November 2020
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Amy Spotted Wolf wearing blue dress with red orange and yellow stripes and white pattern with a Miss Indian Arizona sash and crown on
Amy Spotted Wolf named 59th Miss Indian Arizona

Congratulations to Elementary Education student Amy Spotted Wolf on being crowned the 59th Miss Indian Arizona!

She is from the Fresnal Canyon Community in the Baboquivari District on the Tohono O'odham Nation. She is the daughter of Michael and Marilyn Spotted Wolf. Her maternal grandparents are the late Francis Ventura Noriego and Felix Noriego and her paternal grandparents are Rose Marie Spotted Wolf (Muskogee Creek, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma) and Lloyd Spotted Wolf Sr. (Hidatsa).

A 2020 Erasmus Circle Scholar, she is a senior in the college pursuing a Elementary Education, B.A.E., through the Indigenous Teacher Education Project program. She also works at The University of Arizona Thrive Center as a peer mentor for first-year Indigenous students and serves as the Baboquivari District representative and secretary of the Tohono O'odham Nation Youth Council.

During her year of reign as Miss Indian Arizona, her platform is to embrace change to virtually strengthen and learn from the connections of the Indigenous People of Arizona.

We are so proud to call you a College of Education Wildcat, Amy!
Teach Arizona graduates recognized as Raytheon Leaders in Education

Congratulations to Teach Arizona graduate Christopher Pankratz (’13) on being awarded the fifth annual Raytheon Leaders in Education Award! Congratulations also to Teach Arizona graduate Gricelda Meraz (’08) on being named a finalist in the middle school category!

The Raytheon Leaders in Education Award program recognizes and rewards Pima County teachers in grades K-12 who are achieving outstanding classroom performance, demonstrating leadership in their schools and communities, and supporting their peers in a committed teacher workforce.

Pankratz is a theatre arts teacher at Flowing Wells High School in Flowing Wells Unified School District and Meraz is a sixth grade science Dual/GATE teacher at Hollinger K-8 School (Hollinger K-8 bulldogs) in Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).

“The Raytheon Leaders in Education Award honors and recognizes the very best educators we have in our community. Highlighting the contributions and professionalism of local teachers is especially important during such an unprecedented time in education as teachers have faced new and unique challenges,” said Andy Heinemann, Chief Executive Officer of Tucson Values Teachers. “We value our partnership with Raytheon Technologies and we’re once again excited to bring together the business and education community to celebrate teachers and education champions.”
Chistopher Pankratz in suit and tie with Flowing Wells pin.
Christopher Pankratz
Gricelda Meraz in black blazer with white blouse and necklace with circle pendant.
Gricelda Meraz
Sara Mae Williams talks with MSNBC about the US/Mexico border wall

ITEP teacher candidate Sara Mae Williams was recently interviewed by MSNBC on a panel about United States immigration and the border wall. Catch Sara Mae at around the 7:55 mark. 
Group of six interviewees in front of the US Mexico border wall. One of which is ITEP student Sara Mae Williams
Photo of Hannah Gomez in maroon top with silver earrings. Background is a brick wall with vines.
Hannah Gomez named new co-host of young adult literature podcast

Language, Reading, and Culture graduate student Hannah Gomez was tapped as the new co-host of Book Riot's Hey YA! podcast, which covers all things young adult literature — the books, the fandom, author news, movie news, and more.

Book Riot is the largest independent literary site in North America with a readership of nearly 3 million people worldwide, with a commitment to social justice and diversity in all coverage. Full episodes of the podcast are released every other week, with alternating weeks offering mini episodes that feature a specific book, author, interview, or other niche topic within the adolescent book world. Gomez will also serve as a Book Riot contributing editor. 
Photo of Project FAMILIA principal investigator Cindy Trejo in a teal blouse with silver hoops. Background is blurry greenery.
Introducing Project FAMILIA

The college is excited to finally announce Project FAMILIA, a new program that aims to strengthen high schools' college-going resources. The purpose of the program is to expand and enhance institutional capacity to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students entering higher education and earning postsecondary degrees. 

This five-year project will support the change required to improve postsecondary degree attainment among Hispanic and low-income students by:
  1. Increasing access to early college-going experiences
  2. Increasing student preparedness in mathematics
  3. Building outreach support structures that facilitate student success, including financial literacy
  4. Implementing professional development among high school partners to strengthen mathematics instruction and further the college-going culture.

Read more about the project in this UA News story: $3M Grant Establishes Program to Help Hispanic Students Prepare, Succeed in STEM. "The work behind Outreach FAMILIA – which stands for Forwarding Academic Mechanisms Integral to Learning in the Academy – began well before the designation, said Cindy Trejo, a grant writer for the HSI Initiatives office and the program's principal investigator. The vision for the program grew out of community meetings, which included school district leaders and students."

Congratulations to all faculty and staff who worked so hard to make this happen!
LSWHTA program continues hands-on learning through virtual Saturday Enrichments

Last month, the Linking Southwest Heritage Through Archaeology program held a virtual Saturday Enrichment in partnership with Allen Denoyer from Archaelogy Southwest. Denoyer, an ancient technologies expert, provided students with a live demonstration on how to use ancient methods to create stone pendants.

Students were challenged to get creative while only using ancestral techniques and tools as the only modern technology involved was using Zoom as a digital platform to connect!

Each month the LSWHTA program hosts thematic Saturday Enrichments and provides students with hands-on activities they can engage with from the comfort of their own homes.
Zoom gallery view photo of seven students in LSWHTA program with the stone pendants they created through activity
Photo of four Wildcat mentors reviewing a book
Literacy, Learning, and Leadership students join Wildcat Mentor Society

This year, five students in the college’s Literacy, Learning, and Leadership program are participating in the Wildcat Mentor Society, a free mentoring program that pairs undergraduates with successful alums who want to give back to students.

Through the program, the students, Brennen Feder, Johnique Woods, Lisa Friedman, Sujey Benavides, and Elizabeth Estrella, will gain knowledge on how to navigate everything from college to career to personal experiences. Mentors will enable them to build their professional connections, strengthen their Arizona alumni network, and create deep, meaningful mentor-mentee relationships. Learn more about the program at
Photo of Tucson Mountains with Saguaro cacti in foreground
Cooper Center offers free virtual field trip experiences

The Cooper Center for Environmental Learning is offering free virtual field trip experiences for learners from preschool through middle school. Programs are grade-specific and supplemental to classroom science instruction. We have availability between now and the end of the semester. For more information or to register, visit
Headshot of Kris Bosworth
Kris Bosworth volunteers with University of Arizona SAFER program

For the past few months, Professor Kris Bosworth has been doing COVID-19 contact tracing and case investigation as a volunteer for the Arizona Department of Health Services through The University of Arizona SAFER program. The Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response (SAFER) team was created in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health to provide additional opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in a practical setting. SAFER was developed to provide health departments with a team of trained and experienced students who could respond to health department needs (e.g. during an outbreak or emergency response).

As part of her volunteer duties, Bosworth reaches out to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to discuss their symptoms, testing experience, medical care, and contacts. They then review safety precautions and quarantine issues based on a health department script. After gathering information, the Arizona Department of Health Services continues contact tracing efforts by contacting those who may have been exposed to the positive individual.

Learn more about SAFER’s efforts to help in the fight against COVID-19 at
Blue background with white text saying BEAR DOWN EVERYWHERE and Homecoming 2020. Outline of a house with Wilma and Wilbur mascots inside.
Virtual Homecoming 2020

This year The University of Arizona is bringing Homecoming to you! Join us November 12-14 for a virtual Homecoming experience. While we wish we could welcome everyone back to campus for Homecoming, we are still committed to celebrating our alumni and supporting our Wildcat family. We hope that our students, alumni and Wildcat community members can unite, wherever you are, in support of this and future generations of Wildcats. We are combining Homecoming with our first-ever Giving Day to support student success initiatives and scholarships. Don't miss this special three-day virtual celebration, November 12-14!

Here’s what to expect:
  • Virtual Lighting of "A" Mountain
  • Virtual tours, webinars and panel discussions
  • Homecoming messages from Arizona Athletics
  • Cooking lessons from Arizona’s own Chef Michael Omo
  • Special guest appearances
  • And more!

And on November 14, Arizona Football will take on USC at Arizona Stadium. Check out the full season schedule and get more information at No matter where you call home, we hope you will show your Wildcat spirit and get ready to #beardowneverywhere!

If you have any questions, please contact Emma Mendenhall at or (520) 621-2972.
Illustration of clipboard with Arizona written at the top and an image of the outline of the state of Arizona with two checkmarks in bubbles
Election Day is tomorrow, November 3

Planning on voting in person or dropping off your ballot at the polling place? Use the following tools to find your polling place and become an informed voter:
Have you been watching Imagination Fridays?

Over the past two months, Worlds of Words and the Tucson Festival of Books have been working together to bring parents, teachers, and their children and students Imagination Fridays, a weekly presentation by different world-renowned children’s authors and illustrators.

Every Friday at 1 p.m. (AZ time), a new author or illustrator hosts a virtual webinar for both classrooms and children at home. Each presentation includes the author’s sharing of a new book, a writing or illustrating experience, and time for Q & A. Past events have featured authors and illustrators like Rashin Kheiriye, Adam Rex, Christina Soontornvat, and more. You can watch recordings of previous Imagination Fridays on the Tucson Festival of Books website.

You must register for the events ahead of time. Register and learn more about upcoming Imagination Fridays on the Tucson Festival of Books website or the Worlds of Words website.  
Introducing Wildcat EdChat!

For the next few weeks, we'll talk with College of Education students and recent alumni about their journeys to becoming educators. Every Monday through the rest of the semester, Recruitment Coordinator Angela Botello will talk with a new student or alum as they share their story on the college’s Facebook. Last week we talked about The Benefits of Becoming a Bilingual Teacher and this week we spoke with former Wilma Wildcat to learn how she used her Education degree to build a career in leadership. Videos will be posted on Facebook every Monday morning so check weekly for new videos!
Wildcat EdChat written on dark blue background with Wilma mascot pointing at the viewer
Wilma and Wilbur high fiving with red balloons in the background
UA Cares ends November 6

The 2020 UA Cares campaign has begun and continues through November 6. UA Cares is a University of Arizona faculty and staff giving initiative providing employees with the opportunity to support UA services and programs as well as non-profits in the community.

Participation is easy; you can contribute through payroll deduction, personal check, or credit card. Payroll deductions begin January 1, 2021. You can determine the amount of your deduction as well as the number of pay-periods to be included. Any amount makes a difference! Information to give through payroll deduction, check or credit cards can be found at this link. Pledge forms can be printed from this link and returned to Emma Mendenhall by November 6.

Contact Emma Mendenhall or visit to learn more.
Project FOCUS 2020 crowdfunding campaign begins November 16

For the last ten years, students with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been fully included at The University of Arizona through Project FOCUS, a two-year innovative transition program supported by the College of Education and Pima County Public School Districts. Project FOCUS is kicking off their 2020 crowdfunding campaign on November 16, continuing through December 16. Their goal is to raise $15,000 for program operations and student scholarships in just 30 days.

Project FOCUS enhances the diversity and richness of life at the University and they are asking for your support to continue this important work. Your gift will directly impact students in the program, peer mentors, and the entire Wildcat community.

Learn more and make your gift online at
How middle and high school students with visual impairments engage in STEM

An article written by DPS Associate Professor Sunggye Hong and Special Education doctoral candidates Garrison Tsinajinie and Sevgi Kirboyun was recently published in the Journal of Science Education and Technology. The article, titled An Outdoor Project-Based Learning Program: Strategic Support and the Roles of Students with Visual Impairments Interested in STEM, uncovers a study that found that the inclusion of purposeful accessibility, such as assistive technology and multisensory experiences, supported how students with visual impairments engaged in STEM education.

Tsinajinie, G., Kirboyun, S., & Hong, S. (2020). An Outdoor Project-Based Learning Program: Strategic support and the roles of students with visual impairments interested in STEM. Journal of Science Education and Technology.

Photo of Professor Sunggye Hong in light blue button up collared shirt with arms crossed. Background is a tall green bush.
Sunggye Hong
Photo of Sevgi Kirboyun
Doctoral candidate
Sevgi Kirboyun
Garrison Tsinajinie headshot
Doctoral candidate
Garrison Tsinajinie
Headshot of Kirsten Lansey in black and white striped top in front of a tall green bush.
Kirsten Lansey’s first of three dissertation studies published in Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities

In October, Special Education doctoral candidate Kirsten Lansey's manuscript, entitled Training and coaching: Impact on peer mentor fidelity and behavior of postsecondary students with autism and intellectual disability has been accepted for publication to the journal Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

This manuscript was written from her first of three dissertation studies centered on improving services for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in inclusive postsecondary education environments. DPS Professor Shirin Antia, DPS Assistant Professor of Practice Stephanie MacFarland, and DPS Professor Emeritus John Umbreit are co-authors of the manuscript.

Lansey, K. R., Antia, S. D., MacFarland, S. Z., & Umbreit, J. (in press). Training and coaching: Impact on peer mentor fidelity and behavior of postsecondary students with autism and intellectual disability. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
Understanding Bullying

Last month, DPS Professor Sheri Bauman’s article Understanding Bullying was published in the newsletter of the American Education Research Association Special Interest Group on Studying and Self-Regulated Learning Times Magazine.

Bauman, S. (2020, October). Understanding Bullying. AERA SSRL SIG Times Magazine, volume 3, issue 4, p. 4.  
Catherine Marshall reflects on how cancer impacted her family and led her to develop Un Abrazo Para La Familia™

DPS Associate Professor Catherine A. Marshall, Ph.D. recently published the article Reflections: A Daughter's Experience of Parental Cancer and the Beginnings of Un Abrazo Para La Familia™ in the Journal of Cancer Education. Marshall’s autoethnography delves into her family history, describing her impetus for creating the supportive care intervention, Abrazo. Abrazo is a three-hour program, delivered in Spanish or English, aimed at co-survivors of cancer, the family, friends, and loved ones of a person who has received a life-changing diagnosis.

In the aftermath of a diagnosis of cancer, it can be extraordinarily difficult to find a viable way forward. The struggle is even greater for co-survivors from a vulnerable socioeconomic background, those who may be undocumented, or those who do not fully understand English. Specially trained Promotoras de Salud (Community Health Workers) offer co-survivors a lifeline. Through Abrazo, promotoras provide cancer education and empower co-survivors to seek out supportive services that could make a meaningful difference in their loved one’s cancer journey.   

Marshall, C. A. (2020). Reflections: A Daughter’s Experience of Parental Cancer and the Beginnings of Un Abrazo Para La Familia™. Journal of Cancer Education, 1.
Analyzing the bystander effect in bullying and peer victimization

An article by DPS Professors Sheri Bauman and Jina Yoon and Postdoc Charlotte Iurino was recently published in the Journal of School Psychology. The article, titled Experiences of adolescent witnesses to peer victimization: The bystander effect, examined the types of bystander interventions, their outcomes, and reasons for intervening and not intervening.

Bauman, S., Yoon, J., Iurino, C., & Hackett, L. (2020). Experiences of adolescent witnesses to peer victimization: The bystander effect. Journal of School Psychology, 80, 1-14.

Professor Sheri Bauman
Professor Jina Yoon
Photo of Charlotte Iurino in black top with white background
Postdoc Charlotte Iurino
Worlds of Words launches new issue of WOW Stories

Worlds of Words recently published a new issue of WOW Stories: Connections from the Classroom (ISSN 2577-0551). The theme for this issue is Exploring Culture and Art with Young Children. WOW Stories is a free, online academic journal of articles containing blind, peer-reviewed vignettes written by classroom educators about children’s experiences reading and responding to literature. 
headshot of Marcela Kepic
Marcela Kepič to present at the America Mental Health Counselor Association Conference next summer

DPS Associate Professor of Practice Marcela Kepič will present at the America Mental Health Counselor Association Conference next year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her presentation will be titled Blindsided by Covid-19: Endeavoring Through Unexpected Death-Related Loss.
Sheri Bauman to deliver keynote address at Bullying Research Symposium

This month DPS Professor Sheri Bauman will deliver the keynote presentation at the virtual Bullying Research Symposium at the University of Vienna. Her presentation will be titled The role of teachers in bullying prevention.
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Photo of Lisa Friedman on a pier in a blue jacket with bay in the background.

Name: Lisa Friedman
Major: Literacy, Learning, and Leadership
Minor: Judaic Studies
Expected graduation: May 2021
Hometown: Calabasas, California
What led you to the University of Arizona College of Education?
The Literacy, Learning, and Leadership program led me to the College of Education. I really loved how I could major in something that combined all of my passions: nonprofit work, social justice, and programming.
What have you learned in the College of Education that's made a difference to you?
I have learned how to be a fantastic educator and how to help people by catering to their needs. All of my classes have given me different tools, ranging from program evaluation forms to applied behavioral analysis skills to steps for event planning. I learned all of this and more from my time in the college and cannot wait to apply it in my career!

Can you tell us about your internship experience through the Literacy, Learning, and Leadership program? How has it impacted your life?
I have had several profound internship experiences through the LLL program. My most recent internship was with the Jewish Center for Justice. During this internship, I used the skills I have learned from the LLL program to advocate for legislation in California with several other nonprofits. Because of my work and the work of so many other advocates, California passed a bill that will provide more than 6 million Californians with job protection and family leave. It feels amazing to have been a part of this legislation passing, and it is all thanks to the LLL program. This internship taught me so many important lessons and also gave me the opportunity to put my LLL education into action.

What are your post-graduation plans as of now?
I plan on working in Jewish nonprofit management for a few years after I graduate and then I plan on going to rabbinical school to become a rabbi (Jewish faith leader).

What advice do you have for students just getting started in the College of Education?
Take advantage of every opportunity in the College of Education! The college constantly holds events for professional development, student socialization, and even job-searching opportunities. The advisors and professors are extremely welcoming, supportive, and knowledgeable. Also, getting to know your classmates can be super helpful and fun!