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The Florida State University College of Education Magazine




From The Dean Welcome to the 2016-2017 edition of The TORCH magazine. The Florida State University College of Education began this academic year with a great deal to celebrate, and it is a privilege to share some of our achievements with you. This past year, we’ve been asking ourselves the questions, “What is our niche? What sets us apart from other Colleges of Education?” Through many discussions, we’ve realized that though we are made up of very different departments and programs, we all share something in common: the desire to make a difference in the lives of underserved populations and make an impact on the field of education, be it across the globe or in our own community. We believe that all students deserve the same access to a quality education. Each of our departments is engaging in research projects that focus on addressing the needs of traditionally underserved populations, including minorities, individuals with special needs, and rural populations (read more on page 35). Here at Florida State, we prepare our students to think critically and strive to provide an educational environment that engages them in activities designed to have an impact in their communities. Through our unique combination of global-class academics, a close-knit, student-focused community, and access to some of the best minds in the education field, we help students find their passion for education and a path to a successful and fulfilling career. Your voice matters and we’d love to hear your feedback. Be sure to keep us posted on what’s going on in your life and career. Next time you’re in Tallahassee, we hope you’ll pay us a visit. Thank you for all you do to carry the torch for education. All my best,

Marcy P. Driscoll, Ph.D. Dean, College of Education Leslie J. Briggs Professor of Educational Research


CONTENTS 4 Investigative

Conducting research that makes a difference

17 Global

Impacting education around the world

25 Inspired

Profiles in student leadership

34 Engaged

Events and philanthropy

47 Benchmarks

Faculty and staff achievements

54 Progress Reports Alumni news and notes

Investigative Conducting research that makes a difference

North Florida Freedom Schools....5 Living Well...7 Solving the Puzzle....10 Line of Legality....12 Taking Counsel....14 4


North Florida Freedom Schools Closing Achievement Gaps for At-Risk Children By Kelli Gemmer

This past summer, at-risk children from Leon and Gadsden counties participated in a new partnership program between faculty and alumni at Florida State University’s College of Education and Florida A&M University (FAMU) aimed at curbing summer learning loss and closing achievement gaps. North Florida Freedom Schools (NFFS) isn’t your typical summer camp. The program began each day with a 30-minute self- and group-affirming celebration, called “Harambee,” which translates to “all pull together,” that prepared students for the work ahead. During this time, a guest speaker from the Tallahassee community read aloud to the group. Next, participants broke off into respective age groups to learn the Integrated Reading Curriculum (IRC), the Children Defense Fund's (CDF)’s culturally responsive reading curriculum focused on Black history and social action. College students and recent graduates of FSU and FAMU who have been trained as servant leader interns taught the IRC to participants. The group then participated in “Drop Everything and Read” time, where everyone, including student service leader interns, spent time reading.

“One of the main goals was to reduce summer reading loss, which often happens during the summer months when children aren’t in school and may not have access to books,” said Alysia Roehrig, NFFS research director and associate professor of educational psychology at FSU. “There’s often a slide in their reading achievement, so this program provided an opportunity for children to maintain or increase their instructional reading level.” After a morning full of reading, the afternoon proceeded with diverse activities supported by organizations in the community, such as the Institute for Research in Music and Entertainment Industry Studies at FAMU; Florida State University’s Center for Sport, Health and Equitable Development; TITUS Sports Academy; and the REAL Life Student Program. (continued...)



to empower K-12 students in low socioeconomic status communities to make a difference through civic action projects, while also staving off summer reading loss using a culturally responsive reading curriculum,” said Clemons. In addition to the programs, faculty conducted studies with camp participants and their parents to assess their needs and improve the program. At Florida State, Associate Professor Joshua Newman and Assistant Professors George Boggs, Graig Chow, and Ian Whitacre, along with FSU alumnae Tricia James and Sheila Labissiere, were part of the project team.

The program provided undergraduate students and recent graduates the opportunity to learn about critical teaching techniques as servant leader interns for NFFS. They were also provided mentoring opportunities to learn about the strengths of diverse students while gaining experience in conducting research in education. “Doing these kinds of things, like reading and being actively involved in these processes, is really huge for the kids, and it also gives me as a researcher a chance to actually be hands-on with the kids and see what kinds of treatments are helpful to them in the actual classroom,” said Michael Mesa, doctoral student in FSU’s learning and cognition program. NFFS was created in 2015 as a result of Co-Executive Directors Kristal Moore Clemons and Keely Norris’ past experiences working with the CDF Freedom Schools program. Norris is an FSU alumna and special education teacher, and Clemons is the director of the College of Education’s online Ed.D. program in educational leadership and policy. Faculty and alumni from the College of Education partnered with FAMU and CDF to sponsor this new non-profit, which operated two CDF Freedom School summer program sites from June 13 to July 22. One was held in Tallahassee at the FAMU Developmental Research School (FAMU-DRS) and the other at James A. Shanks Middle School in Quincy. “The goal of the program is



Several Florida A&M faculty members were also involved: Associate Professor Peggy Auman, an FSU alumna; Patricia Green-Powell, professor, associate dean, and FSU alumna; Serena Roberts, director of the Center for Academic Success; Phyllis Y. Watson, director of the Division of Continuing Education and Associate Professor Kawachi Clemons. This year’s inaugural North Florida Freedom Schools helped provide nearly 100 children from low-income households with access to summer learning opportunities at no cost to them. Norris hopes to grow the program and sponsor even more children in the coming years. “This summer was a great success for the first year of North Florida Freedom Schools,” said Norris. “Parents shared stories with our staff about how their children came home singing cheers and chants about how they can make a difference, and [the children] were excited to share their work and books that they were able to take home. That is a huge success for us, as we know the momentum of the community members is what will continue to help us grow.” To learn more about NFFS, visit

Living Well Suicide Prevention Research Team Advocates for Whole Body Health by Alexandra Pushkin

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death of people aged 25 to 35, and the third leading cause amongst people aged 15 to 24. According to a study completed at Emory University, the rate of suicide on college campuses among students is around seven per 100,000. This adds up to over 1,000 suicides on college campuses each year. In an effort to shed light on a heavy subject, the College of Education’s Suicide Prevention Research Team, led by Dr. Marty Swanbrow Becker, helps to spread mental health awareness. Swanbrow Becker, assistant professor of psychological and counseling services, and his team of doctoral, master’s, and select undergraduate students, as well as the campus suicide prevention coordinator, study effective ways to prevent college student suicide through improving mental health. The team focuses their research on preventing suicide and improving well-being among college students. The team also conducts research related to college student mental health in the areas of disordered eating, LGBTQIA, athletes, and students with disabilities. (continued...)



"Similar to other universities, we intend to focus less on suicide prevention directly, but rather on living well as a means of impacting student mental health,” said Jaymee Spannring, the campus suicide prevention coordinator on the team. “We advocate for whole body health, emotionally and physically. By focusing on improving the overall mental and physical health of our students, we expect to see reductions in student distress.”

regard mental health with the same importance that they do physical health.

The Suicide Prevention Research Team understands that there are stigmas associated with seeking mental health services, and that this stigma often leads to the avoidance of the topic altogether, especially in stressinducing environments such as a university. According to Jaylene Spannring, a doctoral student in the counseling/school psychology program who serves on the team, “When people become busy, prioritizing health becomes more difficult. Within a stressful environment, one should always put one’s health— whether physical or emotional— first.”

“We let people know that it’s okay to talk about it, and students were escorted out to talk to guidance counselors if the conversation became too heavy,” said Swanbrow Becker. Individuals were also permitted to speak with guidance counselors after the presentations. After the first talk, approximately 12 students sought counselors’ time.

To emphasize this, the research team reaches out to Florida State students to understand the overall campus knowledge of suicide prevention and mental health services. This helps them identify students’ needs and encourage people to


In 2014, the team visited a school in Gadsden County to advocate for greater conversations between students and teachers regarding suicide and living well. The team developed a presentation for students and faculty and brought in 12 graduate students who visited each classroom and spoke to students and teachers.

“It was sad to see kids who were struggling, but rewarding to be able to respond to a need and apply our research to real situations,” said Swanbrow Becker. The visit became not only a learning experience for the students and faculty, but also an important achievement for team members who now had a better idea of the community’s needs. Due to their success, the team was invited back the following year. In addition to research in the


Dr. Marty Swanbrow Becker

field, the College of Education’s Suicide Prevention Research Team collaborates with and provides support to programs on campus with like-minded goals of suicide prevention and mental health improvement. In 2015, the team helped secure a three-year federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to fund the Noles CARE in Academics project. Developed as a collaborative effort and led by Dr. Hillary Singer, Noles CARE provides training to faculty, staff and students within the university’s academic departments to localize sources of support in the learning environment of students and to encourage early detection of student distress and referrals for professional help. “Our hope and purpose is to eliminate death by suicide in the FSU community through increasing awareness and decreasing the stigma of

campus wide mental health concerns, in addition to facilitating a culture of caring and overall wellness,” said Singer. Another campus program the team collaborates with is Active Minds. Co-founded by team members Jaylene and Jaymee Spannring, Active Minds is a national organization that works toward decreasing the stigma of mental health issues while serving as mental health advocates within both the campus community and the city of Tallahassee. Earlier this year, Active Minds partnered with Renew FSU, an undergraduate mental health advocacy and peer-education program sponsored by the University Counseling Center, to promote resiliency through the Be Happy event held on April 14, 2016. Be Happy brought together campus organizations to help students destress in the midst of final exams and projects. From coloring pages to knitting, and even pet therapy, the event consisted of a variety of different stress relieving activities. Once students completed five different activities, they were rewarded with free ice cream. 14 organizations participated in the event, and more than 200 students, faculty and staff attended. “The event built awareness about mental health and healthy living by teaching stress and time management, and relationship and study skills,” said Jaylene Spannring. “People from diverse disciplines could reach out to different groups to get more information on mental health.”

As for the future of Swanbrow Becker’s team, the key is collaboration. Kirsten Christensen, an undergraduate student on the team who is studying psychology and statistics, has reached out to organizations at Florida State such as the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), Student Council for Undergraduate Research and Creativity (SCURC), and Healthy Noles in an effort to seek out students’ opinions and increase their network of people with whom they can successfully engage. “Departments and offices across campus want to help students, but if they’re working on their own they sometimes don’t know how to,” Christensen explained. “We want to pair with organizations throughout campus to broaden our reach so we can best help students.” Jaymee Spannring notes that in their hopes for the future, the team would like to see a mobile app in which they can connect with more people across campus and provide access to UCC resources. “Students want more training, but it’s hard when people are busy. It’s hard to prioritize [emotional welfare].” Having a mobile app would improve this effort, increase connectivity and expand the conversation. They know the simple act of being able to talk to someone about suicide prevention and emotional well-being helps create a campus where community members truly support each other. If you would like to learn how to help, visit www. More information about the Suicide Prevention Research Team can be found at suicide-prevention.




STEM Instruction for Students with Autism

by Kelli Gemmer

In the United States, 1 in 68 children are identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Even though children can be diagnosed with ASD as early as two years old, most are not diagnosed until after they turn four. Because schools play a vital role in evaluating and serving children with ASD, it is essential for future teachers to be adequately prepared. Teachers should leave their teacher education programs with an understanding of autism as a spectrum disorder, the complex challenges and characteristics associated with ASD, how to assess students with ASD, positive behavior supports, evidencebased practices for learners with ASD, and family support systems. To help prepare special education teachers at Florida State, Drs. Kelly Whalon and Mary Frances Hanline received funding for a new U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Research Leadership personnel preparation grant. The grant, which began in January 2015, focuses on the unique and varied learning needs of Pre-K–12 students with ASD in the areas of science and mathematics education (ASD-STEM). “The goal of ASD-STEM is to implement and evaluate a



Ph.D. program that prepares five scholars with expertise on adapting mathematics and science instruction for Pre-K-12 learners with ASD,” said Whalon, assistant professor of special education and co-project director. Through this program, the ASD-STEM scholars are being prepared to assume faculty positions at institutions of higher education. Other project faculty members include Dr. Mary Frances Hanline, professor of special education and co-project director; Dr. Elizabeth Jakubowski, associate professor of mathematics education; and Dr. Sherry Southerland, professor of science education. In addition, several FSU faculty serve on the advisory council, including Dr. Marty Swanbrow Becker, assistant professor of psychological and counseling services; Dr. Bradley Cox, assistant professor of higher education; Dr. Shengli Dong, assistant professor of psychological and counseling services; Dr. Fengfeng Ke, associate professor of instructional systems and learning technologies; Dr. Lindee Morgan, associate in medicine; and Dr. Juliann Woods, associate dean of research in the FSU College of Communication and Information. The grant is currently funding five doctoral students in the special education program: Sarah Cox, Nanette Hammons, Bonnie Henning, Steve Garris and Elizabeth

Jackson. In a cohort model, the students participate in coursework, university teaching and service experiences consistent with the recommendations made by the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate Report and the Foundation of Scholars. The students also participate in 20 hours of research with project faculty each week.

“Students with autism have as much potential as any student to be successful in life; we just need to find ways to support these students in their educational journeys.” “One of my favorite aspects of research involvement is the chance to find practices that will support and help children to be more successful in the field,” said doctoral student

Bonnie Henning. “Almost half of individuals with autism have average or above intelligence; however, they are often not given the opportunities to learn in the same way or be a part of the general education classroom. Students with autism have as much potential as any student to be successful in life; we just need to find ways to support these students in their educational journeys. I love research because it creates an avenue to produce evidence-based interventions to support students with autism on this educational journey.”

“The prevalence of children being diagnosed with ASD continues to increase, thus creating even greater need for further research in areas of need for these students, as well as potential interventions that may help this drastically diverse population of students,” said doctoral student Sarah Cox.

In addition, youth with ASD are at risk for not graduating on time as well as not being college-ready. By training future special education teachers and providing access to the general education curriculum to students with ASD, educators are likely to enhance Research addressing academic the post-school outcomes of this instruction for learners with ASD population of learners. has only recently emerged. Therefore, there is great need for faculty and “I truly know that the information I students to conduct research in am learning and the experiences I am a authentic classroom settings to part of will shape not only my life," said identify the most effective methods Henning, "but help me to shape others to enhance the academic skills of in a meaningful and effective way.” children and youth with ASD.

Special Education doctoral students (L-R) Bonnie Henning, Elizabeth Jackson, Sarah Cox, Steve Garris, and Nanette Hammons



Line of Legality Sports Gambling Gains National Spotlight By Alexandra Pushkin

From betting between friends at a Super Bowl party to those in higher positions manipulating games to produce their desired outcome, gambling in the world of sports has many facets and the line of legality can become blurred. Dr. Ryan Rodenberg, an associate professor in the Department of Sport Management at Florida State, looks at new ways to detect gambling-related corruption. Since receiving his J.D. from the University of Washington in 2000 and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2009, Rodenberg has studied legal and quantitative analyses of sports gambling and manipulation of outcomes while teaching Sport Law at Florida State.

“If one person starts accepting wagers as an unlicensed bookie, that’s when it becomes illegal.”

According to Rodenberg, “Gambling data can be used to detect the manipulation of sporting events. Looking at certain patterns, such as betting too much or betting too much at certain times, can hint at the possibility of manipulation for that specific game.” When it came to the manipulation of outcomes, Rodenberg looked at European soccer – specifically French and Italian leagues. He found that a small percent of matches had predetermined outcomes; however, monitoring these games are increasingly difficult in Europe, where, unlike in the United States, stock exchanges in sports are legal. “High-profile athletes are less likely to be bribed to make moves beneficial to the ones betting on the game rather than the team itself. Athletes that are not as sought-after, on the other hand, are more likely to be persuaded,” explained



Rodenberg. “Studying these smaller offered to any state that had a history on the difference between betting patterns can help identify where of licensed gambling and met the amongst friends and state-sanctioned manipulation occurs.” specific criteria under the law. gambling. “If one person starts accepting wagers as an unlicensed In contrast, legal issues, such as the Rodenberg tracked this case for bookie, that’s when it becomes fact that four states in the U.S. allow two years, eventually taking a trip illegal.” sports gambling, affect the uniformity to Washington, D.C. where he acted of the law and leave many in the as an amicus curiae, or “friend of There are both pros and cons to gambling and political world asking, the court,” to the case, having his legalizing sports gambling. According “What about my state?” research translated into a legal brief. to Rodenberg, if sports gambling is legalized, “Fans will see an increase In August 2012, Governor of New Rodenberg’s research has also led in gambling-related advertising. Jersey Chris Christie asked just that. him to testify at a Congressional Leagues will posit that types of The four major sports leagues (MLB, hearing in the House for fantasy data are proprietary and will seek NBA, NFL and NHL) as well as the sports contest providers DraftKings licensing fees from sportsbooks and NCAA sued Governor Christie and FanDuel. Certain sports leagues, fantasy operators. The leagues will because he wanted to legalize sports including the NBA, NHL, MLB and also look to offer wagering options gambling in New Jersey in order to MLS, own equity stakes in daily to consumers. Finally, like fantasy’s bring more business to Atlantic City fantasy companies and don’t see emphasis on player outcomes, sports casinos. The leagues sued Christie fantasy games as sports gambling. betting will continue to shift sporting under the Professional and Amateur In a November 6, 2012 deposition, events from competition between Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a law MLB executive Thomas Ostertag said, teams and players to a commercialized passed back in 1992 focused on land- “Fantasy sports are not illegal. There’s spectacle. Gambling and fantasy drive based sports betting. PASPA prohibits no threat to our sport from fantasy consumer interest.” sports gambling across the United games, none whatsoever.” States except in four states – Nevada, Learn more about Rodenberg’s Oregon, Delaware and Montana – Rodenberg spoke as a “neutral research at to a grandfather clause that was academic” at the hearing, expounding and-staff/dr-ryan-rodenberg.



Taking Counsel FSU’s Tech Center pioneers career counseling research of national interest By Ashley Tressel


he College of Education is home to myriad partnerships aimed at furthering research and enhancing educational opportunities for all, both on campus and abroad. One such partnership is a collaborative research center at Florida State University that offers hands-on experience to our career counseling students to prepare them for positions in career counseling, career placement, academic advising and professional counseling. It also aids students, professionals and researchers interested in career development and information technology. The Center for the Study of Technology in Counseling and Career Development, commonly referred to as the Tech Center, is a joint partnership between the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in the College of Education and the Career Center in the Division of Student Affairs. Housed in the Career Center, the Tech Center was established in 1986 to assist practitioners, researchers, software developers and policymakers in improving the design and use of information technology in counseling and career development.



The College of Education’s Dr. Debra Osborn, associate professor of psychological and counseling services, and Dr. James P. Sampson, associate dean and Mode L. Stone distinguished professor of counseling and career development, serve as the Tech Center’s co-directors. College of Education team members also include Senior Research Associates and Professor Emeriti Drs. Gary Peterson and Robert Reardon, and research associate Dr. Janet G. Lenz, associate-in professor and career counseling program director. The Tech Center’s objectives focus on three areas pertaining to information technology in career counseling and development: research, service and teaching. With regard to research, the Tech Center team conducts original research on the impact of information technology in counseling and development on individual users and institutions for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of counseling and guidance services. Peterson, Reardon and Sampson study how to reach the most students without losing quality.

“Dr. Reardon created a career counseling model called ‘brief counseling’ that serves thousands and thousands of FSU students,” said Sampson. Through this brief counseling model, students walk in and receive the information they need in bite-sized morsels. It’s a cost-effective alternative to the traditional scheduled meeting, which typically lasts an hour, thus limiting the number of students that counselors can see. Brief counseling was implemented at FSU over two decades ago, where it quickly garnered attention. Peterson, Reardon and Sampson served as traveling consultants helping other centers adopt their method. “We were developing one-stop career centers nationwide and even worldwide, including countries in Europe and Asia,” said Sampson. In bringing their model to other centers, they looked hard at how social justice, or injustice, fit in. Knowing that not everyone has access to career counseling services, whether because of socioeconomic status or location, the team wanted to be sure they weren’t perpetuating that trend. “We’re supposed to be the good guys; we’re supposed to be helping people,” said Sampson. “It’s uncomfortable to think that maybe we had designed a service that may not be helping people as much as it could.”

help. However, the brief counseling model frees up resources so the cost doesn’t fall on the clients’ shoulders. “We have a responsibility as counselors and educators to try to make educational and employment opportunities open for everyone,” remarked Sampson.

Through the old, appointment-based model, only those who could afford to pay for their time received

In addition to studying the cost-effectiveness of career service delivery, members of the Tech Center team also study the correlation between mental health disorders and bad career choices. In her research, Dr. Debra Osborn has detected patterns of dysfunctional career thinking, such as, “There’s no career out there for me,” or “I don’t know what career I’d like.” Osborn and a few researchers published a workbook to help combat these negative thoughts with strategies like cognitive restructuring. “We saw pretty dramatic decreases in negative thoughts from several of our clients with severe negative thinking after using the workbook,” said Osborn.

Dr. Jim Sampson presenting at the Society for Vocational Psychology Conference

Another aspect of the Tech Center involves conducting in-service training for various counseling professionals via workshops, seminars and symposia sponsored by professional associations, institutions and agencies. This past May, the Career Center and the College of Education partnered to host the 2016 Society for Vocational Psychology Biennial Conference held at Florida State University. The 2016 Conference Committee consisted primarily of Tech Center members including Lenz, Osborn, Peterson, Reardon, (continued...)



Sampson and Dr. Casey Dozier, Tech Center research associate and program director for career advising and counseling at the Career Center. The Tech Center also focuses on teaching, particularly providing students in graduate level counseling courses in the university with instructional materials and access to up-to-date information technology necessary to integrate theory and practice related to the use of technology in counseling and career development. In addition, several graduate students in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems serve as career advisors. Osborn oversees these graduate students who counsel part-time at the Career Center. Shae McCain, doctoral student in counseling psychology and school psychology, counsels students and also studies mental issues ranging from schizophrenia to adjusting to college. While he recognizes the job’s challenges, he likes its diversity – no case is the same. According to him, “You get to put on your problem-solving hat and work with



the students to find the solution that best fits them.” Taylor Pentz, a student counselor pursuing his master’s and specialist degrees in career counseling, notes that the ability to help people overcome their uncertainty is what drew him to the field of career counseling. “It’s so fulfilling to see that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life,” said Pentz. During her time at FSU, Lauren Meyer, an undergraduate in the School of Communication, has taken advantage of the tools and services offered at the Career Center. “During my senior year, I scheduled appointments with a career counselor once a week, and I was really able to dive deeper into my career options and the different paths I could take to get there,” began Meyer. “Every visit I learned something new or used a new resource to help me network and look for jobs. The FSU Career Center has played a large role in my college career here at FSU.” For students like Meyer, the FSU Career Center is full of people waiting to help and the Tech Center ensures that students get the best help possible.


Impacting education around the world

The Global Sport Arena....18 International Travel Scholarships....20



The Global Sport Arena By Kelli Gemmer


cross the globe, sport plays an important role in forming the experiences and identities of people often living in very different and diverse cultural, political, economic and technological conditions. Each summer, students in the sport management program are offered the opportunity to participate in a four-week summer program in London called the Global Sport Management Program. “The Global Sport Program has been running as a standalone program since 2007; however, before that it was a program that went to both London and Paris, which began in 2003 and continued until 2006,” said Jennifer Fisher, academic program coordinator for FSU International Programs. Through readings, lectures and an all-encompassing, month-long stay in London, the FSU Global Sport Management program examines the relationship between local sport cultures and the globalizing

forces shaping the contemporary sporting existence. “We want students to use a critical mind when exploring sport venues, watching international sport events and debating global sport issues,” said Dr. Katie Flanagan, assistant instructor in the Department of Sport Management. “When they are able to question the things they see both abroad and in the U.S., they are able to become more well-rounded future sport managers and global citizens.” Flanagan, who is also a three-time alumna from the FSU College of Education (B.S. ’04 Sport Management and Communication, M.S. ’08 Recreation and Leisure Administration, Ph.D. ‘13 Sport Management), was a student in the Global Sport Management program in 2003. “It was literally life changing for me and I am both thrilled and honored to have been a program leader this past summer,” she remarked.

Sport Management students at Emirates Stadium in London, England during the 2014 Global Sport Management trip



Sport Management students at the Celtic vs. VfL Wolfsburg soccer game in Glasgow, Scotland

In addition to Flanagan, sport management faculty members Joshua Newman and Jason Pappas also help to lead the Global Sport Management program each summer. The objective is to encourage students to consider how various sport practices, bodies, products and spectacles operate in both global and local arenas. Participating students attend major sporting events, meet with executives from Europe’s leading sport agencies, tour some of the United Kingdom’s most famous sporting venues and learn from the leading scholars about the global sport industry. These experiential learning activities help impact how students think about sport. “The lessons we learned in the classroom went along with the stadiums we visited,” said alumna Kaitlyn Stolzenberg (B.S. ’16 Sport Management). Some students, like Stolzenberg, develop an interest in working outside the U.S. and this program provides an opportunity to establish an international professional network.

After participating in the 2015 Global Sport Management program, Stolzenberg returned to London in the fall to network and meet with NFL International representatives. In October of 2015, she worked the Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets NFL game in London. “I was able to work alongside some of my bosses from the U.S., as well as work with the NFL U.K. staff,” said Stolzenberg, who worked in the area of community relations, dealing particularly with the youth community. While the Global Sport Management program is a great professional networking tool for current students, it also helps them adjust their sports lens to better understand the role of sport in cultures and current events throughout the world. By examining sport within different cultural settings, students can see how contemporary sport cultures are influenced by the workings of global, economic, political and cultural forces while simultaneously seeking to express local conditions and identities.



“Cuba awakened me in ways I didn’t expect – and not just because I was able to finally try ‘real’ Cuban coffee.”


INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS The College of Education International Travel Scholarship was established to provide students an opportunity to gain new cultural experiences and enhance their degree programs. Each year, it is offered to undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Education as a way for them to immerse themselves in other cultures and broaden their career opportunities. Their chosen travel must be applicable to their career in education and of significant interest so they can share their passion and experiences with students and faculty upon their return.



Stephanie Brown

Degree Level: Doctoral Program: Sociocultural and International Development Education Studies Travel Location: Cuba

Q: Where did you travel? What made you choose that location? A: In February 2014, I traveled to Havana and Cienfuegos, Cuba with the group, “Búsquedas Investigativas,” for a 10-day educational research trip. Not only am I in my fourth year working toward attaining my Ph.D. in Sociocultural and International Development Education Studies, but I’m also an American plagued by wanderlust and there was definitely a certain allure about participating in an educational research trip to Cuba. The “stars were aligned” in terms of timing – from when I was first exposed to the opportunity itself, to graciously receiving funding from the College of Education travel scholarship and coincidentally having a qualitative research class that same semester taught by a professor who was more than willing to let me use this unique learning opportunity for my final qualitative project in his course.

Q: Describe your experience.

educational research topics. I have dedicated my entire life to education and this trip gave me the opportunity to examine any topic I wanted related to Cuba’s educational system, policies and practices through an intensive ten days of research with Cuba’s largest teacher association, la Asociación de Pedagogos de Cuba (APC). Research

“My experiences studying, working, traveling and now researching abroad have provided me with a deeper understanding of myself as an American and of other cultures...” questions were submitted in advance so the APC could make arrangements with the appropriate Cuban educators most suitable to assist us. After much thought, I chose the topic of teacher preparation to help develop my research questions.

A: Cuba awakened me in ways I didn’t expect – and not just because I was able to finally try “real” Cuban coffee. The trip was framed as a unique opportunity to collaborate with Cuban educators on self-selected Through interviews and focus groups

with secondary school students and teachers as well as teacher education professors from the University of Havana, I examined what factors characterize teacher preparation in Cuba’s educational system. I then used this learning to look critically at my own experience in this setting with an autoethnographic lens, to illuminate a reflexive account of my perceptions of teacher preparation in this political, cultural and social context, both as an American and as an educator. My research findings fell into three broad themes and have provided a platform for me to reflect on the way I was prepared as a teacher in the U.S., and also how I am preparing to hopefully become a professor who conducts educational research.

Q: What impact has this trip had on you? A: Most importantly, I am now 100% sure I was not born to salsa. Being able to travel to Cuba just before the diplomatic ties were restored between Cuba and the U.S. enabled me to have one last chance to see Cuba before the changes that are likely to ensue with less travel restrictions on U.S. citizens. With limited or no internet and cell phone access, it was like going back in time – especially getting into one of their beautifully preserved, 1956 Plymouth “Belvedere” taxis, also a solemn reminder of the U.S. trade sanctions on Cuba in place since 1962. My experiences studying, working, traveling and now researching abroad have provided me with a deeper understanding of myself as an American and of other cultures, now inclusive of the Cuban culture. (continued...)



This short but powerful trip provided me with a glimpse into the inner workings of an education system that has still found great success despite a tumultuous political history. I believe my ability to recognize myself both within and separate from an environment and culture will be an asset to my students when teaching and in the research collaborations I aim to engage in with my colleagues.

Q: What are your plans for the future? A: Upon completion of my dissertation, I aspire to secure a tenure track faculty position at a Research I institution in a school/college of education. I hope to teach courses around relevant topics in U.S. education or on international and comparative education. I also want to continue to conduct research on the topic of partnerships in education and possibly broaden my horizons to include an international perspective on this promising approach to improving school systems around the world.

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies for their mentorship and for the profound influence they have had during my doctoral journey so far: Dr. Stacey Rutledge and Dr. Patrice Iatarola. Almost four years ago, they hired me as a research assistant to work on a large educational research project, which evolved into a learning experience that has taught me so much of what I know about research, communication and collaboration. This knowledge served me well during my experience in Cuba and is now shaping my entire dissertation and who I am becoming as a researcher. It is not up to our professors to find opportunities like Cuba was for me, though it is certainly valued when they do and I have been extremely fortunate in that way. These professors

did not tell me about the trip to Cuba or the generous COE travel scholarship I received to do so, but they still continuously showed their support and later offered me varied opportunities to share my unique learning experience with others. Because of that, several peers are applying to go on the very same trip this year. You never know what resources may be directly in front of you or on the other side of an unknown door, but it is up to you, not your professors, to find out. Learning opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, all of which can teach us or others things we didn’t even know we wanted or needed to learn. Like how to salsa.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add? A: I want to acknowledge two professors in the Department of Stephanie Brown with the principal of Frank País Secondary School and another trip participant in Cienfuegos, Cuba

8th grade class at Frank País Secondary School in Cienfuegos, Cuba



Jennifer Rodriguez Degree Level: Master’s Program: Sociocultural and International Development Education Studies Travel Location: Peru Q: Where did you travel? What Q: Describe your experience. made you choose that location? A: During my four weeks in Iquitos, I A: The College of Education travel scholarship made a generous contribution to my month-long field research in Iquitos, Loreto, Peru. I chose the Iquitos program because I was aware of Dr. Juan Galeano’s growing and fluid expertise in Peruvian Amazon riverine cosmologies and ways of life. He headed the program I was a part of, and his research and knowledge aligned with my personal and academic interest in sociocultural perceptions of gender existing across multiple contexts. However, once I arrived, my research took a turn towards teachers’ interpretations of a quality education.

supported a quality primary education project at a non-profit organization called Asociacion La Restinga. The mission at La Restinga is to empower children and adolescents living in Pueblo Libre, a low-resource district in Iquitos. La Restinga aims to encourage creative impulse, critical thinking, and self-advocacy. Becoming a part of La Restinga’s family allowed me to experience some of the fundamental educational elements,

such as individual choice and social consciousness, that would serve as a framework for my main research questions about how global policy for quality of education is contextualized at a local level.

Q: What impact has this trip had on you? A: The teachers with whom I worked alongside at La Restinga interpreted and adapted the global program quality education objectives to reflect their own consciousness of Pueblo Libre as a community with widespread poverty and complex dilemmas of health and social safety. When addressing the program, they interpreted its objectives in terms of community, love and care in order to meet the children’s context. These findings provide a valuable framework and method for better understanding how global quality education discourses are intermediated by teacher beliefs. As for the program (continued...)

Rodriguez and Dr. Juan Galeano arriving at La Restinga.

Tour guide showing off an owl-like Amazonian butterfly species at the mariposario (butterfly habitat) in Padre Cocha.



itself, the multiple planned and unplanned contexts that I was exposed to as part of the study group and as an individual researcher taught me to assume nothing, maintain composure and approach new experiences mindfully. Professors Rebecca Morgan and Juan Galeano demonstrated exemplary flexibility and passion for exploration and human connection during our field excursions. Journey to Amazonia, as the program is so aptly titled, is a unique and complex experience that I value dearly and reflect upon continuously.

Q: What are your plans for the future? A: At the moment, I work for a nonprofit organization in Seattle performing direct social service in the homes of immigrant and refugee families from Mexico,

Afghanistan, Pakistan, East Africa and Cambodia. I follow the developmental parenting model to engage parents in supporting their child’s development through collaborative planning, responsiveness and encouragement. The work I do is cross-cultural and every day I morph into an unassuming and adaptable sponge while still maintaining deadlines and state requirements as I walk into my families’ homes—similar to the intimate work and living I experienced in Iquitos. The experience I had working with teachers and families at La Restinga provided me with useful tools for my current career: to acknowledge and foster the ways in which parents intermediate U.S. research-based child development practices and their own personal and sociocultural lens.

The group arriving in San Rafael



Inspired Profiles in student leadership

Unconquered Scholars....26 Leading by Example....28 Student Profile - Daniel Die....30 Student Profile - Robin Krause....32 THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


Unconquered Scholars Tiffany Anderson and Michael Dixon-Peabody

by Kelli Gemmer

“That was where my passion for education really evolved and I fell in love with the idea of being a teacher.”


hen Michael Dixon-Peabody was asked at age 7 about his interest in college, he already knew that he wanted to attend a major university, something no one in his family had done before.

Dixon-Peabody is one of two College of Education (COE) alumni who recently graduated from the Unconquered Scholars program, an innovative Florida State University program that helps students who have faced profound hardships during childhood increase their chances of success in college. He graduated this past spring with his bachelor’s degree in social science education alongside fellow COE Unconquered Scholar, Tiffany Anderson. Established in 2012, Dixon-Peabody and Anderson were part of the first class of Unconquered Scholars, a program within the FSU Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE). CARE is a multifaceted center that provides preparation, orientation and academic support programming for students who are among the first in their family to attend college. Since these students face unique challenges in college



due to economic and educational circumstances, the Unconquered Scholars program collaborates with partners across campus to offer services that include college life coaching, tutoring, financial aid assistance, mental health counseling, and academic and skills workshops. FSU’s Unconquered Scholars program was recently named a “Model of Excellence” by University Business magazine for implementing innovative, crossdepartmental programs to foster student success. Florida State is one of 17 colleges and universities nationally to receive the honor in the winter 2015 round of awards. This national recognition exemplifies Florida State’s commitment to helping meet the unique needs of students so they experience the long-term professional and personal benefits associated with higher education. Dixon-Peabody first realized he wanted to be a teacher in the 7th grade. After his high school received an F rating, prompting intervention by the state, he was able to witness the behind-the-scenes work that went on, further confirming his choice to go into education.

“I was class president and a part of several boards at my school so I worked with state and county employees in an effort to help turn the school around,” said DixonPeabody. “That was where my passion for education really evolved and I fell in love with the idea of being a teacher.” When Dixon-Peabody toured FSU, not only did he get “that feeling,” but he also found a lot of the characteristics that first-generation college students look for: a big school, football, conferences – ultimately the whole college experience. When selecting his major, he already had an idea of where he wanted to be. “When I toured the FSU College of Education, I knew that it was for me, specifically the social science education program, which not a lot of schools have,” said Dixon-Peabody. “After taking my first education class, Introduction to Education, I knew that this program aligned perfectly with my goals.” Tiffany Anderson grew up the youngest of six children in a single parent household in Staten Island, New York, before moving to Hollywood, Florida, in 2005. The first of her siblings to attend college, she graduated this past spring with her bachelor’s degree in English education. Anderson first discovered her passion for teaching in middle school. She admired her teachers’ passion and instructional techniques, something she hoped to replicate in the future. It wasn’t until her time at FSU that Anderson learned of her preference toward literature, leading her to major in English education. “Majoring in English education not only helped me to be confident in my career through preparation, it also made me a well-rounded individual,” said Anderson. “While public speaking has always been my biggest fear, majoring in education helped me face those fears in a comforting and invigorating environment.” The Unconquered Scholars program, which started with only about 20 scholars, has grown to 77.

By providing students with guidance, continual mentorship, advocacy, and security, the program helps students who may not have otherwise had the financial or emotional support throughout college to accomplish their goals and dreams. Anderson and Dixon-Peabody are both beginning their careers as teachers. Dixon-Peabody is teaching 9th grade world geography in Dallas, Texas, with Teach for America. “Even though it’s not the traditional career route for education graduates, Teach for America's mission and goals enticed me to go into that program.” Though he plans to begin his teaching career out of state, Dixon-Peabody is considering teaching abroad in the future. Anderson is teaching language arts at Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida. She plans on returning to school to attain her master’s and doctorate degrees in higher education, with the ultimate dream of becoming a school principal. “Educating the children of the future is the most rewarding aspect of teaching,” said Anderson. “Seeing a student’s growth from the beginning and watching them flourish in class puts a smile on my face.”



Leading By Example The College of Education Student Leadership Council by Kelli Gemmer


his past year, the College of Education formed its inaugural student leadership council to represent our students on all levels, including a representation of the college’s diversity. The College of Education Student Leadership Council (COESLC) provides for the mutual exchange of ideas and open dialogue between undergraduate students, graduate students and the college administration.

them to become productive and successful citizens.”

The COESLC is composed of a group of goal-oriented, dynamic and responsible students who help to shape the educational experience of their peers within the college. The students represent all departments in the college and are either self-nominated or nominated by college faculty and staff to serve on the committee for a renewable seven-month term, from October through April.

In Spring 2016, the COESLC hosted three town hall meetings to solicit feedback from students regarding what’s working well, in addition to areas for improvement within the college, their department and their program. The group has since begun an action plan in response to issues discovered through this feedback.

“We wanted to create an environment that promotes student scholarship, leadership and success,” said Dr. Amy Guerette, associate dean for academic affairs. “Furthermore, we created the SLC to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions that will enable



Guerette and her graduate assistant, Jason Guilbeau, lead the COESLC through monthly meetings in which they discuss potential opportunities and ideas for the college. These monthly meetings offer a forum for the college’s leadership to solicit advice and perspectives on decisions affecting matters of importance to students.

COESLC members gain a valuable network with college administration, faculty, staff and other students while making a significant impact on the College of Education and Florida State University. By serving as a voice for their peers, they not only gain valuable leadership skills, but also enhance their reasoning and critical thinking abilities.

2015-2016 Student Leadership Council Barbara “Barbie” Bauer Sport Management

Brittany Sinitch English Education

John Dilks Educational Leadership/ Administration

Katelyn Rodd Social Science Education

Fabrizio Fornara Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies

Keturah Young English Education

James Harwood Sport Management

Matthew Hawzen Sport Management

Jenay Sermon Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies

Anna Ward Sport Psychology

Jennifer Fryer Education Policy & Evaluation

Taylor Locks Higher Education



Student Profile

Daniel Die Degree Level: Master’s Program: Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies Hometown: West Chester, PA 30


Q: When did you discover your passion for your field? A: There wasn’t a singular point for me when I discovered my passion for instructional design. Rather, my passion for the field has been growing and developing the more I learn about it. It’s encouraging to see that with every class I take, I am more and more excited about my field.

Q: Why did you choose Florida State University? A: I applied to Florida State University because it is ranked very highly for its Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (ISLT) program, and it was recommended to me by many instructional designers as one of the premier Instructional System Design (ISD) programs in the country. When I visited FSU, I was made to feel at home immediately and met a bunch of amazing people. It felt to me that the ISLT program really wanted me to be here and succeed. I chose FSU over other universities because of the amazing support and culture our program fosters.

past, but for me nothing beats closing out a successful semester. Especially if there are 3-5 assignments due the last week of a semester. Not only is it exciting to have so much to do, but it is incredibly rewarding to finish and even more so to do well on those final assignments. This has happened before, but this first semester of my master’s program felt really good to finish and I’d consider it to be the most rewarding so far.

Q: What is a fun fact about yourself? A: I was a ski instructor at Beaver Creek for two and a half years. If finishing a semester is the most rewarding experience in school, instructing was the most rewarding job I’ve had. Getting a new skier to the top of the mountain for the

first time, breaking through on a new skill, or conquering a fear are some of the greatest feelings as an instructor. Skiing as a job was pretty awesome too.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your degree? A: I plan on becoming a consulting instructional designer. Best case scenario is I get to work with different companies on many different instructional design projects. I would hopefully get to travel a lot and pick where I want to live if I am working remotely. The potential of working in the consulting world is really high, and the workload can be very demanding. While I am not opposed to other instructional design jobs, I think consulting would be my best fit.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? A: I enjoy being outside! I spent the last 2.5 years living next to a ski mountain, so I skied a lot. I also like to hike, golf and sit by the pool.

Q: Describe your most rewarding college experience.

A: I’ve been pretty active in student government both currently and in the

“If finishing a semester is the most rewarding experience in school, instructing was the most rewarding job I’ve had.”



Student Profile

Robin Krause Degree Level: Doctoral Program: Educational Leadership & Policy Hometown: Tallahassee, FL 32


Q: When did you discover your passion for your field?

Q: What do you hope from asynchronous classes was very to accomplish with your rewarding. We were all treated to a sit-down dinner and given the My passion for children stemmed degree? from a summer babysitting business I started in my early teens. Subsequently, my church was in need of Sunday School teachers and I volunteered to teach second grade. I took my guitar, used music, singing and movement as the preferred modalities to engage the students. I was hooked!

I hope to support classroom teachers and add value to their craft through the identification of problems of practice in the field of education. In addition, I desire to work in a program evaluation and policy analysis position that further supports teachers.

Q: Describe the most rewarding experience you’ve had in your I was born and raised in Tallahassee program so far Q: Why did you choose Florida State University?

and I have many roots here. Florida State University afforded me the opportunity to stay in my hometown, be with my family, and continue to teach. As a single mother of two girls, FSU was the perfect fit as a result of the inaugural online doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy. The asynchronous classes provide me with the flexibility to be a parent, work full-time and pursue my academic goals.

I think the face-to-face session was the most memorable part of the program. It was an honor to be recognized with a picture on the COE’s social media channels to welcome our cohort as the first online Ed.D. program at FSU. Building the comradery that is often missing

opportunity to make meaningful connections with students from all over the state with whom we might not otherwise have had contact.

Q: What advice would you give to future student teachers? Chunking is my secret to success. It allows me to complete tasks in small attainable stages through deliberate and careful planning. This enables me to manage my family, academics and work without feeling overwhelmed. Teaching is a way of life and if it is truly your passion, it will be your motivation and purpose. Let this passion and motivation fuel your academic pursuits as you aspire to add value to your purpose.

Q: What is a fun fact about yourself? I worked as a Delta Airlines Flight Attendant for 18 years and flew all over the world.

Q: What’s been your most memorable moment as a teacher? There are too many memorable moments to capture, but they all involve the love and respect conferred upon me by my students. These intrinsic motivators are the fuel that drives my passion. Feeling as if I am someone who truly matters in the eyes of my students adds value to my life.

“There are too many memorable moments to capture, but they all involve the love and respect conferred upon me by my students.”



Engaged Events and philanthropy

Finding Our Niche....35 Distinguished Alumni Awards....38 College of Education Week...42



Finding Our Niche Initiatives in Rural Education by Kevin Derryberry


ast summer, Dean Marcy Driscoll ran a summer breakfast series here at the College of Education to focus on areas where the College excels and others where we could improve. Representatives from across the College met to discuss programs as different as Sport Management and Early Childhood Education and what we all have in common.

A variety of programs from literacy intervention to professional development were giving back to rural communities where alumni were creating more scholarships for students from educationally disadvantaged areas. Alumni support has allowed the College to give back to rural education in a number of interesting ways.

Scholarships were a consistent source of pride. With more than half a million dollars in alumni-created scholarships each year supporting around 180 students, the College of Education offers more scholarships than any other College at FSU.

The North Florida Freedom Schools summer reading program (featured on page 5) has perhaps the most widespread faculty interaction in the College, but it has also been embraced by our alumni. More than 150 donors contributed this past summer to the spark.fsu campaign and the College’s Great Give to raise more than $14,650 to support Gadsden and South Leon County children in need. Our alumni have not only surpassed our goals to support young students in rural counties, but they have also supported rural teachers.

But the faculty also expressed pride in a particular area of research and service that crossed departmental barriers and had widespread alumni support; nearly every program had projects devoted to rural education.



Tom and Evelyn Smith Vlasak Endowed Education Scholarship


he College’s greatest strength in private support will always be our alumni’s dedication to scholarships for students in need. Education alumni have provided more than $456,000 in endowed private support to scholarships for rural populations. The Mable Jean Morrison scholarship supports students from Okaloosa and Walton counties, the Mayme Tyner scholarship supports the entire Florida Panhandle west of Leon County, and the Mary Groover Huey and Anna Groover Carr scholarship supports Columbia and Sumter County students. In fall of 2016, the College will extend our coverage of North Florida by adding Hamilton, Madison, and Suwannee counties thanks to the support of the Tom and Evelyn Smith Vlasak Endowed Education Scholarship.

in other areas. Tom taught shop at Raa Elementary School before finding his way to law enforcement with roles at Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami Police Department and finally retiring in 2010 as an investigator with Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Evelyn taught high school math first in Monticello, then eight years in Jacksonville while taking night classes to earn a Master’s in Education from the University of North Florida and an additional degree in computer science. Seventeen years in Miami followed,

“After I graduated from Jennings High School in 1962, I was unable to go straight through college because of financial difficulties. I had to work up to 35 hours a week to cover tuition, housing and other college expenses,” explains Evelyn Vlasak. “Now that we are able to give back, we decided to provide a scholarship to the FSU College of Education through the FSU Foundation.” Both Tom (BS ’66) and Evelyn (BS ’69) graduated from the College of Education and spent time in the classroom before pursuing careers



during which time she left teaching and put her math and computer skills to work as an actuary. She retired in 2010 from the Division of Worker’s Compensation. Despite the direction their careers took them, they never lost their fondness for FSU or the College of Education: “Through the knowledge and skills we acquired in our education, we have been able to prosper and enjoy a wonderful life.” The Tom and Evelyn Smith Vlasak Endowed Education Scholarship provides a full undergraduate tuition scholarship for a Hamilton County student interested in a career in Education. Secondary preference is given to students from the adjoining counties of Madison and Suwannee.

The Phoenix Fund for Professional Development


e at the College know that the best opportunities for students come when they have the best-prepared teachers. In 2002, Cynthia Schumacher (B.A. ’50, M.A. ’51) and Nina Shuman (B.S. ’50, M.S. ’56) endowed the Phoenix Fund for Professional Development in Public Schools. Originally focused in Lake County, Florida, where Schumacher and Shuman taught until retirement in 1985, the Phoenix Fund supported several projects over the next decade. "I feel blessed with the opportunity to have received an outstanding education. We believe that every child in this county should have that same chance,” said Schumacher. In 2015, COE faculty Ella-Mae Daniel and Phyllis Underwood (BS ’85, MS ’03, PhD ’09) responded to Gadsden County’s interest in the Conscious Discipline program and the Phoenix Fund was available to support teacher training once again. The last two summers have seen half a dozen Gadsden County administrators and teachers attend the summer workshops for Conscious Discipline. Daniel describes the process as “building a culture of behavioral patterns that

FSU College of Education alumnae Cynthia Schumacher and Nina Shuman

empower teachers to create and engage students in positive classroom norms and provide high levels of positive interactions and transformative learning.” Through the Phoenix Fund, principals and teachers receive the training they have requested at no cost to them or their school. The power of the endowment is that once established, it exists in perpetuity and as the needs of communities change, the College can help meet those needs with the approval of our donors. To learn more about the professional development opportunities available through the Phoenix Fund for Educators, or how to create a rural county scholarship for students who may need a little extra help, please call Assistant Dean for Development, Kevin Derryberry, at (850) 645-0565 or e-mail

Teachers from Gadsden County Public Schools attended a training on Conscious Discipline, led by FSU College of Education faculty members Dr. Phyllis Underwood and Ella-Mae Daniel



College of Education


Established more than 25 years ago, the College of Education Distinguished Alumni Awards provide an avenue of honoring graduates of the College who have distinguished themselves through scholarly, creative and humanitarian achievement and service to their profession. The annual awards are given in six categories. Each year, recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by an esteemed committee of College of Education emeritus faculty. The College named six recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards. The winners were honored at a banquet held during College of Education Week. College administrators, faculty, staff, nominators and the families of the winners attended the celebration.



Government and Community Service

Bárbara María Moro

B.S./M.S. in Emotional/Learning Disabilities, 2008 Bárbara “Barby” María Moro has been the director of student affairs for the North Florida campuses of the Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF) since 2010. Prior to joining SSF, Moro was a part of the Leadership Team for The Oasis Center for Women & Girls, of which she is a lifetime founding member. Recently, she was honored as one of the Tallahassee Democrat’s 2015 selection of 25 Women You Need to Know. In 2013, Moro was a finalist for the Pacesetter of the Year award recognizing her as an influential leader in her community by Leadership Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, Moro won the Top A.C.E award for Authentic Community Engagement by the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals, denoting her the top person under the age of 40 to know. She has served on multiple boards, has been a Catalyst for Knight Creative Communities Institute, and is an active Big Sister for the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Moro is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee, Class 28, and earned her master’s in Emotional Disturbances and Learning Disabilities from the FSU College of Education in 2008. Afterward, she returned to FSU and in 2013, received her master’s in public administration, with a focus on nonprofit management and strategic leadership, from the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy. Moro is a first-generation college student and extremely proud to be an FSU and SSF Alumna.

Government and Community Service

Salih Binici

M.S. in Measurement and Statistics, 2002 Ph.D. in Measurement and Statistics, 2007 Salih Binici received a B.A. in counseling psychology from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in measurement and statistics from Florida State University. He is currently serving as director of psychometric services in the Office of Assessment at the Florida Department of Education. Under his leadership, Binici’s team plays an integral part in establishing the scales and scores for Florida’s large-scale assessment programs, such as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test 2.0 and Florida Standards Assessments. Binici served as president of the Florida Educational Research Association (FERA) and played a critical role in verifying that FERA addressed issues at stake for university faculty and graduate researchers, as well as assessment experts from school districts and the Florida Department of Education. Since the spring of 2007, Binici has been teaching graduate-level courses in the Measurement and Statistics program at Florida State University. (continued...)




Paul Parker

Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, 1971 Paul Parker graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in 1954 and M.A.T. in history and education in 1956. After teaching social studies for a few years, Parker became a teacher and senior administrator at Stetson University in Deland, Florida. He later became the executive director of a consortium of central Florida private colleges and universities. In 1971, Parker graduated from Florida State University with his Ph.D. in higher education administration, where he focused his research on comparative higher education in the Caribbean. During his duration at Florida State, he was a staff member on the Florida Board of Regents where he later became the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs before his departure in 1981 to become the chief academic and vocational technical officer for the then new Florida Community College System Coordinating Board. In 1991, Parker moved from the Community College System to Florida State University as a research associate for a USAID and Japanese aid funded project to upgrade 21 universities in Indonesia. He retired from FSU in 1996 at 63 years old, but has been an independent international education consultant for many multi-national and donor agencies for 20 years. In the past three years, he has spent time with the FSU Learning Systems Institute as a senior technical advisor in international basic education development programs in Indonesia. Most recently, he has been a technical advisor on a State Department exchange project for countries interested in creating colleges with similarities to our community colleges.

K-12 Education

William Jablon

M.S. in Educational Leadership/Administration, 1974

In 1968, after graduating from Boston College with a degree in English, William “Bill” Jablon headed back to his home state of Florida. Hearing about a teaching opportunity in Tallahassee, he came to Maclay School in 1969 to teach English with the intention of staying three or four years while he pursued his master’s degree at Florida State University. But Maclay became home for Jablon and his wife Ellen. They raised their three children, who were all Maclay graduates, in Tallahassee: Eileen (‘88), Michael (‘91), and Brianne (‘00). All in all, he spent over four decades as teacher, headmaster, and president of Maclay School, molding and shaping it into one of the most reputable independent private schools in the Southeast. During his years as headmaster, Jablon served 23 board chairmen and over 100 trustee members. He was a board member for the Florida Council for Independent Schools (FCIS) for two separate four-year terms, as well as having served as treasurer and vice-president. He was on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and was treasurer, secretary, and vice-president of the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). Jablon was the first private school chair of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and has chaired more than 85 accreditation teams for FCIS and SACS. In October, he received the Distinguished Leadership Award at the SAIS convention.



Postsecondary: University

Nancy Fichtman Dana

Ph.D. in Elementary Education, 1991 Nancy Fichtman Dana is currently a professor of education in the School of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at the University of Florida. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the State University of New York, she began her career as an elementary school teacher in Hannibal Central Schools, New York where she taught grades three through six. Since earning her Ph.D. from the Department of Childhood Education at Florida State University in 1991, where she completed an award-winning dissertation entitled "Four Walls with a Future: Changing Educational Practice through Collaborative Action Research," she has been a passionate advocate for the process of action research (or practitioner inquiry) in her appointments as a faculty member at both Pennsylvania State University and the University of Florida. During the 11 years she spent on the faculty at Penn State, Dana developed and co-directed the State College Area School District-Penn State Elementary Professional Development School Program, a program recognized with several national awards. She has worked with numerous schools and districts across the United States and abroad to craft professional development programs of inquiry, as well as conducted extensive research on the process. She has published ten books and over 60 articles in leading professional journals and edited books that focused on teacher and principal professional development and practitioner inquiry. Dana has received many honors including the Association of Teacher Educator’s Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award and the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) Book of the Year Award.

Distinguished Educator

John Penick

Ph.D. in Science Education, 1973 John Penick taught high school biology and chemistry in Miami, Florida, and at the university lab school at Florida State University. He also taught introductory botany and biology at Miami-Dade College. Following a Ph.D. in science education from Florida State University, he spent two years at Loyola University of Chicago, including one year as director of teacher education, 23 years at the University of Iowa, and 12 years as professor and head of the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education at North Carolina State University (NC State). Following his retirement from NC State, he became vice president for research and development at Sangari do Brasil, a major publisher of science textbooks. Penick served as president of the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), and the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE). He served four terms on the Board of the Council for Scientific Society Presidents and for 17 years was on the Board of the International Council of Associations for Science Education. Recipient of a number of awards, he has been named the Outstanding Science Educator (1987) and Outstanding Mentor (1997) by ASTE, as well as having received a “best paper” award. In 2004, NABT awarded him honorary membership, their highest honor. He has been further honored by Epsilon Pi Tau with a Distinguished Service Citation and with a Career Achievement Award from the University of Iowa. In 2013, the National Science Teachers Associate awarded him the Robert H. Carleton Award, their highest award, for his long service to the profession. On the editorial boards of a number of professional journals, Penick has authored or co-authored 40 books and major monographs and more than 260 articles, chapters and reviews in more than 60 journals. He has made more than 500 presentations to schools and professional associations.






The College of Education hosted the fifth annual College of Education Week October 26 – 31, 2015. This event, held in conjunction with FSU Parents' Weekend, included a week of symposia, presentations and events celebrating COE students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends.

Dean’s Symposium The Dean's Symposium is annual event that brings together educational researchers and scholars, state policy-makers, school administrators, teachers and teacher educators, agency officials, and Florida State faculty and students to discuss educational issues of critical importance to our state and the nation. The ninth annual Dean’s Symposium focused on postsecondary success for people of color.

Technology Showcase The Technology Showcase featured presentations related to technology in education from COE faculty and students as well as demonstrations of the myriad devices housed in the COE.



Ice Cream Social Dippin’ Dots was a hit with COE students, faculty and staff.

Harold F. Cottingham Colloquium The Harold F. Cottingham Colloquium, an annual event that honors the memory and legacy of Dr. Harold F. Cottingham, featured an evening reception followed by a panel of speakers on topics pertaining to successful innovative practice and research in psychological services. Alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students interested in the helping services attended the event.



17th Annual Sport Management Conference This annual conference, organized by the Department of Sport Management, featured presentations from highly respected professionals in the sport industry, including former students who are now members of the profession.

Distinguished Alumni Awards Banquet Established more than 25 years ago, the COE Distinguished Alumni Awards provide an opportunity to honor graduates of the College who have distinguished themselves through scholarly, creative and humanitarian achievement and service to their profession. The annual awards are given in six categories.



Pre-game Tailgate COE Week concluded with a tailgate held prior to the FSU vs. Syracuse game in the Stone building courtyard. COE students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends enjoyed food, fun, and face painting before the game.

Student and Donor Scholarship Awards Ceremony This awards ceremony recognized the student scholarship recipients and the donors who generously funded their awards.



Benchmarks Faculty & Staff Achievments

New Faculty & Staff...48 Faculty Achievements....50



Welcoming our New Faculty & Staff

Oguzcan Cig

School of Teacher Education

Kristal Clemons

M. Katie Flanagan

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Lisa Fernbach

Office of Academic Services & Intern Support (OASIS)


Department of Sport Management

Terry Graves

School of Teacher Education

Talaimoana Hagan

Office of Academic Services & Intern Support (OASIS)

Marah Kirsten Harrington Dean’s Office

Tonya Jones

Office of Academic Services & Intern Support (OASIS)

Miray Tekkumru-Kisa

School of Teacher Education

Jordan Harrison

Office of Communications & Recruitment

Jane Lo

School of Teacher Education

Qian (Jackie) Zhang

Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems

Lama Jaber

School of Teacher Education

Katie Rybakova

School of Teacher Education

Sara Sowerby

Office of Communications & Recruitment



Faculty & Staff


At the College of Education, we pride ourselves on our nationally renowned faculty, which includes eight distinguished professors and two Fulbright scholars. They pursue cutting-edge research that enriches and informs classroom teaching and their achievements gain national and international recognition. Our dedicated staff shine through their continual service to the College. The following is a list of recent recognitions and awards achieved by our esteemed faculty and staff.



Motoko Akiba, associate professor of educational leadership and policy, was promoted to professor.

Tamara Bertrand Jones, assistant professor of higher education, was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Bradley Cox, assistant professor of higher education, was promoted to associate professor with tenure and was honored with the Faculty/Staff Mentor Award from the FSU Hardee Center.

Laura Osteen, director of FSU's Center for Leadership and Social Change and higher education faculty member, received the Woman in Higher Education Achievement Award from the National Panhellenic Conference.

Kathy Guthrie, associate professor of higher education, received the Transformation Through Teaching Award from the Spiritual Life Project at FSU.

Shouping Hu, Toby Park and David Tandberg attended the Education Scholars Convening on Community College Research at the White House in January 2016.

Carolyn Herrington, professor of educational policy, was named an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow. She was also honored with the Association for Education Finance and Policy's Outstanding Service Award.

Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education, was honored with the Faculty/ Staff Mentor Award from the FSU Hardee Center.


David Tandberg’s article with Nicholas Hillman and Alisa Fryar was the second most accessed article in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA) in 2015.

Stephanie Zuilkowski, assistant professor of comparative education and international development, received the CIES Joyce Cain Award for Distinguished Research on people of African descent.

EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY & LEARNING SYSTEMS Russell Almond, associate professor of measurement and statistics, was granted tenure.

Vanessa Dennen, associate professor of instructional systems and learning technologies, was promoted to professor and received the Transformation Through Teaching Award from FSU's Spiritual Life Project.

Betsy Becker, professor of measurement and statistics and department chair, received a 2015-2016 Distinguished Research Professor Award.

Janet G. Lenz, associate-in professor of educational psychology and learning systems and program director for career counseling, received the 2016 Eminent Career Award from the National Career Development Association (NCDA).

Angela Canto, assistant professor of psychological and counseling services, was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Insu Paek, assistant professor of measurement and statistics, was promoted to associate professor with tenure.

Graig Chow, assistant professor of sport psychology, received the Faculty/Staff Seminole Award.

Debra Osborn, associate professor of psychological and counseling services, received the Transformation Through Teaching Award from the Spiritual Life Project at FSU.

Aubteen Darabi, associate professor of instructional systems and learning technologies, developed an online, instructor-led training system on port security at the Learning Systems Institute that was nominated for a Lloyd’s List 2016 North America Award.

Steven Pfeiffer, professor and director of clinical training, was extended an invitation by the Italian Parliament to testify in Rome on gifted education in schools.



Beth Phillips, associate professor of educational psychology, received a 3-year, 1 million dollar grant from the Spencer Foundation to investigate the support for language development provided in early childhood education classrooms serving children from backgrounds of poverty.

James P. Sampson, associate dean for faculty development and Mode L. Stone distinguished professor, was awarded an honorary doctorate in the faculty of education by the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

Alysia Roehrig, associate professor of educational psychology, was a recipient of the Marvalene Hughes Research Incentive Grant to conduct research on problems related to black males in education.

SCHOOL OF TEACHER EDUCATION Ella-Mae Daniel, teaching faculty I in elementary education, was promoted to specialized teaching faculty II.

Young-Suk Kim, associate professor of reading and language arts, received the 2016 Robert M. Gagné Outstanding Faculty Research Award.

Angie Davis, teaching faculty II in elementary education, was promoted to specialized teaching faculty III.

Jane Lo, assistant professor of social science education, was invited to be a fellow in the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship.

George Boggs, assistant professor of English education, was a recipient of the Marvalene Hughes Research Incentive Grant to conduct research on problems related to black males in education.

John Myers, associate professor of social science education, received tenure and was also awarded a University Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Ithel Jones, professor of early childhood education, conducted an independent evaluation of the MBF Child Safety Matters Program.



SPORT MANAGEMENT Jeffrey James, Mode L. Stone distinguished professor of sport management and department chair, was the winner of the 2015 David K. Stotlar Award.

Ryan Rodenberg, assistant professor of sport management, was promoted to associate professor with tenure and was also called to testify in Washington for a Congressional hearing looking into the daily fantasy sports industry.

RESEARCH Yaacov Petscher, researcher at the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR), was chosen as an Outstanding Reviewer for 2015 for Educational Researcher (ER).

Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi, senior research associate at the Learning Systems Institute (LSI), and a team of experts from LSI received extended funding to continue work with officials and educators in Ethiopia to reform reading instruction in the African nation.

STAFF Dawn Matthews, academic support coordinator and mapping coordinator, won Best in Region during the 2016 National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Regional Conference with fellow Advising First staff members. Peggy Lollie, academic support assistant, received the 2016 COE Outstanding Staff Member award and was honored for 35 years of service to the College of Education Kelly Conner, assistant director of administrative services, was honored for 15 years of service to the College of Education

Theresa Harrell, administrative specialist, was honored for 5 years of service to the College of Education

Jennifer Ramsey, grants manager, was honored for 5 years of service to the College of Education

Kenneth Higgins, media specialist, was honored for 5 years of service to the College of Education



Progress Reports Alumni news and notes



PROGRESS REPORTS Alumni News and Notes

1 9 6 0’s Sandra M. Fox (B.S. ’62 Elementary Education) holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. She was chairwoman of the Education Department at Lake Forest College for 11 years and then became a visiting professor at the University of California. In addition, she has taught at the International School in Munich, participated in European meetings and supervised student teachers from several U. S. universities across Europe.

James Morrison (B.S. ‘60 Social Studies Education, Ph.D. ‘69 Higher Education) was recognized with the Commitment to Excellence Award by Emeritus Alumni Society Chair Jack McCoy.

1 9 7 0’s Josephine “Jo Ann” Lordahl (Ph.D. ’70 Educational Psychology) published two new books: “Princess Ruth: Love and Tragedy in Hawaii” and “A Secret Kept in Hawaii.” James W. Carr (M.S. ’71 Higher Education, Ph.D. ’75 Higher Education), senior vice president of Harding University, was named to the Arkansas Board of Higher Education by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. Robert Fagan (M.S ’72 Measurement and Statistics, Ph.D. ’75 Learning and Cognition) retired from the Department of the Navy after 36 years of civilian service. He earned the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his contributions to the establishment of the Human Research Protection Program at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Headquarters.

Maryann “Mimi” Drake Wetherington

(B.S. ’76 Elementary Education) received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Valdosta State University and was also selected from 1,500 applicants to attend the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in New Jersey this summer. Peter Scanlon (Ph.D. ’79 Counseling Psychology), president and chairman of the board at Vandermark Foundation, was the keynote speaker for the College of Education’s fifth annual Cottingham Colloquium.



1 9 8 0’s Wayne King (M.S. ’80 Higher Education) was appointed as a member of the Hardee Center Board.

Stuart H. Weinstein (Ph.D. ’81 Instructional Systems) became principal research scientist for training and organizational development at Kaizen Approach, Inc.

Inette Dishler (M.S. ’81 Higher Education Administration) designed and built an innovative learning website called the Wisdom Café for staff at the University of California, Berkeley. Richard Stuart (B.S. ’81 Physical Education), football coach at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, became the all-time winningest Coach in Miami-Dade County.

Jeffrey A. Cantor (Ph.D. ’82 Vocational Education), a retired provost and acting vice president of Pensacola Junior College, published his 13th book, “21st-Century Apprenticeship: Best Practices for Building a WorldClass Workforce.”

1 9 9 0’s Martha Caldwell (M.A. ’91 English Education), an English teacher at the Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia, recently published a book entitled "Let’s Get Real: Exploring Race, Class, and Gender Identities in the Classroom." She is also the co-founder of iChange Collaborative, a consulting firm that trains teachers and students in inclusion education, cultural competency, social emotional learning, and ethical leadership. Mark Pritchett (Ph.D. ’91 Higher Education) was selected to be Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s new president and CEO.



David Lauer (Ed.S. ’92 Educational L e a d e r s h i p / Ad m i n i s t r a t i o n ) published a new book entitled "It’s All Good: A Career in Education," which chronicles his 42-year career in education that included positions as a teacher, coach, club sponsor, department chairman, staff development trainer, program administrator, high school principal and assistant superintendent. Charlotte Barnes (B.S. ’93 English Education) joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Karla Carney-Hall (M.S. ’93 Higher Education), vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Illinois Wesleyan University, became a member of the Hardee Center Board.

Adam DeRosa (M.S. ’97 Higher Education) was promoted to associate dean of student affairs at Broward College, South Campus in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Lynne Crosby (M.S. ’93 Higher Education), former associate vice president for institutional effectiveness and accreditation at Florida State College at Jacksonville, was named assistant provost and assistant vice president of academic affairs at Austin Peay State University.

Ryan Watkins (B.S., ’94 Mathematics Education, M.S. ’95, Ph.D. ’97 Instructional Systems) was promoted to professor of Educational Leadership at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Chris Iansiti (M.S. ’94 Instructional Systems) was named to the Florida State University Foundation Board of Trustees.

Buck Cooke (M.S. ’98 Higher Education) began work as the associate dean of student leadership at Richmond University, the American International University

Peter Curtis Leighton (M.S. ’94 Higher Education) was hired as director of marketing and client relations for Chepenik Trushin LLP in Miami, Florida.

in London.

J.R. Harding (Ed.S. ’96 Higher Education, Ed.D. ’99 Higher Education) published an autobiography, “ADA Adventures,” in which he shares and explores his unique journey as a two-time quadriplegic.

Bobbie Cavnar (B.S. ’99 English Education) was named North Carolina’s 2016 State Teacher of the Year.

2 0 0 0’s Yvette F. Greenspan (Ph.D. ’00 Science Education) announced the publication of her book, “A Guide to Teaching Elementary Science: Ten Easy Steps,” a teacher handbook that gives a step-by-step, hands-on practical guide to teaching science.

Ellen Jones (B.S. ’00 Social Science Education, M.S. ’02 Higher Education) was appointed career resource coordinator for Student Employment Services at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina.



Brooks Moore (M.S. ’00 Higher Education) was named the associate vice president for student affairs at Indiana State University.

Brandi Aronson DeRuiter (M.S. ‘01 Instructional Systems) is the vice president of governmental affairs at Bay County Chamber of Commerce in Panama City, Florida. Joy Blanchard (M.S. ’01 Higher Education) began a faculty position in the higher education program at Louisiana State University serving as assistant professor. Ingrid Guerra-Lopez (M.S. ’98, Ph.D. ’01 Instructional Systems) was promoted to professor in the College of Education at Wayne State University. She is also the director of the Institute for Learning and Performance Improvement. Andrew P. Daire (Ph.D. ’01 Counseling Psychology and School Psychology) was named dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education. Juan R. Guardia (M.S. ’01 Higher Education) was selected as an American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Diamond Honoree for his outstanding and sustained contributions to higher education and to student affairs.



Doug Leigh (M.S. ’96, Ph.D. ’01 Instructional Systems) was promoted to professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Shenifa M. Taite (M.S. ‘00 Educational Leadership/ Administration, Ed.D. ‘12 Higher Education) was promoted to director of instructional design & media production at the FSU College of Medicine. Kamau Oginga Siwatu (M.S. ’02 Learning & Cognition) was promoted to full professor of educational psychology at Texas Tech University. Kristi Santi (Ph.D. ’02 Special Education) is the incoming vice president of the Texas chapter for the Council for Learning Disabilities. Jasmin Hutchinson (Ph.D. ’04 Sport Psychology) was recognized for achieving certified consultant status of the Association for Applied Psychology (CC-AASP) at the annual conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. Yaacov Petscher (M.S. ’04 Sport Psychology, M.S. ’05 Measurement & Statistics), researcher at the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR), was chosen as an Outstanding Reviewer for 2015 for Educational Researcher (ER).

Dian Squire (B.S. ’04 English Education) graduated with his Ph.D. in higher education from Loyola University Chicago and started as a postdoctoral fellow in the Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (in)Equality at the University of Denver. Bob Heere (Ph.D. ’05 Sport Management), sport and entertainment Ph.D. program director at the University of South Carolina, spoke with FSU doctoral students as part of a fall colloquium series aimed to expose Ph.D. students to perspectives of academic life. Danette Saylor (Ph.D. ’05 Rehabilitation Counseling), vice president of Student Affairs and Success at Albany State University, was appointed to serve as an advisory board member for the NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Center for Women. Sonja Ardoin (M.S. ’06 Higher Education) served as a keynote speaker for the 2015 Southern Association of College Student Affairs (SACSA) conference in Greenville, South Carolina. Ardoin’s book, “The Strategic Guide to Shaping Your Student Affairs Career,” was also chosen as the conference’s common read. Jennifer Dombek (B.S. ’06 Elementary Education, M.S. ’08 Reading Education/Language Arts, Ph.D. ’13 Reading Education/ Language Arts), an ovarian cancer survivor, will run in the 2016 New York City Marathon with her husband, Nicholaus Dombek (B.S. ’07 Social Science Education), to raise money for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

Ivan L. Harrell (Ph.D. ’06 Higher Education) was appointed executive vice president for academic and student affairs at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Clarkston, Georgia. Grahaeme Hesp (Ed.D. ’06 Higher Education) was appointed regional director of institutional relations at the Foundation for International Education, a not-for-profit study abroad provider. Sara Jones (M.S. ’06 Higher Education) is an educational programs manager with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Julie Arasi (B.S. ’07, M.S. ’08 Physical Education, M.S. ’15 Educational Leadership/Administration), a third-grade teacher at Kate Sullivan Elementary School, was named the 2015-2016 Leon County Schools Teacher of the Year. William Land (M.S. ’07, Ph.D. ’10 Sport Psychology) is an assistant professor at the UTSA College of Education and Human Development and lab supervisor for the UTSA Human Performance Laboratory. Stephanie Knight (M.S. ’08 Higher Education) was appointed director of the Center for Leadership and Service at the University of North Texas.



Joseph Mahshie (B.S. ’08 Recreation Services Administration) was recognized as a 2015 Askew Award winner, the highest honor bestowed upon young alumni by the FSU Alumni Association.

Abbie Day (M.S. ’09 Higher Education) accepted the position of academic advisor within the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s athletic department.

Bárbara “Barby” Moro (B.S./ M.S. ’08 in Emotional/Learning Disabilities) was appointed interim president/CEO of the Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF).

2 0 1 0’s Deborah Hood Gautier (M.S. ’10 Higher Education) was promoted to associate director of admissions & recruitment at the Florida State University College of Law. Mary-Catherine McClain’s (M.S./ Ed.S. ‘10 Mental Health Counseling, Ph.D. ‘14 Counseling Psychology and School Psychology) manuscript, “The U.S. Workforce from 1960 to 2010: A RIASEC View,” was chosen as the winner for The Professional Counselor (TPC)’s 2015 Outstanding Scholar Award in the category of research. Rachel Webber (Ed.S. ’10 Reading Education/Language Arts), a Gifted Enrichment Program teacher at Gilchrist Elementary School, was named one of five finalists for Leon County School’s Teacher of the Year. Christina Henry (M.S. ’11 Higher Education) began work as an advisor to students for the STEM BUILD at UMBC, an National Institutes



of Health (NIH) funded student success initiative and research study. Preston Reilly (M.S. ’11 Higher Education) served as assistant showcase production coordinator for the NACA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference Planning Committee. Tyler Steffy (M.S. ’11 Higher Education) served as showcase production coordinator for the NACA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference Planning Committee. Ashlie Baty (M.S. ’12 Higher Education) was appointed leadership development specialist at Micron Technology, Inc. Baty was also named one of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority’s Top 30 women under the age of 30 in 2015.

Chad Mandala (M.S. ‘12 Higher Education) was elected as an AtLarge American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Governing Board member beginning in March 2016.

Amy Piotrowski (Ph.D. ’16 English Education) accepted an assistant professor position at Utah State University where she will teach courses in English education and secondary education for future teachers.

Michelle Robinson (M.S. ’12 Higher Education) accepted a position at the University of South Florida as the assistant director for New Student Connections. Pamela Rentz (Ph.D. ’13 English Education) was named the dean of the School of Education at Chipola College.

Ali Raza (M.S. ’16 Higher Education) began his role as a program coordinator for campus activities at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Junior Peña (M.S. ’16 Higher Education) is the new assistant director of multicultural student affairs at the University of Miami.

Amy Sargeant (B.S. ’13, M.S. ’15 Sport Management) was appointed the assistant women’s tennis coach at the University of New Mexico.

Eddie Higginbotham IV (M.S. ’14 Higher Education) accepted a new role as the senior coordinator of leadership and transition in the University of Georgia’s Center for Leadership & Service. Kesia Milner (M.S. ‘14 Instructional Systems) was chosen as the 2016 Teacher of the Year for Bay District Schools.

Jackie Davis (Ph.D. ’16 Early Childhood Education) accepted a position as assistant professor of early childhood special education at the University of Northern Colorado.

Keep Us Posted! Let us know how you’re doing and where you are in your career journey. Send us your news at the following link: -OR-

Brantley Willett (Ed.D. ’15 Higher Education) accepted a position as the associate director for academic integrity at George Mason University.

Mail your news to: 2201 Stone Building 1114 W. Call Street P.O. Box 3064450



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FSU College of Education 2016 Torch Magazine  

Annual | Florida State University, College of Education 2016 Torch Magazine

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