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Higher Ed Happenings P.O. Box 400268 417 Emmet Street South Charlottesville, VA 22904-4268


HIGHERhappenings ED Graduate Featured in Curry Magazine

CLASS NOTES 1980s Patricia Brown (Ed.S. ‘85) is proposal manager for Northrop Grumman in McLean, Va. Barry Dorsey (Ed.D ‘80) retired from state service in Virginia in January 2012. He was most recently executive director of New College Institute. Dorsey opened his own education consulting firm, currently with two major clients. 1990s Connie Gilman (Ph.D. ‘94) is the president of the Virginia Library Association for 2012. She has been an active member of the organization since 1990, serving as chair of the Awards & Recognition Committee, chair of the Leadership Development Forum and treasurer. Tom Jennings (Ph.D ‘93) was appointed vice president for University Advancement at Florida State University, and president of the FSU Foundation in September 2010. In February 2012 he served as co-chair of the CASE District III annual conference in Atlanta, with over 100 program sessions and more than 1,200 participants. Steven Titus (Ph.D. ‘99) is senior vice president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. 2000s Laurie Casteen (M.Ed. ‘‘02, Ph.D. ‘06) is associate dean of students at U.Va. Laurence Mueller (Ph.D. ‘02) was promoted to assistant dean for the Global MBA for Executives Program at the U.Va. Darden School of Business. He continues as executive director of the Center for Global Initiatives and is retiring as Director of Financial Aid after 15 years in this position. Matha Thornton (Ph.D ‘06) was appointed vice president of student affairs and dean of students at 4


Submit your class note at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va. Thornton was previously associate dean of students at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. 2010s Anna Brown (M.Ed. ‘11) is Community Engagement Coordinator for Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. Abigail “Abby” Coulter (M.Ed. ’10) received the 2011 Staff Recognition Award from the Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs. The award recognizes her service to Virginians with disabilities. She has been a community specialist with the WorkSource Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program since 2010. Dreama Johnson (M.Ed. ‘12) will be working this summer with both L2K and Leadership on the Lawn programs while pursuing full-time employment in the field of higher education. Julia Miller (M.Ed. ‘12) is working as the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs Budget and Finance Manager at U.Va. Clarence Odom (M.Ed. ‘12) will continue studying at Curry as an Ed.D. student in Higher Education. Lauren Randle (M.Ed. ‘12) will for at least the next two years be working as an Upper School Guidance Counselor at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. She will specialize in college counseling for seniors. Brian Reed (Ph.D. ‘11) was recently named the American College Personnel Association’s Men and Masculinities Standing Committee Scholar in Residence and gave an address on Influence of Working Class Masculinities and the College Choice Process at this year’s annual conference.

P. Jesse Rine (Ph.D. ’10) received the 2012 Dissertation Award of the AERA Religion and Education Special Interest Group. His dissertation was titled “Pluralism, Provisionality, and Faith: Christian College Persistence in the Postmodern Turn.”

Marc Shook (Ph.D ‘10), after spending the past three years as the assistant dean of students for student judicial services at the University of Texas at Austin, has accepted a new position effective June 4, 2012. Shook will be move into the role of associate provost and dean of students at LaGrange College where he will serve as the institution’s chief student affairs officer. Amy Swan (Ph.D. ‘11) is a research associate in the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the Curry School. She has recently published two articles in Career Development Quarterly. Barry Wilhelm (M.Ed. ‘11) is Learning Excellence Specialist at High Point University in No. Carolina. In November 2011, he presented at the NAFSA Region VII conference on accessibility for students with disabilities in study abroad programs. Anne Womack (M.Ed. ’11) is assistant director of the Hampden-Syndey Fund at Hampden-Sydney College in Va. Read more. Some submissions were abbreviated due to lack of space. You can read complete class notes online at curry.

Jacob Rooksby, a 2012 Ph.D. graduate, was featured in the spring issue of the Curry Alumni Magazine. Rooksby is a Virginia Law School graduate with an M.Ed. in social foundations, who worked in private practice before returning to Curry to focus on litigation in higher education. This fall he will join the faculty of the Duquesne University School of Law. Read more about Rooksby at /// Master’s student Dreama Johnson interned this year with Laurie Casteen, U.Va.Associate Dean of Students.

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A win-win for mentors and students


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Editor: Brian Pusser Writer: Lynn Bell Higher Ed Happenings is published by the Curry School ‘s Center for the Study of Higher Education and is sponsored by the Curry School of Education Foundation.


he graduate student internship program has been an important component of the higher education master’s program since its inception in 2004. Each year offices across Grounds and at Piedmont Virginia Community College employ all of our full-time master’s degree students in the program, which has grown from six internships to twenty-four in just the last three years. Our students are placed in all areas of university administration. Some of the longest running internships include the Office of the Dean of Students Leadership Program, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Activities, Undergraduate Admissions, and the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. The program has recently expanded to include Student Financial Services, the International Studies Office, Semester at Sea, the Center for American English Language and Culture, and Life Skills for student athletes at U.Va., as well as Outreach and Recruitment at PVCC The internship is a critical component of our program. It is, essentially, where the rubber meets the road and students can take what they are learning in class and put it in to practice. Student Dreama Johnson, for example, says she has been very fortunate this year to have worked with Laurie Casteen (M.Ed. ‘02, Ph.D. 06), Associate Dean of Students. —continued on page 2

“the internship is a critical component of our program. ”



Doctoral Graduates Fall ‘11/Spring ‘12 Ashley Cullop (Ed.D.) Dissertation: Understanding Contemporary Transfer Pathways: A Multiple Case Analysis of Two to FourYear Transfer in a Single State Lauren Germain (Ph.D.) Dissertation: “I Have the Power to Change This”: College Women’s Agency and Sexual Assault James Powell (Ph.D) Dissertation: The Financial Management Practices of Small, Private, Non-Profit Colleges Josh Pretlow (Ph.D.) Dissertation: The Impact of a Texas Summer Bridge Program on Developmental Students Jacob Rooksby (Ph.D.) Dissertation: Universities that Litigate Patents Justin Thompson (Ph.D.) Dissertation: Leadership Succession in the Public Doctorate-Granting University: Path Dependence and the Evolving Presidency

2012 Curry Foundation Award Recipients in Higher Education Congratulations to the following students who received awards and fellowships established by donors specifically to support students in Curry’s higher education program. Annette Gibbs Research Award JILL N. JONES Jay L. Chronister Student Award in Higher Education JACK S. JONES JACK THORMAN Alton L. Taylor Award KEDRICK B. PERRY Johnnie E. Merritt Graduate Fellowship CLAIRE E. MITCHELL LEE WILLIAMS Bonnie McKee Mason Clevenger and Daniel W. and RosaLee McKee Mason Fellowship in Education JULIET J. TRAIL



Continued from page 1 “I have learned so much about my own style of advising and counseling students, and I feel confident about the types of positions I want to seek out as a student affairs professional,” Johnson says. “So much of that confidence I really owe to the opportunities Laurie provided for me in this internship.” “Having Dreama in the office this year has been an enormous benefit to me and to my colleagues,” says Casteen. “I was away for the fall semester, and Dreama very ably coordinated significant amounts of programming for me and assisted numerous students one on one. Since my return, we have been working together on a variety of projects. She is extremely talented and can do anything you put in front of her.” The internships have another benefit as well. Students often bring their internship experiences into the classroom conversation to provide practical contexts for the theories they are learning. They also have an important opportunity to develop relationships with the office supervisors. Supervisors serve as mentors and provide entree into the field of student affairs and higher education in meaningful ways. Many alumni keep that mentoring relationship long after graduation. We are fortunate to have an outstanding group of professionals who take the mentorship aspect seriously

and give students opportunities to learn and take on meaningful responsibilities during the internship. One of the nice features of the program is that offices can contact the master’s program and ask for an intern. If students find they have a particular interest in an office that we don’t have a relationship with, however, students will contact the office and develop that internship opportunity. In most cases, those offices continue to hire interns in subsequent years. Placement for internships occurs in the spring and culminates in our annual Internship Interview Day—a full day of conference-style interviewing, a process that allows offices to meet and interview at least six students and gives students the opportunity to experience the same type of interviewing process they will see at national NASAP and ACPA conferences. This year we had twenty-four students interviewing for nearly thirty internship positions. There has been so much interest in the program this year, clearly a reflection of the wonderful work of our students. As the program continues to grow we are excited to continue those relationships and build new ones. Read more about all of our Higher Education program offerings by visiting

More on Internships... “In my internship, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and initiatives,” says Ryan Rideau, who worked this year with Dion Lewis as a graduate student intern in the Office of African American Affairs. “ I have supported the Black Male Initiative through grant writing and program planning, helped to coordinate programs such as the Faculty-Student Mentoring Program, the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, the pre-Kwanzaa Celebration, the annual NAACP Image Awards, the Graduate School Symposium, and the Donning of the Kente Program, to name a few. I have also had the opportunity work closely with students through the Black Leadership Institute, as well as through informal interactions.” Rideau says he has found the opportunities to work with a variety of people in multiple capacities to be most valuable. “I have learned about the numerous roles within student affairs

/// Dion Lewis, Supervisor, & Ryan Rideau, Intern

and how these roles work together to support the academic and personal lives of students at the University of Virginia. Through this experience, I have learned about the importance of strategic planning and assessment. In this current moment of fiscal responsibility and ensuring that efforts to support students are successful, it is critical to create a strategic plan and thorough assessment of programs and initiatives. I hope to use these skills in my future employment to be the best student affairs practitioner possible.”

In Pursuit of Answers

Joshua Pretlow follows research path to faculty position.

/// Joshua Pretlow


he mix of classes he taught at Clarke County High School by day and at Lord Fairfax Community College by night exposed an issue Joshua Pretlow had never before considered. “I noticed that there were different expectations for high school and college students, but nobody made that explicit,” Pretlow says. “Were we preparing high schoolers to graduate or preparing them to be successful in college? I started thinking about the misalignment and wondering, ‘Why are they not the same thing?’” Pretlow’s experiences teaching, both as an adjunct at Lord Fairfax and in his high school dual enrollment courses, confirmed statistics he later discovered: Sixty to seventy-five percent of students going to community colleges and twenty-five percent going to four-year colleges need one or more remedial classes before they can begin taking courses for credit. Yet, remedial education is a hurdle that a majority of these students never overcome. Most drop out of college before completing their degree. This need for remediation happens, Pretlow believes, because students who do not take AP or dual enrollment classes are not prepared by their high school classes for college course work. He refers to these students as being in the academic middle. They are the kids who do the minimum to graduate but still opt for post-secondary education.

Pretlow decided that he wanted to know more about how to address this problem, and some Google searching connected him with Heather Wathington, an assistant professor in the Curry School’s higher education program. Dr. Wathington had just obtained a grant with the Institute of Education Sciences to examine the effectiveness of summer bridge programs in Texas. A summer bridge program is a short, intense introduction to college designed for first-year students who are judged to lack academic or social readiness. The topic seemed a perfect match with Pretlow’s very specific interests, and he was funded by the research project all 4 years of his doctoral program. “I didn’t really know what I was getting into, but it worked,” Pretlow said. “The more I got into the research, the more I liked it.” He finished his dissertation on the Texas summer bridge programs last August. His study compared a group of students taking the program to a randomized control group of students who signed up for the program but were not accepted. Pretlow found no difference between groups in the percentages of either students enrolling in the fall or in students’ persistence in college over their first year. Enrollment and persistence were remarkably high in both groups, indicating that there is much still to be learned about the population of students who require remedial courses, Pretlow says.

“the more I got into the research, the more I liked it.” This year, Pretlow has been working as a postdoctoral fellow with Wathington on some new research projects related to the high school to college transition. Later this summer he will move to Ohio, where he will teach higher education and research/ evaluation courses as an assistant professor at University of Cincinnati’s School of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.

Faculty Updates Josipa Roksa has joined the higher ed faculty under a joint appointment with the U.Va. Department of Sociology. She is also serving as the associate director of the Center /// Josipa Roksa for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. She is co-author of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, 2011) David Breneman, Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education, co-authored Financing American Higher Education in the Era of Globalization (Harvard Education Press). Brian Pusser is the lead editor on a new book, Universities and the Public Sphere: Knowledge Creation and State Building in the Era of Globalization (Routledge) He also co-authored a chapter in Organizing Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press). Christian Steinmetz presented at the national ACPA conference in March along with three master’s students (Hal Turner, Bo Odom & Nick Spicer). The title of their presentation was “Engaging pedagogies: A handson experience in higher education knowledge.” Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas keynoted the Macau Student Affairs Institute at the University of Macau in May, discussing academic and student affairs partnerships as well as learning communities with a group of student affairs administrators from around Macau and Hong Kong. In July 2012, she will keynote a workshop on student-centered learning at Wuhan University in China. Margaret “Peg” Miller retired in summer 2011. She had been on the Curry faculty since 2000 and served as director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education.



Higher Ed Happenings Alumni Newsletter 2012  

The official alumni newsletter of the Higher Education program at the Curry School of Education

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