News, honors and awards
Select students and faculty join scholastic honor society
April 2012 - A select group of WOU students and faculty in the College of Education will join the local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honor society in an April 18 ceremony. The COE group comprises 32 percent of inductees this year, which includes 28 juniors, 19 seniors, eight graduate students, and four faculty members. The chapter, founded in 1979 as WOU's only interdisciplinary honor society, advocates for scholarship and recognizes academic excellence. Faculty inductees include Maria Dantas-Whitney and Tracy Smiles, both associate professors of Teacher Education; as well as Robert Hautala, associate professor of Health and Physical Education.
This is the first year that graduate students have been inducted into the chapter and inductees include Alexandria Majors and Gaynelle L. O'Neil of Rehabilitation Counseling; and Kim Ellen Daniels, Kimberly Hartman and Mercedes Rochelle Strowbridge of Teacher Education. Undergraduate inductees include Amber O'Hara, American Sign Language; Angela Haslam, ESL Teacher Education; Tara A. Carn, Curriculum/Instruction; Trish Dowell and Colin Michael Albi of Public Health; and Teacher Education majors Amy Keithley, Jessie C. Harden, Jill Turner Whitney, Kaitlin L. Hodgin, Samalta Maree Badzik, Sheryl Mae Schiefelbein and Stephanie Jane Adams.
Dantas-Whitney named 2012 outstanding university teacher
April 2012 - Recipient of a prestigious annual WOU faculty award is Maria Dantas-Whitney, pictured left, associate professor of Teacher Education and ESOL program coordinator. She received the Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching during a campus ceremony on May 3 and gave a presentation titled Countering Deficit Ideologies in the Education of English Language Learners. She joined the faculty of the College of Education in 2004. Among her many professional accomplishments are that she was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Mexico and she is Director for Project SPELL (Sustainable Practices for English Language Learners), a federally-sponsored partnership between WOU and two large Oregon public school districts. Project SPELL offers professional development for teachers such as coursework, mentoring, and guidance on classroom-based research. The annual Pastega faculty awards for both teaching and scholarship are the result of a collegial nomination and review process.
Sweet scholarship winner is announced
April 2012 - Ashley Naas, pictured left, was awarded the Dan Sweet Kindness Scholarship for spring term. She is a full-time student teacher at Lee Elementary School in Salem. In June she plans to complete her major in Early Childhood Education/Elementary Education and K-12 ESOL endorsement. A graduate of Salem Academy high school, she was selected "because of her kindness and commitment towards her students," said Sue Thompson, director of Field Services. The scholarship, named for the late Dan Sweet, long-time educator and adjunct faculty in the WOU College of Education, was presented by Peggy Sweet.
A fifth of state's ELL students to be touched by grant to WOU/school districts
October 2011 - WOU received a grant of nearly $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education for Project SPELL (Sustainable Practices for English Language Learners), to support teacher training and improve classroom instruction for English language learners (ELL). This project is a collaboration between WOU and two area school districts, Salem-Keizer and Woodburn. The project will reach almost 20 percent of the 65,410 ELL students in Oregon. Read more.
Math myths break down with iPads
September 2011 - Math education students are using new iPads received through Algebraic Thinking Project, a three-year FIPSE funded grant to improve algebra instruction in K-12 schools. According to Dr. Rachel Harrington, assistant professor of education and the project's coordinator, WOU students are researching mathematics misconceptions and reviewing iPad apps that claim to address those misconceptions. "Next term," she said, "we will take the iPads into a high school algebra class and use them to help children to learn important algebra concepts."
Education students, faculty lauded at annual WOU awards event
May 2011 - At the WOU Leadership Recognition Night ceremony, several outstanding students and faculty from the College of Education received awards, as follows:
- Julia McCulloch Smith Award: Marcella R. Flores, Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language/English Interpreting. She is from Edmonds, Wash., and recently interned at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Biosketch | Read more.
- Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Emily R. Trigg, Master of Arts in Teaching. She is from Waldport, Ore., and also received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from WOU. Her student teaching experience was at Dallas High School. Read more.
- Non-traditional student of the Year and Outstanding 2010 PLUS Team member: Jonathan Farmer, a Pre-Education major.
- Faculty Academic Advisor of the Year: Dr. Karie Mize, associate professor of Teacher Education.
Annual WOU faculty award goes to teacher educator
April 2011 - The 2011 winner of the Mario and Alma Pastega Award for Excellence in Teaching is Dr. Chloe Hughes, associate professor of teacher education. Hughes joined the College of Education in 2005. The 2011 Excellence in Scholarship award goes to Dr. Kimberly Jensen, professor of history. They will both be honored at a campus ceremony on May 12. Read more.
Four students join honor society
April 2011 - Four students majoring in early childhood/elementary education were recently inducted into the WOU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. The students are Heather Cereda, Morgan Hammers, Jessica Padilla and Cara White. The organization is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.
Literacy grant aids collaboration with teachers
January 2011 - Two Teacher Education faculty members are working with five middle and high school teachers who are WOU alumni to form a "Literacy Community as a Global Gateway to Innovation." The $1,000 award from Worlds of Words and the Longview Foundation went to Tracy Smiles and Marie LeJeune, who are collaborating with the teachers through August to explore the use of global literature to build international understanding. Smiles is associate professor and Literacy Program coordinator and LeJeune, assistant professor, coordinates the Master of Science in Education
November 2010 - WOU was recognized with the prestigious 2010 Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The national award recognizes excellence in teacher education programs and advancement in the field of teacher education by identifying promising practices and critical issues related to measuring the impact of programs on teacher candidate knowledge and, in turn, on pupil learning. The Teacher Work Sample and Learning Gains Aggregator, methodology that WOU pioneered, uses at the program level, and continuously researches and improves, were cited as important to the award decision. Dean Hilda Rosselli accepted the award at AASCU'a 2010 annual meeting in Charleston, SC. The award, created in 1987, was named in honor of the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, who died in the 1986 explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle. Read more from AASCU | WOU | Statesman Journal newspaper
OSSA Teacher of the Year has several WOU connections
November 2010 - Joyce Garland, WOU alumna and social studies teacher at Sheridan High School, was named 2011 Teacher of the Year by the Oregon Small Schools Association. Also an adjunct instructor in the Master of Science in Education program, she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in education at WOU and has served as a mentor teacher.
Reynolds named top Oregon elementary principal
October 2010 - Bruce E. Reynolds '78 of Bend was named Oregon Elementary Principal of the Year by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA). He has been principal for more than seven years at R.E. Jewell Elementary School in Bend. He was formally recognized at the COSA annual conference in June. Jewell school is one of seven K-12 "champion" schools in Oregon for high academic achievement and for making substantial progress in closing achievement gaps. Video clip. Reynolds was also named a National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and traveled to Washington, D.C., in October to accept the award and discuss issues facing education today with national leaders. Some 62 principals from across the nation and abroad are 2010 National Distinguished Principals.
Teacher Education faculty sweep 2010 awards
May 2010 - Both winners of 2010 Mario and Alma Pastega faculty excellence awards teach in the Division of Teacher Education. Mark Girod and Karie Mize received the honors this year. Read more. Award nominations are solicited each year from WOU faculty and selections are made by the Pastega Awards Committee. In 2009 College of Education faculty won both awards, too.
Elementary library gains from student teachers' service
April 14, 2010 - Ash Creek Elementary School in Independence was recently converted from an intermediate school but, due to district budget woes, stocking books for younger readers had to wait. Three WOU student teachers are spearheading efforts to upgrade the library. Read more.
The Oregonian features successes of WOU Bilingual Fellows
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