Endeavors Fall 2015

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E N D E A V O R S College Park Academy’s innovative middle school model 4 New strategies in psychological services for Asian American seniors 13 Exploring the dynamics of families and child development 18

FALL 2015 + ISSUE 30


4 THE BLENDED LEARNING EXPERIMENT College Park Academy’s innovative middle school model


3 10 11

12 16








18 NEW PERSPECTIVES ON PARENTING Exploring the dynamics of families and child development

Unearthing powerful tools for instruction and assessment


Bringing psychological services to Asian American seniors





25 26 30



STAFF EDITOR Joshua Lavender WRITERS Helene Kalson Cohen Joshua Lavender Andrew Altshuler Sarah Davis Kelly Stevelt Liska Radachi DESIGN Lynne Menefee PHOTOS Craig Breil Photography University of Maryland Libraries Joshua Lavender Andrew Altshuler

COVER IMAGE: College Park Academy principal Bernadette Ortiz-Brewster visits with students in the Independent Learning Center.

LETTER FROM THE DEAN Dear College of Education Alumni and Friends, Once again, I’m pleased to welcome you to a new issue of Endeavors! In our cover story, “The Blended Learning Experiment,” we visit College Park Academy, the charter school we helped establish three years ago in partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools and the City of College Park. Owing to its excellent teachers and leaders, as well as experts at the College, the school is doing very well indeed – its students are outperforming their peers not only in the county but across the state of Maryland. Now, with Dr. Helene Kalson Cohen, our resident educational technology specialist and executive director of our new Office of Innovation and Partnerships, and University of Maryland president Dr. Wallace Loh joining the school’s board of directors, the future of College Park Academy looks brighter than ever. We are very proud to be a part of this innovative venture! Two feature articles in this issue look at recent research on issues important to families. Development scientist Dr. Natasha Cabrera explores parental impacts on children’s development, especially for minority and low-income families. And Dr. Matthew Miller describes his newest effort to bring mental health interventions to Asian American elders. Notable for both its breadth and its impact, their work exemplifies applied research and community activism at the College. Elsewhere in this issue, you will find the story of the Center for Young Children’s new playground, inspired by the kids’ ideas and built with the help of faculty and students in UMD’s architecture and landscape management programs. We also report on last year’s multilevel modeling conference, hosted by the Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation program, and bring you updates about the many recent awards and accolades garnered by our faculty. It has been an exciting year! We bid a fond farewell this year to five faculty members: Dr. Dennis Herschbach (TLPL), Dr. Robert Lissitz (HDQM), and Dr. Andrew Egel, Dr. Sherril Moon, and Dr. William Strein (CHSE). These fine colleagues are role models for the rest of us – astute scholars, committed leaders, and caring mentors. In this issue’s article “Witness to History,” we shine a spotlight on the career of Bill Strein, who has been with our School Psychology program since 1981. I join the faculty of the College of Education in wishing Dennis, Bob, Andrew, Sherril, and Bill the best in the years to come. As we look to the future, I am deeply encouraged to see that our past endeavors are paving the way. One example is a major gift by the Clarvit family for a new Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention, a collaboration we are undertaking with the Maryland State Department of Education. Another is the new scholarship established in memory of Doris Eichlin Tiller, a teacher who graduated from the College in 1939. Such support for our students and scholars is the true meaning of “legacy.” Once again, I thank you, our alumni and friends, for your many contributions to our work! As ever, all the best,

Donna L. Wiseman Dean FALL 2015



IT LOOKS LIKE A NORMAL AMERICAN CLASSROOM. It looks like a normal American classroom. There’s a marker board, TV, and projector. A bulletin board announces the current unit vocabulary alongside posters about research skills. Continental maps stretch across a chalkboard, and depictions of Native American dwellings – tepee, wigwam, chickee hut, pueblo, igloo – plaster a wooden supply cabinet. The teacher is a man with neat reddish-brown hair, clad in a gray sweater vest. He stands before his desk, regarding his students. On each desk is a laptop computer. The students’ eyes are fixed to their screens. Brian Cuvo’s eighth-grade social studies class is taking a quiz. Mr. Cuvo checks his laptop periodically: the curricular software tracks the students’ progress, lets them submit their work digitally, and allows him to give feedback the same way. As they finish, one by one, he directs them to a handout about a forthcoming research project. At last, time is called, all the quizzes have been submitted, and the students give the teacher their attention. “OK,” he says, “let’s discuss this portfolio assignment. Any questions about it?”

FALL 2015


A 6th grader follows along on his laptop as math teacher Juan Foreman explains a concept in linear algebra.


laptop on every desk is a common sight at College Park Academy (CPA), the blended learning charter school collaboratively established by Prince George’s County Public Schools, the City of College Park, and the University of Maryland. CPA is the first middle school in the country to combine blended learning, fully virtual learning, and traditional classrooms. The experiment is nurtured by its close ties to the College of Education, which lends such expertise as that of educational technology specialist Dr. Helene Kalson Cohen and UMD-CPA partnership manager Dr. Jessica DeMink-Carthew, who are involved in professional development for the school’s teachers. Student teachers from the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership intern in classrooms and provide tutoring. The school is also a site for the College’s research. For instance, Dr. J. Randy McGinnis, director of the Center for Science and Technology in Education, research associate Dr. Wayne Breslyn, and doctoral student Emily Hestness have included CPA in Project MADE CLEAR, which investigates middle school students’ conceptions of climate and teachers’ implementation of climate science education. Faculty with UMD’s Terrapin Teachers program, which trains highly qualified secondary STEM teachers, have also been involved at CPA in various ways. CPA uses a flipped curriculum that shifts students’ reading into their hours at home and much of their homework into the classroom, where teachers are available to field questions and give feedback. For core classes – science, math, language arts, and social studies – the school combines instruction from onsite teachers with online textbooks, labs, and assessments. These online materials are collected in Connexus, an educational management system developed by Pearson subsidiary Connections Education LLC, another partner of the school. Students take electives entirely from certified teachers over the Internet.



This model has definite effects. The flipped curriculum fits well with student-centered teaching approaches, such as differentiation and group work, while limiting whole-group methods such as lecturing. Putting the Internet’s resources at students’ fingertips, blended and online learning broadens their educational opportunities. For instance, CPA offers a choice of seven foreign language electives, made possible by a per-student pay system for remote teachers. Even in more “traditional” classrooms, like Mr. Cuvo’s, students have greater freedom to read and master online materials at their own pace, instead of scrambling to keep up with faster peers or growing bored with slower instruction.

After a single year at CPA, students sweepingly outperformed their peers elsewhere in Prince George’s County and across the state on the Maryland State Assessment, especially in reading. CPA students can instantly access their complete gradebook, with all their previous and current assignments, on their own time. Teachers can also see their students’ entire gradebook, including insights from other teachers and prior communications with both students and parents. These capabilities are not rare, but the crucial difference at CPA is their integration with Connexus, the school’s curricular hub. Mr. Cuvo praises how Connexus streamlines grading and parses data, helping him see progress “in realer time” and address needs in the moment. More complete pictures of his students’ academic performance help him identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. He can become better acquainted with


MSA REPORT CARD Proficiency Levels on the Maryland State Assessment (% of students) n College Park Academy n Prince George’s County

n Maryland


64.7 44.7 22




30.2 16.8

≤ 5.0









42.8 35.9


21.2 7.0



Situated a block away from the University of Maryland campus, College Park Academy opened its doors in 2013 to a student body of about three hundred 6th and 7th graders. Each year, as they advance, the school will add a grade, until it serves grades 6 through 12. CPA’s first class of seniors will graduate in 2019. According to Dr. Bernadette Ortiz-Brewster, the principal at CPA, unforeseen factors posed various challenges in the school’s first two years. But, she says, the collaborative spirit and fierce dedication of teachers and staff pulled the school through and set it on an upward trajectory. After a single year at CPA, students sweepingly outperformed their peers elsewhere in Prince George’s County and across the state on the Maryland State Assessment, especially in reading. Credit is due in part to the principal herself. Dr. Ortiz-Brewster brings tech-savviness, faith in the new models, and hard-won experience to the job. A former Spanish teacher of ten years at Punahou School in Honolulu, she went on to open two other schools in Hawaii: she was founding director of technology at Island Pacific Academy, launched in 2004, and in 2007 she co-founded American Renaissance Academy. And she also understands online learning from the student perspective: she took her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Walden University entirely online. “We have kids from all over Prince George’s County, with various discipline styles and foundational academic skills, depending on where they come from and their past experiences,” Dr. OrtizBrewster explains, thinking back on the school’s rocky first semester in 2013. “We had to make adjustments. Once students were placed properly, they soared. We held the bar high, and the kids met us there.” One challenge in CPA’s first year was helping students set priorities and striking the right balance between their control and their teachers’ control of the pace of learning in the more autonomous digital classroom. “In the Independent Learning Center,” Dr. Ortiz-Brewster says, “some students were working hard but the trouble was that they were choosing what to work on. A lot of kids finished their electives early – very early. But when it came to math, they were struggling and it wasn’t as much fun, so they chose not to do it. So, self-pacing is more for our advanced students. For average students, like in any other school, teachers have to push them along. There has to be a minimum pace.” CPA faces still more challenges. Infrastructure is one. The computer servers, key to what goes on in the classrooms, are constantly watched and maintained. Architectural plans – for instance, recording booths for foreign language classes – have been put on hold until the school relocates. To keep costs down, CPA occupies a building from the 1950s; desks in the yet-to-be-opened classrooms appear to date from that era. A tarp laid over half the gymnasium floor, topped with tables and chairs, serves as a cafeteria. Asked what the school needs most, Dr. Ortiz-Brewster says without hesitation, “A building. We’re growing each year: we’ll have 75 more



53.2 45.1 46.4

43.2 32.2 20.5


21.4 11.7



who a student is, how the student thinks. As a result, he says, he can more precisely tailor his teaching.




52.2 36.9





19.6 8.8




Source: Maryland State Department of Education. FALL 2015


students next year. How do you serve lunch to four grade levels without a cafeteria?” Meanwhile, CPA must also work to fit into the traditional public school system in Prince George’s. A straightforward example is the electronic gradebook: Connexus is semester-based, but the county uses quarter-based grading. As a result, teachers must manually convert all the school’s grades before report cards can go in the mail. Getting the two platforms to “talk” to each other is on the principal’s slate for the 2015-16 academic year. Another crucial concern is students’ relationship to technology. It is an error, Dr. Ortiz-Brewster warns, to assume that kids are capable “digital natives.” CPA students need various basic computer skills – saving documents, organizing folders, managing email, uploading files – just to do their schoolwork. Often, a child enrolls with few or none of these skills already mastered. Each year, the school takes students through two weeks of training on Connexus before digging into the curriculum.

Amal, Camille, Noel, Robert, Storm, and Alesa meet to talk about their experiences at College Park Academy.

Six students – Amal, Camille, Noel, Robert, Storm, and Alesa – sit in a semi-circle in the principal’s office, facing me. They look glad, as any student would, to have been pulled from class to talk to the camera-toting visitor rumored to be roving the halls and classrooms. Except for me, there are no adults in the room, and I tell them they can speak candidly. I want to hear the good and the bad. It does not take them long to level a few criticisms, mostly to do with adapting to CPA’s unique learning model. “When I came here,” Alesa says, “I was starting the school year a month late, and I had a very hard time catching up.” “Yeah, the academics and activities were so different,” Storm recalls. “In the school I was at,” Camille says, “the whole class would work on one thing for a week or so. Here, it’s easier to get in a ‘goofoff ’ mindset and fall behind, especially in the ILC. But then you go to a tutor and he helps you get back on track.” “The teachers don’t really let us ‘go at our own pace,’” Noel says. “They make us reach a certain point.”



“But you also need to know where to stop,” Robert replies. If any issue is in contention at CPA, it seems to be the pace of learning. Some of the more advanced students, eager to race ahead, feel constrained. But they also feel deeply supported, especially by CPA’s success coaches. Success coaches oversee the Independent Learning Center (ILC), an auditorium partitioned into “pods” where students go for a period each day to work on out-of-class projects, hold study groups, and take electives. Particular favorites of the students, the success coaches tutor and advise, help students organize their academic lives, monitor their progress, and make sure they understand lessons and assignments. CPA’s classroom teachers depend on these mentors as a vital resource. They are also social barometers, often lending students a sympathetic ear. “They’re caring people,” Storm says. “They make sure we’re successful at life.” “But how well you fare academically really depends on who you are,” Camille argues. “To succeed at this school,” Robert observes, “you need to be selfmotivated.” This statement gathers vehement approval from everyone. Amal, who has said little so far, chimes in: “I think the real difference between CPA and a regular school is that here there’s more connection between what happens at school and what happens at home. I can pick my work up and finish it quickly. I have great access to my teachers here. I can always open the gradebook and see where I’m at. That’s the best part for me, because it motivates me. All the teachers here want the best for us.” I’m sitting in on an Advisory class led by Ashleigh Coppola, a UMD graduate and CPA success coach. Students are making PowerPoint presentations on current events – topics include the discovery of an exoplanet, the TransAsia plane crash in Taiwan, and improving relations between the United States and Cuba. Students come to Advisory for half an hour each day. A recommended feature of developmentally-appropriate middle schools, Advisory programs offer opportunities for students to build relationships with peers and an advisor. According to Dr. DeMinkCarthew, the Advisory program is especially important because CPA’s students come from different neighborhoods around Prince George’s County. The class has academic activities and discussions, but the real goal is relationship-building. For instance, this current events project is open-ended: students are free to follow their own interests, and one challenge for each group is reaching consensus about what to cover and how to present it. At the end of the U.S.-Cuba report, which covers issues both countries are raising in new diplomacy, Ms. Coppola asks for questions. I raise my hand. “So, the U.S. is asking Cuba to release its political dissidents from prison,” I say. “What’s a political dissident?” Ms. Coppola recognizes the teachable moment. She repeats the question, putting it to the whole class. The students bat it back and forth, trying to work out what a political dissident is from the


context of the presentation. After about five minutes of discussion, Ms. Coppola asks a student to research the question. As the next group begins their presentation, the student opens his laptop and starts searching; at the end of class, he reports on his findings. Skeptics of blended learning often focus on the transformations it necessitates. A common assumption seems to be that, with the prominence of computers in classrooms, teachers’ roles will diminish and the less tangible fruits of schooling – socialization, for instance – will disappear. Some critics go so far as to forecast the relegation of teachers to management duties that do not really amount to teaching. A stroll through CPA’s hallways during a class change or a visit to the ILC will refute the idea that students are not learning social skills. As much as it is a technological experiment, CPA is also a social enterprise. Jumbling together children from disparate socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, it might be the most “representative” school in Maryland – a touchstone of the state’s increasing diversity. As for the prediction that teachers will fade out of the picture in the classroom, CPA math teacher Juan Foreman answers it forcefully: “It’s not that we’re not teaching. It just looks different. There’s less whole-class instruction.” What I find most striking during my two-day visit to College Park Academy is the school’s energy: front-desk staff chatting with parents, teachers greeting students at classroom doors, the buzz of talk in the makeshift cafeteria. Every child seems to be engaged, busy, going somewhere.

Mr. Young discusses the intricacies of analyzing poetry during a differentiated session in his 7th grade English/Language Arts classroom.

Dr. Ortiz-Brewster asserts that this energetic atmosphere – and CPA’s success – reflects the investments made in the school by its partners in the community and the College of Education. She looks forward to an even brighter future under the leadership of the new chair of the board of directors, University of Maryland president Dr. Wallace Loh, a longtime believer in CPA’s model and mission. “And our teachers are fantastic collaborators,” she adds. “Every adult in this school is responsible for every child. Nobody here sees a

Students collaborate on a portfolio assignment in Mr. Cuvo’s 6th grade social studies class.

child and thinks, ‘That’s not my student.’ How can you fail when you have all these wonderful partners?” “Why is this writing assignment so difficult?” Class has just convened. Having noticed that some students are at a loss where to begin a recently assigned poetry analysis, seventhgrade English teacher Joshua Young writes this question across the marker board and asks for responses. Unsurprisingly, the first response is “I don’t like poetry.” But the real difficulty, it turns out, is that students still have a weak grasp on what to look for in their chosen poems and what questions they might ask themselves about those things. Once this problem is identified, Mr. Young sets an agenda for the period: small groups will visit with him for focused discussions on what is giving them the most trouble – structure, evidence, style and mechanics, or the poem itself – while the rest of the class writes. “Poem” is actually rather a loose term in this assignment’s context. Students have chosen raps by Tupac Shakur, songs from Disney musicals, and formal verse by Robert Frost. To explain a perplexing concept, tone, Mr. Young asks a student to describe her experience of reading a poem – how her ideas about what it was saying changed as she read. It is clear Mr. Young knows his subject. He is also a personable teacher who can engage students on their level and guide them through complex ideas. Elsewhere in the room, students consult in pairs over each other’s essays. Some are wearing headphones, listening to music – not a distraction, Mr. Young tells me, instead it helps “get them in the zone.” Naturally, there is some socializing happening too. But on the whole, a class of young teens writing poetry analysis essays on laptops is staying on task with very little monitoring from their teacher. “All right, then,” Mr. Young announces as a discussion group breaks up, “who wants to talk to me about writing your conclusion?” FALL 2015



In Their Own Words

The University of Maryland is committed to keeping college affordable – because outstanding education brings with it the opportunity to better our lives and communities. Each year, the University awards over $17 million in financial aid, grants, and scholarships. Made possible by generous support from alumni and friends, these scholarships allow College of Education students to avoid debt and focus on their success. ALICE COOK Ph.D. Minority and Urban Education and Mathematics Education (2016) “I am the first in my family to go to college, and I decided to become a teacher because I wanted to advocate for young people who were struggling in their lives. . . . I would like to work as a leader in a large urban school district, to transform schools and classrooms to be places where young people are safe, affirmed, and have a myriad of academic opportunities.”

MINJI YANG Ph.D. Counseling Psychology (2015) “. . . as a graduate student, I have faced several financial struggles while supporting myself in a foreign country. This scholarship is a huge resource that supports my journey to becoming an academic professor and/or staff clinician at a university counseling center to promote wellness and multiculturalism.”

CARLY MOORE B.A. English and Secondary Education (2017) “I am a firm believer in the power that literature and the arts have over our lives, and their great capability to change and heal the human spirit. I have added education to my interest in English because, throughout high school, it was always my English teachers who helped me discover my own voice and purpose. More than anything, I would like to be that for someone else.”

LAILA PARHAM M.Ed. Early Childhood and Special Education (2015) “I became a single mother, and it has been the most difficult time of my life. I had to find a place to live, provide for my four-year-old son Roger, become financially independent, and finish my undergraduate studies. It means so much to me to receive this scholarship.”



MEGUMI AIKAWA M.Ed. Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (2015) “My goal is to play a role in the empowerment of culturally and linguistically diverse youth in this nation through education. This holds special meaning for me, because I myself came to the United States when I was young and received assistance from many committed teachers throughout my childhood.”

You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a life-changing gift. Interested in creating a scholarship in your name or in honor of a loved one? Endowing a scholarship may cost less than you think. Contact Liska Radachi, Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations, at 301-405-2340 or lradachi@umd.edu for more information.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine





Scholarship Established in Memory of Doris Eichlin Tiller The family of the late Doris Eichlin Tiller, a University of Maryland graduate, has established a scholarship to benefit undergraduate students in the College of Education seeking careers as teachers. A descendant of generations of teachers and a lifelong D.C. area resident, Doris Eichlin Tiller was born in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1918, the daughter of University of Maryland physics professor and department chair Charles G. Eichlin and Jessie Lenore Ebert Eichlin. She attended Washington, D.C. public schools with her sister Jane and brother Charles, graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1935. A member of the Alpha Pi chapter of the Tri Delta Sorority at the University of Maryland, Doris graduated from the College of Education in 1939. She taught English at Bethesda High School and Leland Junior High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, before and during World War II. She married D.C. native DeTeel Patterson Tiller in 1942. As part of the war effort, during summers she volunteered running a daycare for the children of “Rosie the Riveters” working at the Glen L. Martin Airplane Plant outside Baltimore. Doris left teaching in 1948 to raise her son, de Teel Patterson (Pat) Tiller, and daughter Jane Patterson Tiller (now Mendenhall). After her husband’s death in 1958, she joined the faculty of the newly-opened Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Intermediate School in McLean, Virginia, where she taught English and history. She retired in 1985. Doris Eichlin Tiller was an unwavering advocate of public schools and believed strongly in public service. She loved live theatre – particularly works by William Inge, Tennessee Williams, and William Shakespeare, as well as Broadway musicals – and read widely in the works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Edgar Allen Poe, and American and European science fiction writers. Most of all, she cared deeply for her family, including two grandchildren – Jessie and Keene. Her generosity and many kindnesses are remembered not only by the thousands of students she taught but through the newly-established Doris Eichlin Tiller TerpStart Endowed Scholarship for Education.

“A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops.” — Henry Brooks Adams

Donations to the fund may be made payable to UMCPF (UM College Park Foundation); please note in the check’s memo line that the gift is for the “Doris Eichlin Tiller Scholarship Fund.” Gifts may be sent to: Sarah H. Davis, Donor Relations Coordinator, College of Education, 1308 Benjamin Building, College Park, Maryland, 20742. Doris Eichlin Tiller at the University of Maryland, 1939.


Bill Strein: Witness to History

A veteran school psychology professor reflects on three decades of change

CHSE colleagues: Dr. Richard Shin, Dr. Bill Strein, and Dr. Kimberly Griffin.


his year, Dr. Bill Strein leaves the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education for a well-earned retirement. For over two decades – first alongside Dr. Hedy Teglasi – Dr. Strein has directed the School Psychology program. “I came to this career in an unusual way,” Dr. Strein reflects. “I wanted a people-oriented profession. I thought I should be a high school math teacher, so my undergrad degree was in mathematics education. But then I decided I wanted to work with students in a different way. So I thumbed through the Penn State graduate catalog and found school psychology. From day one, it felt like I had found a home.” Prior to arriving at Maryland, Dr. Strein was a school psychologist for public districts in Pennsylvania and Virginia and a visiting faculty member in the school psychology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research has focused on students’ social-emotional learning and academic self-concept, and his peer-reviewed articles have looked at issues as diverse as counselor education curriculums, kindergarteners’ self-perception, cognitive ability tests, and teachers’ self-assessments. He has contributed chapters to six books on mental health services in schools and often presented research at annual conferences of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the American Psychological Association (APA), where he was named a fellow in 2010. Dr. Strein is deeply involved in professional issues in school psychology: ethics, training standards, and accreditation. He has served as an NASP program reviewer and in various roles for the APA’s Commission on Accreditation, and presently he is a consulting editor for the journal Training and Education in Professional



Psychology. Having worked in this area so long, naturally Dr. Strein has seen a lot of change. One of the most significant changes – in the accreditation of degree programs – began about two decades ago and is still accelerating. “The focus used to be on process-oriented assessment, looking at facilities, faculty, and students,” he explains. “Now, measurable outcomes are increasingly important: ratings by practicum supervisors, course grades, positions graduates take afterwards, length of time to degree, and attrition rates. This creates a sort of ‘consumer report.’ Grad students can obtain the same data on different programs and do comparison shopping…To some degree, we swing like a pendulum between global assessments and fine-grained ones. I suspect the pendulum will probably swing back a bit, but I don’t think we’ll ever see a return to accreditation as it once was. It’s a high-stakes issue: students want certification, licensure, and competitive jobs.” Dr. Strein’s long association with the College of Education and the University of Maryland has made him witness to many other changes, giving him a historical perspective on these institutions. “When I came here in 1981, there were nationally and internationally recognized scholars in the College of Education,” he recalls. “Across the board, we’ve attracted even higher-quality faculty and graduate students since then. Expectations for research have skyrocketed. Another big change is the increased diversity at the university. When I arrived, there were few students of color, few staff members of color, very few faculty of color. That’s changed dramatically. I think the university still has a ways to go with faculty, but now we look much more like the face of Maryland. I’m confident we’ll continue in that trajectory.” Dr. Strein’s service to the College of Education has exemplified commitment to students and colleagues. He received the College’s Leadership Award in 2004 and again in 2014. For his work with students, in 1988 Dr. Strein received an Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the honor society Phi Kappa Phi, and in 2014 he received the College’s Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award for work with faculty colleagues. Asked what he remembers most fondly from his career, Dr. Strein says, “That’s easy: the many students and wonderful faculty colleagues I’ve worked with. I’ve regarded it as a privilege to have a university position, particularly at Maryland. I will miss that.” Dr. William Strein is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education.



Cultural Issues in Psychology

In one of Dr. Miller’s intervention videos, a Korean American elder talks about seeking mental health counseling.


sychology is a Western construct, a Western institution,” Dr. Matthew Miller observes. “A lot of the major theories and bodies of empirical work represent a very narrow segment of the population – often middle and upper-middle class white men – and the therapy model in the United States is really about people in the middle class or above. Historically, psychologists haven’t been trained to be culturally nuanced.” This gap between theory and Counseling psychology reality is a major concern for Dr. professor Matt Miller Miller, an associate professor of counseling psychology in the devises a new strategy Department of Counseling, Higher for bringing psychological Education and Special Education, services to the Asian whose research seeks to address American senior community mental health disparities in Asian American populations. Psychological research strongly suggests that access to treatment and outcomes vary significantly by cultural and racial population. This is certainly true of Asian Americans, who are drastically underrepresented, for instance, in the large, nationally representative studies on what treatments are effective in reducing depression.

“In part,” Dr. Miller says, “this arises from the ‘model minority’ myth, which assumes that Asian Americans as a group are welladjusted, successful, thriving – that they’re the model all minorities should look to. In some ways that belief is systematic, so projects on mental health outcomes seldom include them as a population of interest.” In reality, elderly Asian Americans – one of the fastest-growing demographics in the U.S. – have higher levels of depressive symptoms than any other racial group. Due to stigmas about mental health endemic to their cultures, Asians are less likely to acknowledge their problems and seek treatment. According to a nationally representative study conducted in 2007, 8.6% of Asian American adults reported seeking mental health services, compared with 17.9% of the general population. According to the same study, even Asian American adults with a probable mental health disorder diagnosis trailed the general population by about 7 percentage points in utilizing mental health services. By the time they do seek professional help, Dr. Miller says, their stress has become overwhelming and they are typically dealing with more severe issues. This tends, in turn, to lead to poorer treatment outcomes.

FALL 2015


Dr. Miller’s work on the role of cultural and racial factors in mental health disparities has led him to devise culturally nuanced interventions. His current project, funded by an American Psychological Foundation pilot grant, aims to address the high rate of depression and the low rate of mental health services utilization in Asian American elders by bringing evidence-based content to senior centers Dr. Matthew Miller via video. This video series will feature testimony by community leaders and will present a variety of evidence-based depression treatment strategies. The project arose from a qualitative study on experiences and attitudes that Dr. Miller and his graduate research team conducted at a Korean senior care and social center in Columbia, Maryland.

Due to stigmas about mental health endemic to their cultures, Asians are less likely to acknowledge their problems and seek treatment. “We were struck by the reality that there’s a great need for mental health services,” he says. “Many of these people came to the United States when they were over fifty years old, so they’re not fluent in English, not even close. They’ve lost loved ones and children. They lack social support, and they’re often isolated and depressed.” Originally, Dr. Miller sought Korean-fluent mental health service providers for these seniors, without success. But even if he had found one, he points out, lack of transportation and money would have



presented an insurmountable obstacle to many of the seniors he was hoping to help. As he took stock of the scope of the problem – a national epidemic, if a mostly hidden one – he realized that the only feasible solution would be one that brought information to people in a format they would readily consume. “In Korea, dramas and soap operas are massively popular,” Dr. Miller says, reflecting on his decision to create video interventions. “If these seniors can’t or won’t see a therapist, perhaps they can be convinced to watch a video.” Even so, the problem of taboos remains: Asian cultures tend to frame psychological issues and emotional distress as signs of personal weakness or failure. Fortunately, Dr. Miller asserts, there is less stigma about physical health and balance. Therefore, his interventions seek to subvert prevalent stigmas by framing psychological issues in terms of overall health and balance. And the videos, featuring interviews with Korean elders talking about their experiences, will be “ecologically valid,” in Dr. Miller’s words – fitting within rather than disrupting the audience’s worldview. Dr. Miller’s long-term goal is to develop interventions for several Asian ethnic groups that address a variety of mental health issues, not just depression. He is collaborating with other fluent speakers to render the same content in Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Since about 75% of Korean Americans attend Korean churches, he is also seeking partnerships with these churches to help distribute the videos. “I’m trying to develop several ways – small to quite large – for these videos to be used,” Dr. Miller says. “I want it to be free – that’s important. It’s about access.” Dr. Matthew Miller is an associate professor of counseling psychology in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education. His research interests include Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander cultural experiences; vocational psychology with diverse populations; social justice engagement; and applied psychological measurement.

Noah Drezner, Dean Donna Wiseman, Travis York, Kimberly Griffin, and Oren Pizmony-Levy


Marylu McEwen and Susan R. Jones

Faculty of the College of Education were pleased to connect with Terps from across the country at the 2014 Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) conference in Washington, D.C. Faculty and current students presented research throughout the three-day event, and almost 100 alumni, faculty, and students gathered for the UMD-hosted reception.

Marvin Titus, Dean Donna Wiseman, and Roger L. Worthington

Chris Rasmussen and Tim Tormoen FALL 2015



Center for Young Children (CYC)

“Launches” New Playground The stars of the show arrive for the ribbon-cutting!

UMD professors and students help kids at the Center for Young Children bring their dreams to life


his spring, the Center for Young Children undertook a Launch UMD campaign to crowdsource funds for a new playground – with stunning success. The month-long campaign raised over $11,000, far surpassing its $7,000 goal. Inspired by the nonprofit Come Alive Outside, which encourages people to spend more time outdoors, Dr. Steven Cohan, a professor of the practice in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, approached CYC director Francine Favretto about a collaboration to reinvent the Center’s twenty-year-old playground. Dr. Favretto immediately saw the opportunity to get CYC students – 110 children, ages 3 to 6 – outdoors more often. The two enlisted the help of structural engineer Dr. Powell Draper, an assistant professor at the School of Architecture, and found UMD architecture and landscape management students enthusiastic about pitching in. Also vital to the project’s success were Andrew Altshuler, associate director of alumni relations for the College of Education, who managed the Launch campaign, and Rebecca Lower, director of the Language-Learning Early Advantage Preschool (LEAP) in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, who liaised between the campaign and CYC parents. The best part of the project: the kids at the CYC contributed their own ideas for the new playground. The children used markers to draw their visions for the site – including a rocket ship replete with



UMD Provost Mary Ann Rankin cuts the ribbon.

buttons, levers, and steering controls. Although they’re not getting the hoped-for rocket ship, the playground’s new features will include an outdoor stage, a raised vegetable garden with a bamboo teepee covered with pole beans and peas, a hillside slide shaded by a willow tree tunnel, and a weather station. A “Golden Gate Bridge” designed and built by UMD students opens onto the playground, and there’s still a lot of open space to run around and play soccer.

Founded as a laboratory school in 1948, the Center for Young Children provides a sound early childhood program grounded in the philosophy of John Dewey, who believed in the ability of children to learn from highquality firsthand experiences. The Center’s mission is threefold: educating preschool and kindergarten children, providing professional opportunities for both pre-service and veteran teachers, and conducting research on how children learn and develop. The hillside slide

Thank you to the many generous alumni and other members of the UMD community who helped make this project come alive!

“Golden Gate Bridge”

The vegetable garden

Francine Favretto and Steven Cohan

FALL 2015




HDQM researcher Natasha J. Cabrera explores the dynamics of families and child development


itting in her book-filled office on the third floor of the Benjamin Building, Professor Natasha J. Cabrera recounts one of the head-turning experiences that piqued her interest in the role fathers play in their children’s early development. She was interviewing an African American father on one of her many research ventures into a local low-income community, where she studies families and works on creating interventions for parents. “His son, a toddler of about a year and a half, was trying to climb over a low fence,” Dr. Cabrera recalls. “The boy tried and fell, tried and fell. He kept looking up at his dad, who stood there watching this for about ten or fifteen minutes. Finally the kid got over the fence, landed on his butt, and looked at his dad as if to say, ‘I did it!’ And the father said to his son, ‘See, I knew you could do it,’ then to me: ‘If his mama was here, she would’ve picked him up.’ And I realized that even I had felt compelled to pick him up. That was powerful for me: how he built his son’s confidence and pushed him to take a risk.” Such everyday moments are revelatory for Dr. Cabrera, a developmental scientist in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology and director of the Family Involvement Laboratory, housed at the university’s Maryland Population Research Center. Here, she studies the multiple dimensions of parenting: father-child and mother-child relationships, predictors of adaptive and maladaptive parenting, children’s social and emotional development in different types of families as well as cultural and ethnic groups, and mechanisms linking early experience to children’s later cognitive and social development and school readiness. Concerned with how both parents make unique contributions to their children’s development, much of her work has addressed a gap in knowledge about fathers. “When I went to school, ‘parents’ meant mothers, and fathers weren’t a part of parenting literature,” Dr. Cabrera says. “Most studies on parenting drew on one cultural group – white middle-class families – and these were mostly two-parent families. Sociology now tells us the normative view of families as ‘a mom and dad and a picket fence’ only represents a blip in time. Families are in fact much more diverse.” Most research about fathers’ roles in families in the 1980s and 1990s actually focused on their absence, because sociologists and demographers were seeking to understand the causes of the most troubling trends in child outcomes – teen pregnancy, crime, and high school dropout. But Dr. Cabrera was more curious about what fathers do when they are present in their families. As she observes

in a 2014 Journal of Family Theory & Review article that expanded her previous heuristic model of paternal behavior and influence, “In a rapidly changing world where the role of father is not tightly prescribed, we need a perspective that is not just a minor variation on the ‘maternal template’ that has historically helped guide research on parenting.” How do fathers, specifically, matter for children’s development? “Once, I was watching a video of a dad playing with his child at our lab,” Dr. Cabrera remembers. “Two of my fellow researchers were coding this father’s behavior. One of them said, ‘This dad is so intrusive and controlling,’ and the other replied, ‘No, he’s just being a dad. Look at the kid, he’s happy.’ Children may have different expectations of their fathers, of the play and engagement they receive from their fathers. Roughhousing, for instance, is more common with dads than with moms, and that quality of play creates contexts for kids to learn self-regulation. Fathers push their children to a limit and then bring them back, they encourage more risk-taking behaviors, and that’s important. We also found, in the studies we did with Dr. Meredith Rowe [now at the Harvard Graduate School of Education], that fathers talk differently with their kids, encouraging a different relationship with language skills.”

“Sociology now tells us the normative view of families as ‘a mom and dad and a picket fence’ only represents a blip in time. Families are in fact much more diverse.” In addition to learning about fatherhood, Dr. Cabrera specializes in low-income families, looking at poverty as a context for how children develop. One of her recent articles, penned for the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, found that the benefits of new employment – more money and less stress for working moms – eventually outweigh family disruption as less-regulated children settle into new routines. The study also emphasizes the importance of fathers to less-regulated children during transitions, such as entering school with its more rigid rules. In a Family Science paper, Dr. Cabrera asks whether low-income parents’ symptoms of depression, the conflict they experience as a couple, and the environmental chaos experienced by the family forecast the quality of parenting. Significantly, this study parses its findings both by the gender of parents and the gender of the child, revealing how low-income mothers’ and fathers’ parenting differs for sons and daughters. Among other eye-raising conclusions, the research suggests that, when they are in conflict with the mother, FALL 2015


fathers are less supportive of their daughters, and that girls may be at greater risk than boys when mothers are depressed. The latter trend is particularly striking, given the prevalence of depression among low-income mothers. On the other hand, boys with depressed fathers encounter more support from their mothers, in what is theorized to be a compensatory mechanism. Noise and disorder in the home seems to correlate to more negative parenting of sons than daughters by both parents. In sum, these findings argue that parenting interventions must account for the specificities in how mothers and fathers interact with sons and daughters – one-size-fitsall programs are unlikely to be effective. But perhaps just as notably, Dr. Cabrera asserts, a parent’s behavior seems to reflect not only his or her internal state but also the emotional state of his or her partner, as well as structural and physical features of the household in which these relationships unfold. Family processes are important, but the quality of the home environment is central to promoting positive parenting and positive outcomes in children. This distinction about processes and environments may be reason for policymakers and legislators to consider deeply the far-reaching effects of economics on the wellbeing of children. Another of Dr. Cabrera’s areas of expertise is minority families: she has done extensive work with Latino families, for example with the non-profit organization Child Trends, based in Washington, D.C. Latinos are the largest and one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the U.S., where one in four children is now Latino and roughly one-third of these children live in poverty. But along with rapid population growth, Latino communities are also experiencing increased immigration enforcement resulting in the breakup of families and some of the most severe economic consequences of the Great Recession. However, Dr. Cabrera claims, there are reasons to be very hopeful for Latinos and other minority populations. One consequence of prolonged attention to adversities faced by minorities has been a failure to take stock of the strengths and assets they possess for the rearing of children. These strengths are the centerpiece of “Positive Development of Minority Children,” a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) report that Dr. Cabrera wrote in 2013. This report reveals that minority children possess advantages in three domains of development: social competence, language, and ethnic identity. Many low-income minority children exceed their peers in selfregulation, the ability to manage behavior, emotions, and attention which strongly influences social skills and academic success. With its emphases on orientation and obligation, discipline, and cultural socialization, minority family life is strongly cohesive, and this in turn encourages children to self-regulate and to avoid antisocial behavior and deviance. Teaching children about the family’s culture and fostering identification with its values, beliefs, and rituals fosters higher self-esteem, a greater sense of belonging, and a more positive outlook that helps protects them from discrimination and prejudice. In later childhood and adolescence, the formation of a strong ethnic identity promotes positive peer and family relationships.



The SRCD report also notes gaps in existing research on low-income and minority families. More research is needed on the cultural aspects of Asian American and Native American family life, as well as on adaptation in middle-class minority and poor white families. Research also needs to be more thoroughly translated into classroom practices. For instance, data showing the cognitive advantages of bilingualism have not impacted American classrooms, where there have actually been declines in the number of bilingual programs offered to students in recent years. And, Dr. Cabrera argues, future research needs to take a balanced approach, since intervention science based only on findings of adversity and maladjustment can perpetuate deficit-oriented perspectives or harmful stereotypes. This research on the strengths of minority families was so well received that it prompted Dr. Cabrera’s latest editorial venture, the Handbook of Positive Development of Minority Children, soon to be published by Springer in the Netherlands. Other contributors from the College of Education include Dr. Allan Wigfield and Dr. Melanie Killen. Another new and exciting project for Dr. Cabrera is the collaboration she is undertaking with principal investigator Stephanie Reich and Greg Duncan of the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), this study will be one of the first to test the effects of a parenting intervention targeting both parents of low-income children. The intervention embeds educational information into baby books in order to educate mothers and fathers about typical child development and optimal parenting. Dr. Cabrera hopes this project will open the door for more two-parent interventions. “The books contain anticipatory guidance messages for parents about being sensitive and responsive to their child’s needs, the benefits of reading and talking a lot with children, and the importance of building co-parenting relationships,” she explains. “This can have a strong effect on parent-child interactions, specifically on reducing harsh parenting, promoting positive disciplinary techniques, fostering parents’ engagement, and significantly improving language skills. All of this is particularly important for low-income, at-risk children.” Dr. Natasha Cabrera is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Before joining the University of Maryland, she was an Executive Branch Fellow and Expert in Child Development with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), where she led an initiative to compare father involvement across major studies in order to standardize research measures. Dr. Cabrera is the coeditor of Latina and Latino Children’s Mental Health (Praeger, 2011) and the Handbook of Father Involvement (2nd edition, Routledge, 2013), a showcase of interdisciplinary perspectives on fatherhood, along with policy and program implications. She earned her Ph.D. in educational and developmental psychology from the University of Denver.


A Profound Gift for Early Childhood Education

Ali, Nancy, and Chuck Clarvit


he College of Education extends its gratitude to the Clarvit family for their recent gift, a leadership investment in a new Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention, to be undertaken in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Because of the great need for research, resources, and training in this area, the creation of a center for fostering children’s social, moral, and cognitive development is an urgent priority for the region and the nation. The growth of the Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education (EC/ECSE) program – an interdisciplinary venture of the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology and the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education – has positioned the College of Education excellently to meet these needs. The Clarvits have donated seed funding to the enterprise, allowing the College to direct resources towards the Center’s development, demonstrate our commitment to the EC/ECSE program, and support faculty’s efforts to forge a rich collaboration with MSDE. The new Center envisioned by the College will be devoted to high-quality research on early childhood and special education as well as early intervention programs and strategies. The Center will aim to inform state and federal policy, translate research into scalable

education programs and evidence-based best practices, build capacity in schools and communities, and promote families’ engagement in their children’s education. Taking advantage of the vast K-12 database, the Maryland Longitudinal Data System, the Center’s faculty will provide professional development through leadership and curricular programs, an annual research symposium, and summer institutes for educators, and will also collaborate with early childhood advisory councils, school systems, and community organizations to improve children’s academic outcomes. With the rollout of universal prekindergarten and early intervention in Maryland, the Center will take on a special relevance to the state’s education system, and the total scope of potential influence is far-reaching. The Center’s activities will have direct impacts on schools and communities surrounding the University of Maryland and throughout the state, including ensuring Maryland schools’ competitiveness for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge and Preschool Development grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The Center will help the College attract the most outstanding students and best-in-class faculty, placing us at the forefront of research in the field, and its relationship with the EC/ ECSE program will afford our students the best possible access to facilities and mentorship, as well as the best opportunities for research, ensuring that they become exceptionally trained to serve in schools and communities. And not least, the Center will tap into the College of Education’s potential for leadership – for making national impacts in a critical, burgeoning arena of education.

…the creation of a center for fostering children’s social, moral, and cognitive development is an urgent priority for the region and the nation. Chuck and Nancy Clarvit have a longstanding relationship with the University of Maryland. Nancy studied advertising and design in the College of Arts and Humanities, graduating in 1978. Their daughter, Ali Clarvit, matriculated in the College of Education, earning her M.Ed. in special education, and spoke at our commencement ceremony last year. With this generous gift, the Clarvits have demonstrated an affinity for the College’s vision. We thank them for helping us make the Center for Early Childhood Education and Intervention a reality for the College of Education, the University, and the state of Maryland.

FALL 2015



Billy Shulman’s students using Kahoot!

Unearthing Powerful Tools for Instruction and Assessment by Helene Kalson Cohen




f you walk into Billy Shulman’s tenth grade social studies classroom, you might be surprised by what you see. The overhead room lights are turned off, and strategically placed accent lights, accompanied by background music, create a non-traditional ambiance. The students are focusing on a screen where an interactive website is projected. You might think that these students are taking a break from substantive learning or that their teacher has caved to the temptation of “edutainment” – using entertaining video games unrelated to the course content to bribe students into cooperation. But in fact, Shulman is using a virtual game-based pedagogic tool called Kahoot! to check for student understanding and misconceptions following a recent lesson. And you can see that the tool is working: the students are engaged and excited, competing to enter correct answers on their personal iPads. Kahoot! can determine where students are excelling or struggling without guessing or wasting time. The activity is pitched as a game rather than a quiz. Students appreciate receiving immediate feedback after each question. Teachers appreciate how the program organizes data, allowing them to track individual student learning and give oneon-one or group feedback in real time. Shulman is a veteran teacher, currently in his tenth year at Northwestern High School, a 70% FARM (free and reduced meal) school, where his responsibilities range from inspiring English Language Learners to helping AP Government and Politics students beat the national average on the AP exam. He was a student teacher at Northwestern during his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland. Now, he is a mentor teacher to Lee Torres, an intern in the College of Education’s Master’s Certification (MCERT) program. According to Torres, this experience has been invaluable, revealing the potential of educational technology in the hands of a master teacher. If you’re curious about how teachers can leverage technology to change their teaching, visit Shulman’s blog, http:// technologytips4teachers.blogspot.com, where he describes various free tools and online resources as he discovers and experiments with them. BrainRush, for instance, allows users to create, share, and play customized learning games that automatically adapt to students’ skill levels. Two-minute videos that explain tough topics are just one feature of Vox, a powerful “explanatory journalism” platform that brings depth to current events. Newsela provides multiple versions of the same news article at five different reading levels. Rubistar helps teachers create quality rubrics for project-based learning activities, such as presentations and debates, while Quizlet lets teachers and students easily create and share sets of flash cards for individual study or interactive games. While there is much to be gained from adopting technology in teaching, Shulman acknowledges that there are also challenges. The school needs a strong Wi-Fi infrastructure for all the students in a classroom to work on iPads at the same time. Also, Shulman’s students

A screen capture from Billy Shulman’s educational technology blog.

cannot take these devices out of the classroom, and not everyone has the same access to technology at home. He laments the fact that for most schools it’s not yet possible to set up a truly “flipped” classroom, where students listen to pre-recorded lectures at home in order to make more time for discussion, debate, collaboration, and getting help from teachers in class. So, what about other teachers? Is everyone as enthusiastic about technology as Billy Shulman? Many are trying out new tech tools, but others get “scared” when they are forced to use technology without sufficient training, which is lacking in most school systems. Still, Shulman is convinced that his peers understand the importance of technology for transforming their teaching and learning. “That’s why I started my small blog years ago,” he says. “To show other educators practical tools that could make their lives easier and make learning more fun.” Billy Shulman is a social studies teacher at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland. At the University of Maryland, he doublemajored in Secondary Social Studies Education and in Government and Politics, graduating in 2005. Dr. Helene Kalson Cohen is a senior lecturer and technology integration specialist at the College of Education. Her teaching and research focuses on evolving potentials and implications of educational technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

FALL 2015



he Center for Latent Variable Research’s (CILVR) conference, “Advances in Multilevel Modeling for Educational Research,” held in November 2014, was a resounding success, bringing together statistical researchers from across the nation and around the globe. Keynote speaker Dr. Sophia Organized by Measurement, Statistics, Rabe-Hesketh and Evaluation (EDMS) faculty members Dr. Laura Stapleton and Dr. Jeff Harring with Dr. Natasha Beretvas of the University of Texas at Austin, the conference was sponsored by Optimal Solutions Group LLC, an economic and policy analysis research and consulting firm based in College Park, the Society of Multivariate Dr. Laura Stapleton Experimental Psychology (SMEP), and Pearson Research. Multilevel modeling has become increasingly popular among educational practitioners and researchers as a way to account for nested sampling designs that often accompany data collection in classrooms, schools, and districts. Dr. Jeff Harring However, the practical realities of educational environments, the instability of attributes being measured, and the vagaries of the learners themselves sometimes obscure the visibility of nested data structures – groups of students in classrooms, for example. While researchers have successfully used the basic multilevel model for some time and sophistications have emerged in recent years, the field must progress in order to keep up with the many complex analytic conditions encountered in practice, such as attrition, changing cluster membership, partial clustering, and lack of invariance across clusters. The 2014 conference sought to sustain this progress by building on CILVR’s success with previous conferences – on mixture modeling in 2006 and longitudinal modeling in 2010 – by inviting renowned methodologists to present state-of-the-art multilevel analytic methods for improving educational effectiveness. Attendees arrived from



universities throughout the United States, as well as Canada and Europe. The keynote speaker, Professor Sophia Rabe-Hesketh of the University of California, Berkeley, lectured on methods for avoiding omitted-variable bias. Other topics ranged from handling measurement error to aspects of modeling particular to longitudinal studies, including the potential effects of kindergarten teachers on long-term outcomes. Panelists from the University of Maryland included Drs. Stapleton and Harring, Drs. Ji Seung Yang, Hong Jiao, and Tracy Sweet, and current EDMS doctoral students Qiwen Zheng and Daniel Lee, as well as Dr. Chao Xie, a program graduate who is now a psychometrician at American Institutes for Research. Dr. Joop Hox traveled all the way from the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, to talk about issues with incomplete multilevel data sets. Pearson and SMEP awarded travel grants to thirteen students from as far away as the University of British Columbia and the University of Oxford for their poster presentations. “I was honored to attend and participate in the Multilevel Modeling Conference, and learn from such talented graduate students and senior scholars. Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network is focused on finding solutions to the thorniest problems in educational policy and practice, and this conference provided many new avenues for applying cutting-edge methodologies to reach those solutions.” Matthew N. Gaertner, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist, Pearson

The University of Maryland was ideally situated, geographically, for this gathering, attended by over 130 academics in all. For the first time, CILVR made the conference proceedings available via live streaming. Participants in Australia, South America, and China watched live presentations, which were also archived for later viewing. By all accounts, this adventure in technology was very well received. And the day before the conference officially convened, CILVR sponsored a one-day workshop in cross-classified multilevel models, taught by Dr. Beretvas. As with previous conferences, each of the thirteen featured speakers will contribute a chapter to a new volume in the CILVR Series on Latent Variable Methodology, edited by EDMS faculty and published by Information Age.


Remembering WONDERFUL MENTORS DR. YOU-YUH KUO received his Ph.D. in Human Development from the College of Education in 1967. He went on to teach in the Department of Psychology at Bloomsburg State University and spent 27 years on the educational psychology faculty at Ball State University. But he never forgot his experiences at the University of Maryland, nor the faculty with whom he studied and worked. In their honor, he has now established the Dr. John Kurtz and Dr. Richard Matteson Professional Travel Fund. With his gift, Dr. Kuo honors Drs. Kurtz and Matteson in memory of their generosity and mentorship during his studies as an international student at the Institute for Child Study.

Dr. John Kurtz

Dr. Kuo’s dissertation on the creative thinking of delinquents and non-delinquents, directed by Dr. Kurtz, was published in the Journal of Creative Behavior, launching a lifelong academic career. Dr. Kuo’s book, Psychology of Creativity, first published in 1973, became a classic in the field and is still widely circulated in China.

Dr. Richard Matteson

The Dr. John Kurtz and Dr. Richard Matteson Professional Travel Fund will support work-related travel for faculty and doctoral students in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology.

FALL 2015




Faculty at the College of Education have received many fine awards and grants lately… Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education

Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology

Michelle Espino was awarded the Hispanic Research Issues Special Interest Group (SIG) Early Career Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association.

Natasha Cabrera has been appointed by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine to the Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children.

Ellen Fabian and Debra Neubert received a $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research for the creation of a national resource center for improving vocational rehabilitation outcomes for youths and young adults with disabilities.

Kevin Dunbar received the Faculty of Education Visiting Scholar Award from the University of Hong Kong.

Dennis Kivlighan visited Italy on a Fulbright scholarship during spring 2015 to conduct a study on group influence in counseling groups. This year, Dr. Kivlighan was elected president of the American Psychological Association’s Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy and appointed to an associate editorship at the Journal of Counseling Psychology.

Nathan Fox, chair of HDQM, was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Fox also received the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Greg Hancock has been elected to membership in the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP) and was elected a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS).

Steven Klees joined the affiliate faculty of the Department of Women’s Studies in the College of Arts & Humanities.

Melanie Killen received the Semester Research and Scholarship Award from the University of Maryland Graduate School for her research on resource allocation in childhood.

Robert Lent received the Leona Tyler Award for Lifetime Achievement in Counseling Psychology from the Society of Counseling Psychology (APA Division 17).

Ken Rubin was the recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Cultural and Contextual Factors in Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).

Marylu McEwen was honored by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) with the creation of a new award in her name, the Marylu McEwen Dissertation of the Year Award.

Judith Torney-Purta was elected to the National Academy of Education and also received the Jean Dresden Grambs Distinguished Career in Research Award.

Matthew Miller received a Division 17 Counseling Psychology Grant from the American Psychological Foundation for his work focusing on mental health video interventions for Asian American elders. (See the Fearless Ideas story on page 13.)

Allan Wigfield was appointed a University Honors Faculty Fellow. This is a three-year appointment in the University of Maryland Honors College.

Julie Park received an Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Rebecca Silverman, Kelli Cummings, Susan De La Paz, Ana Taboada Barber, and Jade Wexler received a $1.25 million doctoral training grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education to prepare language and literacy experts to support high-needs students with learning disabilities. With Jeffrey Harring of HDQM, Dr. Silverman also joins a $1.5 million project for developing an intervention for English Language Learners, funded by the Institute for Education Sciences. Additionally, Dr. Wexler garnered a $1.5 million grant for Project CALI, which will develop a middle school co-teaching framework for integrating databased literacy support for students who are struggling with reading and comprehending expository text in content-area classes.



Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership Peter Afflerbach has been appointed as a member to a committee sponsored by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, titled Evaluation of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Achievement Levels in Reading and Math. June Ahn and Tamara Clegg received a $1.35 million Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies grant from the National Science Foundation for the program “ScienceKit for ScienceEverywhere: A Seamless Scientizing Ecosystem for Raising ScientificallyMinded Children.” Dr. Clegg also received a $550,000 grant for her program “BodyVis: Advancing New Science Learning and Inquiry Experiences via Custom Designed Wearable On-Body Sensing and Visualization.”

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Diane Jass Ketelhut’s co-authored paper, “Basketball Trouble: A Game-Based Assessment of Science Inquiry and Content Knowledge,” was the featured presentation at the Association of Educational Communications and Technology’s international conference. Jeff MacSwan has been appointed a member of the Committee on Fostering School Success for English Learners, sponsored by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. He was also named an AERA Fellow by the American Education Research Association. Randy McGinnis was awarded a fellowship with the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center at the University of Maryland. Dr. McGinnis’ fellowship will support development and study of a blended learning innovation in his elementary science methods courses.



AMONG THE NATION’S GRADUATE SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION Source: U.S. News & World Report, “2016 Best Graduate Schools.” (U.S. News & World Report did not rank any elementary education programs this year. Last year, the College of Education’s Elementary Education program ranked at #16 nationwide.)

















Congratulations Graduates!

In May, 363 students graduated from the College of Education.

Congratulations to the Class of 2015! The College is happy to become a part of your résumé as you seek to become an educator, a counselor, a psychologist, an administrator, a researcher, or a policymaker—or whatever path you choose. Because of your drive and determination, the College is consistently ranked as a top college of education. We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!


Join the University of Maryland’s Alumni Association, and a portion of your membership will support an undergraduate or graduate scholarship in the College of Education! In addition, you will enjoy exclusive product discounts and social events on campus and through our 60+ alumni clubs and chapters. That means tailgate parties, networking happy hours, golf outings, wine tastings, and more — all with devoted Terps like you! Please go to ter.ps/AACOE to sign up today! For more information please contact Andrew Altshuler at aaltshul@umd.edu or call (301) 405-5607.








Held every fall, the “Jump Start Your Job Search” student dinner is an opportunity for students to share an evening with current and past professionals in the field of education. Mrs. Carole C. Goodman (BA ‘73, MA ‘78), retired Associate Superintendent for Human Resources and Development at Montgomery County Public Schools, talked to students about how they should be preparing for their upcoming interviews and what it’s like to have a career as an educator. Other alumni in attendance practiced interview questions and shared their experiences with students during the roundtable portion of the evening. One student said of the experience, “I am so glad I came! The interview practice was extremely helpful and I feel much more prepared for interviewing than I did before the dinner. This experience was invaluable and I would love to be in attendance again next year!” If you are interested in taking part in the “Jump Start Your Job Search” student dinner, please contact Andrew Altshuler at (301) 405-5607 for more information.

FALL 2015




Keep in touch! Submit your classnotes via email to endeavors@umd.edu or on the College of Education’s website: http://ter.ps/COEKIT


In 2014, emeritus professor of human development Dr. Jacob D. Goering (Ph.D. ’59) received the 2014 Faye McCoy Positive Aging Award from LeadingAge Kansas, a statewide association of not-for-profit providers of services to senior citizens. Well into his tenth decade, Dr. Goering lives at Kidron Bethel Village, a retirement community in North Newton, Kansas. Thomas R. Shipley, Ed.D. (B.S. ’56) has published The Revitalization of the American Classroom, described as “an inexpensive, briefly stated, common sense approach that will breathe new life and vitality into the traditional American classroom.” Dr. Shipley previously served as Acting Assistant Superintendent of Schools and as Director of Management Information Systems at the Maryland State Department of Education, and he was executive director of the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools. He began his educational career in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, where he headed the Glen Burnie High music program for a decade.


Dr. Thomas Healy (Ph.D. ’72), who has

had a prolific thirty-five year career in higher education, was named to the Wall of Honor in his hometown of Kingsland, MN, in 2014. Healy received the University of Maryland’s Outstanding Leader in Education alumni award in 2005. Barbara Lockhart (B.S. ’72) won a silver medal in the 2014 Independent Publishers Book Awards for her historical novel, Elizabeth’s Field, which tells the story of free African Americans living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore before the Civil War. The novel explores the relationships between African Americans, both free and enslaved,



their White protectors and sympathizers, and those who were intent on preserving the status quo. The novel attests powerfully to the pre-Civil War turmoil in Maryland.


Dr. Margaret Bartow (Ed.D. ’89) is the new provost of Delaware County Community College. She brings to this role extensive and various experiences in academia – as a chief academic officer, as a professor and department chair, as a member of the Maryland State Board of Community Colleges, and as director of institutional planning for the University of Maryland University College. Dr. Bert L’Homme (Ph.D. ’89) is the new superintendent of Durham Public Schools in North Carolina. The swearing-in ceremony took place in July on the steps of J.D. Clement Early College High School, which Dr. L’Homme was instrumental in founding as the district’s assistant superintendent for instructional services.


Dr. Jan Arminio (Ph.D. ’94), professor and director of the Higher Education program at George Mason University, has been named Associate Editor for the Research-inBrief/On Campus section of the Journal of College Student Development. Dr. Arminio’s newest co-written book is Student Veterans and Service Members in Higher Education (Routledge, 2015). Dr. Susan R. Jones (Ph.D. ’95), professor of higher education and student affairs administration at The Ohio State University, was honored with a Contribution to Knowledge Award by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) at the annual convention in Tampa.

Michael Martirano (B.S. ’81; M.Ed. ’92) is West Virginia’s 30th state superintendent of schools. In his new role, Martirano will oversee a public school system of around 282,000 students and serve as the state board’s policy advisor and executive officer. An educator for over 30 years, Martirano previously taught at Johns Hopkins University and served as superintendent of St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Dr. Deborah Taub (M.A. ’89; Ph.D. ’93) is the recipient of this year’s Thomas Magoon Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education. Given in honor of the professor emeritus and longtime director of the University of Maryland Counseling Center, this award recognizes CHSE graduates working in the field of higher education who exemplify Dr. Magoon’s spirit of scholarship and practice. Edwina Smith (M.Ed. ’97) is principal of Dexter Elementary School, at Fort Benning, in the Georgia/Alabama district of the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools.


Dr. Julie Wojslawowicz Bowker (Ph.D. ’05) has co-edited a new book, The Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), a reference work comprehensively compiling current psychological research on the construct of solitude. An associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, Dr. Bowker and her husband Matthew, also a doctoral graduate of Maryland, recently welcomed into the world their daughter, Zoe Catherine.


María Belén Camacho (M.Ed. ’06) received the 2014 ALAS-IDB Best Educator Award for her work with special-needs children at a May 2014 ceremony at the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. The ALAS-IDB Awards recognize work in the field of early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Christine Yip Cruzvergara (M.A. ’07) is the recipient of an ACPA Commission for Career Services Innovation Award. Paula Peró (B.A. ’00), the World Languages Department Resource Teacher at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, MD, was named Educator of the Year by the Montgomery County Executive Hispanic Gala, a volunteer-run event dedicated to assisting Hispanic youth achieve a high level of education. A teacher at Einstein for 14 years, Peró is also a sponsor for the Titanes Salseros, a competitive Latin dance team, and co-organizer of the MCPS Latin Dance Competition. Dr. Christopher Garran (Ph.D. ’04) was named the head of Cape Henry Collegiate School, an independent college-prep school serving nearly 850 students, pre-K through 12th grade. Dr. Garran’s most recent post was associate superintendent of high schools for Montgomery County Public Schools. Dr. Louis Nagel (Ph.D. ’09) received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jewish Educators Assembly (JEA), an international organization for Conservative movement education administrators. Dr. Nagel currently serves the organization as a Vice President and Chair of JEA’s Professional Development Committee.


Dr. Justin van Fleet (Ph.D. ’11) was the speaker for Potomac State College of West Virginia University’s 112th commencement in 2015. He is currently chief of staff for Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and the former prime minister of the United Kingdom. Dr. van Fleet works with global partners to ensure a place in school for the 58 million children worldwide denied the right to education and supports the “Up For School” campaign, which aims to be the largest petition in history advocating for world leaders to deliver on the promise of the right to education. Dr. Mark Brimhall-Vargas (Ph.D. ’11) was appointed Chief Diversity Officer at Tufts University. Dr. Brimhall-Vargas previously served as Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Maryland and worked for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion since 1997. In addition to his doctorate from the University of Maryland, he also holds a master’s degree from Harvard University, an undergraduate degree from Pomona College, and has been devoted to issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice throughout his entire career. Jacob Goldberg (B.A. ’12) and Kevin Burke (B.A. ’09; M.Ed. ’15), now teachers at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, have been accepted into the Hollyhock Fellowship Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. Erin Magee (B.S. ‘13) is the in-game host for the Washington Capitals and the Washington Kastles. She teaches fifth grade in the Montgomery County Public Schools.

FALL 2015



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