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2020 News Archive

College of Education has new scholarship in honor of George Floyd
The George P. Floyd Memorial Scholarship in the College of Education, an annually funded scholarship, will be awarded for at least the next five years to full-time undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in the College of Education who have a demonstrated financial need and whose gender, race, ethnic, cultural and/or national background contribute to the diversity of the student body.
Things worked out 'for the best' for College of Education graduate
A College of Education initiative that created a pipeline to Penn State will enable a recent graduate to come full circle and start to teach where not long ago she was a student.
Hosoi to take higher education knowledge, leadership to the next level
Mihoko Hosoi, an incoming doctoral candidate in the College of Education, is poised to take the next steps in developing leadership skills and knowledge of higher education practices.
CSATS receives $1.3 million grant to implement SHAPE MATTERS project
A National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS) grant worth more than $1.3 million will support high school biology and chemistry teachers to incorporate current advancements of molecular modeling into their teaching.
Conchas to join Penn State as inaugural Hoy professor
As the U.S. grapples with systemic racism and inequality, Gilberto Conchas plans to use his endowed professorship as an instrument for advancing the College of Education’s vision of diversity and inclusion.
College of Education community meets challenges presented by pandemic
Teachers at all levels pride themselves on being ready for just about anything, and professors and instructors in Penn State’s College of Education quickly discovered that their college was prepared to meet the challenges caused by the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
López to join Penn State as Waterbury Chair in Equity Pedagogy
As newly named Waterbury Chair in Equity Pedagogy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Francesca López wants to help make Penn State’s College of Education the place to consult for how equity work should be carried out.
The work is hard, the passion behind it profound
A phrase commonly echoed within social justice work, according to Ashley Patterson, is that the bulk of this type of work cannot fall only on the shoulders of the people who benefit most from it.
So many questions, not enough answers
For Efraín Marimón, the more questions the Social Justice Collaborative tries to answer for its students, the more arise.
Social Justice Collaborative tackling today’s tough topics
Penn State faculty members Ashley Patterson and Efraín Marimón, along with Seria Chatters, an adjunct associate professor and director of equity and inclusivity for the State College Area School District (SCASD), and three of the district’s teachers, recently formed what has become known as the Social Justice Collaborative.
Chatters sees change in participating students
Along with being director of equity and inclusivity in the State College Area School District (SCASD) and an adjunct associate professor in the College of Education, Seria Chatters has two sons in the district who participated in the Bridging Divides class that toured three historic cities in Alabama.
Research leads to improved mental health services on campuses nationwide
Penn State’s College of Education is continually looking at ways to be a change agent in addressing societal challenges to make life better for its students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Digital technology helps online master’s students build a sense of community
Allie Goldstein, assistant professor of education in the College of Education’s Department of Education Policy Studies (EPS), utilizes digital technology to help her online master’s students further their careers as well as build a sense of community.
Professor, students examine charter school hiring practices
It takes more than high-quality teachers and educational leaders to help students thrive in school. Research led by Ed Fuller, associate professor of education (educational leadership), indicates it’s also important to have professional support personnel such as nurses, counselors and librarians on site, for the development of the whole student.
Faculty members advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves
Kathleen McKinnon and Jonte Taylor have a passion for their work that is evident both in and out of the classroom. The two associate professors of education (special education) not only educate the next generation of special education teachers, but also advocate for much-needed resources for their field.
Education student anticipates plenty of 'We Are' moments at Penn State
Having so much ahead of him at his “dream school” has made it easier for incoming Penn State freshman Jake Beal to rationalize all that he has lost as an outgoing high school senior in Marlboro, New Jersey.
‘Her heart never left Penn State’
Vanessa Siddle Walker knew about Penn State from the time she was born in the late 1950s, even though she grew up in North Carolina.
Alumni instrumental in shaping who We Were, who We Are, who We Will Be
If students are the lifeblood of a university, alumni are the heart that keeps the lifeblood flowing.
Alumnus named Peruvian minister of education
Penn State alumnus Martín Benavides is the newest Peruvian Minister of Education. He took the oath of office in February.
Incoming education student awaits many opportunities Penn State offers
Nya Cherry took part in many activities in high school and the incoming College of Education student is well aware that Penn State can provide her with countless other such opportunities.
Penn State a 'perfect fit' for incoming College of Education student
Freshman Michael Parrish knows better days are ahead. And he knows that Penn State is going to provide them.
Alumni Society board member adds certificate to 2 Penn State degrees
Douglas Womelsdorf’s first two degrees from Penn State in 2003 and 2005 opened some doors for him, and when he decided that a gateway to future success would hinge on additional education, he turned to Penn State once again.
Collaborative research with LTEN contributes to knowledge base
The first product of an innovative emerging research partnership between the Penn State College of Education and the Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (LTEN), recently named the LTEN-Penn State Learning Agility Graduate Fellowship, has been published by JMIR Medical Education where the work can be accessed by training professionals around the globe.
Special education teachers forge ties with Reading schools
Two faculty members in the College of Education have embarked on a project that they hope will help relieve the special education teacher shortage in Pennsylvania, as well as forge a mutually beneficial partnership between Penn State and Reading School District.
Researchers study impact of health care reform on child development
With the aid of a new grant, an education professor has started a project to study how health policies affect children’s learning and socioemotional development.
Herr Clinic offering free services to College of Education students
College of Education students feeling stress and pressure from events related to COVID-19 or other things that have caused anxiety can receive free telemental health services from now to August.
Doctoral candidate wants to help blind people ... just like him
JooYoung Seo, a doctoral candidate in the College of Education’s Learning, Design, and Technology program, has secured a highly competitive internship with RStudio that will allow him to help people just like himself – those with severe visual impairments.
College ready to celebrate spring 2020 graduates
Commencement weekend has arrived, and the College of Education is ready with its portion of the University's virtual commencement ceremony.
Education professor designs kid-friendly face masks
An education professor at Penn State is utilizing her understanding of child psychology — as well as her sewing skills — to protect children in her community by appealing to their imaginations.
It's been quite the experience for Penn State CI 495 student teachers
Synchronous and asynchronous education on Zoom and other platforms are the new normal, and student teachers Kristen Krause, Lexi Principe, Gabriela Marsh and Carley Cassandro have rolled with punches delivered by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent K-12 school shutdowns.
Student teacher's job after Penn State graduation: U.S. Marine Corps
Come May 18, College of Education student Gabriela Marsh will commission as second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. She graduated from Officers Candidate School in August 2019, completed her senior year at Penn State in the Navy ROTC program and commissions with the Marines in mid-May.
Mindfulness practices may reduce stress in the classroom
An education professor is investigating how educators can adopt mindfulness practices to keep stress and anxiety at bay.
PDS interns, teacher educators navigate COVID-19 with shared inquiry
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted internships and student teaching in Pennsylvania’s teacher education programs. Teacher educators in K-4 Professional Development School partnership between Penn State and the State College Area School District have taken an inquiry stance to empower interns to navigate learning to teach during these times.
PDS student teachers making the most of their new online 'classrooms'
College of Education and State College Area School District have joined forces for 22 years to conduct the Professional Development School.
Ashley Patterson earns Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award
An assistant professor of education, Ashley Patterson is this year’s winner of the Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award, the Penn State College of Education’s annual accolade made possible by Joan and David Cotterill to recognize faculty or staff for exemplary performances and leadership efforts.
Taylor Young wins Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award
Taylor Young is a 4.0 student in her secondary English education major who also is working on minors in English and education policy studies as well as a certificate in teaching English as a second language. She is a Schreyer Honors College Scholar and she serves on the College of Education Undergraduate Student Council.
Prospective science teachers making most of remote learning methods
Carmen Vanderhoof and her SCIED 458 class are proof positive that even with remote learning, students don’t have to be removed from the mainstream.
College of Education honors individuals with faculty and staff awards
Faculty, staff and students who have made significant contributions to their fields were selected through nomination letters prompted by their outstanding service and dedication to their job.
Kaela Fuentes-Packnick winner of Graduate Student Recognition Award
The Graduate Student Recognition Award honors a graduate student for outstanding scholarship, research and dedication to education and promise of professional excellence.
Shannon Walker named spring 2020 Education student marshal
Walker is graduating with a 4.0 GPA, with a bachelor of science in elementary and early childhood education and minors in special education, education policy studies and theatre. She also is in the Schreyer Honors College.
New website helps k-12 teachers tackle remote learning
The K-12 Media Repository provides a comprehensive list of links to educational resources that provide information on varied topics related to online education.
Darlene Kolesar earns College of Education's Outstanding Staff Award
The Outstanding Staff Award recognizes the accomplishments of a staff member in the College of Education for outstanding service and commitment to faculty, staff and students of the Penn State community.
Megan Foster 1 of 2 winners of College's Outstanding Staff Award
The Outstanding Staff Award recognizes the accomplishments of a staff member in the College of Education for outstanding service and commitment to faculty, staff and students of the Penn State community.
JT Taylor earns College of Education's Climate Enhancement Award
Taylor, associate professor in special education, has research interests that include science education for students with disabilities, evaluating innovative classroom practices, and bullying issues with autism, learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders.
Simon Hooper earns College of Education's Career Achievement Award
Hooper's research focuses on design, design thinking and novel uses of technology for learning and instruction. In some of his other research, Hooper has focused on students’ learning with technology alone and in pairs, as well as the impact of gamification on learning.
Jennifer Frank earns Outstanding Junior Researcher Award
The Outstanding Junior Researcher Award typically recognizes the significance of a particular contribution to the research literature, and Frank’s research on universal systems focuses on the study of positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) and is one of the most widespread universal schoolwide frameworks for identifying and responding to students at risk for behavioral maladjustment or academic failure.
Gerald LeTendre named Outstanding Senior Researcher
This award recognizes the overall impact of one’s research and typically is given to a faculty member who has achieved national and international recognition.
Ways to help
The COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions that forced the move mid-semester from in-person to remote learning have had ripple effects on our College of Education community, and many people are looking for ways to help others.
Uju Anya receives College of Education's Outstanding Teaching Award
The College of Education’s Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes a faculty mentor who demonstrates teaching excellence, shows respect to all students as individuals and creates an environment conducive to learning.
Education professor aims to raise awareness of youth in foster care
Recent research indicates youth in foster face stigmatization and stereotyping at school
Alumna shares elementary remote teaching experience, resources
Rachel Mountz is a 2011 graduate of the Penn State College of Education, with a degree in elementary and early childhood education. She teaches in a rural, Title I school in Colorado, and is sharing her story of moving to remote teaching of her fourth-grade class with the hope that her story and the resources she's using may help others in similar situations.
New project to allow families to learn together in Hazleton classrooms
A Penn State project team that collaborates with experienced elementary teachers to utilize science and STEM education for English language development will be fully functional in the community of Hazleton, Pennsylvania -- thanks to the College of Education -- once the state-mandated restrictions because of COVID-19 are lifted.
College of Education ranked 36th in nation for graduate education programs
U.S. News released its annual rankings of colleges and universities today (March 17), and all 10 College of Education graduate programs that fall into categories ranked by U.S. News and World Report have been ranked in the Top 15, with four of those programs in the Top 10.
Office changes name to better reflect mission
Doctoral student Sagun Giri earns top award from state organization
A doctoral candidate in the College of Education’s Learning, Design, and Technology (LDT) program and founding president of Penn State’s student chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications (PAECT) has been named that state organization’s student of the year.
All Penn State classes to take place remotely beginning March 16
Penn State has announced that all classes will be held online beginning on March 16 and continuing through Friday, April 3. Visit to read a message from Penn State President Eric J. Barron, and to learn more.
Education dean, faculty members elected to key posts within AERA
College of Education Dean Kimberly A. Lawless was elected American Education Research Association (AERA) division vice president for Division C: Learning & Instruction. In addition, several College of Education faculty members were elected to posts in AERA special interest groups.
Message from Dean Lawless on coronavirus
Dean Kimberly A. Lawless echoes Provost Nicholas Jones' message about what the University is doing to monitor the evolving worldwide coronavirus outbreak, with a message of support to students in the College of Education whose loved ones may be impacted.
Inaugural College of Education Graduate Student Showcase to be April 3
The College of Education will hold its inaugural Graduate Student Showcase from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, April 3, in Chambers Building. This event will provide graduate students the opportunity to share their work with members of our community.
Education professor to assist state with revision of science standards
The state Department of Education (PDE) is about to embark on updating its Pennsylvania Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology standards, and Penn State is positioned to play a leadership role in that process.
Kelly first Penn Stater elected to National Academy of Education
Greg Kelly, senior associate dean for Research, Outreach, and Technology and distinguished professor in the College of Education, is one of 15 people nationwide to be elected to the National Academy of Education (NAEd) in 2020, and the first ever member from Penn State. He will be formally inducted during the NAEd annual meeting in November. Election to membership in the academy is one of the highest honors accorded to educational researchers by their peers.
Expert tells faculty that storytelling opens channels of communication
Some Penn State College of Education faculty learned recently the importance of storytelling in relation to their teaching as well as humanizing their research.
WorkLink prepares students with intellectual disabilities for work
For individuals with intellectual disabilities there can be numerous challenges in securing employment, according to two Penn State professors, but with proper support, training and education, those barriers can be mitigated.
Professor’s research sheds light on preschool segregation
Young children can benefit greatly from exposure to racial and ethnic diversity during a crucial formative period in their lives, according to a Penn State education professor. However, recent research indicates that a high degree of segregation in American preschools could be hindering students from forming those valuable cross-racial connections.
Cunningham appointed to board overseeing Nation’s Report Card
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has appointed Christine Cunningham, professor of practice in Education and Engineering, along with two others to four-year terms on the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the only continuing, nationally representative evaluation of U.S. students’ knowledge.
Extent of discipline on students with disabilities remains limited
The scientific evidence for whether students with disabilities – including those who are of color – are being unfairly disciplined by U.S. schools relative to similarly behaving students without disabilities is currently limited and inconclusive, according to a new research synthesis.
Student symposium a College-wide day of professional development
The Inaugural Penn State College of Education Student Symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in Chambers Building on the University Park campus.
Staples to deliver 2020 Luchinsky Lecture
eanine Staples, associate professor of education (literacy and language education), African American studies, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies in the colleges of Education and the Liberal Arts at Penn State, will present “… And Justice for All: Advancing Social Justice Through Emotional Justice” as part of the 25th annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, in the Palmer Museum of Art's Palmer Lipcon Auditorium.
Young students show off literacy learning in self-built museum
There are many museums in and around State College, but none are curated by a more passionate and enthusiastic group than the museum organized by children each summer in The College of Education's Summer Reading camp.
Johnson cited as Emerging Scholar
Royel M. Johnson, assistant professor of higher education within the Department of Education Policy Studies in the College of Education, has been selected as an Emerging Scholar Designee by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).
Frankenberg again among RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influencers
Erica Frankenberg, professor of education (educational leadership) and demography, director of the Center for Education and Civil Rights, and an associate in the University's Population Research Institute, jumped 76 places to rank 87th in this year's RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. Frankenberg has been on the list every year since 2015.
AAUW International Perspectives on Women in Society luncheon Jan. 23
A pair of Humphrey Fellows who specialize in social work training and women’s empowerment/social policy, respectively, will be the featured panelists at the annual luncheon of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on Jan. 23.
Next Dean's Symposium on Educational Equity set for Jan. 22
Join the College of Education for the second Dean's Symposium on Educational Equity, featuring Camille M. Wilson, professor of educational foundations, leadership and policy at the University of Michigan. The symposium, which is co-sponsored by the College's Department of Education Policy Studies, will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Foster Auditorium in Paterno Library.
Conference to launch research into policies affecting teacher leadership
The College of Education Department of Education Policy Studies will hold a conference Jan. 30-31 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center on the University Park campus for faculty and students who want to impact policy development as it relates to teacher leadership.

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