GSE alumnae receive 2014 state school administrator awards

School administrators from across the state gather each year in June for the annual conference of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrator (COSA) that includes recognition of Oregon’s outstanding educators. The GSE has been well-represented on the dais, and this year is no exception. In addition to Superintendent of the Year, High School Principal of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year and Middle School Principal of the Year, all announced earlier in the year, COSA named Pattie Waltz the recipient of the Bev Gladder Mentorship Award, and Harriet Adair as a recipient of the COSA President’s Award. Continue reading

GSE Graduate named 2014 Oregon High School Principal of the Year

HD WeddelBend High School Principal HD Weddel, MS ’85, has been selected Oregon’s High School Principal of the Year by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA). He received the award from State School Superintendent Rob Saxton, a former classmate, at a surprise assembly at his school this spring.

HD Weddel is a graduate of Fort Vancouver High School, has a BS from Oregon State University, and holds a master’s degree from PSU. He was a teacher and coach for 25 years and was named an assistant principal of Bend High School in 2005, and principal in 2009. He started college with the goal of becoming a physical therapist and soon decided he would rather work on brains instead of bodies. He says he never thought he would move into administration. Continue reading

GSE graduate Brett Bigham receives NEA award

Bigham, Brett_021_VertGSE graduate Brett Bigham, MS ’02, Oregon’s Teacher of the Year and this year’s guest speaker at the GSE Academic Hooding Ceremony, has been named a recipient of the 2015 California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence.Mr. Bigham will be recognized at the Salute to Excellence in Education gala to be held in Washington, DC, on February 13, 2015. He is one of 39 recipients across the country who have been nominated by their NEA state affiliate. Each educator’s school will receive a $650 award, and five finalists will be selected to receive $10,000. One finalist will be named the nation’s top educator and receive an additional $25,000. Continue reading

GSE Professor Cress serves as Fulbright Senior Scholar to Turkey

Cress Istanbul MosqueChristine Cress, professor of educational leadership and policy (ELP), served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Turkey in fall 2013. In this role, she offered expertise and consultation to Turkish public and private universities and to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on pedagogical strategies for diverse learners, techniques for assessing programmatic and educational outcomes, and methodologies for connecting campuses and communities through civic engagement and service-learning.

Dr. Cress’ primary location was Middle East Technical University (METU) (Orta Doğu Technik Üniversitesi) in Ankara, where she was sponsored by the Office of Student Learning and Faculty Professional Development (Öğrenme ve Öğrenci Gelişim Birimi) and by Assistant Professor Serap Emil, METU School of Education, and former doctoral graduate of the GSE (2011).   Continue reading

Alumnus profile: Bryan Henderson


The sky was the limit for first generation student, J. Bryan Henderson, a 1997 graduate of Ridgefield High School in Ridgefield, WA. Having earned three bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington in physics, astronomy, and philosophy, and a minor in applied mathematics, he moved to back to the Portland area to work on a master’s in physics at PSU. While science was his first passion, effectively teaching science became his second, which led him to enroll in the GSE’s certificate in Teaching Adult Learners and, finally, a master’s in Postsecondary, Adult and Continuing Education (PACE).

Dr. Henderson then went on to receive his PhD from Stanford University in science education. He is interested in the utilization of educational technology to facilitate peer-to-peer science learning via evidence-based formative assessment techniques. His classroom-based research on peer learning intersects with multiple years of experience studying science argumentation under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Osborne at Stanford.

As a co-founder and research director of the nonprofit, Braincandy, Henderson is working with teachers across the US to create formative assessment materials and make best practices freely accessible via cloud-based applications. Henderson’s scientific background is in astrophysics, with research positions at major observatories in Arizona, Chile, and the Netherlands. He also has over a decade of experience teaching statistics and physics at both the university and community college levels.

He is currently a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford while also conducting postdoctoral research on science argumentation at the Lawrence Hall of Science. In fall, 2014, he will join the faculty at Arizona State University as a tenure-track assistant professor with a joint appointment in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and the Learning Sciences Institute. Continue reading

AIUTP honors three graduates and Micki Caskey

AIUTPThree graduates of the American Indian Urban Teacher Program (AIUTP) were honored at a ceremony on June 13, following the GSE Academic Hooding event. Graduates Ashley Friedman, Cara Colclasure, and Gina Rentz were joined by faculty, family, and friends for the evening’s celebration, which featured a traditional Native American meal.

Associate Dean Micki Caskey, who is one of the founders of the AIUTP program, was honored at the event for her ongoing support. Cornel Pewewardy, AIUTP co-founder and director of the Indigenous Nations Studies department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences sang an honor song as Dr. Caskey was presented with a Pendleton blanket in the traditional tribal way.

The AIUTP was launched at PSU in 2011 to recruit and train native people for the teaching profession. Portland has the largest American Indian population in Oregon with more than 2.1% of K-12 students, but less than .6 percent of teachers are Native American. The AIUTP is one of only eight universities awarded funding by the Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education and provided a stipend for living expenses and full tuition to Native American teacher education students who qualify.