State approves GSE Diversity Plan

Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) announced that the GSE’s 2016 Diversity Plan is approved. HECC Executive Director Ben Cannon highlighted GSE’s focus on diverse candidate recruitment and retention, work with identifying and preparing culturally competent school administrators, and ongoing review of curriculum and assessment materials for bias.


GSE students find help for children disabled by Zika virus

Go Baby Go toddler Students in Professor Sam Sennott’s Introduction to Special Education class at PSU have found a way to help children in Brazil who have birth defects caused by the Zika virus. The students have set up a fundraiser called Go Baby Go Brazil that will provide specially modified toy cars to very young children who have mobility issues. In Sennott’s class, students study about microcephaly and other conditions, like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome that delay development and prevent mobility. The students volunteered to build Go Baby Go cars and focused on raising money to provide cars for Brazil as a class project.

Go Baby Go build June 2016Go Baby Go is an emerging movement that began at the University of Delaware and is spreading across the country. The students participated in a local Go Baby Go build event in June. Volunteers at the event are trained to modify the toy cars that are individually customized to fit children as young as six months old. The June build event was directed by Portland physical therapist Bethany Sloane, along with the coordinator of Go Baby Go Oregon, Sam Logan. Eight cars were assembled at that event, and Sloane hopes to have a build event each month as money becomes available. Continue reading

GSE alumna Heather Yount named Principal of the Year

YountFruitdale Elementary School’s Heather Yount, IAL ’08, CAL ’12, has been named Oregon’s 2016 National Distinguished Principal. She was honored by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) and the Oregon Elementary School Principals Association (OESPA) at the annual COSA conference in Seaside, Oregon. Yount, who is from Grants Pass, is a graduate of PSU’s Initial and Continuing Administrator programs. She has worked for Three Rivers School District for 17 years.

Under her leadership, in 2014–15, Fruitdale Elementary became one of Oregon’s Model Schools. Model schools are high-poverty schools rated in the top 5 percent of achievement in the state. Fruitdale students have made remarkable gains in English language arts, math, and science. Continue reading

Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE) students win 2016 PSU awards

Irene BaileyPSU Sustainability Award—Outstanding Student Employee: Irene Bailey 

As a graduate assistant supporting the Student Sustainability Center (SSC) for the last two years, Irene Bailey, a student in the Leadership for Sustainability Education program, has been a role model and inspiration for dozens of PSU students. Her passion for and guidance within sustainability leadership and self-care have permeated the culture of the SSC. Supervisors in the program describe Baily as responsible and responsive, a skilled facilitator, and a dream employee.

Bailey’s enthusiasm for her program at PSU is contagious. She said, “There’s just so many different things happening, and we are impacting so many students at PSU and getting them more integrated with the sustainability efforts on our campus and in Portland. We’ve been able to really incorporate a culture of care.”

Claire LagerweyPSU Community Engagement Award: Claire Lagerwey
All of Claire Lagerwey’s work involves intellectual and academic rigor, as well as service to the University and community.

For nearly two years, Lagerwey has been serving as the lead graduate assistant on an National Science Foundation-funded project entitled Science in the Learning Gardens: Factors that Support Ethnic and Racial Minorities in Low-Income Middle Schools (SciLG). Her contributions to the community through SciLG have been significant, and she has gone above and beyond the expectations of her graduate assistantship.

The main goal of this work is to provide access to high-quality learning experiences for students who have been marginalized in traditional educational systems. No matter what challenges arise, Lagerwey never loses sight of this fundamental goal, and she directly supports students, teachers, and the team of garden educators to ensure kids are getting the best experience possible.

Congratulations to both Irene Bailey and Claire Lagerwey for their excellent work that is being acknowledged and celebrated at the University level! 


Academic awards announced for 2016

Theresa Just

Theresa Just

PSU annual student achievement awards were announced during a special event at the end of spring term.

GSE award recipients for 2016 are: Anna Vetter, University Service Award for Master’s; Staci B. Martin, University Service Award for Doctoral; Claire E. Lagerway, Community Engagement Award for Master’s; Victor Vergara, Community Engagement Award for Doctoral; Theresa Just, Academic Achievement Award for Master’s; and Kate Statman-Weil, Academic Achievement Award for Doctoral.

Theresa Just, who is graduating with a master’s in special education, also earned one of the top honors for the university: the Outstanding Student Achievement Award for a Graduate Student.

Her master’s project focused on strategies for working with students who are bilingual and who experience reading difficulties or a reading disability. Just completed the GSE special education licensure program in 2014 and is already a special education teacher in North Clackamas School District where she works at two schools: View Acres Elementary and Milwaukie Elementary/El Puente Bilingual School. Both are Title I schools that have high numbers of children living in poverty. Continue reading

Best wishes to our retirees!

Dean Hitz, Dannelle Stevens, Christine Chaillé, David Bullock, Swapna Mukhopadhyay

Dean Hitz, Dannelle Stevens, Christine Chaillé, David Bullock, Swapna Mukhopadhyay

The GSE held a special “cupcake assessment” to honor four GSE faculty members who have faithfully served students for many years. Retiring this year are David Bullock, Christine Chaillé, Swapna Mukhopadhyay, and Dannelle Stevens.

David Bullock, EdD—22 years at PSU, 37 years in education

Dr. David Bullock retires as the manager of the professional library and technology center in the GSE. He designed, coordinated, and supervised the current computer lab, having moved it to the new GSE location from the former MISL lab last year. He has supervised student workers in the lab and taught courses and advised students in the Library Media Specialist program. Bullock also served as the interim chair for the Curriculum and Instruction Department in 2003. One of Bullock’s most important contributions to the GSE is the acquisition and implementation of the TK20 software system that stores records of student applications and portfolios of their work.

Christine Chaillé, PhD—25 years at PSU, 43 years in education

Dr. Christine Chaillé has retired from the Curriculum and Instruction Department where she served as chair from 2006 to 2016. She specialized in early childhood curriculum, authoring five books on the topic and earning a national award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. Chaillé worked with Hands to Hearts International on a project to create child development curriculum for caregivers in orphanages in India.

Swapna Mukhopadhyay, PhD—13 years at PSU, 42 years in education

Dr. Swapna Mukhopadhyay is a retired professor who taught aspiring teachers in the Curriculum and Instruction Department. Her focus was on mathematics methods, particularly around providing socially relevant hands-on lessons for students from diverse cultures. She pioneered the field of ethnomathematics, co-authoring two books on the topic and arranging nine annual public lecture series that drew international participation.

Dannelle Stevens, PhD—22 years at PSU, 50 years in education

Dr. Dannelle Stevens is a professor emerita who began her career in K–12 education, teaching social studies, language arts, and special education for middle and high school students. She is a Fulbright and Carnegie scholar, and has authored four books. Her best-selling book, Intro to Rubrics, has sold 40,000 copies and has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. She most recently served as director of the GSE’s Educational Leadership Doctorate program. She is an avid journal writer and introduced the concept of rubrics to educators in Turkey.