New GSE Staff for Fall, 2016

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Lindsey Freer is the new instructional technology services manager in Technology Services (formerly known as the MISL). She has a master’s in English from City University of New York, where she is also working toward a PhD. She has taught for both public and private colleges on the East Coast. She most recently worked for the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she was the program manager in the Instructional Technology Referral Office. She has a wealth of experience in both teaching and creating online instruction, especially working with faculty on technology tribulations.

K.C. Hall is the new chief finance officer (CFO) of the Graduate School of Education (GSE). Hall comes to us from the PSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she served for the last four years as fiscal officer. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Marylhurst University and served as interim CFO for the GSE prior to being offered the position permanently.

Amy Nye is the new manager of the GSE Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs. She has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Duquesne University. She has nearly 10 years of experience in higher education, ranging from management and operations, to admissions and enrollment, and conference and event services.

Dean Hitz hosts reception honoring GSE supporters and scholarship recipients

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The evening of October 4, 2016, Dean Randy Hitz hosted the Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) Dean’s Reception. This annual event honored the school’s 2016-17 scholarship recipients, and the generous supporters of GSE scholarships and programs. There were many smiling faces as donors and students met and discussed the future of education and counseling.

Four GSE scholarship recipients spoke, sharing their paths to the GSE, their careers, and how scholarships are having a significant impact on them. Thank you to the following students for sharing their time and stories at the event:

Aria Benner
Recipient of the Nancy Benson Scholarship and the Keith and Paula Stanovich Scholarship
Aria is in the Inclusive Elementary Educator Program, and will graduate in 2017. She plans on working as either a general or special education teacher in a public elementary school, with a focus on inclusion of students with diverse abilities and backgrounds.

Wesme Pilab Beltran
Recipient of the GSE Residency Fellows Scholarship
Wesme is in the Secondary Graduate Teacher Education Bilingual Residency Program, and will graduate in 2017. He looks forward to teaching ESOL to high school students.

David Shiryayev
Recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund for Math/Science Education
and the Renaissance Foundation Graduate School of Education Scholarship
David is in the Secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program, pursuing endorsements in math and Russian. He anticipates graduating in 2017, and looks forward to teaching math, science and Russian at a local high school.

Myrna Salinas
Recipient of the Brakke-Daggett-Petti Family Educational Leadership Endowed Scholarship
Myrna is in the Initial Administrator License Program, and will graduate in 2017. She hopes to impact diverse communities by leading schools with instructional equity at the center of the work.

Dean Hitz was pleased to present Marta and Ken Thrasher with the 2016 Light the Future Award for philanthropy. Marta and Ken Thrasher have been deeply engaged with PSU and the GSE for many years. Marta completed the Graduate Teacher Education Program in the GSE, and both support programs and students focused on families, children and youth. Through the Marta and Ken Thrasher Scholarship, the couple has made possible nearly 100 scholarship awards to aspiring teachers.

For the 2016-17 academic year, the GSE awarded $339,552 in private, philanthropic scholarships. Scholarships are very important to GSE students, as the numbers make clear:

  • The average cost for an education or counseling licensure and master’s program in the GSE is $28,000.
  • For 2016-17, the average GSE scholarship award will be $3,329, which is only 12% the average cost of attendance for these students.
  • The GSE has averaged 51 scholarships per year over the last four years, for a student body of around 1,000 students. The majority of GSE students have significant financial need, and education and counseling graduate students can’t work during the field experience portions of their programs.
  • Because an average starting teacher salary is approximately $38,000, the debt to income ratio for those who wish to teach in preK–12 classrooms becomes a huge roadblock to entering and staying in the teaching profession.

Scholarship support is increasing, with the average award size more than twice what it was in 2012. But with state support still far below historic levels, there is a significant need so the GSE continues to prioritize scholarship fundraising. Thank you to all of our generous supporters who are helping GSE students on their paths to becoming educators and counselors!

If you are interested in discussing options for establishing or supporting a GSE scholarship, please contact Jaymee Jacoby, GSE director of development, 503-725-4789, or make a gift to support scholarships here.

To view a complete photo gallery from the GSE Dean’s Reception, or to purchase images, visit Andie Petkus Photography.

New faculty in GSE for 2016-17 school year

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Welcome to these exceptional new teaching faculty who have joined GSE this fall. 

Todd Cherner (CI) is an assistant professor in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), focusing on secondary education. He received his PhD in 2012 from the University of Tennessee with a concentration in secondary education English, and a cognate in cultural studies in education. He holds a master’s degree from Clemson University and a BS in English language arts from the University of Central Florida. He most recently was an assistant professor of English education and literacy at Coastal Carolina University. His focus is on technology and education, and he has expertise and interest in online education and digital literacy that will deepen departmental work in these areas.

Deanna Cor (COUN) is an assistant professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She holds a BA in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of Central Florida. She earned her MA in clinical mental health counseling from Rollins College and completed her PhD in counselor education and supervision from the George Washington University. Cor’s passion centers on facilitating multicultural counseling competencies and social justice advocacy skills among future counselors. Her research follows this vein by focusing on ways to assess and enhance knowledge, awareness, and skills in counseling trainees working with trans and gender-nonconforming clients.

Rana Houshmand (CI) is an assistant professor of practice who is leading a two-year cohort in the secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) as well as teaching in the GTEP and the Curriculum and Instruction (CI) master’s program. She holds a BA in English literature from the University of Oregon, and an MEd in education from Portland State University. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Portland State University in 2014. Houshmand’s focus is on all things literacy, with a specific focus on writing literacy and the Socratic method. Prior to joining the GSE and CI faculty, she taught English language arts at the high school level for 10 years. Her research interests include writing literacy, social dimensions of the K–12 classroom, teacher preparatory mentorship, and social justice. 

Karen Kennedy (CI) is an assistant professor of practice for the secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP). She teaches math methods and courses for the Deepening Mathematical Understanding certificate and supervises for the GTEP. Enhanced by her passion for mathematics education, educational leadership, and literacy, she has expertise in curriculum design and pedagogy, academic language development, literacy, and research on children’s mathematical thinking. Kennedy has served as a math consultant, middle school principal, school counselor, instructional coach, and high school math teacher. More recently, she worked as a professional learning partner for UCLA Center X and adjunct professor for the University of Southern California (USC). Kennedy received her doctorate of education in educational leadership from USC, her master’s in school counseling from Azusa Pacific University, and her bachelor of science in applied mathematics from the University of California at Irvine.

Jada Phelps Moultrie (ELP) is an assistant professor of education leadership. She is from Indiana University, where she completed her PhD in urban education studies with a silo in educational leadership and policy studies. Her dissertation was a two-year qualitative study focused on how Black parents are involved in schools. She used critical race theory as a framework and critical ethnographic methods to explore their involvement. Her current research agenda expands this line of inquiry. She explores the phenomenon known as racial battle fatigue and its influences on “parenting while Black.” At the school level, she is interested in how school leaders perpetuate or disrupt factors that marginalize Black children.

Shaheen Munir-McHill (SPED) is an assistant professor of practice and the coordinator of the part-time and full-time special education programs. Munir-McHill holds a BA in psychology from the University of Southern California. She earned her MS in special education and a PhD in school psychology from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the GSE, Munir-McHill was a practicing school psychologist in the Eugene/Springfield area, and coordinated the University of Oregon Center on Teaching and Learning reading clinic. Munir-McHill’s interests include the development and use of formative assessment tools, early literacy support and intervention, linking assessment and intervention, and systematic implementation of multi-tiered instructional service delivery models.

John Nimmo (CI), assistant professor, is working in early childhood education. He is an internationally known scholar who brings over 35 years of experience and leadership in the early childhood field. His most recent work is at the University of New Hampshire. His expertise is broad and theoretically grounded, with extensive practical experiences in teaching and teacher education, including interests in Reggio Emilia, diversity, and child development. His PhD in early childhood development is from the University of Massachusetts. He has an MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California, and a bachelor’s degree and teaching license from South Australian College and Kelvin Grove College in Australia.

Melissa Pebly (SPED) is a special education instructor and supervisor and is co-leading the full-time special education cohort. Her areas of interest are in literacy for students with significant disabilities and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In addition to teaching courses related to severe disabilities and literacy methods, Pebly is pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership with a specialization in special education.

Amanda Sugimoto (CI), assistant professor, is working in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) focusing on elementary education. She is completing her PhD at the University of Arizona in teacher education. She has focused her PhD coursework and research on best practices for preparing prospective elementary teachers to work with diverse students in a socially just manner, looking at second language acquisition, and qualitative research methods. She has an MA in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University and a BA in elementary education from the University of Arizona. She has worked as an elementary classroom teacher and taught ESL in China.

Maika Yeigh (CI), assistant professor, is an instructor and cohort leader in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), specializing in secondary education. Her focus is on supporting teacher candidates through preparation and into their induction years, with the hope that future educators will fulfill their goals of providing K–12 children with an empowering education. Yeigh has taught in elementary, middle, and high schools in California, Oregon, and Washington. She has a focus in literacy education and humane assessment practices, and a strong commitment to quality teacher education, partnerships, and social justice. Yeigh is a 2014 graduate of the PSU Doctorate in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction.

Rana Yaghmaian (COUN) is an assistant professor of practice and program coordinator of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor and received her PhD in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in rehabilitation counseling. Her dissertation is entitled: Predicting Subjective Well-Being in Women with Fibromyalgia: An Application of a Feminist, Biopsychosocial Framework of Chronic Illness and Disability.

GSE alumna Stephanie Stokamer nationally recognized

Former GSE instructor Stephanie Stokamer, EdD ’11, has received honors from the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE). She is the recipient of the organization’s freshman award, entitled Recognition of Exemplary Contribution through Research and Community Engagement: Early Career. The award recognizes her important contributions to research on service-learning and community engagement. This honor also included an invitation to present her research at this year’s IARSLCE conference, September 27, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“It really was such an honor to be recognized by my peers in this way,” said Stokamer after attending the celebration in New Orleans. “IARSLCE is a fantastic organization that supports better understanding of civic learning through community engagement around the world, and as a practitioner-scholar, I think the conference participants really feel like my people.”  She expressly thanked her mentor, GSE professor Christine Cress, and her colleagues at Pacific University for their ongoing support of her work. Continue reading

PSU awarded $1.2 million* for Native American 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 Native American students for teaching licensure and master’s degrees over the next four years.

This is the third OIE professional development grant received by Portland State University (PSU) in six years. The first award, received in 2010, established the American Indian Teacher Preparation program (AITP).

“I am elated,” said Project Director Maria Tenorio. “I think this grant will help us sustain a lot of the work we want to continue with Oregon tribes—in fact, some of our first teachers are now ready to accept student teachers!”

Micki Caskey, associate dean and principal investigator on the grant, praised the AITP’s success. “The Graduate School of Education is honored to receive our third award from the Office of Indian Education. This American Indian Teacher Program award allows us to build on our proud and long-standing relationships with Oregon’s tribal nations. Our partnerships with the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indians will continue to benefit the tribal and non-Native communities alike.” Continue reading

GSE Annual Report 2015-16


Student news
Theresa Just, Irene Bailey earn sustainability awards
Claire Lagerwey receives PSU Community Engagement Award
GSE students receive academic awards

Alumni awards
Alfonso Garcia Arriola receives regional science teaching award from NSTA
Margaret Calvert named Oregon High School Principal of the Year
Drake Shelton named Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year
Sho Shigeoka named Oregon Association of Latino Administrators Ally
Nancy Sullivan awarded Oregon Secondary Librarian of the Year
Victor Vergara named Oregon Association of Latino Administrators Ally
Heather Yount is Oregon’s 2016 National Distinguished Principal of the Year

Faculty news
Julie Esparza Brown is OALA Distinguished Latino Educator
Christine Cress honored by Campus Compact
Esperanza De La Vega receives President’s Diversity Award
Wendi Laurence receives national science teaching award from NSTA
Beth Unverzagt honored as White House Champion of Change 

Books published by faculty
The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for ELLs, High School, Anita Bright, Holly Hansen-Thomas, Luciana de Oliveira
Disrupting Early Childhood Education Research (2016), Will Parnell, Jeanne Marie Iorio

Major grants
Certified Orientation and Mobility Educators in Training (COMET)
Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling program (CLRC)
Developing Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leaders (DEMIL)
ThinkCollege Inclusion Oregon (TCIO)
Science in the Learning Gardens (SciLG)

Philanthropic support
Bill and Ricky Korach establish endowed GSE scholarship
Marilyn DeVault supports scholarships
GSE awards over $300,000 in scholarships
Donor honor roll 2016

GSE one of the first to earn new accreditation

Retirements for 2016