, as educators, can build an inclusive online learning environment in her talk titled Building a culture of care and transformation within digital learning environments. Watch the talk.

The event brought together scholars from around the Southwest, including graduate students and faculty. Sessions included presentations of current research from graduate students, faculty panels centered around discourse of how to navigate graduate programs, the keynote, and an exciting escape room at the end! We had over 100 attendees who were able to come together during these stressful times and engage in critical discourse surrounding teaching and learning online. All attendees were grateful for a space to reflect and come together. The colloquy was a huge success thanks to many department members who worked countless hours. The department is already looking forward to next year!
Photo of Renae Mayes with a burnt red background. She is wearing a yellow blouse and a pretty red and purple scarf.
Renae Mayes delivers two keynote presentations

DPS Associate Professor Renae Mayes keynoted two different virtual conferences last month. The first was the Breakthroughs in Twice-Exceptional Education Conference, where she presented Mapping the Margins, Understanding Intersecting Identities for Twice-Exceptional Students. In this presentation, she focused on how school counselors can use data to inform antiracist comprehensive school counseling while disrupting and dismantling harmful school policies and practices. The second was the 2021 Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference, where she presented Strategies to Fund Your Research Agenda alongside school counseling colleagues. In this presentation, she held a discussion about intersecting identities and of specific strategies around antiracist practice that we as educators, counselors, caregivers can implement to support the holistic development of twice exceptional students.
AERA graphic that reads American Educational Research Association Accepting Educational Responsibility 2021 virtual annual meeting April 8 through 12 2021 hashtag AERA21
College faculty and graduate students to present at 2021 AERA Annual Meeting

A number of faculty members and graduate students from the college will present at this year's American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. The theme of the virtual meeting, which will be held April 8-12, is Accepting Educational Responsibility. Register for the meeting here and view the full list of COE presenters here.
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Vanessa Perry presents at Unimc for Inclusion

The University of Macerata (Italy) held their annual inclusion conference, Unimc for Inclusion, last month and DPS Assistant Professor of Practice Vanessa Perry held a one-hour virtual workshop titled Fostering self-determination and self-advocacy of transition age youth with disabilities. Her co-presenter, Daniela Maya, will join the Counselor Education and Supervision, Ph.D., Program in August 2021. To make the workshop available and interactive for all 100 attendees, the presentation provided simultaneous Italian-English interpretation.
Inside UA-funded scholarship

Last month DPS Professor Linda Shaw sat on a panel with CUES Distinguished Fellows, including her colleague, Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Vignesh Subbian, about the project-to-publication pipeline in CUES-sponsored educational innovation. The panel discussed the process of writing and publishing on CUES-funded education innovation, as a means to catalyze scholarship of teaching and learning at the University of Arizona. Shaw and Subbian presented on their CUES project, which is focused on infusing social responsibility and ethics into the development of STEM students.  
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Research Group on Early Child Development, Education, and Policy to present at virtual meeting of the American Psychological Association

The Research Group on Early Child Development, Education, and Policy will present research at the virtual annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in August 2021. The paper, The Role of Older Siblings on a Child’s Literacy and Language Development, was written by members of the research group and examines the role that older siblings play in the language development of their younger siblings. Authors of the paper are lead author Maggie Medina, doctoral student in the educational psychology department; Adriana Cimetta, assistant research professor of educational psychology; Katherine Cheng, assistant research professor of educational psychology; David Yaden, professor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies; Chris Cutshaw, assistant professor of public health; and Ron Marx, professor of educational psychology.
Catherine Marshall article accepted for publication

An article co-written by DPS Associate Professor of Research Catherine Marshall was recently accepted for publication in Families, Systems & Health. The article is titled Implementation of Un Abrazo Para La Familia™ in Southern Arizona with Extension to Survivors and Assessment of Effects on Distress. Marshall created the Un Abrazo Para La Familia™ program as a way to provide cancer information and support low-income, ethnically diverse, and medically underserved family members who are struggling with a cancer diagnosis within the family. The Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care interviewed Marshall about the program in 2019. You can watch the video here.
David Yaden headshot
The Trouble with Binaries: A Perspective on a Science of Reading

TLS Professor David Yaden is the lead author on a forthcoming article entitled The Trouble With Binaries: A Perspective on a Science of Reading to be published in the Reading Research Quarterly's special issue on The Science of Reading: Supports, Critiques, and Questions. Yaden’s article with colleagues David Reinking and Peter Smagorinsky of the University of Georgia offers a critique of literacy research stemming from particularly brain-imaging and eye-tracking data that promotes questionable instructional applications, such as systematic phonics techniques for teaching reading to young children.
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Sam Thomas in red UArizona basketball uniform with number 14 on jersey

Name: Samantha Thomas
Program: I graduated early from the Psychology, B.A., program last year and now I am in the Educational Leadership, M.Ed., program
Expected graduation: May 2022
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Sport: Women's Basketball
You were just named the Women’s Basketball Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. How do you balance your commitments as both a student and an athlete?
I am thankful enough to have a wonderful support system in C.A.T.S Academics. They offer tutoring, study halls and academic counselors. I am able to focus on my schoolwork and get it done early, that way when it comes to game time, I can focus on the task at hand.

What is your favorite part about being an Arizona Wildcat?
My favorite part about being an Arizona Wildcat is being surrounded by the Tucson community. The fans here are dedicated and make us feel like one big family.
What made you want to pursue a master’s degree in educational leadership?
I want to be a coach one day and help inspire young girls to pursue their basketball dreams.
2020 was full of uncertainty and cancellations, including the NCAA Tournament. Now, a year later, March Madness is on and the team is in the tournament! What helped you adjust and push forward after last year’s disappointment?
Focusing on one thing at a time really helped me and my teammates. The main thing was to remain healthy and after that we took it one game at time. Now here we are a year later in the Final Four!
What advice do you have for students just getting started in college?
College is only as hard as you make it. If you stay on top of your schoolwork and work hard, you will succeed in college.

What are your post-graduation plans as of now?
I plan on playing basketball as long as possible. After basketball I hope to one day work for Nike since the company has been a big part of my life.