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College of Education > News and Publications > 2019: 01-03 news > Around the College: March 27, 2019

Around the College: March 27, 2019

Students, staff and faculty members from Penn State's College of Education share recent research and career achievements.

David Baker, professor of education (educational theory and policy), published "Why the spread of public education is unlikely to yield a secular world," on the Brookings Institution website.

Amber Cesare, STEM education outreach specialist for the Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS), has been named as one of 32 ambassadors in the Pennsylvania STEM Ambassador Program. Ambassadors will invest the next nine months in training and policy development to share expertise and content knowledge with influential Pennsylvania STEM stakeholders to develop a stronger voice in shaping STEM education policies.

— An article by Elizabeth Hughes, assistant professor of education (special education), was published in the Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The publication, "Addressing the Mathematics Gap for Students with ASD: an Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Video-Based Mathematics Intervention," reports that video-based instruction can be recognized as an "established evidence-based practice to teach mathematics to students with ASD."

James Johnson, professor of education (early childhood education), was quoted in the article "A Befuddled Adult's Guide to Playing With Little Kids," published by Medium.

Kevin Kinser, professor of education (higher education), was quoted in the article "Could a regulatory overhaul open up the gates for competency-based education?" published by Education Dive. He also was recently recognized by the president of Sri Lanka for his dedication to higher education research and scholarship.

Maria Lewis, assistant professor of education (educational leadership), and Laura Bray, assistant professor of education (special education), published "A Call for Amicus Briefs as a Means to Influence Special Education Policy: Lessons Learned from Endrew F" in the Journal of Disability Policy and Studies. The publication focuses on the role of research in the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Supreme Court case.

— Divine Lipscomb, a rehabilitation and human services student, will speak at the 2019 State of State conference on March 31. To read more about Lipscomb's story, visit this link online.

Bonnie J. F. Meyer and Pui-Wa Lei, professors of education (educational psychology), in collaboration with Kay Wijekumar of Texas A&M University, published "Comparative signaling words generated for expository texts by 4th-8th graders: Variations by text structure strategy instruction, comprehension skill, and signal word," in Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. The trio also published "Improving content area reading comprehension of Spanish speaking English learners in Grades 4 and 5 using web-based text structure instruction" in Reading and Writing.

David Passmore, distinguished professor of education (workforce education and development), published the book chapter "Behavioral engineering model to identify risks of losses in the construction industry" in Smart technologies and innovations in design control of technological processes and objects: Economy and production.

Heather Toomey Zimmerman, associate professor of education (learning, design and technology), and Lucy R. McClain, a College of Education alumna, recently published, "Family connections to local science issues: how scientists use questions to engage families in personally-relevant learning during science-themed workshops," in the International Journal of Science Education. The article details the results of a project funded by the Federal Institute for Museum and Library Services.

— The College of Education is included in an article about the Pennsylvania Expanded HIV Testing Initiative. The article, "Hepatitis C at 30: Targeted efforts to increase awareness and facilitate treatment of those most impacted," was published online in the Allegheny County Medical Society Bulletin. Liza Conyers, professor of education (rehabilitation and human services), is the college's connection to the initiative. Her research focus is on HIV/AIDS and employment policy; the impact of vocational rehabilitation on health and public health outcomes; social determinants of health; psychosocial and cultural aspects of disability; and program evaluation of integrated vocational and HIV prevention interventions.

"Around the College" highlights accomplishments by faculty, staff and students in the College of Education, including publications; research presentations at conferences and workshops; and awards, grants and fellowships. Please share your news with us and your colleagues by emailing

March 2019