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The Florida State University College of Education Magazine


FROM THE DEAN Welcome to the 2017-2018 edition of The TORCH magazine. As you’ll read in this issue, we’ve accomplished quite a lot this year. From faculty research and awards to our first-ever “hackathon” event (see page 33), we’re excited to share our achievements with you. This fall, we welcome our first cohort of students into our new accelerated teacher education programs. In these combined bachelor’s/master’s programs, students (who enter the College of Education as juniors) will graduate with both their B.S. and M.S. degrees in just three years, making them more competitive, better trained, and able to obtain a higher salary and more career opportunities than those with just a bachelor’s. Visit to learn more about these new programs. We’re always thrilled to see research from our faculty and students put into action. As you’ll read on pages 3 and 15, these research projects and outreach programs are making an impact both in our communities and the field of education. 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 carrying the torch for education. All my best,

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







Making a difference in our community

Profiles in student leadership











Cutting-edge research affecting education

Impacting education around the world

Events and philanthropy

Alumni news and notes

Faculty and staff achievements



ACTIVE Community ACTIVEists: FSU’s Center for Sport, Health, and Equitable Development Not Your Grandmother’s Curriculum: STEM Learning in the 21st Century



COMMUNITY ACTIVEISTS: FSU’S CENTER FOR SPORT, HEALTH, AND EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT By Sara Sowerby Sports captivate our lives, create communities and spark social change. Across the world, athletic competition has the power to activate a collective spirit that enhances societies and provides support to underserved populations.     In the FSU College of Education, we continuously look for ways that our departments and programs can make a positive impact on our communities. Our Department of Sport Management has been able to do just that through their Center for Sport, Health, and Equitable Development (SHED).     Created in the fall of 2012 by sport management faculty and students, SHED capitalizes on the strengths and skills of the department to utilize sport as a means to bring about positive social change. SHED is integrated into the sport management curriculum so students can make a difference in the community by applying lessons they learn in the classroom.    “When we founded SHED, we knew we wanted it to be a serviceoriented, outreach arm of the Sport Management department,” said Joshua Newman, director of the organization and an associate professor in the Department of Sport Management. “Since its inception, SHED has formed strategic partnerships with community groups, government agencies, nonprofits and academic organizations in order to provide access to sport and physical activity for socially disadvantaged populations and create more equitable and healthier communities in Florida and beyond.”   Shortly after the organization began, SHED partnered with the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI), an economic and

Six days a week, FSU Sport Management students play basketball with individuals experiencing homelessness at the Kearney Center, a comprehensive emergency services center in Leon County.

community development firm that supports Tallahassee’s economic mobility. KCCI works to attract, retain and harness local talent through annual “sense of place” projects. In partnership with KCCI, SHED conducted research, provided programming, and helped secure funding for various amenities featured in the City of Tallahassee’s award-winning Cascades Park. They took the lead conducting a community needs assessment with Tallahassee citizens and presented a community needs report to both the City of Tallahassee and Leon County governments. Additionally, SHED worked with KCCI and local government agencies to secure more than $1.5 million in funding for the state-of-the-art amphitheater, a natural playscape installation, and other amenities featured throughout the park.  

“The research by Dr. Newman and the FSU Center for Sport, Health, and Equitable Development has directly influenced urban growth and improvements in Tallahassee, especially within Cascades Park,” said Betsy Couch, executive director of KCCI. “They have been a collaborator for positive change. [We are] thankful to have them as a partner as we enhance Tallahassee’s economic development and improve our sense of place.”    In 2013, faculty and graduate students began SHED’s first initiative – establishing sports and recreation programs at the Kearney Center, an emergency services center for people in Leon County experiencing homelessness. The programs included a series of weekly basketball matches between students, faculty, and clients of the Kearney Center. SHED members fundraised to install



a new basketball hoop at the Center and hosted a threeon-three basketball tournament. In spring 2016, they added Wii Fitness and experimented with implementing badminton and yoga. Sport management faculty and students have sustained the program over the past four years, providing an integral service for the Kearney Center and building a core component of the Department of Sport Management’s service learning program.    “At the Kearney Center, I came face-to-face with a demographic of people that I might not have met had it not been for this program,” said Dillion Riera, a sport management undergraduate student. “Building bonds with these individuals and understanding their stories has opened my eyes to the situation of those who are in need, and how doing something, like playing basketball, can make a world of difference.”    Another SHED initiative involves the local senior center in Leon County. FSU sport management students and faculty facilitate a series of “Sport for Life” presentations, providing information about physical activity and longevity to senior citizens and assisting with the many weekly exercise classes offered through the center.    “It is widely accepted that exercise leads to a healthier heart, stronger bones and increased flexibility, and for seniors, exercise is even more important,” said Katie Flanagan, an assistant instructor in the Department of Sport Management and SHED’s associate director. “The SHED partnership with the Tallahassee Senior Center enables our students to give back to the community while also gaining a newfound respect for the importance of investing in healthy leisure activities.” “Being able to interact with the seniors was very fulfilling for me,” said FSU sport management student Nicole Ianni. “I am thankful the Sport Management department is dedicated to bettering the Tallahassee area through community sport such as this.”     Since the fall of 2014, FSU sport management students have participated in the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association’s (FDOA) Miracle Sports Leagues. Miracle Sports of Tallahassee provides access to athletics for people of all abilities. Whether it’s rounding the bases, scoring a touchdown, or driving the lane, Miracle Sports adapts their games so that anyone can participate and be successful. Sport management students act as “buddies” for league participants during weekly games of baseball, flag football and tennis. They protect the players from balls, assist players (if needed), and become a friend on and off the field. Through FDOA’s SportsAbility event, sport management students learn the inner-workings of adaptive sports, event planning, development and grant writing.    “This was a great opportunity for me to support the Florida Disabled Outdoor Association by spending my Thursday nights at Miracle Sports League,” said FSU sport



Older adults in Tallahassee and FSU Sport Management students interact through exercise classes at the Tallahassee Senior Center.

FSU Sport Management students set-up for a sportbased field day fundraising event for Second Harvest of the Big Bend food bank.

management student Andrew Hoyle. “Miracle Sports was a great way to have fun outside with phenomenal people and provide a safe and obstacle-free environment for children and young adults with disabilities to participate in recreational sports.”   Earlier this year, FDOA presented the FSU Department of Sport Management with the 2017 Active Leisure for Life award for their outstanding Service to people of all abilities in the area of active leisure.  “The FSU Department of Sport Management has a real commitment to making a difference in the lives of its students and the world,” said Laurie LoRe-Gussak, executive director of FDOA. “These incredible students believe everyone should have opportunities to experience the benefits of sport and physical activity, and I am so glad we have had the opportunity to work with them.”   In 2015, students in the Facility and Event Management course hosted a cornhole tournament benefiting America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, a local food bank that distributes millions of pounds of food every year to hungry families in the 11-county region of the Big Bend. With local businesses as sponsors and partners, this educational, commercial and philanthropic endeavor collected 225 pounds of food and $443 equating to 1,960 total meals.   “One in five people in the Big Bend experience hunger on a regular basis,” said Rick Minor, chief executive officer of Second Harvest of the Big Bend. “SHED’s unwavering dedication to the Tallahassee community and those in our area experiencing food insecurity is exemplary and sure to have a lasting, positive impact on those in the 11-county region we serve.”

Also in 2015, students in the Diversity in Sport class received training and security clearance to become volunteers at the Federal Correctional Institute of Tallahassee, a low-security United States federal prison for female inmates in Florida. Through this SHED initiative, students participated in yoga classes offered to inmates as part of the prisoner reentry program.     “Society has created such stereotypes about people who are, and have been, in prison, but I got to see the other side of that,” said Marques Myricks, a sport management undergraduate student who participated in this SHED initiative in spring of 2015.     “Yoga is the exercise of the mind, body and spirit,” said Emilio Figueroa, another student who participated in the SHED initiative. “I believe that this program, and yoga, will make a significant impact in these inmates’ chances of succeeding when they get out.”   The Tallahassee Bicycle House is a volunteer-run, nonprofit bike repair shop. Each semester through SHED, sport management students work as volunteers, sorting parts, assisting with bike builds and leading neighborhood rides.    “I founded Bicycle House to be a place to empower people who are on the edge financially, to be able to come and be proud that they’re making ends meet by riding a bicycle,” said founder Scot Benton. “We make things more affordable. Our primary focus is on people who need bikes as transportation,” said Benton. Bicycle House operates strictly on a donation basis. After repairs are made, bikers can pay as little or as much as they want or can afford.    “From the moment I walked in, to the time I walked out, I knew Bicycle House was a special part of Tallahassee,” said Dominic Grant, an undergraduate sport management student, as he reflected on his time volunteering through SHED in 2016. “Bicycle House can take something that was once forgotten and make it an integral part of someone’s life again.”     As SHED looks to the future, it hopes to continue to serve as one of the nation’s leading university-based providers of sport and physical activity for the vulnerable and socially disadvantaged.     “Sport can be a powerful tool. It promotes participation, inclusion, values, discipline, health, and teamwork, among others,” said Flanagan. “In the coming years, through expanded partnerships, SHED hopes to increase the impact that the Department of Sport Management, its students, and its faculty have on FSU and surrounding communities.”  To learn more about SHED, visit

FSU Sport Management students act as “buddies” assisting children and adults of all abilities play sports such as teeball as a part of FDOA’s Miracle Sports program. THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S CURRICULUM: STEM LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY By Jennie Kroeger “If you know more, you teach better.” That’s one of the driving ideas behind CPALMS’ FCR-STEMLearn initiative at the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics’ (FCR-STEM). Provided by CPALMS (Collaborate, Plan, Align, Learn, Motivate, Share) – a free online toolbox of information, vetted resources, and interactive tools developed by FCR-STEM – the goal of FCR–STEMLearn is to increase teachers’ content knowledge in STEM areas so that they can apply that knowledge in their own classrooms. FCR-STEM, in conjunction with 48 of Florida’s school districts and three rural educational consortia, runs multiple training programs, including a two-week teacher training in the summer at locations throughout the state as part of a rigorous professional development program. These trainings provide an opportunity for teachers to learn from scientists, mathematicians and professional development experts while deepening their content knowledge and honing their instructional strategies. There are


nine different training tracks that cover curriculum in subjects such as algebra, geometry, middle school math, earth science, physical science and biology.

development we are doing, and in general, to provide hands-on, researchbased curriculum for teachers to use in all classrooms.”

In the academic year following the summer training, teachers implement the STEM curriculum they’ve learned and continue their professional development through an in-classroom follow-up program. designs the manipulatives based on curriculum developed by

While these summer institutes have been around since 2010, the programs have evolved to provide implementation support throughout the school year. In 2012, FCR-STEM, in collaboration with, developed the largest library of 3D printable kits and lessons for teaching mathematics and science. “With math and science instruction, you need experimentation tools and devices which are not easily accessible or affordable for teachers,” said Rabieh Razzouk, director of FCR-STEM. “That’s why we started to work with 3D printing – to eventually be able to support the professional


teachers and content experts at FCR-STEM that aligns with Florida’s state standards. These objects can then be generated by a 3D printer easily and economically, providing hands-on learning opportunities for students at a low cost. For the last three years, classroom sets of these kits have been provided for free to teachers participating in the CPALMS’ FCR-STEMLearn program. “We have over 100 3D printers [at FCR-STEM], running like a factory the whole year for the last three years, printing kits and giving them to teachers,” said Razzouk. “We’ve given away more than 160,000 kits to Florida teachers to use in the classroom.” This year, thanks to multiple grants from the Florida Mathematics and Science Partnership, Dremel,, and CPALMS, in addition to the classroom kits, FCR-STEM provided more than 250 Florida teachers with 3D printers to keep in their classroom. These teachers will take part in a twoyear study headed up by researchers at FCR-STEM to examine how teachers are implementing this new curriculum. Prior to giving teachers the 3D kits and manipulatives, FCR-STEM provided them with traditional lessons that they could apply in their classroom. They also sponsored them to continue their professional development through lesson study, but found that not much ended up transported to the classroom with less than 10 percent implementation. “When we started giving them 3D kits and the lessons along with them, we moved to over 95 percent being used in the classroom,” said Razzouk. With the grant program wrapping up this year, FCRSTEM has trained more than 4,000 teachers since 2010. This summer, approximately 730 K-12 Florida teachers will start the year-long program, but this one will be a little different. All the secondary (grades 6-12) teachers will be eligible to receive a free a 3D printer and a subscription to in addition to a stipend. All the elementary (K-5) teachers will receive the classroom sets of the kits (180 different kits per teacher), curriculum, and a stipend.

Orange County Public Schools teachers using the planetary temperature kit.

“We want to see how effective the curriculum is, especially compared to traditional curriculum and methods,” said Razzouk. “By giving teachers tools to implement it at no cost to them, we hope it will help bridge the gap between training and implementation.” To learn more about FCR-STEM and its ongoing projects, visit



INSPIRED Emily Simpson Stephanie Phillips Seyed Ahmad Rahimi



EMILY SIMPSON Name: Emily Simpson Degree Level: Bachelor’s Program: Elementary Education Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida When did you discover your passion for your field? I think my passion for education developed over time from watching people who care so selflessly about the success of others. My mother teaches adult literacy in New Jersey and she once received a call from a former student of hers. He was calling to thank her for all the help and advice she provided. He didn’t just want to thank her for improving his literacy; he recognized that she gave him the tools to finally get his driver’s license and qualify for a job. It was in that moment that I realized I wanted to change people’s lives, too. Education helps level the playing field in terms opportunity for success. Without it, people have a difficult time improving their lives no matter where they come from. I want to help children before they are ever put into the position of being illiterate as an adult; that is why I am so passionate about elementary education. Why did you choose Florida State University? I choose Florida State because I was seeking a school that would prioritize me as a student above all else. I wanted to be in a place that had enough diversity for me to find my niche while also exposing me to people from all walks of life. I know Florida State is a perfect fit for me because Tallahassee feels like home now. When I walked onto this campus three years ago, I was not expecting to feel this way about a city in the panhandle of Florida. I also choose Florida State because of how different it was from my hometown in New Jersey. I wanted to discover my passion in a place that provided every opportunity to branch out and learn outside of the Northeast. My experiences teaching in Florida have opened my eyes to the diversity of not only this state, but Tallahassee itself. What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time, I enjoy reading for pleasure. I know many college students find it difficult to spark the same joy for reading in adulthood that they had in elementary school. I love reading and I want to set a good example for my future students to show them how important it is to

become a lifelong reader! That is why I adore reading aloud to children. When students see the teacher get excited about reading right in front of them, it increases their own interest. I also love to do yoga. For me, it is the best way to release stress and calm myself down after a long day of teaching or learning. That is something I also hope to incorporate into my classroom someday. Even children need a moment to just breathe. Kids really are just little people with real stress and emotions, much like adults! Describe your most memorable moment at FSU. My most memorable moment at FSU would have to be when we threw a bridal shower for one of my classmates during lecture. Our professor was in on the plan and she had the bride-to-be run an errand to her office. When she returned, the entire class was waiting with a cake, decorations, and music. It was a moment that emphasized how close we had all become, just from being brought together by the College of Education. I’m so proud to be a part of the elementary education program because we stick together and support each other in such an amazing way. Not all majors foster that level of friendship, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such passionate and hardworking people. Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I never thought I would study education or become a teacher. My friends and family would always tell me, “You look like a teacher,” but I never listened because I was convinced that it was not for me. Yet after one Introduction to Education class, I was instantly hooked. I guess that proves your friends and family sometimes know you better than you know yourself. What do you hope to accomplish with your degree? With my degree, I hope to become an elementary school teacher in a school that really needs an educator who cares about the students and their success. After teaching for a few years, I’d like to come back to school and get my Master of Science in Educational Leadership & Administration. I am a current member of the Student Leadership Council for the COE and my work for that organization has ignited a passion for leadership I didn’t know I possessed. Getting involved in the College of Education made me realize that my interests in education may someday lead me outside the classroom. I’d love to build a successful career in education, hopefully making a difference for my students wherever I go.



STEPHANIE PHILLIPS Name: Stephanie Phillips Degree Level: Master’s Program: Sport Management Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida When did you discover your passion for your field? I first realized I had a passion for sports while I was in middle school. I had just moved to Tampa and I soon became obsessed with the Tampa Bay Rays as they went on their 2008 World Series run. I always enjoyed playing and watching sports as a kid, but the moment it all seemed to click was when I first attended a majorleague game. I was in awe of the entire atmosphere. Why did you choose Florida State University? I knew I wanted to attend Florida State before I knew I wanted to work in sports. My sister is an alumna and I had visited many times. I was in love with the campus, and more importantly, I was in love with football games at Doak. Seeing “Sport Management” in a list of undergraduate degrees sealed the deal. I never finished an application to any other school. Tell us about your internship experiences. I interned with the FSU Ticket Office in the spring of 2016. I worked during baseball season, and my main job was scanning tickets and greeting fans during all the home baseball games. I got to learn the ins and outs of the operations of the baseball stadium and its ticket office. It was a great experience and I loved being a part of the baseball atmosphere, as it was my first sport love. I was an assistant equipment manager for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams from June 2016 to June 2017. During home games, I sat by the bench and assisted the players, coaches and trainers by getting towels or anything


else they needed. The best part of the job was being able to work directly with a representative from Nike to order and receive all the clothes and shoes that the players wear. It was extremely rewarding to be able to work directly with the teams and staff, and I’m very proud of the success they both had last season, especially with the women’s basketball team heading to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament! I’ve also had wonderful internship and volunteer opportunities through the Sport Management Student Association (SMSA). We have weekly meetings that consist of fundraising planning, volunteer opportunities and guest speakers that work in the sports industry. We also go on several networking trips throughout the year. The two trips that I was so honored and excited to go on this past year were Tampa and Dallas. In Tampa, we had the opportunity to work as volunteers at the College Football National

I was in love with the campus, and more importantly, I was in love with football games at Doak. Seeing ‘Sport Management’ in a list of undergraduate degrees sealed the deal.


Championship game in January. We helped set up, run and break down the pre-game tailgate on a 22-acre lot outside of Raymond James Stadium for all ticket holders. It was awesome to be a part of such a huge event. In Dallas this past April, we got to volunteer our time at the Women’s Final Four Basketball Tournament. We volunteered at Tourny Town, which was a community event set up in the parking lot of the American Airlines Arena during the entire weekend of the tournament. While in Dallas, we also got to network with executives from the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks. I loved being able to meet new people and see a new place filled with so many sports opportunities. This group is extremely beneficial to any student who wants to work in sports because of the opportunities provided to learn, travel, volunteer in the community, and network with professionals. I’ve loved being a part of this organization. I will be starting an internship in event marketing with Seminole Boosters next semester and am excited to learn more about this aspect of the sport industry. What do you like to do in your free time? I spend a lot of my free time on campus. Whether it’s studying at Strozier, seeing a movie at the SLC, working out at the Leach or attending as many sporting events as I can. Describe your most memorable moment at FSU. By far, my most memorable moment was when I

studied abroad last summer. I went on the Global Sport Management program’s trip to London and it was the absolute greatest four weeks of my life. As a group, we were able to see Serena Williams win at the Wimbledon Championships, we attended the British Open golf tournament in Scotland, went hiking and kayaking along the coast of Wales, toured many stadiums, met executives within the UK’s sport industry, and so many other amazing things. I was able to do all of this with other sport-loving students who became life-long friends. There is no way I could choose just one moment from this trip because I was able to do and see so many things that I would otherwise never have the opportunity to do. Tell us a fun fact about yourself. Something interesting about me is that I have lived in six different states. My dad recently retired from the Air Force, so I did a lot of moving as a kid. What do you hope to accomplish with your degree? With my master’s degree in Sport Management, I hope to make myself more marketable. The sport industry is very competitive, so any experience and knowledge you can gain while you can is extremely beneficial. While continuing my studies, I hope to find the best area for me within the sport industry. There are so many possible occupations within sports, so I’m hoping to find which aspect fits me best, whether it’s operations or marketing. There are almost endless possibilities.



SEYED AHMAD RAHIMI Name: Seyed Ahmad Rahimi Degree Level: Doctoral Program: Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies Hometown: Mashhad, Iran When did you discover your passion for your field? I have always loved teaching and I have always loved to learn new things. When I was getting my bachelor’s degree in Tehran, I learned many computer software programming languages by myself. The selflearning process for me was the reason I became interested in how people can learn better and how I can help. With a background in computer programming and graphic design, I decided to follow my passion of enhancing the teaching and learning process by studying the field of instructional design and learning technologies. After getting my master’s degree in e-learning technologies in Malaysia, I decided to attend one of the most prestigious instructional systems and learning technologies programs in the world. Why did you choose Florida State University? The Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies (ISLT) program is one of the top five programs In the nation–and the world–in the field of instructional design and training. I had been following the work of ISLT’s great faculty members when I was getting my first master’s degree in Malaysia. Being able to be a Ph.D. student in this program was an honor and a great goal for me that I had been pursuing. In addition to the program’s great reputation, its faculty, staff, students, and Florida State University as a whole were some of the deciding factors for why I chose to come to the U.S. and start my studies in the FSU College of Education.


What do you like to do in your free time? I love to exercise. On the weekends, I like to bike the beautiful, 16-mile St. Mark’s trail. Other than that, I enjoy spending time with my wife, who is also a Ph.D. student at FSU in the School of Information. It is very interesting to share some ideas between our two fields. We also watch movies together, talk to our families back in Iran, spend time with friends, and travel around the U.S. when we can. I also like photography; I could take photos for hours on end. Describe your most memorable moment at FSU. When I came to FSU, I did not have any funding or an assistantship, and you can imagine how difficult it is to survive financially for an international student with the cost of living expenses. Because I had four years of teaching experience, Dr. Vanessa Dennen offered me a teaching assistant position for her course, Introduction to Educational Technologies. When I heard the news that I was going to teach, I was thrilled and determined to go out of my way to be the best I could be. The interactions I’ve had with my students, my passion for teaching, and winning a 20162017 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award are among my great memories at FSU COE so far. I do, however, want to mention one other memory that will stay with me forever – that is the memory of the support and kindness my wife and I received from


Being a self-learner, I believe learning should never stop—it should be life-long.

President Thrasher, Dean Driscoll, Dr. Shute (my amazing Ph.D. advisor), Dr. Becker, Dr. Reiser, Dr. Dennen, and my students when the Iranian community was affected by the presidential immigration ban executive order. I received an e-mail from one of my students the day after the order was implemented that said: “You said it yourself the very first day of class: ‘We’re not our governments, we’re the people.’ Please don’t give up on us. We ARE trying. You have two families now, though: one back home and one here at FSU. We’ll do the best we can because that’s what family does.” I have to say, I get emotional every time I read these words and am grateful for all the kindness my wife and I received from this great community.

competitions. A fun memory from those times is when the team I was a member of had to compete with another strong team in town. The person who I wanted to compete with had won against many strong competitors and my coach did not want to let me be the one competing in that match. I insisted that I compete with him. I had one week to convince my coach, and to mentally and physically practice to defeat that boy. After a lot of convincing and pre-match trainings, I convinced my coach. Things went exactly the way I imagined and I won that competition. I still remember the joy and feeling of accomplishment after the referee blew his whistle.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

What do you hope to accomplish with your degree?

I used to be a free-style wrestler. I mean real wrestling. Wrestling is one of the most popular sports in Iran. I have won many gold, silver and bronze medals in Iran, including the gold medal in the province which got me to the national level wrestling

I have a bachelor’s degree in computer software engineering and a master’s degree in multimedia (e-learning technologies). I am getting my Ph.D. in Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies in additon to another master’s degree in educational

measurement and statistics here at FSU. This package of degrees and all the skills and competencies I have learned and developed throughout all these years of studying can help me get to my goals in the future. Following graduation, I want to go back to Iran and be a university professor there, teaching and training young students. I also want to be a researcher whose research can help solve some of the world’s educational problems. In general, I will use not my degrees, but what I learned over the years to help others learn better and faster. Specifically, I am interested in measuring and enhancing the 21st century competencies (e.g., problem solving, creativity, computational thinking, etc.) through games. I still have a couple of years until graduation and I hope I can learn as much as I can to accomplish my goals in the future. Being a selflearner, I believe learning should never stop—it should be life-long.



INVESTIGATIVE Beyond Academics: A Personalized Approach to Student Success Autism CAN: FSU’s College Autism Network Under Challenge: Girls’ Confidence Levels Hinder Path to Science Degrees





Earning a high school diploma provides greater job opportunities, higher wages and access to higher education, yet the national average for high school dropouts is around one in five. Nearly 20 percent of our high school freshmen leave school before earning a degree, and despite gains in the last decade, Florida’s graduation rates trail the national average. Stacey Rutledge, associate professor in FSU’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and her colleagues from Vanderbilt’s National Center for Scaling Up Effective Schools have worked for the last seven years to improve student achievement and reduce dropout rates through a school reform approach focused on social emotional learning in Broward County. Starting in 2010, Rutledge and her team looked at the Broward County school system and the Fort Worth Independent School District in Ft. Worth, Texas. They

chose two higher performing urban high schools and two low-performing urban high schools in each district. The schools had similar size and demographics, yet different attendance, graduation rates and levels of student success. Funded by a $13.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the study sought to identify what was working in the effective schools to determine what could be applied in the low-performing schools. One expectation from the outset was that stronger instruction might be necessary, but according to Rutledge, what researchers found surprised them. “There is a general assumption that students in higher performing schools receive better instruction, but we found that the instructional quality in the higher performing schools and the lower performing schools was not different enough to account for the differing levels of performance.” Instead, in both districts, researchers found that the more effective high schools had strong systems in place that facilitated relationships between adults and students. Students in the higher performing schools felt that they were supported by the teachers, administration and staff. “The schools made students feel that they belonged and that they were valued,” said Rutledge. “The teachers adapted their instruction to student interests and sought to establish relationships with them. Guidance counselors had four-year connections with students, and administrators made an effort to connect with students in lunch rooms and in the hallways. They deliberately and intentionally made connections with students both inside and outside of the classroom.”



RAPID CHECK-INS To make these intentional connections, teachers in the same period of the school day check-in with all the students in one of their classes once every two weeks. Adults in the system ask not only how things are going in a particular course, but in what extra-curricular activities does a student participate, what are his/ her plans post-graduation, how are things at home, etc. They keep track of these interactions to make sure they have not missed anyone. GOAL SETTING What are the student’s goals both short and long term? If she hopes to be a doctor, then chemistry might be a better course next year than an elective in debate. PROGRESS TRACKING USING DATA When you know your student’s goals and have the data from Rapid CheckIns, the faculty and staff need to routinely monitor the student’s progress against the data collected. EDUCATOR TEAMS Administrators, counselors and teachers meet to review the data and goals of each student and work together to determine how best to help support him or her. CULTURE OF PERSONALIZATION All adults in the schools work to make students feel connected to the school and valuable in their own right through a positive and proactive school culture.



So, how does PASL work? PASL aims to improve students’ academic success and their sense of belonging and trust in schools, as well as their daily actions and attitude toward school. Five interrelated practices were identified and developed in Broward County, including rapid check-ins, goal setting, progress tracking, educator teams, and a culture of personalization. So far, Broward County students, teachers and administrators report greater connections and a sense of belonging to their schools, as well as higher attendance, fewer disciplinary referrals and fewer students receiving Ds and Fs on their report cards. In order to increase student performance, PASL asks teachers, counselors and administrators to change a school’s culture. Thus, it has

been clear from the start that it is not one-size-fits all, and it cannot succeed without teacher buy-in. Just as the program outlines for its students, PASL must be personalized to work with each individual school’s strengths and weaknesses.

Personalization for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (PASL) was identified as the key difference between high and low performers in Broward County. By 2013, Rutledge’s team developed PASL into a proactive reform being implemented across Broward County high schools. “We worked to take this idea of personalization and transfer it into three schools, then five, and then eight,” said Rutledge. By 2016, PASL was in 15 schools with eight more joining this coming year.

When we change a school culture with PASL, it becomes more personalized. PASL transforms the learning environment, fosters growth for all involved and creates an authentic learning atmosphere where students feel welcome and have the best chance to succeed. - Stacey Rutledge

PASL training takes place every year with participating schools sending an assistant principal, ninth grade guidance counselors, and several teacher leaders to a two-day summer institute, as well as fall and spring meetings where they engage in a continuous improvement process to refine and adapt PASL in their schools. PASL targets ninth graders to ensure that students who enter high school have all of the necessary supports to graduate. The 2017 Summer Institute, held at Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, saw more than 110 high school administrators, counselors and teachers participate

in workshops staffed by Rutledge’s research team and leaders from experienced PASL schools. Schools newly adopting PASL this year learned about the idea of PASL and worked with their colleagues at the more experienced schools who shared their PASL practices and successes. In November of 2016, the U.S. Department of Education recognized the innovation taking place in Broward with an additional $2.5 million “Investing in Innovation” grant for Rutledge and her team. With this grant, FSU, Vanderbilt and Broward County Public Schools will extend PASL county-wide, adding 15 additional high schools by 2020. “At the conclusion of our five-year project, we estimate that 45,000 students in Broward County Public Schools will have experienced PASL,” said Rutledge. “We expect to see an increase in attendance rates, course passing rates and student achievement, and a decrease in students on the D and F lists and behavior referrals.” The news is great for Broward County, but Rutledge hopes this approach can be replicated in other districts. To that end, her team will develop a toolkit and a set of professional development materials that can be used to introduce and implement PASL in high schools across the country.

Stephanie Brown (Ph.D. ‘17), the professional development coordinator, addresses the full group.



The nonprofit institute RTI International will provide an independent evaluation of PASL’s impact on students’ social emotional outcomes, behavior, attendance, and achievement, to validate the project.

FSU ALUMNI INVOLVED IN PASL Not only are FSU faculty and staff hard at work on PASL, but FSU alumni have been invaluable in the creation of the project in the Broward County Public Schools as well. Dr. Valerie Wanza (B.S. ’92), the chief school performance accountability officer, has been involved at the district level. Michelle Kefford (B.S. ’96), principal of Charles Flanagan High School, and Jimmy Arrojo (B.S. ’94), principal of Western High School, were both early implementers at their schools. The assistant principals at Piper High School and West Broward High School, Matthew Dearen (B.S. ’99) and Wendi Mola (B.S. ’99), were involved in the original development of PASL.

Dr. Rutledge with FSU alumni involved in PASL. From left, Stephanie Brown (Ph.D. ‘17), Michelle Kefford (B.S. ‘96), Tameka King (B.S. ‘99, M.S. ‘05), Michele Stein (B.S. ‘97) and Matthew Dearen (B.S. ‘99).

A number of teachers and guidance counselors have also participated over the years of the project, including Lisa Albee (B.S. ’87) and Jennifer Pliske (B.S. ’03) at Pompano Beach High School. Dr. Tameka King (B.S. ’99, M.S. ’05) and Michelle Stein (B.S. ’97), assistant principals at Coral Springs High School and Coral Glades High School, respectively, are bringing their schools on board this year.

HELP SUPPORT THE PASL INITIATIVE The PASL system is working in Broward County, changing the culture of Broward high schools, reducing drop-outs, improving attendance, and raising grades. The U.S. Department of Education has recognized the innovation taking place at Florida State with the Investing in Innovation Grant; however, 15 percent of that funding must be supported by private funds. In other words, the College of Education needs to raise approximately $45,000 annually from private sources to guarantee the federal match and fund the program. For only about $5 per student served, FSU can help improve public education. If you can, please consider making your tax-deductible gift today to support the Broward County Education Fund (F08491) online at give.fsu. edu/education or contact Kevin Derryberry, assistant dean for development, at (850) 2285021 or to learn how you can help.

Dr. Rutledge speaks to faculty implementing PASL at the 2017 Summer Institute.

Summer Institute Team: (from left) Robin Wisniewski, Derek Gordan, Stephanie Brown, Michael Ramirez, Daniel Traeger, Marisa Cannata, Alan Strauss, Matthew Dearen, Stacey Rutledge, Michelle Kefford and Brad Fatout.





“That was problem,” said Cox. “A big problem, actually, but one I thought I could help solve.”

Although his work may have national influence, Cox is driven by something far closer to home.

By the year 2020, it is estimated that there may be as many as 400,000 students with autism enrolled in college. Yet, when Associate Professor Bradley E. Cox searched 15 years’ worth of articles in higher education’s top research journals, he didn’t find a single mention of autism.

When my son was three years old, he was diagnosed with autism. And like most parents of the more than 49,000 students with autism who complete high school each year, I have good reason to expect that my son will someday graduate from college. He is an incredible kid who just turned eight this summer. That leaves me about 10 years before he goes off to college. We’ve all got some work to do between now and then.

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder With a $300,000 grant from the National (ASD), describes a set of behaviors Science Foundation, a recent publication associated with specific differences in the Journal of College Student in how one’s brain perceives and Development and the establishment of processes environmental input. It is the nonprofit College Autism Network, College Network a “spectrum condition” that affects Cox and his colleagues haveAutism begun to | RESEARCH TRAINING differently and to varying raise the profileADVOCACY of college students with | individuals degrees. Individuals with autism autism across the country.

We’ve all heard the statistic that

1 in 68 people

are diagnosed with ASD....



tend to be linear and logical thinkers, and tend to be literal and direct in their communication styles. These students also often have intense interest in a relatively narrow range of topics. Together, these characteristics can help students develop expertise in their preferred area of study; however, the characterstics can also interfere with their efforts to interpret nonverbal communication, manage the requirements of independent living, collaborate effectively with peers, plan appropriately for assignments or navigate the everchanging social landscape on campus. Although many of these students achieve academically at rates similar to or higher than their peers, current persistence and graduation rates indicate that colleges and universities are not fully prepared to facilitate the success of these unique students. In fact, one major study suggests that just a decade ago, only 39 percent of the students with autism who made the transition to college left with a degree. But as Cox explains, “Over the last 10 years, rates of autism diagnoses have nearly doubled.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, ASD is now the fastestgrowing developmental disability, affecting 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. “During that same time period,” notes Cox, “early interventions, public awareness, and educational support services within the K-12 setting have dramatically increased educational opportunities and achievement for students with autism. Thus, students

Fast Fact #1

with autism are increasingly pursuing postsecondary education with reasonable expectations for success.” To facilitate that success, Cox founded the national nonprofit organization, the College Autism Network (CAN), in 2016 to develop a network of diverse stakeholders actively engaged in collaborative, evidence-based advocacy, research and training designed to improve student well-being, educational improvement, and institutional responsiveness. Through the translation of emerging research into real-world improvements for students’ well-being and educational achievement, CAN hopes to prepare higher education institutions for these distinctive students like his son. CAN is run by Cox (executive director and director of research), and Dr. Lee Burdette Williams (director of higher education training and development).

student affairs profession for nearly three decades, including serving as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Wheaton College and as dean of students at the University of Connecticut. Most recently, she was the director of collegiate partnerships for Mansfield Hall in Burlington, Vt., where she provided training for colleges and universities seeking to improve their services to students on the autism spectrum. CAN has three goals: to help students with autism feel confident that they have the personal qualities and institutional support necessary to succeed in college; to maximize the likelihood that students with autism enter, persist, and graduate from college; and to enable educational institutions to be responsive to these students’ specific needs, appreciate their distinct perspectives, and highlight the unique contributions these students can make to their institutions, fields of study, and society at large.

has been supported by collaborations with people from across the country, but students from FSU have been particularly influential. A total of 14 recent FSU graduates have worked with Cox and his team over the last two years. This fall, they’ll be working with at least six more currently enrolled FSU students. When asked about his hopes for CAN, Cox says, “Like the College Autism Network name implies, we hope CAN will grow into a nationwide network of varied stakeholders who are committed to using evidence to support college success for students with autism.” He hopes CAN will partner with students, parents, K-12 teachers and administrators, postsecondary instructors, college student affairs personnel, policymakers, and researchers.

Cox is an associate professor of higher education in Florida State University’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy ADVOCACY RESEARCH | TRAINING“Although we see the CAN mission Studies. He is |also a senior research associate with the Center for as three-fold with advocacy, research Postsecondary Success (CPS), an and teaching,” said Cox, “our work thus FSU College of Education research far has mainly focused on sharing center dedicated to identifying insights derived from research.” and evaluating institutional, state, and federal policies and programs Cox says they started with research that may serve to improve student because it will provide the foundation success in postsecondary education. for effective advocacy and evidenceCox’s research on college student based training products in the future. success has been featured in the field Cox and Burdette Williams have put of education’s top-tier journals, and together a strong team of talented he has earned more than $500,000 in and committed students, interns, grant funding as principal investigator. research assistants, and volunteer staff with a wide array of interests Burdette Williams has been part of the from a range of disciplines. Their work

College Autism Network

We’ve all heard the statistic that

1 in 68 people

are diagnosed with ASD.

“To truly change the culture of American colleges and universities, and to truly advance autistic students’ opportunities for postsecondary success, we need to work with all the stakeholders. Navigating the complex social, educational and legal issues related to autism in higher education will require collaborations across traditional boundaries. With CAN, I hope to facilitate such bordercrossing collaborations.”

Fast Fact #1 To learn more about the College Autism Network, visit

...But b only

1 in 225 beginning college students



UNDER CHALLENGE: GIRLS’ CONFIDENCE LEVELS HINDER PATH TO SCIENCE DEGREES By Kara Irby, University Communications According to new FSU College of Education research, not enough “girl power,” could be causing some female students to steer clear of the hard sciences in college. When it comes to mathematics, girls rate their abilities markedly lower than boys, even when there is no observable difference between the two. “The argument continues to be made that gender differences in the ‘hard’ sciences are all about ability,” said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology. “But when we hold mathematics ability test scores constant, effectively taking it out of the equation, we see boys still rate their ability higher, and girls rate their ability lower.” Perez-Felkner is the lead author of a study published in the journal Frontiers


in Psychology. Doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas are co-authors of the study. The research team found that perception gaps are even wider at the upper levels of mathematics ability — among those students with the most talent and potential in these fields. Boys are significantly more confident in challenging mathematics contexts than otherwise identically talented girls. Specifically, boys rated their ability 27 percent higher than girls did. Perceived ability under challenge was measured using a nationally representative longitudinal study that followed 10th grade students over a six-year period until two years after high school. A series of questions in the 10th and 12th grade surveys asked students to indicate their level of agreement with statements such as “I’m certain I can


understand the most difficult material presented in math texts.”

“That’s important because those confidence levels influence the math and science courses students choose later in high school,” Perez-Felkner said. “It influences whether they choose colleges that are strong in certain science majors. It also influences the majors they intend to pursue and the majors they actually declare and continue on with in degrees and potential careers.” These conclusions address perceived ability beliefs in a critical time where more talented young women tend to depart from male-dominated science career pathways during high school and college. Over recent decades and across the globe, women have surpassed men in college enrollment and degree attainment, yet women remain underrepresented in physical, engineering, mathematics and computer sciences (PEMC). In fact, women are projected to comprise nearly 60 percent of university students by 2025 but earn a clear minority of PEMC undergraduate degrees. Perez-Felkner and colleagues argue gender differences in confidence in their mathematics ability in challenging contexts has considerable longer-term consequences. Gender disparities in college major choice are associated with the gender pay gap as well as an insufficiently large and diverse labor pool of scientific talent in some of the highest-growing fields in our increasingly scientific global economy. The authors note boys are encouraged from a young age to pursue challenge—including the risk of failure—while girls tend to pursue perfection, judging themselves and being judged by more restrictive standards reinforced by media and society at large.


Women have a 4.7 percent chance of declaring PEMC majors compared to 14.9 percent of men.

Girls in the 12th grade with the most negative perceptions had a 1.8 percent chance of choosing a PEMC major, while girls with the most positive perceptions about their ability under challenge had a 5.6 percent chance of choosing a PEMC major.

Boys had a 19.1 percent chance if their perceptions were positive and boys with negative perceptions had a 6.7 chance of choosing a PEMC major.

Boys are more likely than girls to hold a growth mindset, that is, the perception that mathematical ability can be developed through learning rather than being a fixed talent you are born with.

10th grade mathematics ability under challenge was most influential in determining whether students stayed in the natural sciences when pursuing postsecondary education.

Mathematics ability beliefs in the 12th grade were positively associated with switching into natural science majors among students not initially intending to pursue them.

In middle and high school, increased opportunities such as science camps like SciGirls, recruitment of girls to participate in upper level science courses or extracurricular activities, informal science learning experiences and increasing visibility and access to women scientists both fictional and real are other methods to sustain girls interest and engagement in “hard science” fields. Increasing access to advanced science coursework in high school and the early years of post-secondary school can improve chances of students — most notably girls — entering these fields.

Assistant Professor Lara Perez-Felkner, Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas. THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS Francisco Martinez-Oronoz Julia Kronholz Katelyn Hayworth Seline Trinidad



FRANCISCO MARTINEZ-ORONOZ Name: Francisco Martinez-Oronoz Degree Level: Doctoral Program: Sociocultural and International Development Education Studies (SIDES) Travel Location: Atlixco, Mexico In February of 2017, I flew to Atlixco, Mexico, in the state of Puebla. For three months, I lived at the Instituto Poblano de Readaptacion (Ipoderac), an orphanage that houses about 72 boys. I chose this location for my doctoral dissertation research because it is a place that is very dear to me. About nine years ago, I lived there as a volunteer. That experience served as the catalyst for pursuing an education that would prepare me for a career in development, particularly focused on education change programs that serve boys

like those at Ipoderac. The SIDES program in the College of Education has proven to be a perfect fit for me. Since that initial visit to Ipoderac, I have been back several times, maintaining my relationship with the orphanage. When it came time to conduct my dissertation research, I could not think of a better place to be. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. For the past few years, I have been researching (and practicing) mindfulness, which is the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.

In the past 30 years, research studies highlighting the benefits of mindfulness have grown tremendously, particularly in the areas of self-regulation, resilience, concentration, acceptance and compassion, and also the reduction of stress and anxiety. With such clear benefits, educationists and researchers in the past 10 years have picked up on the mindfulness movement and what it can do in education, especially in supporting some of our most vulnerable communities. Research has demonstrated that neglected or abused children have revealed alarming alterations in brain development. The flight-fightor-freeze stress hormones that our bodies produce in response to physical and emotional adversity atrophy the areas that control emotional development.

Some of the older boys at the orphanage grab on to the back of the truck, moving materials to repair one of the houses on the campus.

Given the history of the youth at Ipoderac, I saw an opportunity to incorporate a mindfulness-based intervention strategy to support them in breaking barriers that inhibit learning and fully taking advantage of the non-formal and formal education they are receiving. I developed an eightweek curriculum that I implemented during my time there. While I lived



A group of boys at IPODERAC receive certificates as they complete the 8 week mindfulness course. at the orphanage, I immersed myself in the day-to-day, observing how this practice benefited the boys. We lived, learned, and played together, incorporating mindfulness in things we did outside of the actual course. I have to admit that it has to be one of the more fun research projects I have done. And clearly, playing soccer every single day was a must. I am not as young as I used to be; I was constantly getting beat by teenagers. I walked away feeling I learned more from the kids than they learned from me. It is amazing to hear their stories and see how resilient, smart and creative they are. I learned more about my connection with mindfulness in my time at the orphanage through the boys’ questions and observations. I believe it is important for everyone to spend time and immerse themselves in a different culture and environment. It is one of the most rich and impactful learning


experiences one can have. You learn so much about yourself and about the world. The fear that people have of what is different is as apparent today as ever. More contact would break some of these barriers and ease some of the social, political and personal fears. Along that same vein, we constantly see negative images and stories of Mexico. I wish more people knew the Mexico I have had the pleasure of getting to know. It is a beautiful country full of hard-working, kind people with a rich culture and incredible history. Beyond what I take academically from the experience, I take lasting friendships, beautiful memories and unforgettable life lessons from some amazing youth. I would like to thank the department and those involved my receiving the award, particularly to the donor, Ms. Susan Lewis. These opportunities are vital for students in order to make their various projects a reality. I am very grateful for the opportunity and support. I know


well how difficult finding funding can be, especially for international projects that often require more resources, so I urge other students to take advantage of these opportunities. I would also like to thank my adviser, Dr. Helen Boyle, as well as Dr. Ayesha Khurshid for their letters of support.

JULIA KRONHOLZ Name: Julia Kronholz Degree Level: Doctoral Program: Counseling Psychology & School Psychology Travel Location: Kampala, Uganda After receiving my immunizations and obtaining my visa, I embarked on the 24-hour journey from Tallahassee to Uganda for my month-long visit to Makerere University. I arrived at night, and all that was visible were the stars and moon reflecting off the waters of Lake Victoria. Mr. Henry Nsubuga, director of the university’s Counselling and Guidance Centre, picked me up at the airport and we drove 45 kilometers to Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Despite the late hour of the night, I noticed fires in fire pits and people selling food alongside the road. Afro-Caribbean music, smoke, and car exhaust filled the air.

University Career Center. He came to FSU from Makerere University by way of a Carnegie Foundation grant that provided him with the funding to visit a U.S. higher education institution. He chose Florida State University because of the FSU Career Center’s global reputation as a leader in career theory, research and practice. He offered to host me at Makerere University and I was awarded funding through the College of Education’s International Travel Scholarship. During my time at Makerere University, I planned and facilitated a week-long career advising training for university faculty and staff. Career counseling is a service of great need in

Uganda. The country continues to industrialize, and with industrialization comes career choices. The training was based on the Cognitive Information Processing theory of career development, which was created by FSU College of Education faculty James Sampson, Robert Reardon, Gary Peterson and Janet Lenz. While this practical model was applicable in the Ugandan context, it was my goal to listen closely to faculty and staff about the particular needs and concerns about career development in Uganda. It was an opportunity to hone my ability to be flexible and adaptable in a multicultural context, which was one of my continued...

I started the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology and School Psychology at FSU knowing that I wanted to have a multicultural, international experience. Along the way, I had a few narrowly successful attempts at finding a placement, but nothing that seemed to fit with my goals, and none with funding. In the spring of 2015, I met Nsubuga at the Florida State THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


main goals in seeking an international experience. During the training, our conversations were lively and passionate, and I was struck by the participants’ deep care and concern for the well-being and success of Makerere University students. In order to help university administrators make decisions about curriculum and training, I also created an employer survey based on the FSU Career Center Employer Survey for a Ugandan context. The data gleaned from this survey helped provide insight into skills and abilities that Ugandan employers seek from university graduates. The findings are now being used in academics and administration, with academic departments integrating the findings into curriculum development (e.g., developing a career preparation course) and administration setting graduation employment rates in the strategic plan. I also I helped establish a small resource center for students seeking information on making a career choice, writing a resume and networking with employers. Outside of work, I enjoyed the company of Makerere staff, other visiting academics and humanitarian workers. I traveled to the Ugandan equator, waded in the water source of the Nile River and enjoyed all types

Julia Kronholz and Henry Nsubuga at the Uganda Equator (south side)

Staff of the Makerere University Counseling and Guidance Centre



of world cuisines. I spoke to an allgirl’s school about life in the U.S., answering questions like, “Do you know Taylor Swift?” “Can you sing for us?” (No, I can’t), and, “How can I come study in the U.S.?” I presented to a local Rotary Club about matching interests with careers, ate fresh sugarcane from a rural village and fished in Lake Victoria. It is my experience that Western perspectives of African countries include images of poverty, war and safari. While those things exist, I learned from my time here that this vision is shortsighted. Walking along the unpaved clay roads, I saw sharply dressed men in suits and women in beautiful, colorful dresses. Among the markets, I saw teenagers focused on their phones, checking Facebook and Instagram. I ate at French, Greek and Persian restaurants. At times, I was panicked by the chaos of vehicle traffic, while at other times, campus served as a peaceful oasis in the midst of a bustling city. I saw solar-powered homes in rural villages and factories on the cutting edge of green technology. In Uganda, I discovered a new country with passionate, hard working people who aim to make a positive future for their country.

Julia Kronholz and Henry Nsubuga at Makerere University

I would like to express my profound gratitude to Dean Driscoll and the College of Education for providing me this personally and professionally meaningful experience. I would also like to thank my faculty members who helped me prepare for this trip: Dr. Debra Osborn, Dr. Janet Lenz and Dr. James Sampson. Finally, I would like to extend gratitude to Mr. Henry Nsuguba and the warm, welcoming people of Uganda for their hospitality and graciousness during my visit.

Staff of the Makerere University Counseling and Guidance Centre THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


KATELYN HAYWORTH Name: Katelyn Hayworth Degree Level: Master’s Program: Higher Education Travel Location: London, England In May 2016, I spent a week in London and the surrounding area for the “Insights into International Higher Education” practicum course. As part of my master’s program, I was required to take part in a three-day domestic practicum where I visited several colleges and universities around Jacksonville, Florida. The London part of the practicum was optional, but I wanted to go in order to compare U.S. institutions of higher education with ones in the U.K. As a former history major, I was also fascinated by how ancient some of the U.K.’s institutions are compared to ours. I was able to visit London Metropolitan University, University College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Reading. I toured each campus and was able to speak to staff at each location. In addition, I visited Leighton Park School, a day and boarding school where we learned how U.K. students prepare to go to university, and Foundation for International

Education, that gave me a look at the experiences of American students studying in London. I also heard from Dr. Paul Gentle of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, about how the cost of attending higher education in the U.K. has risen over the past few years. This experience gave me a very insightful look into the differences between British and American higher education. One striking difference was that while American universities allow students to explore their options in terms of majors, British students are accepted into specific programs at universities right off the bat. While universities in the U.S. can vary greatly in tuition costs, all U.K. universities charge the same amount. Having just visited several universities in Jacksonville, I was able to compare the kind of resources and support services offered at both American and British institutions. Over the course of the week, I realized how much American and British

St. Paul’s Cathedral at night



educators can learn from each other. Oftentimes, the educators I spoke to were just as interested in learning about our system of education as I was about theirs. Getting an outside perspective on your own country’s higher education system is very enlightening. I came away realizing how Americanized my perspective of

education is, and hopefully in the future I will be more openminded about how different cultures approach education. Previously, as an undergraduate studying abroad for a semester, I got to experience London as a student. I loved having another chance to return to London and see the higher education system as an educator. Over the course of the trip, I also gained a greater understanding and appreciation for international students in the U.K. and the U.S. For our practicum project, my group and I researched international support services and interviewed staff members at each university. We gathered knowledge about what resources are currently in place and which ones are needed for the students who come from all around the world to study in the U.K. or the U.S. long-term. I came away with a passion for making sure the international students I encounter going forward have the tools they need in order to make the most of their college experiences.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). UIUC has a high percentage of international students. I know the insights I gained into on-campus resources for international students at home and abroad will help equip me to better serve them. I am indebted to the College of Education for choosing me as the recipient of the International Travel Scholarship, and to Ms. Susan Lewis, whose generous donation made this scholarship possible. Many thanks also to Dr. Kathy Guthrie, whose hard work, organization and dedication made both practicum trips a success.

After returning from the London practicum, I interned with International Programs at FSU for a semester. I am very interested in study abroad programs and international education, so this experience gave me a sense of what goes into preparing a program from start to finish. In May 2017, I graduated with my Master of Science degree in Higher Education, and started a new position as an academic advisor in the Division of General Studies at the

The practicum attendees at the Foundation for International Education



Wall art in the Beatles Ashram outside of Rishikesh, India

SELINE TRINIDAD Name: Seline Trinidad Degree Level: Bachelor’s Program: Elementary Education Travel Location: India In the spring of 2016, I submitted a proposal that spelled out how I would use a COE International Travel Scholarship. It went over, in detail, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do there and why I wanted to do it. After I was awarded the scholarship, I packed some clothes, a water filter, a camera, and travelled to India. I found India to be vibrant, rich in culture and language, and welcoming to foreigners. I wanted to travel there to work in an orphanage and study in a yoga ashram. As a student in the Elementary Education program and a certified yoga instructor, I felt that these experiences would help me achieve my academic and career goals. Boy was I wrong – these experiences did so much more! In India, not only did I get to work with students from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, I was able to study meditation and yoga, which are tools that students can use to learn to interpret their own emotions and communicate more efficiently something with which many primary


students struggle. I encountered several challenges, triumphs and moments of gratitude whilst traveling throughout India. I was abroad for a total of three weeks, but I gained experiences to last a lifetime. The first two weeks I, volunteered at an orphanage on the outskirts of Delhi. Here, I found that even the ten years I lived in Florida did not prepare me for the 120-degree weather (yes, Fahrenheit). The heat was the first thing I noticed. Stepping out of the airport into the pollution and chaos of the oven that is otherwise known as Delhi is a feeling I will not soon forget. Then came the array of bugs and the crowds of people packed together like sardines, which was another experience altogether. Despite these changes from the air-conditioned, exterminated, crowd-controlled classrooms I came from in the States, I fell in love with Delhi. There were 82 girls at the orphanage ranging from age four to 26. Some of these girls had been abandoned as infants, though most of them were dropped off at ages seven to 12 by family members who could not afford to take care of them anymore. I found the girls to be courageous,


kindhearted and full of energy. They thought of each other as sisters and were thankful to be in a place where they could eat and sleep in peace and safety. Though I was there to teach them English, they taught me how to live in the moment and be grateful for what I have. Throughout the two weeks, I taught English to the girls using a discussion-based instruction style. I designed the lessons based on formative assessments of the levels of their spoken English. Every class, the girls had the chance to ask questions about American language and culture, and share anything that

Seline in front of the Taj Mahal in 110 degree weather

they found important or was on their minds. I saw the girls progress in their fluency and confidence while speaking, which satisfied my goals, since they were taught grammar and spelling in school. I also taught the girls yoga and helped them with homework given to them by their summer school teacher. Working with these girls was the highlight of my trip. Over the weekends, I travelled to Agra (home to the Taj Mahal), Kerala, and monuments and historic sites around Agra. This allowed me to gain a bit of insight into Indian culture, further my knowledge of working with English language learning students (ELLs), and learn more about Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, as well as US-India relations and how they affect the students I will have in my classroom. The final week of my trip, I traveled north to Rishikesh, a smaller city near the Himalayan mountains. It was a breath of fresh air – literally. I followed the Ashram’s schedule, doing a silent meditation in the mornings and evenings, taking two yoga classes every day and touring the area on breaks. Not only was there less air pollution, but it was less crowded and there was more of an opportunity to be mindful and present. Understanding what is happening in your own mind and what emotions you are feeling as a result of something happening around you is an important skill that many elementary students, as well as adults, struggle with. For example, while meditating, one observes thoughts that arise without reacting to them; however, if a certain emotion comes up, one acknowledges the feeling and delves into the reason behind it. The purpose of this mental exercise is to be able to understand oneself, forgive oneself, and appreciate oneself so that unacknowledged, misunderstood emotions do not bubble up unexpectedly and one does not unintentionally lash out or close oneself off to others. I gained many useful teaching tools in India. The experiences I had there allowed me to strive to better myself as a person and as a professional so that I can inspire and empower future generations to be the best version of themselves and make positive impacts on the world. I hope to apply what I learned about flexibility and mindfulness along with my experiences with ELLs to create a safe environment for my future students to learn and grow. I do not, however, plan to ever stop travelling.

Two women posed at Raj Ghat, where Ghandi’s ashes are



ENGAGED HackEd: Brainstorming Solutions to Issues in Education A Vision for the Future Purple Hurricanes 2016 College of Education Week Weathering the Storm Giving to the COE



HACKED: BRAINSTORMING SOLUTIONS TO ISSUES IN EDUCATION By Sara Sowerby On February 18, 2017, the Florida State University College of Education, in partnership with the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, hosted “HackEd: Brainstorming Solutions to Issues in Education.” Modeled after “hackathons,” where computer programmers collaborate on solutions to software and programming issues, HackEd was a unique, daylong competition designed for students and professionals who share a commitment to improving public education with innovative solutions. “We are dedicated to innovation and shaping the future of education,” said Marcy Driscoll, dean of the FSU College of Education. “HackEd is a great example of how we as a college can engage with diverse minds and explore solutions to education’s biggest challenges with a fresh perspective in order to create a stronger public school system.” The competition topic, how to diversify the higher education sphere, was announced the morning of the event. Six teams, each consisting of one to three people, had nine hours to identify challenges, propose answers and develop solutions designed to diversify the field of higher education. The teams each recommended a

solution within one of three tracks: policy, practice and technology. Each team then presented their solution to a panel of judges and the winners in each track received awards. The overall winning team was also presented with iPad minis. The winning teams in each track were as follows: Policy Track: “Ravenclaw” – Ravenclaw suggested a policy to tax College Board, the not-for-profit

organization responsible for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the Advanced Placement (AP) program, and various equity efforts, in order to provide test preparation to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. According to their proposal, this test preparation would result in higher test scores and diversify the socioeconomic backgrounds of students entering college. Practice Track: “Match Easy” – Match Easy created an interactive calendar mobile app to diversify students’ experiences while attending higher education institutions. Technology Track: “Team W (Get StartED)” – Team W designed an exclusive platform to diversify the students entering higher education institutions. The platform would track high school achievement inside and outside the classroom, while at the same time promoting engagement between the students and college counselors.



A VISION FOR THE FUTURE By Jemison Thorsby When Stan and Peg Rogaski looked into the visual disabilities program in the College of Education, they were not quite sure what they would see.

braille transcriber for almost 20 years and I believe that everyone, sighted or not, should be able to enjoy reading a book.”

Neither are FSU alums, though they have been Seminole Boosters since their older son, Tom (’00), first enrolled in 1996. Stan, Jr. (’03) followed shortly thereafter and the Rogaskis have been Seminoles ever since, but they had not yet seen what FSU was doing in the high-need area of vision care.

Peg is a Library of Congress Certified Braille Transcriber and served as scholarship chair for the Visual Aid Volunteers of Florida (VAVF), but was still surprised when she discovered that Florida State is the only school in the southeast with a dedicated program for teachers of the visually impaired.

“Stan’s career, as well as our sons’, has been in the vision care field,” Peg explains. Stan Rogaski, Sr. was vice president with Johnson and Johnson Vision Care before his retirement in 2008, and today serves as executive director of the non-profit Contact Lens Institute. Tom earned a bachelor’s in marketing and works for ABB Optical Group in Jacksonville, while Stan, Jr. earned his bachelor’s in Information Studies and works in IT for Johnson and Johnson Vision Care. Stan, Jr. married Cathy (Racicot) Rogaski (’02), a veterinarian in Jacksonville.

“We often think of the Visual Disabilities program as an unseen champion of our School of Teacher Education,” says Assistant Dean for Development Kevin Derryberry. “Many alumni and friends are unaware that the program is the only one in the Southeast and one of only a handful of programs nationwide that specialize in training teachers of the blind and visually impaired.” When the Rogaskis visited with the Program Coordinator,

But it was Peg Rogaski’s volunteer work that led the family to inquire about establishing the Rogaski Visual Disabilities Endowment. “I’ve been a

I’ve been a braille transcriber for almost 20 years and I believe that everyone, sighted or not, should be able to enjoy reading a book.”



Dr. Sandy Lewis, the small community of teachers of the visually impaired became clear. Peg shared that she helped award a scholarship from the VAVF to a blind student currently attending Florida State. Lewis was delighted by the choice. “I’ve known Alex Follo since he was probably eight years old and we helped his teachers,” says Lewis. “When you are part of this community, you get to know everyone.” The strong connections between the Rogaski family’s interest and careers and the close-knit community of teachers of the visually impaired helped assure Peg. “This makes a perfect fit for us when deciding how to appropriate a charitable contribution.”

PURPLE HURRICANES By Kevin Derryberry “There’s a Chinese phrase – laotong – that means ‘my old same.’ That’s me and Sally. We are old sames. We are from different places and have different beliefs, but there’s something about our souls that has always been familiar.” From her Gainesville living room, the namesake of the College of Education’s new Pamela Cobb Green Endowed Scholarship began to explain the lifelong friendship she has shared with her best friend, Sally Brown Rhoden. The two ladies met in 1964 when Green couldn’t get to sleep in her new dorm room. She’d left the comfort of friends and family in that “other” university town to get away, but Bryant Hall didn’t quite feel like home in the first week of her freshman year. “In those days, ladies needed to be in bed by 10:00,” she explains, but she didn’t feel like sleeping and went for a walk down the hall to clear her head. It was then that she saw Rhoden walking her way. The two hadn’t met, but were confused to see each was wearing a “Purple Hurricane” t-shirt. “Did you go to Gainesville High School?” asked Green, knowing full well that she knew every other Purple Hurricane who had come up the road to Tallahassee. “No, I went to Monroe,” explained Rhoden, assuming Green must mean Gainesville, Georgia. The two soon sorted out their initial confusion over matching mascots and similarly named cities of the South, but the notion that they already had a good deal in common remained. “We spent the rest of the night talking,” says Green of the chance encounter that grew into a friendship that has lasted over fifty years. The two young women came from different states, different backgrounds and

different political persuasions, but their friendship and love of Florida State has continued through marriage, children and grandchildren. Green graduated with a degree in Physical Education in 1968 and married Gainesville CPA Frank Green. They returned home and she spent two years at UF’s lab school, P.K. Yonge, before taking a break to have children. After the birth of her two boys, Green put her physical education training to work as a P.E. coach at a private school where she still works part-time today. Rhoden also graduated in 1968 with a degree in elementary education and stayed to earn her master’s in 1970. She married Jim Rhoden and returned to Georgia. She and Jim would have two boys and a girl before separating, but have stayed close over the years. When their children were young, the Greens and Rhodens would spend time together over the summer holidays vacationing and camping. These days, Rhoden and Green run “Granny Camp” in the summers, “or as the grandkids call it, Crazy Old Lady Camp!” clarifies Green. Florida State University has seen a great many friendships forged in our halls, but few are those that have been as close as Green and Rhoden. When she decided to create a scholarship for Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education students at FSU, Rhoden knew exactly what she wanted to name the fund. She named her scholarship in honor of her friend, her old same, Pamela Cobb Green. THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


This visible image of Category 4 Hurricane Irma was taken on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 10:37 a.m. EDT (1437 UTC) by the NOAA GOES East satellite. Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

WEATHERING THE STORM By Sara Sowerby On September 10, Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm, demolished homes, businesses and schools in the Florida Keys. Approximately 8,600 students, along with their teachers, school administrators, and staff remained out of school for nearly a month. Just 10 days later on September 20, Hurricane Maria, also a powerful Category 4 hurricane, made direct landfall on Puerto Rico, home to 3.4 million US citizens. The island was drenched with rain, and 150 mph winds ripped apart buildings and took out trees, cell service and power. Just weeks after these horrendous storms impacted so many, the FSU College of Education community pulled together to send relief to hurricane victims. From assembling care packages to collecting donations, COE’s close-knit community was quick to lend a helping hand.   On September 15, Florida State University and Leon County teamed up to send thousands of care packages, stuffed with donations from local residents and business, to Hurricane Irma victims in South Florida. That morning, COE students were among the more than 300 volunteers that assembled donated items such as food, beverages, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap into 5,000 nonperishable food care packages and 2,000 bags of personal hygiene items.   “This is what Florida State’s about,” said President John Thrasher. “We talk about family a lot at Florida State. When you see things like this, it really shows that the kids believe in the university and its values, and they’re willing to participate and give back.”  



The Florida Keys, hit especially hard by Hurricane Irma, resulted in the College of Education collecting monetary donations for those impacted. Through contacts in the Educational Leadership/Administration program and the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS), the college has several partnerships with school districts throughout the state, including Monroe County. Over the years, our partnership with the Monroe County School District has strengthened, as many Monroe County teachers are proud Seminoles who have earned both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees from COE.   “Our intent is to not only help expand their access to graduate education, but also to the many resources we can provide as a college,” said Bob Schwartz, professor and ELPS chair.   Through a SparkFSU campaign, ELPS and the college raised over $2,000 to help supply food, water, clothing, and more to Keys students, families and teachers as they recover, rebuild and reestablish daily routines and a sense of normalcy.   “It goes without saying that most of us in the college are very familiar with the kind destruction caused to Florida by Hurricane Irma,” said Schwartz. “The faculty, staff, and students in ELPS recognized that our school district partner needed our support and were more than happy to help.”   Following Hurricane Maria’s damage to Puerto Rico, Florida State University, through the College of Communication and Information, coordinated the collection of supplies for the island through Operation Airdrop’s local relief drive.

The organization asked for water, first aid kits, batteries, flashlights, hygiene products, baby formula, nonperishable foods, clothing, candles and matches. COE placed a donation box on the ground floor of the Stone Building, and within a day, the box was overflowing with relief items from COE students, faculty and staff.

“At the Florida State University College of Education, we strive to provide our students with an educational environment that provides opportunities designed to have an impact, be it across the globe or in our own community,” said Dean Marcy Driscoll. “COE’s dedicated students, faculty and staff have a heart for service and I was thrilled by how eager they all were to lend a helping hand in this time of need.”

FSU and Leon County teamed up to send thousands of care packages to Hurricane Irma victims in South Florida, thanks to donations from local residents and businesses. (FSU Photography Services)

Florida State University COE collected and donated relief items to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.

More than 250 FSU students and 100 staff volunteers assembled care packages for Hurricane Irma victims Friday, Sept. 15, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. (FSU Photography Services) THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


COE WEEK 2016 The College of Education hosted the sixth annual College of Education Week September 26, through Saturday, October 1 to celebrate the college’s students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends.

DEAN’S SYMPOSIUM The Dean’s Symposium is an 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 tenth annual Dean’s Symposium, “Increasing Momentum for Postsecondary Success,” focused on the topics of postsecondary student success as well as policies and programs that higher education institutions and policymakers can consider to promote student success.

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. This year, the Technology Showcase was held in conjunction with a college-wide pizza party hosted by the COE Student Leadership Council.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL Dippin’ Dots were enjoyed by 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.

18TH 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 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. Each year, recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by the College of Education alumni council. The annual awards are given in six categories: Government and Community Service, Business and Industry, International, K-12 Education, Postsecondary (University), and Distinguished Educator.

STUDENT AND DONOR SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS CEREMONY This awards ceremony recognized the student scholarship recipients and the donors who generously funded their awards.



THE 2016 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS Established more than 25 years ago, the College of Education Distinguished Alumni Awards provide an avenue to honor graduates of the college who have distinguished themselves through scholarly, creative and humanitarian achievement and service to their profession. Each year, recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by the College of Education alumni council. This year’s award winners are: Government and Community Service: David Wiles (B.S. ’64), professor emeritus, SUNY- Albany Business and Industry: Lindy Benton (B.S. ’77, M.S. ’78), president and CEO, Vyne International: Frank Lester, Emeritus Chancellor’s Professor of mathematics education and cognitive science, Indiana University K-12 Education: Lisa Williams (Ed.S. ’05), music education teacher, Department of Defense Education Activity Postsecondary (University): Bill Law (M.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’77), president, St. Petersburg College Distinguished Educator: Imogene Mixson (Ph.D. ’72), former interim president, Wallace Community College-Dothan The College of Education dean and administrative leadership members, department chairs, faculty, family and friends honored these six individuals at an awards ceremony and dinner held Friday, Sept. 30 during College of Education Week.

LINDY BENTON Lindy Benton has worked in the healthcare information technology field for more than 25 years and is currently the President and CEO of Vyne, a provider of secure healthcare communications, electronic attachment and health information exchange solutions to the hospital, dental practices and payer markets. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Multi-Handicapped Education from Florida State University, with extended post graduate work in Measurement and Statistics. This foundation led to her early work in special education and pursuit of emerging technologies to support effective communication for students. Later, at Digital Equipment Corporation, she was the division manager responsible for healthcare business in the Southeast. Benton went on to Cerner Corporation, where she was in leadership for 15 years. She then served as an executive at The Sage Group, managing a $350 million division with 1,400 employees. Benton is a member of the Foundation Board for Florida Hospital for Children, a fellow with the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and serves on executive councils for several health-related committees and industry associations.

DAVID KIMBALL WILES Dr. David Kimball Wiles was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He grew up in Gainesville, Florida and graduated from the PK Yonge Developmental Research School. He received his B.S. from Florida State University where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and Army ROTC. He served the U.S. Army honorably in Korea as a first lieutenant and went on to earn his doctorate from the University of Florida. As a professor, Wiles’ career took him to a number of institutions, including the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Virginia Tech, Miami University, University of North Florida, SUNY Albany, and Valdosta State



University. With a background in political science and education, his work focused on educational policy – specifically race, finance, special education classifications, urban and rural schooling, and school boards. He was known to students and colleagues as a warm, genuine and supportive person. He retired to St. Augustine, Florida as professor emeritus from SUNY Albany in 1997. Wiles spent his retirement as an outspoken environmental advocate, serving in a number of capacities, including commissioner of the Soil and Water Conservation Board; former member of the Planning Zoning Agency; the St. Johns County Roundtable; charter member and president of the South Anastasia Communities Association; and the Friends of Matanzas. He was an enthusiastic advocate for the creation and support of the Matanzas Riverkeeper and worked tirelessly to help enhance the quality of life for his fellow citizens. Wiles passed away on August 7, 2016 and is loved and missed by many.

FRANK LESTER Frank K. Lester, Jr. is Emeritus Chancellor’s Professor of Mathematics Education and of Cognitive Science at Indiana University, from which he retired in 2008. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics Education from FSU in 1966 and ’67 and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1972. His primary research interests lie in the areas of mathematical problem solving and metacognition, especially with respect to problem-solving instruction at the primary and middle school levels. A special feature of his research has been his commitment to transforming research results into practice. From 1991 until 1996 he was editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, the leading Englishlanguage research journal in mathematics education. He also was editor of the two-volume Second Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning published in 2007. Currently he is coediting a series of books on the implications for teaching of research on learning algebra, calculus, geometry, probability and statistics, and discrete mathematics. His appointment in 2000 to an endowed chair of Teacher Education at his university was based largely on his national and international reputation as a scholar and teacher educator. In 2006 he was awarded a university Chancellor’s Professorship in Teaching and Research in recognition of his contributions to the University and to the national and international mathematics education community. In 2008 he received the first-ever Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Mathematics Teacher Education by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, a Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree by Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland. During his nearly 50-year career, Lester has been a visiting professor in Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, New Zealand, and Sweden, but perhaps just as importantly, he has many memories of his student days at FSU, and he is extremely honored to have been selected as a recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award.

LISA WILLIAMS Lisa A. Williams, a native of San Diego, California, is a music education teacher for the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). She is currently assigned to Marine Corp Air Station-Beaufort in South Carolina. Williams has traveled the country teaching music and special education, and providing technology workshops and support for sixteen years. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Music Education (Howard University); a second master’s degree in Special Education (University of San Diego); an Education Technology & Online Instruction certificate from Liberty University; and an education specialist degree in Special Education from Florida State University. She will soon begin doctoral studies in Education Technology with a focus on digital learning in 21st Century education. continued... THE TORCH - COLLEGE OF EDUCATION MAGAZINE


Williams is the 2016 Department of Defense- Fort Bragg District Teacher of the Year. She recently attended the DoDEA Leadership Summit and Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. She is also the recipient of the 2016 40-Under-40 Leadership Award for her commitment to service in the Fayetteville area; as well as the 2015 Achievement Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated – Fayetteville, NC. One of her most memorable honors was performing in the 2009 Inauguration for President Barack Obama. Williams believes that all students possess individual leadership skills and an innate ability to learn. She also believes it is her responsibility as an educator to help students identify their unique leadership qualities and use those qualities to achieve their highest potential. She has a passion for helping others understand the importance of using digital tools within the learning environment to enhance 21st Century education.

BILL LAW William D. Law, Jr. became St. Petersburg College’s sixth president on June 7, 2010. Before joining St. Petersburg College, Law served 8 years as president of Tallahassee Community College; he was the founding president and served for 10 years with Montgomery College in suburban Houston. Additionally, Law served 4 years as president for Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois, and he became the vice president of Institutional and Program Planning at St. Petersburg College (then St. Petersburg Junior College), where he worked until 1988. Early in his career, Law served as staff director of the Florida House of Representatives’ Committee on Higher Education and worked for the Florida Board of Regents. In his several presidential positions, Law has become well known as an advocate of economic and workforce development, student success and community outreach. Law currently serves on 8 boards, and his effort to increase student success has allowed him to work at state and national levels. He has served as a consultant with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provided expert testimony to the United States House of Representatives, and served as a member of the Florida Task Force on Community College Baccalaureate Education. Law also serves as the co-chair of the SPC Strategic Issues Council, the core team for the Achieving the Dream Initiative.

IMOGENE MIXSON Dr. Imogene Mathison Mixson’s 37-year career in public education includes seven years at Dothan High School as an English teacher and 30 years in the Alabama Community College System as an English instructor, English department chairperson, academic dean, and interim president. After graduating from Ozark High School as valedictorian, she pursued her childhood dream to become a teacher. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English education at Troy University, master’s degree in English Education at Auburn University, and Ph.D. in English Education at Florida State University. Throughout her career, she served on numerous committees and task forces that focused primarily on instruction, curriculum, professional development, and articulation that required extensive coordination with academic transfer institutions. She was also a presenter for numerous professional conferences, including the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges in Orlando, Florida. A leader in many professional and civic organizations, she served on the Alabama Humanities Foundation Board and continues her longtime membership on the Ozark-Dale County Public Library Board. She has served in major leadership positions in all levels of the United Methodist Church. Noted for her record of excellence in both teaching and administration, Mixson has received numerous awards throughout her career. As an English instructor, she was honored three times as Teacher of the Year and received the Distinguished Leadership Award and Administrator of the Year Award from the Alabama Community College System. She was named an Outstanding Auburn University Woman Graduate as part of the Celebration of the Centennial of the Admission of Women to Auburn University and honored as the 2016 Auburn University College of Education Outstanding Alumnus. Active in retirement, she continues to champion the cause of education and “give back” to places that have given her so much, including the College of Education at Florida State University.






HELP TRANSFORM TOMORROW THROUGH YOUR GIFT TODAY Help support the students and programs you have read about through your tax-deductible gift to the College of Education! You can make a donation to our General Fund or contact the Foundation Development Office to learn about how you can create a scholarship or include the College of Education in your estate plans.

SUPPORT THE GENERAL FUND Gifts to the College of Education’s General Fund (F01988) give Dean Driscoll the greatest flexibility in meeting the needs of our students, faculty and programs. •

Support the General Fund though a one-time gift or a recurring pledge payment.

Many employers provide matching gift programs that can double or triple your contribution.

To find out if your company participates in a matching gift program, visit or ask your human resources department.

ENDOWED GIFTS Endowed gifts last in perpetuity to ensure the University’s future. The principal of your donation is invested and the earnings are used to fulfill the purpose of your choosing. •

The minimum amount to establish an endowed scholarship is $25,000 with pledge payment cycles available over five years.

Endowments can be named in honor of the donor, a friend or family member, or a well-remembered faculty member.

Endowments can be created for scholarships, fellowships, professorships, programs, professional development for working teachers, or any other appropriate educational purpose.

GIFT PLANNING If you wish to include FSU in your estate or plan for your own retirement through means that provide tax incentives and help FSU’s College of Education, you can: Designate the College of Education in your will. Name the College as a beneficiary of your retirement or life insurance plan. Create a trust or charitable gift annuity. Gift annuities and trusts provide fixed payments back to you for your life while you enjoy tax benefits and securing the success of future generations of College of Education students.



PAYMENT METHODS Credit Card Please visit to donate online. To give by phone, call (850) 644-0565 or (850) 645-8943. Check Please mail your check, made payable to the FSU Foundation and indicate the purpose of your gift, to: College of Education General Fund - 1988 Florida State University Foundation P.O. Box 3062739 Tallahassee, FL 32306-2739

For more information about supporting the College of Education, please contact: Kevin Derryberry Assistant Dean for Development College of Education (850) 644-0565

Sarah J. Reed Development Officer College of Education (850) 645-8943




1960’S Marvalene Hughes (Ph.D. ‘69 Counseling and Administration) Stanislaus State dedicated its iconic Reflecting Pond to Marvalene Hughes during a special ceremony on September 29, 2017. Hughes was Stan State’s first black president, first female president, and their longest-serving president from 1994 to 2005.

1970’S Kathleen S. Boyd Marsh (B.S. ’71 English Education) published her debut children’s novel, “The Lazy Dragon and the Bumblespells Wizard.” The novel features a lazy dragon (called a “Dr’gon”) and a fugitive wannabe wizard in a comic fantasy. Joy Becker (B.S. ’75 Physical Education), former Florida State University women’s softball player and assistant volleyball coach at FSU, was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame on September 25, 2016. Gerard Vernot (Ph.D. ’75 Counseling and Human Systems), published the book, “Helping Students Eliminate Inappropriate School Behavior: A Group Activities’ Guide for Teachers and Counselors” to help students improve their school behavior. Mary Coburn (M.S. ’76 Counseling and Human Systems, Ed.D. ‘92 Higher Education) was selected as the 2017 recipient of the NASPA Region III John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Professional, and was one of four local “heroes” to be honored by the Tallahassee Mayor’s Office with the Keys to the City. The longtime



FSU vice president of student affairs also retired, but will continue teaching at the College of Education. Cecile Reynaud (M.S. ‘78, Physical Education, Ph.D. ‘98, Sport Management), former Florida State Volleyball head coach and retired research associate in the Department of Sport Management, was one of four coaches named to the 15th annual AVCA Hall of Fame class by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Marcia Rivas (B.S. ‘79, Elementary Education), was honored by Twin Lakes Academy Elementary in Duval County, Florida for her many contributions to the school, including establishing the school’s Green Team. A live oak tree was planted on school grounds in honor of Rivas, who retired in 2016.

1980’S M. Dianne Murphy (Ph.D. ’80 Educational Leadership/Administration), a former Florida State University women’s basketball coach and current senior partner at The PICTOR Group, was awarded the 2016 National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding achievement and dedication to the advancement of women in athletics. Michael Sachs (Ph.D. ’80 Sport Psychology), a professor in the Department of Kinesiology, College of Public Health at Temple University, was a keynote speaker at the 2017 Association for Applied Sport Psychology West Regional Conference hosted by John F. Kennedy University on April 21-22, 2017.

Toni Mason (Ph.D. ‘82 Educational Leadership/Administration) The Toni Jo Mason Foundation donated more than $26,000 to support scholarships at Tallahassee Community College. The foundation is the legacy of the late Toni Jo Mason, who worked in education throughout her adult life and was committed to ensuring that all people are recognized by their abilities rather than their disabilities. Dane Ward (M.S. ’83 Social Science Education) was named the dean of libraries and the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor for Library and Information Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Ward began his new position on August 1, 2017.

Susan Donovan (M.S. ’81 Higher Education) was named Bellarmine University’s president.

1990’S Martha Caldwell (M.A. ’91 English Education) recently published the book, “Let’s Get Real: Exploring Race, Class, and Gender Identities in the Classroom.” with Oman Frame, a fellow teacher at the Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia. Donna Ledford (B.S. ’92 Elementary Education and Teaching) was named an assistant superintendent for elementary schools at Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia. Michael K. McLendon (M.S. ’94 Higher Education) was named The Fred and Edith Hale Endowed Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy and interim provost at Baylor University.

Clarissa Nicole West-White (M.S. ’95, Ph.D. ’01 Curriculum & Instruction, English Education), assistant professor of English at Bethune-Cookman University, was appointed chair of the English, World Languages, and Cultures Studies Department where she teaches both online and on-campus courses. Amy Franklin (M.S. ’96 Elementary Education), a science teacher at Hawks Rise Elementary and the recipient of the 2015 Leon County Schools Teacher of the Year award, worked with the chemical manufacturing giant, BASF Corporation, to introduce her students to hands-on chemistry.



Lisa Kelley (B.S. ’96, M.S. ’98 Physical Education, Ed.S. ’16 Educational Leadership/Administration) was named Florida State University School’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Michelle Sackman (B.S. ’96 Elementary Education) was appointed principal at Mossy Oaks Elementary School located in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Mark Poisel (Ed.S. ’96 Higher Education, Ph.D. ‘98 Higher Education) was named UA-Little Rock’s vice chancellor, responsible for managing the student affairs and enrollment divisions, as the position was restructured to combine those roles.

Will Guzmán (M.S. ’99 Social Science Education) was appointed to Florida’s Task Force on African American History (December 2015 January 2017) by Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart and was awarded the C. Calvin Smith Book Prize by the Souther Conference of the African American Studies for his book, “Civil Rights in the Texan Borderlands: Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon and Black Activism.” He was also appointed book review editor for THE GRIOT: The Journal of African American Studiesand was appointed to the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Africana Studies.

2000’S Shannon M. Arsenault (B.S. ’00 Mathematics Education) joined McGlinchey Stafford’s Commercial Litigation Practice, representing clients in commercial litigation matters, focusing on contested residential mortgage foreclosures. Wanda Moore (M.S. ’01 Emotional/ Learning Disabilities), an ESE teacher at James S. Rickards High School, was selected as a finalist for Leon County Schools’ 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year.

Damon Andrew (Ph.D. ’04 Sport Administration), dean of the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education, was presented the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE).

Katie Barker (B.S. ’02 Elementary Education) accepted the position of academic advisor within the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s athletic department.

Allison H. Crume (Ph.D. ’04 Higher Education) was appointed by Florida State University President John Thrasher to serve as interim vice president for Student Affairs.

Stacie Bene Harris Cox (B.S. ’02 Sport Management), was honored with The Inspire Award on July 13, 2017 in Tampa. Sponsored by the FSU Alumni Association and the Tampa Bay Seminole Club, The Inspire Award recognizes alumnae who have distinguished themselves as leaders within their industry and whose hard work and determination serves as an inspiration to current students and young alumni at Florida State University.


Adam LaMee (B.S. Physics Education ’03) published the book, “Argument-Driven Inquiry in Physics, Volume 1: Mechanics Lab Investigations for Grades 9-12” with fellow FSU College of Education alumni Todd Hutner and Jonathon Grooms.


Jonathon Grooms (B.S. Science/Math Teaching ’04, Ph.D. Science Education ’11) published the book, “Argument-Driven Inquiry in Physics, Volume 1: Mechanics Lab Investigations for Grades 9-12” with fellow FSU College of Education alumni Adam LaMee and Todd Hutner.

Todd Hutner (B.S. Science Education ’04, M.S. Science Education ’09) published the book, “Argument-Driven Inquiry in Physics, Volume 1: Mechanics Lab Investigations for Grades 9-12” with fellow FSU College of Education alumni Adam LaMee and Jonathon Grooms. Yaacov Petscher (M.S. ’04 Educational Psychology, M.S. ’05 Measurement and Statistics) received financial support from Florida State University to transport his innovative educational platform from the laboratory to the marketplace. Petscher’s app provides in-depth analytics to help teachers predict who is struggling and how to help these students make up lost ground. Megan McHugo Morrison (M.S. ’05 Sport Management) was promoted to Ivy League Associate Executive Director, Compliance & Governance. Morrison’s duties include managing the League’s compliance, governance and studentservices activities and serving as the liaison to the League’s faculty athletics representatives. William Benedict Russell III (Ph.D. ’06 Social Science Education), professor of social science education at the University of Central Florida, was named a 2016 Notable Nole. Russell, along with other outstanding FSU alumni, was honored during the Young Alumni Awards Brunch in Tallahassee on November 12, 2016. Tristan Alfant (B.S. ’07 Visual Disabilities), a teacher in the L. Daniel Hutto Early Learning Center at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB), was recognized as a finalist for FSDB’s Teacher of the Year.

Jessica Hooker (B.S. ’08, M.S. ’09 Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership Certificate ’16), a third-grade teacher at Springwood Elementary, was named 20162017 Leon County Teacher of the Year. William Cribbs (M.S. ’09 Social Science Education, M.S. ’13 Reading Education/ Language Arts), was hired as an ESE teacher at Port St. Joe Elementary School. Adrienne Frame (Ed.D. ’09 Higher Education) was selected as the University of Central Florida’s new associate vice president and dean of students in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services. In her new role at UCF, Frame oversees five major units – Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Neighborhood Relations and Safety Education, and Academic Services for Student-Athletes. Wendy Johnston Bamford (M.S. ’09 Emotional/Learning Disabilities) graduated in May of 2017 with a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Dental College of Georgia in Augusta. Meredith Martelle (B.S. ’09 Elementary Education, M.S. ‘11 Sport Management) joined the Florida State swimming and diving staff as the director of operations in October of 2016.

Carolyn (Carrie) Borcherding (B.S., M.S. ’07, Special Education), was appointed Special Education program coordinator in Greenwich Public Schools in Connecticut.

John Holden (M.S. ’07, Ph.D. ’16 Sport Management), a visiting professor in the FSU Department of Sport Management, recently published the article, “Ecological Economics and Sport Stadium Public Financing” in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review with Sport Management doctoral student Christopher McLeod.



2010’S Bryan Howard (B.S. ’10 Physical Education), a Math and Science teacher at Swift Creek Middle School in Leon County, codirected the school’s first Math and Science Camp.

Tyler Jansma (B.S. ’13 in Elementary Education) was named head coach of the new Grace Bible College tennis program located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Rita Ulrich (B.S. ’10 Social Science Education and Psychology) was named a recipient of the Fulbright-Hays program to study in Bulgaria for the summer of 2017.

Isaac Wood (M.S. ’13 Sport Management) joined Brigham Young University track and field and cross country as director of operations.

Susan James (Ph.D. ’11 Reading Education & Language Arts), assistant professor of teacher education and educational leadership at the University of West Florida, was a driving force behind the first National Writing Project Summer Invitational Institute held June 6-23, 2016 at UWF.

Daneika Borthwick (B.S. ’15, M.S. ’16 Sport Management), a former Florida State tennis standout, was named assistant women’s tennis coach at Columbia University. Jessica Geymayr (B.S. ’15 Sport Management) accepted a new role as Partnership Activation Coordinator with the Denver Broncos Football Club.

Kristina Bauer (M.S. ’12 Social Science Education) a Fairview Middle School teacher in Leon County, was named WCTV Teacher of the Month by Envision Credit Union on September 28, 2016.

Amy Booher (B.S., M.S. ’17 Special Education) joined Hawks Rise Elementary School in Leon County as an exceptional student education teacher.

Jennifer Farran (M.S. ’12 Higher Education), an academic advisor for the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida, was selected as an Outstanding New Advisor Award winner as part of the 2017 Global Awards Program for Academic Advising from NACADA: The Global Network for Academic Advising. Luke Loucks (M.S. ’12 Sport Management) a film and player development intern with the Golden State Warriors who also helped the Seminoles to the 2012 ACC Men’s Basketball Championship, supported the Warriors as they won the 2017 NBA Championship. Matt Cline (M.S. ’13 Sport Management) was named an assistant men’s basketball coach at Eastern Michigan University.



the Space Station.

Briana Brown (B.S. ’16 FSU Teach) was the winner of the 2017 Constellation Award for the Southwest region. Her school, Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Middle School in Houston, Texas, will receive the same DNA analysis technology soon to fly to James Stage (M.S. ’16 Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies) was presented with the Governor’s Young Entrepreneur Award on March 14, 2017 by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Gabby Bevillard (B.S. ’17 Sport Management) accepted an SKU Digital Experience internship with Nike.

Katelyn Rodd (B.S. ’17 Social Science Education) joined Bufflo Creek Middle School in Manatee County as a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher.

Kat Lopez (B.S. ’17 Social Science Education) became a teacher at Tequesta Trace Middle School in Broward County.

Thais Sanchez (B.S. ’17 Social Science Education) became a teacher at Preparatory School in Miami.

Ryan Mazon (M.S./Ed.S. ’17 Career Counseling) joined the Daytona Beach Career Services team at EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University as a program manager. Mazon works with students in Aeronautics, Homeland Security, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering Physics, Space Physics, Cybersecurity Management & Policy, and Human Security & Resilience.

Shelby Young (M.S. ’17 Higher Education) joined the FSU Career Center as assistant director for the Garnet and Gold Scholar Society.

Emma Reed (M.S. ’17 Sport Management) joined the Pepperdine cross country and track programs as a full-time assistant coach to work with Pepperdine’s distance runners and have a focus on recruiting.

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 Mail your news to: 2201 Stone Building 1114 W. Call Street P.O. Box 3064450 Tallahassee, FL 32306-4450



NEW & RETIRING FACULTY & STAFF NEW FACULTY ELPS - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies EPLS - Educational Psychology & Learning Systems STE - School of Teacher Education OIIT - Office of Information & Instructional Technologies OOR - Office of Research

Robert Eklund Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Professor

Lyndsay Jenkins Assistant Professor EPLS

Nicole Gabana Assistant Professor EPLS

Christine Mokher Associate Professor ELPS

Phil Hiver Assistant Professor STE

Amal Ibourk Assistant Professor STE

Arzu Güngör Leushuis Teaching Faculty I STE

Rose Skepple Coordinator STE

Sonia Cabell Assistant Professor STE

Grady Powell IT Support Specialist OIIT

Eileen “Beanie” Sirois Academic Support Assistant EPLS

Katie Filomio Assistant Director for Administrative Services Dean’s Office

Elizabeth “Libbie” Crowley Academic Program Specialist STE

Zaneta Igbinoba Accounting Representative STE

Stacey Cahan Data Analyst Dean’s Office

Jeffrey Hoh Academic Program Specialist Sport Management

Ashley Milton Program Coordinator Dean’s Office

Joseph Burton Administrative Assistant Dean’s Office

Charles Vilardebo Technician OIIT

Gloria Colvin COE Liaison University Libraries

Janet Lenz Assistant-In EPLS


Katrina GainousRivers Grants Compliance Analyst OOR


Jim Sampson Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Professor


Diana Rice Associate Professor STE

Frances Prevatt Professor EPLS


Peggy Lollie Academic Support Assistant, EPLS

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.

FACULTY ACHIEVEMENTS Christine Andrews-Larson, assistant professor of mathematics education, is part of a five-member team of Florida State University researchers working to develop coding modules for middle school mathematics classes that teach math and computer science concepts together. Andrews-Larson also volunteered at the Department of Mathematics’ annual Math Fun Day and presented a hands-on workshop on modeling. Tamara Bertrand Jones, associate professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, received the College of Education Graduate Teaching Award. George L. Boggs, assistant professor of English education, joined literacy education faculty from across the state at the University of Central Florida and the Morgridge International Reading Center as a Florida Literacy and International Reading Faculty Fellow. Graig Chow, assistant professor of sport psychology, was elected to serve as the 2018-2019 Association for Applied Sport Psychology research and practice division head.

Kristal Moore Clemons, online Ed.D. program director and teaching faculty, published the article, “‘Hold Up, wait a minute, let me put some freedom in it’: Hip- hop- based education and the freedom school experience,” in G. Noblit & W. Pink (Eds.) Second International Handbook of Urban Education. Clemons also received $5,000 with Alysia Roehrig from AERA’s Education Research Service Projects Initiative to help fund North Florida Freedom Schools.

Brad Cox, associate professor of higher education, received a three-year, $300,000 award from the National Science Foundation to study autism among college students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. Cox co-authored the paper “Lip Service or Actionable Insights? Linking Student Experiences to Institutional Assessment and Data-Driven Decision Making in Higher Education,” published in the Journal of Higher Education, and was honored with the College of Education’s Robert M. Gagné Research Award at the annual Marvalene Hughes Research in Education Conference. Ella-Mae Daniel, teaching faculty in the School of Teacher Education, was the Keynote Speaker at the W.E.B DuBois Dean’s List Reception honoring African-American students at FSU who earned a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Vanessa Dennen, associate professor of instructional systems and learning technologies, presented at the FSU Libraries’ Social Media and Research Symposium.

Lindsay Dennis, assistant professor of early childhood education in the School of Teacher Education, received the College of Education Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Marcy P. Driscoll, College of Education dean, delivered the opening keynote address for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2017 International Convention, “Leading Learning for Change,” in Jacksonville, Florida.



Deborah Ebener, associate professor and coordinator of counselor education, was honored by the Transformation Through Teaching program for her transformative influence in the lives of their students inside and outside of the classroom.

John Holden, a visiting professor in the Department of Sport Management, co-authored the article “Ecological Economics and Sport Stadium Public Financing,” published in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.

Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology, was the lead author of the study “Gendered Pathways: How Mathematics Ability Beliefs Shape Secondary and Postsecondary Course and Degree Field Choices,” published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Shouping Hu, the Louis W. and Elizabeth N. Bender Endowed Professor of Higher Education and the founding director of the Center for Postsecondary Success, was the project lead of a longitudinal study conducted by the Center for Postsecondary Success on how Florida College System institutions, formerly called community colleges, have implemented legislatively mandated developmental education reform (SB 1720) on their campuses.

M. Katie Flanagan, assistant instructor in the Department of Sport Management, presented her project, “Making Service Learning a High Impact Practice in College Curriculum,” at the Athens Institute for Education and Research Conference in Athens, Greece. Michael Giardina, associate professor of sport management, published the book, “Qualitative Inquiry in Neoliberal Times,” with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor Emeritus Norman Denzin. Kathy Guthrie, associate professor of higher education, director of the Leadership Learning Research Center and coordinator of the undergraduate certificate in Leadership Studies, was named a 2017 American College Personnel Association Diamond Honoree. She also received a Graduate Faculty Mentor Award from the FSU Graduate School, and was a featured guest on the web series Student Affairs Live hosted by Higher Ed Live and the NASPA Leadership Podcast. Mary Frances Hanline, professor in the School of Teacher Education, was presented with an award for Excellence in Online Teaching from the Office of Distance Learning for the effective use of online teaching strategies that demonstrate superior methods of instruction and student engagement.



Jeffrey D. James, professor of sport management, was selected as the 2017 recipient of the Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award, the most prestigious North American Society for Sport Management award. Fengfeng Ke, associate professor of instructional systems and learning technologies, received a National Science Foundation grant to examine “Mixed Reality Integrated Teaching Training for STEM Graduate Teaching Assistants.” Ke was also received a Developing Scholar Award from the FSU Council on Research and Creativity. Jane Lo, assistant professor of social science education, co-presented the Education Week webinar, “Weaving Project-Based Learning into Rigorous High School Courses.”

Susan Losh, associate professor of educational psychology, received $179,999 from the NSF’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics to examine “What’s Happened with American Adult Understanding of Science Knowledge and Process: 1979-2016.” Losh was also one of three faculty finalists for the College of Education’s Robert M. Gagné Research Award.

Laura Osteen, director of the FSU Center for Leadership and Social Change and faculty member in the higher education program, moderated a panel of female leaders at the FSU’s fourth annual Women in Leadership Conference. Toby Park, assistant professor of economics of education and education policy, co-authored the paper “Labor Market Returns for Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” published in the journal Research in Higher Education. Steven Pfeiffer, professor and director of clinical training, presented a workshop at the 2016 Berta Excellence in Education Workshop at Western Kentucky University. Pfeiffer was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar Finalist in Israel. He was invited to testify before the Italian Parliament in Rome on the value of Italy adopted gifted education in their schools, and he authored the paper “Success in the classroom and in life: Focusing on strengths of the head and strengths of the heart,” published in the journal Gifted Education International. Beth M. Phillips, associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, was among the recipients of a fouryear grant awarded to the Florida Center for Reading Research by the Institute of Education Sciences to explore effective instructional practices for four-year-old Spanish-speaking English learners in Florida pre-k classrooms. Courtney Preston, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy, was selected as an Outstanding Reviewer for 2016 by the American Educational Research Association and Educational Researcher. Alysia Roehrig, associate professor of educational psychology and learning and cognition program coordinator, was named a recipient of the annual Guardian of the Flame award from Burning Spear. Roehrig also received $5,000 with Kristal Moore Clemons from

AERA’s Education Research Service Projects Initiative to help fund North Florida Freedom Schools. James Sampson, former associate dean for faculty development, was granted an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Jyväskylä and published “Integrating Theory, Research and Practice in Vocational Psychology,” the first book published by FSU’s libraries. Linda Schrader, clinical professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was given an award for Excellence in Online Course Design from the Office of Distance Learning and was honored with a Graduate Teaching Award celebrating superlative graduate teaching. Schrader was also appointed as an affiliate faculty with the FSU Center for Demography and Population Health. Robert Schwartz, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was honored by the Transformation Through Teaching program for his transformative influence in the lives of their students inside and outside of the classroom. Schwartz was also selected as the recipient of NASPA’s 2017 Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member. Valerie Shute, the Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner Endowed Professor of Education in the Educational Psychology and Learning Systems department, received a National Science Foundation grant to examine “Game-based Assessment and Support of STEM-related Competencies,” and was one of five keynote speakers at The World Conference on Computers in Education in Dublin, Ireland. Sherry Southerland, professor of science education and director of the School of Teacher Education, is part of a fivemember team of Florida State University researchers working to develop coding modules for middle school mathematics classes that teach math and computer science concepts together. The work is part of the NSF’s growing emphasis on increasing the number of women and minorities in computer science.



Laura Steacy, assistant professor of special education, was one of the six researchers awarded an NICHD Learning Disabilities Innovation Hub grant to study “context-dependent” phonics constraints. She was among the recipients of a research award of nearly $190,000 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for “Experiential and Child Factors That Determine Acquisition of Orthographic-Phonological Regularities in a QuasiRegular Writing System: An Integrated Behavioral/ Computational/Neurobiological Approach.” Steacy was also recognized by the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading as the 2017 Rebecca L. Sandak Award recipient. Martin A. Swanbrow Becker, assistant professor of psychological and counseling services, was the recipient of the Partner with a Purpose award given by the FSU Division of Student Affairs. Gershon Tenenbaum, Benjamin S. Bloom Professor of Educational Psychology and a professor of sport and exercise psychology, spoke at the Neurocognition and Action in Sport – Individualized Diagnostics and Coaching Symposium hosted by the University of Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany. Tenenbaum also gave the Coleman Grifith Award Keynote Presentation at the 31st AAASP Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.



Ian Whitacre, assistant professor of elementary mathematics education, volunteered at the Department of Mathematics’ annual Math Fun Day and taught a workshop on common core math. James P. Sampson, former associate dean for faculty development; Debra S. Osborn, associate professor of psychological and counseling services; and Janet G. Lenz, former assistant-in in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems, published the digital publication, “Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice in Vocational Psychology: Current Status and Future Directions,” which contains 20 peer-reviewed papers that examine the challenges and opportunities for integrating theory, research and practice in vocational psychology from the perspectives of theorists, researchers, practitioners and journal editors. This is the first book-length publication hosted by the FSU Libraries’ open access publishing program. Alysia Roehrig, associate professor of educational psychology and learning and cognition program coordinator; Tamara Bertrand Jones, associate professor of higher education; and Jeannine Turner, associate professor educational psychology, were awarded a five-year, $1 million grant in partnership with FAMU from the Institute of Education Sciences for their project entitled, “Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education.”

STAFF ACHIEVEMENTS Danielle Boone, administrative assistant in the Dean’s Office, was named to the COE Staff Advisory Board as Recording Secretary. Boone will serve in this position through 2019.

Marah Kirsten Harrington, program manager in the Dean’s Office, was named to the COE Staff Advisory Board. Kirsten Harrington will serve as chair of the board through 2018.

Holly Crosby, business manager in the Dean’s Office, was named to the COE Staff Advisory Board through 2018.

Linda Lyons, academic support assistant, earned her master’s degree in Foreign and Second Language Education.

Tony Daniels, senior administrative specialist in Department of Sport Management, was named to the COE Staff Advisory Board through 2018. He also received his Ph.D. in Art Education. Stacy Fletcher, program associate in the Office of Research, was honored for five years of service to the College of Education.

Theresa Harrell, senior administrative specialist in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, was honored with the Outstanding Staff Award. This award is presented annually to a College of Education staff member nominated by faculty, staff and/or students for providing outstanding customer service, personalized service or other work-related contributions to the success of the college, its faculty, staff and/or students.

Jeannie McDowell, academic support assistant in the School of Teacher Education, was honored for five years of service to the College of Education.

Grady Powell, IT support specialist, was named to the COE Staff Advisory Board as vice-chair. Powell will serve in this position through 2019.

Bryan Richards, senior administrative specialist in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems, was honored for 10 years of service to the College of Education.



LEAVING A LEGACY By Sara Sowerby When Jim Sampson joined the Florida State University faculty in 1982 as an assistant professor in the Department of Human Services and Studies, the Stone Building had just recently been built and it was only Bobby Bowden’s seventh season coaching the football team. “One big difference between 1982 and 2017 is the impact of information technology on the work of faculty members,” says Sampson. “In 1982, correspondence, manuscripts and grant applications were typed on paper and mailed. Access to printed information was much slower.” Over his 35 years as FSU, Sampson developed four new courses, authored more than 200 publications, served as a member on many taskforces, councils and committees, and inspired hundreds of students in the more the 25 courses he taught during his career.

succeed. His positivity and encouragement have always been inspiring and his legacy will live on in the many students he has guided over the years.” Throughout his tenure, Sampson had many professional accomplishments. He received the Ralph F. Berdie Memorial Research Award from the American Counseling Association for significant research in the area of counseling and education. The American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, elected Sampson to fellow status. In 2016, he was

“I am very thankful to have had Dr. Sampson as my professor, dissertation co-chair and supervisor,” said FSU College of Education alumna Stefanie Coppes (Ph.D. ’11), who credits Sampson as one of the reasons she was accepted into the Counseling Psychology/School Psychology Ph.D. program. “I will always be grateful to Dr. Sampson for giving me the opportunity to

1975 - Ed.S. and M.Ed., University of Florida, Major: Counselor Education, Minor: Higher Education Administration.

1973 - B.A., University of Florida, Major: Secondary Education, Minor: Political Science.


Dean Marcy Driscoll and Dr. Sampson

1977 – Worked as a counselor in the Counseling Center at Georgia Tech.

1977 - Ph.D., University Of Florida, Major: Counselor Education, Minor: Higher Education Administration. Specialization: Career Development.

1986 – Promoted to associate professor, Counseling Psychology and Human Systems

1982 – Arrived at FSU as assistant professor, Counseling and Human Systems,


1992 – Promoted to professor, Psychological and Counseling Services

1986 – Helped establish and was named the co-director of the Center for the Study of Technology in Counseling and Career Development at Florida State University.

1997 - Elected as a fellow of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling, Cambridge, England

awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Jyväskylä in Jyväskylä, Finland. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Sampson was also closely involved with administrative matters. In 1986, he helped establish and was named co-director of the Florida State University Center for the Study of Technology in Counseling and Career Development (Tech Center). As the College of Education’s associate dean for faculty development, Sampson was responsible for faculty assignments, evaluations, promotion and tenure,

A MEMORABLE MOMENT While it is hard to pick just one, hooding my first doctoral student, Scott Hinkle, meant a great deal to me.

mentoring, orientation, and creating faculty development resources that furthered the College’s efforts of enhancing student success and growing enrollment.

FAVORITE CAMPUS HANGOUT Our research center located in the FSU Career Center

Sampson says his time at FSU has gone by incredibly fast and although things have changed a great deal, the elements of the College of Education’s success have remained constant.

FAVORITE COURSE The doctoral career counseling practicum in the Career Center gave me a laboratory for integrating theory, research and practice. The collaboration with students and colleagues was outstanding.

“My accomplishments would not have been possible without the consistent and substantial support I received from my family members and College of Education colleagues.”

WHAT I LEARNED FROM STUDENTS AND COLLEAGUES Progress is truly a collaborative effort and my success was enhanced when I helped others succeed.

WHAT I WILL MISS Working with new groups of students and faculty members each year.

I first met Jim Sampson when we were both junior faculty members in the College. We had a mutual interest in technology, and Jim understood “systems thinking” better than anyone I’ve met outside of my own field of Instructional Systems. When I became dean, I knew he was the right person to develop a college-wide mentoring system for faculty, but it took a lot of convincing to get him to accept the position of associate dean for faculty development and advancement. When he finally did, he embraced the role and worked closely with me, department chairs and faculty members to help them reach their goals. I will be forever thankful for his friendship and many contributions to the college and university over the 30 plus years of his career at FSU. -Dean Marcy Driscoll

1999 - Named visiting professor, School Counseling Program, Faculty of Education, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland

2002 – Named visiting professor, Educational Psychology (with specializations in career and educational planning, as well as information and communications technology), University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

2001 - Named visiting professor, Career Development and Management, International Centre for Guidance Studies, School of Education and Social Science, University of Derby, Derby, England, and Elected as a Fellow of National Career Development Association

BEST THING ABOUT FSU AND THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION A willingness to innovate and keep moving forward even when things are difficult. RETIREMENT PLANS Travel, artwork, horsemanship, and research. I look forward to traveling with my wife Sandy and my son Matt, refining my skills as an artist in woodturning, and improving my horsemanship. I also plan to continue contributing to research in our research center.

2008 – Appointed associate dean for faculty development, College of Education

2007 – Named Mode L. Stone Distinguished Professor of Counseling and Career Development, College of Education, Florida State University

2014 - Elected as a fellow, American Psychological Association

2009 – Elected as a fellow, American Counseling Association

2017 – Retired from the FSU College of Education

2016 - Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Education Degree, Faculty of Education of the University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland



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CREDITS DEAN Marcy P. Driscoll DIRECTOR Jennie Kroeger PHOTOGRAPHERS Ken Higgins Don Juan Moore Ray Stanyard

WRITERS Kevin Derryberry Jennie Kroeger Sara Sowerby EDITORS Kelli Gemmer Jennie Kroeger Sara Sowerby

CONTRIBUTORS Katelyn Hayworth Julia Kronholz Stephanie Phillips Seyed Ahmad Rahimi Emily Simpson Jemison Thorsby Seline Trinidad

LAYOUT & DESIGN Jordan Harrison




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Torch 2017-2018  

Florida State University College of Education 2017 - 2018 The Torch Magazine

Torch 2017-2018  

Florida State University College of Education 2017 - 2018 The Torch Magazine