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News, honors and awards - Archive


Essay makes the cut for national publication

Robert E. MahoneyWinter 2010 - An essay by Robert E. Mahoney, a recent WOU graduate and adjunct instructor, took top honors in an essay contest sponsored by Learning and Leading with Technology Magazine. His essay, which argues that students need to continue to memorize facts in the digital age, was published in the February 2010 issue of the magazine. The opposing viewpoint was also printed. He was encouraged to enter the magazine essay contest by Dr. Mary Bucy, WOU assistant professor of education technology. Mahoney, a math and technology teacher at Dallas High School in Oregon, also teaches at WOU where he earned a Master of Science degree in education information technology with an emphasis in researching the acquisition of developmentally appropriate technology. He entered teaching following a successful career as an accredited expert witness in accident reconstruction in the courts.



ESOL endorsement classes offered in Mexico for three summers

Winter 2010 - The Northwest Council of Study Abroad (NCSA) has adopted the ESOL Morelia program for the next three summers, said Dr. Karie Mize, assistant professor of Teacher Education. Morelia, a colonial city in central Mexico, will be utilized to provide WOU ESOL endorsement classes during 2010, 2011 and 2012. WOU students (both pre-service and inservice teachers) will have the opportunity to take two Education courses to help prepare for careers with English Language Learners (ELL). The courses are Culture and Community in ESOL/Bilingual Classrooms and Fostering Biliteracy in ESOL/Bilingual Classrooms. Michele Price, director of WOU Study Aboard and International Exchanges, was instrumental in promoting this proposal and garnering acceptance of the program, Mize said. "I believe those of us in the office of Study Abroad, the ESOL/bilingual program and the bilingual teacher program are equally excited about the opportunity that studying in Morelia provides for our current and future teachers." Read more.


Students gain by staying in college

Nov. 15, 2009 - The Oregonian newspaper ran a feature article on how WOU invests in recruiting Lationo students. WOU retains more Latino students than any other ethnic group: read more.


Publication of TWS case studies is secured

Fall 2009 – Publisher Rowman and Littlefield has announced it will publish a collection of case studies that Mark Girod, Meredith Brodsky and Hilda Rosselli have compiled from authors across the nation focused on Teacher Work Samples, a project first envisioned by the late Del Schalock over three years ago. Read more on TWS.


Both 2009 Pastega faculty awards go to College of Education

For the first time since the awards began, COE educators received WOU's two most prestigious faculty honors. The awards, which include cash and the chance to present about their areas of research and teaching, are funded by long-time WOU friend and benefactor Mario Pastega: read more

  • Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship: Dr. Hank Bersani, professor, Division of Special Education.
  • Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Jessica Henderson, associate professor, Division of Health and Physical Education

Standouts join honorary association

April 2009 - New members of Phi Kappa Phi, Chapter 223, initiated at an April 15 ceremony, include the following who are connected to the College of Education:

  • Teacher Education: Sarah A. Berry, Nicolette A. Charland, Alexa C. Haller, Stacy E. Morley, Jamie R. Murray and Megan S. VanderPlaat
  • Health and Physical Education: Amy E. Herron and Lisa M. Martini
  • Interpreting: Kimberly T. Ledda
  • Faculty and staff: Dr. Mark Girod, Dr. Linda Stonecipher and Kristine Dalton

Established at WOU in 1979, the chapter's first initiation was in 1980.


Math educator gets national recognition

Dr. Rachel HarringtonFeb. 24, 2009 - Dr. Rachel Harrington, assistant professor of education, was named 2009 National Technology Leadership Integration Fellow by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Education (AMTE). The award is based on her presentation, Using the Ideas of Pre-service Teachers to Understand Technology Specific Pedagogy, at the February AMTE conference in Orlando, Fla. "The fellowship is awarded to four subject areas across teacher education and I got the one for mathematics education," she said. "The award comes with two bonuses. First, I am invited to submit a paper to Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education. Second, I am invited to present my talk at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education Conference in Charleston, SC, next week." A grant from Texas Instruments covered travel and registration costs.


Social studies news

Educator of year is WOU professor - Dr. Gwenda Rice, professor of education, was selected 2008 Educator of the Year by the Oregon Council for the Social Studies at its fall conference in September. She was recognized for her statewide contributions to social studies education. A longtime advocate of social studies education on the university level, she has served several years on the OCSS board and is now co-coordinator for the Oregon Geographic Alliance. She was president of the National Council for Geographic Education and has mentored Oregon teachers.

Field institute hosted in Maritime Canada - These current and former WOU students attended a two-week geography field institute in summer 2008 in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland: Stephanie Combs, Courtney Wehner, Eric Moon, Jeff Neal, Kris Haley, Chelsea Fuller, Nancy Hunt and Caryn Connolly. The goal was to learn about Canada and infuse that learning into curriculum. The institute was funded by the government of Canada and National Geographic Society.

Student Atlas of Oregon - The Oregon Geographic Alliance has completed an online Student Atlas of Oregon designed primarily for upper elementary and middle level students but with some relevance to high school students. It is available free to classroom teachers. The atlas contains many maps with an Oregon focus, of particular interest to social studies, life science, and earth science teachers. These WOU students and graduates contributed to this atlas: Judi Mar-Zaleski, Dixie Bowler, Marika Conrad, Shirley Lomax, Erica DeBellis, Nancy Hunt, Erin Moran, Laura Oeffner, Nicole Putnam, Gene Quilhaugh, Charles Skinner and Janelle Wren. Find the atlas at

2008 honors and awards

  • Charles Skinner (M.S. Ed.) attended a National Geographic Society summer institute in Washington, D.C.
  • Ernest Sowards was named Oregon History Teacher of the Year. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from WOU and teaches social studies at William P. Lord High School at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn.
  • Brian Fenderson was named Oregon Social Studies Teacher of the Year. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from WOU and teaches at Cascade High School in Turner.
  • Karissa Spelling (Term 4 teacher candidate) presented at the National Council for Social Studies annual meeting in Houston, Texas, along with instructor Judy Lowery.
  • Judi Mar-Zaleski (M.S. Ed.) presented at the National Council for Geographic Education annual meeting in Dearborn, Mich., along with instructor Judy Lowery.
  • Students Stephanie Combs, Courtney Wehner, Eric Moon and Nancy Hunt presented at the Oregon Council for Social Studies Fall Conference in Salem.

Oregon's 150th draws WOU teacher candidate creativity

2008 - A quilt handmade by fifth graders titled "My Oregon Story" is to be featured on posters for Oregon's 150th birthday in February 2009. The project was organized by Kimberly Ward, whose major is Early Childhood/Elementary Education and who expects to graduate in December. She used the project at Robert Frost Elementary in Silverton to inspire student awareness of the upcoming celebration. Her classroom mentor teacher was Grethal Aldin and building principal was Beth Davison. Students designed and colored blocks of cotton fabric to reflect their own Oregon story, combining art and social studies.


Also contributing to the sesquicentennial is WOU teacher candidate Keith Broyles. With plans to graduate in December, he taught a fourth grade content class at Meyer's Elementary in West Salem. He prepared an Oregon Stories mini-unit with 10 lesson plans in language arts combining historical research and writing. He presented the unit at the spring 2008 conference of the Oregon Council for the Social Studies. Read more: The Superintendent's Pipeline, May 2008.


Grant-in-aid goes to promising bilingual candidate

May 2008 - Melissa Nelson, a fourth term bilingual teacher candidate, received $1800 grant-in-aid from Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honor society of women educators. She was recommended for the award by Dr. Karie Mize, who noted that she lives out her educational philosophy in the classroom: "By learning both languages at the same time students are able to use the language learning skills from one language and transfer them to another language. Also, the students are able to stay connected to their home culture better, which enhances their relationship with their parents. Another effective teaching style is when leading the class in a discussion, be the facilitator instead of a transmitter. Instead of telling the students what to think and looking for a particular answer, you ask the students leading questions to get them to think... This way, students are discovering answers and learning in a way that helps them understand the material better." Nelson plans to teach in Woodburn School District.


Student leaders, top faculty advisors named

Karie MizeMay 2008 - Karie Mize, assistant professor of Teacher Education (bilingual and bilingual/ESOL endorsements), was named Outstanding Adviser to ASWOU Student Organizations at the annual campus leadership recognition ceremony. She advises MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán), a pro-Latino group that works for societal equity. It is made up of seven executive members and about 40 students from all majors, especially sociology, business, health and education. This is her first year as adviser.


In November the group hosted the MEChA High School Leadership Conference. "WOU MEChA has earned the honor to host the Regional Meeting in Winter 2009," she said. "It will be my pleasure to continue as faculty adviser next year," she added. "It is inspirational to work with students who are so engaged in campus and community events."


Also at the leadership recognition event:

- Marita Cardinal of the Division of Health and Physical Education received the Faculty Academic Adviser of the Year award: read more.


- Students with majors in the College of Education were recognized as follows:

  • Klush Tum Tum Award - Melissa Nelson
  • Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges - Stephanie Combs, Joyce Coskey, Katherine Keetle (also named named Werner University Center Employe of the Year), Theresa Larson, Megan McCann, Jessica Montas, Karla Neuschwander, Emily Nuding, Stacey Reimers
  • Multicultural Student Union Leadership Recognition Award - Andrea Arce
  • The Susan Stapish Award of Excellence - Byron Bethards
  • Outstanding 2007 PLUS Team Member - Molly Smith
  • Academic Advising & Learning Center Peer Adviser of the Year - Ashley Kuehlwein
  • Outstanding Service to Abby's House Center for Women and Families Award - Kelsey Kamlade
  • Upward Bound Tutor of the Year - Emily Cardoza
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee President - Claire Carpenter
  • Leadership in Student Government - Maegan Lamb, ASWOU Outreach Coordinator and ASWOU Cabinet Mamber of the Year; Jamie Murray, Student Activities Board Member of the Year; Anastasia Dancer, ASWOU Senate Award.
  • Advocate of the Year Award - Brent Redpath

Dean's essay opens national report on assessing student learning

Hilda RosselliApril 2008 - A new compilation of assessments of how teacher candidates impact P-12 student learning opens with an essay by Hilda Rosselli, dean of the WOU College of Education. The report offers an inside look at how schools of education provide evidence that their candidates positively affect learning among youths. The book was edited by Arthur E. Wise, president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. WOU's College of Education has been accredited by NCATE since 1954: read more


Standout future teachers named to education honorary

April 2008 - New members of Phi Kappa Phi, Chapter 223, were initated and include the following education majors:

April Dawn Bailey, Danielle Allyson Buffington, Wendy LeAnn Burr, Trinity Laurel Cassel, Tori Sachie Kagawa, Shannon Marie Lettow, Mary L. Matocha, Megan A. McCann, Emily J. Nuding, Autumn Marie Stephens, Tara Rochelle Troup, and Katie Leigh Tvrdy. Established in 1979, the chapter's first initiation was in 1980.


Marita Cardinal garners recognitions and awards
Dr. Marita Cardinal Marita Cardinal, professor of Health and Physical Education, has been singled out for local and national awards in areas of research, student advising and scholarship. Here is the list.

May 2008 - She was awarded the WOU Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Scholarship. This is one of the two most prestigious annual faculty awards at WOU. Cardinal, who joined the faculty in 1998, achieved Fellow status in Research Consortium in 1995, part of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. In addition, she has published 17 peer reviewed articles, made 35 research presentations at national and international conferences, and received funding for 11 external grants: read more

2009 - She received the National Dance Association Scholar/Artist Award. This award recognizes her scholarly record both past and present, documents her in-depth study of dance, and acknowledges outstanding communication to selected arts groups and others. At the annual meeting in spring 2009 she delivered the NDA Scholar/Artist lecture, published in a refereed journal: read more

Area youths benefit from WOU service project

March 2008 - A school playground is being refurbished as dozens of university students spent months partnering with communities throughout the Willamette Valley on a number of social service projects as a part of a class taught by Health professor Jerry Braza: read more from the Polk County Itemizer-Observer, 3/26/2008.


Fulbright to fund language teaching research in Mexico

Maria Dantas-WhitneySpring 2008 - Maria Dantas-Whitney, associate professor of Teacher Education, ESOL/Bilingual Education program, was awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to teach and conduct research at the Universidad Autonoma Benito Juarez de Oaxaca from August 2008 through May 2009. Her Lecturing/Research Award is titled Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Mexico: Building Expertise and Improving Practice. She joined the WOU faculty in 2004.


Middle school students raise money for Vietnamese children

Winter 2008 - College of Education faculty are collaborating with local teens to raise money for teaching and learning supplies for impoverished schools and children in Vietnam. Jerry Braza, Mark Girod and Hilda Rosselli are are integrally involved in the project: read more.


WOU student's theater group makes headlines

December 2007 - Laura Braibish, an MAT student, led a North Salem High School theater project to commemorate the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Featured in the Dec. 7, 2007, Salem Statesman Journal newspaper, the oral interpretation, called Sincerely Yours, combined theater with dramatic readings. read more


Teacher education highlighted in Salem editorial

WOU's important role in the region is recognized. Read more.


Carnegie's Learning Network opens doors at WOU

During fall 2007 Special Education Division Chair Linda Keller, Undergraduate Teacher Education Coordinator Mary Reynolds, and Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Stephen Scheck represented WOU at the annual meeting of the Learning Network in Denver. The network provided a forum for 30 universities dedicated to reforming teacher education: read more


Health major produces video

Go to Video promoting Division of Health and Physical Education by Health major Brian Rodenspiel.


Healthy kids/asthma initiative gets WOU push

September 2007 - The Division of Health and Physical Education continues to fortify its commitment to promoting healthy communities through an Asthma Friendly School grant funded by the Oregon Department of Education. This effort builds upon the community forum that WOU co-sponsored last year with Salem Hospital and the Salem Statesman Journal, and the Health Summit that WOU hosted this summer: read more.


NEH grant goes to alum who teaches about race issues

2007 - Jessica Johnson ('06 BA Education), a teacher at Cascade High School in Turner, was among 65 to participate in the summer workshop, Mark Twain and the "Impolite Nation:" Using Twain's Work to Teach About Race in America., held at Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Conn.: read more.


Adjunct instructors honored

2007 - Link to all the posters of College of Education adjunct faculty that were displayed during the WOU spring celebration. Here are the honorees:

Elke Asleson Lin Crimshaw Judy Lowery Scott McLeod Daryl Thomas
Elke Asleson
Lin Crimshaw
Judy Lowery
Scott McLeod
Daryl Thomas

WOU alumna honored by President Bush

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP, 5/17/2007) — President Bush is honoring two Oregon teachers for being among the nation's top elementary school math and science educators. They are David Grieshammer, from Ardenwald Elementary School in Milwaukie, and mathematics teacher Tamara Rasmussen ('93 WOU, BS Elementary Education), from Fullerton IV Elementary School in Roseburg. They are among 93 in the nation to receive the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Their citations commend them "for embodying excellence in teaching, for devotion to the learning needs of the students, and for upholding the high standards that exemplify American education at its finest."


Each award includes $10,000 from the National Science Foundation, which administers the program on behalf of the White House. The teachers were in Washington for a week for social events, professional development activities and to meet with President Bush. The program was established by Congress in 1983. This year's recipients, recommended by a panel of leading mathematicians, scientists and educators, teach kindergarten through the sixth grade.


Alumnus and professor to be published

Winter 2007 - Dustin Melton ('05 M.S. Ed.) and Jessica Henderson, associate professor of Health and Physical Education, had an article accepted for publication in a major health journal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal titled Preventing Chronic Disease will publish from Melton's thesis, "Do Public Schools Provide Optimal Support for Children with Diabetes?" Melton is first author and Henderson is second. Said Linda Stonecipher, chair of the Division of Health and Physical Education, "This is particularly impressive" because this faculty member "guided a graduate student through a research study that meets the criteria for publication in a major journal. I'm proud of Dustin's efforts to take his thesis work to the next level," she added. Hilda Rosselli, dean of the College of Education, said "This is the type of faculty/student interaction that epitomizes excellent teaching and benefits of a campus like WOU."


Faculty recognized for disability awareness efforts

October 2006 - Two College of Education faculty received awards sponsored by the Office of Disability Services (ODS)and the Disability Awareness Month Committee. Brian Caster, associate professor of health and physical education, and Joseph Sendelbaugh, professor of special education, were nominated by the students of ODS for their outstanding relationships with students with disabilities.


Duren tapped for top WOU teaching honor
June 2006 - Debi Duren of the Division of Special Education won the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by an Adjunct Faculty member. She received a cash award and was honored at a luncheon along with Warren Allen of the Division of Health and Physical Education in second place. For 18 years Duren has taught American Sign Language, deaf history and deaf culture, and interpreting. Students call her dynamic, helpful, enthusiastic and outgoing. In addition, she has performed with the Northwest Theatre of the Deaf and interprets the news for Portland's NBC channel. Duren says her mission is to introduce students to the language of the deaf community so they may communicate effectively with others. She has a “no voice rule” in all her classes; students must communicate in ASL, not spoken English. Her teaching is characterized by passion, commitment and dedication to continuous improvement.


New York's Carnegie Corporation supports WOU innovative redesign in teacher preparation

May 2006 - A grant of $10,000 was awarded to the College of Education and The Teaching Research Institute as part of the WOU designation earlier this year as a member of the Teachers for a New Era (TNE) Learning Network. The funds will be used to help support two major initiatives:


The field of teacher preparation continues to respond to the call for increased accountability, documentation, and evidence about what teacher candidates are prepared and able to do. Teacher Work Sample Methodology, which originated at WOU, continues to emerge as one of the more viable tools for demonstrating teacher candidates' ability to effectively instruct students and impact their learning.
- Hilda Rosselli, Dean

1. Oversight, editing and coordination of two volumes of empirical evidence and case studies on Teacher Work Sample Methodology. The two volumes will provide a needed resource on the nature of TWSM methodology, its demands on faculty and students, and the strength of the evidence it provides around the readiness of teacher candidates to function effectively in today’s standards-based schools and to help P-12 students progress toward a state’s designated standards for learning.


2. Development and piloting of subject specific Teacher Work Sample requirements that document preservice teachers’ ability to address what research and best practices tells us is essential for effective instruction within a content area. The proposed research will also study ways in which the effectiveness of instruction within the TWSM can help PK-12 students specifically meet identified state standards within a specific content area. The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Annenberg Foundation have joined together to support the TNE Learning Network, a forum of 30 higher education institutions dedicated to reforming teacher education. Its creation expands a previous network of 11 TNE institutions funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Ford Foundation to redesign schools that prepare teachers. As the 11 TNE institutions approach the midpoint of their multi-year redesign of teacher education, they can share valuable lessons learned as well as benefit from the experience of other reform-minded institutions within the network.


Tutor Academy links WOU and local school district
2006 - The College of Education and Central School District (Monmouth and Independence) created Tutor Academy, an after school tutoring program for elementary and intermediate students. It is designed for WOU students who are planning to enter either an initial license program. WOU students, selected through an interview process, take mandatory training conducted by the school district. Pre-Education majors can use this experience to earn credit for early field experience and also can work with bilingual students. In addition, Michael Hampton, director of WOU's Service Learning and Career Development office, offers opportunities to earn credit for service learning. The academy opened in January 2006. For information, contact Gwenda Rice, chair of the Division of Teacher Education.


Standouts help garner award
ASL/English Interpreting students Bevin McNamara and M'Leah Woodard successfully completed their mentorship program with Sign Language Associates while continuing to make WOU shine. For the second year in a row, SLA has been so impressed with our students that they've donated $1000 to the ASL/English Interpreting program to help educate future interpreters. SLA's nationally recognized Mentorship Program is very competitive. Students like these, led by Elisa Maroney and other faculty, make this program strong.


Graduate student receives prestigious award
Joyce Garland, a social studies teacher at Sheridan High School, is getting her master's in education at WOU courtesy of the James Madison Fellowship. This prestigious scholarship would pay for her master's at any institution in the nation. Garland chose WOU, where she also received her undergraduate degree. Of the nine James Madison fellows in Oregon and 1,000 nationwide, she is the first to attend WOU.


Teacher Work Sample national conference - July 19-21, 2006, Portland, Oregon, hosted by Western Oregon University



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