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Bridge V i r g i n i a

C o m m o n w e a l t h

The magazine of the VCU School of Education

U n i v e r s i t y

Spring 2011

Alumnus and

2011 Virginia Teacher of the Year LaTonya E. Waller

In this issue: Improving Autism Services • Advancing Dyslexia Research • America’s “Top Health Teacher”

the

From the Interim Dean

Bridge

Vol. 6, No. 1 • Spring 2011 E dit o r

Michael D. Frontiero

Dean’s message What an exciting time for the VCU School of Education! The VCU men’s basketball team ignited a community spirit that united our alumni and friends around the world as the Rams journeyed to the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. As a result, more people are recognizing the amazing work we do.

(804) 827-2415, mdfronti@vcu.edu A rt D ire c to r

Delano Design, Holly S. Delano (B.A. ’88) holly@hollydelanodesign.com P h oto g raph y

Michael Frontiero and Tom Kojcsich, VCU Creative Services OFFICE OF THE DEAN

Michael D. Davis, interim dean

One of our alumni, LaTonya Waller, was named the 2011 Virginia Teacher of the Year, and we are proud to highlight her outstanding accomplishments in this issue of The Bridge. Waller has received many invitations to speak to education audiences across the state and she is spreading the word about the quality education she received at VCU.

Diane J. Simon, associate dean for student affairs Henry T. Clark III, senior associate dean for academic affairs Edwin E. Blanks, special assistant to the dean and director of business services

Special education research received a huge boost with the formal investiture of Dr. Paul Gerber as the Ruth Harris Professor of Dyslexia Studies, the first funded professorship in our history. And our Rehabilitation Research and Training Center was awarded a $2.7 million grant to provide more employment opportunities for people with autism. Together, these initiatives will help thousands of people who are traditionally underserved. Thousands more will benefit from a $5.1 million grant awarded to Dr. Jacqueline McDonnough to address a critical shortage of certified science teachers and increase professional development opportunities. As we celebrate the past and present, we are building for the future with new faculty searches and renovations to Oliver Hall. We are recruiting for 16 positions, including five that are new and one that is an interdisciplinary appointment between the School of Education and the School of Engineering. Improvements to our science, math and social studies education classroom are helping prepare the next generation of science teachers, and a generous gift from the late Dr. Waverly Cole resulted in a stunning makeover of the room where doctoral students defend their dissertations.

Magnus H. Johnsson, executive director of external relations and development A LU M N I CO U N C I L

OFFICERS: Dale Kalkofen (M.A.E. ’76), president; Michael Huffman (M.S. ’02), vice president; Susan Younce (M.S. ’91), treasurer; Mary Bellone (B.S. ’75), secretary; Thomas Beatty (B.A. ’93), officer at large MEMBERS: Mary Allen (B.S. ’80), Bob Almond (M.Ed. ’85), Donna Dalton (M.Ed. ’00), Stephanie L. Holt (B.S. ’74), Deborah Marks (M.Ed. ’83, Ph.D. ’02), Ronald C. Payne (B.S. ’79), Carmen Y. Ward (M.Ed. ’01) EX-OFFICIO: Michael D. Davis, Magnus H. Johnsson VCU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION REP: Gordon A. McDougall A DVA N C E M E N T CO U N C I L

And U.S. News & World Report continues to rank us among the top 30 graduate schools of education in the nation. Data for the rankings came from more than 1,400 colleges and universities. Among public education schools, we ranked fourth in funding of faculty members, fifth in graduate enrollment, 14th in overall grant funding and 29th overall! These are just a few of the many accomplishments that are putting the VCU School of Education on the map. You have reason to be proud when you hear “Go Rams!” I wish you a safe, happy and productive summer.

MEMBERS: Robert E. Marchant (M.Ed. ’71), chair; Jo Lynne DeMary (M.Ed. ’72); Mark E. Emblidge; Barbara-lyn B. Morris; Stewart D. Roberson; Walter S. Robertson, III EX-OFFICIO: Michael D. Davis, Magnus H. Johnsson The Bridge is published biannually for the alumni, friends and supporters of the VCU School of Education. Please send story ideas, comments and corrections to the editor at VCU School of Education, Oliver Hall, P.O. Box 842020, Richmond, Va., 23284-2020.

Michael D. Davis Interim Dean, VCU School of Education

VCU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university.

Bridge Spring 2011

V i r g i n i a

C o m m o n w e a l t h

U n i v e r s i t y

CONTENTS 2. Improving Autism Services for Children and Adults Our Rehabilitation Research and Training Center will use a $2.7 million grant to improve services to Virginia’s growing and diverse population of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and ensure each receives a quality education and opportunity for employment.

12. New Ed.D. Class for School Leaders Prepares to Celebrate The first class of students enrolled in our newest degree program will graduate this spring with a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and valuable school leadership skills.

16. Cover Story: Alumnus and 2011 Virginia Teacher of the Year LaTonya E. Waller In 10 years, LaTonya E. Waller went from VCU graduate to Virginia’s top teacher. She credits her VCU pedagogy and methodology classes for preparing her for the classroom.

20. Advancing Dyslexia Research A special ceremony marked the investiture of Dr. Paul Gerber as the Ruth Harris Professor of Dyslexia Studies and a new focus on improving the quality of life for children, adolescents and adults with dyslexia.

2. 22. M.T. Students Participate in National Science Festival Members of the VCU Chapter of the National Science Teachers Association conducted science demonstrations for children at a festival that attracted more than 100,000 people.

26. America’s “Top Health Teacher” Misti Wajciechowski (B.S. ‘94/M.Ed. ‘10) was honored by the American Association for Health Education for enhancing health and physical education in Chesterfield County Public Schools.

32. New Hearing Room Honors Distinguished Benefactor The life of Dr. Waverly M. Cole was celebrated at the dedication ceremony held to unveil the amazing makeover of the room where our doctoral students defend their dissertations.

14. DEPARTMENTS 02. Research 12. Faculty News 22. Student News 26. Alumni News 32. Philanthropy •

The VCU School of Education prepares students for meaningful careers in education and health-related fields, and promotes research that advances understanding of local, national and global challenges. To learn more, visit www.soe.vcu.edu. On the cover: VCU School of Education alumnus

This publication is available in alternate formats upon request. Contact the editor

and 2011 Virginia Teacher of the Year LaTonya E.

at (804) 827-2415 for more information.

School in Richmond.

Waller with her students at Lucille Brown Middle

Research

The grant’s primary coordinators are Paul H. Wehman, Ph.D., principal investigator, director of the VCU-ACE and director of the RRTC; John J. Kregel, Ed.D., co-principal investigator; Carol M. Schall, Ph.D., director of technical assistance; and Dawn R. Hendricks, Ph.D., director of training. “The VCU Autism Center for Excellence will bring together experts throughout the university and Virginia to provide leadership on training, technical assistance and evidence-based research for individuals with autism, their families and the professionals who serve them,” Dr. Wehman said.

Director of Training Dawn R. Hendricks (left) and Training Coordinator Susan M. Palko (second from right) work with children with autism at Maymont Elementary School in Richmond, Va.

Grant to Improve Autism Services for Children and Adults The VCU School of Education’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) has received a grant to improve services to the growing and diverse population of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Virginia and ensure each receives a quality education and opportunity for employment. The two-year, $2.7 million grant from the Virginia Department of Education created the VCU Autism Center of Excellence (VCU-ACE). Its mission is to build statewide capacity to improve outcomes of individuals with ASD by improving the knowledge, skills and understanding of families, educators and professionals who support someone with a spectrum disorder. “I am excited to be partnering with VCU in this important initiative,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright (M.Ed. ’84). “The work of the center is to provide tools to help schools prepare students with autism to learn, live and work independently in communities of their choice. Together VDOE and VCU are laying a foundation for significant improvements in the outcomes of students with autism.”

The VCU-ACE will accomplish its mission through four activities: research, technical assistance, training and collaboration. R esear c h

VCU-ACE is engaging in research to identify evidencebased practices for individuals with ASD across the age range and spectrum. The center is currently engaged in four funded research projects from the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation Research regarding autism and the transition from school to work and postsecondary education. T e c hni c al

A ssistan c e

Technical assistance will focus on long-term systems change that will result in improvements in services for students with ASD in school divisions across the state. Past efforts in Virginia have been either classroom- or student-specific. While individual classroom teachers and Individualized Education Program Staff may have increased their skills, improvement in services has not spread to other classrooms, programs or school divisions. Consequently, VCU has designed intervention to invoke systems change at school division, regional and state levels. • School Division Technical Assistance will be provided to selected school divisions and will involve top-level directors, administrators and teachers to improve their understanding of the implementation of evidence-based practices for students with ASD across the age range. During the first year, VCU-ACE will select four to eight school divisions that are the best fit for a long-term commitment to systems change. • Regional Technical Assistance will be completed through the development and facilitation of Communities of Practice designed to foster skill development, problem solving, information and

2 The Bridge • Spring 2011

resource acquisition, and skill integration through both collaborative and self-directed learning activities. This level of technical assistance will involve master teachers, special education specialists and autism specialists. • Statewide Technical Assistance will focus on individual questions and concerns that may arise from other school divisions seeking information related to evidence-based practice for individuals with ASD. VCU-ACE will field and respond to questions from individual school divisions through the development of a rich collection of training activities and resources. T rainin g

• A comprehensive statewide program of training activities will be provided for educators, paraeducators, professionals and family members. Training is provided on topics related to ASD and evidence-based practices including applied behavior analysis. Training activities will include college course work to be taken for credit as well as a host of online training activities. • College course work will be provided at institutes of higher education throughout the state. A State Autism Consortium in Professional Development will provide guidance on this measure to ensure course work is available and accessible to all relevant stakeholders who provide service to a person with ASD. This initiative also will facilitate the provision of course work and experience leading to Board Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis.

• Online training will include a variety of activities, including webcasts by state and national experts, online seminars and online courses. Training will be provided on a range of topics relevant to this population. C o llab o rati o n

with

S takeh o lders

Throughout these activities, VCU-ACE will collaborate with stakeholders who share its passion and interest regarding the education of students with ASD. Collaboration will involve many formal and informal activities that will enhance service delivery. W ebsite

The center’s website, www.vcuautismcenter.org, provides a description of VCU-ACE, its mission, collaborating partners and ongoing activities. It also provides information on training activities occurring throughout the state as well as a host of online training events for anyone who lives with, works with, or supports an individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Resources, including fact sheets and summaries of journal articles on topics related to ASD, are available by browsing categories of interest.

$2.2 Million Grant to Help Students with Intellectual Disabilities Attend College The VCU School of Education has received a $2.2 million federal grant to help young adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities participate in college courses that will provide opportunities to earn a higher income.

VCU Autism Center for Excellence Director of Technical Assistance Carol Schall (left) and Adonis Bullock Jr. Bullock is a St. Mary’s Hospital employee and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. He refills hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout the hospital and restocks isolation carts.

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) and the Partnership for People with Disabilities are collaborating on the five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, one of 27 such grants the agency awarded to colleges and universities across the country. “President Obama has set a goal for America to have the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by 2020,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a statement last fall. “These new programs make an important contribution toward that

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These programs allow students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to receive a quality postsecondary education. goal by giving students with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to receive a quality postsecondary education with the supports they need to attend, complete and succeed in higher education.” The grantees, located in 23 states, will create or expand programs that focus on academics and instruction, social activities, employment experiences through work-based learning and internships, and independent living. Grantees will provide individualized supports for students and opportunities to be involved in college experiences with their peers without disabilities. Evaluating what works and does not work is a key component of each grant. The VCU grant, titled “Academic and Career Exploration: Individualized Techniques in College” (ACE-IT in College), will serve students with intellectual disabilities who are 18 to 26 years old. The students will select existing courses offered at VCU that are based on their career interests. “Our grant seeks to expand the diversity of students on the VCU campus by working with individuals not typically provided postsecondary opportunities,” said Elizabeth E. Getzel, M.A., the grant’s principal investigator and RRTC director of postsecondary education initiatives. “The specific model we are implementing is currently not available in any Virginia higher education institution.” The model includes an education coach for each student to assist him or her in the classroom, universal design strategies and assistive technology, internships and service learning, a job coach to assist with workrelated experiences, and opportunities for social networking and soft-skill development on campus and in the community.

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“The outcomes of the ACE-IT in College program are an established credential program and competitive employment process for college students with intellectual disabilities through the use of college academic and career supports,” said Fred Orelove, Ph.D., grant co-principal investigator and Partnership for People With Disabilities executive director. This will be achieved through a 30-month on-campus program that will focus on college students with intellectual disabilities building a series of academic learning experiences for credit or noncredit selected from the VCU course catalog. VCU will recruit students from Chesterfield and Powhatan counties, the City of Richmond and through adult agencies. The grant anticipates enrolling 20 students over five years at VCU. The first three will begin in August 2011. VCU will adapt the model for two community colleges in the grant’s third year and enroll an additional 15 students.

$5.1 Million Grant to Improve Science Education The VCU School of Education received $5.1 million to improve science teaching and student learning, especially in high-need schools, in Central Virginia. The funds are part of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) project funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program. VISTA is a partnership of 47 school districts, six universities and the Virginia Department of Education. University partners include VCU, the College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison University and George Mason University, which leads the partnership. The competition for i3 funds, which are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was open to school districts, nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education in partnership with public schools. Of the nearly 1,700 applicants, 49 applicants were selected to receive a share of the $650 million in i3 grants.

the Virginia Department of Education. However, while these teachers have a science-content degree, they do not have a degree in education or teaching experience. VISTA at VCU will offer the secondary school teachers participating in the VISTA program science method courses and help from experienced science teachers who will coach them and provide support through their first two years of teaching.

Secondary Science student Elizabeth Garman (right) and Elementary Education student Kasha Gregg-Ferguson measure the pH of water in the VCU School of Education’s new science laboratory classroom. Garman is assisting VISTA at VCU grant director Dr. Jacqueline McDonnough. One focus of the grant will be science training for elementary school teachers.

“This grant has the potential to significantly impact science teaching across Virginia,” said Jacqueline T. McDonnough, Ph.D., associate professor and VISTA director at VCU. “It will provide research-based reform of K-12 science instruction to teachers so that they can help all students, including students with disabilities and limited English proficiency, to maximize their science understanding and practice.” VCU will use the award primarily to conduct professional learning for elementary and secondary school science teachers. Elementary school science teachers will participate in a summer science institute and be supported during the school year by coaches who will work with them. Another component of the grant will provide course work and coaches for uncertified or provisionally certified secondary school science teachers. Another important goal of the grant is to increase access to professional development opportunities for rural elementary and secondary school teachers. Through VISTA at VCU, scientists and researchers will provide professional development in inquiry-based science teaching and problem-based learning. In the camps, teachers will work with students from highneeds schools in the counties of Chesterfield and Hanover and the city of Hopewell. During the 2009-2010 school year, school systems were forced to hire 425 uncertified or provisionally certified secondary school science teachers because of a shortage of trained science teachers, according to

“The VISTA grant will provide an important opportunity for professional growth and development for exemplary 21st century science instruction,” said Melanie Haimes-Bartolf, Ph.D., instructional specialist for science at Chesterfield County Public Schools. “It will further our desire and ability to support and sustain inquiry-based state-of-the art science instruction so that our students will be able to think and work like scientists.” Similar VISTA programs will take place at the College of William and Mary and George Mason University.

Author Debunks U.S. History Lies More than 100 people packed a VCU School of Education classroom to learn some surprising truths about American history from best-selling author James Loewen. “Why did South Carolina secede from the Union?” he asked the audience of mostly students and faculty members. “We’re about to have an election and I want you to vote. Are you ready?” “How many of you think it was slavery?” Thirty-four people raised their hands. “How many think it was states’ rights?” Twenty-five hands went up.

Author James Loewen led a two-hour talk at VCU on the rise of white supremacy from Reconstruction to the early years of the 20th century.

“The election of Abraham Lincoln as president?” Five hands. “Tariffs and taxes?” Six hands. “What do we need to get the answer? Evidence and documents, not newspapers.”

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Loewen held up a copy of an official document from the South Carolina Convention which stated clearly that the federal government’s opposition to slavery was the main reason the state seceded. On the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War in this former capital of the Confederacy, Loewen was pleasantly surprised that most of this audience answered correctly. Most of his audiences usually choose states’ rights as the cause. “How can we be teaching this so wrong in our schools?” he asked. Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” delivered a lecture titled “The Most Important Era in U.S. History You Never Heard Of.” The two-hour talk focused on the rise of white supremacy from Reconstruction to the early years of the 20 th century.

University of Virginia

He explained that the nadir of race relations in the United States occurred from 1890 to 1940. Many popular misconceptions about racism and the Civil War originated during this period, such as the idea that slaves were well-treated and loyal to their masters. These myths were propagated in the decades following the Civil War by academics and in popular culture through books, plays, music and films such as “Birth of a Nation” and “Gone With the Wind.”

Watch video highlights of Dr. James Ryan’s lecture at www. youtube.com/user/ vcusoe.

6 The Bridge • Spring 2011

He shows how court rulings in the 1970s, which limited the scope of desegregation, laid the groundwork for the sharp disparities between urban and suburban public schools that persist to this day. Ryan, who once clerked for former Chief Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the 9th Circuit and the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, spoke with students attending the School of Education’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Student Association Fall Colloquium.

Ankle Research Wins Award A research manuscript on ankle instability authored by faculty and a former student in the Department of Health and Human Performance placed second in a national competition.

The lecture was sponsored by the Virginia Center for the Teaching of International Studies and Richmond Teachers for Social Justice.

The Journal of Athletic Training awarded first runner-up status to the manuscript authored by Sports Medicine Research Laboratory Director and Associate Professor Brent L. Arnold, Ph.D., ATC, FNATA; Adjunct Instructor Shelley W. Linens (Ph.D. ’10); Sarah J. de la Motte (Ph.D. ‘08) with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; and Associate Professor Scott E. Ross, Ph.D.

Law Professor Discusses Racial, Socio-Economic Inequalities in Education

The purpose of “Concentric Evertor Strength Differences and Functional Ankle Instability: A MetaAnalysis” was to determine whether a certain muscle weakness was associated with functional ankle instability, which causes frequent ankle sprains.

University of Virginia law and educational professor James E. Ryan came to VCU to discuss a book he wrote on unequal educational opportunities that persist more than 50 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Among the key points noted were that participants with functional ankle instability had weaker ankles than participants with stable ankles, counter to what was previously believed. Furthermore, no difference between fast-velocity and slow-velocity strength testing was noted.

In his book “Five Miles Away, A World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern America,” Ryan takes an indepth look at two Richmond-area high schools – one in the city and one in the suburbs.

Ankle injuries account for approximately 14 percent of all injuries in collegiate sports, and 20 percent to 40 percent of all ankle sprains result in functional ankle instability. The condition prevents about 6 percent of patients from returning to their occupations, and 13 percent to 15 percent of patients remain occupationally handicapped for at least nine months and up to 6.5 years after injury.

Each year the Journal of Athletic Training editorial board votes for the outstanding manuscript of the year. The authors were later recognized for their work at the National Athletic Trainers Association Distinguished Scholars presentation session.

Fantasy Sport Behavior Research Honored

Social Media in the Classroom

Carl Cox Photography

VCU School of Education Center for Sport Leadership Assistant Director Brendan Dwyer, Ph.D., along with Temple University Assistant Professor Joris Drayer, Ph.D., and Old Dominion University Assistant Professor Stephen L. Shapiro, Ph.D., were honored at the Sport Marketing Association’s 2010 Annual Conference in New Orleans, La. The trio’s paper, “Segmenting Motivation: An Analysis of Fantasy Baseball Motives and Mediated Sport Consumption,” was given the Best Professional Paper Award at the conference. A bstra c t

fr o m

the

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Fantasy sport consumer behavior research is a burgeoning area of inquiry as this segment of sport fans exhibit unconventional, yet robust consumption habits. In addition, motivation and market segmentation represent two core principles within the study of marketing and consumer behavior. Interestingly, the integration of these two essential concepts with regard to sport consumers is limited. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore fantasy baseball motives, develop a motivational taxonomy of users, and quantify the differences between segments through an examination of sport media consumption. Four distinct motivational segments emerged with statistically significant behavioral differences between each. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed and future research is suggested. For the full paper or to learn more, please contact the Center for Sport Leadership at (804) 828-7821.

From left, Teresa J. Carter, Ed.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning; Joan A. Rhodes, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning; and Frances G. Smith, Ed.D., CVE, coordinator of technology and distance learning in the School of Education’s VDOE Training and Technical Assistance Center, made poster presentations at the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Their presentations, titled “As Learners Move into the Open: Obstacles to Overcome, Strategies for Success, and Potential for Participatory Learning (ResearchBased),” highlighted results from two research studies conducted between 2008 and 2010 on social media use for learning. Findings from the first study describe a perceived gap between faculty and student use of social media and emphasize student expectations for classroom use. The second study of graduate students engaged in blog writing as a method of reflective practice shares effective classroom strategies and explores the nature of participatory learning that emerged from blogging in an open learning environment.

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John J. Kregel, Ed.D., a professor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, presented a paper on “Real work for real play: A 40-year history of supported employment & technical assistance in the U.S.” in Sydney, Australia.

School for faculty from the school. Dr. McMillan also made a presentation to faculty and graduate students at the Assessment Research Center at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. The presentation title was “Classroom Assessment: The Current State of Research.” Dr. McMillan also delivered the keynote address for the Mid-Western Educational Researcher Association’s Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. His presentation examined the convergence of three powerful influences that will shape public education: policy, research and assessment.

James H. McMillan

William R. Muth, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, presented a paper at the European Prison Education Association Conference in Cyprus as a part of his ongoing research.

James H. McMillan, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Foundations of Education and director of the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium, delivered a keynote presentation at the Hong Kong International School Assessment Conference: From Planning to Analysis of Formative & Summative Assessments. The presentation title was “Cognitive and Sociocultural Advances in Learning and Motivation Research and Theory: The Need for Coherence with Assessment.” He conducted several workshops at the conference and at the Hong Kong International

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Frances G. Smith, Ed.D., coordinator of technology and distance learning in the VCU School of Education’s Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Center, was appointed a postdoctoral Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Fellow for 2011-2012 by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Dr. Smith will be in residence at CAST for one year beginning in September and will collaborate with research scientists, policy experts and teacher education professionals from CAST and Boston College on UDL-based projects in issues critical to growing the field of UDL. L. Bruce Gladden, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Auburn University, was invited to VCU to deliver a lecture and meet with Exercise Science Journal Club students in the School of Education’s Department of Health and Human Performance. He discussed “Cancer Therapy: A New Role for Lactate?” Dr. Gladden is an associate editorin-chief for basic sciences for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise ® and has published more than 70 papers and chapters in the scientific literature. He also is an internationally known expert in muscle metabolism during exercise and currently has a review article on lactate metabolism in the top 20 most electronically accessed papers in the Journal of Physiology since June 2004.

New Publications E X E R C I S E

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Edmond O. Acevedo, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Health and Human Performance, VCU School of Education Michael A. Starks, Ph.D., adjunct professor, College of Education, University of Memphis With a focus on foundational information, the “Exercise Testing and Prescription Lab Manual, Second Edition” offers practical application of knowledge and skills associated with standardized health- and fitness-related tests. Progressing through 14 easy-to-follow experientialbased learning labs, readers will gain the skills and techniques required for successful completion of the ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist certification (CHFS). The improved second edition includes the latest updates consistent with the recent modifications published within the “ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Eighth Edition.” In this new edition, readers also will find the following features: • In-depth content regarding functional parameters related to exercise, especially in regard to heart rate and blood pressure • Additional information on body composition testing focusing on improved knowledge and skills related to assessment of skin folds and circumferences • New emphasis on the importance of assessment and how assessment relates to overall program development • An updated format that flows progressively through testing and prescription • Enhanced discussion questions within each lab, which incorporate more in-depth analysis of the information being covered Though most closely matched with ACSM CHFS certification guidelines, “Exercise Testing and

Prescription Lab Manual, Second Edition” also is useful for individuals preparing for certification within other training organizations or as a resource for the ACSM Certified Personal Trainer certification. The progression of labs through the testing and prescription process, easy-to-follow instructions, and forms and worksheets also make this lab manual an excellent experiential component for a course in exercise testing and prescription. “Exercise Testing and Prescription Lab Manual, Second Edition” is organized into three sections covering pretest responsibilities, exercise testing techniques and exercise prescription. Readers will learn safety procedures and requirements for exercise testing equipment, follow step-by-step instructions for calibration of laboratory instruments, and learn guidelines for medical history evaluation, risk factor evaluation and stratification, and informed consent. Next, the application of techniques used in assessing the components of health-related fitness is presented. Within the exercise prescription section, readers learn about the calculation of metabolic work, the three phases of exercise prescription, assessment of participants’ goals, and gaining participants’ commitment to the exercise prescription. A final comprehensive lab challenges readers to apply techniques and principles in developing various case studies. Each lab features the same easy-to-follow format outlining the purpose of the lab, materials required, background information, procedures, discussion questions and references. Detailed appendixes contain a summary of the effects of common pharmacological agents on cardiorespiratory responses at rest, common metric conversions used in exercise testing and prescription calculations, a list of metabolic and anthropometric formulas, and answers to lab questions. The appendixes also contain all forms and worksheets required for collecting data and completing the lab assignments. The second edition of the “Exercise Testing and Prescription Lab Manual” provides focused, stepby-step preparation for those studying for the ACSM CHFS certification. With its reorganized format, up-todate information, and forms and worksheets, this text is a valuable best-practices reference for health and fitness specialists certified by the ACSM and other organizations.

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W O M E N

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Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Educational Leadership, VCU School of Education

C L A S S R OO M P R I N C I P L E S E F F E C T I V E

A S S E S S M E N T: A N D

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Margaret Grogan, Ph.D., dean, School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University This groundbreaking book presents a new way of looking at leadership that is anchored in research on women leaders in education. The authors examine how successful women in education lead, and they offer suggestions and ideas for developing and honing these exemplary leadership practices. “Women and Educational Leadership” shows how the qualities that characterize women’s approaches to leadership differ from traditional approaches. The authors reveal that women leaders are more collaborative by nature and demonstrate a commitment to social justice. They tend to bring an instructional focus to leadership, include spiritual dimensions in their work and strive for balance between the personal and professional. This important book offers a new model of leadership that shifts away from the traditional heroic notion of leadership to the collective account of leadership that focuses on leadership for a specific purpose, such as social justice. The authors include illustrative examples of leaders who have brought diverse groups together to work toward common ground. They also show how leadership is a way to facilitate and support the work of organizational members. The ideas and suggestions presented throughout the book can help the next generation fulfill the promise of a new tradition of leadership.

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James McMillan, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Foundations of Education This text provides prospective and current teachers with a concise, nontechnical and practical guide to conducting a full range of high-quality classroom assessments. The text emphasizes assessment in the context of the realities of teaching and teacher decisionmaking in an era of standardsbased education. Assessment methods are integrated with instruction and presented according to when teachers evaluate students (before, during and after an instructional unit), the learning targets that are measured, and standards emphasized in statewide testing. There is considerable emphasis on the nature of learning targets and how different assessments are most appropriate for different targets. For each assessment technique, suggestions for effective practice are presented with examples, case studies and teacher interviews. This edition includes additional emphasis on formative assessment for student learning: • Shows through “Teacher’s Corner” segments how actual teachers apply principles in their classrooms so that students can readily transfer lessons to actions. • Provides expanded coverage of formative assessment and the concept of alignment of classroom assessments with large-scale assessments and standards to meet current classroom needs. • Gives more comprehensive coverage of largescale testing for accountability and the role of state standards in influencing classroom assessment. • Emphasizes the difference between assessment of learning and assessment for learning to illustrate how assessment affects lessons and daily activity.

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• Includes new and extensive treatment of the role of student motivation and the effect of feedback and praise on motivation. • Has an Instructor’s Manual/Test Bank with additional resources available online by contacting your local representative. E T H I C A L S C H OO L

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T H I R D

E D I T I O N

Mary Hermann, J.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Counselor Education, VCU School of Education Theodore Remley, Ph.D., J.D., professor and Batten Endowed Chair in Counseling, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, Old Dominion University Wayne Huey, Ph.D. School counselors face challenging ethical and legal issues every day. Whether you are new to the field or have been practicing for years, this new edition of “Ethical & Legal Issues in School Counseling” provides valuable information to help you meet these challenges head-on. Edited by three experts in the field, this book is a compilation of highly informative and relevant journal articles published since the previous edition. The new introductory sections contain guidelines and added perspective on these issues, making the book a must-have for all school counselors. This publication provides concrete and practical suggestions for addressing complicated ethical and legal situations, including “how-to’s” on key issues such as confidentiality, managing suicidal or potentially violent students, child abuse and neglect, mental disorders of children and supervision of counselors.

T H E

F L E X I B L E

T E AC H E R

Article published in “The Effective Educator” December 2010/January 2011, Volume 68, Number 4, Pages 46-50 Leila Christenbury, Ed.D., professor and chair, Department of Teaching and Learning Preface from Dr. Christenbury: After almost 35 years in secondary and university classrooms, I know something about effective teaching. I have certainly seen inspiring examples from other teachers; I have written and reflected extensively on the topic; and occasionally in my own practice I exemplify effective teaching myself. I also have a modest reputation in my part of the academic world for exploring ineffective teaching — and the source of my most telling examples is still, embarrassingly, myself. In articles and books throughout my career, I have felt compelled to detail my recurring instructional struggles and failures (Christenbury, 1996, 2005, 2007) to serve as a cautionary tale. This article stems directly from my years of experience and reflection and from my stubborn and consistent aspiration to be a better teacher. I am not yet where I want to be, but as T. S. Eliot (1952) reminds us, “For us there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” For those of us who are still trying to become the most effective teachers possible, it may be useful to consider a bit of history and a recent real-world example.

VCU School of Education 11

Faculty News

New Ed.D. Class for School Leaders Prepares to Celebrate The first class of students enrolled in the VCU School of Education’s newest degree program will graduate this spring with a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership. Offered through the Department of Educational Leadership, the program provides leaders with authentic experiences, appropriate knowledge and skills, and opportunities for reflection that will enable them to succeed in organizational leadership positions. Three analytic lenses – equity, accountability and learning environments – will guide learning activities and enable students from varying backgrounds to consider learning through common perspectives The program is built upon the recognition that although a leader’s work is contextual, it requires the ability to make decisions based on available information of many types, sometimes with limited time for reflection. Therefore, leaders need to be able to bring a number of analytic frames to the table, frames that reflect economic, legal, political, human relations, emotional, ethical, learning and systems thinking. At the core of the program’s conceptual framework is the conviction that leaders need to be able to use a variety of data and, therefore, need to know where to find that data, how to evaluate the evidence, and how to link it to policy and practice – all within fragmented and contested spaces and contexts. The three-year, 48-hour program culminates in the completion of a client-based capstone project.

New Faculty Kimberly R. Dell, M.T., instructor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, comes to us from Amelia County, Va., where she taught students with special needs in self-contained classrooms. She received her Master of Teaching in Special Education and Bachelor of Science in Psychology degrees from VCU. Her research interests include the social validity of behavioral interventions in the elementary school classroom; and student/teacher

12 The Bridge • Spring 2011

interactions, particularly at the elementary school level, and the impact of those interactions on student achievement. Barbara Driver, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, joined the VCU School of Education with more than 25 years of experience in public K-12 education at both the school and central office levels. She has worked in the areas of special education, general education and professional development. She works with Project ALL (Authentic Learning for Leaders), a partnership between VCU and Richmond Public Schools to pilot an innovative, field-based training program to recruit, prepare and retain principals and assistant principals. Her research areas include collaborative and collective leadership for school improvement at the individual and organizational level, 
equitable practices for improving educational quality, and systems thinking and decision making for continuous improvement. She received her Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from VCU and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership from the College of William and Mary. Ryan S. Garten, M.S., instructor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, comes to us from UNC-Greensboro, where he was a graduate assistant in kinesiology. He received his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science degrees from the University of Mississippi. His research interests include examining the effects of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) on acute and chronic exercise with regard to cellular damage and exercise training adaptations, and the interplay of antioxidant supplementation and exercise and the resulting impact to an individual’s antioxidant defense system. Roberta A. Gentry, M.T., instructor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, comes to us from Hanover County Public Schools, where she was lead teacher specialist. She received her Master of Teaching degree in Special Education and General Education from the University of

Virginia, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va. Her research interests include teacher preparation, special education and teacher retention and attrition. Irrekka L. Khan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, has more than 20 years of experience as a professor, consultant, administrator, grade level chairperson, classroom teacher and substitute teacher. Her research interests include public school administration, contemporary issues in education, helping leaders understand themselves, effects of personality on performance, work/life balance, diversity training, international education comparisons and psychosocial aspects of education. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education and Urban Services and Master of Education degree in Administration and Supervision from VCU, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Richmond. Lorraine M. Rand, Ph.D., instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education from VCU and her Master of Teaching degree in Education from the University of Richmond. Her research interests are in the areas of gifted education, English education and young adult literature. She is specifically interested in how the needs of underachieving gifted students are best served, choosing an appropriate curriculum for gifted learners and differentiated instructional methods and techniques for gifted students. Karren D. Streagle, M.Ed., instructor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, comes to us from Goochland County Public Schools, where she was a testing coordinator. She received her Master of Education degree in Early

Childhood Special Education from VCU and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va. Her research interests include alternate assessments for students with significant intellectual disabilities, academic instruction for students with significant intellectual disabilities and early childhood special education. Cynthia J. Wright, M.Ed., instructor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, received her Master of Education degree in Physical Education from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Athletic Training from Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. Her research interests include functional ankle instability and lower extremity biomechanics during movement, ankle joint eversion force sense after fatigue, and the relationship among questionnaires that evaluate the symptoms associated with ankle instability.

VCU Honors Faculty Research on Obesity, School Interventions, English Learners Three VCU School of Education professors have been recognized by the VCU Presidential Research Incentive Program (PRIP) for advancing their areas of research. Assistant Professor R. Lee Franco, Ph.D., in the Department of Health and Human Performance, was awarded $50,000 for his work on “The effects of acute stress on NF-kB binding activity and LPS-stimulated pro-inflammatory cytokine concentration and mRNA expression in obese and non-obese subjects.”



VCU School of Education 13

Faculty News

Associate Professor Kevin S. Sutherland, Ph.D., in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, was awarded $47,412 for his work on “Development and validation of treatment integrity measures for school-based interventions.” Associate Professor Yaoying Xu, Ph.D., in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy, was awarded $50,000 for her work on “Examining the effects of classwide peer tutoring on social and language skills of young English language learners.” PRIP is grounded in VCU President Michael Rao’s commitment to develop and enhance faculty scholarship across the institution. Its goal is to accord all faculty internal funding opportunities to support new, emerging or continuing research.

Faculty Briefs Edmund O. Acevedo, Ph.D., FACSM, a professor and chair of the Department of Health and Human Performance, was appointed to the board of directors for Fit4Kids, a nonprofit organization focused on improving children’s health and reducing childhood obesity in the Richmond, Va., area. Brent L. Arnold, Ph.D., ATC, FNATA, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance and director of the VCU Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, was appointed to the Virginia Advisory Board on Athletic Training and named Researcher of the Year by the Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association. Dr. Arnold also served on the editorial board for the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation and the Journal of Athletic Training. Mark E. Emblidge, Ph.D., director of The Literacy Institute at VCU’s School of Education, was reappointed to the Virginia Library Board by Gov. Bob McDonnell. Joan A. Rhodes, Ph.D., an associate professor, and Tammy M. Milby, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, led a study group of 10 students to New Zealand to work in public schools.

14 The Bridge • Spring 2011

Joann T. Richardson, Ph.D., C.H.E.S., an associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance and a 1993 graduate of the VCU School of Allied Health Professions, received the 2011 VCU African-American Alumni Council Outstanding Alumni Award for her outstanding work in the fields of women and minority health and for her inspirational impact on the VCU and Richmond communities. Valerie J. Robnolt, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, is president-elect of the Virginia State Reading Association and was named conference chair for the organization’s 2011 annual conference in Roanoke, Va.

Faculty Leadership in National Professional Associations Jonathan Becker, J.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership: reviewer, Journal of School Leadership.

Scott E. Ross, Ph.D., ATC, associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance: editorial board, Journal of Athletic Training.

Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership: reviewer, Educational Administration Quarterly, Journal of Educational Leadership, Journal of Educational Change and Education Management and Administration Journal.

Whitney H. Sherman, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership: editorial board, Journal of School Leadership and Journal of Research on Leadership Education.

Colleen A. Thoma, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy: board member, International Council for Exceptional Children.

Technology Pioneer Retires Assistant Professor Gary W. Sarkozi, Ph.D., the VCU School of Education’s former director of technology, did not invent the Internet, but he is a pioneer in harnessing its power to bring people across the planet closer together to promote learning.

Ten years later, he began selling insurance and enrolled in the University of Virginia to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree. But he needed a program that would allow him to enroll part-time so he could keep his job.

His virtual wizardry has enabled elementary school students in Richmond to see and talk to researchers and alumni in Antarctica, and VCU faculty to participate in an international science and technology symposium on three continents.

An education professor suggested he try the Master of Education program with a concentration on Information Technology. He became hooked on the applications for videoconferencing.

Closer to home, he started the first distance learning program in Virginia that allows students in one school to teach younger students in another school without leaving their classrooms. He also was instrumental in upgrading and maintaining technology for the School of Education. After more than 11 years of service to the School of Education, Dr. Sarkozi retired. His career in technology began, unknowingly, in the 1980s when he was general manager for a Mazda dealership in Charlottesville, Va. He had to set up a computer to relay monthly sales data to Mazda’s corporate headquarters.

In 1998, he was hired as an adjunct professor for the School of Education and later obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree through the school and became an assistant professor.

At a VCU Scott House reception, students and faculty honored the career of Assistant Professor and Director of Technology Gary Sarkozi, who retired after more than 11 years of service to the School of Education. Dr. Sarkozi (right) listens as alumnus and Virginia House of Delegates Legislative Education and Development Media Specialist Tami Carsillo (left) shares her experiences as one his former students.

As the school’s director of technology, he arranged numerous videoconferences for students and faculty; conducted Web interface surveys; and updated computers, cameras, projectors and other peripherals. He also taught the school’s instructional technology courses, showing future teachers how to transform their instruction using 21st century learning tools. “The School of Education is prepared for the 21st century learner through the resources we provide our faculty and staff,” Dr. Sarkozi said. “It makes me proud that I have helped in that effort.”

“Back then, we had a 2800-baud modem, which was slow by today’s standards,” he said. “It was so slow that when I arrived at work in the morning, it was still sending data I had initiated the night before.”

VCU School of Education 15

That was the only part of her name a shocked LaTonya E. Waller remembers hearing at a ceremony announcing she had been chosen 2011 Virginia Teacher of the Year.

“Automatically my hand went over my face and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, did they just call my name?’ and everybody started clapping,” Waller said. She was selected from a field of eight regional teachers of the year, with Waller representing Region I – Central Virginia. Within minutes of finishing her acceptance speech, Waller received offers from educators in the audience to speak at colleges and universities. “And my phone is still ringing,” she said. Having earned a Master of Teaching degree and Bachelor of Science degree from VCU’s School of Education, Waller began her teaching career in 2001 at Richmond’s Broad Rock Elementary School. In 2005, she moved to Lucille Brown Middle School. Waller received a Post Master’s Certificate in Educational Leadership from VCU in 2006. She sums up the feeling of going from VCU graduate to Virginia’s top teacher with one word: humbling. “There are over 95,000 teachers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, so to represent all those wonderful and dedicated individuals who are in the profession I love is humbling,” Waller said. Waller teaches sixth- and eighth-grade science in the International Baccalaureate Programme at Brown Middle School and is chair of the school’s science department. She coaches the school’s “Mind Games” team and sponsors numerous activities for students.

Continued

16 The Bridge • Spring 2011

Earth Science teacher LaTonya Waller with students in the greenhouse at Lucille Brown Middle School.

VCU School of Education 17

In 2009, Waller received an R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence, which included a $10,000 grant for her to travel to Hawaii and Iceland to observe landforms and geological phenomena. She was recognized by the American Business Women’s Association at its 2011“Hats off to Women” Awards luncheon in celebration of Women’s History Month. “LaTonya Waller instills in her students a love of learning and a commitment to community service,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright (M.Ed. ’84). “She is a mentor to her colleagues and epitomizes excellence in science instruction.” Waller was selected after being interviewed by a committee that included representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and 2010 Virginia Teacher of the Year Catherine S. Webb of Giles County. “I have always felt like I was Teacher of the Year every day I teach,” Waller said. “Great teachers are dedicated and go above and beyond the call of duty.” With her award, she received $5,000; a ring from the Apple Federal Credit Union Education Association; $2,500 from Richmond law firm Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen; a classroom technology package from Smart Technologies ULC; a lapel pin from National Quality Products; educational opportunities from several public and private colleges and universities; flowers from Strange’s Florists; and an engraved crystal apple. Waller credits God and her students for bringing out the best in her every day, her family and several Richmond Community High School teachers for instilling in her the value of education, and her son for inspiring her “to teach all children the way I want him taught.” She believes that “all students can learn and be motivated to do so” and that “learner-centered instruction should be the norm, not the exception.” Waller also credits her VCU pedagogy and methodology classes for preparing her for the classroom and still uses the science methods books authored by her former professors Richard J. Rezba, Ph.D., Sandra Parker and Ena Gross, Ph.D. “VCU is top-notch,” she said. “I received an excellent education.” Waller’s participation in the AmeriCorps program during college, including 1,800 hours of community service, was influential in helping her realize “the real difference that active participation can make in the life of one child, one school or a whole community.” As an AmeriCorps alumnus, Waller seeks to engender in her students a commitment to community service. Students participate on the weekends in service projects such as cleaning

18 The Bridge • Spring 2011

the James River near Belle Island, organizing Central Virginia Food Bank drives and helping to raise money for breast cancer research through fundraising walks. Waller empowers individual students or groups to seek out projects on their own. She is most proud of their plant-based cookbook, an outgrowth of a unit titled “Obesity: a Choice or Chance;” the “Brown Goes Green” STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) project committed to integrating service learning with content; and the Science Extravaganza and Discovery Night held every February at Brown Middle School highlighting more than 300 science fair projects. She is a product of Richmond Public Schools and a graduate of Richmond Community High School, which is ranked among America’s best in U.S. News & World Report. She got the “spark” for teaching science as a student at George W. Carver Elementary School. “It had a greenhouse and we were always in there.” Waller has passed her love for “hands-on science” on to her students who share her passion for working in their school’s greenhouse, where they learn about plants and the benefits of recycling. “A lot of Ms. Waller’s ways of teaching us are really fun and interactive,” said Claire, a student. “One of my favorite parts of learning was doing these really cool songs and dances that would teach us about the different kingdoms of living things. Science has been my favorite subject since elementary school and Ms. Waller has inspired me to consider pursuing it as a career.” In January, Waller returned to VCU to offer advice to student teachers preparing to intern in Richmond area schools. “I’ve sat where you’re sitting, I’ve anticipated what you’re anticipating, I know that you’re anxious and nervous, and you’re wondering if you’re prepared,” she told the nearly 200 students, faculty and staff who attended the annual Graduate Intern and Student Teaching Orientation meeting in the University Student Commons. “I can tell you that, based on the education I received from VCU, you are truly prepared.” “Cherish this call because it will be tested,” Waller said. “We know truly in our hearts that children are what matter most and, regardless of what happens in the political scene, you are to always put children first.” Waller urges new teachers to push and engage their students, and to view the Standards of Learning as a floor instead of a ceiling. “Take your students above and beyond the basics. Have them explore, question and imagine. It’s like my grandmother Blanche Pretlow said, ‘You can’t sharpen a knife with a sponge.’”

Richmond Public Schools

Waller credits God and her students for bringing out the best in her every day... Above: LaTonya Waller was introduced to the Virginia House of Delegates by Richmond Delegate Jennifer McClellan and presented a copy of House Joint Resolution 820, which commended her achievements. Waller addresses student teachers at the School of Education’s annual Graduate Intern and Student Teaching Orientation meeting.

VCU School of Education 19

Dyslexia Ceremony, Lecture Honor First Endowed Professorship in

Studies

Dyslexia research means a

lot to Ruth and Louis Harris. Their son struggled to read, write and spell in elementary school. Mrs. Harris, who has a master’s degree in special education, has dedicated her life to helping those with learning disabilities.

20 The Bridge • Spring 2011

Last fall, at a ceremony attended by her husband and son, Mrs. Harris hung a black and gold ribbon holding a bronze medallion, emblematic of a VCU endowed professorship, around the neck of Paul J. Gerber, Ph.D., a professor in the VCU School of Education’s departments of Special Education and Disability Policy and Foundations of Education. The ceremony marked the investiture of Dr. Gerber as the Ruth Harris Professor of Dyslexia Studies through a generously endowed professorship from the Harrises. It is the first for the School of Education. The endowed professorship will support Dr. Gerber’s research and work with doctoral students pursuing careers in the field, and sponsor an annual lecture by nationally prominent researchers in the area of dyslexia education and related fields. “It is both a crowning achievement and tremendous honor to be recognized for my contributions to the field of dyslexia research,” Dr. Gerber said. “This is my life’s work.” In February, the Ruth Harris Endowed Professorship in Dyslexia Studies hosted its first lecture, titled “Mapping the Brain’s Circuits for Reading.” The lecture featured guest speaker Dr. F. Xavier Castellanos, M.D., director of research training at the New York University Medical Center. Dr. Castellanos is one of the leading experts on dyslexia through structural and functional brain imaging studies. More than 120 people attended. He also led a workshop with VCU doctoral and advanced graduate students on “Imaging the Brain’s Intrinsic Function Architecture.” He visited the Department of Neurology on VCU’s medical campus and visited VCU’s Virginia Treatment Center for Children to observe child and adolescent psychiatry. Over the past 33 years, Dr. Gerber has written a wide array of chapters and articles and co-authored four books in the area of adults with learning disabilities. One book was chosen as one of the top 20 resources for libraries by the American Library Association. Like Mrs. Harris, Dr. Gerber has dedicated his career to researching dyslexia and improving the quality of life for those who have it, especially adults where the research is lacking compared to what is known about school-age children.

“The more we know about adult functioning, the better we can prepare children for the challenges that lie ahead,” Dr. Gerber said. Those challenges include reading comprehension, interpersonal and social skills, success in employment, and functioning in daily life. Dr. Gerber has been working to create a profile of best educational practices for children to use when they leave school and enter adulthood. “I have been studying successful adults with learning disabilities to see what made them beat the odds, to see what works in adulthood that can be infused into the school curriculum so they are more prepared for life after school,” he said. “The Ruth Harris professorship will keep the drum beat going on this research.”

School of Education Interim Dean Michael D. Davis (from left), VCU President Michael Rao, Ruth Harris, Professor Paul Gerber and VCU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Beverly Warren at the investiture ceremony for Dr. Gerber. (Far left) Dr. F. Xavier Castellanos, a nationally known expert on dyslexia, was the first lecturer for the Ruth Harris Endowed Professorship in Dyslexia Studies. Watch his lecture at www.youtube. com/user/vcusoe.

Mrs. Harris served as academic coordinator at Riverside School for 13 years and currently serves the school as academic consultant. In addition, she has taught courses at the University of Richmond on identifying and teaching children with language learning disabilities. She also has conducted workshops on teacher language fundamentals at The New Community School, a college preparatory school for dyslexic students. She also has dedicated her time to many professional associations, including the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, which accredits schools and certifies teachers who use the Orton-Gillingham approach to treating dyslexia. Mrs. Harris has been named an honorary fellow of the academy.

VCU School of Education 21

Student News

Graduates Advised to Clean Facebook Pages During Job Search As the VCU School of Education Class of 2010 prepared to receive diplomas and begin work as teachers and athletic trainers and in other educationand health-related fields, they were advised to do a little virtual housekeeping.

Elizabeth Garman

“Now that you are graduating and seeking a professional job, your Facebook page is a reflection of you just as your resumé is,” Department of Teaching and Learning Associate Professor Loraine M. Stewart, Ed.D., told graduates in her keynote speech at the School of Education’s winter Diploma Presentation Ceremony.

M.T. students Catherine Brewington (from left), Gratia Marques and Natalie Epps, Dr. Jacqueline McDonnough and M.T. students Jessica Robinson and Zainab Fadlu Deen in Washington, D.C.

M.T. Students Participate in National Science Festival Associate Professor of Science Education Jacqueline T. McDonnough, Ph.D., and members of the VCU Student Chapter of the National Science Teachers Association traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in the first USA Science and Engineering Festival. Five pre-service Master of Teaching students, all officers in the chapter, conducted static electricity demonstrations with the public. Pre-service teachers from James Madison University, the College of William and Mary and several colleges from other states also participated. More than 100,000 people attended the two-day event.

M.T. student Jessica Robinson conducts a static electricity activity with young participants at the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

Many students post photos of themselves hanging out with friends with a drink in hand while wearing sometimes questionable clothing. Those pictures can raise a few eyebrows when viewed by a prospective employer. “I encourage you to look at you Facebook page and ask yourself, ‘Would I want my boss, colleagues and parents to see these pictures and comments?’ Remember, the first impression is a lasting one,” she said. Dr. Stewart also told graduates looking for work to stay positive, make face-to-face contact with as many employers as possible, work as a volunteer or substitute or engage in any other work that keeps their name and face on the radar of future employers. “And be persistent. The squeaky wheel still gets the oil.” Two graduates delivered speeches explaining why they chose their respective career paths.

22 The Bridge • Spring 2011

“At 6 years old I made an important decision that some people spend their entire lives trying to make,” said Meghan Williams, a graduate of the bachelor degree program in Interdisciplinary Studies and the Master of Teaching program in Early/Elementary Education. “I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be just like my first-grade teacher.” In high school, Williams reaffirmed her decision to become a teacher after participating in a volunteer medical mission to help poverty-stricken children in Brazil (see The Bridge, p. 20, Fall 2010). “Something beckoned me and called out for me to explore what VCU had to offer,” said Lauren Hidalgo, a graduate of the Bachelor of Science program in Exercise Science. “Through my course work, internships, great professors and personal experience I discovered my goal in life: to prevent disease and establish healthy lifestyles in others using Exercise Science.“ The School of Education conferred 217 degrees in December.

Watch video highlights of the ceremony at www.youtube.com/user/vcusoe.

VCU School of Education 23

Student News

Cox Awarded One-Year Scholarship The VCU Board of Visitors awarded Master of Teaching student Ashley L. Cox a one-year scholarship in recognition of her “outstanding achievements and service to the university and the community.” The $9,000 Board of Visitors Scholarship Award is in the amount equal to in-state tuition and fees. Between classes and studying, Cox works as a receptionist in the VCU School of Education’s Office of the Dean.

Marques Receives $1,000 Science Scholarship

Interim Dean Michael D. Davis (from left), Ed Crews, Gratia Marques and Associate Professor of Science Education Jacqueline T. McDonnough.

Gratia Marques has a good chunk of her tuition, fees, books and equipment paid for, thanks to a generous scholarship from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Educational Foundation.

The foundation awarded 35 scholarships nationally to students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM). Marques will be teaching earth science when she graduates. She also is the outgoing president of the VCU National Association of Science Teachers Student Chapter. The grant is renewable for two or more years as long as she remains teaching a STEM subject in a U.S. middle or high school. AFCEA Educational Foundation scholarships are merit-based and are awarded for academic excellence, leadership qualities and potential to succeed. They provide educational assistance to deserving students, teachers and military personnel engaged in disciplines related to hard science and technology. Scholarship winners come from academic and military institutions around the world. Winners embody the goals of the AFCEA Educational Foundation.

Marques, who is pursuing a Master of Teaching degree in Secondary Science, was presented a $1,000 Science Teaching Tools Grant by Ed Crews on behalf of the foundation.

Library of Virginia Field Trip Department of Teaching and Learning Associate Professor Loraine M. Stewart, Ed.D. (above, fourth from left), and her fall 2010 Elementary Social Studies Methods students on a field trip to the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The students toured the facility, participated in a Primary Source Documents Workshop and viewed some artifacts in the private special collections room.

24 The Bridge • Spring 2011

M.Ed. Candidate and Teacher Honored Nicole Alberino (left), a Master of Education in Special Education General candidate and a teacher at Swansboro Elementary School in Richmond, Va., was among the top 10 finalists for Richmond Public Schools 2011 Teacher of the Year. 
She and other finalists were honored by the Greater Richmond Chamber’s Richmond Business Council Networking Breakfast at Willow Oaks Country Club. Alberino was congratulated by Altria Contributions Programs Manager Kathryn Fessler (right), who presented a cash stipend to each of the finalists.

Cardenas Receives Reading Scholarship Student Myra L. Cardenas has been awarded a $500 scholarship by the Virginia State Reading Association. Cardenas, a second-grade teacher at Harvie Elementary School in Henrico County, Va., received her Master of Teaching degree from the VCU School of Education in 2008. She is now enrolled in the Master of Education post-master’s program.

International Literacy Education: Exploring Literature, Language and Culture The Department of Teaching and Learning and the VCU Global Education Office will offer an opportunity this summer for students to study literacy from an international perspective across three European countries.

In July, participants will attend the International Reading Association’s 17th European Conference on Reading in Mons, Belgium. In addition to participating in the four-day conference, students will explore literature for children and adolescents of France and the Netherlands and will examine the impact of historical events on the language and culture of Western Europe. Students will have opportunities to compare and contrast European methods of literacy instruction to those utilized in the United States. Students will enjoy the highlights of Paris, including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower; will visit the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam; and will take a day trip to the Palace of Versailles. During the conference, participants will meet world-renowned experts in the field of literacy education and explore the quaint city of Mons. The program will be led by Joan A. Rhodes, Ph.D., an associate professor of reading education. Dr. Rhodes teaches in the Master of Education in Reading and Early/Elementary Education programs. Her research interests are related to learning in digital environments, social media and teacher preparation for working with English language learners. The program will be co-led by Tammy M. Milby, Ph.D., an instructor in the Reading and Early/ Elementary Education programs. Her teaching focuses on reading diagnosis and assessment, content area reading and children’s literature. Her research interests include struggling readers and writers, teacher quality and the impact of the reading clinic experience. This is the fifth time Drs. Milby and Rhodes will lead a VCU study-abroad program. They both research and publish articles on the impact of study abroad on educator’s classroom interactions with diverse learners. Students who participate in the program are eligible to receive three course credits in TEDU 500 International Literacy Education: Exploring Literature, Language and Culture.

VCU School of Education 25

Alumni News

Wajciechowski is Nation’s Top Health Teacher Jane H. Williams (M.Ed. ‘00), Hungary Creek Middle School, Henrico County

Chesterfield County Public Schools

By Chesterfield County Public Schools Community Relations Department Bailey Bridge Middle School’s Misti Wajciechowski (B.S. ‘94/M.Ed. ‘10) is the nation’s top health teacher. On April 1, she received the Health Education Professional of the Year School K-12 Award from the American Association for Health Education. A National Board Certified Teacher, Wajciechowski has been with Chesterfield County Public Schools for 15 years. Chair of the Health and P.E. Department at Bailey Bridge Middle, she created and implemented the middle school Fit 4 Life curriculum. Her path to becoming the nation’s top health teacher began when she was named Virginia’s top health teacher, then was selected as one of six regional winners, then was chosen from those six winners as Health Education Professional of the Year.

Award: $10,500 to study historic mathematical tools and to investigate how events during the Renaissance influenced famous mathematicians by visiting museums in Europe, and to visit the Museum of Computer History and Intel Museum in California.

R.E.B. Teaching Excellence Awards

Since its inception in 1988, the program has awarded $2.4 million to more than 580 public school instructors in recognition of their outstanding classroom performance.

Finalists of the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence are among the best in their field. They are skilled educators who help their students understand even the most complicated concepts by connecting them with real-life applications. They also are coaches and mentors who encourage young people to believe they can achieve their dreams. Three of the 18 award recipients in 2010 are VCU School of Education alumni: Emily A. Betts (M.T. ’06), Open High School, Richmond Public Schools Award: $9,000 to develop expertise in evolutionary biology by studying the unique flora and fauna of Australia. Lindsay Porzio (Graduate Certificate ‘07), Bon Air Elementary School, Chesterfield County Award: $9,000 to rent a 42-foot boat and sail along the coast of southern Italy to explore volcanic islands and the region’s history. She also will complete the recertification process for National Board certification.

26 The Bridge • Spring 2011

The awards program, which is a partnership between The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation, recognizes excellence in public education by awarding direct cash grants to outstanding public school teachers from the City of Richmond, the counties of Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover and the Department of Correctional Education.

Photos courtesy of Richmond Public Schools, Chesterfield County Public Schools and Henrico County Public Schools.

Updates Sherry Wharton-Carey (M.T. ’94) was principal of Bellevue Elementary School in Richmond, Va., when it was named a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. She is now principal of E.D. Redd Elementary School. Henry W. Castelvecchi (B.S. ’01/M.Ed. ’10) will oversee a $2,000 ING Run for Something Better grant at Crestwood Elementary School in Chesterfield County, Va., where he is a physical education teacher. His program is called the Monarch Marathoners. The grant is to inspire students to be more active and make healthful choices. Mark E. Chamberlain (M.Ed. ’90) is principal of Short Pump Middle School in Henrico County, Va., which

was re-designated a “School to Watch for 2011” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Donna Dalton (M.Ed. ’00) was formally appointed chief academic officer for Chesterfield County Public Schools in Chesterfield, Va. She had been acting chief academic officer. Tiffany A. Flowers (M.T. ’99), an online education instructor at Georgia Perimeter College and a children’s book author, has written two books: “For Those Who Stare at the Moon” and “Patterns are Everywhere.”

Charles D. Terrell (Ph.D. ’01) was named the fourth president of Eastern West Virginia Community College on July 1, 2010. Aimee M. West (B.S. ’03) will help coordinate a $2,000 ING Run for Something Better grant at Robius Middle School in Chesterfield County, Va., where she is a physical education teacher. Her program is called the Running Raiders. The grant is to inspire students to be more active and make healthful choices.

John Hunter (B.S. ’77), a gifted resource teacher in Albemarle County Public Schools, Va., was a guest speaker at the TED2011 Conference in Long Beach, Calif. Watch John Hunter’s TEDTalk at http://www.ted.com/ talks/lang/eng/john_hunter_on_the_world_peace_ game.html

Pamela S. Lumsden (M.Ed. ‘01) is principal of Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield County, Va. She had been the school’s assistant principal. Sharon L. Reid (B.S. ’74) retired after 30 years of teaching high school math in Arizona, Michigan and Georgia. Lynda L. Sharpe (M.T. ’02) was named Teacher of the Year for Henrico County Public Schools. Ryan T. Templeton (B.S. ‘98/M.Ed. ’08), a biology educator at Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill, in Midlothian, Va., received a $10,000 Life Sciences Award from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation. He teaches freshman biology and AP biology and serves as the school’s research coordinator. He also is director of the Virginia Summer Governor’s School for Life Sciences and Medicine at VCU.

Alumni Meet VCU President in Chesterfield County The VCU School of Education Alumni Council hosted a reception for alumni and friends at Clover Hill High School. The event preceded a speech by VCU President Michael Rao on “Leading Change in Education” in which Dr. Rao discussed academic expectation in a vibrant, urban university and building a supportive community. It was the last in a series of forums sponsored by Chesterfield County Public Schools to encourage productive dialogue among community members, business leaders, parents, teachers, students and school administrators.

Joshua P. Cole (Ph.D. ‘09), center, an associate principal at Ecoff Elementary School, talks with VCU President Michael Rao and School of Education Alumni Council member Donna Dalton (M.Ed. ‘00), the chief academic officer for Chesterfield County Public Schools.

VCU School of Education 27

Alumni News

Alumni • Alumni • Alumni • Alumni • Alumni • Alumni • Alumni • Alumni

28 The Bridge • Spring 2011

Alumni Day at the Siegel Center

Obituaries

Volunteers from the VCU School of Education Alumni Council greeted alumni and friends as they stopped by the VCU and MCV Alumni Association’s tent before the Rams men’s basketball game against the Northeastern Huskies. The Rams defeated the Huskies 73-64.

Elizabeth M. Bowling (B.S. ‘61), of Wytheville, Va., Nov. 10, 2010.

Margaret S. Anderson (B.S. ’73), of Auburn, Ala., Aug. 4, 2010.

Herbert J. Clegg (B.S. ’72), of Mechanicsville, Va., Sept. 4, 2010, at age 80. Helen M. Collins (M.Ed. ’76), of Henrico, Va., June 21, 2010, at age 79. S. Harold Copeland (B.S. ’53), of Henrico, Va., July 15, 2010, at age 80. Charles R. Davis Jr. (B.S. ’50), of Reedville, Va., June 18, 2010, at age 90. O. William Coon III (B.S. ‘68), of Richmond, Va., Jan. 21, 2010, at age 71. Annette V. Dew (M.Ed. ‘74), of Richmond, Va., Dec. 2, 2010, at age 90. Gayle M. Ellis (B.S. ’65), of Richmond, Va., Sept. 1, 2010, at age 68. Frank Garcia Jr. (B.S. ‘84), of Staten Island, N.Y., Dec. 11, 2010, at age 50. June U. Guiles (B.S. ’75), of Daleville, Va., July 24, 2010, at age 95. Frances H. Harris (M.Ed. ‘62), of Richmond, Va., Oct. 11, 2010, at age 96. Kimberly G. Honts (B.S. ‘88), of Richmond, Va., Nov. 14, 2010, at age 46. Mary Elizabeth Long Hitchcock (M.Ed. ’71), of Providence Forge, Va., July 4, 2010, at age 65. H. Howard Hudgins Jr. (B.S.’70), of Richmond, Va., Oct. 16, 2010, at age 67. Alice W. Lyons (Ph.D. ’08), Dec. 20, 2010, at her home in Powhatan, Va., at the age of 62. Most of her 35-year career in education was spent in Powhatan County as a teacher, principal and instructional specialist, and as an adjunct professor for Longwood University. Samuel D. Phillips (B.S. ‘78), of Richmond, Va., Oct. 13, 2010, at age 55. Rolanda I. Scott (M.Ed. ’73), of Richmond, Va., July 6, 2010, at age 58.

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Virginia governor Timothy Kaine (from left), VCU School of Education alumnus and Alumni Council member Stephanie L. Holt (B.S. ’74), School of Business alumnus Steven B. Brincefield (M.S. ’74) and School of Education alumnus Deborah E. Marks (M.Ed. ‘83/Ph.D. ’02).

Lisa M. Thalhimer (B.S. ’77), of Richmond, Va., April 27, 2010, at age 55. Hilda M. Thompson (B.S. ‘74), of Rice, Va., Aug. 31, 2003, at age 79. John R. Wise Sr. (M.S. ‘69), of Portsmouth, Va., Dec. 26, 2010, at age 80.

VCU VCU School School of of Education Education2929

Congrats!

Alumni News

VCU Rams Men’s Basketball Team

NCAA 2011 Southwest Regional Champion winners

1. Dwight VanRossum (M.Ed ‘04), a math teacher at Longdale Elementary School in Henrico County, Va., with sister Tricia VanRossum (MSW ‘06) at the VCU bookstore getting new VCU gear. 2. VCU Child Development Center students rally for the Rams.

3. Brandon Rozzell

4. Coach Shaka Smart led VCU to its first appearance in the Final Four. 5. Ed Nixon

30 The Bridge • Spring 2011

6. School of Education Instructor Stephanie Blackburn’s students show Rams spirit in the classroom. 7. Department of Foundations of Education Professor and Chair Jim McMillan. 8. Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center staff cheer on the Rams. 9. Rams fans show their spirit at the Final Four.

VCU School of Education 31

Philanthropy

Supporting Our Faculty When I speak with alumni, many of them share memories of their experiences with specific faculty members. These relationships may have been those that were of academic and career mentors, advisers and friends. From these conversations I have learned these relationships frequently have changed the lives of many of our alumni.

to teach, discover and lead. Without the strong foundation of our outstanding faculty, we would not attract and graduate quality students. And we would not be making a difference for our schools, families and community. Support from our alumni and friends continues to be more critical than ever. As state public funding declines, we are challenged to find new ways to support our students and faculty. Every gift makes a difference.

Though not a faculty member herself, Ruth Harris, one of the school’s newest benefactors, shares this ability to inspire others. This modest and unassuming woman sees the VCU School of Education as a way she can philanthropically support one of her greatest passions, dyslexia studies. She and her husband, Lou, established the school’s first endowed professorship, choosing to focus on dyslexia studies. You can read more about this extraordinary gift on page 20 of this magazine.

For more information about how you can help, contact me at (804) 827-1363 or johnssonm@vcu.edu.

Magnus H. Johnsson Executive Director External Relations and Development

Endowed professorships help take our school to a new, higher level, and encourage our faculty members •

Waverly M. Cole Doctoral Hearing Room Dedicated On Feb. 11, the VCU School of Education celebrated the dedication of the first named room in its history, with the naming of the Waverly M. Cole Doctoral Hearing Room. The newly refurbished room will serve as a meeting place for faculty and doctoral students to present, discuss and learn.

Interim Dean and Professor Michael D. Davis, Ph.D. (from left), benefactor Dr. John R. Cook and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Beverly J. Warren, Ph.D., Ed.D.

32 The Bridge • Spring 2011

A native of Blackstone, Va., Waverly M. Cole, M.D., followed a great-grandfather into medicine, graduating from the Medical College of Virginia before establishing a family medical practice in Farmville. In the years following World War II when the Army needed doctors, Dr. Cole volunteered to practice in Heidelberg, Germany, though he had already served as a captain during the war. Dr. Cole began his anesthesiology practice in 1960 at MCV (now the VCU Medical Center), where he was professor of clinical

anesthesiology. He later joined St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Va., to establish its department of anesthesia and to serve as its first chairman. During his 40-year career, Dr. Cole established a sterling reputation through the quality of his work and compassionate care he offered his patients. Dr. Cole passed away in August 2009 at the age of 80. Dr. Cole and his longtime partner, Dr. John Cook, are well-known for their philanthropy in the Richmond area as well as nationally and internationally. A bequest to the School of Education by Dr. Cole allowed for the renovation of a room that was long out of date in both appearance and technology. Faculty members and doctoral students will enjoy the newly renovated room’s significant upgrades in technology, comfort and aesthetics. The bequest also will fund the start of the Waverly M. Cole Scholarship in Science Education. Interim Dean Michael D. Davis, Ph.D., also anticipates the impact of the renovation. “The Waverly M. Cole Doctoral Hearing Room enables the school to greatly enrich and advance the highest quality teaching, learning and technology for our faculty and students,” he said. “The investment and faith by John and Waverly in our work at the school is truly inspiring.”

Campaign Reinvestment Fee Joining universities statewide and nationwide, VCU implemented in October 2010 a 4 percent campaign reinvestment fee on all qualifying gifts to further fund its development and alumni relations efforts. Half of the fee will support development operations of the school or unit to which the original gift was made, while the remaining 2 percent will bolster universitywide efforts. The fee will allow for advances in processing gifts, stewarding donors and engaging supporters to prepare for and execute future fundraising campaigns. A 26-member Development and Alumni Relations Advisory Council, appointed by VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., is charged with oversight of the new fee.

Annual Fund Challenge Match Thanks to an anonymous foundation, the school has an opportunity to receive a $25,000 contribution contingent on the matching support of our alumni and friends. Those donors who support the school’s 2010/2011 Annual Fund for the first time will have their gift matched 50 cents for each dollar. Anyone who increases his or her gift from last year also will help the VCU School of Education meet the match. New dollars to the Annual Fund will be matched 50 cents for each new dollar. Please contact Donna Stewart Sharits at (804) 828-4770 or dssharits@vcu. edu if you need more information about this opportunity.

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Planned Giving Gifts from the estates of our alumni and friends have always been an important source of support for the VCU School of Education. A generous estate gift funded the recent renovation of the Waverly M. Cole Doctoral Hearing Room. Education professionals often give what they can during their lifetimes, but sometimes their most significant gifts are bequests or other planned gifts. These deferred gifts enable us to plan for the future with confidence and provide the resources to ensure

the long-term success of the School of Education. Each of us has the opportunity to play a vital role in the School of Education’s future by establishing a bequest in a will or trust to support the school. A bequest may be restricted for a specific purpose, such as a named endowed fund for a scholarship, fellowship or professorship, or left unrestricted to allow the school to direct the funds to its greatest needs. Estate gifts from retirement plans, wills, living trusts and insurance policies are only a few of the giftplanning options available. For more information, please contact Magnus H. Johnsson. You can visit www.vcuf.org/waystogive/waystogive.html for easyto-print brochures on the types of gift plans available. You also can learn about the VCU Heritage Society, which recognizes donors who have included the university in their estate plans.

Our Students Thank You VCU celebrated homecoming in January. This year an event was added to help build school pride. Students from clubs and “Homecoming Spirit Teams” were invited to attend a “thank-a-thon” and asked to spend a few minutes writing thank-you notes to VCU alumni and donors. Students at the “thank-athon” represented all the schools from the Monroe Park Campus, including the School of Education. Impressively, these students volunteered their time between classes to write notes such as these. We appreciate our alumni, donors and friends and cherish their philanthropy and commitment to the School of Education. Our students are sincerely grateful, too, even if they don’t always have the ways or means to say so. The success of the “thank-a-thon” gave students an opportunity to say “thank you,” and their participation showed they do understand the impact alumni and donors have on their overall experience at VCU.

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■ In the run-up to VCU’s historic appearance in the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Clover Hill High School Principal Deborah Marks (M.Ed. ‘83/Ph.D. ‘02) cheered on the men’s basketball team with students, faculty and administrators who were visiting from Clover Hill’s sister school in Saitama, Japan. Go Rams!

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The Bridge: Spring 2011