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Spring 2014 Alumni Newsletter

The transformation of SEHS Interim Dean Robert Barnett shares the future of SEHS

In this Issue: Christopher Paul Curtis Writing Adventure


ECDC’s Campus Explorers


The Transformation of SEHS International Initiatives Ed.S. Goes North

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Congressman Kildee’s Scholarship 6 Maize & Blue Recipients


Welcome to the Spring 2014 SEHS Alumni Newsletter. I hope you are all enjoying some much deserved spring weather. It was an historically cold and snowy winter in Michigan, but that has not stopped our faculty and staff from heating things up with a whole host of initiatives, activities, and accomplishments! SEHS is a school on the move, and as you’ll see in this issue of our Alumni Newsletter, our transformation is one that we think is worth sharing. Three areas of focus have helped us reimagine how we can better train our educators and social workers and build

SEHS into the School of first choice for current and future students in our own communities and around the world. The first focus is to bring more international experiences into the curriculum, through student exchanges, international pre-service experiences for our students, faculty research collaborations, and partnerships in education technology. With partnerships now established in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, we are well on our way to providing a truly global education for our UM-Flint students. Continued on Page 2

Page 2 The Transformation of SEHS from Page 1

Program expansion within SEHS also is contributing to our growth and success. As our first cohort of Education Doctoral students finishes their first year of study, we are also focusing on expanding our Education Specialist degree by establishing a cohort in the Upper Peninsula. This program is unique because students do not have to travel to the Lower Peninsula to take their courses; our faculty travel to them one Saturday per month and conduct the remainder of the class online. We are very excited to welcome our first cohort of Yoopers this fall! Finally, we are trying to make an education more affordable for our students by establishing more named scholarships, specifically for education and social work students. Attracting the best students begins with offering them good scholarships. Thanks to some very dear friends of SEHS, including former University of Michigan Regent Libby Maynard, United States Senator Dale E. Kildee, and others, our students are receiving more financial assistance than ever before. But their needs are still great and without scholarships, some students struggle to reach graduation. You can help by generously supporting one or more of our named scholarships, or by establishing one of your own. Together we’ll be able to help current and future students get the education they need to help shape the future of education and social work in the larger community. As always, if you’re interested in more information about donating, you can find everything you need on our website, From upcoming events to up-to-date news about our school and efforts, our website has it all. With the blooming of spring and beautiful flowers come the blooming and re-blooming of beautiful friendships. From all of the faculty and staff of SEHS we wish you a sunny spring, and we invite you to pay us a visit the next time you are in the neighborhood. Be sure to keep in touch; we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to since your time with the School of Education and Human Services. Best wishes, Bob Barnett, Interim Dean

Graduation Celebration

Every semester the School of Education and Human Services Dean’s office hosts a Graduation Celebration for the school’s graduating students. In the Winter 2014 semester, over 100 undergraduate and graduate students graduated with degrees this semester including the first cohort for the Masters of Arts with Secondary Certification (MAC) Program. Chancellor Ruth Person, Provost and Interim Dean Robert Barnett attended this semester’s event and shared a few words with the graduates and their families. SEHS faculty and staff were present as well as volunteering and celebrating with the graduates. The Winter 2014 Maize and Blue Recip-

ients were honored for their outstanding academic accomplishments. More information about this semester’s recipients can be found on page seven. SEHS takes great pride in our graduates, and the Graduation Celebration is a highlight of each semester. We get to share in the successes of our students and celebrate their accomplishments along with their family and friends. If you’re interested in donating to or volunteering at an upcoming Graduation Celebration event, please contact SEHS’s Marketing Coordinator Kayla Cornell at

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For More Information: To learn more about the Substance Abuse Treatment Minor, contact the Social Work Department at (810) 762-3390.

Campus Explorers

The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC), is a school strongly inspired by the work of the educators of Reggio Emilia, Italy. As such, they share an image of the child as powerful and competent. Children can be active participants in the life of the campus community here at UM-Flint. The children’s voices can also be heard and their viewpoints made visible as contributors to the life of the community. Mary Gottler, a head teacher at the ECDC, has been taking her class on explorations around campus and has been truly exploring these ideas. One of the children’s favorite places to visit on campus is the “Circle Arch” as

they’ve named it. They spent time sketching the arch as well as constructing it from photographs when they’ve returned to the classroom. Through reflecting with the children and holding conversations about our interactions across campus, the children began to reveal an appreciation and understanding of its various features that allow them to look at the campus in a new way. The educational possibilities in projects like this one are rich. The documentation of the children’s work becomes a tool for making further decisions about ways to work and plan experiences. The documentation also allows the children

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to see that their work is valued and also demonstrates the value of their work to the wider community. Literally, the community is able to “hear the voices” of the children through their work. Thoughtful and respectful interactions and active learning opportunities such as the Campus Exploration Project allow children to become explorers of the environment where they learn while developing the skills to have engaged conversations about things they experience. Mary Gottler is currently in the process of making a book on these experiences and the lessons learned from them.

Christopher Paul Curtis Writing Adventure UM-Flint hosted all the fourth graders and their teachers from the Flint Community Schools in February. Award-winning author of novels like “Bud, Not Buddy” and UM-Flint alum, Christopher Paul Curtis, shared his experiences growing up in Flint, his love of writing, and how, through the American values of hard work and creativity, young people can explore and develop a personal interest in writing. The Christopher Paul Curtis Writing Adventure was created to encourage young people to find the value in reading, to develop confidence in their own abilities as writers, and to see that people are interested in reading what they have to say. Approximately 2,000 youth have been introduced to the joy and adventure of writing through the five years that the

Christopher Paul Curtis Writing Adventure has been taking place. The high quality and unique experience of the Writing Adventure has a far reaching impact for students within the Flint Community Schools. They are provided exposure to the University of Michigan-Flint campus right in their own community, and to the commitment and dedication of Mr. Curtis who reaches out creatively and in a very personal and experiential way. After the presentation, the fourth grade students were encouraged to take part in a writing competition to further instill a sense of value in writing. The entries will be judged by Curtis and a celebration and award presentation ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 29, 2014 for the best stories.

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The Transform

Educator Prep.

As an education unit, we are constantly learning how to make our teacher preparation operation more student friendly. A conversation began at the start of our trek toward national accreditation of our teacher preparation programs that focused on creating a physical space that our teacher candidates could use for multiple purposes. The Center for Educator Preparation could be used to provide a visible space that students can identify as the place to get help at any phase of their program. It can also be used to create an identity for our Teacher Certification Preparation operations while creating intersections between content, methods, and field courses and activities. The space will also provide a location for individual student attention, student group activities, and collaboration among the staff, faculty, and p-12 teachers and administrators. The impact that the Center for Educator Preparation will have on the School of Education and Human Services is even bigger than we first imagined. We will be able to recruit, train, graduate, and place the most well prepared educators in the region. The redesign of our programs has already caught the attention of the Michigan Department of Education, who called our integrated approach to teacher preparation, “innovative and a model for other programs to emulate.” With the addition of the Center for Educator Preparation, we will be poised to set a new, higher standard for the preparation of K-12 teachers. It’s our mission to provide our students with the tools they need to be successful so they can make an impact on the greater community. The Center for Educator Preparation is a perfect tool to do just that. The Center is scheduled to open during the Fall 2014 semester and will continue to grow and change to best suit students.

International Initiatives The core mission of the School of Education and Human Services is to prepare educators and social workers who are committed to shaping classrooms and communities and who embrace their roles in schools and in society. It made sense to us, after achieving the major milestone of national accreditation, to expand our reach beyond our own local communities and expand our mission to include global communities in our work. This push for expanasion isn’t new. Our departments have been working with global partners for many years. With programs mostly in European countries, our faculty have always been committed to bringing the rest of the world to their classrooms, as well as bringing our classrooms to the rest of the world. In the course of the last two years, however, we have made an intentional push to internationalize our academic programs in ways that deeply impact students’ learning

experiences. Our professors are also opening up new lines of research that include global learning theory and practice, all of which position SEHS to be a leader in global education. Our rapidly expanding international studies initiative is opening very exciting doors for our students, some of whom will find international placements during their programs of study; some will be placed in entry level career positions in other countries, and others will bring their international experiences to bear on their work in our own local communities. Some of the programs we have established with partner countries or are in the process of establishing include: the Netherlands, Oman, Switzerland, South Africa, England, the Czech Republic, and China. You can learn more about our international programs on the SEHS website,

mation of SEHS

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Ed.S. Program Goes North

An exciting new expansion of our Education Specialist Program is being planned for launch in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan this fall. This program was successfully implemented in Flint in 2010 and was launched in Utica in 2012. After surveying the interests of educators in Michigan’s upper peninsula it was determined that a mixed mode program such as ours is needed in that region. Currently educators in the Upper Peninsula drive for several hours to attend classes for advanced degrees in educational leadership. Like its counterpart in Flint, the Eastern Upper Peninsula cohort of the Ed.S. program will meet for face to face class sessions one time per month over the twenty month-long program. Classes will be held on Saturdays at the EUPISD facility in Sault Ste. Marie. The remainder of the course work will be conducted online.

Institute for Innovation

The upcoming Institute for Innovation in Education Gathering (Ann Arbor, MI, June 18-21) brings together a unique group of educators, researchers, students, and entrepreneurs working at the forefront of technology and learning. Part symposium, part incubator, and part showcase, the Gathering helps individuals and teams meet new collaborators, work on project development and planning, and share ideas. The Gathering breaks down barriers between institutions and professional sectors with a variety of activities designed to inspire dialog, provoke curiosity, and create out-of-the ordinary collaborations. If you’re interested in more information, go to, or email

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A Helping Hand Dale E. Kildee Scholarship

UM-Flint and friends of Dale E. Kildee have established a scholarship to support students aspiring to enter the profession of education in honor of Congressman Kildee’s commitment to education and the University. Congressman Kildee was instrumental in many initiatives to strengthen the effectiveness and accessibility of local higher education such as the University corridor and the reopening of Kearsley Street through the UM-Flint campus in coordination with the establishment of the first student dormitory. On April 14, a special reception was held honoring Congressman and Mrs. Kildee to recognize the contribution of political items to the Thompson Library archives, and to officially announce the establishment of the Kildee endowed scholarship. To date, gifts totaling over $30,000 have been made toward the fund goal of $100,000. If you would like to make a gift to the Dale E. Kildee Scholarship Fund, visit or call Major Gift Officer Ellen Brothers at 810-424-5482.

Maynard & Karlstorm Provide Support for Social Work Students Olivia P. Maynard and her husband S. Olof Karlstorm have been connected to the University of Michigan-Flint for years. From a very young age Maynard was exposed to politics and its impact on social issues. Karlstorm worked as a laywer focusing on labor, municipal, zoning, and environmental law. Through their work and involvement with the university, they established two endowed funds. The Olivia P. Maynard Social Work Training Fund was created to enable and encourage BSW students to embrace the value of continuing education, training, and networking throughout their careers. The Olivia P. Maynard and S. Olof Karlstrom Scholarship Fund exemplifiies a lifelong support and respect for the social work profession and supports social work students who are in financial need.

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SEHS Maize & Blue Recipients Rebecca Flaig Elementary Education “The faculty have treated me like family. I’ve enjoyed all of our discussion, on and off topic in class, and appreciate all of the knowledge that they’ve had to give me. I hope to repay the favor one day to my future students when I become a teacher.”

Amanda Kasper Kristin McBride Elementary Education “The internships and student teaching were great, but overall my two summers in the Netherlands were probably the highlight for my undergraduate career and I am so thankful to the math education department for giving us that opportunity. It was unbelievable.”

Social Work “The staff, faculty, and administration are so supportive that they would give you the shirt off their back if they believed it would augment your education; even Dean Barnett would stop everything he was doing to talk to a student with a concern.”

Education Department NCATE Accredited In October 2013, the Continuous Improvement Commission of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) granted NCATE accreditation to the Education Unit, both at the initial teacher preparation and advanced preparation levels. This accreditation decision indicates that the unit and its programs meet rigorous standards set forth by the professional education community, in the areas of candidate knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, assessment system and unit evaluation, field experiences and clinical practice, diversity, faculty qualifications, and development, and unit governance and resources. This is an important milestone in the continuing growth and success of the Education Unit. The unit is proud to have met the challenging standards of national accreditation, and look forward to many more years of educating thoughtful and committed education professionals.

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SAVE THE DATE Upcoming Events

Univeristy of Michigan-Flint School of Education and Human Services 444 David M. French Hall 303 E. Kearsley Street Flint, MI 48502-1950

Go Blue on the Bricks Friday, August 15, 2014 5:00p.m. | University Pavilion SEHS Graduation Celebration Thursday, December 11, 2014 5:00-7:30p.m. | Michigan Rooms RSVP to 810-766-6878


The School of Education and Human Services is thankful for the personal investment of donors. By making a gift, you will help to strengthen the learning experiences for students aspiring to careers as educators and social work professionals. Donations can be made at flint-sehs.


We want to hear what you’ve been up to since graduation. Where are you working, what community projects are you involved in? You may be featured in the next alumni newsletter. Email Marketing Coordinator Kayla Cornell kacornel@ with your story.

Find the School of Education and Human Services Online: @UMFlintSEHS


SEHS Spring 2014 Newsletter  
SEHS Spring 2014 Newsletter