Continuity of Operations planning information for the College of Education: Click here

College of Education > News and Publications > News: April - June 2010 > Congratulations Faculty (compiled May 2010)

Congratulations Faculty (compiled May 2010)

An acknowledgment of College of Education faculty for their accomplishments


David P. Baker, professor of education and sociology, will serve as a visiting scholar at the Social Science Research Center in Berlin, Germany, in June and July of this year. The Center conducts basic social science research in selected problem areas. It is the largest institution of its kind in Europe—around 140 social scientists conduct research on the developmental trends, problems of adaptation, and possibilities for innovation in modern societies.

conyers_sml.jpgLiza Conyers, associate professor of rehabilitation and human services, has been named by Penn State’s Children, Youth and Families Consortium (CYFC) as the recipient of a CYFC Fellowship for the 2010–2011 academic year. The Fellowship gives Conyers an opportunity to work with the Infectious Disease Physicians at Hershey Medical Center, as well as the New York State AIDS Institute, to continue her research and training. The overarching aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of the impact of employment on individual and public health outcomes for people with HIV/AIDS and to help develop and institute evidence-based practices that will lead to increased opportunities for healthy employment and effective prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Kristen L. Dewitt, assistant professor of education and coordinator in the Professional Development School, recently renewed her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. She originally earned National Board Certification in 2000 as an elementary classroom teacher, and since certification expires after ten years, she decided to recertify last year. “As an educator, I believe wholeheartedly that going through the National Board Certification process is the best professional development a teacher can receive,” she said.

Richard A. Duschl, Waterbury chaired professor in secondary education, has been named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The Association selected 67 scholars this year to be AERA Fellows in recognition of their exceptional scientific and scholarly contributions to education research or significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings. The induction will be held May 1 during AERA’s 91st Annual Meeting in Denver.

Hayes_sml.jpgJeffrey A. Hayes, professor of counseling psychology, was recently named an American Psychological Association (APA) Fellow for the Society of Counseling Psychology. The status of Fellow is bestowed upon APA members who have shown unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of counseling psychology. Their work also must have had a national impact on the field of psychology beyond a local, state, or regional level.

koul_sml.jpgRavinder Koul, associate professor of science education, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialists project in Thailand at King Mongkut’s University of Technology during August 2010. Koul will assist faculty and doctoral students with research design on two areas of science and engineering education: (1) career decision making for science, mathematic, engineering, and related professions; and (2) utilization of computer tools for inquiry-based science teaching and research.

The Fulbright Specialists Program provides short-term academic opportunities to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post secondary, academic institutions around the world. The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange activity, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Lisa R. Lattuca, associate professor of higher education and senior research associate, and David Knight, doctoral candidate in the Higher Education program, were named winners of the Best Paper Award for the Educational Research Methods (ERM) division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). By virtue of their award, Lattuca and Knight are the ERM division’s nominee for the ASEE’s overall Best Paper, the winner of which will be announced at the 2010 annual conference, forthcoming in June.

Lattuca and Knight’s paper is titled “In the Eye of the Beholder: Defining and Studying Interdisciplinarity in Engineering Education.”

Beverly Lindsay, professor of higher education, served as chair and mistress of ceremony for the International Cultural Program and Reception of the International Relations Commission (IRC), held April 30—opening night of the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. The program welcomed about 500 attendees.



nolan_sml.jpgJames F. Nolan, Henry J. Hermanowicz professor of teacher education, has been named by Leadership Centre County (LCC) as winner of the Robert D. Ricketts Award. The award recognizes outstanding LCC faculty-volunteers who, year after year, engage adults of the community to enroll in the program.

“Dr. Nolan has been a presenter for the Leadership Centre County Education Day since the year 2000 and has undeniably been one of our most provocative speakers,” said Georgia Abbey, LCC executive director. “He brings the trends and politics of the national and local educational systems alive in a way that makes the class members want more time with him year after year.”

Smith_Deborah_cp.jpgDeborah C. Smith, assistant professor of science education, was selected by The National Academies to serve on the National Research Council's Committee to develop a conceptual framework for New Science Education Standards for K–12. The Committee’s charge is to identify a set of core ideas in each major science discipline as well as those ideas that cut across disciplines.

The framework is expected to provide guidance for developing curricula and assessment, discussing alignment between K–12 and higher education, and engaging science learning in both formal and informal environments as well as serving as the basis for development of K–12 science standards. The final conceptual framework is due to be issued in late fall 2010.

Swisher_sml.jpgJohn D. Swisher, professor emeritus of education, recently completed a novel titled Two Paths Crossing: Then and Now (Legwork Team Publishing, 2010). The story follows Atys, a slave of King Croesus, on a journey to Delphi Greece, a noted Greek archaeological site. Atys has responsibility for a chest of solid gold coins, which he hides in a cave. In 2010, James, an American insurance agent, inherits his grandfather’s farmhouse and travels to Greece to help settle the estate. When James finds an ancient scroll in the crumbling basement of his grandfather’s house, Angela helps him translate it and follow clues to an exciting ending.

Swisher believes that the counseling, teaching, research, and writing skills he developed during his career as a counselor and counselor educator served him well in developing this novel. He says real-life clients also provided ideas for developing characters who solve problems and succeed, sometimes with luck.

Thompson_Melody.jpgSwisher has begun work on a second novel. He says, “Old professors never die, they just draft away.”

Melody M. Thompson, assistant professor of adult education, has won the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Award for Excellence in Teaching. Thompson received her award at UCEA’s 95th Annual Conference, held April 7–10 in San Francisco. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to credit or noncredit programs and who have provided inspirational teaching to continuing education students.

Threeton_Mark.jpgMark Threeton, assistant professor of workforce education, has received the 2010 ACTE/NIOSH School Lab Safety Award. Given by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the award honors an educator who promotes occupational safety and health in school laboratories.

Threeton was selected based, in part, on his paper titled “Selecting Safe and Healthful Cooperative Education Training Sites: An Individualized Learning Manual for School-Based Work Experience Program Teachers/Coordinators in Training.” The paper outlines a training manual for teachers to help identify safety concerns and hazards to determine whether a potential cooperative education-training site is safe for student placement in career and technical education.