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The official magazine of the College of Education, Oklahoma State University


Presidential Praise OSU alumnae honored for excellence in teaching math and science

The official magazine of the College of Education, Oklahoma State University




Presidential Praise OSU alumnae honored for excellence in teaching math and science

Oklahoma State University alumnae Rebekah Hammack of Stillwater and Moriah Widener of Jenks, Okla., were honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Page 20 COVER PORTRAIT BY PHIL SHOCKLEY/ UNIVERSITY MARKETING

Movement in Aging An OSU assistant professor is studying which physiological changes can cause older people to lose motor control, leading to more falls. Page 24

Taking Teaching for a Test Drive The Urban Teacher Prep Academy gives soon-to-be teachers a number of benefits: more classroom time, more mentoring, ongoing support and a foot in the door of schools. Page 28

Distinguished Teaching Julie Angle, an associate professor in science education, received the Oklahoma State University Regents’ Distinguished Teaching Award. Page 32

New Degrees The College of Education continues to grow with three new degree programs. Page 10



John S.C. Romans


Dave Malec

Christy Lang



Dorothy L. Pugh EDITOR


Phil Shockley Gary Lawson Mitch Harrison

EDUCATION MAGAZINE 325D WILLARD COLLEGE OF EDUCATION OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY STILLWATER, OK 74078-4033 COEMAGAZINE@OKSTATE.EDU E d u c a t i o n m a g a z i n e i s a p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e ­O k l a h o m a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y C o l l e g e of E ­ d u c a t i o n . I t s p u r p o s e i s t o ­c o n n e c t t h i s c o l l e g e w i t h i t s m a n y s t a k e h o l d e r s , p r o v i d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n o n b o t h ­c a m p u s n e w s a n d p e r t i n e n t i s s u e s i n t h e f i e l d o f education. © Oklahoma State University 2016

When you join the OSU Alumni Association, a portion of your membership comes back to the college to fund programs such as homecoming and other alumni events. Contact the college for more information: 325D Willard Hall Stillwater, OK 74078-4033 (405) 744-8933.

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; Phone 405-744-5371; email: has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154. This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by (originating authority), was printed by Western Printing at a cost of $6,490/3.5M 1016.

From the Dean’s Office Greetings,

The College of Education is proud to prepare leaders who power a better educated, healthier and more accessible state and world.

I’m excited to share the 2016 issue of Education magazine with you. Thank you for taking the time to read about a sampling of the teaching, research and outreach we are doing in the College of Education. The cover features two OSU College of Education graduates who are incredible and inspiring teachers. Becky Hammack of Stillwater and Moriah Widener of Jenks, Okla., have been honored with the Presidential Excellence Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching. We are excited to celebrate the tremendous work

We are excited to be an early adopter of Mursion’s

TeachLivE technology, a mixed-reality teaching program that supports educators in practicing classroom management, pedagogy and content by working with avatars. Learn more about this fantastic technology and how it can further the work being done in the College of Education in this magazine. Two of our aviation graduates are featured along with OSU President Burns Hargis on the magazine’s back cover. We are proud of our thriving aviation degree programs. The 2016-17 school year is off to a great start, and we are looking forward to a wonderful year ahead. Thank you for your continued support of the OSU College of Education.

of educators in Oklahoma. Our programs and research also include health and wellness. You can read about Jason DeFreitas, an assistant professor in exercise science, and his research on physiological changes that cause the decline of

John S.C. Romans Dean, College of Education

motor function as people age. You also will get to know our new faculty and read about three new degree programs the College of Education will begin this school year — a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science, a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program for registered nurses.



(405) 744-3373 • •

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“OSU’s strengths have remained the same — a caring, supportive community that truly values the success of all of our family. We have a special emphasis on first generation students and those new to college life.” — DEAN JOHN ROMANS


A Look Ahead New dean offers his take on College of Education

John S.C. Romans became the dean of the Oklahoma State University College of Education in April. A member of the OSU faculty since 1990, Romans has served the College of Education in many administrative roles. He is a tenured professor in counseling and counseling psychology and the director of professional education at OSU. A licensed psychologist in Oklahoma since 1991, Romans has supervised many students in school and community settings during his career. He has led interdisciplinary research teams to enhance university and community partnerships. His additional research interests include stalking and interpersonal violence, and evaluating college student counseling programs. He holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s in psychology from Iowa State University.

Talk about your educational background and career experiences. How did you decide to pursue a counseling degree? What led you to serve as a faculty member and administrator in higher education? I have always had an interest in a career that would directly help others. Early in my life, I was always the person who friends sought for support. That interest led naturally to psychology, then to a doctoral degree in counseling psychology. I had imagined myself in practice as a psychologist, but my interest in research and teaching became apparent in my training, leading me to a career as a faculty member. My counseling skills in listening and problem solving have come in very handy in my many administrative roles. From your perspective, how does the College of Education fit into the university’s land-grant mission? Perfectly. Teaching, informed by research, impacts our service and practice. Access for firstgeneration college students is important to us. We work hard for the success of all of our students so that they can go on and pay that forward. CONTINUES

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“The first goal is academic success. Go to class, meet your professors, study. This is a simple but effective strategy.” — DEAN JOHN ROMANS What do you feel are the biggest strengths of the OSU College of Education? We have a breadth of programs, giving us unique opportunities for interdisciplinary work across health, education and aviation. Nearly all of our programs involve extensive community service and service-learning activities, with students making an impact while they are training and preparing for careers. Our work is very rewarding and motivating. We have a very talented group of faculty from around the world invested in cutting-edge research and integrating that research into our teaching. What are some of the initiatives the College of Education will pursue in the near future? We strive to increase the impact on our community by emphasizing the breadth of our faculty and programs. Our work goes beyond our traditional strengths in education to include mental and physical health, pilots, aviation management and security, and workforce development. In the College of Education, we are actively working to fight the negative narrative about teaching. One of our priorities is to maintain and help grow the teaching profession. We are also working to reinvigorate interest and build incentives for future teachers. This fall, we began offering a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science and a Master of Arts in Teaching for individuals who want to transition to a teaching career and pursue a graduate degree. We are also preparing to launch a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses in the coming year. We are expanding our impact at the graduate level and looking to add more online programs for nontraditional students. We will also be expanding our research impact and building upon our progress with funding, to include private foundations. The college is actively exploring reorganization of our academic units. As we have grown, now is a great time to explore how we could function more effectively.

You have spent 25 years at Oklahoma State University. How has the university changed? In your view, what makes OSU such a special place? OSU’s strengths have remained the same — a caring, supportive community that truly values the success of all our family. We have a special emphasis on first generation students and those new to college life. Also, a particular strength of OSU and the College of Education is in our history and experiences with diverse cultures and international students and programs. In the College of Education, we have developed a strong partnership with Dong Nai University, the largest teaching college in Vietnam, with a relationship that provides service and research opportunities for both institutions. What advice would you give to incoming students to ensure a successful, wellrounded experience? The first goal is academic success. Go to class, meet your professors, study. This is a simple but effective strategy. Work closely with your advisor, and when you need help — ask! The university and college offer many resources, including tutoring, mental health services and financial aid. Our student services staff and faculty can connect students. Get involved in activities that you like but don’t over-extend. Take advantage of our many free cultural and sporting events. Support your fellow student-athletes and artists! What do you like to do away from work? I enjoy time with family and friends, and travel. I am always eager to learn a new cuisine to prepare and share!


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Assistant Professor, School Psychology

Assistant Professor, Special Education

Assistant Professor, Aviation

Ph.D., Penn State University

Ph.D., University of Oklahoma

Ed.D., Oklahoma State University

Previously: Doctoral internship in Highlands County, Fla., through Penn State

Previously: Clinical assistant professor, OSU

Previously: Visiting assistant professor, OSU

“Dr. Penny Cantley is moving from clinical assistant professor to a tenure-line assistant professor position and will serve as the special education area coordinator. Dr. Cantley specializes in transition services and programs for individuals with disabilities. She has recently been conducting research in the area of university programs for individuals identified as having intellectual disabilities.”

“Mallory Casebolt joins the faculty after several years of service as a graduate assistant, adjunct and visiting assistant professor for the aviation education program. Her strong scholarship agenda supports improvement for current and future aviators and the aviation industry overall. She has a passionate and engaging instructional style that is great for our students. As a wellrounded academician, Dr. Casebolt will be a great asset to the aviation education program.”


“We are delighted to welcome Chris Anthony to the faculty of the APA-accredited and NASPapproved programs in school psychology here at OSU. Chris is a graduate of Penn State University’s school psychology program, where he had the honor of being a fellow in the TIES (Training Interdisciplinary Educational Scientists) program. His research interests include assessment and psychometrics with specialized expertise in Item Response Theory. Chris is currently pursuing licensure as a Health Service Psychologist here in Oklahoma and teaching courses in school psychology that are informed by his research.” ~ Terry Stinnett, professor, school psychology


~ Robert Davis, associate dean, academic affairs, administrative support and outreach


~ Chad Depperschmidt, associate professor, aviation education




Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education

Assistant Professor, School Psychology

Assistant Professor, REMS

Ph.D., Clemson University

Ph.D., University of MinnesotaTwin Cities


Previously: Assistant professor, Western Kentucky University

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Jennifer Cribbs, who was previously a faculty member at Western Kentucky University. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus in mathematics education from Clemson University. Dr. Cribbs’ areas of research are mathematics education and math identity.” ~ Dr. Jennifer Sanders, head, School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership


Previously: Teaching assistant at the University of MinnesotaTwin Cities

“We are glad to welcome Dr. Erin Dyke to the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership and the Curriculum Studies program this fall as an assistant professor. Dr. Dyke completed a Ph.D. in May 2016 at University of MinnesotaTwin Cities, where she also served as a teaching assistant and instructor of record from 2012-2015. Dr. Dyke’s area of research is feminist and decolonial studies in education.”

Gordon Ph.D., Oklahoma State University Previously: Director of assessment and testing at OSU

“Dr. Sarah Gordon brings a wealth of experience from her previous position as director of university assessment and testing. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of program evaluation, effective assessment in higher education, student retention issues and diversity as a concept and learning outcome.” ~ Susan Stansberry, interim head, School of Educational Studies

~ Dr. Jennifer Sanders, head, School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership

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Assistant Professor, Exercise Physiology

Clinical Assistant Professor, Special Education at OSU-Tulsa

Assistant Professor, Health Education and Promotion

Ph.D., University of Nebraska

Ph.D., Oklahoma State University

Ph.D., University of Arkansas


Previously: Graduate assistant, University of Nebraska

“Dr. Nate Jenkins received the College of Education and Human Sciences’ Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award (2016) at the University of Nebraska. His primary research focus involves the non-invasive assessment of neuromuscular function and motor unit behavior with specific interests in the acute and chronic neuromuscular responses to resistance training and the effects of age on neuromuscular function. He is also interested in the effects of nutrition and dietary supplementation on health and human performance across the age span.” ~ Doug Smith, professor, applied exercise science


Previously: Disability services specialist, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology

“In the spring of 2016, we welcomed Dr. Claudia Otto to the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership as a clinical assistant professor in special education at OSU-Tulsa. Dr. Otto earned her Ph.D. in professional education studies with a specialization in special education from Oklahoma State in 2013. Claudia holds over 14 years of teaching experience, including four years at OSU as a graduate associate and adjunct instructor.” ~ Dr. Jennifer Sanders, head, School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership


Previously: Program coordinator in the Sexual Health Research Lab and graduate assistant in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, University of Arkansas

“Dr. Kelley Rhoads joins the Health Education and Promotion faculty from the University of Arkansas, where she trained in community and public health in the College of Education and Health Professions. Her main research trajectory explores consent to sexual activity and the prevention of sexual violence. We look forward to Kelley joining the Health Education & Promotion team and her work with the Sexual Health Research Laboratory in the College of Education.” ~ Julie Croff, associate professor, health education and promotion




Associate Professor, Literacy at OSU-Tulsa

Assistant Professor, Counseling and Counseling Psychology

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology

Ph.D., University of Kansas

Ph.D., University of Northern Colorado

Ph.D., Ohio State University


Previously: Associate professor, University of Kansas

“Dr. Donita Shaw comes to OSU with tremendous experience from Lawrence, Kan., where she worked as an associate professor at the University of Kansas, and we are glad to welcome her to our literacy program. Her research area is adult literacy and metaphors of literacy and teaching.” ~ Dr. Jennifer Sanders, head, School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership



Previously: Purdue University

Previously: Clemson University

“Dr. Diane Stutey holds a K-8 teaching license and K-12 school counselor certification as well as LPC, RPT and NCC credentials. She brings experience working as an elementary school teacher, K-8 school counselor and a play therapist with at-risk youth. Her research interests include play therapy and examining non-cognitive life stressors that impact children and adolescents in the school setting, such as grief and loss, sibling abuse and teen dating violence.”

“We are very excited to have Mike Yough join us as the coordinator of the educational psychology program. His research interests nicely complement those of our current faculty, and his teaching credentials are excellent. We look forward to his leadership and ability to collaborate with other program areas within the College of Education.” ~ Julie Koch, interim head, School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology

~ Hugh Crethar, associate professor, counseling

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The College of Education at Oklahoma State University is continuing to expand the variety of majors it offers. The bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science can lead to new career paths or graduate programs. The Bachelor

of Science in Nursing aims to give registered nurses further educational and professional opportunities. And the Master of Arts in Teaching will give career-changers the chance to get an advanced degree and help to alleviate Oklahoma’s teacher shortage.

A look at all three degree programs follows.

Exercise science degree offers options The Oklahoma State University College of Education is offering a bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science beginning this fall. The degree plan, housed in the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, has options for pre-professional and strength and conditioning. The applied exercise science degree focuses on careers that involve exercise prescriptions and fitness programs. It is heavily immersed in science courses with specific exercise physiology-related coursework. “Nationally, the field of exercise science is experiencing tremendous growth,” College of Education Dean John Romans says. “Our new bachelor’s degree in applied exercise science fits nicely with the array of health and wellness programs in the College of Education. It will prepare graduates for certification in strength and conditioning or personal training and offer a foundation for graduate school and a number of professional careers.” The pre-professional concentration is designed for undergraduates interested in careers in clinical exercise physiology, cardiac/stroke rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training and graduate school. The Strength and Conditioning concentration is designed for students interested in careers in

strength and conditioning, personal training, fitness instructing, coaching, fitness facility management and more. This degree prepares the student for various professional certification examinations, such as Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPS), Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA=CPT), Physical Therapist (CPT), Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS), Certified Exercise Physiologists (EP-C) and others. The degree program centers on interventions and includes courses specific to exercise physiology, fitness assessment and prescription, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, athletic injury, applied anatomy and ethics in sports administration. Students who graduate with a degree in applied exercise science become professionals who collaborate with athletic trainers, physicians, physical therapists, sport coaches and individuals who seek the advice of such specialists. The degree is an option for those interested in eventually pursuing the athletic training master’s degree at the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa. Learn more about the applied exercise science degree program at

exercise CONTINUES

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College adds bachelor’s in nursing The Oklahoma State University College of Education is set to introduce a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the spring of 2017. Through the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, the program is designed for individuals who have obtained Registered Nurse licensure and previously completed either an accredited associate degree or diploma program. With a national focus on the need to prepare more registered nurses with advanced education, OSU and the College of Education welcome the opportunity to provide a quality program that will produce leaders in clinical nursing practice.

“The new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program meets an expressed need for the state’s health care community and it expands the emphasis on health that is present in the College of Education. We are excited to offer a high-quality program that will produce more nurses with advanced education for Oklahoma, the region and the U.S.,” says College of Education Dean John Romans. The OSU RN to BSN program concept is unique because of the health and wellness concentration of the degree. The College of Education includes a strong health focus with programs in health education and promotion, applied exercise science, recreational therapy, physical education, and counseling and counseling psychology. The BSN at OSU-Stillwater delivers coursework online over three successive semesters and is designed for working adult learners. The program plans to seek accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.


Master of Arts in Teaching program now available As part of the effort to meet Oklahoma’s need for well-prepared educators for K-12 schools, the College of Education is now offering a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The program is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree and becoming certified to teach. “The Master of Arts in Teaching program meets a growing need for excellent educators in Oklahoma,” says associate professor and MAT program coordinator Adrienne Sanogo. “The coursework and field experiences are designed to prepare career changers for the classroom while offering the opportunity to gain an advanced degree.” The MAT offers degree options in elementary education (grades 1-8), art (grades pk-12), secondary English (grades 6-12), secondary mathematics (grades 6-12), secondary science (grades 6-12) and secondary social studies (grades 6-12). The program began recruiting and admitting students this fall. Graduates of the MAT program will understand the roles and responsibilities of teachers and the ability to manage a diverse classroom. MAT graduates will also become well-versed in designing and implementing curriculum that addresses all students’ needs

and in understanding a variety of instructional and assessment strategies. MAT students take extensive specialization course work in each discipline area and participate in field experiences in Oklahoma schools. The program culminates with a 15-week clinical internship (student teaching) experience where students work in diverse school settings. For additional information, visit education.

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Baghurst named SHAPE America fellow Tim Baghurst, an associate professor in health and human performance, has been selected as a 2016 Research Fellow of SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America. SHAPE Research fellows are selected based on significant and sustained contributions (research, creative or scholarly activity) and related service in the areas of interest to SHAPE America.

OSU ranked nationally for board certified teachers Oklahoma State University was recently ranked No. 31 nationally for the top alma maters for National Board Certified Teachers. OSU, with 567 alumni who have achieved certification, has the most among Oklahoma universities. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards ( compiled the list.

Zahl elected to national council Melissa Zahl, an assistant professor in recreational therapy, has been elected to the board of directors for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. It is the premier credentialing organization for therapeutic recreation, granting the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) designation to qualified recreational therapists.

College of Education

News & Notes Harry named Fulbright Scholar

Madison Harry, a 2016 secondary education social studies graduate, was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and will spend nine months in Poland doing an English teaching assistantship at a collegiate institution this fall. The Fulbright U.S. Student Programs provide over 1,500 grants for study/research projects or for English teaching assistant programs in over 140 countries. Harry plans to teach middle school geography and use her Fulbright experiences and the relationships she develops to enrich her future classroom.

2 honored with top staff award

Kat Colson and Pat Karcher are the 2015-16 recipients of the Frank and Carol Morsani Outstanding Staff Award in the OSU College of Education. Colson is an administrative assistant in the Professional Education Unit, and Karcher is an administrative assistant in the School of Educational Studies.

Grad student wins counseling fellowship

The NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), recently selected Bianca Boyd, a graduate student in the Oklahoma State University mental health counseling program, for the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program-Youth. Boyd will receive $8,000 and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations with a specific focus on transition age youth (ages 16-25).

OSU education programs rated a best value

Oklahoma State University was ranked among the Top 50 Best Value Education Programs of 2016, coming in at No. 31 on Value Colleges’ ( list. The ranking encompasses programs in the College of Education, which offer degrees across education, health and aviation.

Society of Counseling Psychology honors Jacobs Sue Jacobs, the Ledbetter Lemon Counseling Psychology Diversity professor, was awarded the Elder Recognition Award from the Society of Counseling Psychology, Division 17, of the American Psychological Association. The award is given for distinguished contributions, substantive commitment and long-standing excellence and leadership.

OSU Flying Aggies take regional title

For the second straight year, the Oklahoma State University Flying Aggies Flight Team placed first in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association SAFECON Region VI Competition in St. Louis in October 2015. OSU defeated six other schools to secure a place in the national competition held in May in Columbus, Ohio. At nationals, the OSU team placed ninth for the Flight Events team trophy and ninth for the Judges Championship trophy; Garrett Quinby was named Men’s Achievement Award winner and got third place as Certified Flight Instructor; teams made up of Harrison Stegmann and Miles Turner and Clifton Durante and Dillon Lain tied for second place in the Message Drop contest; Rachel Earnhardt placed seventh in the Power Off Landing competition; Maxwell Maroney placed 10th in the Instrument Flight Rules division; Rusty Ridenour placed in the top 20 in aircraft preflight instruction; and Outstanding Team Member award went to Stegmann.

Leisure doctoral student earns national scholarship Michelle Miller, a doctoral student in Health, Leisure and Human Performance, has been selected to receive the Peg Connolly Scholarship from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). As one of just eight recipients chosen from the United States and Canada, Miller was provided a stipend to attend and assist with ATRA’s annual conference in Chicago this fall.

University Awards Convocation honors faculty

College of Education associate professors Julie Angle and Shelbie Witte and assistant professor Jason DeFreitas were recognized during Oklahoma State University’s annual University Awards Convocation. Angle, of the School of Teaching and Curriculum, received the Regents’ Distinguished Teaching Award. The award recognizes faculty who have shown unusually significant achievement in the instruction of students for an extended number of years. In addition, a project for which Angle serves as team leader — “Addressing the Call to Increase High School Students’ STEM Awareness” — placed first in the President’s Cup for Creative Interdisciplinary. DeFreitas, of the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, was also honored twice. He received the Advising Excellence Award and the Phoenix Award for graduate faculty. Witte, associate professor in the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership, was recognized as a new appointment to the Chuck and Kim Watson Endowed Chair in Education.

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Coaching science students offer Haiti camp

Students minoring in coaching science traveled to Pignon, Haiti, in June to offer a sports camp for local children. They spent five days coaching a variety of sports including netball, rugby, cricket, disc golf, handball and hockey to approximately 120 children between the ages of 4 and 16. Students also helped construct a long jump pit, a high jump and a volleyball court for a local facility to use. OSU students earned course credit for the trip and plans are underway to return next summer.

Faculty members promoted, reappointed

Several College of Education faculty members were promoted or reappointed for 2016-17. Julie Croff (applied health and educational psychology), Mwarumba Mwavita (educational studies) and Adrienne Sanogo (teaching and curriculum leadership) were promoted from assistant professor to associate professor (action grants tenure). Title changes include Juliana Utley to Morsani Chair in Math and Science Education and Jennifer Sanders to school head, Teaching and Curriculum Leadership. Reappointments include assistant professors Chandra Story, Jane Vogler, Jason DeFreitas and Tonya Hammer all of applied health and educational psychology, Jam Khojasteh in educational studies, Jennifer Job and Shanedra Nowell of teaching and curriculum leadership as well as clinical instructors Amy Olson, Jill Metzger and John Weaver, all of teaching and curriculum leadership.

3 selected as OSU Seniors of Significance Secondary education majors Robin Clower of Stillwater and Victoria Grace Fisher of Spiro, Okla., and aerospace administrations and operations major Garrett Quinby of Woodward, Okla., were named Seniors of Significance for the 2015-2016 academic year by the OSU Alumni Association. The award recognizes students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership and service to campus and community and have brought distinction to OSU.

Ph.D. student wins fellowship

Education Technology doctoral student Alesha Baker was selected as an Open Education Resource (OER) Research Fellow. Baker is one of 22 fellows chosen from a large pool of applicants representing universities in the United States and Canada. Through the selection process, the Open Education Group identified early career researchers and/or qualified master’s and doctoral candidates to research Open Educational Resources.

Willard Hall hits energy savings mark

Willard Hall, the primary home of the Oklahoma State University College of Education, is one of five buildings on the OSU-Stillwater campus to reach the $1 million savings mark in 2016. OSU implemented its Energy Management Program in 2007 and has slashed $35 million from its utility budget.

College of Education representatives were presented with a plaque recognizing the energy savings in April.

8 students win summer fellowships

Eight College of Education doctoral students received financial support for their research efforts this past summer in the form of Robberson Summer Research Fellowships from the OSU Graduate College. Each received a two-hour tuition wavier and $4,000 to bolster their research projects. The winners and their projects:

• Tara Dalinger, Educational Technology, “A simulated class room environment offers strategic practice for preservice teachers.” • Kelva Hunger, Research, Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics, “Modeling Statistics Anxiety by a Structural Equation Model.” • Daniel Marangoni, Educational Psychology, “Exploring Perceptions of Flourishing and Decision-Making in the Humanities.” • Michelle Miller, Health, Leisure and Human Performance, “Comparison of Recreational Therapy Modality and Severity of Spinal Cord Injury.” • James Patrick, Social Foundations, “Experience of Parents, Grandparents and other Caregivers of Children With Special Needs Relating to Rural Public Education.” • Jenny Peters, Professional Education, “Is Bigger Actually Better? An Analysis of Larger Mediums for Mental Models of Science and Science Teaching.” • Naomi Poindexter, Education and Curriculum, “Experienced Teachers in Holocaust Education.” • Lisa Seay, Educational Leadership, “A Study on Discrepancies between Teacher Salaries.”

Grad college awards honor 2

College of Education counseling psychology graduate students Douglas Knutson and Julianne Yavorski were recently recognized at the university’s Graduate College Awards Ceremony. Knuston, a doctoral candidate, received the Graduate and Professional Student Government Association’s Graduate Teaching Award. Yavorski, a student in the doctoral program, received a Graduate College Summer Dissertation Fellowship.

Story selected for AEA fellowship

Chandra Story, assistant professor, was selected for the American Evaluation Association’s Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship Program. Story, who teaches in the Health Education and Promotion and Master of Public Health programs, was chosen through a competitive process that included applications from across the country.

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college hosts first

Education, Health and Aviation Week The College of Education hosted

the inaugural Education, Health and

Aviation Week on April 2-9. The week was designed to build awareness of all College of Education programs among the broader OSU community and provide opportunities for faculty, staff and students within in the college to connect with one another.

Each of the college’s primary areas — education, health and aviation — had a spotlight day, promoting degree options along with activities and giveaways at the Chi-O Clock near the Student Union. Elementary education alumnus Piyush Patel was the keynote speaker for a leadership luncheon. He shared about the foundation his education degree provided as he established himself as a successful entrepreneur. Patel built the company DigitalTutors into a worldwide leader in online training and corporate culture. The week also included a “Cookies and Conversation” roundtable where faculty, staff and students discussed topics such as How I Used my College of Education Degree, International Studies, Technology in the Classroom and more. OSU Career Services also held its Education and Teacher Job Fair, and the OSU Flying Aggies hosted a Fly-In at the Stillwater Airport and gathered for its annual banquet. Faculty, staff and student representatives also participated in a service project at Payne County Youth Services.


Top (largest photo): Piyush Patel (second from left), a 1998 elementary education graduate, poses with former and current College of Education staff members (from left) Lance Millis, Elizabeth Halley and Dr. Robert Davis. Patel spoke to student leaders at a luncheon during Education, Health and Aviation Week. Other photos on the page represent a sampling of activities during the inaugural Education, Health and Aviation Week, including a career fair and activities spotlighting various degree programs.

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For the



White House honors 2 OSU alumnae for their excellence

Moriah Widener (left) and Becky Hammack were honored in Washington, D.C., with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

There was a time when Becky Hammack and Moriah Widener might not have imagined teaching science and mathematics, yet today, they stand among the very best teachers from across the United States in these vital subjects. The Oklahoma State University alumnae received one of the country’s most prestigious honors for educators — the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Hammack, who teaches at Stillwater Middle School, and Widener, who teaches at Jenks West Intermediate School, were two of four Oklahoma teachers and among just 213 teachers nationally selected for the biennial honor. The pair traveled to Washington, D.C., for a series of recognition events, and each received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. “Becky Hammack and Moriah Widener are tremendous ambassadors for the teaching profession, the state of Oklahoma and the OSU College of Education,” says Dean John Romans of OSU’s College of Education. “Both are passionate educators who are committed to continual growth and improvement in their craft. They are very deserving of this high honor.”

A passion for science and kids

Becky Hammack’s love of science led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at Ohio State University. “I had amazing high school science teachers who were so charismatic and enthusiastic,” says the Ohio native. “I always knew I wanted to go into a science field.” Hammack moved to Oklahoma in 2001 and began working on a master’s degree in animal science at Oklahoma State University. While participating in a work-study program tutoring students at Stillwater Junior High, she had an epiphany. “I found my passion — sharing science with children,” she says. “I love the light-bulb moments when you can see a concept click for a child, and know that you helped make that happen.” She finished her master’s degree in 2003 and took an extra year to become fully certified to teach, completing all the required coursework and doing a student teaching internship. CONTINUES

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“I was already a reflective teacher and person, but getting my Ph.D. has made me an even more reflective teacher.” 


Hammack landed her current position at Stillwater Middle School in 2005 but didn’t stop continuing her education. “I love to learn. I knew that I wanted to become Dr. Hammack,” she says. “I found the Ph.D. in science education and knew it was the program for me.” Hammack, who received her doctorate PHOTO CREDIT: PHIL SHOCKLEY in May, says the experience influenced her teaching. “Working on a Ph.D. changes the way you see the world. I grew up in rural poverty (in Ohio), so I could relate to kids who were in the same situation. The understanding and perspective you gain learning the philosophical side of what goes on inside a classroom, you begin to identify things in your classroom that you haven’t seen before. I was already a reflective teacher and person, but getting my Ph.D. has made me an even more reflective teacher.” Science education associate professor Toni Ivey advised Hammack during her doctoral work and calls her “a dream student.” “Becky is one of those people who never turns her teacher light off. Her love of learning is contagious. She’s a go-getter. If she has an idea, she will find a way to make it happen,” Ivey says. “She is changing the game with engineering education.” Hammack has earned more than $90,000 in grants and awards to support engineering education in her school and in Oklahoma. She has developed after-school programs to teach Stillwater Middle students about what engineering is and the work engineers do. For the last four years, she has

taught a full-time engineering class where students learn robotics, 3D computer-aided design and have access to print models on a 3D printer. For her dissertation, Hammack conducted a statewide survey of elementary teachers about their understanding of engineering and the barriers they face in teaching it. She facilitates an after-school program for girls, giving them the opportunity to work with and be mentored by OSU female engineering students. Hammack is also doing research to illustrate how the program changes students’ perceptions about engineers. Hammack says she is both honored and humbled to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence. “The award is validation for the countless hours I have spent inside and outside the classroom fostering creativity and a love for science and engineering in my students. I am extremely honored to receive this award, but it is not mine alone. It is only through the hard work and support of my students, colleagues, family and community that I am able to devote myself to my passion for teaching and continue to grow and improve my craft.”


“I went from someone who struggled in math to someone who couldn’t wait to solve a problem.” — MORIAH WIDENER

A solver of problems

When Moriah Widener arrived in the fall of 2002 as a freshman at OSU, she planned to teach high school literature. That plan didn’t last too long. “As I began, it felt like an invasion of my privacy. Reading was very personal to me, and I had a hard time expressing what I was feeling. I figured out it was not the best place for me,” Widener says. She transitioned to elementary education, and working with younger students proved a better fit for her personality. Widener admits she had major anxiety about math and was embarrassed by what she saw as her limitations in the subject. In her Teaching Mathematics at the Primary Level course with Dr. Darlinda Cassel, she was frustrated and struggling. But one day, it clicked. “I went from someone who struggled in math to someone who couldn’t wait to solve a problem.” Widener completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2007. As she embarked on her teaching career, it wasn’t long before she realized she wanted to specialize in math. “They say you can tell what subject a teacher loves most by what (he or she) teaches first. Math is what I found myself teaching first,” she says. She became certified to teach intermediate mathematics and earned an elementary math certification at OSU. “I was enjoying my career,” she says. Still, “I began to wonder, ‘How can I grow? How can I better impact my students?’ In one classroom, I might have a student who is scoring for advanced placement and another who needs help getting to grade level. I needed some guidance to do that naturally.”

Widener decided to pursue a Master of Science in Teaching, Learning and Leadership with an emphasis on elementary mathematics at Oklahoma State while teaching at Jenks West Intermediate “It absolutely impacted my teaching,” she says. “I would go to my graduate class and the next day integrate something I learned in my own classroom. Every day, I became a better teacher. The courses, the instructors and the group of teachers I went through the program with were exceptional people.” Mathematics education associate professor Adrienne Sanogo calls Widener “one of our stars.” “She was a phenomenal student who was hungry to learn. I have had the opportunity to analyze her teaching for a case study I was working on, and she walks the walk. She makes math engaging and exciting. That’s powerful,” Sanogo says. Widener is an active member of the Oklahoma Council for Teachers of Mathematics, publishing articles and making presentations. She actively embeds literature, science, technology and engineering into her mathematics lessons, helping students develop their own mathematical talents and apply the subject outside the classroom. “There is a certain passion for teachers. I get to work with kids,” Widener says. “I serve as a mentor (to other teachers) in my building. There is a network of resources for teachers in Oklahoma with experts to help around every corner.” Widener admits to being emotional about receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence and is incredibly grateful to people who have invested in her. “I teared up. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness,” she says. “I was proud because I know that I work hard and invest my heart in my students, but I immediately thought of all the people who made a difference in my life. There are so many people who poured into me, challenged me and made me grow.” Hammack and Widener are investing in their students and inspiring a love for math and science. They represent the best of Oklahoma educators. C O L L E G E  O F  E D U C A T I O N O K L A H O M A




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Movement in Aging


Study links physiological changes with motor function As humans age, our motor function decreases, leading to a higher risk of falls and injuries, which can have devastating results. An ongoing study led by Oklahoma State University exercise physiology assistant professor Jason DeFreitas is researching what physiological changes cause the decline of motor function in aging. DeFreitas noted strong evidence in recent studies that suggests muscle spindles, sensory receptors found in vertebrate muscles, have a more direct role in motor function than previously believed. He designed a study to specifically test if losses in muscle spindle function are responsible for, or at least play a significant role in, age-related losses in motor function. The study challenges existing paradigms about motor control, hypothesizing that age-related

sensory losses precede motor losses and may actually cause them. “We think that spindles may have a significant influence on motor control during every movement. However, this isn’t what is currently being taught,” DeFreitas says. When he came to Oklahoma State University in 2013, DeFreitas brought with him an expertise in neuromuscular physiology and a passion for research. “This is my first aging study. I’m taking my background in the neural control of movement, the spinal cord, and the neuromuscular system and applying it to the aging population,” he says. “I like solving puzzles, especially those that require creative solutions, (much like) designing a research study to answer the unknown.”

In 2014, DeFreitas received funding from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). The funds, renewable for up to three years, have supported the initial phases of DeFreitas’ study, allowing him to purchase new equipment and hire research assistants. DeFreitas also received the National Strength and Conditioning Foundation’s Young Investigator grant, which will provide $20,000 to help fund new equipment for the Applied Musculoskeletal and Human Physiology Lab on the Stillwater campus. DeFreitas and his team test subjects ranging from 18 to 98 years old. To date, more than 150 people have been tested. “We have tested a lot of healthy, college-age individuals, as well as older (over the age of 75) subjects who have severe motor and sensory deficits. We’re working to add more subjects in the 30- to 60-year-old range to better define the aging process.” If they are able, participants visit the Applied Musculoskeletal and Human Physiology Laboratory, one of only six in the United States and 25 worldwide equipped with the most recent advancement in motor unit technology, called surface dEMG. The system uses a non-invasive surface sensor to detect and measure the neural activity during voluntary movements. “The brain controls muscles through the use of neurons, and this state-of-the-art system allows us to non-invasively detect the activity and behavior of those neurons,” DeFreitas explains. During a lab visit, subjects’ balance is evaluated using a Biodex Balance System. Static measures, such as how much a person sways while standing, and dynamic measures, such as the ability to adjust to movements, are recorded. “Balance requires a unique integration of both our sensory and motor systems. These assessments allow us to determine which of these systems, if any, has a deficit that could affect balance and fall risk,” DeFreitas says. The research team also gathers information about participants’ muscles, the force they produce and how the properties change under conditions such as fatigue and aging. Participants’ reflexes are tested with patellar tendon taps using a small reflex

hammer (much like what is done during a physical). Ultrasound images of the thigh are also taken, to reveal the size and quality of the leg muscles, during the visit to the lab. If older individuals are unable to go into the lab, a mobile version of the tests can be performed. DeFreitas and his team have recruited study participants at the Stillwater Senior Center and visited assisted living centers and nursing homes in the area with their mobile testing center.

Why it matters

DeFreitas’ study is in the second phase of a fivepart plan. In the coming year, he is working on a proposal seeking funds from the National Institutes of Health that would support his work as it enters phase three. If, as DeFreitas hypothesizes, a strong relationship can be found between losses in muscle spindles and age-related motor losses, the next step is a long-term longitudinal study that will solidify the cause-and-effect relationship. Ultimately, DeFreitas would like to design training interventions and do outreach to educate retirement communities about what can be done to delay age-related losses in motor control. While research is DeFreitas’ passion, he genuinely enjoys mentoring graduate students. His efforts in working with OSU graduate students were recognized in 2015 with the Phoenix Faculty Award. The award is student-nominated and presented by the OSU Graduate and Professional Student Government Association. DeFreitas spends time with his doctoral students daily, including frequent brainstorming meetings. He involves them with manuscript peer-reviews, study design, grant writing and more. “I want to give my doctoral students experience that will help prepare them to be successful faculty members in the future. I learn from them as much as they learn from me. It’s a very active relationship and we all benefit from it. The Phoenix Award was a validation for me that I’m doing things the right way and that the extra work I put in is appreciated.”

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Experience Via Avatars BY HOLLY BLAKEY

‘TeachLiveE’ technology offers early classroom stints When Hollywood meets higher education, pure magic occurs. The Mursion “TeachLivE” technology allows this magic to happen inside the T.E.C.H. (Transforming Education through Creative Habits) Playground at the Oklahoma State University College of Education. TeachLivE is a “mixed-reality teaching environment supporting teacher practice in classroom management, pedagogy and content,” according to the TeachLivE website ( “OSU is an early adopter of this technology. We bought in during the early stages, and it’s proven to be well worth it,” says Dr. Kathy Thomas, the college’s portfolio specialist, a facilitator in the T.E.C.H. Playground and the coordinator of the TeachLivE program for OSU. The TeachLivE experience allows pre-service teachers to stand in front of a large monitor and

interact with a classroom of five avatar students. The avatars carry out scenarios to challenge the student teachers. Scenarios range from student behavior in the classroom or practice with a “parent” during a parent-teacher conference. Since the technology is so new, more capabilities are being created rapidly. A “principal” avatar recently added will give OSU students the opportunity to go through a practice interview, and an elementary classroom option will soon be available along with the middle school and high school avatars. “OSU is the only educator preparation program in Oklahoma offering the Mursion technology,” says Susan Stansberry, associate professor of educational technology. “We have set up the program with primary points for students to experience a simulation through their course of study.

The earliest field experience is during a teacher candidate’s sophomore year, once as a junior and their final interaction as a senior. We have also used it with prospective students and in freshman orientation.” The credibility of the technology is gaining national attention, and it is now included as one of the assessment pieces in the NOTE assessment series which, according to, “aims to assess critical teaching knowledge and practices in innovative ways that call for teacher candidates to apply their knowledge and skills to the authentic work of teaching.” The technology also provides a prime opportunity for research. “We are conducting research by interviewing students after they have worked with the avatars,” Thomas says. “The feedback has been very positive. Students say they wished they would have done it earlier, and they have their own ideas of how they could use it more by teaching lessons they have written.” Thomas said one student commented that five minutes of teaching avatars was better than 80 hours of observing a real classroom. “Engaging students and keeping them focused on the lesson is something you can’t learn through observation. The TeachLivE experience puts collegiate students in the teacher’s role where they feel the stress level of keeping all students engaged and managing misbehavior. They are in charge,” Stansberry says. “When I did it the first time, it took about 30 seconds before I felt like I was teaching real students.” Ashley Barker, a junior elementary education major from Fort Worth, Texas, found the experience “a bit weird” when she began. “I felt a bit silly talking to a computer program. However, when they began talking, I could see their unique personalities coming through. They seemed like real children! By the end, I was having fun interacting with them and getting to know each of them as individuals,” Barker says. The benefits of the TeachLivE experience vary based on perspective. Students see practical benefits, while faculty members see a bigger picture. Thomas sees the technology building confidence in teacher candidates, making them feel more experienced before they are in front of real students.

“I would say the most helpful part of this experience was being able to interact as though you are actually the classroom teacher. While observing allows you to work with a cooperating teacher, this program allows you to manage and work with your own classroom,” says Ashley Brewer, a junior elementary education major from Duncan, Okla. Stansberry says there are many more opportunities in the future for the technology to benefit other students within the college and across campus if funding were available. “So far, we have used just the TeachLivE segment from Mursion. There is interest from (other College of Education programs) aviation and counseling that could use the technology as well. Mursion has a variety of virtual training platforms that hone in on interpersonal communication skills and that could be very beneficial for our health career majors as well,” Stansberry says. The annual subscription for Mursion is $6,000, and Stansberry expects it to increase significantly once more applications are developed. A $30,000 investment, however, would empower OSU to develop its own scenarios and train staff members to run them. The OSU Foundation is working to raise money to do just that. Anyone interested in contributing to the effort should contact Denise Unruh, OSU senior director of development for the College of Education at or 405-385-5663.

Dr. Kathy Thomas, who coordinates the TeachLivE program for OSU, prepares a group of students to practice teaching and interacting with avatars from a middle school classroom.

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‘Test Driving’ Teaching BY HOLLY BLAKEY

Academy gives candidates extra time and training in OKC classrooms You might think of a test drive when buying a car, but the concept is expanding. In the OSU College of Education, the Urban Teacher Prep Academy serves as a “test drive” for teacher candidates to truly experience an urban school setting, to feel what it’s like working with the students and their families and to understand the urban environment before accepting a full-time position. For an entire year, teacher candidates are paired with an Oklahoma City Public Schools mentor teacher, working in his or her classroom, and participate in monthly professional development, giving them customized training that may not be taught in regular university courses. “The benefit of UTPA is twofold: candidates get an added semester with an exceptional mentor who gives them more tools to be successful; secondly,

Ashley Barker (from left, majoring in elementary education), Mariana DeLoera (secondary education, social studies) and Mariana Deloera (elementary education) are participating in the Urban Teacher Preparation Academy with Oklahoma City Public Schools.

there is ongoing support through professional development,” says Dr. Robin Fuxa, OSU’s UTPA coordinator and academy board member. “Both benefits work in tandem to make sure candidates have a successful start.” This “test drive” comes with additional incentives for urban teacher candidates. The UTPA offers a one-year, partially paid internship using a co-teaching model for the clinical practice internship. Students receive tuition support, a teacher’s assistant salary and benefits beginning on week 13 of the internship, two years of induction support, enhanced curriculum for student teachers, unique learning experiences and high quality, learner-driven professional development each month. Candidates also receive a $200 grant for classroom supplies and a cost-of-living stipend provided by funding from the Oklahoma

State Regents and Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation. After the academy, completing candidates are afforded priority hiring in their choice of district and site selection. Morgan Smith graduated in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and was accepted into UTPA before her senior year. Since completing the academy and graduating, she was hired by Oklahoma City Public Schools and now teaches second grade at Wheeler Elementary. “The most beneficial part is the additional semester in the classroom and the extra flexibility while being a student,” Smith says. “My mentor teacher gave me a lot of freedom to do what I wanted to try. I ran a lot of small groups, and it was incredible. I loved it.” Smith credits the customized professional development for her success in overcoming obstacles. “For the next few years, I will get to attend the professional development offered every month through UTPA. Anytime we asked for a particular subject, they would come with tons of resources on that subject and help prepare us,” she says. “UTPA candidates are encouraged to forge meaningful connections with students and their families, which we know is at the heart of successful teaching and learning,” Fuxa says. UTPA candidates have a support system that is distinct to the program. “Opportunities to share successes and navigate difficulties together with the support of a highlysuccessful mentor and a cohort of colleagues from multiple institutions provide a strong foundation for a successful internship and early career,” Fuxa says. “When we work together to remove barriers for students’ success and celebrate victories together, the isolation and related stress of being a new teacher is minimized. With UTPA in its seventh year, candidates and early career educators have a growing professional family on whom they can rely.” The academy offers teacher candidates unique support beginning before their first student teaching semester and throughout the next two years.

“The academy actually begins the preceding semester with orientation and getting to know Oklahoma City. Academy students do some outreach and service before they are there full-time,” Fuxa says. “We believe this is critical, particularly for the candidates who are not from the school community, to get acclimated, get to know the site culture and the overall vibe of the school.” Because of UTPA, the hiring process was unlike what Smith expected coming out of college. Ultimately, she applied for more than 30 positions, had eight interviews and was offered five different jobs within the district. “UTPA was a huge selling point for me. Oklahoma City schools are required to hire within the district first. [Because of UTPA], I was already in their system. Plus, having the extra semester of experience and having worked in an urban district, I was aware of what I was doing,” she says. “Because I had already taken initiative to be in the district, I was an appealing candidate.” Teacher retention is now one of the challenges all Oklahoma schools face. “As a land-grant institution, it’s important that we [OSU] focus on the needs of the communities we serve,” Fuxa says. “This is a model to invest in for all our communities. The teacher shortage is felt everywhere. Our rural partner sites are hurting as well. We hope to use what we are learning here for the whole state.” Funded by Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation and Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, UTPA is a consortium between the school district, Mid-America Christian University, the University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. “The reason most people want to be in an urban district is to be in a place they can truly make a difference,” Smith says. “The academy gives people the opportunity to care about students who really need you.”

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A Hero’s True Passion


Purple Heart soldier finds calling in science classroom


Oklahoma State University student Joshua Encinas is a true American hero. A staff sergeant in the Army National Guard, Encinas’ nine years of service included two tours of combat, a Purple Heart and a traumatic brain injury. Still, Encinas’ challenges started long before his military career. Born in California, he never knew his biological father and grew up with an abusive stepfather in a home where drugs were sold and used. He and two younger siblings were in and out of the foster care system, living in more than 15 places including group homes, family placements and shelters. His family eventually took a train to Oklahoma, where Encinas’ unstable home life continued. At 11 years old, he was often left to care for his siblings for months at a time. “To say I knew what it was like to be part of a family would be untrue,” he says. “But I knew that’s all I really wanted in life.”

Encinas began to find stability when he entered the Oklahoma Lions Boys Ranch in Perkins, and connected with his sweetheart, Leah Ann Oosting, in middle school. During high school, he was placed with a foster family in Bristow, Okla. He joined the National Guard after his 2007 graduation and volunteered for his first deployment. After he returned home in 2009, he was driving through Perkins on his way to OSU and passed the home of his former middle school girlfriend. Fond memories were rekindled. “I called her up, and we haven’t stopped talking since,” Encinas says.

He attended the University of Central Oklahoma for a year with Leah. The couple married in 2010, and Encinas paid another visit to OSU. “I was intimidated by the size of OSU’s main campus, so I enrolled at the OSU-NOC campus,” Encinas explains. “I had a biology teacher there, Sheri Martin, who really influenced me, and I realized through her just how much I love science.” He was called up for his second deployment to Afghanistan in March 2011 and had to withdraw from school. “I was working route clearance, which is clearing roads of IEDs (improvised explosive devices),” Encinas says. “I was in the biggest wheeled vehicle the military has. Our truck was hit three times on this mission. We were life-flighted out, and I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and came back to the U.S. as a wounded warrior. Once I got back in the States, doctors diagnosed a torn rotator, herniated disk and hip fracture. After I had shoulder surgery, I began trying to get back to school in 2012.” Encinas decided he was ready for all OSU had to offer and began classes at the main campus. “I had been a microbiology major and done some research projects that were fantastic, but I realized there weren’t many jobs in microbiology here in Oklahoma and knew I wanted to stay here, so I began thinking about teaching and coaching,” he says. Many at OSU, particularly associate professor of secondary science Julie Angle, noticed his drive. “Josh is an excellent student. Not only does he complete his assignments and turn them in on time, but he provides rich insight that only someone with his experience can share,” Angle says. “He knows how to work hard to accomplish tasks, which will make him an excellent teacher. He is truly appreciative of what he has — family, education, job security — and confident in the direction he is going in life.” “I’ve had so many doors open for me,” Encinas says. “I do some speaking for the Lions (Boys


Ranch), and I see other kids with similar pasts, opportunities and challenges. The difference for me was I had something to strive for — I wanted a family.” As an undergrad, Encinas served as a lab assistant and presented his research in New Orleans at the 2015 American Society of Microbiologists national convention. He was featured at the 2015 OSU Research Day and earned a spot in the 2015 NASA two-week summer science program for pre-service teachers. During the Fall 2015 semester, he started teaching OSU biology lab sections. “I love teaching! I was tutoring chemistry [before teaching in the lab], and I loved that. Seeing that light bulb click is fun,” Encinas says. Encinas serves as a board member for the Yes I Can! Oklahoma Youth Alumni Network, which assists former foster children as they transition to adulthood. He was a Foster Youth of America outstanding leader for two consecutive years. Encinas has also been involved with services on the OSU campus to help students who grew up in the foster care system. “I believe that Mr. Encinas will be an excellent teacher. He has the heart of a true teacher. His excitement about teaching is infectious, and he cannot wait until he has his own classroom,” says Angela Syverson, secondary science teacher at Cushing High School and Encinas’ mentor teacher during his clinical practice internship. “He will be an awesome asset to any school where he chooses to start his career next year.” That career began in the Cushing School District in August. Leah and Joshua Encinas are raising their daughter, Khloe Skye, who will turn one in December.

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“She has prepared me to teach science,” says Joshua Encinas, a 2016 OSU science education graduate who took Julie Angle’s classes and now teaches in Cushing, Okla. “She runs a tough program with a lot PHIL SHOCKLEY / UNIVERSITY MARKETING

of expectations, but she just pushes you to become the best teacher you can be.”

The Science of Teaching BY HOLLY BLAKEY

Julie Angle reaches students using a variety of methods Some people are born to teach, but Julie Angle just loved science. Angle was on her way to becoming a veterinarian, enjoying the challenges the professional program track threw at her in upper-level science courses. But her classmates were struggling, and Angle found herself helping them along. “I was mentoring my peers and helping them through their courses, and I realized I loved helping others understand science,” Angle says. Angle had been taught through the very traditional method of lecture and worksheets, but she soon realized that was not how she or most of her classmates learned best.

“I didn’t learn best that way, and my friends didn’t either. I began mentoring them through an inquiry approach, and it worked,” Angle says. The method continues to work for Angle, now an associate professor in science education, as she was recognized with the Oklahoma State University Regents’ Distinguished Teaching Award for 2015. The award is given to one faculty member in each college each year. Recipients must have evidenced unusually significant and meritorious achievement in the instruction of students for a number of years. Though Angle has received numerous accolades through her career, the Regents’ award has a special meaning.

“This means so much to me because this is who I am. It’s very special because I am a teacher. It’s what I advocate for: the teaching of good science,” Angle says. Angle’s first hurdle in her teaching career came early — in her first interview. “The position was open as a male coach was retiring. I knew I was up against another male coach for the job, and I had no teaching experience,” Angle recalls. “The school board was interviewing me and they asked, ‘How do we know you can handle the classroom?’, which was a legitimate question, but I fired right back with, ‘How do you know I can’t handle it?’” Her spunk and teaching philosophy landed her the position and set her on a course of making a difference in students’ lives. “I gave [the school board] examples. I told them I would find out who my students are and teach to their interests. If a football player was not coming along, I’d make test questions personal to discovering the mass and density of a football,” Angle says. “Later, my students would be disappointed if we had gotten too far into the year and they hadn’t noticed a test question that was obviously about them.” This personal approach to teaching lasted through two years at Medford, Okla., and a 23-year career in Alva (Okla.) Public Schools. In Alva, Stacie (Surface) Vincent was one of Angle’s students. “She definitely influenced my love of science,” Vincent says. “I went to OSU as a chemical engineering major. I had no problem in college chemistry. I set the curve on every test because of her.” Vincent graduated from OSU in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary science education and has gone on to an education career with Edmond (Okla.) Public Schools. “[Angle] was always so excited. I integrated that in my own classroom. If the teacher is excited, then students are more apt to be engaged.” Becoming a teacher was a major shift for Angle. Her father had always wanted her to be a doctor, and she initially chose that path.


“When I gave up becoming a veterinarian and found myself in this very different career, there came the time when I needed a challenge,” Angle says. “I saw the Ph.D. program as the way to get ‘Dr.’ in front of my name. Unfortunately, my dad died in my first semester. I had the option of earning a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) or a Ph.D. I welcomed the challenge of a Ph.D. It was a personal goal.” Angle had become a single mom while continuing her education, which provided even more of a challenge. “My children were so supportive. I would teach all day, then drive two days a week to Stillwater for class,” Angle says. “On the days I was home, I committed I wouldn’t work on things while my kids were awake.” Angle’s commitment paid off, even with her own children. “When I realized my children see me as a strong woman, it made all the sacrifices worth it,” she says. Angle’s children include Crystal (Lohmann) Parker, an intellectual property lawyer in New York; David Lohmann, who lives in Dallas where he started CONTINUES

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“This (award) means so much to me because this is who I am. It’s very special because I am a teacher. It’s GARY LAWSON/UNIVERSITY MARKETING

what I advocate for: the teaching of good science.” — JULIE ANGLE Julie Angle receives the 2015 Regents Distinguished Teaching Award.

a company that buys dental practices and forms co-ops; Heather Lohmann, a mathematics teacher in Alva; and Cale Angle, who farms with his father in northwest Oklahoma. “I’m very proud of my kids. I pushed my kids and expected a lot from them and it took a lot of work, but now they are self-sufficient and I enjoy my freedom,” Angle says. “My students are my daytime kids. I have expectations for them and know what they need to be a successful teacher. My program is rigorous, so they will succeed and not fail. There is a five-year teaching hump, and I want to make sure they make it over.” Angle sees her current role as her greatest challenge yet. “My job is not to teach the content; that’s what the College of Arts and Sciences faculty do. I really missed that at first, but my students rely on me to teach them the methods and practices of science — how science is conducted, the nature of science — all through the lens of research,” Angle says. “I teach them how to teach through an inquiry approach. It’s not neat and orderly and it takes a different time commitment to set up things for kids, but anyone can give worksheets and lecture.” Angle continues to inspire and prepare students for their next step. “She has prepared me to teach science,” says Joshua Encinas, a 2016 OSU science education graduate who took Angle’s classes. “She runs a tough program with a lot of expectations, but she just pushes you to become the best teacher you can

be. Her teaching style reaches the most students. Her classes have a lecture portion, of course, but she uses visuals, handouts and activities.” In 2013, Angle received the University Teaching Excellence Award presented by the Oklahoma Science Teacher Association. She served as co-chair for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards — Science Standards Revision Committee in 2011-12, and on the executive committee for the development of the revised Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science in 2013-14. She also has received more than $5 million in grant money and been invited to present at more than 30 international, national and state conferences. Angle achieved National Board Certification in 2003, the same year she was inducted into the Oklahoma Science and Engineering Fair Hall of Fame. She was selected as a finalist for the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2007. Prior to her faculty appointment at OSU, she was selected as a 2008-09 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow and worked in Arlington, Va., for the National Science Foundation in the office of cyber infrastructure, where she led the learning and workforce development taskforce. Angle is a past president of the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association and currently serves on several executive boards and advisory committees in support of science education.


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Al Carlozzi (left) with College of Education Dean John Romans.

Leadership and service honor goes to Carlozzi

Al Carlozzi, a professor in counseling psychology, is the 2016 College of Education Leadership and Service Excellence Award winner. “Dr. Carlozzi has admirably served OSU and the College of Education in numerous leadership roles. He has a distinguished record of community involvement and takes very seriously his role as a faculty representative of a land-grant institution. He continues to make a tremendous impact on the mental health community in Oklahoma and beyond,” says College of Education Dean John Romans. “This is an acknowledgment of contributions that have made a positive difference. That’s what I like to think my career has been devoted to — making a difference in the lives of others, including students, clients and community members,”

Carlozzi says. “I have long believed that the best leaders are those who are dedicated, compassionate and committed to service. Effective leadership requires that one be emotionally and socially intelligent, able to work collaboratively with others to address and solve problems, and to influence others with an aim toward making a positive difference.” Carlozzi has modeled this kind of leadership and service throughout his 37-year career at Oklahoma State. He has served in numerous leadership positions in the College of Education, including as training director for the counseling psychology Ph.D. program for nine years, head of the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology and interim head of the Department of Applied Behavioral Studies in Education. He chaired Group 5 of the Graduate Faculty and served as associate dean of the OSU Graduate College for six years, including two stints as interim dean.


In 2006, Carlozzi moved to Tulsa to become director of the Counseling Center at OSU-Tulsa. Like its Stillwater counterpart, the center offers low-cost services to people who can’t afford these services elsewhere. Over the last decade, Carlozzi has guided the center from a staff of just two interns to 11 interns who see around 10 clients, both students and members of the community, each week. The growth has come largely because of Carlozzi’s outreach efforts. By connecting with other services and organizations in the city, the center routinely receives referrals. Carlozzi has been heavily involved in the Mental Health Association Oklahoma as a board member and served as its president in 2015. The association has drop-in centers in Tulsa (Denver House) and Oklahoma City (Lottie House) that are gateways to housing and recovery services for the homeless, many of whom suffer from mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Working as part of the group’s education committee, Carlozzi helps organize the annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium and other educational programs aimed at reducing the incidence of suicides and the stigma associated with mental illness. “Other than my mentoring hundreds of developing mental health counselors and counseling psychologists in my almost 37 years as an OSU faculty member, my volunteer work with Mental Health Association Oklahoma has been the most important and meaningful work I have done in my career as a mental health professional,” he says. “This is an organization that makes a huge difference in the lives of people in this state, and I am proud to serve in a leadership capacity.” Carlozzi is a 1996 recipient of the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2013 OSUTulsa President’s Outstanding Teaching Award. “OSU has provided me so many opportunities to lead and model it for others, something I’m really happy and gratified to have had the opportunity to do,” he says.

Denni Blum

Blum wins Graduate Faculty Excellence Award

Denni Blum, associate professor in social foundations, is the 2016 College of Education Graduate Faculty Excellence Award winner. “Dr. Blum continually invests in and serves our graduate students well,” says College of Education Dean John Romans. “She is regarded as an attentive, responsive and encouraging instructor. We are proud to honor her as the College of Education’s Graduate Faculty Excellence Award winner.” “I am honored to receive this award,” Blum says. “Having been nominated by students and selected by a committee of faculty, the award means that my style of teaching and mentoring has been effective in responding to the needs and interests of at least some, and hopefully a majority of, students. Receiving this award is affirming and encourages me to build on existing practices.” Blum joined the Oklahoma State faculty in 2008 and was promoted to associate professor in 2015. CONTINUES

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COLLEGE OF EDUCATION She has spent 15 years as a professor, but her career began as a high school Spanish teacher. “I was a K-12 teacher for 13 years. I desired more intellectual stimulation and was always curious whether the institution of the school, which is one of the strongest socializing mechanisms in society, could be structured in such a way to engender a more altruistic, society-serving citizen. I had taught in other Latin American countries and decided to go to graduate school and examine education in Cuba,” Blum says. She completed a master’s in curriculum and instruction and doctorate in curriculum studies, both with a specialization in anthropology, at the University of Texas-Austin. Blum has long conducted research in Cuba, spending years building relationships and working to gain access to schools in the country. She is also the author of a book, Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values: Educating the New Socialist Man. In 2015, Blum made history when she secured the first grant for an academic exchange initiated by the United States in Cuba. The Wenner-Gren Foundation, dedicated to the advancement of anthropology throughout the world, awarded Blum a $17,000 grant to create a workshop to bring leading anthropologists from Latin America to Havana. It marked the first time Wenner-Gren had funded anything in Cuba. The workshop, held in December 2015, was highly successful, and the foundation provided funds to publish a book of the peer-reviewed presentations that can be widely accessed in Cuba. “My ultimate goal for me and my students is to become critical, reflective practitioners in our personal and professional lives, as contributing, productive members of society,” Blum says. “I attempt to create relevant, real-life opportunities to discuss and observe socioeconomic issues that affect our most vulnerable populations, recognizing

the difference between equity and equality, and possibilities for improvement.” One way Blum is making a difference for vulnerable populations is through her service on the education training subcommittee of the Tulsa Child Trafficking Task Force. In the spring of 2016, Blum launched a new effort to fight child sex trafficking by expanding education for schoolteachers and administrators in a new course at OSU-Tulsa. The course prepares educators and raises awareness about the prevalence of the crime. Students in the course are trained to give presentations to students, faculty and administrators in area schools. “Teaching, for me, is a dialogue that involves my being a student as much as the teacher in the process. I love teaching because I love learning from others. I enjoy the creative process in trying to find engaging ways to internalize new and sometimes challenging concepts,” Blum says. In 2010, she was honored with the college’s International Outreach and Excellence Award. In 2016, she was invited to become a fellow in the School of Entrepreneurship at OSU.

Jacobson takes college’s top research honor

Bert Jacobson, Regents’ Professor in health and human performance and M.B. Seretean Endowed Professor in the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, is the College of Education’s 2016 Faculty Research Excellence Award winner. “Dr. Jacobson has been a highly regarded researcher for many years, and this honor is welldeserved. His expertise is in applied health areas, and studies he has conducted on sleep surfaces, athlete strength and conditioning and more have been shared across the country and internationally,” says Dean John Romans of the College of Education.


Bert Jacobson

“It’s nice to be recognized for what one in higher education considers as hard work,” Jacobson says. “In higher education, you get little recognition for months or even years of work. Your findings may be published, but no one really sees that except for a tight circle of colleagues and the publisher. This is an outlet for recognizing what we do.” He sees the faculty research excellence award as similar to a lifetime achievement award. “Research is about solving mysteries,” Jacobson says. “It’s like being a kid who wants to take things apart and see how and why things work like they do and then how we can make them better.” Jacobson’s life experiences have made for unique opportunities in his research. As a three-year letterman and team captain in the OSU football program and professor to several of the current OSU coaches

through the years, he has a level of clearance that few researchers in his field have. “I have a unique relationship with our athletic department. It’s unique that in a Division I school, I have access to premier athletes for my research projects,” Jacobson says. “I’m considered one of them [with the coaching staffs], and it’s unusual to see research papers that deal with elite programs like ours.” Jacobson was the head strength and conditioning coach for OSU for five years and an assistant football coach of the Tulsa Outlaws, a USFL team for two seasons. His lifetime of research has covered the gamut of health and human performance. In addition to athlete performance, much of his research has focused on geriatric falls and sleep surfaces. CONTINUES

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Sue Parsons with College of Education Dean John Romans.

His research regarding sleep surfaces served as the foundation for being named spokesman for the Better Sleep Council, an arm of the International Sleep Products Association. Jacobson has more than 300 publications and professional presentations that have been delivered on five different continents. In addition to the Regents Distinguished Research Award, he has received the Inventor Recognition Award and the Oklahoma Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Scholar Award. In 2014, Jacobson was promoted to Oklahoma State University Regents Professor, the most prestigious rank that may be attained in recognition of scholarly accomplishments by faculty at OSU. He is also a fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. In recent years, Jacobson has served the College of Education as head of the School of Educational Studies and as interim associate dean.

College names Parsons winner of teaching award

Sue Parsons, associate professor and Jacques Munroe Professor of Reading and Literacy Education in the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership, is the 2016 Teaching Excellence Award winner and a college nominee for the coming year’s Oklahoma State University Regents Teaching Award. “Dr. Parsons’ passion and enthusiasm for literacy and preparing new educators is contagious. She is an excellent teacher. Her desire to shape and inspire her students is driven by the knowledge that they too will impact children and adolescents in their own classrooms,” says Dean John Romans of the College of Education. “This is a lovely honor and I’m very grateful,” Parsons says. “Particularly because it’s in this area

that means so much to me. [Teaching] is the part of my job that has been core all the way through my career. It’s what I do.” Parsons has spent most of her career in higher education, following in the footsteps of her parents. “I am a professor’s kid. I literally grew up on a college campus [Baylor University] where my father was a theology professor and my mother coordinated the honors program,” Parsons says. “Academia is all I’ve ever known.” Still, teaching wasn’t an automatic decision for Parsons when it came time to choose a college major. “I fought teaching because although I knew I loved it when I was young, I went through a time that I thought teaching is not what I wanted to do,” she says. “I was told I was too talented musically to go into music education, but I figured out quickly that teaching wasn’t fluff.” Parsons’ first position was in a high-needs school where she learned she could change lives by teaching. “I had these babies, and I realized I could make a difference for them. It was frustrating for me because the students would become disenfranchised and choose a different path. I decided I could maybe make a bigger impact by creating teachers that would sustain students all the way through,” she says. “If I could create those powerful, transformative teachers, I could make a bigger impact.” Parsons’ passion grew under her mentors as she pursued a doctorate, but life took a very unexpected turn while at Arizona State University. “I looked at places to attend for my doctorate that had people who I admired the most,” she said. “I loved the program, but a year into it, my husband died.” Parsons returned to Baylor to teach the following year then made her way back to Arizona and finished her degree. She thought she was settled there until the position opened at Oklahoma State.

“I fell in love with this place. It looked a lot like what I had grown up around, was closer to family and what my colleagues were talking about was cutting edge, creative, and they weren’t afraid to get out of the box. I liked that,” Parsons says. Parsons has spent 17 years teaching reading and literacy courses at OSU with a team who can interchange and teach any of the department’s courses, but Parsons has her sweet spot. “Children’s and young adult literacy is where my passions converge. My scholarship, teaching and national service are all in those areas,” she says. “They focus on diversity, and advocacy runs through that. This is the point where my work converges. It’s my axis.” Parsons’ philosophy of teaching makes it clear that her work is far greater than teaching a subject. “I believe that teaching is a value-laden act. What we do in the classroom — from the curriculum choices we make to the modeling we provide and the relationships we form — it matters profoundly in students’ lives. Teaching is also a creative act, one that calls for energy and imagination, and rewards us by renewing those very elements in us. Good teaching sparks the imagination and ignites inquiry,” she says. “This is high stakes for me. I have a human being that I am responsible to and to those they will teach. This is where the ‘valueladen’ comes in, and I don’t walk away from that.” Parsons was awarded the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008. She has also been named the OSU Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence Faculty Fellow, received the Mortar Board Golden Torch Award, was named the OSU Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Member as well as the Waco (Texas) Independent School District Teacher of the Year and was the recipient of the Waco Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award.

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Top 2016 Graduate Assistants named

The Oklahoma State University College of Education recognized three Outstanding Graduate Assistants, one from each of the college’s schools, for 2016.

Milad Mohebali is the Outstanding Graduate Assistant for the School of Educational Studies. Mohebali is pursuing a Master of Science in higher dducation and student affairs. He has been a graduate teaching assistant and worked with faculty on research projects. He is originally from Tehran, Iran, and holds degrees in material and science engineering from Tehran Polytecnic and K.N. Toosi S&T University. “Milad’s work has been invaluable to faculty research in our Higher Education and Student Affairs program. He led the effort to develop a comprehensive collection of scholarly publications looking at the intersection of civic engagement by high school students and the relationship of this engagement to their decision to go to college. As a master’s candidate, Milad is doing work that we might expect of a doctoral student, and excelling at everything. We have been lucky to have this chance to work with him.” Tami Moore Associate professor, higher education and student affairs





College celebrates mentor educators

Jenks West Intermediate’s principal Michelle Sumner stepped to the microphone to kick off a schoolwide assembly to see sixth-grade math and science teacher Brenda Wilson honored with an Oklahoma State University Outstanding Mentor Educator Award. Students and staff cheered as Wilson received an award plaque, gift basket, balloons and flowers. OSU mascot Pistol Pete joined the fun as well. The OSU Outstanding Mentor Educator Award, sponsored by the College of Education, recognizes and rewards excellence in mentoring OSU candidates in student teaching internships or clinical practice. “We designed this award as a way to celebrate and thank the incredible mentor educators who give so much to the profession and schools they serve,” says OSU interim associate director of professional education Rubin Fuxa. These mentors are helping to ensure future educators step out of a university ready to make important contributions to a school and its district.” “We are fortunate to work with so many passionate and talented educators who are willing to invest in our students,” College of Education Dean John Romans says. “The guidance and experience mentor educators and our school partners provide is an integral part of the degree preparation. These individuals are giving back to their profession in a tremendous way.”


1. Dean John Romans presents the Mentor Educator Award to James Hall of Will Rogers Elementary School in Stillwater. 2. From left: Dean John Romans, Lincoln Academy counselor and Outstanding Mentor Educator Award winner Patricia McClain and counseling intern Lauren Gin. 3. Stillwater High School family and consumer sciences teacher Fran Stellman (middle) poses with Lora Long and Paula Tripp, who nominated Stellman for the award. 4. Clinical professor Jill Metzger, College of Education Dean John


Romans, Mentor Educator Award winner Amy Presley and student teaching intern Emily Edwards, who nominated Presley for the honor. 5. Pistol Pete celebrates Jenks West Intermediate teacher Brenda Wilson along with school principal Michelle Sumner and College of Education Associate Dean Robert Davis. 6. Coyle Schools counselor Tracy Gustafson is congratulated by Pistol Pete and Dean John Romans.

In addition to Wilson, the fall 2015 winners were Coyle Public Schools counselor Tracy Gustafson (PK-12/other) and Broken Arrow High School history teacher Amy Presley (secondary education). During the spring 2016 semester, three Stillwater Public Schools educators were honored: Fran Stellman, family and consumer science teacher at Stillwater High School, received the secondary education award; Will Rogers Elementary fourthgrade teacher James Hall, the elementary/early childhood honor; and Patricia McClain, counselor at Lincoln Academy, the PK-12/other winner.

OSU Professional Education The Professional Education Unit:

• Encompasses programs in the Colleges of Education, Arts and Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and Human Sciences. • Offers OSU teacher education students 15-week internships with mentor educators in PK-12 schools. • Has clinical practice student teaching internships in 99 Oklahoma districts at 220 school sites in an average year. • Places students in rural, urban and suburban partner schools within a 75-mile radius of Stillwater. • Offers international opportunities in England, Costa Rica and Belgium. For more information, visit

Anthony R. Lee is the Outstanding Graduate Assistant for the School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology. He completed a Master of Public Health in 2016. He served as a graduate teaching assistant and research team member after getting his bachelor’s in exercise science from Georgia State University in 2013. “Anthony has been a role model for other graduate students both in and out of the classroom. As a graduate teaching associate, he demonstrated a commitment to students and the craft of good teaching. Anthony is very involved in a number of projects through Dr. (Randy) Hubach’s Sexual Health Research Lab. He has demonstrated a passion for understanding health disparities among marginalized populations. Anthony has the tools to make a real difference in public health.” Bridget Miller Associate professor and Joan Donelson Jacques Endowed Professor of Health Promotion Jenny Peters is the Outstanding Graduate Assistant for the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership. Peters is expected to graduate with her doctorate in Professional Education Studies, Mathematics Education in May 2018. She is a graduate research associate and has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas-Austin and a master’s in mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington. “Jenny is dedicated to changing the way students think and feel about mathematics. She is passionate about making sure that students leave her classroom with a strong understanding of mathematics. It has been a joy to watch her passion for teaching and learning of mathematics grow.” Adrienne Sanogo Associate professor, mathematics education C O L L E G E  O F  E D U C A T I O N O K L A H O M A



2 named to COE Hall of Fame Dr. Ted Mills and Dr. John Woods became the newest members of the Oklahoma State University College of Education Hall of Fame on May 13 in a formal induction ceremony in the Anderson Family Living Room inside Willard Hall. “We are proud to welcome Ted Mills and John Woods to our Hall of Fame,” Dean John Roman says. “Both men are phenomenal representatives of the OSU College of Education and of the education profession. They have impacted science and mathematics education in the state of Oklahoma and beyond.” The Hall of Fame award recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements. A Navy veteran of the Korean War, Terence (Ted) Mills of Stillwater spent more than 25 years as a faculty member before retiring in 1996. He started the Center for Environmental Education and helped found the Oklahoma Conservation Education Leadership Training Program. In 1980, the National Wildlife Federation, Oklahoma Wildlife Federation and the Phillips Foundation

named him Educator of the Year. From 1987-92, he directed a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to upgrade the quality of science teaching in public schools. Mills, who earned an education doctorate from Indiana University, received the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award (1994) and the OSU Teaching Legacy commendation (1991). In 1997, the Oklahoma Association for Environmental Education gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award. A highly regarded mathematics educator, John M. Woods of Weatherford, Okla., is a 1965 alumnus of the OSU College of Education. He has dedicated nearly 50 years to education in Oklahoma. Woods graduated from OSU with a 4.0 grade point average as the Outstanding College of Education Graduate and a Top 10 graduate for OSU. Woods earned a master’s in the art of teaching from Harvard University and a doctorate in algebraic topology from Florida State University. He served for more than 20 years on the faculties of Southwestern Oklahoma

Know a nominee? Do you know someone who should be considered for induction to the OSU College of Education Hall of Fame or the Rising Star? Visit for more information.



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Dr. John Woods (left) and Dr. Ted Mills

Diana Bland

State University and Oklahoma Baptist University. Woods received the Lifetime Service Award from the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 2001 and joined the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame in 2015. Woods is currently mathematics department grants specialist and professor emeritus at SWOSU. Union Public Schools elementary teacher Diana Bland received the 2016 Rising Star Award, which honors recent alumni who show the promise of future leadership. Bland earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from OSU in 2010. She has worked in the Union Public Schools for 13 years, the last six as a certified classroom teacher. Bland is currently the English language learners teacher at Boevers Elementary, where she was the 2014-15 Teacher of the Year.


New scholarship fund aids future pilots Gary and Ginger Fazio were brand new to the OSU family. Their son, Garrett, was in his first semester as a professional pilot major in the College of Education’s aviation program in the fall of 2015. The professional pilot curriculum and the well-rounded college experience OSU offered sealed Garrett’s decision to become a Cowboy. During a trip from their home in Colleyville, Texas, to Stillwater, a chance conversation sparked an idea. Gary and Ginger attended an OSU Foundation Tailgate event before the Cowboy football game against TCU. “Dr. Barry and Roxanne Pollard were (at the tailgate), greeting people. We had not met them before. They were very gracious. As we chatted, they told us about the Medical Cowboys,” Gary says. Pollard had a vision for a network of medical professionals who shared his passions for OSU and supporting a new generation of medical professionals as they pursued pre-medicine degrees. Since 2007, the Medical Cowboys have helped alleviate the financial burden for these students. After the conversation with the Pollards, Ginger commented to Gary that it would be great if there were a parallel fund for pilots. Flight training and

certifications incur additional costs for students beyond standard tuition and fees. What started as a passing thought soon became much more. After talking with Denise Unruh, the OSU Foundation’s senior director of development for the College of Education, the couple decided to establish a fund to support scholarships for future pilots. As the Flying Cowboys fund grows, merit-based scholarships will recognize excellence among OSU professional pilot students. The Fazios want the fund to eventually model the Medical Cowboys program, expanding to a network of individuals and corporations who support Oklahoma State’s aviation and professional pilot programs. “Aviation is growing in Stillwater with American Airlines starting commercial service and the renovations at the regional airport. That’s exciting. Our hope is to help raise money to improve the OSU flight line and facilities and to help pilot students defray the costs through scholarships,” Gary explains.

To support the Flying Cowboys fund, contact Denise Unruh at or (405) 385-5663.

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More than Education

COE recruiter discusses the joys of her job

Oklahoma State alumna

Meredith Shepard spends her

days working with prospective undergraduate students,

educating them about OSU

College of Education degree programs and recruiting them to join the Cowboy family.


A native of Ponca City, Okla., Shepard has been a member of the College of Education’s Watson Family Student Academic Services staff since June 2014. She represents the college at recruitment events on and off campus and meets individually with visiting students and their families. A first-generation college student and an MBA degree holder, Shepard is a resource for all students considering a College of Education degree at Oklahoma State.

What do you want prospective students and parents to know about the College of Education at OSU? The College of Education offers a wide variety of majors that include education, health and aviationrelated fields. Our teachers leave OSU with a significant amount of experience, making them ideal candidates for schools. If you’re interested in going into a health field (physical or occupational therapy, athletic training, etc.), we have majors that are great springboards into those graduate programs. If a student is interested in the aviation industry, whether working as a pilot, in airline management or security, our degree in aerospace administration and operations will prepare them for the field. What is your favorite part of the job? The relationships I build with students and their families. I absolutely love getting to meet students and their families and help them through their college selection process. Nothing is more rewarding than when students I have been working with inform me they are coming to OSU or when I see their faces light up with excitement when I help them discover a major or career they didn’t realize existed. What advice do you have for students going through the college selection process? Take a campus tour! There is no better way to decide if a university is the best place for you than setting foot on its campus. What do students interested in attending OSU need to know about applying? Apply early! November 1 is the Early Opportunity Scholarship Deadline. We want you to receive as much student aid as possible, and the earlier you apply, the better. Visit to access the application and many other resources. How can alumni help you recruit students to OSU? Spread the word about our programs! As they meet prospective students, share their experiences

during their time at OSU and the amazing opportunities we offer. Encourage students to take a campus tour as well as schedule a time to meet with me to learn more about the majors. Also, if alumni advise a future teacher, aviation or health club at a high school, I’d love to host them on campus, or I can come visit! What can prospective students expect when they meet with you? Students will sit down with me and one of our College of Education Ambassador students to learn more about a possible major. We will go over the major and application process as well as scholarship opportunities. If scheduled ahead of time, the students will have the opportunity to tour our facilities (Willard Hall, Flight Center, Colvin Recreation Center and labs). To schedule a campus tour, visit

Undergrad Degrees Learn more about the College of Education and its undergraduate degree programs at Undergraduate Programs • Aerospace Administration and Operations • Applied Exercise Science • Career and Technical Education • Elementary Education • Health Education and Promotion • Recreation Management • Recreational Therapy • Physical Education • Secondary Education

Contact Information Meredith Shepard Prospective Student Services Coordinator College of Education 101B Willard Hall Phone: 405-744-6614 Email:

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College recognizes Top 10 Seniors for 2016 THE OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF EDUCATION HAS RECOGNIZED ITS TOP 10 SENIORS FOR 2016. The Student Affairs Committee chose the 10 recipients, representing elementary and secondary education, health education and promotion, therapeutic recreation, and aerospace administration and operations. The students demonstrated exceptional qualities of leadership, academic excellence and service. Recipients must have completed 90 or more credit hours with 24 at OSU, and be eligible to graduate during the 2016 calendar year. The honorees:



Secondary Education Mathematics

Health Education and Promotion Perkins, Okla.


Robinson Clower was an OSU Senior of Significance, a member of the Oklahoma State Symphony Orchestra, president of the German Club and vice president of the 1 in 4 Men’s chapter, which gives presentations on sexual assault and prevention. He served on the board for Oklahoma Odyssey of the Mind and was involved with Stillwater Creativity Boosters. He studied abroad at the Humboldt University of Berlin. “The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from the College of Education is how much of an impact caring mentors have on students. Professors and advisers in the college have helped me get through the most stressful times of my life because I can trust them and talk to them about my problems. This lesson will be invaluable as I begin teaching. To be a successful teacher, I’ll not only need to be well versed in pedagogy and mathematics but in compassion and understanding.”

Shannon Cotton was an ambassador for the Service Learning Volunteer Center, a member of the College of Education Student Council, the Pre-Health and Health Education and Promotion clubs. She is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and completed more than 400 hours of community service, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Oklahoma Blood Institute, Cowboy Walking Trails, Bike MS, Cowboys with Compassion Food Drives and the Oklahoma WONDERtorium. Cotton also served as a peer educator with Share the WEALTH Program. “I did not start out in the College of Education, but I am so thankful I ended up here. I felt like my professors really were behind me, pushing me to succeed. In particular, Dr. (Bridget) Miller and Dr. (Bert) Jacobson both exceeded what was expected of them and helped me to get to the point I am at now. When I was a freshman, I never would have dreamed I would eventually be going on to physical therapy school, but here I am! Being in the College of Education has taught me how to work well with other people; it feels like a family.”




Therapeutic Recreation

Secondary Education Foreign Language

Health Education and Promotion

Broken Arrow, Okla.

Spiro, Okla.


Kate Duethman served as president of the Pre-Occupational Therapy Student Association, and a member of the Catholic Student Association, Recreation Therapy Club, Turning Point Horse Therapy Program, Al’s Pals Outreach and Best Buddies Organization. She is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Duethman worked at the Hampton Inn & Suites and the Marble Slab Creamery.

Victoria Fisher was an OSU Senior of Significance as well as president of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society, vice president of Christians on Campus and an International Student Bible study leader. She was a student in the OSU Honors College and completed an honors thesis. Fisher studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico, and participated in a service-learning course to the Colegio Mariá del Rosario for international teaching experience. She has volunteered with numerous Christian ministries on campus and in her hometown through the summers.

Katherine Konstans was president of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, a recruitment counselor for Panhellenic, a member of the career and personal development committee and intramural sports chair for Chi Omega Fraternity and a member of the pre-health community. A student in the OSU Honors College, Konstans participated in research, and wrote an honors thesis. She also volunteered for Early Head Start in Stillwater for four years.

“My experience at Oklahoma State has allowed me to explore my full potential without fear of failure. With the support and encouragement of Dr. Tim Passmore, (adviser) Todd Snethen, my family and friends, I was able to achieve more than what I thought was possible. I look to the future of pursing my master’s in occupational therapy with confidence because of the education I received through the College of Education.”

“One of the aspects that I have appreciated most about being in the College of Education is the time my professors invested in me. The one-on-one conversations I had with them encouraged my curiosity and supported me in my journey to become a world language educator. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”

“My professors not only cared about my academic performance, but they also were invested in my future plans to become a physician. Lance Millis, Dr. Bridget Miller, Dr. Chandra Story and Dr. Randy Hubach stand out as people who have positively impacted my future and the way I understand and view the world. OSU has taught me that, first and foremost, people matter. I have learned to view the world in other people’s shoes, which is an invaluable lesson that I will take with me into my medical career because it will allow me to effectively and empathetically treat my patients.” CONTINUES

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Elementary Education

Therapeutic Recreation

Guymon, Okla.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Whitnee Konwinski was a community president of Drummond Hall, a prayer group leader with Sigma Phi Lambda, a charter member of Kappa Delta Pi and a host for The Table Bible study group. She has also been a member of the Student Oklahoma Education Association, Kappa Kappa Iota, Elementary Educators of Tomorrow and Residential Life Government Association. Konwinski also served the community through Sunnybrook Christian Church, Into the Streets, Big Event and Freeway.

Courtney Pool was a leadership mentor for the OSU Housing and Residential Life group and involved with the Recreational Therapy Majors Club, the Pre-Occupational Therapy Student Association, the Service Learning Volunteer Center Ambassadors, the Residential Leadership College, Rho Phi Lambda (recreation honor fraternity), the Therapeutic Recreation Association of Oklahoma and the American Therapeutic Recreation Association as well as a member of OSU’s Paddle People and the Homecoming Steering Committee-Residential Life. Pool has volunteered more than 550 hours with a variety of organizations.

“I have been blessed to attend OSU and be a part of the College of Education. The faculty members are so committed and passionate it is impossible not to learn to love teaching and to grow into the best educator you can be. The mentors on campus and through the on-site course work are phenomenal and allow you to engage in a professional learning community with the best and brightest educators our state has to offer. I feel completely prepared to step into my own classroom next year and make an impact on my students like OSU and the COE have made on me. Go Pokes!”

“Coming to OSU and studying within the College of Education has by far been the best decision I have made in my life. I have been surrounded by the most caring and supportive faculty and staff who have continuously pushed me, encouraged me and challenged me to make the most of my experience here. My education here is something I will cherish forever. It has given me the skills, knowledge and foundation that will drive my future successes. I would like to give a special thank you to Dr. (Tim) Passmore and Dr. (Melissa) Zahl who have helped me so much throughout my college career. Go Pokes!”

ABDULRAHEEM “RAHEEM” MAHBOUB Aerospace Administration and Operations Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Abdulraheem “Raheem” Mahboub graduated summa cum laude and completed minors in aerospace security and professional pilot. While at OSU, he was a tutor for international students in aviation and a leader with the Saudi Student Association. He is a professional singer, songwriter and melodist, in addition to being involved with the OSU Tennis Club and a member of the Islamic Society of Stillwater. “My experience at OSU has gifted me with, above all else, the profound realization that sustained effort and hard work really do bring about great success and happiness. I am still developing at this point, and I still do not know the limits of my potential. Whatever those limits may be, they surely lie quite far off beyond the distant horizon. I would like to take the opportunity to voice my enduring thanks to Dr. Kristopher Bradley and Dr. Jon Loffi. Dr. Bradley taught me the fine, elusive art of sustained motivation; it was Dr. Loffi who made me redefine what it means to be motivated.”



Aerospace Administration and Operations

Secondary Education Social Studies

Woodward, Okla.

Oklahoma City

Garrett Quinby was as one of 15 OSU Outstanding Seniors for 2016. He was a facilitator for the President’s Leadership Council and completed a minor in ethical leadership. He served in four officer positions with Flying Aggies, as a university board member for the Oklahoma Pilots Association, community president and senator for Hall Government and vice president of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association. Quinby was a member of Alpha Eta Rho, Eagle Heights Baptist Church and the Sea Plane Pilots Association. He served the community for more than 470 hours through these organizations as well as with Into the Streets, SGA Sustainability, Oklahoma Blood Institute and the Oklahoma FFA.

In addition to completing a bachelor’s degree, Wheeler earned a master’s degree in special education through the 4+1 program. He was involved with Freshman Representative Council, Junior Greek Life, Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, Interfraternity Council, Student Government Association and Dance Marathon. He served the community with OSU Toys for Cowboys, Kaleo Christian program, Make Promises Happen, OSU Homecoming and Fiji Christmas Cup to benefit USO.

“The faculty and staff have made my OSU experience great. They talk to you as an adult and care about you as an individual. They care about your well-being and personal life. They don’t give you anything by any means, but they help you succeed. There is a sense of family here. I know everyone by name and it’s just an awesome place to be.”

“I have truly enjoyed every minute of my experience in the College of Education. Dr. Penny Cantley and Dr. Shanedra Nowell have helped me understand what it means to be more than just a ‘good’ teacher. They have shown me how to make an impact on my students through creative and reflective learning, as well as investing in them and helping them to become better people. They have both invested time in me, and they have both helped me to become a better person and educator. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me in my college experience.”


The Top 10 Seniors were honored in May.

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Access the world with two daily hassle-free

to either OKC or Tulsa, and you’ll see the

flights to DFW from Stillwater. Factor in

convenience and simplicity of jet service

free parking and quick boarding with short

out of Stillwater Regional Airport with

lines. Factor out travel time and expense

American Airlines.

You can get there from here. Fly Stillwater.

Aircraft operated by Envoy ÂŽ

Oklahoma State University College of Education 339 Willard Stillwater, OK 74078-4033



A High-Flying Return

Oklahoma State University aviation graduates pilot Walter Pegg (1991, right) and first officer John Colquitt (2008, left) greeted OSU President Burn Hargis as they flew the first commercial flight for American Airlines/Envoy from Dallas to Stillwater on Aug. 23. Learn more about aviation degree programs in the OSU College of Education at And to book a flight to or from Stillwater, visit

Education Magazine, 2016  

The 2016 issue of the Oklahoma State University College of Education magazine.

Education Magazine, 2016  

The 2016 issue of the Oklahoma State University College of Education magazine.