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San Diego State University

SDSU College of Education

Volume 6, Number 2April 2013
COE Graduate Programs Among the Best in the Nation
SDSU campus high above Student Services building

The College shares No. 65 out of the 278 graduate schools surveyed – an increase of six places over last year. Among public universities we are proud to be within the top 50 ranking at a shared 49th ranking with Old Dominion, Cincinnati, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The College of Education is the only CSU in the top 100 and the eigth-ranked college of education in California. The rehabilitation counseling program in the College's Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Post-Secondary Education is ranked 9th nationally.

Our continued rise in the U.S. News survey is a testament to the impact our students, faculty, staff and alumni have on San Diego, the state and the national education community. This recognition is the result of our excellent preparation programs, innovative research and collaborative partnerships.

Congratulations to the continued commitment to excellence by faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders. Once again, we are recognized for truly "making a difference in the lives of those we serve". Well done!!

Read the story at SDSU NewsCenter.

COE Welcomes New Staff Members
Photo of Manny Uribe

Manny Uribe

The College of Education is excited to welcome Manuel "Manny" Uribe as the new Information Technology Consultant.

Manny is a graduate of SDSU and has over 10 years experience working in tech support and web and graphic design. He comes to us from the SDSU Pre-College Institute where he worked with several federally-funded outreach programs under the direction of Dr. Cynthia D. Park, Professor in the School of Teacher Education. Manny also worked half-time in the Divison of Undergraduate Studies, under the direction of Dean Geoffrey Chase, where he created a new look for the DUS home page and succeeded in getting all division websites up to CSU standards during the last university-wide accessibility audit.

Manny's initial responsibilities at the COE will include assisting Departments and Programs in ensuring a full transition to the new COE Content Management System (CMS) web site and providing tech support for faculty and staff.

Alma Espinoza

The College of Education is excited to welcome Alma Espinoza as the Administrative Support Coordinator for the Department of Policy Studies and Cross-Cultural Education.

Alma brings with her 14 years of experience as a Family Literacy Coordinator in the San Diego Unified School District where she worked with Title 1 schools. Alma also worked with the SDSU Research Foundation for four years. She is now happy to be a part of the PLC and
COE team!

Dr. Nola Butler-Byrd Receives SDSU Faculty Diversity Award
Photo of Dr. Nola Butler-Byrd

Counseling and School Psychology Chair, Dr. Nola Butler-Byrd has been selected by her peers to receive the 2013 SDSU Faculty Diversity Award for exemplary work in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

The SDSU Diversity Awards serve as an opportunity for the entire San Diego State University community to come together and celebrate their long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Dr. Butler-Byrd will be formally presented with the award at the 9th Annual Diversity Awards Celebration on
April 24, 2013.

Read more about Dr. Butler-Byrd and SDSU’s commitment to diversity.

Amber's Book Club
Photo of student reading a book

The spring semester is a time of hustle and bustle for most of San Diego State University’s Teaching Credential students. The spring brings with it finishing up the last of student teaching, completing the infamous PACT, and applying for that well-deserved credential. As our current students finish their programs and prepare their portfolios for job interviews, we pause to remember another of SDSU’s talented teacher credential students who was taken from us too soon, Amber Soule.

In 2001, Amber had just finished student teaching after graduating from SDSU in 2000 with a degree in Psychology, received her multiple subject teaching credential, begun her professional career as a Visiting Teacher in the San Diego Unified School District, and accepted her first teaching position when she lost her life on November 16, 2001, at the too-young age of 27.

Amber had always dreamed of helping less-privileged children. In Amber’s own words, “I realized I wanted to work with children, to help those who need encouragement and support to become proud, resilient individuals, and to provide children with an educational experience that awakens their own curiosity in the world around them and provides them with confidence in their own abilities.” Amber knew she could teach these students and get them to the next level. As she taught and observed children at school, Amber “learned that most children want to succeed but quite often feel they do not have the ability. With clear direction and relentless encouragement, their confidence grows.”

With Amber’s teaching philosophy in mind and in her memory, Amber’s parents Jim and Judy Soule started “Amber’s Book Club,” the family-run component of the Amber Christine Soule Endowment, founded in 2002, with the SDSU Campanile Foundation.

Soon after it’s creation, “Amber’s Book Club” partnered with the San Diego State University Literacy Center. The Literacy Center, currently directed by SDSU College of Education professor, Dr. Nancy Frey, provides intensive, individualized literacy instruction for struggling readers and writers taught by expert teachers. The Literacy Center, located in the Dede Alpert Center for Community Engagement, represents a multi-year commitment between the SDSU College of Education and the City Heights Collaborative to provide accessibility for students and teachers who receive training and tutor students there during their graduate program in pursuit of a reading specialist teaching credential. The Literacy Center serves as a living laboratory where students receive person-to-person individualized instruction in reading and writing as well as phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, spelling and comprehension strategies by credentialed, experienced teachers as they train to become specialists in literacy development.

The intensive semester-long tutoring process is designed to help students remove barriers to learning, build toward independence in reading and acquire the coping skills used by independent readers. Teachers use structured techniques under the supervision of SDSU professors, and students are taught metacognitive cues to eventually use on their own. Some students gain two to three years in literacy skills over the course of a semester, but they are also welcome to return for an “Academic Booster Shot,” according to Dr. Frey. She even sees the long-term goals of helping struggling readers as a civic responsibility to help produce informed citizens of tomorrow, stewards of the future.

In the last six years, “Amber’s Book Club” has raised over $12,000.00 for scholarships and provided hundreds of books to the Center. The funds and books collected through “Amber’s Book Club” provide scholarships and resources for the children Amber loved. While Amber is greatly missed, her memory lives on everyday through the children her book club is supporting.

Visit the “Amber’s Book Club” website to learn more about the program and to make a donation.

Article contributed by: Mary L. Lawlor, Ph.D. (SDSU College of Education Volunteer)

Dr. Wood to be Honored at 55th Annual CSCC Conference
Dr. Luke Wood

Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education faculty member, Dr. Luke Wood has been selected as the 2013 Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar.

Each year the Barbara K. Townsend Emerging Scholar Award recognizes a new scholar for an outstanding theoretical and/or applied research publication that contributes to the professional body of knowledge about community college, including, but not limited to, community college teaching and learning, administration, policy, student success, governance and finance.

Dr. Wood will be honored at a luncheon during the 55th Annual CSCC Conference in San Francisco, California on April 19, 2013.

Read more about the CSCC.

Dr. Wang Identified as High Impact Author
Dr. Minjuan Wang

Educational Technology faculty member, Dr. Minjuan Wang has been recognized as a high impact author in the area of Blended Learning. One of Dr. Wang’s articles was identified in a recent study to be one of the 10 most cited by other authors and therefore a very important piece of work in the field.

Dr. Wang’s article, “The Impact of Mobile Learning on Student Learning Behaviors and Performance” was recognized in the study, Halverson, L. et al. (2012) An analysis of high impact scholarship and publication trends in blended learning Distance Education, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 381-413

Blended learning is an education model in which students learn by combing face-to-face instruction and online delivery of content. This model is growing in both popularity and necessity from students and higher education
institutions alike.

View the full prepublication draft of the study.

Dr. Frank Harris III Delivers Plenary Address at 32nd Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience
Dr. Frank Harris III

Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education faculty member, Dr. Frank Harris III delivered the Plenary Address at 32nd Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience held in February 2013 in Orlando, Florida.

The Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience is designed to provide educators from every segment of higher education a comfortable, welcoming environment to share innovative ideas, programs, tools, and research critical to the learning, development, and success of first-year college students.

Dr. Harris’s afternoon plenary address titled Matriculating into Manhood: Facilitating Healthy Gender Identities Among College Men in Transition was well attended and engaged many conference attendees.

Dr. Harris is an associate professor of postsecondary education and co-director of the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) at San Diego State University. His research is broadly focused on student development and student success in postsecondary education and explores questions related to the social construction of gender and race on college campuses, college men and masculinities, and racial/ethnic disparities in college student outcomes.

Dr. Andre Branch Honored with Outstanding African American Educator Award
Dr. Andre Branch

Dr. Andre Branch has been honored by the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc., Delta Upsilon San Diego Chapter as an Outstanding African American Educator.

The Outstanding African American Educator Award honors those who make a significant contribution to the academic and personal success of Phi Delta
Kappa students.

The 28th Annual Outstanding African American Educators Awards ceremony was held on February 2, 2013 and honored School of Teacher Education faculty member Dr. Branch among several other influential educators and community members.

Dr. Branch is an Associate Professor in the School of Teacher Education at SDSU and teaches courses on multicultural education and ethic identity.

Dr. Tonika Green Receives The Unsung Hero Award
Dr. Tonika Green

On Friday, January 25, 2013, Dr. Tonika Green, Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology was awarded The Unsung Hero Award during the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon. The award is in recognition of her dedicated service to the goals of higher education at SDSU and living the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The award specifically recognized her outstanding contributions in her teaching, research, and service focused on increasing the achievement of diverse learners through culturally responsive school practices, with specific interest in African American youth.

Dr. Marilee Bresciani Receives Recognition for her Commitment to Higher Education
Dr. Marilee Bresciani

Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education faculty member, Dr. Marilee Bresciani has been honored with the George D. Kuh Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature and/or Research Award. Dr. Bresciani received this distinguished honor from Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) at the annual conference this March in Orlando, FL.

This award honors individuals like Dr. Bresciani who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to research and scholarship relating to higher education. Dr. Bresciani’s work addresses important and substantial issues and has had a significant effect on higher education and student affairs practice on a national level.

Dr. George D. Kuh, for whom this award was named, is a leading scholar in research on student development, assessment, and environments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Read more about Dr. Bresciani and the
George D. Kuh Award

Mathematics Teacher Noticing: Seeing through Teachers' Eyes selected for Exemplary Research in Teaching Award
Dr. Randolph Philipp

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has selected, Mathematics Teacher Noticing: Seeing through Teachers' Eyes edited by Miriam Sherin, Victoria Jacobs, and Randolph Philipp for the Division K Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education Award. We are very excited that School of Teacher Education faculty member Dr. Randolph Phillips is one of the authors on this exemplary text.

The award review committee unanimously agreed that this collection of essays provides a timely, powerful and detailed examination of the work of teachers. Every day teachers confront complex challenges, which require them to respond in novel ways. How we prepare teachers to notice and make sense of these challenges, and the tools we have to do so is front and central to the fields of teaching and teacher education.

Dr. Philipp will be recognized at the Division K Business meeting at the Annual Meeting of AERA in San Francisco, CA on April 28, 2013.

Learn more about this award and the American Educational Research Association

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