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CURRY ALUMNI Scholars Help Future Curry Graduates!

In the spring, the Curry School will contact alumni via email with a brief online survey about your current employment and your satisfaction with your education experience at Curry. This data will help the faculty plan future directions of degree programs and allow students to understand in real terms how their work at Curry will prepare them for the job market. Please make sure we have your current e-mail address so that you may help future Curry graduates! Choose your preferred way to send us your email address (if you are not already receiving emails from the Curry School): • Send an email with your name, graduation year, and degree to • Submit a class note, filling in the preferred email address and class year fields and any other information you would like to share: classnotes/submit

Curry Alumni Scholars is published by the Curry School of Education and is sponsored by the Curry School of Education Foundation, P.O. Box 400276, Charlottesville, VA 22904, email:

A Toe in the Water

A Curry Team Tries Its First Teacher Prep MOOC


hen Coursera decided to expand its free massive online open course (MOOC) offerings into teacher professional development, the Curry School opted to join the experiment and see what could be learned from the experience. Our four-week MOOC, called Early Childhood Interactions: Supporting Young Children’s Development, ran this fall to an enrollment of more than 23,000. Only 58% of those students self-identified as current teachers, which was the target audi- /// Screenshot from the Early Childhood ence. The remainder said they were parents, Interactions course. potential teachers, or psychologists or that they worked with young children in other capacities. The course was adapted from a three-credit online course that has been in development for the past three years in the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, said Bridget Hamre, CASTL associate director. The MOOC covered a single domain of teacher-child interactions—emotional support— touching broadly on the three dimensions of positive climate, teacher sensitivity, and regard for child perspectives. Video lectures were brief, ranging from 6 to 15 minutes in length. However, the course included abundant classroom video footage of teachers demonstrating positive interactions with preschoolers. The online discussion board stayed active throughout the course, Hamre said. “Participants were very engaged with the content and had lively conversations.” They also helped each other with technical problems, reducing the technical support required of the instructors. All the content was ready before the MOOC began. Hamre said that after the first week of the course—once the students all figured out how to watch the videos—a small team of volunteer faculty and graduate students spent a total of about four hours a week monitoring the discussion board. MOOC students had an optional homework assignment to film themselves teaching so they could observe and reflect on their application of the dimensions covered in the course. Only 500 students opted to complete this assignment, which is not surprising, since no grade or credit provided incentive, Hamre said. “If we ever do this again, we might try offering something like a peer grading option for the video assignment.” Nearly 5,000 students, representing 100 countries, completed the majority of the course. Only 1,781 (48%) of those were from the US, while Greece, India, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Canada each had over 100 students completing the course. Student surveys yielded overwhelmingly positive reviews of the course, with many raving about quality of the video, the logical structure, and the practical content. — see “MOOC” continued on page 3



Class Notes Curby Alexander (Ph.D. ’09 IT) is an assistant professor in the College of Education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas... Kristen Ashworth (Ph.D. ‘12 Spec Ed)

co-authored a paper that won the 2013 Outstanding Publication Award from the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children... Jeffrey Paul Carpenter (Ph.D. ’09 C&I) has been named a PDK Emerging Leader by Phi Delta Kappa International. ...He is an assistant professor at Elon University in North Carolina. Emily L. Davis (Ph.D ’10 C&I) has been named a PDK Emerging Leader by Phi Delta Kappa International. She is a lead program consultant in the New Teacher Center and the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project in California... Kara Dawson (Ph.D. ’98 AV Curr & Instr), an associate professor of educational technology in the University of Florida’s College of Education, received a UF 2013 Doctoral Dissertation Advising/Mentoring Award. Mark Dewalt (Ph.D. ’86 Ed Research & Meth), a professor of educational research at

Winthrop University, recently published a children’s book called A Tour of Mr. Jefferson’s University with Edgar the Squirrel …

Robin Kyburg Dickson (Ph.D ’06 Ed Psych)

coordinates the hybrid Ph.D program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University… Kim Doan (Ph.D. ’08 Spec Ed) received a promotion to associate professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

Martha Downer-Assaf (Ph.D. ’97 Educ Leadership & Pol Studies) joined the Curry

School Foundation board of directors in April 2013. She is director of Keeping PACE in Atlanta, Ga.... Bill A. Ferster (Ph.D. ’07 IT) is an assistant professor in the Curry School. ...He is also Director of Visualization at SHANTI and develops visualization tools for scholarly use… Sherell Fuller (Ph.D. ’04 Elem Ed), an assistant professor, is director of the South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.… Paul Gorski (M.Ed. ’95 Soc Fdns; Ph.D. ’98 Educ Eval) co-edited Cultivating Social Justice

Teachers: How Teacher Educators Have Helped Students Overcome Cognitive Bottlenecks and Learn Critical Social Justice Concepts (Stylus). 2


Submit your class note at

Charles Dana Hall (M.Ed. ‘07, Ed.D. ‘13 Reading) accepted a position with PALS

Marketplace, a division of CaseNEX, LLC.

Kevin Hessburg (M.T. ’06, Ph.D. ’12 Soc St Ed) is lower school director for Powhatan

School in Boyce, Va.

Charles Igel (Ph.D ’10 Research Stats & Eval) is an assistant professor in the College

for Professional Studies, Regis University in Denver, Colo.... Brian Kissel (Ph.D. ’06 Elem Ed) is an associate professor of Reading and Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. …He and his wife Hattie have three children—Ben and Charlie (age 5) and Harriet (age 3). Hollylynne Lee (Ph. ’00 Math Ed), a professor of Mathematics Education, was named a University Faculty Scholar at North Carolina State University...

Ellen Markowitz (Ph.D. ’10 Applied Dev Science) founded SuperStarters Consulting

in Charlottesville to combine her love of sports-based youth development, coaching and nonprofit organizational excellence… Patrick J. McGuinn (M.Ed. ’02 Ed Policy)

appeared on the 2013 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence rankings published in Education Week. McGuinn is an associate professor at Drew University in Madison, NJ. Molly Ness Hill (M.Ed. ’06 Eng Ed, Ph.D. ’06 Reading Ed) is an associate professor at

Fordham University. She lives with her husband (Darden, 2005) and their daughter in Rye, NY. Diana Perdue (Ph.D. ’97 Math Ed) after returning from Rwanda as a Fulbright Scholar, began her own company, Rimwe Educational Resources LLC, to help teachers successfully implement educational technology tools... Marianne Perie (Ph.D. ’94 Ed Research) is co-director of the University of Kansas’ Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation... Jonathan A. Plucker (Ph.D. ’95 Ed Psych)

appeared on the 2013 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence rankings published in Education Week. He co-edited Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education (2nd ed.)… Diane Reed (Ph.D. “03 Eval & Policy) retired from CaseNEX, LLC, in December 2013 after 10 years working with the start-up as Vice-President, Mid-Atlantic... Sean Ruday (Ph.D. ’11 English Ed) authored The Common Core Grammar Toolkit: Using

Mentor Texts to Teach the Language Standards in Grades 3-5 (Eye on Education). Stephen Schroth (Ph.D. ’07 Ed Psych) was tenured and promoted to associate professor at Knox College, Galesburg, Ill. Joe Perry Sutton (Ph.D. ’89 Spec Ed) received the James A. Poteet Leadership Award from the Council for Educational Diagnostic Services division of the National Council for Exceptional Children… William H. Teale (M.Ed. ’73, Ed.D. ’77 Reading/English Ed) was named University

Scholar in the University of Illinois system. He is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago... Daniel Tillman (Ph.D. ’12 IT) is an assistant professor at the University of Texas El Paso... Laura Vogtle (M.Ed. 91, Ph.D. ’96 Ed Eval)

has been at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for 19 years... Alice Wakefield (Ed.D. ’83 Elem Ed) is an Early Childhood Teacher Educator Emerita from Old Dominion University College of Education... Robin Ward (Ph.D. ’97 Math Ed) has recently published articles about her efforts to integrate the visual arts into the teaching of preK-2 mathematics... Billy Wayson (Ph.D. ’08 Educ Policy Studies)

authored Martha Jefferson Randolph: Republican Daughter & Plantation Mistress, based in part on his dissertation completed in 2008. Kris Wiley (Ph.D. ’13 Gifted Ed) won first place from the Research and Evaluation Network of the National Association for Gifted Children for a paper adapted from his dissertation... I Hwey Deirdra Wu (Ph.D. ’04 Spec Ed) is a mom of an eight-year-old boy and an assistant professor at the University of Taipei working with an ADHD/LD parents’ organization... Tricia Zucker (M.Ed. ’06, Ph.D. ’09 Reading)

published an article in Developmental Psychology with Sonia Cabell (Ph.D. ’09 Reading) titled “The Role of Frequent, Interactive Prekindergarten Shared Reading in the Longitudinal Development of Language and Literacy Skills.” Read more. Most class notes were abbreviated due to space limitations. You can read the full versions, including photos and fond memories, at scholars-newsletter

Alumni Spotlight Jill Hunter Ed.D ’84 Reading Head of Lower School Collegiate School Richmond, Va. Since 1988 “I particularly enjoy mentoring teachers and collaborating with them as they develop new curricula or pursue new initiatives. Our culture is one of lifelong learners, and conversations are rich and stimulating as we try to determine how best to help and challenge our students.” Curry School Impact: “My time at the Curry School was wonderful. I really feel that I learned to think and broaden my perspective in so many ways. I particularly remember the interesting people I met in the Reading program. I had a gifted statistics professor who brought the subject to life. I commuted from Richmond with a number of people, and we often solved the big problems of Education on lazy summer days traveling route 64!”

Susanne Harnett M.Ed. ‘93, Ph.D. ‘99 Educational Psych Managing Sr. Associate Metis Associates New York, N.Y. Since 1999 “I lead a team of junior researchers at an independent educational research and evaluation firm....I am able to fill a real need that schools and districts have in order to provide better programming for their students. I find that the work is constantly

challenging and moves at a quick pace that suits my personality and work style.” Curry School Impact: “I am enormously grateful to the professors that I had at Curry who helped prepare me for this career. Through my coursework and the personalized mentoring that I received at Curry, I learned the critical research and people skills that have helped to make me successful in this work.” Wei-Bing Chen Ph.D. ’10 Applied Developmental Science Early Childhood Researcher Center for Education and Human Services, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA Since 2012 “Ninety percent of my job is program evaluation, which includes project management, writing proposals, interfacing with clients, research design and writing reports. The reason I went into a policy contracting organization is the people that we work with. I have a number of clients who are in state departments of education or departments of early learning. These are people who are in charge of making policies that affect real children in real places. ” Curry School Impact: “A lot of the training in research methodology and research design I received at the Curry School has been really helpful. Also, many of the real world experiences have been very valuable—like the presentation and networking skills—even though I have a slightly different audience, and I’m not in academia.”

—”MOOC” continued from page 1 The original full course on which the MOOC was based—Effective Classroom Interactions— is being offered for-credit for the first time in spring 2014. Two hundred fifty of the MOOC students said they were interested in taking the course. “There is no question that online learning is going to be a centerpiece of future teacher preparation and professional development,” Hamre said. “We are excited that Curry is at the forefront of understanding how to design these courses in ways that are not only engaging but effective in supporting positive changes in teacher’s practice. There is still much to learn, but this first experience with a MOOC really demonstrates the promise of this platform for our future work.” Read more: Effective Classroom Interactions Course Development site: Coursera MOOC site:

A Road Increasingly Traveled The Path to the Curry School through TFA What would you do after experiencing the challenges of educating children in some of the nation’s most disadvantaged public schools? Read online about seven selfless TFA alumni who chose the Curry School to prepare them for their next step in helping our nation’s neediest kids. The Curry Alumni magazine Contribute. Participate. Engage.

New in Early Childhood Special Ed A new grant at the Curry School will support the doctoral training of future teacher education professors in the area of early childhood special education and early intervention. The Leaders for Tomorrow’s Children program will focus on recruiting highquality, experienced teachers and speech language pathologists from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The program aims to address shortages of special education professors and, ultimately, teachers who are prepared to address the needs of underrepresented children with disabilities from birth to age 5. The grant will support candidates with tuition waivers, health insurance, and a stipend. Graduates of the program will be eligible to have one year of financial support repayment waived for each year of employment as an early childhood special education professional in a college, university, or other approved research setting. Tina Stanton-Chapman and Stan Trent are co-principal investigators of the grant from the U.S. Department of Education. LaVae Hoffman is an affiliated LTC faculty member.





Curry Alumni Scholars P.O. Box 400268 417 Emmet Street South Charlottesville, VA 22904-4268


Stepping Up Curry’s Research


ast winter the Curry School welcomed Prof. Catherine P. Bradshaw as our new associate dean for research and faculty development. Bradshaw came to us from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she was associate chair of the Department of Mental Health. Because research is so central to the mission of the University of Virginia and the Curry School, Bradshaw’s role includes reviving and enhancing established strategies to support faculty development, as well as initiating new strategies. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with faculty in growing Curry’s research program and promoting a wide range of scholarly activity,” Bradshaw said. She works with faculty early in their careers helping them develop a path forward, but she also supports seasoned faculty who

UNDERGRAD RESEARCH SURP, the Summer Undergraduate Reseach Program at the Curry School, supports students from under-represented groups to engage in education-based research. The 8-week summer program brings undergraduates from all over the country here to Charlottesville to engage in education science research. The School has completed six summers of SURP with over 40 alumni, many of whom have pursued masters and doctoral programs at Curry and in other research institutions. Applications for summer 2014 are due February 1.



want to expand or enhance their research programs. She has revitalized our formal mentoring program, which matches early career faculty with more-experienced faculty members, as well as working to tighten policies to keep mentoring relationships productive. Mentors provide guidance around research, teaching, and transitioning into the Curry environment. /// Catherine Bradshaw, Associate Dean Monthly meetings for for Research & Faculty Development early career faculty provide opportunities for networking and support, often around specific topics suggested by the newer faculty members. Recent meetings have covered obtaining grant support, hiring policies and HR, writing, and managing time effectively. Thanks to some generous donors, the Curry School has a new Dean’s Research and Development Fund, with small grants available to fund pilot studies and other early stage scholarly activities that may serve as leverage points for larger grant funding. Each of these resources are available for both tenure-track and nontenure-track faculty. Bradshaw’s own research focuses on understanding the development of aggressive behavior and school-based prevention. She was deputy director of the Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence at Johns Hopkins. She also worked with Baltimore City Public Schools to develop and pilot test evidence-based programs as the co-director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention and Early Intervention.


Curry Alumni Scholars 2013 newsletter  

The official newsletter for graduates of the Curry School of Education's doctoral programs

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