February 2020
They are blooming across the desert!
Spring is still a month away, but we’re already seeing African daisies, poppies, and penstemon starting to blossom, thanks to our generous winter rains. There's even a website where you can track and see Arizona wildflowers. Our spring semester also is flourishing, so let’s get started.

two women and child hugging tree
Now open across the nation

Our award-winning Project POEM was so successful last year that we can now offer it to the entire United States. Designed to introduce visually impaired students to STEM careers, Project POEM — funded by the NSF — is the only one of its kind in the nation. If you know a visually impaired middle or high school student with an affinity for science, technology, engineering, or math, you’ll want to sign up your student today.

student from pathways being interviewed
Inaugural class begins Pathways to Teaching

After 10 years in development, Pathways to Teaching kicked off this semester, with the first class of the program beginning in January. Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies Department Head and Associate Professor Marcy Wood, who spearheaded the program since its infancy, was interviewed for this KOLD News 13 story about tackling the teacher shortage and the college's partnership with Sunnyside Unified School District.
olivia gonzales
In the inaugural class is Olivia Gonzales, a first-generation college student who is now working in a fourth-grade classroom to gain field experience. Before enrolling in the program, she worked as a nanny and in a children’s gym.

young girl talking to counseling student
Free counseling services

Talk It Out, the college’s partnership program with Tucson Unified School District that offers free counseling services from master’s students in our counseling program, was featured in this KOLD News 13 story.

Megan Kasper, a clinical coordinator in the college, spoke about the value of providing children with access to mental-health services.
two students testing equipment in diall
Turning up the DIALL

Our Digital Innovation and Learning Lab was created to explore how technology can transform teaching and learning. Through the lab, we conduct collaborative research focused on digital literacies and learning with culturally and linguistically diverse learners. DIALL also serves as a cutting-edge instructional space for faculty, staff, students, and community members to explore the possibilities new technologies bring to the classroom and beyond.

The lab was put to the test when students from San Miguel High School came to our Make and Take Workshop and tested everything out, including:

• An app-based coding system to control a robot 
QuiverVision, where learners bring their unique coloring creations to life in 3-D augmented reality
• Sharing their reflections in a video booth, which were then put onto Flipgrid
students in diall
Fast friends in the Digital Innovation and Learning Lab

kelvin white talks about closing the achievement gap
Navajo Nation Teacher Education Consortium

The college’s Indigenous Teacher Education Project hosted the Navajo Nation Teacher Education Consortium last week in Worlds of Words.

The consortium was created to improve the quality of Navajo education through the recruitment and training of prospective Navajo educators. Today, the consortium also includes a resource center for Navajo educators and a recruitment pipeline. Kelvin White, above, talks about the achievement gap.

ITEP Co-Director and Assistant Professor Jeremy Garcia says, “We enjoyed meeting members of NNTEC, and we are excited and look forward to supporting the goals of NNTEC. We know it has a long history rooted in increasing the number of Navajo teachers.”

During the meeting, dialogue centered on the consortium’s commitment to improving the quality of Navajo education through goals, such as:

• Recruitment of prospective Navajo educators 
• Integration of Dine philosophy, language, and culture into required teacher education courses
• Improved access and delivery of teacher education courses and preparation 
• Continuous advisement and mentorship 
• Financial aid 
• Expanding Dine scholarship in publications and presentations

ITEP is under formal review to become affiliated with NNTEC. 

interview in wow
Teen Reading Ambassadors

Reporter Veronika Vernachio of KGUN 9 On Your Side visited Worlds of Words early in the morning to chat with WOW Associate Director Rebecca Ballenger and high school students Gregory Medina-Kenyon and Pilar Muller about their work as WOW Teen Reading Ambassadors. 

The program helps introduce local high school students to what it’s like to be at a university. Medina-Kenyon is now going to Stanford and said he owes a part of it to the WOW program. Muller will attend Columbia University in New York. Impressive!

vasquez heilig

Cloaking Inequity’s Julian Vasquez Heilig
Friday, February 21
College of Education, Room 104

The college’s Education Policy Center will host University of Kentucky College of Education Dean Julian Vasquez Heilig — an award-winning leader, teacher, and researcher — for a brown-bag lunch talk at the college at noon on Friday, February 21, in room 104.

A public scholar who has appeared on numerous news shows including NPR and MSNBC, his blog, Cloaking Inequity, is listed as one of the top 50 most influential education blogs in the world. He is the education chair of the California NAACP, and his work has been cited by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Associated Press, USA TODAY, Education Week, HuffPost, and more.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Robin Hiller.

children looking at cactus
Come out to play for Preschool Nature Day!
Saturday, February 29
9 a.m.
Cooper Center for Environmental Education

Explore our beautiful Sonoran Desert with your children or students on Saturday, February 29, during the Cooper Center’s Preschool Nature Day. The day begins at 9 a.m. and includes hands-on activities and a nature hike This was one of our most popular events when we debuted it last year, so don’t miss this year!

Activities are designed for children ages 3 to 5 and their families, but all are welcome, and — the best part — it’s free. Register by Monday, February 24. Be sure to bring a sack lunch, hat, and water. Sunscreen wouldn't hurt either. Sign up today.

CRIA poster
Collaborative Research in Action
Saturday, April 25
(Abstracts due March 27)
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m
Cesar Chavez Building

The college is sponsoring the Sixth Annual Collaborative Research in Action Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, in the university’s Cesar Chavez Building, 1110 James E. Rogers Way. 

Collaborative Research in Action invites more than 200 elementary, middle, and high school students in Arizona to present their research, work, and art related to social justice and community advocacy. 

CRiA is accepting abstracts and presentations from elementary, middle, and high school students until March 27.

Message from your Alumni Council

Your Alumni Council is excited to support the goals of the College of Education in this new-ish spring semester. We have office hours in the college's Student Services Center to lend a hand to students who need an ear, a smile, or a snack!

Have you joined the Bear Down Network yet? This network makes it easier than ever for our alumni to stay connected and engaged with the UA. Expand your Wildcat network, amplify your UA experience and elevate your career! Did you know there’s a group specifically for College of Education alumni? Connect with fellow College of Education alumni today by finding our group under the Groups tab. Here you can ask questions and share news on the group feed as well as search for classmates and fellow grads.

We have an exclusive College of Education Alumni Reception coming up on Thursday, March 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Join us for a special guest lecture by college alumnus Don Guerra ’02, owner of Barrio Bread and a James Beard semifinalist. Find more information and RSVP here!

Save the date! Homecoming 2020 is October 29-31. Continue to check our Homecoming 2020 page for updates.
berg with birthday cake
And we want to send special birthday wishes: Happy 100th birthday to College of Education alumna and supporter Therese Berg! She was celebrated at a luncheon with her university friends on December 30. Berg received a degree in business education from the college in 1942, then became a teacher and worked all over rural Arizona. Berg returned to the college to earn a master’s degree in secondary education in 1954 and went on to an impressive 40-year career working as a teacher and counselor, including 25 years at Salpointe High School in Tucson. Her continued commitment to education is evident in her support of the college and university. 

Bear Down!


Dean's Office

Director of Administrative Operations Yvonne Gonzalez-Lewis was honored as an Arizona Champion by the Appointed Professionals Advisory Council for her ability to make individual connections and create a sense of community. She was recognized on the court during the Colorado vs. Arizona men’s basketball game on January 18.

Bruce Johnson Headshot
Dean and Professor Bruce Johnson was featured on this podcast, The Rural Scoop, about what the college offers to rural teachers and potential rural teachers. One of the topics he touched upon was our Teach Arizona program, which is now open to rural communities throughout Arizona.

molina-gutierrez getting award
Senior Academic Advisor Letty Molina-Gutierrez (left) received the National Academic Advising Association’s 2019-2020 University of Arizona Excellence in Academic Advising Award in the Emerging Professional category. This award — for those with less than three years of direct advising experience — is given annually to just one advisor at the university. Molina-Gutierrez also was the NACADA Winner of Region 10 Excellence in Advising: New Advisor.

young adult wearing rainbow clothes
Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Professor Sheri Bauman was featured on Arizona Public Media’s Youth Crossing Gender Borders series about young people and gender identity. Bauman notes that our culture always has been fixated on gender and adds, “We’re all fearful of something we don’t understand.”

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona just announced the 2020 recipient of the Diane Lynn Anderson Memorial Award, who is none other than our Assistant Professor of Practice Stephanie Z. MacFarland. The award was established in memory of Diane Lynn Anderson to recognize those who exemplify the same qualities she possessed: active acceptance, respect, compassion, devotion, and caring for people with disabilities.

Associate Professor Michelle Perfect was accepted into the Society of Behavioral Medicine Leadership Institute, a year-long endeavor, limited to approximately 36 selected people. Perfect will connect with other mid-career professionals who want to become effective leaders and learn from and be mentored by leaders in the field of behavioral medicine.

Educational Policy Studies & Practice

James "Jimmy Grande" Bourland ’18 switched from teaching journalism to teaching photography and coding. Why do his students say his assignments are fun? Read or listen to this story about Bourland from the Arizona Sonora News Service.

Charles H. F. Davis III ’15, a USC Rossier School of Education clinical assistant professor, was named a 2020 Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Forbes named Assistant Professor Karina Salazar a College Admission Influencer for turning a critical eye to the policies and practices in admission and encouraging educators to consider new approaches and to challenge long-standing structures.

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies
Doctoral student Michelle Aguilera was honored with the Maria Teresa Velez Marshall Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Award. The working title of her dissertation is "Language socialization, linguistic agency, and the verbal play of young children."
Professor Renée Clift was awarded the Duaine Lang Distinguished Mentor at the Association of Teacher Educators’ annual meeting in Atlantic City. 

santa cruz
Native Tucsonan and two-time graduate Lane Santa Cruz ’11 ’16 was elected to the Tucson City Council for Ward One. Before taking office, she spent 12 years working on problems related to sexual and gender violence, food justice, and migrant rights. 

I hope you'll find some time to explore Arizona's wildflowers!

Bruce Johnson
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College of Education
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