The Torch - FSU College of Education Magazine, Spring 2021

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FROM THE DEAN Greetings from the FSU College of Education!


When most people think of colleges of education, their minds go to teachers, teacher preparation or perhaps educational policy. It’s definitely a forgivable misunderstanding of the diversity found at most colleges of education, especially at Florida State University. After all, teachers and education are practically synonymous.

Damon P. S. Andrew

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennie Kroeger

CONTRIBUTORS Kevin Derryberry Josh Duke

PHOTOGRAPHY Ken Higgins Jennie Kroeger


University Communications Creative Services

However, our students, faculty and alumni know that the FSU College of Education is one of the most diverse colleges on campus. Our four departments prepare students for meaningful careers in a wide range of industries. It doesn’t matter if our graduates find themselves in classrooms, board rooms, or locker rooms; the education they receive helps them become the leaders they were meant to be. So what does it mean to study at the FSU College of Education? What is the unifying factor? I believe it’s the simple yet powerful idea that great learners are great leaders. Regardless of what program of study our students choose, they all learn how to learn. While some might consider that a “soft skill,” the ability to learn new information propels our graduates to success and helps them achieve lifelong growth. With our mission to be student focused and innovation driven, it comes as no surprise to hear that our students accomplish things outside of the “traditional” purview of a college of education. Our students are innovators, leaders and learners, and those are the three most important titles any of us can have. With these principles, they can accomplish anything they put their minds to.

This issue of The Torch focuses on social and educational entrepreneurship and the individuals and programs seeking to address critical social problems through the lens of entrepreneurship. We talked to alumni who have started successful businesses and are transforming lives for the better, current faculty and students who help improve our local community, and business leaders who represent the College of Education on FSU’s Seminole 100 list. You’ll find all these stories and more over the next few pages. As always, I hope you are doing well and that you stay in touch with us. We love hearing about your accomplishments and are always happy to connect. You can reach us anytime by emailing No matter where life takes you, the FSU College of Education will always be there to cheer you on! Take care and Go Noles!

Damon P. S. Andrew, PhD, FNAK, FNAKHE Dean and Professor College of Education Florida State University

















Not All Who Wonder Are Lost Dr. Becky Bailey and Conscious Discipline By Josh Duke


reams are life’s compass. Even if you feel lost and don’t know what comes next, you can still head in the general direction you want to go. The trick is to know how to read that compass. Sometimes you have to study your map diligently, retrace your steps and make difficult treks. And sometimes you just need to follow the sun. Literally, in the case of Dr. Becky Bailey. Bailey is the founder of Conscious Discipline, a company known around the world for its social-emotional learning curriculum and classroom management strategies. The methodology she developed has been translated into more than 20 languages and has helped students, teachers and administrators through her research-backed approach. She has earned recognition from a number of organizations, including a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 SPLASH Conference and the 2020 Professional Development Teachers’ Choice Award from Learning magazine. To an outsider, her prolific accomplishments seem to indicate that she had always known what she wanted to do in life. But she will be the first to tell you that wasn’t the case. “When it came time to go to college, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do,” she says with a warm laugh. “I got my bachelor’s degree and still didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So, then I went to Appalachian State, and I just wanted to learn. I learned a great deal from that school, including the fact that it’s very cold in Boone [North Carolina]! The honest truth of how I got to FSU is because it was warmer.” She explains that she likes to tell that story to dispel the idea that everyone has to stick to a path and know exactly where they’re going. People all too often believe that they don’t have a path, or they feel a pressure to know exactly what comes next, who to follow, or how to find a path.

Her journey might “not sound like a great path,” she says, “but I also don’t believe in accidents. I think that’s part of the entrepreneurial mindset, that everything that happens to you happens for a reason, and the reason—even though it doesn’t look good or feel good at the time, it’s also a very expansive reason. Something to expand your mind to get rid of some limiting beliefs you have in yourself.” While the nice weather brought her to Florida State University, she found something even more nourishing than sunshine at the Stone building: her life’s mission.

“I also don’t believe in accidents. I think that’s part of the entrepreneurial mindset, that everything that happens to you happens for a reason.” THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING Bailey came to FSU to earn her doctorate in early childhood education. Her studies quickly brought her out into the field, and what she discovered focused her passion for learning and teaching into what she calls her quest. Her fieldwork brought her to a local childcare center, and she was surprised at what she saw. After learning so much about the impact early education can have on the life of a child, she was surprised at what she saw when her fieldwork brought her to a local childcare center. The childcare center, although meeting and exceeding state requirements, had what felt like a high ratio of children to teachers. “At the end of the day I thought, ‘You simply cannot meet the needs of those children with one teacher for every twelve or so 2-year-olds.’” With the ratio as skewed as it was, toddlers weren’t receiving the one-on-one attention critical to their early development. Immediately, she thought that she had to find a way to do things differently. This one assignment changed everything for Bailey, and decades later, she still attributes that moment as a turning point for what came next. “If I hadn’t been at FSU, if I hadn’t had that assignment, if I hadn’t been sent out to the field to address some real-life


Dr. Bailey works on a project with elementary school children as part of her 2004 video series “Conscious Discipline LIVE.”

Rock Island Head Start celebrates its use of Conscious Discipline on a billboard in the early 2000s.

questions—which I admire FSU for doing—if I hadn’t had all that happen, I wouldn’t have discovered why I am where I am right now.” Looking at this problem inspired her to write her dissertation, which eventually became her first book in 1982. The book did not immediately find an audience. She believes that “back then, people weren’t that interested in infants and toddlers. We hadn’t come along with all the brain science. They just kind of thought, ‘just watch my kid until I get back.’” But she did not let book sales discourage her; she had something more valuable. She had her big question: “How do we meet young children’s needs in social settings when optimal development requires so much one-on-one?” However, despite knowing what she wanted to investigate for the rest of her life, she knew even back then that addressing problems that large would take her on an unknowable journey. THE NEXT STEP After graduating with her Ph.D., she thought she was ready to change the world. Unfortunately, the world she discovered at her first job was one of paperwork and bureaucracy. She found an opportunity working at Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, a Native American village outside of Albuquerque. Bailey took this chance to help children and their families more directly, and recognizing her desire to help, the tribe brought her on as the first Caucasian person they ever hired. She spent eight years in New Mexico, and while the tribe had funding for early childhood education, she discovered that there was another challenge, which she would soon discover to be a nationwide issue: a lack of training for early childhood educators. Realizing early childhood professionals needed training resources as much as they needed financial resources, she joined the University of Central Florida as a faculty member and helped start the first early childhood education degree at that school. Even then, she ran into issues as the field of early education continued to evolve. “Back then, we were still moving from babysitting to brain development,” she explains, and she often found herself defending her studies and field of research. “I was still justifying the fact that we’re not babysitters, that there’s something critical happening in early childhood, especially from birth through age three.” So, in 1996, she took the next step in her life’s journey. She left

education—a field that she loved—and decided to take a leap in a new direction. Her colleagues cautioned her that she was doing something reckless and giving up a good job, but she knew what she had to do next. She started a business. HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Bailey says she had “no business sense, no idea of how to run a business, no desire to have a business.” She just knew that the hurdles and the institutional roadblocks she had encountered had to be approached from a different angle. Like so many entrepreneurs, she started her business in the bedroom of her house, uncertain of what would happen next. She decided to take a new approach with this venture: to help the needs of the children in group care, what if she focused on the skillset, training and knowledge of the teachers? “We have to actually go back and give ourselves the skills we were missing when we grew up before we can give them to another,” she explains. “It’s almost like we have to re-parent ourselves.” Despite not having experience running a business, she knew that what she wanted to create would be something that could be embedded within the early childhood and elementary school systems. Without knowing how to market the idea, she focused on grassroots growth, because she knew if people could see her way of thinking, her approach would take off. “I had a heart and a concept and the mission and the vision, and from that I created a skillset that teachers found useful, and they then marketed it all over the world. They told another teacher who told another teacher.” Bailey says the success of Conscious Discipline’s first few years can all be attributed to this grassroots belief in her approach. School administrators and teachers would often ask Conscious Discipline to work with children after other methodologies had failed. “When we were able to reach that child through creating a healthy relationship by helping the adult learn a specific skillset, it was like ‘Wow! We can reach those [children],’ and once we make that connection with them, they come along,” she says. Seeing this success where so many other approaches had failed created a buzz around Conscious Discipline and its approach. Bailey’s vision had become a reality. continued on next page THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE | 5

Conscious Discipline, continued

Dr. Bailey keynotes internationally, yet also enjoys leading small-group learning sessions.

Dr. Bailey and some of her talented staff pause during filming of the Powers of Resilience: Social Emotional Learning for Adults eCourse, which was released this January.

EDUCATOR FIRST, ENTREPRENEUR SECOND Despite all the years of success, Bailey says that she never felt like she “turned into a businessperson.” This is not an admission of failure, but rather just an acknowledgment that her strength has always been in the field. “I always think of myself like a player-coach,” she jokes. Bailey wants people to know that she never grew accustomed to running a business because she thinks “that’s important for those out there who think that they can’t follow their passion, or they can’t have this vision and see it complete because they’re not a businessperson. My message would be, yes you can. You’re going to have to start out with some social trust.” She acknowledges that running a business is not always easy, but she stresses the importance of finding joy and fulfillment where one can. “I go back out into the field and recoup myself. Then I have to come in and talk about things like 401Ks, and I could nod off in the middle of the conversation,” she laughs. As the business grew, she knew she needed to bring on more people to help manage the operations, but again she credits her nonbusiness background for taking a different approach in the hiring process. “I’ve had wonderful people who believe in [Conscious Discipline’s] mission, and we are a mission-, vision-driven company,” she says. “The bottom line is the number of children, teachers and communities we serve. It’s not the dollar we make. And sometimes 6 | THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE

hiring people into that system is difficult because they come in with a different mindset.” She admits that looking for potential employees who put these principles first made hiring more challenging, but she also says that it helped Conscious Discipline stay true to her vision. Keeping in mind people and not profits helped her never lose sight of her mission to address the systemic issues facing our youngest students in classrooms. Even during unexpected challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, Bailey has tried to keep the focus on those she has always wanted to help. “How can we support teachers? How can we help parents who’ve got these kids and are trying to work? How can we help? Our first go at that was that we got everybody to chip in and make free resources for everyone.” When the pandemic persisted longer than she (or any of us) had hoped, Conscious Discipline began making courses online, and Bailey realized that some of the company’s processes that had been done in-person could be moved online. “What we’ve learned is that we could actually meet the needs of more people by combining that hybrid approach, where some of it is online and some of it is in-person.” She believes that this discovery will allow Conscious Discipline to reach more rural classrooms and other areas that they weren’t able to reach before.

“The wisest person you know is yourself. You just have to get out of your own way.” THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUST Regardless of how she feels in the board room these days, Bailey has seen tremendous success as an entrepreneur and as an educator. She has taken Conscious Discipline from a single room in her home and turned it into a successful business that works with children, teachers, and early childhood, primary and secondary schools around the world. Her advice for people interested in following their own dreams and getting into business? “Trust the process and trust yourself,” she says. “The wisest person you know is yourself.” When a person is just starting out following their dreams, “they’re not told that, but I don’t care if you’re three years old, seven years old, 22, 55—the wisest person you know is yourself. You just have to get out of your own way.” Trusting in yourself and your instincts is not a guarantee that things will work out, of course. You might find success, you might encounter challenges, but by believing in yourself, you gain a sense of fulfillment that is hard to find otherwise. And when you learn to trust yourself and your instincts, you might find yourself doing surprising things, like enrolling in a school because you enjoy the weather, leaving a comfortable faculty position to pursue your dreams, and changing lives around the world. Your life’s journey might not take the path you expect, but it very well may take the path that you need to find your way. n

The Greatest Investment: Social Entrepreneurship


sk most people what the greatest advancement in the last few decades has been and you will probably hear something related to the internet, computers, space travel or medical procedures. If you press for specific answers, you might hear about how the iPhone revolutionized our access to information and kicked off a whole new industry, how Tesla has created unprecedented excitement around electric vehicles, or maybe how CRISPR has accelerated our ability to modify DNA. Virtually every part of our lives is shaped in some way by a visionary entrepreneur, many of whom have become household names, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, to name a few. However, there is a movement growing that may not be as well-known but aims to have just as big of an impact on everyday life: social entrepreneurship. It takes many of the concepts that have driven innovation and the overall economy and applies them in ways that seek to address critical, systemic and foundational problems facing societies around the world.

By Josh Duke

looking at ways to provide clean water in the face of changing drought patterns. One of the most renowned social entrepreneurs is Muhammad Yunus, who is considered the grandfather of the social innovation known as microfinance and was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in addressing poverty. Microloans allow low-income, marginalized individuals and families, who otherwise face predatory lenders at high interest rates, access to small yet critical working capital loans that they can invest in businesses and assets that can generate income and improve their quality of life.

Bruce Manciagli is the director of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at FSU and the social entrepreneur in residence at the College of Social Sciences & Public Policy. He believes that while defining social entrepreneurship is not straightforward, it is important to make the distinction.

BUILDING LASTING CHANGE It is important to understand that social was seen as the essence of entrepreneurship.” entrepreneurs are not charity workers. While they have altruistic and humanitarian Social entrepreneurs are similar but different. tendencies, these individuals often build They are also “focused on creating a new organizations that work within the framework equilibrium, although by definition their starting of a capitalist world economy. point is a problem or system that is currently unjust or inequitable, causing the marginalization “Social innovation begins with understanding of a segment of society,” he says. This difference, a social or environmental problem within its while seemingly small, is critically important sociocultural context and becoming aware of because it shapes the entire way that a social the needs of those experience the problem,” entrepreneur defines their value proposition. he says. “It’s then that we can ideate innovative, While a commercial entrepreneur focuses on systemic approaches that are empowering, profits as a key measure of success in solving sustainable, and scalable—solutions that not a problem, Manciagli says a social entrepreneur only create social impact but strengthen views financial value as “a means to an end. It people’s capacity to act as problem-solvers is in service to achieving the social or themselves. environmental mission which, in their case, is This process leverages the best thinking and how success is defined and measured.” practices from across the private, public, and Manciagli’s formal definition of a social nonprofit/civic sectors, which allows social enterprise, one of the key tools used by social entrepreneurs to achieve a triple bottom line entrepreneurs, is “a mission-focused venture that helps regenerate our economies, societies, that applies market-based strategies to create and the planet in ways that are scaled and social, environmental and economic value and financially and environmentally sustainable.

“Historically, entrepreneurs were seen as innovators or change agents who spurred economic progress” says Manciagli. “While many of these entrepreneurs served this function by starting new business ventures, it was the creation of a new, more efficient equilibrium rather than the venture itself that

uses the majority of net revenue to advance ENTREPRENEURS OF EDUCATION and sustain its social/environmental mission. Social entrepreneurs apply their talent and It may be set up legally as a nonprofit, for-profit penchant for innovation across all manner of or hybrid entity.” fields and industries, and education is no A social entrepreneur could look to help a exception. By addressing social needs through society’s most impoverished people get out of entrepreneurial practices, businesses have the cycle of debt, or it could be an innovator popped up around the world to improve access

A NEW KIND OF ENTREPRENEUR Social entrepreneurship and our general understanding of entrepreneurship share some similarities, but there are some key differences that defines social entrepreneurship as something new and different.

Bruce Manciagli


to education, supplement learning experiences, African countries have different access to and help raise awareness of systemic problems. media devices, Ubongo has created edutainFor example, Dexterity Global is an organization ment programming that can be enjoyed across started in 2008 by Sharad Sagar that aims to a wide range of mass media devices. Accordhelp children across India gain access to ing to their 2020 learning report, their programeducation. Sagar recognized the importance ming increased learning outcomes by 12%. of education to the future of India and started the organization, which has received international recognition for its efforts. Beyond helping students get an education, Dexterity Global places a focus on servant leadership and role models. These students take a look at problems facing their local communities and come up with ways to solve them. Why rely on a social entrepreneur to provide this service to India’s school-aged children? Because of the vast size, lack of adequate resources, and economic disparity of India, setting up and regulating schools becomes much more problematic. Social entrepreneurs can fill in the holes left in national policy to ensure that all students have access. Another example is Ubongo, which has helped more than 500 million children in Africa through its edutainment experience. Similar to Dexterity Global, Ubongo addresses the challenge of educational access across a massive geographical area. Because children living across various

understanding of practices and skills necessary to succeed, Manciagli believes that students “must find a passion, a vision, and the kind of deep understanding of a problem at the ground level” in order to be truly successful. Fortunately for SIE@FSU, Florida State students are known for their ingenuity and innovation, and many TEACHING NEW ENTREPRENEURS students who come through SIE@FSU go on Finally, the interest in social entrepreneurship to work on major problems facing communities has itself created opportunities for social big and small. entrepreneurs. Incubators, institutes and fellowships have sprung up around the world THE MOTHER OF INVENTION to encourage social entrepreneurs to find ways As we progress further into this new decade, catalytic events like pandemics and global to address our biggest problems. warming promise to change everyday life. Florida State University is home to Social These events will shape societies around the Innovation & Entrepreneurship @ Florida State world, requiring a tremendous number of University, or SIE@FSU, where Manciagli resources and creative thinking. serves as director. In line with the university’s But as the saying goes, necessity is the mother overall advocacy for entrepreneurship, SIE@ of invention, and social entrepreneurs like the FSU seeks to foster the entrepreneurial spirit ones emerging from Florida State University in students. However, unlike other efforts on will be ready to face the challenges of the day campus, SIE@FSU puts an emphasis on social to help those who need it most. In its history, innovation and entrepreneurship. the university has produced a number of Students at SIE@FSU come from a number of successful business leaders, but as it becomes different backgrounds, but their common more apparent that entrepreneurship can also interest is the way that innovation and play a role in addressing major social problems, entrepreneurship can help change the world. expect to see FSU students continue to lead While SIE@FSU gives students a deep the charge. n


A Game Changer

FSU’s Center for Sport, Health and Equitable Development By Josh Duke


magine for a moment standing on a basketball court. The lighting above casts your shadow in four different directions, each one mirroring your actions as you dribble past the half court line. In front of you, a defender gets low, stretches out their hand and steps backwards as you test their reflexes. You lock eyes with this person, watching them watch you, as a bead of sweat traces the lines on your face. For a moment, nothing else matters. Just you, your opponent and your desire to win. You do not worry about the bills or what’s for dinner tonight or even who this person is trying to stop you. You are lost in the spirit of competition. You take a step to the right to see if they will flinch, and when they bite, you crossover to the left, your fingers barely registering the worn surface of the basketball as you drive to the hoop. Adrenaline propels you as you can feel the defender recovering and trying to stop you, but you gained just enough space to make it to the basket. As you hear the sweet swooshing sound of the ball sinking through the net, you pump your fist in celebration. The game over, you shake hands, maybe even pass a few compliments back and forth. You are no longer opponents now but simply students of the game. Reality starts to set back in as you head home. The problems you put aside for an hour or two slowly fill the back of your mind. But you feel better for that brief moment of your day that you spent on the court—in body, mind and spirit, you feel stronger, refreshed, and maybe just a bit more prepared to face the challenges in your life. Sports of all kinds bring out that feeling, even when the opponent you face is your own personal best. Runners report a “runner’s high,” climbers face their own limitations as well as the mountain, and gymnasts push their bodies for the best scores from judges as well as their own satisfaction. There is just as much of an emotional

Sport management students connect via basketball with clients at The Kearney Center - Leon County’s comprehensive emergency resource center.

benefit as there is a physical one. And for that reason, the love of sports transcends social, political, economic and cultural lines. It is also partly why Florida State’s Center for Sport, Health and Equitable Development (SHED) came to be. With the understanding that sports can be a powerful force of positive change, SHED aims to help improve the Tallahassee community, particularly populations that have historically been underserved. THE LOVE OF THE GAME Florida State University is home to one of the best sport management programs in the country. One of the reasons for the program’s consistently high rankings is its focus on practical experience. Students complete internships, gain hands-on experience in the sport industry and expand their network to include experienced sport management professionals. Upon graduation, students will have acquired strong theoretical understanding of the sports industry as well as practical experience. continued on next page THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE | 9

Game Changer, continued In 2012, students and faculty realized that there was a demand in the department to combine the program’s strong work ethic with a desire to improve the local community through sports. Research conducted by faculty and students had proven just how beneficial sports can be—not just for physical wellness, but emotional and mental wellness as well—so why not apply that knowledge to the local community? With that in mind, sport management faculty and students began the process of creating SHED. Just like superstars still need a team behind them, SHED realized that to help the community, it needed to establish partnerships with existing programs in Tallahassee. “We first formed strategic partnerships with community groups, government agencies, non-profit and academic organizations whose primary mission was to serve socially disadvantaged youth and adult populations,” says Joshua Newman, professor in the FSU Department of Sport Management program and co-director of SHED. “We do whatever we can to help bolster the active living capacities of local communities and their residents,” he continues. “We play basketball, teach yoga classes, fundraise, conduct policy analyses, offer programming recommendations, conduct community needs assessments, lobby local

Dr. Joshua Newman

government for increased support for recreation programs, advocate for expanded access to youth sport, and conduct research on how these programs can be made better or implemented in other communities.”

disabilities. The relationships lead them to reflect on their own values and beliefs and determine what they want to be intentional about pursuing as an engaged citizen and sport professional.”

Since it began, SHED has helped create and implement sport or physical activity programs at the Kearney Comprehensive Emergency Services Center (formerly the Tallahassee/Leon County Homeless Shelter/Renaissance Community Center); the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association; Tallahassee Division of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs; the Knight Creative Communities Institute; the Federal Correctional Institute of Tallahassee; America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend and the Tallahassee Senior Center.

SPORT INTELLIGENCE Since its beginning, SHED has leveraged its unique strengths to make a difference through sports. Because its membership has a deep interest in the sports industry, they use research and their insights to select meaningful projects.

Through these partnerships, SHED was able to quickly help those in the community who needed it most; however, Katie Flanagan believes that these partnerships are mutually beneficial for the students involved in SHED. An assistant instructor in the FSU Department of Sport Management and co-director of SHED, Flanagan says that “working with these community partners enable students to interact with individuals professionally and socially that they have never interacted with before. “Students build relationships with, for example, senior citizens, persons experiencing homelessness and individuals with

Dr. Katie Flanagan


For example, the Kearney Center in Tallahassee helps individuals experiencing homelessness. In 2015, the center moved to a new location; however, the center reported a drop in its population. SHED conducted research on mobility and access issues due to the Kearney Center’s relocation. Using the information gathered, SHED implemented a bicycle program. SHED’s support of the local community also extends to high-profile projects. Cascades Park is one of the most beloved destinations in Tallahassee, and the amphitheater is perhaps one of the park’s most iconic features. SHED provided the community need assessment which ultimately secured the money for the amphitheater and other amenities at the park. SHED makes its presence known in other ways, too. Municipal governments operate

Over the holidays, FSU students organized and delivered food and gifts to a local family whose children attend an underserved school in Leon County.

virtual programs—such as fitness programs for persons with disabilities—via Zoom,” says Flanagan. While it is not an ideal situation, SHED recognizes the importance of prioritizing the community’s health. However, despite the challenges, Flanagan believes that the pandemic has taught some invaluable lessons as well about the power of technology. “In some ways, we have actually seen inclusion increase on account of the virtual nature of events. I think some of these programs will remain post-pandemic.”

FSU students play ball with children and adults of all abilities through the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association inclusive sport programs.

under a limited budget, and needs change over time, leaving certain programs underfunded. Tallahassee is no exception, and the city has unfortunately had to make a number of cuts to programs that provide sports, physical activity and recreational opportunities, which disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. “Our center has sought to fill these gaps by harnessing the energy and expertise of FSU’s sport management students and faculty to develop and augment community-based programs,” says Newman.

physical activity programs to increase social,

“As opportunities to engage in sport and physical activities decline for marginalized and underserved groups—from people experiencing homeless to seniors to people with disabilities—and thus exacerbating health disparities and increasing social and health problems for the members of the community, SHED members are trying to use sport and

munity, the team adapted to a rapidly chang-

physical health and mental health benefits and thus the overall well-being of Tallahassee’s most vulnerable groups,” he adds. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Now in its ninth year, SHED continues to find ways to innovate and help the community. Perhaps one of its most noteworthy achievements was SHED’s response to the coronavirus. As the pandemic shut down or paused many of SHED’s strategic partners in the coming environment. Many of the activities they engaged in involved face-to-face contact; however, SHED believed that more than ever, people needed to enjoy both the physical and mental benefits of exercise and sport. “We have had to be creative in developing

SHED shined in quickly adapting to the situation, and if nothing else, the pandemic proved just why organizations like SHED are vital to a community. The organization could act quickly to meet the needs of the community and provide a specific resource that might otherwise be neglected. Despite unfortunate circumstances, SHED’s brand of social entrepreneurship enabled it to stay focused on the issues it deemed to be most important. Flanagan thinks that SHED’s vision and mission prepared it for any problem in the future. The way SHED approaches social entrepreneurship focuses on “identifying a social issue or problem, learning about all aspects of that issue and then attempting to improve that issue by implementing a new idea, program, process or approach,” she says. While no one could foresee the disruption of the pandemic, SHED overcame challenges that would stymie other organizations. When the pandemic comes to an end, SHED will be ready to help those in the community discover and enjoy sport and physical activity. No matter the situation, the students and faculty involved with SHED will find a way to accomplish their goals. To learn more about SHED, you can visit their website at shed. n


Since its founding, SHED affiliated faculty and students have achieved the following: Over 2,300 FSU undergraduate and graduate students have been involved in community-based service-learning programs

Over 10,000 local community members have participated in SHED sport and physical activity programs

SHED-affiliated faculty and graduate students have produced over 125 academic conference presentations and over 150 peer-reviewed publications

Faculty have received 13 foundation and government grants to support the programs

In total, students and faculty have provided more than 30,000 service hours in support of these initiatives


Educational Entrepreneurs

COE Alumni on the Seminole 100 List





very year, Florida State University recognizes the fastest-growing businesses either owned or led by alumni. The College of Education is proud to recognize three alumni who have made it on to the 2021 Seminole 100 list. Their businesses are as diverse as the College of Education itself, but regardless of their industry, each of them highlights the excellence we hope to instill in our students. Our first alumnus is Jeff Hausinger (social science education B.S. ’98), president and CEO of All Seasons Wealth. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, All Seasons Wealth is a financial advising group to help individuals and organizations meet their financial needs. Joseph St. Germain (sport psychology M.S. ’05, Ph.D. ’09) is the president of Downs & St. Germain Research. Based in Tallahassee, Downs & St. Germain specializes in marketing research, specifically for the tourism industry. Finally, Karen Walker (visual disabilities B.S. ’87, emotional and learning disabilities M.S. ’88) is the president and owner of Allied Instructional Services. Her company is located in Ashland, Virginia, and provides staff and programs for government agencies and schools to support individuals with special needs. We reached out to our three honorees to ask them what it was like to run a business, how the College of Education prepared them for their careers, and more.


What does it mean to you to be named to the Seminole 100 List? Jeff Hausinger (JH): It is an honor to be selected for the Seminole 100 alongside so many other successful Seminoles. To be given this recognition for the third year in a row is a testament to my team and their hard work. Joseph St. Germain (JS): It means a lot. First, it is a testament to our team and recognition of all of their hard work and commitment to excellence. Also, to be a part of this group of accomplished Seminoles is truly special to me. Karen Walker (KW): I am honored to be recognized by my alma mater for the fourth consecutive year. I feel extremely blessed by the success Allied Instructional Services has experienced. This growth means we are continuing to impact more and more lives of individuals with special needs! I also hope that our success will be an inspiration to other Noles. How did your education from Florida State prepare you for your career? JH: Florida State played a significant role in my maturity as I grew into adulthood. At FSU, I met and learned from great professors and a peer group that was diverse on many levels. I often reflect on the fact that I learned a tremendous amount about people and how to work with different types of personalities during my time as an undergraduate. JS: I still apply some of the things I learned in class (particularly goal setting and focusing on what you can control) to the business every day. In addition, I always appreciated that the sport psychology program revolved around an open exchange of ideas, which makes each individual and the program as a whole stronger. Finally, if you can get through feedback from Dr. Tenenbaum on your latest dissertation draft, dealing with a client issue is a walk in the park. I joke that Dr. Tenenbaum was tough, but his feedback was spot on and made me and the quality of my work better. KW: Florida State provided me the education I needed to follow my dream. In addition, the faculty instilled in me their shared passion that drove me to think outside the box as we strive to enhance the lives of individuals with visual, hearing, speech, motor and other impairments. In what ways do you think entrepreneurial values and spirit can address some of society’s biggest problems? JH: Being an entrepreneur is one of the most gratifying decisions I have ever made. Accomplishing my goals has made an impact that affects more than just myself—I have had the opportunity to change my children’s lifestyle in ways that I could have never

imagined. I grew up in humble Brandon, Florida, and I often reflect on these roots as I grow my company. But the really powerful motivation comes from watching my employees accomplish their dreams for themselves and their families. I am able to help empower other people to achieve great success. This is what truly motivates me. I strive to provide an example of how to be successful and to help empower others to accomplish their dream. This seems to be a much more effective way for society to run. JS: I think your typical entrepreneur is more willing to take risks and listen to different ideas with regard to solving problems. You can’t drive societal change for the better by doing it the same way we have always done it. We need to be willing to try things. We need to fail, learn from that failure, and then try again. In the end, I’ve always thought the biggest risk is never taking one. KW: Many people are aware of various issues in society, and most of us tend to find it easier to just talk about them and not do anything. But if we all just talked, change would never occur, and just talking tends to lead to a negative atmosphere. It takes someone who has that entrepreneurial value and spirit, who thinks positive with the desire to lead and make change, and who is driven enough to take the necessary steps to do something about it. This does not mean just jumping on the bandwagon and following someone else’s lead, but instead being innovative in their thoughts and actions to create positive change and outcomes regarding the many issues that society faces today. What has your experience been like running a business? JH: It can be frightening to leave the security of a place where you have spent so much time honing your craft. I can say that transitioning to a new space will not be easy. However, the experience is what is part of the reward and it will be well worth the risk. I have had to wear many different hats over the years as we built our firm. If you love what you do and you are motivated to help people, then you will never look back. JS: It is frightening and exhilarating at the same time. It is a strange but empowering feeling the first time you discuss something in the office and then realize everyone is now waiting for you to make the final decision on where the business goes from here. In addition, I have been very lucky that my business partner, Dr. Phillip Downs, is also a great mentor and has helped so much along the way. KW: I love running my business because we have built an incredible staff that puts the needs of the children we work with first. I truly

believe our success is due to the fact that I, along with my other administrators and service providers, are not driven by financial success or gaining the next contract, but by the desire to serve more individuals with special needs and enabling others to succeed. If we ever lose that as a focus, I firmly believe that would all change. I am and will always be a teacher first and a business owner second. Do you have any advice for individuals thinking about starting or running their own business? JS: Get someone (or a group of people) outside the office with whom you can discuss your business. Sometimes you are too close to recognize the problem. Also, realize you are going to make mistakes and that is okay. Every mistake can be a positive if you can learn and grow from the experience. KW: My best advice to any individuals thinking about starting or running their own business is to try to find a niche that no one else—or very few others—are doing. Make sure you are passionate about it and that you are not going into it for just the money. If you are passionate about it, the money and success will follow. Try to find people who share your passion and will complement your weaknesses. Show appreciation to your employees and customers and never take them for granted. Be aware of any negative attitudes so that you may act on them swiftly and diligently. Lastly, always take the time to find out the “why” before you act or react. Anything else you’d like to add? JH: My time as an FSU undergraduate was full of ups and downs. However, this is just the reality of the college experience and life after college as well. I try to learn from every failure. My advice is to embrace the negative aspects and try to see them as an opportunity to do better and grow. Entrepreneurs have to be willing to adapt and adjust to the business environment where they work. At FSU, I was active in organizations such as a fraternity and often held multiple jobs at a time. Learning to juggle school, work, and my social endeavors trained me in time management—a valuable skill that everyone who wishes to be successful as an entrepreneur will need to learn. Real world lessons that are foundational, such as the opportunity to be exposed to different types of people and learning to utilize your time in a productive manner, are helpful tools that can build you to be a better entrepreneur and a better person. JS: Regarding entrepreneurship, starting your own business is ultimate way to bet on yourself, which is the best investment you can make. And finally, as always, go Noles! n


A Diverse Career:

FSU Higher Education Alumnus Becomes Published Children’s Book Author By Josh Duke


ike many of us, Dorsey Spencer, Jr. found himself with a little bit more free time this past year because of the pandemic. Nightly events were cancelled, social hours postponed and travel for events came to a halt. As most of us discovered, we needed a pandemic project, but while some of us were busy perfecting sourdough starters and reorganizing our closets, Spencer decided to accomplish something he had wanted to do for a while: write a children’s book. It just so happened to be his new year’s resolution that year, and with so much extra time on his hands, he realized it was the perfect time to accomplish his goal. Spencer has spent much of his professional career working with students. While earning his doctoral degree in higher education from the FSU College of Education, he served in a number of roles at FSU, including as the director of administration for the Division of Student Affairs, before becoming the dean of students at Colgate University last summer. While he has worked with college-aged students for most of his career, he recognizes the importance of supporting young children. But he wanted to go beyond just encouraging literacy and provide young readers something he missed growing up: representation. “I wanted to write a book with a Black boy as the main character,” Spencer says. “Growing up, I don’t remember reading many children’s books with protagonists of color.” His research interests inform his understanding of representation and the power of positive role models, and he focuses much of his work on issues of student success, leadership learning and Black men in higher education. As a Black man, he wanted to be sure that young children could find someone who looked more like them in their earliest books. “I believe it is important for children to see themselves reflected in the books they read,” he says. “It is equally important for all children to see main characters from diverse backgrounds.” Finally, he wanted to be sure that the book included a “positive relationship between a father and son, like I have with my own son.” In this way, the book draws on his own experiences and insight as a parent.


Dorsey Spencer, Jr.

GONE FISHING With all this in mind, his book started to take shape, and “Worms Are A Yummy Snack” solidified. The book tells the story of a father and son who go fishing for the first time. Through their day, the son learns that fishing is much more involved than he imagined, but that the experience is worth it in the end. Spencer hopes the reader learns about the importance of patience and resilience, especially when trying something new. The book is intended for readers aged 5 to 8, and like many books at this age level, it presents a colorful exploration of important life skills through beautiful illustrations and easy-to-understand language. Spencer wrote the story but wanted to find an illustrator that could bring to life his vision for the story. That proved to be trickier than he thought and turned out to be his biggest challenge.

“Obviously, illustrations are a critical component of a children’s picture book. Great illustrators, while worth it, can be extremely expensive.” Finding an illustrator both in his price range and with the right style took up dozens of hours as he pored through hundreds of portfolios. Even when he thought he had found the perfect match, things didn’t go exactly according to plan. “We began working together, but things ended up not working out, so I had to go back to the drawing board,” he explains. Ultimately, all his hard work finding the right illustrator paid off, as the book has won a number of awards and Spencer has been asked to read the story at schools around the country. He says that the latter recognition means more to him than anything, as it presents an opportunity to see kids enjoy his story directly. Another reason why his book resonates so well with younger audiences is that he chose to let the morals arise organically in his work. “I wanted life lessons to emerge from the activity instead of forcing life lessons into what the characters were doing,” he says. “In an age where people are always seeking instant gratification, I think it is important to help children understand the importance of patience. For me, growing up fishing and crabbing with my dad was one of the ways I learned both patience and persistence. Generally speaking, I think society does a poor job of helping young boys and men express and manage their emotions, so I was glad when this arose as a theme in the book.” NEXT ADVENTURES Spencer hopes that this isn’t the end of his children’s book writing career. He is already penning a book about a little girl and has a number of ideas forming. Regardless of which one becomes his next children’s book, he knows that the main character will be a person of color and will focus on “the concept of joy.” He also hopes to one day write a book series for children with autism that teachers can use in their classrooms. Whichever idea emerges first, Spencer says the key is to “just start writing! You will in-

Cover of Spencer’s children’s book

evitably come up with dozens of reasons why you can’t do it or why now isn’t the right time. Ignore them all. Create a timeline for publishing the book with specific deadlines and benchmarks.” Another technique that helped him achieve his goal was accountability partners—particularly his family members. “Every so often, one of them would ask where I was with the book and give me some words of encouragement.” Beyond any financial success the book may bring, Spencer sees the ultimate award as something bigger. The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education Cooperative Children’s Book Center reported in 2018 that there were “more children’s

books depicting animals as characters than African/African American, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian Pacific Islander/Asian Pacific American characters combined. My hope is that my work addresses the lack of representation of people of color in children’s literature.” At the end of the day, Spencer says he is excited to write more children’s books. “There are a lot of steps to publishing a book. You experience many highs but also some lows. There are takeaways from both types of situations—embrace them.” The process offered him the joy of creativity while offering a fulfilling opportunity to address a problem in children’s literature, and that is perhaps the best story of all. n


Honoring the Legacy of

Dr. Roger Kaufman By Kevin Derryberry


r. Roger Kaufman, professor emeritus of Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (ISLT), passed away on September 23, 2020. While Florida State University is no stranger to excellence, Kaufman held the unique distinction of being a founding figure of an entire field of research and practice. He didn’t simply establish the FSU ISLT program as one of the best in the world; he helped shape educational technology and learning improvement into what they are today. Over the course of his career, Kaufman published 41 books and more than 300 articles on the subjects related to performance improvement, planning, management and needs assessment. He held many titles throughout his life, working with non-governmental organizations, universities, governments and more. He believed in mega-planning that would provide a practical approach for businesses, schools and non-profit organizations to develop the kind of world that would benefit the future. In fact, much of his work was dedicated to the admirable goal of making the world a better place. A common theme in his work considered the concept of “needs” both as a noun and a verb. He often wrote about how needs describe the gap between results and consequences. In that respect, his passing leaves a gap not just in the field but in the lives of friends, family and the community he helped build. It was only fitting that the College of Education paid tribute to Kaufman, who cared about sharing knowledge and improving performance, by creating an event to do just that. On April 2, 2021, the Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies program hosted the Roger Kaufman Memorial – Alumni Student Knowledge Exchange to honor his life and legacy. As ISLT alumna Cathy Tencza (M.S. ’85) points out, “I think Roger showed up for every alumni event I attended in the past 30 years.” While participants missed his presence, his influence was undeniable, as he had affected the lives of every single presenter and attendee. LOCAL IMPACT Kaufman’s research and publications established an international interest in the field of human performance, but his local community also directly benefited from his generosity and dedication. Even during his life, he found ways to help individuals and organizations in Tallahassee. In 2016, in honor of his impact on the Tallahassee community, the College of Education partnered with the local non-profit organization, 21st Century Council, to begin offering the Roger Kaufman Exemplary Community Agency Award. This award recognizes local non-profits that apply Kaufman’s strategy of needs assessment to improve our community.


Presented each spring at the United Partners for Human Services conference in Tallahassee, the Roger Kaufman Exemplary Community Agency Award has helped to support food insecure seniors in Leon County, children with physical and mental disabilities, crime reduction programs, trauma informed interventions for at-risk youth, and crisis counseling and suicide prevention programs. As Ryan Watkins, professor of educational leadership at George Washington University and former doctoral student of Kaufman’s shared, “[Roger taught] the notion that doing societal good could be, and should be, integrated into our professional work.” During his tenure at Florida State University, Kaufman directed the Center for Needs Assessment and Planning and earned the moniker of “the father of needs assessment.” He was also a past president and honorary life member of the International Society for Performance Improvement, which created the Roger Kaufman Award for Societal Impact in his honor. He was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association and Distinguished Research Professor at the Sonora Institute of Technology (Mexico). In 2020, the Kaufman Center think tank was created within the Performance Improvement Institute to recognize the social impact of programs around the world. LASTING LEGACY This year, in the memory of our friend and colleague, the College of Education along with Jan Kaufman and the Kaufman family, have created the newest student award program in Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies, the Roger Kaufman Endowment for Excellence. The Roger Kaufman Endowment for Excellence will support students in the Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies program who exemplify his commitment to research that has a positive impact on society. Award recipients shall be selected from the pool of eligible applicants with preference going to students with proven academic excellence and a demonstrated financial need. Fund uses may include, but are not limited to, expenses related to student research, travel expenses or materials directly related to the student’s course of study. Through this endowment, Kaufman and his family continue his legacy of helping those who wish to do the most good for society at large. The field he helped create has widereaching implications on ways to make the world a better place, and this endowment will help ensure that the next generation of scholars continue that work.

The Roger Kaufman Exemplary Community Agency Awards 2020 & 2019

Elder Care Services – Providing community based, compassionate care for a broad spectrum of Leon County and Big Bend area seniors including Meals on Wheels, In-home services, and various senior volunteer and outreach services


Rotary Youth Camp – Providing support to the free summer camp program for individuals with various physical and mental disabilities


Delta Kappa Omega Foundation – Supporting the work Tallahassee’s Providence Neighborhood promise zone project to reduce crime, clean up the neighborhood, improve homeownership and create a neighborhood center


PACE Center for Girls – Providing a holistic, gender-specific, and trauma informed approach to keeping middle and high school aged girls from entering the juvenile justice system


2-1-1 Big Bend – Providing 24-hour emotional support, crisis counseling, suicide prevention, and information & referrals for community resources for those in need

To support the Roger Kaufman Endowment for Excellence please visit n


Student Spotlight:

JAMES HERNANDEZ Program Learning & Cognition Ph.D. Hometown Celebration, Florida

When did you first discover your passion for your field? Tell us more about your background in education. My background in education began with my first substitute teaching appointment. I was filling in for a classroom of fifth graders who had not had a permanent teacher for the entire first quarter. I was only supposed to be at this Title I school for one week, but I stayed for three years, becoming a certified teacher and “Mr. H.” To my knowledge, I still hold the title of Fastest Fifth Grader on the Playground. Next, I became a college advisor and worked with students on enrollment, financial aid, academic advising, career advising and graduation. I actually assisted one of my former fifth grade students’ parents with getting into college. While advising, I continued to substitute teach at a local middle school. I also tutored elementary-aged children and college students. What made you choose FSU and the learning and cognition program? I chose FSU’s learning and cognition program because I made a promise to my fifth graders. I promised them that by the time they were students in college, I would also be teaching in college. In fall 2021, my first class of fifth graders will be incoming college freshmen and I am on track to teach my first college-level course. Who knows if I might see some familiar faces? FSU’s learning and cognition program was the only graduate program I applied to. At my first visit, I recognized this program had the right mix of faculty, staff and students. Because the learning and cognition program is a part of FSU’s College of Education, there are a wide variety of resources preparing me


for my career. First, through my coursework, I am gaining a strong understanding of educational psychology with the flexibility to supplement the core coursework with certificates like measurement and statistics, college teaching and program evaluation. Additionally, in the supplemental coursework, I am learning how to practically implement education policy, leadership and finance. I am also gaining expertise in grant applications and budgeting. As a learning and cognition student, I am also developing quantitative and qualitative research skills that enable me to identify high-quality research and educational strategies. I am also learning how to implement evidenced-based teaching practices with fidelity and conduct reliable, valid and meaningful research. Through this doctoral program, I’ve come to deeply value and support my colleagues. Therefore, I will be part of the Ph.D. employment solution by recruiting other doctoral graduates to work at a third space, which is not a university (first space) nor a lab (second space), but instead a place where they can teach and conduct their own research in partnership with universities. I am currently forging these partnerships as a member of the Fellows Society at FSU, the Florida Education Fund’s McKnight Fellowship, PURPOSE (Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education) and the Florida Center for Reading Research. At FSU, I am also getting the experience to step out of the ivory tower and interface with key education stakeholders like policy makers, administrators, teachers, student, parents and community members. Informed by these relationships, I am utilizing education as a tool to empower everyone.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you, especially in the context of education? Entrepreneurship is opportunity and innovation. Education in its purest form, to me, is innovatively teaching and learning. Therefore, educational entrepreneurship is the opportunity to create a self-sustaining teaching and learning experience where teachers and students are encouraged to fail fast, learn deeply and solve the unsolvable. Combining education and entrepreneurship also binds the most liberating opportunities offered in life. Being educated allows one to have the ability to freely reason and being an entrepreneur empowers one to act on their reasoning. I was an educated public school teacher, but at this school I was discouraged for acting with reason (e.g., implementing social studies in chronological order). As an entrepreneur with a Ph.D., I will be further educated with the ability to instruct teachers and students and empower them to act on their reasoning. If and when we fail, we will learn and attempt to solve the unsolvable. What are your entrepreneurial goals post-graduation? The learning and cognition program at FSU is preparing me to realize my entrepreneurial goal of building Lifespan Development Centers. Lifespan Development Centers are third spaces resembling schools where the community can come and clarify their interests, learn useful skills, gain meaningful experiences and produce new products and/or services. The idea for building this alternative education system comes from the need; I’ve traveled around the world, and everywhere I go and everyone I speak with is looking for resources, opportunities and experiences in which they can meaningfully participate. There are a variety of educational environments similar to Lifespan Development Centers that also facilitate their students’ development, and Florida State University is definitely one. In addition, for children and adolescents, there are great educational environments like Wildflower Schools that has their children wear slippers to track their movement and interface with responsive cutting-edge educational technology. Even Elon Musk created a school with Josh Dahn (formerly Ad Astra, now Astra Nova School) to gamify learning. At present, I have not found a Lifespan Development Center that completely fulfills the vision for everyone throughout their lifespan. Therefore, I am working with an amazing team to create the first of many. Lifespan Development Centers will provide an adaptive, realtime, research-based educational experience for students from birth through retirement. Adaptive learning experiences will be individualized, implementing evidenced-centered classroom assessment design that will leverage data and technology. Services will be embedded in the school, such as mental health, physical health, social support, financial literacy and career support. I am getting a Ph.D. in learning and cognition so that I can ensure the schools can implement evidenced-based practice with fidelity so that in turn, teachers and students can add to the field of knowledge through practice-based evidence. Through FSU’s College of Education, I have been able to receive a large variety of funding that has supported my research and

entrepreneurial goals. For example, I attended the National Public Radio’s How I Built This first inaugural summit in San Francisco, California. There, I learned how I could attract funding for the schools I am currently building and also how the schools can generate self-sustaining revenue. With the advancement of artificial intelligence, it is imperative that we have institutions investing in human intelligence and overall wellbeing. Therefore, the Lifespan Development Centers will treat education as a start-up incubator investing in the research and development of human innovation. What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing education with an entrepreneurial focus? First, you are not alone. A big myth is that there is no money in education. Shark Tanks’ Mr. Wonderful is a great example of someone who combined education and entrepreneurship successfully. Second, get experience. When it comes to entrepreneurship and education, formal education is only to supplement and broaden your experience, not supplant it. I gained experience while working and going to school full-time and in the five years between undergraduate and graduate school. Third, remember your purpose. I might be neck-deep in research and classes, but ask anyone who knows me, I won’t stop talking about the Lifespan Development Centers. Some people are afraid of others stealing my ideas. I want them to. If someone could create the educational environment before and better than my team and I will, I would only hope they’d hire us. n



Student Focused. Innovation Driven.

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