desert landscape illustration
Setting records
We like setting records, but some records can stay in the books, as far as we’re concerned. No doubt, 2020 has had its issues, and it hasn't been a fun year for weather either. 2020 brought Tucson’s hottest summer on record, with July being the hottest month ever on record. Here we are in mid-October, and we’re still setting weather records: Tucson recorded the second driest monsoon on record and we now have broken the record for the most 100-degree days in a year. Last we saw, we were up to 107 days over 100 degrees. (Pity Phoenix, as they've had 144 days over 100 degrees!)

Now, here are some numbers we like:

Despite dire national predictions about student enrollment due to coronavirus, the college’s numbers for this semester are up from last year.

Last fall semester: 911 students
Current fall semester: 923 students

Last fall semester: 381 students
Current fall semester: 422 students

Last fall semester: 316 students
Current fall semester: 340 students
students in masks on mall

More "cool" numbers
hsi seal of excelencia
And more numbers we like: Arizona high school students will soon be able to take dual-enrollment University of Arizona-designed pre-calculus courses, thanks to a new program from our College of Education and Hispanic-Serving Institution Initiatives that aims to strengthen college-going resources in high schools. The program will partner with Arizona high schools whose student populations are at least 60 percent Hispanic.

The new $3 million U.S. Department of Education grant is directed by Cindy Trejo, the grant’s principal investigator, and is known as Outreach FAMILIA. "This award from the Department of Education speaks to the University of Arizona's commitment as a Hispanic-Serving Institution — and allows us to fulfill that commitment to even more Arizona students," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "It is vitally important we create pathways to the university, and I am proud we are finding ways to better prepare our local high school students to pursue their higher education goals and fulfilling careers in STEM fields."

The work behind Outreach FAMILIA — which stands for Forwarding Academic Mechanisms Integral to Learning in the Academy — began well before the designation, said Trejo. The vision for the program grew out of community meetings, which included school district leaders and students.
classroom showing social distancing
It's true we're halfway through the semester

It’s hard for us to believe, but we have reached the halfway point of the fall semester. Planning already has begun for the spring semester.

In response to the reduced spread of coronavirus among students, the university has moved to Phase 2 of the reentry plan and is adding in-person instruction for more students. About 1,500 additional students returned to in-person instruction with this step. The college has two kinds of in-person classes: flex in-person and all in-person. 50 percent of our classes will remain online regardless, and all classes across campus move to fully online after the Thanksgiving break.

As many schools open across Tucson, we do have students returning to student teaching or internships. However, it is the student’s choice as to whether they are ready for this step.

The university puts the most up-to-date information on its COVID-19 information page.
honors convocation banner
Our Undergraduate Student Honors Convocation will be LIVE this semester!

Each fall, the college recognizes and celebrates our students who have achieved Academic Distinction. This year, our ceremony will be livestreamed and you are invited to watch and celebrate our honors students.

homecoming banner
Homecoming? YES, it's happening!

It’s time for a three-day virtual celebration — known as Homecoming 2020! 
November 12-14 #BearDownEverywhere

Wherever you are, we want you to remember your time at the University of Arizona College of Education and unite 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, Nov. 12-14!

Despite the realities of the pandemic, we’ve managed to get some great things lined up for you, including:

• Virtual lighting of "A" Mountain
• Virtual tours, webinars, and panel discussions
• Favorite celebratory moments from Arizona Athletics
• Cooking lessons from Arizona’s own Chef Michael Omo
• Special guest appearances

And on Nov. 14, Arizona Football will take on USC at Arizona Stadium. Check out the full season schedule.

We're also planning an Alumni Council meeting during Homecoming on Thursday, November 12, at 5:30. All alumni are encouraged to attend! It's free, so register today.
For all the up-to-date details, go to the college’s Homecoming page. Get ready to #BearDownEverywhere!
project focus students and mentors
This is Project FOCUS! Are you in?

For the last 10 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 its 2020 crowdfunding campaign on November 16 and hopes to raise $15,000 for program operations and student scholarships in just 30 days.

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

Learn more about Project FOCUS, keep your eye on our crowdfunding page starting November 16, and join our community today!
Questions about Proposition 208?
We’ve received some questions about this ballot item, and while we never take a position for or against ballot measures, we want to provide information since we are hearing from so many of you.

Proposition 208, also called the Invest in Education Act, proposes a new 3.5 percent income tax surcharge on Arizona taxpayers whose income is above a certain amount.

Proposition 208 explicitly states that allocations to school districts, charter schools, and career technical education districts from these funds are in addition to any other appropriation or allocation of public or private monies, and may not replace, reduce, or supplant other funding sources. The new revenue generated by the proposed income tax surcharge in Proposition 208 would be placed in a newly created Student Support and Safety Fund. In addition to paying the costs of implementing, administering, and enforcing the new law, monies would be allocated as follows:

Increase Pay for Teachers and Classroom Support Personnel
Fifty percent for grants to support hiring and increasing the base compensation for teachers and classroom support personnel.

Increase Pay for Student Support Services Personnel
Twenty-five percent for grants to support hiring and increasing the base compensation for student support services personnel.

Mentoring and Teacher Retention Programs
Ten percent for grants to support mentoring and retaining new classroom teachers during their first three years of teaching.

New Career Training and Workforce Fund
Twelve percent to a newly created Career Training and Workforce Fund. After being used to pay the costs of general implementation and administration, these monies would be used by the Department of Education to award multiyear grants and to provide ongoing support to awardees. School districts, charter schools, and career technical education districts would be eligible to apply for the grants. Grants would be used to:

• Develop and expand career and technical education
• Develop and expand programs that inspire and prepare students to become classroom teachers
• Hire school counselors
• Develop and implement academic acceleration programs that use objective measures to enroll students who have reached proficiency into the next, more rigorous course in that content area
• Expand college level educational opportunities
• Assist students to complete 9th grade with sufficient credits to graduate on time, including expanded counseling services, programs to combat chronic absenteeism, mentoring and tutoring programs, real time student data to teachers and support staff, and additional time for teachers and support staff to meet during the school day to develop strategies and interventions to support at-risk students
• Expand tutoring, mentoring, counseling, mental health, and wrap-around services for high school students
• Provide funds to support schools whose ninth-grade students complete a four-year CTE program

Arizona Teachers Academy
Three percent to the existing Arizona Teachers Academy Fund, which pays for scholarships for undergraduate, graduate, and postbaccalaureate students, supports current teachers seeking National Board Certification, provides induction services for academy graduates, and implements a marketing and promotion plan to recruit and retain students in the Arizona Teachers Academy.

It is estimated that about 1 percent of Arizona taxpayers fall into the impacted income brackets. Groups supporting the ballot measure have estimated the tax will generate more than $900 million in new revenue annually. Opponents argue these revenue estimates are not guaranteed, citing that business profits and capital gains are the most volatile of all major tax categories, and arguing that this new tax surcharge will drive high income earners and businesses away from Arizona.

A “YES” vote would impose a 3.5 percent income tax surcharge on taxable income exceeding $250,000 for single persons or spouses filing separately, and on income exceeding $500,000 for heads of households or joint filings. Tax revenue from this surcharge would go toward the purposes of providing funds for public education; establishing a new fund to focus the revenue on hiring and increasing salaries for teachers and non-administrative support employees; career training and higher education pathway programs for high school students and the Arizona Teachers Academy; and increasing the dollar amount of scholarships available through the Arizona Teachers Academy.
A “NO” vote would retain the current law on income tax, which imposes a 4.5 percent tax on income over $159,000 for single filers, and on income over $318,000 for joint filers.
illustration of book open with imagination
Imagination Fridays

Every Friday, Tucson families and classes can connect with a children's book author or illustrator online, thanks to a collaboration between our Worlds of Words and the Tucson Festival of Books.

The 40-minute, livestreamed webinars — dubbed Imagination Fridays — are directed at elementary-age kids and moderated by Professor Kathy G. Short, the founder and director of Worlds of Words and the chair of the festival's children and teens author committee. The idea is that parents and teachers can use the webinar to engage kids with reading and writing.

What: Connect with a children's book author or illustrator at Imagination Fridays
When: Fridays through December, 1 p.m.
Where: Online
Cost: Free
More: Visit the Tucson Festival of Books or Worlds of Words for a list of upcoming speakers and to register and access past recordings
young girl talking to counseling student
Demand for counseling services up by 60 percent

Talk it Out, our partnership with TUSD that provides free and timely mental health counseling services to TUSD students and families, has seen a 60 percent increase in demand since the pandemic began.

Assistant Professor Lia Falco, who established the program, says, "When schools close or the school year is disrupted, all children are at risk for developing or experiencing worsening mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, substance use, and suicide risk."

We are truly grateful to the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, which provided the program additional funding to meet the increased demand. The foundation has awarded more than $2 million in COVID-19 relief funding in the last five months.
man talking in group
What do school psychologists do?

For starters, they can make a difference in their work with children, adolescents, and their families plus they do so much more.

Learn about the field of school psychology and the School Psychology Educational Specialist Program at our Chandler campus.

Join Assistant Professor of Practice Marsha Spencer for an informational meeting on Wednesday, October 28, at 5 p.m. or Tuesday, November 17, at 5 p.m.

You’ll also learn how our program prepares you to obtain credentials to become a school psychologist. Faculty and current students will be available to answer your questions.

Join us on Wednesday, October 28, 5 p.m.

If you missed the first meeting, catch the next one:

Join us on Tuesday, November 17, 5 p.m.
University of Arizona is #1!

Universities and colleges often accommodate for one student instead of creating an inclusive environment for every student through physical, academic, financial, and career inclusivity. Not so at the University of Arizona, which was named the #1 school for students with disabilities by College Magazine.

Educational Policy Studies & Practice Assistant Professor of Practice Amanda Kraus, who also serves as the executive director of the university’s Disability Resources Center, spoke to College Magazine: “Reasonable accommodations is the legal jargon for what institutions have to do to have access. So if somebody, solely based on their disability, is not able to live in dorms, attend class, participate in events, etc., they are qualified to enact the law to protect their discrimination. Accommodations don’t include cultural centers, adaptive athletics, or scholarships. Disability is an aspect of diversity, and we want to represent that like any other minority group. Our mission at the university is for students with disabilities to have similar, if not identical, experiences to their peers in the sense of access, as well as an increase in the number of professional positions that look at the campus design in regard to construction, renovation, and technology."
spotted wolf
Student Amy Spotted Wolf crowned 59th Miss Indian Arizona

Amy Spotted Wolf, an elementary education student through the Indigenous Teacher Education Project and a newly named Erasmus Circle Scholar (more on that below), was crowned the 59th Miss Indian Arizona!

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

Somehow, she also finds the time to work at the UA 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.
children's museum logo

The pillars that hold up a museum

Children’s Museum Tucson | Oro Valley received a $170,000 Museums for America grant to increase accessibility and outreach to underserved groups in Southern Arizona.

The College of Education is proud to be a community partner for the program, Aprendemos, which will include outreach and reduced-admission resource events for foster and refugee communities. The museum also will translate existing programming into Spanish and create new multilingual activities to better serve communities that have not traditionally frequented the museum. It also offers professional development opportunities for museum staff and teachers in Pima and Santa Cruz counties. 

“Accessibility and inclusion are the pillars that hold up the museum’s mission of play-based education for our community,” says the museum’s Executive Director Hilary Van Alsburg. “This program will position the museum as a valuable educational resource in the communities that we don’t necessarily serve as well as we hope.” 

erasmus circle logo
Our newest Erasmus Circle Scholars

Erasmus Circle Scholars are outstanding students who show promise in their area of study, many of whom have made contributions to their communities, the College of Education, and the University of Arizona. Scholarships are funded by generous gifts by Erasmus Circle Benefactors and Patrons and Erasmus Circle Members. Erasmus Circle Scholars are awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

Please join us in congratulating the following 2020 Erasmus Circle Scholars:

Faqryza Ab Latif
Tasnim Alshuli
Celeste Atkins
Johnyne Blair
Zach Brown
Karina Callejas
Chelsea Carr
Stephanie Celaya Serventi
William Ekstrom
Allison Fairchild
Angela Gunder
Michael Hernandez
Priscila Ledezma
Huitzilin Ortiz
Jinseok Park

Cristin Phibbs
Felise Tagaban
Marie Tanaka
Wen Wen
Xiao Yin
Leah Zachariah
Di Zhang


Carely Bravo
Brennen Feder
Lauren Fisher
Jose Hernandez
Kirsten Hillig
Vanessa Holmes
Amy Spotted Wolf
colorful letters spelling the word people
Corey Knox headshot
Dean's Office

Research Scientist Corey Knox was on a keynote panel — Pedagogies that Inspire Change in Environmental Education — for the North American Association for Environment Education Research Symposium, which brings together new and experienced researchers from around the globe to explore the current state and future directions of environmental education research.

Senior Academic Advisor Letty Molina-Gutierrez was honored with the New Advisor Award from
NACADA-The Global Community for Academic Advising Region 10 Excellence in Advising at the NACADA National Conference. NACADA promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education. Fellow Advisor Shaun Cahill, one of the people who recommended her for the award, notes, "Letty shows that she cares and respects each student, as evidenced by the time she takes to get to know each student as a person. Letty learns her student's goals and strengths, as well as any obstacles or challenges they may be facing. Students are quick to open up to Letty, as they know she is there to help and empower them to achieve success."

Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Associate Professor of Practice Marcela Kepic is the co-author of the book, Counseling the Contemporary Woman: Strategies and Interventions across the Lifespan, which explores unique cultural identities and the challenges women face related to identity development and relationships. Kepic also recently received the Outstanding Adultspan Journal Article Award by the Association for Adult Development and Aging.

Photo of Lisa Furr. She has blonde curly hair and is wearing a black and white dress and is standing in front of a green bush
Welcome! New Lecturer Lisa Furr is teaching American Sign Language classes. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gallaudet University and earned a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.

Photo of Renae Mayes with a burnt red background. She is wearing a yellow blouse and a pretty red and purple scarf.

Welcome! Associate Professor Renae Mayes was the director for the school counseling program at Ball State University. She earned a doctorate in counselor education from Ohio State University, where she was a Todd Anthony Bell Fellow. Her research focuses on gifted education, special education, urban education, as well as students of color in K-12 schools.


Associate Professor Michael Sulkowski was featured on 30 Seconds about the best way to talk to children about cyberbullying.


Associate Professor Desiree Vega, whose research focuses on equity and inequity in education, was the featured speaker at the Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Hispanic Heritage Discussion Series. Vega spoke about empowering Latinx students for college success.

Vega also was appointed as the associate editor of the Journal of School Psychology, an official publication of the Society for the Study of School Psychology and one of the top tier journals in the field.

Jina Yoon headshot

Professor Jina Yoon was selected as a member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology. Just a handful of school psychology leaders are selected each year, and criteria include sustained contributions to the field of school psychology, awards and honors, impact on science, and depth and breadth of contributions.

Photo of Keiron Bailey standing on university campus with trees in background. He has short hair.
Educational Policy Studies & Practice

Welcome! Associate Professor Keiron Bailey’s research focuses on the design and delivery of effective group processes, including public involvement in complex, real-world applications, under the rubric of Structured Public Involvement. He earned undergraduate degrees in geography and mechanical engineering from Birmingham University in England, a master’s degree in geographic information systems from the University of Hawai’i, and a doctorate in geography from the University of Kentucky.

Associate Professor Nolan Cabrera was featured on CNET about how to decide if a social media campaign is worth participating in and to make sure your participation doesn’t do more damage than good.

Welcome! Professor Judy Marquez Kiyama joined our Center for the Study of Higher Education and also serves as the university’s associate vice provost for faculty development, increasing institutional capacity among faculty to excel in our Hispanic Serving Institution designation. Kiyama is a nationally renowned scholar and was featured in this story out of the University of Denver.

Jenny Lee headshot
Professor Jenny Lee was featured in this Education Dive story about how the Trump administration's H-1B visa changes could affect colleges.

40 under 40 flier
Three of our students and alumni were named Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 40 under 40 honorees and will be celebrated in December:

Cassandra Peel ’19
Lysette Davi ’15, also a current student in the higher education doctoral program
Charlinda Haudley, a current student in the higher education doctoral program

Doctoral student Marisol Quiroz was appointed as director of C.A.T.S. Academics, a student success and retention program that provides customized services to student-athletes to help them achieve academic success. Not only was she named director, she also will serve as assistant athletic director and is responsible for leading comprehensive academic support programs for the intellectual development, retention, and graduation of more than 500 student-athletes. In addition to all this and let’s not forget her doctoral studies! she is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and has just begun a two-year term as director of the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) Region V.

Quiroz writes, “The College of Education has impacted my career in so many positive ways, and I’m grateful for the higher education perspective that I apply to my work each day.”

Photo of Katherine Cheng standing in front of trees and a handrail. She is wearing a purple blouse smiling and looking to the left.
Educational Psychology

Welcome! Assistant Research Professor Katherine Cheng earned her doctorate in family and human development from Arizona State University with a specialization in measurement and statistical analysis. She also holds a master’s degree in psychology from New York University and completed a two-year postdoc fellowship at University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools.

We recently told you about some past recipients of the E.L. Thorndike Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. The award is among the most prestigious given to living educational psychologists for their substantial, career-long achievements, and contributions to the field. College of Education Professor Emeritus Joel Levin, who continues to publish an average of more than six articles a year, received the distinguished E. L. Thorndike Award in 2002.

Interim Department Head Paul Schutz co-authored the introduction to a special issue of the Educational Psychologist, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research in Educational Psychology.

Alberto Arenas
Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

Professor Alberto Arenas was the keynote speaker for the North American Association for Environment Education Research Symposium, which brings together new and experienced researchers from around the globe to explore the current state and future directions of environmental education research. Arenas’ talk, COVID-19 and a Pedagogy of Eco-Solidarity, focused on intersecting forms of solidarity — interclass, interracial, intergender, international, intergenerational, and interspecies — as the foundation for a new pedagogy that brings together social and environmental justice.

Arenas also was part of a three-person panel, The Journal of Environmental Education: Increasing your Chances to Publish, that focused on various reasons why articles are rejected and ways of increasing authors’ options for publishing their articles. Arenas is the editor-in-chief of the publication, a leading journal on environmental and sustainability education.

Recent literacy, learning & leadership grad Stephanie Choi '17 is the sustainability coordinator at Smith College in the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability. She works on student programming, including the Eco-Reps program, and supports student clubs and organizations, as well as individual students interested in sustainability.

Doctoral student and Online Learning Consortium Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Learning Angela Gunder was part of a group that published Delivering High-quality Instruction Online in Response to COVID-19, especially targeted to the needs of instructors teaching online for the first time.

As a result, she has been tapped by the Chronicle of Higher Education for this story and a second one plus this story in Inside Higher Ed about remote instruction during COVID-19.

What is pod learning? Professor Etta Kralovec was interviewed about the concept in this story from Arizona Public Media.

zoom with newsome
As a result of her virtual internship with the Jewish Center for Justice, literacy, learning & leadership student Lisa Friedman spent her summer internship advocating for SB 1383, a Senate bill to extend access to paid family and medical leave for six million Californians.

Friedman was invited to witness Governor Gavin Newsom sign the bill into law via Zoom (Friedman is in the top left of the Zoom screen) – a “once in a lifetime experience,” she says. “There were only 100 of us on the call, and I got to hear from people like Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and Governor Newsom. It was incredible and so moving to see some people on the call who had been working to get legislation like this passed for over 20 years.”

What does the future hold for Friedman? She plans to become a rabbi.

New feature on our students!
Our alumni and friends tell us they'd like to hear more about our students. From time to time, we'll put the spotlight on some of our stellar students.

Last month, we told you about the Data Science Institute and its announcement that TLS doctoral student Laurie Sheldon was named the college's 2020-21 Data Science Ambassador. DSAs serve as champions for data science literacy in their colleges, develop training or other data literacy programs specific to their colleges, and answer data science-related questions through consults, training, and referrals to resources and experts on campus or online.

We wanted to learn more about Sheldon.

What led you to the College of Education?
I’ve lived in Tucson for 33 years and when I decided to make a career change, to leave the practice of accounting and consider becoming a researcher and an educator, the University of Arizona, as a research 1 university, seemed like the natural choice.

What have you learned in the College of Education that's made a difference to you?
The stance that the TLS department takes around equity and social justice has really helped me refine my interrogation of data from this perspective. Adopting this stance has helped me recognize the many ways that data is subjective and that the people who know how to work with and analyze data have power.

What kind of resources and opportunities are available to the college community now that you are a Data Science Ambassador?
In this role, I’ll be holding workshops for the students, staff, and faculty within the college. We are currently devising a survey to determine these needs and will then design workshops around them. I’ll also be holding drop-in office hours to work on specific issues around data, for example where datasets can be accessed, how to store and manipulate data, how to communicate with data. I’m proficient in Excel and R, and can serve as a resource to the college for these skills, as well as a resource for where they might find help around campus with other data science issues.

Do you have any advice for undergraduate students who are considering a graduate program?
Follow your passion. Graduate school is hard work, but when you are doing what you love, it doesn’t seem that difficult.

Hopefully, we will be able to celebrate some fall temperatures next month. Until next time,

Bruce Johnson
We want to hear from you! Send your news to [email protected].
College of Education
1430 E. Second Street | P.O. Box 210069 | Tucson, Arizona 85721 | 520-621-1461