Two Thousand Twelve
The Krause Innovation Studio: Harnessing Technology To Foster Collaboration
Dean David H. Monk Editors Suzanne Wayne Sara LaJeunesse
Writers Wildamie Ceus Sara LaJeunesse Joe Savrock
Designer Leah Donell
Printer Nittany Valley Offset Contact Us 247 Chambers Building University Park, PA 16802-3206 814-863-2216 www.ed.psu.edu • email@example.com Published annually by the Penn State College of Education College of Education Alumni Society Officers Patricia Best, President William Vitori, President-Elect Larry Wess, Immediate Past President Erica Walters, Secretary Directors Cameron Bausch Andrew Pollock Heidi Capetola Marcia Pomeroy Tonya DeVecchis-Kerr Stacie Spanos Hiras David Dolbin William Stone Amy Meisinger Dee Stout Jeremiah Mimms Cathy Tomon Ronald Musoleno William Vitori Pamela Peter Douglas Womelsdorf Affiliate Program Group Presidents COEalumni@psu.edu, American Indian Leadership Program Jacob Easley II, Educational Leadership Program Kristine Otto, Higher Education Program COEalumni@psu.edu, Multicultural Advancement Mary Beth Hershey, Professional Development School Jed Lindholm, Workforce Education Program
Good teaching is a key ingredient of success regardless of the occupation being pursued.
Read about College outreach programs and faculty awards and activities.
A sampling of recent research from the College includes an investigation of the effects of new educational legislation on children, a strategy for improving children’s reading skills, a study of the changing landscape of faculty employment, and an effort to educate the public about Marcellus Shale gas issues.
Alumni Features – Passion. Perseverance. Integrity.
College of Education alumni discuss the paths that led to their varied careers and reflect on the common values they gained while attending Penn State.
Read about recent alumni achievements, updates from the Alumni Society Board, and more.
Gifts to the College
Recent endowments to the College create new opportunities for faculty members and students.
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Dean’sMessage Welcome to the 2012 edition of Penn State Education! Earlier this year we held a wonderful commencement ceremony where we acknowledged the accomplishments of more than 450 new Penn State graduates who completed either an undergraduate or graduate program in the College of Education. I take considerable pride as dean when I see these highly intelligent, highly motivated men and women entering so many different areas of the field. The faculty, staff, and students worked diligently—and with wonderful results—to reach this day, and our most recent graduates are joining more than 45,000 Penn State alumni who are graduates of the College of Education. It was my privilege last spring to be the commencement speaker at Penn State Berks. This opportunity gave me firsthand insight into one of Penn State’s campuses—a campus with a chancellor, Dr. Keith Hillkirk ’87 Ph.D., who happens to be a Penn State College of Education alumnus. I chose as the theme for my address the importance of high-quality teaching, and I stressed my belief that good teaching is a key ingredient of success regardless of the occupation being pursued. The Berks campus includes education majors, but most of the graduates are entering other fields, and I argued that they are all well advised to develop good teaching skills. I asked the graduating class to remember the wonderful teachers from earlier in their lives and to see these individuals as role models. I also asked them to recall the awful teachers they have endured and to promise themselves to do everything possible to avoid falling into this trap. I hope the Berks graduates heed my advice. The nation desperately needs good teaching skills in many lines of work, and it is a privilege to work in a college where good teaching is so central to our mission. I am also pleased to report that we recently completed a site visit from one of our major national accreditation organizations. The site visit is the culmination of a lengthy self-study-and-review process, and the leaders of the site team shared with us the good news that they will be recommending a continuation of our accredited status. These reviews are demanding and comprehensive. They prompt us to reflect deeply on where we have been and where we are going as a college. The review also provides an opportunity to see the progress we have made since our last review, seven years ago.
Dean David H. Monk
Our progress is impressive, and you will see examples of it in this edition of Penn State Education. We were able to open the Krause Innovation Studio earlier this spring semester. It is exciting to see students and faculty members taking advantage of the cutting-edge, technology-enriched, modern space that is now located on the second floor of Chambers Building. Please plan to stop by if your travels bring you to State College. We were also gratified to see an increase in the number of our graduate programs ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report. We now have seven top 10 graduate programs with a total of 11 ranked in the top 20. This is an impressive showing that reflects the hard and productive work of our faculty, staff, and students. The leadership we are providing for educational research continues to be well received in the field. Let me offer as two examples the special issues on timely topics that Penn State editorial teams have created for the Journal of Teacher Education and the American Journal of Education. These journals reach influential readers located around the globe. As you will see in the pages of this publication, both of these special issues are addressing topics of immense importance to the field, and Penn State is once again demonstrating its impact. Please enjoy the contents of this issue of Penn State Education. Our hope is to provide timely information in a format that accurately conveys the breadth and depth of the College. The College touches so many people in deep and meaningful ways, and the alumni profiles we offer are designed to give a glimpse into the kind of influence a Penn State education is having around the globe and in so many areas of the field. If you have comments or questions, please let us hear from you.
Penn State Education
CollegeUpdates The Krause Innovation Studio Shaping the Future of Technology in Education
The Krause Innovation Studio opened its doors in March 2012.
The College of Education’s most advanced teaching and learning resource has opened its doors.
the pedagogies in our schools. Teachers must make full use of technology as a tool.”
Krause Innovation Studio is a 4,000-square-foot state-of-the-art learning and teaching space located on the second floor of Chambers Building. The studio is the fruit of a generous $6.5-million gift provided by Gay and Bill Krause. The gift is the largest in the history of the College of Education.
Changing the pedagogies in the schools begins with adequate preparation of future teachers. College of Education faculty members, in their aim to prepare the best teachers of tomorrow, are turning to the Krause Innovation Studio to rethink how technology can best be used in their classrooms.
As Gay Krause told a large crowd of attendees at last October’s ribboncutting ceremony, “We need to change
“Unusually, the studio is intentionally BYOD—bring your own device,” explained the studio’s director, Scott
McDonald, associate professor of science education. “It’s a place designed for people to connect their own technology to large displays and to work together.”
students to learn, and to then consider appropriate technologies to support their work.
The studio operates under a distinct set of priorities: teaching first and technology second.
“We begin with the goals for the kinds of interactions and activities students should engage in, and then we find the best tools to help educators reach those goals,” he noted.
“We don’t want to use technology simply for technology’s sake,” said McDonald. Rather, he urges educators to be innovative—to think in new ways about what and how they want their
Students, as well as faculty members, are welcome to make use of the studio’s resources. “The space is ideal for supporting student groups that are working on projects, such as analyzing
video of practice or co-authoring class projects,” McDonald said. Gay Krause is a former teacher and school administrator who received her bachelor’s degree in K–12 elementary and special education from Penn State. She is the director of the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Calif. Bill, a longtime Silicon Valley executive, currently is president of the private investment firm LWK Ventures.
— Joe Savrock
Penn State Education
Cycle-Thon includes a 5K run/walk. This year’s event begins and ends at Chambers Building.
Cycle-Thon and 5K Run/Walk to be Held in September This year the seventh annual College of Education Cycle-Thon and 5K Run/Walk will take place on Sunday, September 9, 2012. With hope for better weather and a larger turn out, the event was moved from its usual time during the spring, which may provide a greater opportunity for participants to enjoy the outdoors, while supporting a good cause.
The fundraising event will start at the Chambers Building at 10:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m. Proceeds from the Cycle-Thon and 5K Run/Walk will benefit the College of Education’ s Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (SCOPE), a rigorous summer residential program at Penn State that provides access to the field of education to selected at-risk high-school students who are interested in careers in teaching, counseling, special education, rehabilitation, or educational administration.
Participants can choose to run/walk the 5K or take a 9-mile bike ride.
SCOPE students are given the opportunity to learn about the College’s admission and financial-aid processes, and to explore areas including leadership, community service, culturalaffirmation, and personal development, all while in a nurturing environment. Cycle-Thon helps make these opportunities possible by paying for students’ tuition, room, and board.
Event attendees can expect a day packed with free activities, including children’s games, face painting, awards and prizes, and a chance to meet the Nittany Lion. Participants can pre-purchase a lunch online during registration or bring their own from home. Registration is $25 for adults/nonstudents, $20 for college students, and $15 for K-12 students. Children 5 years old and younger are free. The registration fee includes the bike ride or 5K, an official Cycle-Thon 2012 t-shirt, and all activities. For those who would like to help, but cannot participate, there is the option of sponsoring a t-shirt. For a minimum donation of $25.00, a name or organization’s name can be listed on the back of all official 2012 Cycle-Thon t-shirts. To learn more about or to volunteer to help with this event, contact Phillip Hoy at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 814-8632216, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
— Wildamie Ceus
“America has a STEM problem.Too few students are choosing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.” Kyle Peck professor of education at Penn State
A short video explaining the STEM Scouts programs is on the web at stemscouts.org
STEM Scouts Engages Students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Imagine millions of American kids logging on to their computers, downloading instructions for building rockets or for creating new hybrid varieties of plants, and sharing their ideas about their projects with other kids from across the country via chat rooms. Now imagine these kids earning badges for their efforts in a manner similar to the way Boy and Girl Scouts earn badges. This is the vision that Kyle Peck, professor of education at Penn State, has for STEM Scouts, a program he and colleagues John Wise, director of instructional design and assessment at Penn State, and Brad Zdenek, director of program design and development at Penn State, are developing to get more kids interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers. “America has a STEM problem,” said Peck. “Too few students are choosing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. This may be because students don’t know what STEM professionals do; because peer pressure works against students who happen to like math and science; or because STEM
subjects in school are often divorced from real-world contexts.” According to Peck, STEM Scouts will be a scalable, systemic solution to this problem. “Our goal is for STEM Scouts to identify and attract students of all ages who are interested in STEM disciplines; to engage those students with challenging age-appropriate activities; and to show them how STEM knowledge and skills are used in the real world. We hope that these kids will then be more likely to enter STEM careers or, at the very least, use their educations in science and technology to make better-informed decisions.” In particular, STEM Scouts will include hundreds of high-interest badges and online learning resources created to support the acquisition of the badges, thousands of mentors to help students and to review students’ work, and an online learning community to help students identify, talk to, and collaborate with Scouts with similar interests across the nation. And, so that all interested students may participate, the STEM Scouts team’s goal is for local philanthropic groups, corporations,
and/or mentors to sponsor students from economically challenged families and provide the materials they need to complete their selected projects. The team has created the program’s basic structure and currently is working to design the lessons/badges, to develop interest and support across the academic disciplines at Penn State, and to garner a national consortium that will provide ongoing support in terms of funding and mentors. Eventually, Peck and his colleagues hope that STEM Scouts will attract millions of kids from around the country. “The problem is big and the solution must also be big,” he said. “Penn State has what it takes to lead a multi-faceted national project that spans disciplines. I think the result will be amazing—good for kids, for society, and for the planet.”
— Sara LaJeunesse To learn more about STEM Scouts, go to: stemscouts.org
Penn State Education
CollegeUpdates The Comparative and International Education Program Gives Students a Global Perspective
“Today more than ever, in an era of information technology and an interconnected global economy of skills and ideas, scholars need to understand how the processes of schooling and learning occur across societies and what implications this has for education in the world today and in the near future.” David Baker, professor of education and of sociology and the CIED program coordinator
Curious about the emergence of the postsecondary private education sector in Vietnam? How about patterns of teacher quality across Mexico? Or maybe the global reform of education in poor countries is of interest? These are the types of topics studied by scholars of comparative and international education, a field that is devoted to the systematic analysis of the operation and effects of the world’s education systems. At Penn State, students who wish to become knowledgeable in the field of comparative and international education can join the Comparative and International Education (CIED) program, a dualtitle degree program in which students can earn a master of science (M.S.) degree or a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree. “Today more than ever, in an era of information technology and an interconnected global economy of skills and ideas, scholars need to understand how the processes of schooling and learning occur across societies and what implications this has for education in the world today and in the near future,” said David Baker, professor of education and of sociology and the CIED program coordinator. “The CIED program is designed to create opportunities for a range of people—including administrators and policy makers in social welfare, health education, and development; school leaders; and scholars of education—to examine these important issues.” The dual-title degree program is offered through participating graduate programs
in the College of Education and, where appropriate, other graduate programs at Penn State. The option enables students from different graduate programs to learn the perspectives, techniques, and methodologies of comparative and international education, while maintaining a close association with their program areas of application. “The program currently includes 59 graduate degree students from 10 different degree programs across the College and outside,” said Baker. “The students are a diverse group representing a variety of ethnic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds from nations in every region of the world.” In April, many of these students attended and presented research at the 56th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was co-hosted by the CIED program, along with the Penn State Office of Global Programs and College of Education. The largest annual event of its kind, the conference has established itself as an important forum for education scholars, policymakers, and students to gather and exchange ideas about the trends shaping education around the world. “The theme of the conference was ‘Worldwide Education Revolution,’” said Baker. “About 50 CIED faculty and students from Penn State attended and presented research at the conference.”
— Sara LaJeunesse
2012 Homecoming Tailgate Saturday, October 6th 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Outside of Chambers Building $65 - Football Ticket with Tailgate $10 - Tailgate Only Register by October 1st!
Penn State to Host Early Childhood Education Conference that there is a ‘right’ way to be a child or teacher,” said Valente. According to Boldt and Valente, the proposals should comprise topics that challenge traditional assumptions about theory or explore new directions in research, policy, and practice in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and childhood studies. The proposals also may engage conference-goers in dialogue about the past, present, and future of reconceptualization efforts by offering innovative practices involving children, families, and educators in diverse settings; by advocating critical and alternative perspectives on ECEC policy issues; by positioning childhood and early childhood education in the context of globalization; by exploring emerging challenges faced by our world; and by offering cross-disciplinary theoretical perspectives that challenge taken-for-granted understandings about childhood and early childhood education. Both Valente and Boldt have personal reasons for being excited about the upcoming conference. Joseph Valente (left), Gail Boldt (right).
The College of Education at Penn State will host the 20th International Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) Conference on November 4-7, 2012. The theme of this year’s conference is “Reconceptualizing the Field: Past, Present, and Future.” “The Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education conference has traveled the world, meeting in multiple U.S. sites as well as New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom,” said Gail Boldt, associate professor of education and chair of the 2012 conference. “Hosting the conference here places Penn State squarely on the global map for early childhood education and childhood studies,” added Joseph Valente, assistant professor of
education and vice-chair of the 2012 conference. Boldt and Valente are coordinating with a program committee that includes 10 early childhood scholars from five countries. The program committee currently is inviting proposals from early childhood researchers, pedagogues, practitioners, and other cultural workers to present papers and arts-based performances at the conference. “For the past 20 years, the ‘reconceptualist movement’ has challenged the mainstream early childhood education field for being organized around the idea that all children can and should mirror the norms and values of the majority of society. RECE offers researchers and practitioners a place to debunk myths
“For me, personally, as a Deaf scholar and man, RECE offers me an intellectual home—a place where I can go and connect with like-minded people who are energized by the idea that diversity and equity go hand-in-hand,” said Valente. Added Boldt, “I began participating in RECE in 1993 as a first-year graduate student and am thrilled, 20 years later, to be working with my colleagues to bring the conference to Penn State. We hope that this opportunity will draw a great deal of local participation in addition to a large international turn out.”
— Sara LaJeunesse To learn more about the conference and to submit a proposal, go to: www.outreach. psu.edu/programs/ rece/
Penn State Education
CollegeUpdates American Journal of Education Takes on Two New Ventures AJE Forum Gerald LeTendre, editor of the American Journal of Education (AJE), has announced the launch of an online forum aimed at allowing education professionals to make fresh contributions to issues of concern to scholars, practitioners, and policymakers. The AJE Forum serves as an important vehicle for users to contribute to the discourse on education. The site was designed as a venue for bringing forth timeless issues as well as addressing new challenges across the landscape of education.
American Journal of Education, vol. 118, no. 2, cover image Courtesy of the University of Chicago Press
AJE Forum is available at www.ajeforum.com
The authoritative education journal launches an online forum and rolls out a special issue on the topic of data use.
“We hope to engage the American Journal of Education’s past, present, and future authors and readers in the forum,” said LeTendre, head of Penn State’s Department of Education Policy Studies. “This is an exciting new chapter in AJE’s long history.” AJE is housed in the College of Education. Its senior editorial board is composed of numerous faculty members from the College. LeTendre noted that members of the AJE Forum’s Student Board worked diligently for eight months in collaboration with the journal’s publisher, University of Chicago Press, to achieve the site’s recent launch. The AJE Forum Student Board consists of College of Education graduate students Eryka Charley, David Favre, Kelly Griffith, Emily Hodge, Ezekiel Kimball, Jing Liu, Nnenna Ogbu, Katie Reed, and Vic Sensenig. The Student Board’s advisor is Jacqueline Stefkovich, professor of educational leadership. The student editorial board welcomes suggestions for future forum topics. Suggestions may be submitted to LeTendre (email@example.com) or Stefkovich (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Special Journal Issue: The Practice of Data Use The use of data to improve classroom instruction and student outcomes is at the crux of most recent school reform initiatives. In spite of these initiatives, and the mounds of data they have produced, there is surprisingly little empirical research on how teachers and administrators actually make use of data, and to what effect. The February 2012 (vol. 118, no. 2) issue of AJE takes on the question of data use in education and provides a crucial blueprint to guide future research on this emerging topic. “In this special issue, we present a series of articles that focus on uncovering and investigating the practice of data use: what actually happens when people in schools, school districts, and higher education interact with data in the course of their ongoing work in the situated context of their workplaces,” write guest editors Cynthia Coburn of the University of California Berkeley and Erica Turner of the University of Wisconsin. “The articles review and reframe the small body of research that examines what we know about how individuals interpret and make meaning of data of various sorts and what happens when new data interventions, processes, and protocols enter into the complex ecology of the classroom, school, and administrative offices.”
— Joe Savrock
The University of Chicago Press has made several of the articles freely available at the journal’s website:
Interesting Careers Await the First Alums of Education and Public Policy Program Launched in the fall of 2008, Penn State’s Education and Public Policy (EPP) program is the newest undergraduate major in the College of Education. The EPP major is unique. It is designed for students who want to work in education but do not want to become certified classroom teachers. The EPP degree prepares students to enter professional careers in educational organizations, government, community development, public service, and a variety of other settings. Increasingly, organizations such as legislatures, think tanks, interest groups, nonprofits, and government agencies are calling for trained and sophisticated policy analysts to develop and implement innovative public education reforms. EPP graduates fill the bill. “We know how dedicated Penn State education students are to making the world a better place,” said Dana
Mitra, associate professor and EPP advisor. “The EPP major provides our mission-driven students with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to make a positive and lasting impact on K–12 education through careers in education policy.” EPP undergraduates serve as interns in locations such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Harrisburg and at agencies such as the American Federation of Teachers, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. These professional field placements engage the EPP students in research projects that synthesize real-world experiences with interdisciplinary readings in areas such as diversity, social justice, and educational equity. Some members of the program’s first cohort of students have graduated and moved on to begin their careers.
Among them is Angel Zheng, currently a graduate scholar in the New York State Assembly. She performs legislative research for Assembly member Deborah Glick, who is the chair of the Higher Education Committee. Zheng graduated in fall 2011 through the Schreyer Honors College’s Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Study program, which allowed her to simultaneously complete her undergraduate EPP degree and her master’s degree in education theory and policy. “I’ve always believed education is the great equalizer of society,” said Zheng. “But it wasn’t until college when I really fell in love with educational policy. The great professors and mentors I had at Penn State were the ones who really helped me foster that desire. Every skill I learned in EPP I use on a daily basis for the work I do in the Assembly.”
— Joe Savrock
Penn State Education
CollegeUpdates Special Journal Issue Focuses on Accountability in Education These days, the idea of accountability permeates conversations about education at every level, including teacher education and professional development. Yet the term “accountability” rarely is articulated clearly. For example, many accountability measures are too narrow in scope; they include meeting state certification requirements and assessing the achievement scores of program graduates, as measured by standardized tests. But in these cases, who is to be held accountable? And for what? And by whom? As the lead editor of the Journal of Teacher Education, Stephanie Knight, professor of education at Penn State, has helped to organize a special issue of the journal that focuses on examining the complexity of assessment and accountability in teacher education. The special issue, Volume 63(5), will be available online in November/ December 2012. “For this issue, we invited empirical or conceptual manuscripts addressing accountability in teacher education that will move the community forward in considering accountability both more precisely and with greater complexity,” said Knight. For example, she said, the papers address questions such as: What
empirically based accountability measures have been developed for teacher education settings? What makes particular types of evidence more powerful than others in determining accountability in teacher education? What ethical and political questions arise for policy makers, teachereducation programs, and teachers as we attempt to assess program and teacher candidate quality? What are the intended and unintended consequences of teacher-education accountability policies for different stakeholders, such as beginning teachers, mentor teachers, administrators, teacher educators, and higher-education institutions? According to Knight, the Journal of Teacher Education is in a unique position to shape how teacher education and research in teacher education is viewed both within and outside the profession. “The journal’s goal is to bring together the three dimensions of teacher education—practice, policy, and research—in challenging and productive ways,” she said. “The theme issue on accountability in teacher education is an example of our endeavors to bring empirical evidence into the conversations of diverse groups about
teacher education accountability.” Gwen Lloyd, professor of education; Fran Arbaugh, associate professor of education; Jackie Edmondson, associate dean of undergraduate education; Jim Nolan, professor of education; Scott McDonald, associate professor of education; Anne Whitney, associate professor of education; and Iris Striedieck, assistant professor of education, also are involved with the journal.
— Sara LaJeunesse
Alumni-Student Teacher Network Remember that FIRST “first day of school?” You know…the one in which you faced a class of strangers, with a new diploma in your pocket, and a whole bunch of butterflies in your stomach? You have learned a lot since then. Share your knowledge. Join the College of Education Alumni-Student Teacher Network. Mentor a new teacher. Catch up with old friends. Serving student teachers in Schuylkill, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and the Centre Region.
www.ed.psu. edu/educ/ alumni-friends/ alumni-society-1/ alumni-studentteacher-network
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education Reminds Graduating Seniors of Their Power to Influence Students
Power is a prevailing quality of every person who works in the teaching profession, believes Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis. Tomalis provided detailed insights about the influential power of teachers in his address at this spring’s College of Education commencement ceremony. He noted that power is most often associated with professionals in other fields—law enforcement, politics, and business, for example. “However, I would argue that teachers and those shaping the education spectrum possess as much, or even greater, power,” said Tomalis in his speech. Tomalis described what he saw in the Class of 2012 seated before him: “I see individuals who have the capability and power to change the lives of countless children over the course of a professional career.” Tomalis said he “very deliberately” selected the word power in his
statement. “For, as new education professionals, you have been entrusted with a great deal of power,” he remarked. “Education is the foundation of our society—and your charge, as you graduate today, is to use the power of your profession to strengthen this foundation for the generations of Americans that will follow.”
a straight line,” he said. “You are going to be challenged in ways not expected. Some of these challenges may seem like failures, but they are actually opportunities for growth and change. Learn from the lessons life gives you and, while you’re at it, learn to laugh. It will make the hard times easier and the good times more memorable.”
In order to possess power, said Tomalis, “an individual or group must be able to influence others. If those who work in education are not the epitome of what it means to be powerful then I do not know who is.”
The secretary also told the Class of 2012 that they’ll likely continue gaining knowledge and wisdom—and from unexpected sources. He said, “For some of you it may be a boss or a colleague, a wise mentor in the workforce, or a close family member. For others it may be a person of historical significance who, when faced with a difficult situation, somehow managed to steer the right course.”
Tomalis noted that, during a typical school week, students spend more time with a teacher than with a parent. The teacher’s impact on the student is quite significant. “I take great comfort, as a parent and as secretary of education, in knowing that my children, and their 2.1 million peers across the Commonwealth, are being nurtured and taught by many exemplary educators,” he said. “Educating today’s youth is a communal effort, requiring a partnership between parent, teacher, and the community.” Tomalis pointed to a famous 18thcentury Pennsylvanian, Benjamin Franklin, who was a strong advocate for the education of America’s youth. “He often spoke of the power that education plays in our nation’s economic, social, and governmental stability,” Tomalis said. “Franklin envisioned an educational system that met the needs of every student. His dreams for America’s educational opportunities are now a reality. Your civic duty must be to use your education to serve your community and your neighbors.” Tomalis warned the graduates to be prepared to face numerous challenges in the education system. “Life is rarely
For Tomalis, it was a young girl named Anna—his oldest daughter. Despite being diagnosed with cancer at age 10 and enduring three years of aggressive treatment, Anna remained upbeat. “Anna never lost her zeal for life,” said Tomalis. “She rode horses, went parasailing, took modeling lessons, loved to dance, and lived the life of a typical American kid. Even when it became obvious that the chemo wasn’t working, she steered her energies toward working with Congress to change the laws so that people who have few treatment options can get easier access to experimental drugs.” Anna lost her battle with cancer a few summers ago, two months after her 13th birthday. “I share this story with you today, not just to remind you of the life lessons that can be learned from a child, but also because those years gave me a unique perspective of the Penn State students, through their and your support of THON,” said Tomalis. Contiued on page 12.
Penn State Education
CollegeUpdates Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award
Contiued from page 11.
Rose Mary Zbiek, professor of mathematics education, has received the 2012 Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award.
Tomalis was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett to be the secretary of education on January 18, 2011. In April of that year, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously confirmed him as the secretary by a 50–0 vote. Tomalis brings a range of public and private experience in education and educational systems to his cabinet role. From 1995 to 2001, he served as the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s executive deputy secretary under former Governor Tom Ridge. From 2001 to 2004, he worked for the United States Department of Education in several positions, including counselor to the secretary and as acting assistant secretary of education in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. He also has worked as a private advisor and consultant in the field, and was the director of Dutko Worldwide/Whiteboard Advisors, based in Washington, D.C. At Dutko, he was a principal advisor to non- and for-profit groups, foundations, and companies operating in pre-K and postsecondary education environments.
— Joe Savrock
The full text of Tomalis’ commencement speech is available online at goo.gl/roRP8.
This award, made possible by Joan ’60 EK ED and David Cotterill ’60 PSYCH, recognizes a senior faculty or staff member for exemplary performance and leadership efforts. It provides resources for professionally related activities, including participation in conferences, seminars, and sabbaticals.
Rose Mary Zbiek
Zbiek has been a member of the College of Education for nearly 10 years. She joined the Penn State faculty after a decade of teaching mathematics and mathematics education at The University of Iowa.
Zbiek serves as a senior faculty associate for the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning. She also is associate editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Zbiek is a co-editor of the Pennsylvania Teachers of Mathematics Yearbook and the series editor of Essential Understandings, a sixteen-book series on teaching mathematics in grades preK–12 that is published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Her publications also include twenty journal articles and thirty-one book chapters. David H. Monk, dean of the College of Education, said, “Rose Zbiek is a remarkably talented and accomplished faculty member who is providing outstanding leadership for the College. She is extraordinarily thoughtful and careful in all of her pursuits and inspires confidence at every turn. We are grateful for Dr. Zbiek’s leadership, and it is very fitting to recognize her contributions with the Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award.”
— Wildamie Ceus
College of Education Grad Programs Receive Strong Reputational Rankings U.S. News & World Report annually ranks graduate programs in education. All of the Penn State College of Education graduate programs that are ranked by the magazine appear at least in the top 20, with seven programs in the top 10. The College’s graduate programs as a whole rank 26 out of the 279 programs surveyed by U.S. News & World Report.
Technical Teacher Education (Workforce Education) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Higher Education Administration . . . . . . . . 4 Rehabilitation Counseling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Student Counseling/Personnel Services . . . 6 Administration/Supervision (Ed Leadership) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Educational Psychology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Education Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Curriculum & Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Elementary Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Secondary Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Special Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
New Appointments and Promotions
John J. Cheslock
Kimberly A. Griffin
Richard M. Kubina
Elizabeth A. Mellin
Scott A. Metzger
Kimberly A. Powell
Anne L. Whitney
John J. Cheslock, associate professor in the Higher Education program, has been named the new director of Penn Stateâ€™s Center for the Study of Higher Education. Cheslock has been serving as a senior research associate in the center. His threeyear term as director began July 1. Jacqueline Edmondson, associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies, was promoted to the rank of professor. Kimberly A. Griffin, Department of Education Policy Studies, has been offered tenure and a promotion to the rank of associate professor. Richard M. Kubina, Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education, was promoted to the rank of professor.
Elizabeth A. Mellin, Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education, has been offered tenure and a promotion to the rank of associate professor. Scott A. Metzger, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, has been offered tenure and a promotion to the rank of associate professor. Kimberly A. Powell, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, has been offered tenure and a promotion to the rank of associate professor. Anne L. Whitney, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, has been offered tenure and a promotion to the rank of associate professor.
Penn State Education
CollegeUpdates Three College Faculty Members Complete Fulbright Studies Three members of the College of Education’s faculty have received Fulbright scholarships.
Dana Mitra, associate professor of educational theory and policy, received a Fulbright Senior Scholar award to conduct research with the National Institute for Advanced Study in Bangalore, India, during the spring 2012 semester. There she conducted research on youth participation in schools and non-governmental organizations. The research builds on her ongoing work on student voice and youth participation in U.S. schools. Linda Mason, associate professor of special education, worked in Szeged, Hungary, last fall under a Fulbright grant. She taught courses on instruction for students with special needs, with a focus on literacy. She worked with faculty members at the University of Szeged in a new program for special-needs teacher preparation.
The Fulbright Scholarship Program was founded in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world. Scott McDonald, associate professor of science education, has been named recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program Award to teach and conduct research at City University in Dublin, Ireland, next fall.
His Fulbright project, “The CrossCultural Nature of Professional Pedagogical Vision,” will explore the cultural nature of science teaching and how the implicit cultural scripts impact the way beginning teachers analyze science teaching.
— Joe Savrock
Clockwise, from far left: Tatjana Trebec (Slovenia), Leila Bradaschia, Ahamed Lebbe Mohamed Zarudeen (Sri Lanka), Denise de Menezes Neddermeyer (Brazil), Amal Alachkar (Syria), Ivana Borosic (Croatia), Diyaporn Wisamitanan (Thailand), Alejandra Santoyo Mora (Mexico), Jane Reese, Talat Azhar, Khyati Bhatt (India), Vanhkham Souligna (Laos), Rashid Turay (Sierra Leone), Diana Pustula (Poland)
Humphrey Fellows Enjoy Varied Activities as Well as New Office Space The 2011-2012 Penn State Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows have participated in many activities on campus and around the community—and have moved into new office space.
coordinator of the program, Talat Azhar, associate director, and Leila Bradaschia, director of international programs. The new space is twice the size of the Fellows’ previous location.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings accomplished midcareer professionals from designated countries around the world to selected universities in the United States for one year of a non-degree graduate study, professional training, and work-related experience.
The Humphrey Fellows did not have much time to completely enjoy their new surroundings, though, as they were very busy elsewhere, immersing themselves in dozens of professional, academic, and cultural programs.
This past academic year Penn State, which has hosted Fellows every year since the program was established in 1978, welcomed 11 professionals into the program. During the fall semester the College of Education’s Office of International Programs unveiled a newly constructed office space for the Humphrey Fellows on the first floor of Chambers Building. A former classroom has been transformed into a luxury office suite. The facility is equipped with ten computer workstations for the Fellows; and office space for Jane Reese, assistant
They kicked off the 2012 spring semester by participating in the University-sponsored “Day of Service” to honor Dr. Martin Luther King. They spent the day at the Skills Adult Center with mentally disabled adults, doing arts and crafts. This event is one the staff said the Fellows would never forget, as there is no such care in most of their home countries. Inspired by this experience, several of the Fellows ventured off to do individual volunteer work around the community. Bradaschia said, “The active involvement of Humphrey Fellows in
our community allows them to meet new people, learn about the Centre Region, and gain a better understanding of the United States.” The Fellows also took several tours of different learning facilities—such as the Bald Eagle Area High School—where they were able to examine features as basic as building infrastructure to more complex features like student–teacher interaction and technology, allowing them to return home with new ideas they can refine and implement. During one busy day in Harrisburg, the Fellows made a site visit to Harrisburg Area Community College, took a tour of the state capitol, held a meeting with members of the state House of Representatives, and briefly met Governor Tom Corbett. Other activities during the year included visits to Penn College in Williamsport and the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., as well as participation in several conferences and enhancement workshops.
— Wildamie Ceus
Penn State Education
ShortSubjects This project will enable Marcellus Community Science Volunteers to understand science and research related to Marcellus development, to appreciate multiple viewpoints concerning controversial public issues such as Marcellus, and to spread this knowledge throughout their community networks.” Esther Prins associate professor of education
Esther Prins visits a relief map of the central Pennsylvania region, located at the Arboretum at Penn State
Arming Rural Communities with Information About Marcellus Shale Development As exploration and development of Marcellus Shale have grown, so has debate about whether natural-gas exploration can occur without damaging Pennsylvania’s water resources. Where can Pennsylvanians turn to get accurate information about this hot-button issue? A new $2.5-million National Science Foundation-funded project, titled “Marcellus Matters: Engaging Adults in Science and Energy (EASE),” will provide programs to increase people’s knowledge about science and energy concepts. “Through its community-based activities, the EASE project will enhance individuals’ and community groups’ understanding of the science and engineering of shale gas resources and thus, their ability to evaluate claims about the benefits and risks of Marcellus exploration,” said Esther Prins, associate professor of education. The project has four complementary activities, all on topics related to Marcellus Shale and natural gas development, and all with a focus on informal science education. Prins is involved with one component of the three-year project, the Marcellus Community Science Volunteer Program, which will provide training for community volunteers on topics such as understanding scientific inquiry, protecting water resources, and examining community impacts from natural resource development. The expectation is that volunteers will then share this knowledge with community members and help foster constructive conversations about Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus Community Science Volunteer Program team has developed curricula and lesson plans for an eight-week workshop, which could be pilot-tested this summer in Clearfield County. “There’s a great need for accurate information about Marcellus Shale development for rural residents, landowners, and local decision makers,” said Prins. “This project will enable Marcellus Community Science Volunteers to understand science and research related to Marcellus development, to appreciate multiple viewpoints concerning controversial public issues such as Marcellus, and to spread this knowledge throughout their community networks.” Michael Arthur, professor of geosciences at Penn State and co-director of the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR), is the principal investigator of the project. Researchers from the colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Architecture, and others from Earth and Mineral Sciences also are involved in the project.
— Sara LaJeunesse 16
College Researchers Scrutinize “Race to the Top” “The Race to the Top assumes that all children, regardless of whether they have a history of academic support from their parents or whether they have a disability, are equally prepared to take and score highly on standardized tests,” says Valente. “If they don’t score highly, their schools are treated as failing and they are forced to open under new management as charter schools. Charters enroll 54 percent fewer English Language Learner students, 43 percent fewer special-education students, and 37 percent fewer free and reduced price lunch students than high-minority public school districts. This has the effect of segregating students along class, race, dis/ability, and other lines of difference.”
In 2009, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a $4.35-billion U.S. Department of Education contest, called Race to the Top. The goal of the contest, which ended in 2011, was to stimulate innovation and reforms in K-12 school districts. Points were awarded to states whose school districts satisfied certain educational policies, such as performance-based standards for teachers, and complied with nationwide standards and promoted charter schools. States with the most points won money— lots of money. According to Kathleen Collins, assistant professor of education, and Joseph Valente, assistant professor of education, Race to the Top does seem nice on the surface, but deep down, it has the potential to harm children, especially those with disabilities. “The Race to the Top legislation may harm children both with and without disabilities by singularly relying on high-stakes testing to judge and label who is considered ‘able,’” says Collins. “This positions children with gifts that are not easily measured or tested by a
standardized test as ‘not able’—they become ‘disabled’ and broken, the losers of the Race.” Collins and Valente are co-directors of the Penn State Center for Disability Studies. In their research, they examine the values and assumptions surrounding people with disabilities. In particular, they coined the term “ability-normative” thinking, which reflects the dominant, taken-forgranted assumption that human beings have similar physical, emotional, and psychological resources and capacities, that everyone uses these capacities to engage in the world in a similar manner, and that human experience and understanding of a given phenomenon is similar. They also coined the term “[dis]ableing,” which refers to the identification of some children as “less than” some others. The researchers applied both of these terms in an analysis of the Race to the Top, which they published in a 2010 issue of Teachers College Record. They say that the Race to the Top is a good example of how “abilitynormative” thinking and “[dis]ableing” can hurt children.
“In addition,” adds Collins, “the Race to the Top harms students with disabilities by simply not serving them. Nowhere in the scoring rubric used to judge applications is there any evidence that reviewers examined the applications and materials for indications of how students with special needs would be supported. Meeting the needs of children with disabilities was simply not one of the criteria for deciding who gets Race to the Top money.” So who is getting Race to the Top money? Collins and Valente say it is those who are already achieving on standardized tests and who were already winning the race before the “Race” was announced. “The Race to the Top encourages values that can be harmful to our education systems,” says Collins. “It presumes that the purpose of school is to prepare students to compete, to be workers or cogs in the wheel of the global economy. But it is our wish that education in this country will, instead, develop the talents of individuals in a way that contributes not only to their own growth and development but to the betterment of social democracy.”
— Sara LaJeunesse
Penn State Education
ShortSubjects The Changing Landscape of Faculty Employment More and more faculty members of postsecondary institutions are hired either part-time or full-time with the titles of lecturer and instructor, thus causing a decline in the traditional employment model of permanent, full-time jobs with career advancement and stable pay, according to Liang Zhang, an associate professor of education policy studies and a research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State. In recent issues of Economics of Education Review and Perspectives on Work, Zhang and his colleagues Xiangmin Liu, an assistant professor of labor studies and employment relations at Penn State, and Ronald Ehrenberg, the Irving M. Ives Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics at Cornell University, discussed the changing landscape of faculty employment. According to Zhang, in the academic year 1987-1988, nearly 34 percent of all faculty members in postsecondary institutions, including community colleges, were employed part-time, but by the academic year 2009-2010, this proportion had increased to 49.3 percent. Similarly, the proportion of full-time lecturers and instructors among all full-time faculty members has increased from about 10 percent to 22 percent during the same time frame. “Some people argue that faculty employment at colleges and universities is in transition, from a bifurcated system with full-time faculty supplemented by parttime faculty to a trifurcated system consisting of full-time faculty who are tenured or on tenure tracks, full-time faculty who are not on tenure tracks (most of them lecturers and instructors), and part-time faculty,” he said. What are the causes of this increasing use of full-time, non-tenure track and parttime faculty in higher education? “Price matters,” said Zhang. “Institutions have been seeking cost savings and they are more than happy to hire less expensive faculty members to fulfill their instructional needs.” In their papers, the researchers discuss the financial issues that have contributed to the increased use of full-time, non-tenure track and part-time faculty members by institutions as well as the benefits these faculty members provide to institutions. The team concluded by noting that the increasing use of contingent faculty does not imply that these faculty members are happy in their roles. Some would prefer to work full time or to be on a tenure track. “It is important to understand how the preference of individual faculty members matches with the needs of colleges and universities,” said Zhang.
— Sara LaJeunesse
EdLion Free Online Seminars for College of Education Alumni Every spring and fall, the College offers a series of online seminars through EdLion. Participants can attend the seminar through a traditional Web browser. No special software is needed!
Improving Children’s Reading Comprehension and Recall sciences and technology, and Pui-Wa Lei, associate professor of educational psychology, are working with kids in 4th-8th grade across Pennsylvania and Michigan to implement a computerbased instruction, called Intelligent Tutoring of the Structure Strategy (ITSS). “The ITSS program is a good way to get a powerful reading strategy into classrooms,” said Meyer. “Then, skilled, motivated teachers, who learn the strategy along with the children, can assist their students in applying the structure strategy to reading and writing assignments in their classrooms. We hope to also adapt the ITSS to reach English language learners in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades.” The ITSS has the appearance of a book and contains an animated tutor that tells students about the structure strategy and gives them detailed feedback about their work. Flipping through the “book,” students encounter twelve lessons about text structure. Bonnie Meyer
Reading is one of the most important vehicles children have for obtaining information. Whether or not they retain this information depends not only on the skills of the writers in presenting the information, but also on the skills of the children in mentally organizing the information. Researchers in the College have found that a certain strategy—called the structure strategy—can help kids retain the knowledge they acquire through reading. “Understanding nonfiction texts is critical to success in school and throughout life,” said Bonnie Meyer, a professor of educational psychology. “The structure strategy helps children and adults across the lifespan figure out the most important ideas in what they read and increases their retention.
According to Meyer, text structure is the logical organization used by authors of nonfiction to communicate their ideas, such as when they first present a problem and describe why it is a problem and then present their proposed solution. The structure strategy helps readers to identify the overall text structure of a passage by identifying signaling words and phrases that are used to explicitly cue these structures, such as, ‘in contrast,’ or ‘on the other hand.’ The structure strategy also helps readers identify and write the main idea, and organize their reading comprehension and memory of the text by using the structure and main idea.
According to Meyer, the team has found statistically significant and practically important gains from this instruction with regard to children’s abilities to read and remember texts, write main ideas, and use signaling words. Specifically, the strategy helped readers in the study remember more ideas and more important ideas, as well as remember the ideas longer. In addition, the strategy helped children improve their scores on standardized reading comprehension tests. “Awareness and strategic use of text structure are important skills of good readers, and we have found that these skills can be taught to students who haven’t picked up the skills on their own,” said Meyer.
— Sara LaJeunesse
With a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, Meyer and her Penn State colleagues, Kay Wijekumar, associate professor of information
Penn State Education
Passion. Perseverance. Integrity. Many students join the College of Education because they dream of becoming teachers—they want to make a difference in people’s lives. And when these students graduate they do make a difference. They enlighten; they inspire; and they enrich. Yet not all graduates become teachers in the traditional sense. And these alumni too— these leaders, scholars, innovators, and entrepreneurs—also make a tremendous impact. Here, we introduce 12 alumni, each of whom has followed a different career path. Some have become educators—the best of the best—while others have become presidents of universities or of companies, among other professions. Although these graduates have chosen different courses, they share one common characteristic: the set of values that was instilled in them while they were students in the College of Education. Through their stories, it becomes clear that the College is not just a place in which to learn the skills needed to enter the workforce. It is a place in which to develop passion, perseverance, and integrity—the values that are necessary to make a difference in the world.
’95 Ph.D. Workforce Education and Development President Palmeau & Associates, LLC Ben is a co-founder of Palmeau & Associates, a consulting firm based in Portland, Ore., that specializes in helping companies to assess the strengths of their employees and to then use that information to improve their corporate culture. In particular, he focuses on executive development, consisting of one-on-one work with clients; speaking engagements; and consulting with boards of directors. In a new effort, he is helping the Republic of Tanzania to develop economically, starting with their energy infrastructure. He currently is working with President Kikwete, Prime Minister Pinda, and other country leaders and technical experts to plan a potential 100-megawatt geothermal energy plant. Ben credits his education at Penn State with helping to put him in a position to establish relationships and to bring the necessary expertise and parties together for a project of this magnitude. He has three children with his wife, Adrienne ’94 Ph.D., whom he met on the first day of his first class at Penn State.
“Dr. William Rothwell, a prolific author and researcher in organization development, training and development, human resource development, and succession planning, was instrumental in drawing my attention to leadership and executive development. His energy and matter-of-fact style were refreshing and brought clarity to the discipline. I have made a career using the perspectives and education gained from him and through Penn State’s College of Education.” Penn State Education
During her doctoral studies at Penn State, Susan Munson was introduced to a visiting campus speaker and alumnus named Steve Bagnato, who was making a presentation to the School Psychology program.
Stephen J. Bagnato, Jr. ’75 M.S., ’77 Ed.D. School Psychology
Developmental School Psychologist and Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics University of Pittsburgh, Schools of Education (Psychology-in-Education) & Medicine (Pediatrics) In addition to his faculty position in applied developmental psychology, which he has held since 1987, Steve is director of the Early Childhood Partnerships (ECP) program at the Office of Child Development. He is also a member of the faculty of the LEND Center at the University of Pittsburgh and is affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He has published more than 150 research studies and professional articles, as well as 11 books and assessment measures, marking a specialization in assessment and intervention for preschool children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Steve received the 1986 Braintree Hospital National Brain Injury Research Award for his intervention efficacy research on preschool children with acquired and congenital brain injuries. He was honored with the 2001 University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award for his community-based consultation and research in ECP. The American Psychological Association named Steve winner of its Best Research Article Award in 1995. In 2004, the Pittsburgh “The unique preparation I received at Penn State Post-Gazette placed him on its list of “Top 48 Making a Difference in was superb and broad-based, which gave me a Education.” In 2008, Steve was the great edge in my career path. Penn State enabled recipient of the Penn State College of Education’s Excellence in Education me to gain interdisciplinary training and serviceAlumni Award. Steve is perhaps learning experiences in the community, combining best known in Pennsylvania for his longitudinal studies funded by the expertise and courses in applied developmental Heinz Endowments (1997–2009) psychology from Human Development and Family into the effectiveness of high-quality early childhood intervention programs Studies, clinical and developmental psychology, on over 15,000 at-risk preschoolers special education, and communication disorders. in more than 60 school district– community partnerships for the This preparation has always opened doors for me Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s throughout my varied career and given me a step-up Office of Child Development and Early Learning. over colleagues from other universities.”
The rest became history: Several years later Steve and Susan were married, and now they have two sons, Michael and Mark. Steve and Susan recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Each has stepped into a rewarding career that positively impacts the future prospects of children.
Susan M. Munson ’85 Ph.D. Special Education
Associate Dean for Teacher Education Duquesne University Susan says her education degrees have served as a “passport to incredibly rewarding career opportunities” over the years. As a special education professional, Susan’s focus has always been on supporting children’s learning and ensuring that their education provides the necessary knowledge and skills to guarantee that they will lead good, quality lives. As a learning support teacher for Capital Area Intermediate Unit, she experienced the gratification of facilitating the learning of children with disabilities. At Project CONNECT, a statewide technical assistance agency in Pennsylvania, she created and delivered professional-development training to earlyintervention professionals. Susan has been recognized for her strong commitment to the quality education of children with disabilities and opportunities for minority students from urban communities. She recently received the Barbara A. Sizemore Urban Initiative Spirit Award, which recognizes her support at Duquesne University for preparing teachers for urban high-needs schools. She also received her university’s inaugural Spirit of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) award as a founding member and supporter of the CTE.
“I view teaching as being as much about advocacy as it is about delivering high-quality instruction. My career has been guided by a singular goal: to positively impact the lives of all children, particularly those with challenging life circumstances. The preparation that I received in education programs has made it possible for me to work in service of this goal in the roles of special education teacher, teacher educator, and university administrator. My doctoral degree from Penn State provided the knowledge, skills, and leadership experiences to support my faculty position in higher education to prepare aspiring special educators. As associate dean, I’ve been able to apply and extend the collective skills and leadership experiences from my education degrees to maintaining high-quality teacher education programs with national accreditation.”
Penn State Education
’01 B.S. Elementary Education Teacher State College Area School District As a senior at Penn State, Gail had the privilege of being chosen as a full-year intern in the Penn State-State College Area School District’s Professional Development School (PSU-SCASD PDS). The experience taught her how to reflect on her methods and practices in the classroom and how to use inquiry to deepen her understanding of how children learn. Since that time, she has given back to the PSU-SCASD PDS as a co-instructor of MATHED 420. In addition, Gail has been an educator in the State College Area School District for more than 10 years. She taught sixth grade at Mount Nittany Middle School for one year and taught third and fourth grade at Park Forest Elementary School for nine years. She is currently a third-grade teacher at Easterly Parkway Elementary School. In 2001, she won the Outstanding New Educator Award given by the Penn State College of Education Alumni Society Board of Directors. In 2010, she was one of 85 teachers nationwide to receive a Presidential Teacher Award. Her next step is to return to school to earn a master’s degree in math education and/ or educational leadership.
“My career is more than a job. To me, it is a calling. The key to answering that calling is to be a lifelong learner. When I enter a classroom, I am a participant in the learning experience. Sometimes I learn from children, and other times I learn from adults. Keeping an open mind to new experiences and seeing the value in stretching yourself as an educator and a learner is essential if you want to reach others and make a difference in this world. Throughout my years at Penn State, I gained the experiences, expertise, and confidence that have enabled me to be the educator I am today.” 24
“Education is the great equalizer. My parents had little formal education, but they knew the importance of education, which they stressed to my siblings and me. My success is a result of my upbringing and the opportunity to be educated.”
Cheryl Lynn Allen ’69 B.S. Elementary Education Judge Superior Court of Pennsylvania After graduation, Judge Allen spent three years teaching in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. She then obtained a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and spent fifteen years practicing law with Neighborhood Legal Services, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the Allegheny County Solicitor’s Office. In 1990, Judge Allen earned a merit appointment to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. She was a trial court judge until 2007, when she was elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, where she presently serves. Judge Allen is married to Jimmie Skipwith and is the mother of three sons—Jason, Justin and Julian— and the grandmother of six. Raising her sons to be responsible and productive men is one of her proudest accomplishments.
Penn State Education
Francie (Erickson) Spigelmyer
“Penn State has always been an enormous part of my identity, not only as an educator, but also as ’83 B.S. Secondary Education a person. Moving many Vice President for Academic Affairs times over the past three Butler County Community College decades, one constant After graduating from Penn State, Francie taught and served as chair of the Social Studies Department at her alma mater, DuBois Central Catholic High in my life has been my School. She moved on to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the Penn State experience. National Young Leaders Conference as conference coordinator and faculty advisor. Later she returned to the classroom, teaching at Mount Mercy No matter where life’s Academy—an all-girls high school in the City of Buffalo. She completed her journey has taken me, I master’s degree at Buffalo State College. Francie returned to Pennsylvania and have found a Penn State accepted an adjunct faculty position at Westmoreland County Community College, which included a teaching assignment at the Greensburg Correctional connection. Although I Institution. Then came a move to West Virginia and, two children later, Francie moved back to Pennsylvania to work as an adjunct faculty member left Penn State in 1983, at Butler County Community College (BC3). She coordinated BC3’s very my passion for education, successful College Within the High School program. She earned a fulltime tenured position in 2003. Francie and her colleagues created a Praxis which was fostered by a Preparation Program that assists preservice teachers across the country. phenomenal faculty, has She earned her Ph.D. degree in instructional management and leadership at Robert Morris University. never left me.” 26
’79 M.Ed. Counselor Education President and General Manager Kissell Motorsports, Inc. Upon graduation, Craig worked for a construction company in Montoursville, Pa., as its director of personnel. He and his wife, Kate, then opened an equipment rental yard in Lock Haven, Pa., followed by another rental yard in State College, called Kissell Equipment, on W. College Avenue. The couple opened Kissell Motorsports, Inc. in March 2000. In the meantime, they have been buying properties, fixing them up, and selling them. They have five children.
“When I graduated from Penn State in 1979 the job market and economy were very similar to our present environment, so I worked for a construction company in my hometown of Montoursville, Pa. A few years later, I interviewed with an employment specialist who determined that I needed to be self-employed. I remember his exact words. ‘You really need to work for yourself. Go open an ice cream shop or something, but you should sign your own paycheck.’ I eventually opened Kissell Motorsports, a European Motorcycle shop. So what does an M.Ed. in counseling have to do with all this? I’ve always tried to create a pleasant work place and to provide a quality product and a service that people trust. My degree from Penn State had much to do with who I am today.”
Penn State Education
“The higher education program at Penn State is the best in the country. Shortly after I graduated from the program, I was given the opportunity to serve in a senior leadership position at another college, and I felt then, as I do today, that my education at Penn State was the best possible preparation I could have received. While it is a great privilege to serve as a university president it also can be a very difficult role due to the multifaceted nature of the position. The higher education program at Penn State is a great blend of preparing graduates to be both scholars and practitioners.”
James T. Harris III ’88 D.Ed. Higher Education President Widener University Jim became the ninth president of Widener University in 2002. The university is recognized for its community engagement efforts and was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to America’s communities for six consecutive years. As president, Jim finds time to stay connected to his research. For example, in the past year he has published two scholarly articles focusing on the role of metropolitan universities in the revitalization of distressed cities. This fall, he and three other Penn Staters—Richard Dorman ’80 M.Ed., ’90 D.Ed.; Jason Lane ’03 Ph.D.; and Robert Hendrickson, professor of education—are publishing a book on academic leadership. Jim also continues to teach and interact with students. Last year he taught a graduate class at Widener, and every year during spring break he takes a group of students on a service trip. Prior to his arrival at Widener, Jim served eight years as president of Defiance College in Ohio. A first-generation college graduate, he also earned degrees from the University of Toledo and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
’92 B.S. Elementary Education Director of Programs EduLink, Inc. In 1988, Reed, who grew up in Ambridge, Pa., was recruited to play basketball at the Penn State Beaver Campus. The invitation made it financially possible for him to attend college. Four years later, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He went on to earn master’s and Ph.D. degrees in education at Duquesne University. Reed taught elementary school for Gateway School District for nearly 10 years before co-founding EduLink, Inc., in Pittsburgh, Pa. His role as director of programs at EduLink, Inc., allows him to work closely with school districts, colleges, and universities, as well as other educational agencies throughout Pennsylvania and across the country to provide programs and services that help improve education. For example, he currently is helping to pilot a teacher evaluation process, called PA-ETEP (Pennsylvania Electronic Teacher Evaluation Portal), that allows principals in Pennsylvania to conduct teacher evaluations on their iPads or smart phones and synch them to their school districts’ teacher evaluation dashboards to analyze the results, run reports, and manage data.
“I believe that teaching is one of the most important careers that any person can have. If done well, it is also one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. A teacher, quite literally, has a direct impact on shaping the future. Teachers change the world, one child at a time. I am proud to say, ‘I am a teacher,’ even though I am no longer currently in the classroom teaching students. The current roles that I have at EduLink are all, in some way, related to—or have an impact on—teaching. I also have a lifelong debt of gratitude to Penn State. I can truly say that I love Penn State, not one particular thing about it, but Penn State as a whole; what it is collectively—the indescribable feeling that it gives me when I am standing on campus. I think fellow Penn Staters know what I mean.”
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’02 Secondary Education - German Kindergarten Teacher Burnley-Moran Elementary School Charlottesville, Va. While earning her B.S. in secondary education, Kristin did extensive volunteer work with young children in the Centre Region. The joy of this volunteerism caused Kristin to refocus her career aspirations: rather than teaching German, she now wanted to work in early childhood education. After graduating from Penn State, she taught as a substitute teacher in several Virginia schools while earning an elementary teaching license from the University of Richmond. Now Kristin has completed her ninth year of teaching in elementary schools. She has developed two summer programs for children in Charlottesville—one program focuses on science and the other explores the field of journalism. Through these summer activities, Kristin is practicing her philosophy that children need to be exposed to enriching, real-life experiences that will ultimately encourage them to pursue successful careers. Kristin says she developed this philosophy in her Literacy Methods class at Penn State.
“I was meant to be a teacher, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Kindergarten is my favorite age to teach because of the enthusiasm the students show for learning about the world around them. My positive experiences in Jacqueline Edmondson’s Literacy Methods class helped me come up with a framework for teaching reading to my students in a child-friendly way. I’m hoping to publish a children’s ABC book, using my dogs as main characters. My aspiration to publish was seeded in the Literacy Methods course. One of my assignments was to write a children’s book—and Dr. Edmondson encouraged me to pursue publication of my writing.”
Wanda J. Blanchett
’97 Ph.D. Special Education Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair for Teacher Education University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC)
“After several years as a classroom teacher, I noticed that students who represent a wide range of diversity—such as learning styles, racial/ethnicity, and cultural background—often were kept from participating in the general education classroom. I observed a need for changes in traditional educational structures that would improve teachers’ skill and confidence in working with students with disabilities. I determined that developing and implementing curricula could potentially have an even greater impact on how we educate and socialize teachers into the profession. So I applied to Penn State to become a teacher educator and university faculty member. My move from the classroom to my doctoral program was a significant step toward a life journey and career goal centered on having the greatest impact on those whose very lives depend upon having access to a high-quality education.”
Prior to arriving at Penn State to begin her doctoral studies, Wanda was a special education teacher in Arkansas. She thoroughly enjoyed her classroom teaching experiences and worked tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of students and their families. But she was driven by a greater calling: to effect positive change for all children in public education, with a deliberate focus on those who have been historically underserved and marginalized. Today, as a dean, Wanda feels privileged to be providing the vision, resources, and leadership essential for UMKC’s School of Education. She upholds the school’s mission to recruit, prepare, and support outstanding teachers, mental health professionals, and administrators who will create lifelong opportunities through education for America’s diverse urban communities.
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Photo courtesy of Town&Gown magazine. Credit: Darren Weimert
“Penn State played an extensive role in my ability to become an accomplished educator. My degree in education with an emphasis in English allowed me to understand the important role literacy plays in life. Under the instruction and leadership of Dr. Jamie Myers, professor of language and literacy education, I was exposed to the philosophies, strategies, and techniques behind solid literacy instruction. He was also the consummate role model as his work ethic, love of education, and professionalism exuded in every lesson ’94 B.S. Secondary Education and interaction. I am successful because Penn Teacher Penns Valley High School State and Dr. Myers Tricia was named 2012 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, an honor that wanted me to be. As the perfectly reflects her instructional expertise, outstanding management skills, positive professional attitude, and focus on student achievement. A 12th-grade student of all students, English teacher, Trish has been a member of the Penns Valley faculty for Charlie Brown, once 15 years. She served for several years as the school’s literacy coach—a demanding leadership position that charged her with strengthening students’ stated, ‘Few people are literacy learning skills and achievements. Under her watch and combined with successful unless other the efforts of her colleagues, student scores surpassed the scores of previous people want them to be.’” years, and Penns Valley ended up as one of the highest performing high
Tricia (Paul) Miller
schools in Pennsylvania. Trish also chairs her school’s Language Arts Department and serves as its Reading Apprenticeship® trainer. She has trained more than 50 elementary and secondary educators. One of her projects was the development of a reading apprenticeship wiki, designed to encourage continued collaboration within cohorts.
’83 M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction Manager of e-Learning Corning, Inc.
“Without my education and experiences at Penn State I would never have had access to the kinds of work and life experiences that I’ve had. My degree opened up a career that I never imagined and allowed me to leverage my passion for learning and technology in amazing ways, working with talented people from all over the world! I have been in the boardrooms of numerous Fortune 500 companies, traveled to locations throughout the world, and participated on project teams that were solving critical business problems where learning played a role. I cannot imagine my life and my career without the confidence and credentials that the degree from Penn State provided.”
After teaching second grade for eight years, Bonney returned to school and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Penn State. Eventually, she was hired as an instructional designer by the University of Maryland, University College. There she designed online courses to be delivered as part of distance learning degree programs. Her next move took her to a small private company that specialized in career development for employees of Fortune 500 companies. She became responsible for the team that designed both classroom training and a computer-based application to support employee development. Her next work experience was with a business simulation company in which she was responsible for a design and development team of 90 people in three locations. This team built custom computer-based simulations for teaching leadership concepts, business acumen, and project management. About 11 years ago, she began working at Corning, Inc. as manager of learning technologies. She eventually assumed the position of manager of employee and leadership development in which she is responsible for Corning’s global learning infrastructure and programs.
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AlumniInformation News From the Alumni Society Board of Directors Changes are taking place within the Alumni Society Board of Directors. Patricia Best ’89 D.Ed. will replace Larry Wess ’74 M.Ed., ’00 D.Ed. as president of the board, and William Vitori ’73 SECED will serve as president-elect. Erica Walters ’04 EK ED will serve as the board’s new secretary. In addition, Pamela Peter ’94 M.Ed. and William Stone ’91 EK ED have been elected as members of the Board of Directors, along with Tonnie DeVecchis-Kerr ’79 EK ED, Marcia Pomeroy ’89 M.Ed., and Heidi Capetola ’92 EK ED, who have been re-elected as incumbents.
Best, a career educator, served as the superintendent of schools of the State College Area School District for ten years, retiring in July 2009. She was part of the school district for more than 30 years, first as a high-school teacher and guidance counselor and then in several administrative positions. Best currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education. She is an active community volunteer serving on the boards of Mount Nittany Medical Center, Smart Start Centre County, Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, and the Center for the Performing Arts Community Advisory Council. She has received numerous professional recognitions including the Penn State College of Education Alumni Society Leadership and Service Award and the Bowling Green State University Alumni Association Community Service Award. She was the 2009 Penn State Renaissance Award Honoree in recognition of her service to the University and community. Vitori retired recently from Elizabeth Forward Senior High School in Allegheny County, Pa. He taught physics and chemistry for 36 years, was an assistant varsity baseball coach, and served as president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association in his district. He is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and is involved in the College of Education’s annual Cycle-Thon, which benefits the SCOPE program. Walters is an assistant principal and preschool transition coordinator at Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Easton, Pa. Prior to this position she was a 1st grade teacher in the Pleasant Valley School District. From 2000 to 2002, she was a Penn State Altoona Lion Ambassador and from 2003 to 2004 she was a Penn State University Park Lion Ambassador. She also was a member of the board of the Professional Development School Alumni Program Group from 2004 to 2006.
Peter served for six years on the Penn State Erie Alumni Society Board of Directors. She also has chaired several reunions, including the ten-year reunion of the class of 1992, the AllClass Reunion in 2003, and the resident assistant reunion in 2004. She is currently an associate director in the Office of Judicial Affairs at Syracuse University, where she also is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in education. In addition, she has worked at the University of Louisville, Quinnipiac University, and Lehigh University. Stone is an English as a second language (ESL) teacher in the Wyoming Valley West School District in Kingston, Pa. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Luzerne County Community College and an adjunct faculty member at Misericordia University, where he teaches graduate-level professional-development courses for teachers.
— Sara LaJeunesse
Harold Cheatham Named Distinguished Alumnus as an emeritus professor of education in 1997. He then served as dean of the College of Health, Education, and Human Development at Clemson University from 1996 to 2001. Cheatham’s writing and research have addressed multicultural counseling theory and practice, cultural pluralism, and psychosocial development of African Americans in U.S. higher education. From 1990 to 1991, he pursued this work as a Senior Fulbright Scholar to India. Cheatham has received numerous awards and honors, including the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development Research Award of the American Counseling Association in 1995, the Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award of Penn State in 1995, and the Esther LloydJones Professional Service Award of the American College Personnel Association in 1999. While at Penn State, Cheatham served as a member or leader of numerous committees, boards, and task forces, including the Advisory Board of the Office of Minority Graduate Opportunity and Faculty Development Center, the Faculty Senate Curricular Affairs Committee, the College of Education Committee on Multicultural Education, and the University General Education Study Committee.
Harold Cheatham ’61 PSYCH has received a 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State, the highest honor that the University bestows upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus. Cheatham received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Education in 1961, a master’s degree in counseling/higher education
administration from Colgate University in 1969, and a Ph.D. degree in counseling/higher education from Case Western Reserve University in 1973. Cheatham joined the faculty as an associate professor of education in 1982, and he served as head of the Department of Counselor Education in 1992. He retired from Penn State
According to David H. Monk, dean of the College of Education, both Penn State and the larger society have benefited tremendously from Cheatham’s commitment to serving others. “Harold Cheatham served the University well during his tenure here as a professor and department head, and his dedication has continued as one of the volunteer leaders within Penn State’s For the Future fundraising campaign,” he said.
— Sara LaJeunesse
Penn State Education
AlumniInformation Alumni Council Supports Higher Education Program The Higher Education Program Alumni Council (HEPAC) facilitates interactions among current students, current and former faculty and staff members, and alumni of the Higher Education Program. The goal of the Higher Education Program—which recently was ranked as the 4th best program of its kind by U.S. News & World Report—is to prepare individuals to research, analyze, and manage the critical problems in postsecondary education. “The Higher Education Program was one of the first of its kind, having been established in 1950,” said Kristine Otto ’92 COM, ‘01 Ph.D., president of HEPAC. “Its history, spanning more than 60 years, has yielded a knowledgeable, appreciative, and interested alumni base with which to support the program.” According to Otto, HEPAC was formed in 2000, and its members have been
busy supporting students and graduates ever since. On March 30, 2012, the council helped organize “Crossing Boundaries: An Education Policy Studies Graduate Student Research Symposium,” which gave students an opportunity to present their research and get feedback from faculty members, alumni, and fellow students. The symposium was open to students in all programs within the Department of Education Policy Studies, of which the Higher Education Program is one. Alumni judges rated each student presenter according to a predetermined rubric so that a winner was chosen for each of four sessions. The winners of the sessions were Andy Koricich of the Higher Education Program, and Emily Hodge, Nnenna Ogbu, and Will Smith of the Educational Theory and Policy Program.
Conference Center Hotel. Students had the opportunity to visit four career roundtables, each led by a member of the HEPAC board of directors, as well as network with alumni outside of the formal roundtable sessions. In a new effort, the council is creating a web page that will contain profiles of alumni who are willing to be contacted by current students. “The web page is intended to serve primarily as a resource for current Higher Education Program students to contact alumni who have had career paths that students may be interested in,” said Otto.
— Sara LaJeunesse To learn more about HEPAC or to become a council member, go to: www.ed.psu.edu/ educ/alumni-friends/ hepac.
On September 30, 2011, the council hosted a two-hour Career Roundtable/ Networking Mixer at the Penn Stater
7th Annual College of Education Cycle-Thon & 5K Sunday, September 9th, 2012 10:00 a.m. 9-Mile Bike Route and 5K Run/Walk Routes begin and end at Chambers Building $25.00 adults/non-students $20.00 college students $15.00 K-12 students FREE 5 and under
Congratulations to the following alumni on their career success.
Claire B. Clements ’67 Ed.D. Art Ed, associate professor emerita, University of Georgia, received the Women in the Arts Recognition Award from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The award, from the American Heritage Committee, recognizes Claire’s work in bringing the joy of creativity to individuals from infancy through old age in schools and communities. At UGA, she coordinated creative arts experiences and outreach training for the Institute on Human Development and Disability.
Cynthia Dawso Van Druff ’76 HOME EC, ’99 EDU was completing her Ph.D. program from the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University in May 2012. She is currently the child nutrition director in the Upper Moreland Township School District, Willow Grove, Pa. She and her husband, Robert ’76 Chemical Engineering, live in southern New Jersey.
Nicholas T. Pappas ’85 EK ED is the author of a new book, “The Dark Side of Sports: Exposing the Sexual Culture of Collegiate and Professional Athletes.” The book provides an impacting and disturbing examination of an array of sexually deviant and aggressive practices that have silently thrived for decades (1960s–2010) in a variety of athlete cultures. Nick’s unique background as a former collegiate and professional athlete/coach, in combination with his experience as a researcher, professional counselor, and college professor, provided unmatched insider access to athletes from different sports. Nick earned a doctoral degree in human development and family science with a minor in sociology of sport from The Ohio State University.
Susan Evagash Miller ’88 M.Ed. is professor emerita in the Department of Education at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. She has recently had a peer-reviewed paper published by the University of Oxford, England. The paper featured the results of a study she created involving the use of contemporary and classic children’s literature to help students distinguish between leaders and bullies. In March 2011, she was selected to present her findings to academics from around the world that have special interests in children’s literature as they convened at Oxford for an Oxford Round Table Symposium. Susan received a B.S. in business education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Duquesne University. In a career that spans more than 45 years, she has taught in elementary, secondary, and higher education settings.
Susan J. Olson ’89 Ph.D. VOCED is the associate dean for external programs, grants, budgets, and personnel in the College of Education at The University of Akron. She is also the director of online learning.
Janine Caffrey ’91 M.Ed. EDADM is the author of a unique book, “Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Your Child’s Gifts.” She also holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a doctorate in educational leadership from universities other than Penn State. Her professional experience includes ten years as a special-education teacher in public schools; ten years as the education director for AMIKids, a leader in programming for troubled youth; and six years as the head of school for Renaissance Academy, a private school for the arts that she founded. She has appeared on radio and television, including Oprah and
Friends radio, Martha Stewart radio, The Today Show, and Daytime. She is now the superintendent of schools in Perth Amboy, N.J.
Sterling Saddler ’98 Ph.D. WFED is the dean of the College of Education at Western Illinois University, Macomb Campus. He is the former department head and assistant provost for diversity at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Joshua A. Kirby ’07 M.Ed. EDPSY, ’10 Ph.D. INSYS is an assistant professor with The Ohio State University Extension in Columbus. He is Ohio’s extension specialist for 4-H Older Youth and Camping. Josh supports, through research, teaching, and service, the 4-H professionals and volunteers who deliver teen-oriented or camp-based programs across Ohio’s 88 counties and 14 4-H camps.
Ji Hoon Song ’08 Ph.D. WFED received the Outstanding Assistant Professor Award from the University Council of Workforce and Human Resource Education at the annual summer meeting in June in Columbus, Ohio. Ji Hoon is an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University. His specialty area is human resource and organization development. Tell us about your success! Visit our website to let us know what you have been doing. Submissions will appear on our website and may be published in the 2013 issue of Penn State Education magazine.
www.ed.psu.edu/ educ/alumni-friends/ alumni-notes
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AlumniInformation Speakers Share Unique Perspectives at Spring Leadership Dinner The College of Education held its Spring Leadership Dinner on April 20. This year’s three speakers—one prominent alumna and two high-achieving members of the Class of 2012—related their unique perspectives on education.
Penn State’s “Blue in the Face” performs at the spring leadership dinner
Guest Shari Phillip enjoys the program
Member of Alumni Society Board, Susan Martin
“We decided to showcase examples of the kind of talent we are developing in the College of Education,” said dean David H. Monk. “We asked one of our graduates, Dr. Patricia Best, former superintendent of the State College Area School District, and two current students, Amanda Eshbaugh and Melissa Kehs, to address the guests. They all spoke from the heart and offered important insights into what the College means to them and the implications for leadership.” Monk added, “We are proud of these members of the College, and we are pleased to share their perspectives with the readers of Penn State Education.”
A ‘Leaderful’ Culture? Patricia Best ’89 D.Ed., president elect of the College of Education Alumni Society Board, was the event’s guest speaker. Best is a retired superintendent of the State College Area School District. She has received numerous professional recognitions, including the College of Education Alumni Society’s Leadership and Service Award as well as the 2009 Penn State Renaissance Award in recognition of her service to the University and community. During her talk, Best called upon the insight of a familiar cartoon character— who, as she noted, is “a true expert on leadership.” Following is a selection of Best’s presentation: I think we are all familiar with Charles Schultz and the Peanuts gang. Please picture this: In frame one of the cartoon, Charlie Brown and Snoopy are lying in bed pondering. Charlie Brown says, ”Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, ‘Is life a multiple choice test or is it a true or false test?’” In the second frame, he says, “Then a voice comes to me out of the dark and says ‘We hate to tell you this, but life is a thousand-word essay.’”
genuine collaboration. It requires vision and optimism—in a word, it requires leadership.
The “thousand word essay” we are individually and collectively creating through our work in the College of Education is about making a positive difference not only in the lives of children and families, but also in our profession. Making that difference takes place in a myriad of settings from classrooms and schools, to colleges and universities, to counseling and health centers, to social service organizations and government, and businesses and industries. The potential for our professional contributions to make a significant difference is broad and varied.
With thanks to the 25-year-old classic by Kouzes and Posner, The Leadership Challenge, I am going to draw on three of their concepts to flesh out this essay about our own “leaderful” culture in the College of Education.
What is not so varied is what it requires to make these positive differences, day in and day out, year after year. It requires constant commitment, tireless energy, and insight and reflection. It requires risk and exploration, hard work and “aha” moments, and support and respect for others. It requires competence and compassion, individual perseverance, and
It requires engaged leadership from all—that is, a shared responsibility reflected in our collective actions and practices, not simply as defined in various job titles or roles. It requires a culture that is “leaderful,” as I once heard it described. And that, then, is the basic thesis for our own “thousand word essay.”
Challenging the Process It is exciting to see and hear the examples of challenging the process that we have enjoyed this evening, that we read about in the various publications from the College, and that continue to bring recognition and rankings at the local, state, national, and international levels to our students, faculty, staff, and administrators for innovative practices in the improvement of learning in the preK-through-adult populations, in research, policy development, and effective advocacy. Challenging the process involves changing the status quo, rarely a simple task. Yet, that is happening in the Professional Development
Patricia Best, president-elect of the College of Education Alumni Society Board, was the event’s guest speaker
School initiative, in urban and international education, and in the use of instructional technology, to mention only three. Challenging the process invariably involves risk taking, which means having the courage to make mistakes and to learn from them. That is happening as research and inquiry seek both to answer questions of practice and question answers too long accepted. Challenging the process unleashes creativity and vision. That is certainly happening in the recently opened, extraordinary learning space of the Krause Innovation Studio. We are preparing our students to be challengers of the process in productive and energizing ways, which leads nicely into the second section of “our essay.”
Enabling Others to Act This concept is at the core of our success as a College of Education. True leadership only happens when that noun becomes an action verb— and when that action verb describes what practitioners are doing to make the positive differences we have been discussing in this “thousand
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AlumniInformation word essay.” Within the College, we are preparing students to use their knowledge and skills to make those differences in the future. Faculty and staff consider learning and teaching, exploring and researching, challenging and supporting, extending and applying knowledge as key tasks in enabling others to act. If there is no action, there is little chance of growth. Where there is meaningful action and reflection, there is always learning. We see ample evidence of the benefits to students across the many programs and areas of study within the College. Enabling others to act involves Dean Monk and his administrative leadership team who encourage the pursuit of excellence, support initiatives, develop resources, and facilitate the implementation of the vision. It is important to include, in this paragraph of our “thousand word essay,” the support of the many donors to the College, including alumni. Enabling others to act is at the heart of what philanthropy means, whether it is establishing endowments for a program or discipline, contributions for scholarships or special initiatives, donations for facilities improvements, contributions for student or faculty professional development, or research centers focused on questions of practice and leadership, to mention just some examples of the support we enjoy. Tonight’s celebration is also
Jim Nolan, Henry J. Hermanowicz Professor, and Rocky Landers
about leadership through giving, about thanking those among us who enable others to act through their generosity and belief in the work of the College, which leads to our third and final section.
Encouraging the Heart I want to conclude by speaking specifically to our undergraduate and graduate student scholars on behalf of the donors, alumni, and college faculty, staff, and administrators. You and your success as educators and leaders are our reasons for being here this evening. In thinking about you, what these scholarships represent to you and your families, to the many donors who make them possible, to the College of Education staff and dedicated volunteers who work to develop them, as well as to the faculty, staff, and administrators who share their knowledge and skills with you and encourage you to become the best educators/leaders you can be, I think the oft-quoted sentiment that “it takes a whole village to raise a child” probably needs to be restated in this context as “it takes the whole world to produce a competent and caring educator.” One personal illustration to make my point about encouraging the heart: In 2009, my husband Tom and I and a hundred other proud supporters of our State College Area High School Jazz Band enthusiastically applauded their performance as national finalists in the Essentially Ellington Competition held at Lincoln Center in New York City. Tom and I were seated among a group of parents from New York. When our students were setting up their instruments on stage, the woman next to me pointed to them, about 20 in number, and asked with a smile, “Which one is yours?” I smiled back and said, “I think I am the luckiest person in the audience tonight; they are all mine.”
College of Education supporter and alumna Annie Campbell Harvey
She looked a little startled and I hastily explained my comment. That was my feeling about students, however—whether I was seated in Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, our high school auditorium, or any classroom, playing field, library, or other place in our community where students were engaged in learning. The reason I shared that story is that tonight, we are collectively saying to you—students, scholars, and leaders—that you are all ours. We are proud of your past achievements; we encourage you to pursue your dreams with vigor and passion. We are invested in supporting your efforts, in encouraging your hearts as you work to become the kind of educatorleaders who care deeply about making a positive difference in the lives of those you serve. I’ll close with the timeless words of John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” And dare we add, you are an educator worthy of the College of Education family. And that, Charlie Brown, is the conclusion of our “thousand word essay” on leadership and learning. By the way, for those of you who might have been counting, or like me were lucky enough to be an English teacher in a past life, it was just a little more than a thousand words!
On Being Challenged to Achieve Melissa Kehs, the student marshal of the College of Education’s spring 2012 commencement, served as the master of ceremonies of the Spring Leadership Dinner. Kehs is a secondary education major with a focus in mathematics. She served as a THON committee member, a Blue and White Society member, Penn State Math Club treasurer, and a high school tutor, all while maintaining a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average. She also has been honored with the Evan Pugh Scholar Award, the President’s Freshman Award, and the President Sparks Award. Kehs reflected on her College of Education career: Over the past four years, with the help of my professors, peers, and the many offerings and experiences provided by the College of Education, I have grown as a person—and more importantly, as a leader. Beginning with my many professors, the faculty employed by the College of Education taught me about the many aspects of the teaching profession and how to work toward leading my future students to think of education as a positive and fulfilling experience. Most likely, as we have all experienced or seen at some point in our lives, not all students love going to school and learning; yet, my professors taught me how to craft lessons aimed at
having students fulfill set learning objectives and become truly engaged with the course material. In addition to my professors, my peers in the College of Education were beneficial resources who challenged me to achieve my utmost potential. I worked closely with many of my fellow students over the past few years and was consequently challenged to better myself as an educator and work harder than I ever have before. If it was not for the effort shown by both my professors and peers to help make Penn State’s future educators outstanding in the profession, I do not think that I would feel as prepared as I do today to lead students in the classroom setting.
Melissa Kehs, Spring 2012 student marshal, was master of ceremonies
As my professors and peers taught me the theory used to create lessons and help sculpt young minds, the experiences offered by the College of Education enabled me to apply what I learned throughout my coursework and preparation to actual classroom settings. In addition to my important and formative experiences with preservice and student teaching, I became involved in multiple activities including the Volunteers in Public Schools Tutoring program. This fulfilling experience allowed me to work with individual students who need extra guidance in their mathematics courses each week. I valued the opportunity to work with and build an academic relationship with students through this experience. Overall, I am very grateful to the College of Education for challenging me and helping me achieve my goals. Due to my experiences and excellent preparation, I am ready to lead my future students to work hard, learn, and overcome any obstacles that they may have in their lives. Most importantly, I’m proud to be able to help create a brighter tomorrow for us all through education.
Professor Kristen Dewitt
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AlumniInformation Learning about Learning Amanda Eshbaugh, a graduating senior in elementary and kindergarten education, was the ceremony’s student speaker. During the past academic year, Eshbaugh was an intern in the Penn State–State College Professional Development School (PDS) initiative. PDS interns are responsible for methods courses, an inquiry into education project, and co-teaching opportunities with a mentor teacher. Interns participate in school activities such as meetings, conferences, and professional development. They follow the school district’s 185-day calendar. Eshbaugh shared her PDS experience and discussed the leadership skills that she gained through her participation. From the moment that I was accepted to be a part of the College of Education at Penn State, I knew I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to take the best classes, join the best organizations, and make the best friends. I have done all of those things, and the College of Education has truly guided me in the right direction. I remember visiting my academic advisor, Diane Bremer, during my freshman year to tell her that I wanted to pursue a double major. She took a deep breath, said she was proud of my goals, and we planned the next four years of my academic life together that afternoon. Later, when Catherine Augustine became my academic advisor, I knew I was in good hands. She, too, encouraged me to pursue my dreams and worked to make sure my coursework was planned correctly each semester. They both, along with my parents and older sister, Sarah, have helped me to be where I am today. Every course I have taken challenged me to think about education in new ways. I have always loved learning, but learning about learning helped me to know that I was in the right place. I have taken courses with some of the best professors in the country, whose passion for teaching can be seen during every lesson. Their excitement always had me excited, making me want to be more involved with any aspect of education. This excitement led me to be the treasurer of Penn State’s African Library Project. The club works to
collect books to create libraries for elementary schools in Africa. We work to spread literacy and further education every day around the world. I am also an active member of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association and the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, among other national professional teaching organizations. The College of Education brought me to these organizations where I can work with other Penn State students who have a love for teaching. My love of teaching has only grown stronger, thanks to the PDS program. As an intern, I work every day with eighteen of the best fifth-grade students I could ask for. We challenge our thinking through science and math talks, discussions about books, and writing that engages the reader. I have been lucky enough to be with these students since August 30, and I will be sad to see them leave the classroom for the last time on June 7. Spending 185 days with these students is not enough for me; I want more time. But, the PDS has helped me to see the growth my students have made since the first day of school, and I couldn’t be more proud. The PDS has helped me enhance my thinking and my organizational skills as I take on more projects and lessons each week. Because of this, extra time in my schedule doesn’t happen very often. As a recipient of the Jeanne Leonhard Scholars in
Amanda Eshbaugh, a graduating senior in elementary and kindergarten education and a scholarship recipient, talked about her experiences in the College’s professional development school
Education Endowment, I am able to focus on my schoolwork and my students, and I do not have to worry about working during my extra time. I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer my extra time with organizations and children who are near and dear to my heart. Volunteering has allowed me to impact students across the State College Area School District as an elementary track and field coach, and across the world as I work to spread literacy to students who may otherwise never see a book. I have the College of Education to thank for all of those opportunities. As I prepare myself to graduate from the College of Education in just a few short weeks, I truly feel as though I am a partner in leadership. The College has helped me to become the leader I am today and will continue to be in the future. I will take all that I have learned and gained from the College into my future career as an elementary teacher, where I hope to continue to impact students in the most positive ways. The lessons I have learned in my past four years at Penn State, especially in the PDS, will remain with me for years to come. I am so blessed to have had the opportunities I’ve been given and will always reflect on them with a smile on my face and a happy heart.
Alumni Society Awards: Nomination Form The College of Education Alumni Society supports four alumni awards that are presented each year to graduates who have distinguished themselves in their profession. To nominate someone you think is worthy of this recognition, please fill out and submit the nomination form with a statement explaining the reasons for your nomination.
Excellence In Education
Leadership & Service
This award is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni of the College of Education. Selection is made on the basis of significant contributions to the field of education. The field of education is construed broadly to include a wide variety of areas of endeavor where education takes place. Specific criteria: (1) Nominee must be employed full time in the field of education; (2) Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).
Outstanding Teaching This award recognizes the classroom teacher. Selection is made on the basis of overall excellence in teaching methodologies, knowledge of subject matter, and ability to inspire students. Specific criteria: (1) Nominee must be employed full time in the teaching profession; (2) Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).
This award recognizes those alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen professions, in or out of the field of education. Selection is made on the basis of leadership and service within a career, a community, or to society in general. Specific criteria: (1) Achievement in a chosen field, in a community, or in society; (2) Nominee must be a graduate of the College of Education (certification, baccalaureate, or advanced degree).
Outstanding New Graduate This award recognizes recent graduates who have distinguished themselves in their new careers. Selection is made on the basis of an individualâ€™s advancement and excellence in a new job, in or out of the field of education. Specific criteria: (1) Outstanding contributions to and achievements in a new job; (2) Nominees must be graduates of the College of Education (baccalaureate) within five years of the date of nomination.
To nominate an alumnus/a, complete the form on the back of this page and mail it along with your nomination statement to: The Penn State College of Education Attn: Alumni Society Awards 247 Chambers Building University Park, PA 16802-3206 814.863.2216 Nominations received before January 31 each year are reviewed as a group. Awards are presented in a ceremony each fall. Nominations may be made at any time. Self-nominations are welcome.
Penn State Education
AlumniInformation College of Education Alumni Society Awards Nomination Form Select Award Category: 0 Excellence In Education
0 Outstanding Teaching
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Education from Penn State (Include degree and grad year) Nominator Information Name
2011 Alumni Society Award Winners Left to right, front row: Jaclyn Gruber, Brittany Bonnell, Lauren Reese, and Amy Stafford; back row: Maggie Baker, Roland Walters, Paulette Lemma, Dean David H. Monk, Marion Wheland, and M. Christopher Brown II
Gifts to the College Director of Development Message The College of Education’s foundation and future lie with you, our alumni. The College family is large and diverse, with 55,000 graduates working in a variety of capacities across the state, nation, and globe. The power of our strength is in our collective ability to make an impact. However, less than half of our graduates are members of the Penn State Alumni Association. Imagine the transformative effect if each of our alumni seized an opportunity to get involved. By engaging with the College, you complete an important cycle—experiencing success in your careers and then returning to help the next generation of students. There are a variety of ways to get involved, and there are roles for everyone in helping the College remain strong and in sustaining the quality of education for our students. Through mentoring or volunteering, you can give your time, energy, and ideas. By contributing financial resources to support our students and programs, you have the opportunity to help make an impact on the future of education. In this issue of our magazine, we share some highlights about the myriad ways that our alumni are impacting their communities and beyond. They are receiving awards, conducting important research, acting as leaders in their fields, and having a global impact in their careers. Their passion and accomplishments serve as a model for our current and graduating students.
Michelle K. Houser
On the following pages, we’re also including a handful of the many ways that alumni are giving back philanthropically. Support for the College includes scholarships, program development, faculty endowments, and legacy gifts through one’s estate. Dr. Christopher Brown is providing support for our higher education program, a much-lauded cornerstone of our learning opportunities. Through his gift he is giving our graduate students the opportunity to participate in conferences in order to broaden their learning experience and share their research. Having been a graduate student and faculty member at Penn State, Dr. Brown understands the important impact that his scholarship will have on students in this discipline. Brian and Kristine Laubscher have endowed a Trustee Matching Scholarship—one of the most groundbreaking philanthropy opportunities that we offer at Penn State. Through this scholarship program, endowments will have their average payout matched, in perpetuity, by the University’s operating budget. The Laubschers’ gift also honors the memory of Brian’s mother, a teacher who firmly believed in the power of good education. By establishing this scholarship, the couple is helping to complete a cycle of excellence in the field of education. Alumna Jennifer Sova is one of the youngest members of our Dean’s Council Recognition Society, a committed group of donors who provide yearly support of $1,000 and up. Ms. Sova’s support of our future fund is especially important, as this is the flexible support used by the dean to address the College’s most pressing needs. Student aid, new academic initiatives, and faculty recruitment are among some of the items that receive the help they need with this fund. Steady, generous support like Ms. Sova’s is essential to providing continued learning, growth, and opportunity at the College. As you’ll see in the article on the Sternberghs, their decision to activate their endowment early has already allowed them to help 14 students achieve their educational goals. The Sternberghs are able to see their philanthropy at work during their lifetime and enjoy the wonderful benefits their legacy has provided.
As you consider your charitable contributions for the next year, I hope you will consider adding the College of Education to your plans. Your gifts make a difference to our students, faculty members, and staff members. We thank you in advance for your consideration. For the Glory, Michelle K. Houser
Penn State Education
Gifts to the College M. Christopher Brown II Endowment for Higher Education
M. Christopher Brown II
In an effort to give back to the program that has had immeasurable influence on his career, M. Christopher Brown II, ’97 Ph.D. HI ED, has pledged $25,000 to create the M. Christopher Brown II Endowment for Higher Education in the College of Education. The endowment supports graduate students with funds to enhance their learning and research opportunities.
“My hope is that this small gift can be used to improve the student experience in the nation’s leading higher education program,” he said. Chris also has pledged his commitment by naming Penn State as a beneficiary in his estate plans. Chris received his doctorate degree in higher education from Penn State in 1997 and was very active during his time
on campus. He was a member of several organizations, including the Commission on Undergraduate Education, the Higher Education Student Association (HESA), and the Forum on Black Affairs (FOBA). He also held the position of program coordinator for the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP). In his professional career, Chris has served as a professor, researcher, and faculty member at several major universities across the country, including Penn State. He also held executive management positions in national professional associations and non-profits. He has worked on over 15 funded grant projects and given more than 200 academic lectures, addresses, and presentations at various schools, colleges, and assemblies. He also has contributed his writing to hundreds of scholarly publications including books, refereed journals, and encyclopedias. Chris currently serves as president of Alcorn State University in Mississippi. The College of Education’s Alumni Society Board recognized Chris in 2000 with its Leadership and Service Award, and again in 2011 with the Excellence in Education Award. In addition, he was a member of the 2005 inaugural class of the Penn State Alumni Achievement Award.
Investing for the future Even in challenging economic times, a Penn State degree remains a sound investment—much like the income-generating gift strategies available to the University’s alumni and friends. Charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities can help you protect the value of your assets while ensuring that new generations of students have access to the same world-class education that was the foundation of your own success. To learn more about these opportunities, please contact: Michelle Houser Director of Development and Alumni Relations College of Education 814-863-2146 email@example.com www.ed.psu.edu
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Gifts to the College
Larry Mroz Gift Planning Officer Office of Gift Planning 888-800-9170 814-865-0872 firstname.lastname@example.org www.giftplanning.psu.edu
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Barbara Golden Laubscher Trustee Scholarship Brian W. ’89 BUS, ’04 MBA and Kristine E. Laubscher ’95 LA have established a $50,000 trustee scholarship in the College of Education to provide financial assistance for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in childhood and early adolescent education. This scholarship was created in memory of Brian W. and Kristine E. Laubscher Brian’s mother, Barbara Golden Laubscher, an elementary-school teacher who believed strongly in the importance of quality education. Barbara began her career as a second-grade teacher, and then taught in a variety of capacities in the years following, impacting many students with her patient instruction and dedication. Through their scholarship, Brian and Kristine hope to inspire this same commitment to excellence in future educators. Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in business logistics in 1989 and a master of business administration degree in 2004, both from Penn State. As an undergraduate student, he was active in leadership roles, working as a resident assistant for two years and as a teaching assistant for business logistics. Following graduation, he spent 15 years at various positions with Manugistics, Inc. (now JDA Software), a supply chain planning and optimization software company based in Rockville, Md. While at Manugistics, Brian spent six years working in California. He continued his career at Campbell’s Soup in Camden, NJ, where he worked as supply planning manager. He currently is employed by FMC Corporation in Philadelphia, where he manages a team that plans the global supply of active ingredients for FMC Corporation’s Agricultural Products Group. Brian has also been an active volunteer for Penn State. He helped to re-launch the Philadelphia chapter of the Smeal Business Club, and he has served as the organization’s president since 2009. Brian is also an ex-officio director of the Alumni Society Board for the Smeal College of Business. Kris earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a business minor in 1995. During her time at Penn State, she founded the Industrial Organizational Psychology Club, volunteered at the campus child care center, and worked at the on-campus bakery. Kris also made the dean’s list each of her four years. She began her career in San Francisco, Calif., working as a human resources consultant for Anderson Consulting and Answerthink. She is currently self-employed as a homebased customer-service agent and virtual-training facilitator. She also is involved in several activities, serving as a Girl Scout troop leader, a member of the parentteacher organization, and the secretary of the Wallingford Swim and Racquet Club. Brian and Kris are proud parents of a 12-year-old son and two daughters, 9 and 7 years old. They are members of the Nittany Lion Club, and they are avid Penn State football fans, supporting the team as season ticket holders.
Looking for news about old friends? Our Alumni Updates are online! Visit the site, check up on friends, and let us know what you are doing while you are there. www.ed.psu. edu/educ/ alumni-friends/ alumni-notes
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Gifts to the College Donors Make a Difference Tomorrow’s Legacy Begins Today G. Alan, M.Ed, ’52 and Margaret E. Sternbergh want “the best for Penn State and the best for our children.” This was the motivation behind their decision to activate their endowment in the College of Education early. Since 2000, the G. Alan and Margaret Sternbergh Scholarship in Counselor Education has provided recognition and financial assistance to deserving graduate students in this discipline. The Sternberghs’ decision to activate their scholarship early already has allowed them to help 14 talented students meet their college expenses. For Alan and Margaret, there was never a question that philanthropy would be a part of their life, and that they would give back to Penn State. “That’s what one should do in life…it’s basic, necessary, and rewarding,” said Alan, “and one of the best gifts you’ll ever make.”
G. Alan and Margaret E. Sternbergh
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Gifts to the College
Early activation of an endowment allows benefactors to make annual contributions to activate scholarships, program endowments, and faculty endowments already established through their estate plans or other types of planned gifts. To activate a bequest early, donors agree to provide annual support during their lifetime. Early activation can be initiated for as little as $2,500 per year for a scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded in accordance with the guidelines established by the donor and the University during the next awarding cycle. By choosing this option, the Sternberghs have been able to enjoy the impact of their philanthropy during their lifetime. They have the opportunity to meet with their scholarship recipients at two events each year. They also receive letters from the recipients, thanking them for making a difference. Alan earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Westminster College. To further his interest in education and interacting with people, he decided to pursue graduate studies at Penn State, where he earned his master’s degree in counselor education in 1952. Alan reflects fondly on his time in Happy Valley, saying the “memories are fantastic.” Following a brief career in sales for the steel industry, he spent nearly 25 years as career placement director at Westminster College. He then moved on to help fundraising efforts for Westminster’s capital campaign in the early 1990s. Margaret earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, both from Westminster College. She took classes at Penn State while Alan was a graduate student. Margaret stayed active in the education field working as a substitute teacher. Alan and Margaret have four children and six grandchildren. They enjoy returning to campus to visit and attend football games. They also are loyal supporters of the Nittany Lion Club and the Blue Band.
Passion for Penn State is a Family Affair
pe n n Stat e o n l i n e Jennifer Weible Master of Education in Instructional Systems, Educational Technology
Jennifer L. Sova
Jennifer L. Sova ’99 SEC ED is the second generation of her family to earn a degree from the College of Education. Her family’s connection goes back nearly 50 years. Michael Sova ’69 EDU, Jen’s father, graduated from the College in 1969 and taught junior high-school science for many years. Jen followed in his footsteps years later, enrolling in the College of Education with a focus in biology and general science in secondary education. Since that time, Jen has been a member of the Golden Lion Society and a loyal donor to the College of Education. And her support of the College has only increased over the years. In 2009, her generous donation earned her the distinction of being one of the youngest members of the Dean’s Council Recognition Society. Of her philanthropy, she says, “I give to Penn State, and particularly the College of Education, in recognition not only of the fantastic education I received, but also because of my family’s connection to the school.” After graduating from Penn State, Jen’s interests led her to law school at the University of Miami, where she earned a law degree in 2002. She currently is employed as senior counsel for labor and employment at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Though she is in the legal field, she frequently draws on her experience at the College. “My teaching degree taught me how to communicate and explain complicated concepts, and also taught me the importance of preparation before any presentation,” she said. Having acquired these important skills from the College, Jen noted that she feels compelled to give back. “I want to help others enter such a critical profession, especially at a time with state budget cuts and student loans becoming an increasing burden for all families,” she said. Jen’s donations have helped to bolster science education in the College, the education alumni fund, and the education future fund.
Earning a master’s degree inspired Jennifer Weible to become a teacher of teachers. Now there’s no stopping her. She plans to acquire her doctorate in education so she can show new teachers how to best use technology in the classroom. She credits her Penn State online degree with inspiring her to continue her studies. “Teachers need to have their eyes opened to the power and possibilities of technology, and then be given the skills and tools to use it in their classrooms.”
Read Jennifer’s story and learn more at: www.worldcampus.psu.edu/exceptional Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. U.Ed.OUT 12-0818/12-WC-0527djm/jms/bjm
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Published on Aug 23, 2012
Alumni magazine from the Penn State College of Education, 2012 Issue - contains news from the College, alumni profiles, and more.