March 2019
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Welcome, New Staff!
Julie Abrams
Julie Abrams is the newest addition to the College of Education Dean’s Office as an administrative assistant. She comes to the college from the Flowing Wells School District, where she worked as an administrative assistant for the past 12 years. Outside of work, she and her family enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting. Welcome to the team, Julie!   
Linda Shaw awarded James F. Garrett Award

Congratulations to Disability and Psychoeducational Studies Professor Linda Shaw who 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 at
Sam Steen headshot
Sam Steen awarded Professional Advancement Award from the Association for Specialists in Group Work

Congratulations to Disability and Psychoeducational Studies Associate Professor Sam Steen who has been selected to receive the Professional Advancement Award from the Association for Specialists in Group Work (a division of the American Counseling Association ).

The Professional Advancement Award recognizes the outstanding activities of an individual 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 American Counseling Association Conference Expo in New Orleans.
What's new?
UA AWARDSS program names 12 students for 2019 year-long fellowship

The University of Arizona Access, Wellness, and Relational Determinants of School Success training program named 12 new students, including seven from the College of Education, for the 2019 fellowship. The year-long AWARDSS training program provides UA upper-level undergraduate students, recent graduates (from the last five years), and UA masters students with experience in conducting educational research while preparing participants for doctoral study.

The 2019 University of Arizona AWARDSS students are :
Mayra Calvillo , elementary education with bilingual endorsement
Valeria Chavez German , psychology
Giselle Delcid , literacy, learning, and leadership
Eniola Idowu , psychology
Laura Juarez San Juan , literacy, learning, and leadership
Gemma Parra , public health
Julia Perez , psychology
Gabrielle Rivas , literacy, learning, and leadership
Victoria Rodriguez , educational psychology (master’s program)
Joseph Sturm , literacy, learning, and leadership
Tony Viola IV , literacy, learning, and leadership
Daisy Esquivel , economics and Spanish
2019 AWARDSS students group photo
2019 AWARDSS students
Not pictured are Mayra Isabel Calvillo and Gemma Parra
Education Week logo
Working Group on ELL Policy challenges study on retention of third grade

Members of an English language learner policy working group issued a 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 .

The authors of the paper, which include the college's Associate Dean Francesca Lopez , made the case that it could have negative consequences for students who are often marginalized and misunderstood. More than a dozen scholars, including many from the University of Arizona College of Education, signed the letter in support. Here is a link to the letter.

Corey Mitchell wrote about the critique in Education Week . Read the full article here: .

UA College of Education faculty members who signed the letter in support include :
Patricia Anders , p rofessor emerita of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Carol Brochin , a ssistant professor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Renée Clift , p rofessor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Mary Carol Combs , p rofessor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Leah Durán , a ssistant professor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Walter Doyle , i nterim department head and professor emeritus of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Carol Evans , associate professor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies ( retired )
Raul C. Gonzalez , a ssistant professor of practice of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Donna L. Jurich , p rofessor of practice of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Francesca López , College of Education associate dean ( primary author )
Valerie Shirley , assistant professor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Desireé Vega , assistant professor of disability and psychoeducational studies
Colin Waite , d irector of the Cooper Center for Environmental Learning
Marcy Wood , a ssociate professor of teaching, learning, and sociocultural studies
Visit the College of Education and Worlds of Words at the Tucson Festival of Books

Every year, the College of Education and Worlds of Words team up for the annual Tucson Festival of Books . This year we’ll be taking One Giant Leap into learning and literature with a theme of space.

Visitors to the COE/WOW tent will enjoy read alouds from books like One Giant Leap , The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon , and Sharing The Skies: Navajo Astronomy . The festival is Saturday, March 2, through Sunday, March 3.

Don’t space out! Stop by Booth 330 (located just south of the UA College of Education building).

Find us on a festival map here .
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AILDI to host Language is Life conference in celebration of 40 th anniversary

The American Indian Language Development Institute is celebrating its 40 th anniversary and the UNESCO designation of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages with a conference on April 12 and 13. The conference, titled Language is Life , will be hosted by AILDI and Symposium for American Indian Languages . It will be a chance to celebrate and showcase language work from tribal communities throughout the Southwest.

The keynote speaker will be Richard Grounds , executive director of the Yuchi Language Project, a nonprofit language revitalization program based in Salpupa, Oklahoma. A Native language activist, Grounds played an instrumental role in the 2019 UNESCO designation. SAIL also will be celebrating an anniversary of 20 years of the Native American Graduate Program in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. The conference is open to all and will be held at the Environment and Natural Resources 2 Building on the UA campus. Tickets to the conference are $80, with an early bird rate of $60 before March 15.

For more information about the conference, visit
IGESE- southwest logo
NSF-funded program engages faculty
in the mentoring of Indigenous
graduate students

On February 15, UA College of Education Assistant Professor Jeremy Garcia and Montana State University Assistant Professor Sweeney Windchief facilitated the third module of the Indigenous Graduate Education in Science and Engineering in the Southwest. The Indigenous mentoring program, which is part of a National Science Foundation grant, was designed to provide faculty members with an opportunity to engage dialogue regarding the mentoring of Indigenous graduate students. The February 15 session focused on student services available to American Indian students.

For information about future sessions, contact Research Scientist
Allison Huff at
Join Resplandor International on March 30 for the announcement of the 2019 Richard Ruiz Scholar/Artist in Residence

Resplandor International in collaboration with the College of Education, World of Words, and Learning A-Z is hosting an event on Saturday, March 30 at 11 a.m. to announce the 2019 Richard Ruiz Scholar/Artist in Residence.

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

The event, which will be hosted at the Worlds of Words in the College of Education, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. 
Photo of ENR2 building classroom
UD @ UA Summit

The University of Arizona Disability Resource Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence are hosting the first annual UD @ UA Summit on April 10 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the ENR2 building featuring a keynote address by Jay Dolmage , associate professor of English language and literature at the University of Waterloo and author of the book, Academic Ableism .

This year, DRC’s Universal Design and Outreach branch has been working on campus to promote the principles of universal design to groups like the strategic plan initiative owners, faculty fellows, and their respective site hosts, the Appointed Professionals Advisory Council, and more. Now, they’re looking for UA faculty, staff, and graduate students to gather, reflect, and propose bold solutions to common campus barriers.

Summit attendees will collectively work toward and advocate for a more proactive, equitable and inclusive campus. Summit hosts will engage participants in considering commonly experienced barriers against the Principles of Universal Design, which broadly refers to the design of products, environments, and experiences to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation.

Interested in attending and being involved in this process? Visit .

Learn more at or email the UA’s Universal Design Consultant Cole Eskridge at
Students in classroom setting at Native Soar
Native SOAR hosts event to empower Native youth

On Friday, February 15, the college’s Native SOAR connected with American Indian youth in Sunnyside Unified School District . Native SOAR graduate assistant/Challenger Community Liaison Felise Tagaban and Challenger Middle School SUSD leadership organized the event to empower seventh and eighth graders to 1) proclaim their narratives through digital storytelling, 2) engage with community leaders about cultural preservation, and 3) learn about the college-going process from Indigenous students who attend The University of Arizona. 
Faculty Presentations
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College of Education faculty members present at 2019 ATE Annual Meeting

In mid-February, College of Education faculty members presented at the 2019 Association of Teacher Educators Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Professor Renee Clift delivered the keynote presentation titled Embracing Tensions and Creating Opportunities in Teacher Education . Other College of Education faculty members who presented include Associate Professor of Practice Crystal Soltero , Assistant Professor of Practice Matt Ostermeyer , and Professor of Practice Donna Jurich . Together Soltero and Ostermeyer presented Beyond P-12: Preparing Educators for Non-traditional Educational Settings . Learn more about the ATE Annual Meeting at .
Faculty Publications
blaine smith
Mediational modalities: Adolescents collaboratively interpreting literature through digital multimodal composing

Research in the Teaching of English published Assistant Professor Blaine Smith ’s article titled Mediational modalities: Adolescents collaboratively interpreting literature through digital multimodal composing . The article examines how multilingual 10 th grade students created digital hypertexts and videos to explore literature in their English language arts class at a Title 1 school. The study was supported by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Fellowship .
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complete and submit the form at the link below. Please contact
Mary Werner ( ) with any questions.
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stellar students to feature, and awards. Click the link below to submit.

Bryant Valencia
Spotlight on Stellar Students!

In February, Higher Education doctoral candidate Bryant Valencia won an Instagram video contest for the Obama Foundation 's My Brother's Keeper Alliance conference, known as MBK Rising! He and 21 other selected video contest winners were provided with free tickets, travel, and accommodations to attend the MBK Rising! event in Oakland, CA February 18-20. MBK Rising! special guests President Barack Obama , John Legend , Michael B. Jordan and Steph Curry were invited to celebrate the work and progress that has been made in an effort to improve the lives of boys and young men of color. Valencia says meeting President Barack Obama was an obvious highlight of the two-day event, but connecting with other people who are doing similar social justice work as him was another notable high point.

When making selections for their winners, the Obama Foundation was looking for young men of color or adults who are doing exceptional work for young men of color. In his winning video, Valencia mentions some of the work he’s doing here at the University of Arizona to increase higher education access for underrepresented communities, especially for young men and boys of color.

For the last five years, Valencia has worked on building MASCulinity Initiatives , an initiative out of the UA Early Academic Outreach Office that seeks to engage young men from marginalized backgrounds by increasing their pathways to college. As part of the initiative, Valencia coordinates Young Men’s College Conference , which is designed to help local high school students plan for their future. The annual conference brings in 300 students, mostly male, and allows participants to explore identity, college-going, and spoken word. He also teaches undergraduate courses to further engage young men in the topic of masculinity. Through these outreach programs and classes, Valencia provides mentorship and creates opportunities for collaborative youth projects.

Valencia left MBK Rising! feeling motivated to find ways in which the University of Arizona can be more involved with the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. Arizona born and raised, Valencia says, “I would love that my university and my home state are committed to supporting an initiative like this.” He adds, “My hope is to show others that we as an institution are doing our best to understand and address larger systemic inequality.”

A young man of color himself, he reflects on the many obstacles he had to overcome to make it to and through college. Now, a PhD candidate, he’s centered his efforts on building bridges for young men of color so they feel empowered to pursue higher education.

Learn more about the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance here and view Valencia’s winning video at