Marvin Lynn, expert on race and education, to lead PSU’s Graduate School of Education

Marvin Lynn, professor and dean of the School of Education at Indiana University South Bend and an internationally recognized expert on race and education, is the new dean of Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education.

He will begin his position on July 1, replacing current dean, Randy Hitz.

“Dean Hitz has made an enormous impact on education in our state, and we are delighted to have Marvin continue that legacy as our new dean of the Graduate School of Education. Marvin’s higher education experience, his work with schools and his involvement with educational issues at the national level make him an exceptional addition to Portland State,” said Sona Andrews, PSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

At Indiana University, Lynn led a reorganization of the School of Education, brought greater focus on marketing and recruitment for diversity—which resulted in enrollment growth—and revamped the school’s mission and vision. During his tenure, the school established a community mental health counseling clinic and developed community-based laboratory schools serving the needs of underserved elementary and middle school students in two school districts.

Prior to Indiana University, Lynn served as associate dean for teacher education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was a an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Maryland at College Park, and worked for several years as an elementary and middle school teacher in Chicago and New York City.

“Portland State University’s vibrant urban mission and commitment to equity provides an exciting context in which to do transformative work,” Lynn said. “I’m excited about working with the excellent faculty, staff and students in the Graduate School of Education to help make it the premier urban school of its kind in the nation.”

The Graduate School of Education at Portland State is the largest and most comprehensive school of education in Oregon. It offers doctoral and master’s degrees and extensive teaching, counseling, and administrative licensure programs, certificates, and professional development opportunities for both prospective and current educators, administrators and human services practitioners.

Matt Utterback named National Superintendent of the Year

GSE advisory board member Matt Utterback is the 2017 National Superintendent of the Year. He was honored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) at a March 2 celebration in New Orleans. Utterback is the North Clackamas School District superintendent and has served on the GSE Advisory Council for four years.

“Matt has focused district attention on equity as the foundation for improving student success in North Clackamas School District, and he and his colleagues have experienced remarkable success,” said Dean Randy Hitz. “We count it a privilege to have North Clackamas as one of our most important district partners and to have Matt on our advisory council.”

No one could be prouder of Utterback than his own school board, who closely witnessed the changes in their district since promoting him to superintendent in 2012. In a statement to the community, Board Chair Rein Vaga said, “Matt Utterback is a brilliant and exceedingly capable superintendent who has the intellectual capacity in understanding and comprehending everything from the smallest of details, to a leadership ability of broad wisdom and vision, which can be revealed in part by his implementation of a long-range strategic initiative based upon equity.” Continue reading

PSU partners with City of Portland, PCC, OHSU, to build $100 million center for education and health care

Draft rendering of new GSE building

Portland’s three largest public colleges are teaming up with the City of Portland to build a new education and health center in the heart of Portland State University’s downtown campus.

The historic project will turn a parking lot at Southwest Fourth Avenue and Montgomery Street into a new home for PSU’s Graduate School of Education, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, Portland Community College’s dental programs and some Portland city offices. The $100 million building—expected to open in September 2020—marks the first time the three campuses will share one building.

“We are very excited to leverage the power of PSU, OHSU, and PCC to train Portland’s future health and education leaders,” PSU President Wim Wiewel said. “This unique collaboration takes us to a new level of community cooperation, one that sets a standard for Portland, the region and the state.”

The building, one of the biggest on PSU’s main campus, will bring low-cost mental health services, PCC’s dental clinic, city offices and ground-floor retail stores to a newly revitalized area of south downtown, next to a public transportation hub with MAX, streetcar and bus service. Continue reading

PSU Length of Service awards 2017

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On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, PSU honored faculty and staff who reached a length of service milestone in 2016. PSU employees were honored for 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and remarkably, 45 years of service to the university. Five GSE employees were recognized for 20, 25, and 30 years of continuous employment. Congratulations to the following Graduate School of Education members:

20 years

  • Teresa Loveland, Coordinator, Special and Counselor Education

25 years

  • Jennifer Artman, Helen Gordon Child Development Center
  • Christine Chaillé, Emerita Faculty, Curriculum and Instruction Department
  • Mark Mentzer, Registration Coordinator, Continuing Education

30 years

  • Carol L. Mack, Professor, Curriculum and Instruction Department, former GSE associate dean, former vice provost for academic personnel and leadership development

Please join us in acknowledging our fellow colleagues for their significant achievement and contribution to the Graduate School of Education and Portland State University.

PSU graduate student coaches David Douglas mock trial team

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On March 4, a dozen teams of high school students competed in a regional Mock Trial competition in the Clackamas County Courthouse. Joseph Cornett, a PSU graduate student in the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP) led the David Douglas High School (DDHS) team of eight. It is the first time in 10 years that DDHS has fielded a team.

Mock Trial is a competitive academic activity that puts two teams up against one another in arguing an authentic legal case. The Classroom Law Project developed the Mock Trial Competition to promote civic engagement and legal education throughout the state of Oregon.

In Mock Trial competition, there are three rounds. Teams are assigned to defend or prosecute cases they have previously studied, but until they begin, they do not know which side they will argue. Students must be familiar with and carefully follow court procedures. They learn to address the judge, how and when to object to questions, and what attorneys from each side are expected to know and do. Students get a dose of real-world public speaking practice and a positive courthouse experience. The “jury” is comprised of volunteer judges who tally scores.

Coach Cornett is in his second year of SDEP in the Graduate School of Education. Graduates of this program earn a teaching license and master’s degree in special education and a content area, in this case, social studies. Cornett will be qualified to teach social studies in middle and high school and able to work successfully with students from a variety of ability levels in his classroom. SDEP is unique to PSU and one of only a few such programs in the country. Dual-licensed teachers are in high demand in school districts because many schools are looking for flexibility in their workforce. Continue reading

GSE faculty member John Nimmo generates global early childhood documentary

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What is a right? What rights do children have in their schools, families and communities? And most importantly, What are the rights young children believe they should have in order to reach their full potential and participate in their community? These are the questions early childhood Professor John Nimmo pondered as he embarked on a film project entitled “Voices of Children,” for the World Forum Foundation (WFF).

John Nimmo, assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, is working with a team of multinational educators to discover the central values of our youngest global citizens –ages birth to eight years old. He is a member of the Working Initiative on Children’s Rights, for the WFF, an international consortium of educators working to improve the lives of young children around the world.

Nimmo’s global committee of early childhood educators and videographers sought to establish the voice of children in a documentary that would help adults understand the point of view of children. The group wondered what children actually knew about their rights. How did they feel about their place in society? And what was truly important to them?

For Nimmo, it was a unique chance to work with early childhood professionals from around the world. “What would it look like for videographers and social scientists from Brazil to come together with educators from the United States and Singapore and come to India and think about not only how we listen and how we speak about rights but also how we document them and make them visible?” said Nimmo, who has spent 30+ years working in early childhood education in multiple countries and cultures. “In the process, our goal was to unpack the typically Western and individualistic concept of rights and develop a more complex and culturally inclusive understanding.” Continue reading