New faces in the GSE

Welcome new hires to the GSE.

jean-aguilar-valdezJean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez is a new tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction working with the GTEP and BTP programs. She is originally from Miami, Florida, but most recently from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where she was an assistant professor and member of the Education, Latin American Studies, and Race and Ethnic Studies faculties. She received her PhD in teacher education in 2013 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where her emphasis was science education and equity in education. Dr. Aguilar-Valdez’s research interests include Decolonizing STEM Education, Critical Race Theory in STEM, Critical Pedagogy, and Chicana Feminism in STEM.

erin-bray-smallErin Bray, accounting support, Office of the Dean, provides accounting and administrative support for financial and grant-related functions. She holds a BS from Portland State and has worked for the university in the development department for the Graduate School of Education and School of Social Work since 2012.



tara-cooper-3Tara Cooper is the Teacher Diversity Support Services Coordinator for the GSE. Ms. Cooper runs the new Teacher Pathways Program that will solidify GSE connections to minority undergraduates. She earned her master’s degree in intercultural relations with an emphasis in higher education, and holds a bachelor’s degree in English and ethnic studies. Her areas of expertise include mentoring and supporting underrepresented students. Before coming to Portland in 2013, she had over 15 years of experience in higher education recruitment and student support, including a position as a matriculation specialist in the California community college system where she participated in statewide efforts to improve student learning outcomes and vocational training programs.

hollieHollie Hix-Small, Special Education Department, is the new program coordinator for the Early Intervention/Special Education (EI/SE) program in the Department of in Special Education. She received her PhD from the University of Oregon. Most recently, she has worked with the Open Society Foundation in London, England, where she managed the organization’s early childhood intervention and early childhood care work in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Peru.


Holly LawsonHolly Lawson, Special Education Department, is the new coordinator of the Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) program. Since 1994, she has worked in the VIL field, beginning as a residential instructor for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and then in the Peace Corps in Morocco. Her master’s and PhD are from the University of Arizona where she held several positions in teaching and research. Most recently, she was an assistant professor and the coordinator for the Virginia Consortium of Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment at George Mason University.

emily-scripter-smallEmily McNulty Scripter is the GSE development coordinator, providing project coordination and administrative support for GSE development efforts, including annual giving, major and special gifts, alumni relations, special events, and communications. She holds a BFA in painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Ms. McNulty Scripter is a Portland native and has worked in nonprofit administration and fundraising at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Craft, and Bitch Media. 

andi-pearson-smallAndria (Andi) Pearson is the new Field Placement Coordinator for Special Education and School Counseling. She is responsible for coordinating and securing all of the practicum and student teaching field experiences for special education, counseling, and speech and hearing. She will contribute to the partnership efforts the GSE is working on with local school districts. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education and early childhood teaching from Concordia University and a BS in speech communication from PSU. Prior to PSU, she coordinated mental health and disability services for Head Start of Lincoln County, taught third grade inclusive special education in Hawaii, and worked for the Reynolds School District.

Lauren SlyhLauren Slyh, Educational Leadership and Policy, provides coordination and administrative support. She is currently working toward her undergraduate degree at PSU. Ms. Slyh has worked in Oregon public education since 2010, most recently as the executive assistant to the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Oregon Department of Education.


Lisa ToddLisa Todd is the Licensure Programs Administrator for the GSE. As the liaison to Oregon’s educator licensure agency—Teacher Standards and Practices—Ms. Todd reviews students’ programs of study and recommends those that meet PSU program requirements. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University and a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Linfield College. Previously, she assisted with accreditation and assessment at Lewis & Clark College’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and managed Education Northwest’s research library.

PSU graduate Lyon Terry named 2014 Washington Teacher of the Year

Lyon Terry

Washington Teacher of the Year, Lyon Terry snaps a “selfie” with other TOY finalists.

Lyon Terry, the 2014 Washington Teacher of the Year (TOY), is a graduate of the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP). Lyon Terry was selected from nine finalists across the State of Washington. He has a bachelor’s degree from Reed College, a master of education from PSU, and is National Board Certified.

Mr. Terry is a fourth grade teacher at Lawton Elementary School in Seattle and has taught second through fourth grades there for the last 10 years. He previously worked in the Highline School District and in New York City. He is a favorite among students and staff, starting each day in his classroom with his guitar. His approach to instruction is experiential and collaborative. Students in his classes receive extra emphasis on reading and writing. During his time at Lawton Elementary, he has increased fourth grade reading scores at the school by 10 percent. Continue reading

PSU awarded $1.2 million for American Indian education

AITPThe Graduate School of Education (GSE) has just been awarded a grant in the amount of $1.2 million from the US Department of Education Office of Indian Education (OIE) to recruit and prepare American Indian students to become teachers (obtaining a teaching license and master’s degree) over the next four years.

This is the second OIE professional development grant received by Portland State University (PSU) in four years. The first award, received in 2010, established the American Indian Teacher Program (AITP). Continue reading

GSE’s Cheryl Livneh receives regional award

livnehGSE Associate Dean Cheryl Livneh has earned the 2014 Honor of Excellence award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Western Region. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of professional and continuing education. She is the director of Continuing Education (CEED) at PSU, holds a faculty position in the Educational Leadership and Policy Department, and is the Associate Dean for Outreach for the GSE.

Dr. Livneh has served as the director of Continuing Education (CEED) at PSU since 1987, and with the CE team had grown the unit into a robust, successful, self-support department with 28 programs, over 1500 courses per year, 26 professional and support staff, and an annual revenue of over $2 million dollars. She is most noteworthy for the breadth of her work in continuing education program development and service to the university and the profession. Continue reading

Carnegie project selects GSE alumnus Ryan Palmer

PalmerGSE Doctoral alumnus Ryan Palmer, ’13, has won the 2014 Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Dissertation in Practice Award. He is a graduate of the GSE Doctorate in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education program. He is currently an assistant professor of family medicine and the director of curriculum evaluation and development at Oregon Health and Sciences University.

His thesis is entitled Exploring online community among rural medical education students: A case study. Dr. Palmer and his colleagues at OHSU are involved in ongoing research to study the impact of mobile learning on students at OHSU, noting that medical education is rapidly embracing online learning to better serve students both on and off campus. Continue reading

GSE’s Jim Carlile collects national leadership award

CarlileThe University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) has selected GSE adjunct faculty member, Jim Carlile, for an 2014 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award. He currently serves as assistant superintendent in the Oregon Department of Education Office of Instruction, Standards, Assessment, and Accountability, reporting directly to Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton.

Mr. Carlile is a well-regarded Oregon school administrator and teaches in the GSE’s continuing administrator licensure program. Since 1959, he has worked as a teacher, principal, superintendent, mentor, and project leader in numerous schools and districts across the state. He also served as the director of the PSU Center for Student Success, and in that capacity was positioned to provide the first third-party evaluation services for Oregon’s charter schools. Continue reading