PSU doctoral student recipient of national science teaching award

Garcia ArriolaAlfonso Garcia Arriola is the District XVII recipient of the Robert E. Yager Foundation Excellence in Teaching Awards from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The award recognizes six full-time K–12 teachers of science who successfully use innovation and excellence in their classrooms. Arriola teaches 7–8 science at ACCESS Academy in Portland Public Schools. He is a doctoral candidate in the PSU Educational Leadership (EdD) program.

“These teachers and science education professionals have shown tremendous dedication and commitment to their students and to science education,” said NSTA President Carolyn Hayes. “We are so proud to honor them as they help to inspire the next generation of informed citizens, scientists, engineers, and innovators who can embrace all that science can offer.”

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PSU faculty member/alumna recipient of national science teaching award

Wendi LaurenceGraduate School of Education (GSE) Curriculum and Instruction Assistant Professor Wendi Laurence has won the Wendell G. Mohling Outstanding Aerospace Educator Award from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). She is a 2007 graduate of the Doctorate of Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction program. The award recognizes a teacher with at least three years of experience for “excellence in the field of aerospace education.” The award includes an honorarium of $3,000, along with $2,000 toward her trip to the annual NSTA conference in Nashville, Tennessee, March 31–April 3, 2016.

Laurence is an Oregon Laurels Scholar and a past recipient of the Portland State President’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement. She lives in Park City, Utah, and teaches online classes for PSU in the Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction program. She has taught for the GSE since 2009. Prior to that she was a graduate assistant, 2001–2004, and a research specialist, 2004–2006, for the PSU Center for Science Education.

“Wendi has more energy than anybody I know,” said Professor Christine Chaillé, who heads the Curriculum and Instruction Department at PSU. “You can find her teaching robotics, astronomy, engineering, aviation, rocketry, and STEAM in a variety of formal and informal venues. She always brings her expertise, passion, research, creativity, and curiosity to everything she does so that more students can reach their potential to learn and love science.”

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Dean Randy Hitz selected for statewide council


A new committee was recently appointed by Governor Kate Brown to support the teaching profession in Oregon. Randy Hitz and 16 others are new members of the Council on Educator Advancement and will work to find ways to strengthen all of Oregon’s education workforce to foster teaching excellence and culturally competent educators.

The council is composed of currently licensed educators and representatives from educational institutions, nonprofits, professional and philanthropic organizations, and the public at large, along with designees from the Oregon Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Chief Education Office, the deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, the executive director of TSPC, and the director of Early Learning System.

The group will report out their findings in September 2016.



Christine Cress honored by Campus Compact

Christine CressOn April 13, Professor Christine Cress will receive the Oregon Campus Compact Engaged Faculty Award.

Cress is a professor of postsecondary, adult, and continuing education in the Educational Leadership and Policy Department. She is the author of three books on community service, including the internationally best-selling book Learning through Serving: A Student Guidebook for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement across Academic Disciplines and Cultural Communities, which has been adopted as a textbook at more than 30 colleges. Cress is recognized as one of the most prolific faculty-engaged scholars and is an expert on civic engagement as a pedagogical agent. She is the initiator of the PSU master’s specialization and graduate certificate in service-learning and community-based learning.

“Dr. Cress is one of PSU’s most innovative and influential community engaged scholars,” said President Wim Wiewel. “Her research demonstrates how this type of pedagogy significantly increases learning, retention, and degree attainment, while preparing students for active and meaningful participation in civic life. Portland State University is very proud to claim Dr. Christine Cress as one of our own.”

“Christine holds herself, her students, and her discipline to the highest standards of academic integrity,” said Stephanie Stockamer, a Pacific University faculty member and PSU alumna who studied with Cress. “By this I mean that she cares deeply about student learning, driven by a strong orientation toward social justice and the value she places on education as a means to a more equitable society.” Continue reading

PSU Length of Service Awards

Donna ShrierOn Thursday, March 3, 2016, PSU honored faculty and staff who reached a length of service milestone in 2015. PSU employees were honored for 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and remarkably, 50 years of service to the university.

Congratulations to the following Graduate School of Education members. GSE faculty honorees included:

20 year award

  • Donna Shrier, Curiculum and Instruction

25 year awards

  • Ann Fullerton, Special Education
  • Dilafruz Williams, Educational Leadership and Policy

Ron Narode, Curriculum and Instruction, was also honored in the program for his 25 years of service, but passed away on February 23, 2016.


GSE and PSU fondly remember Ron Narode

Ron Narode 3Feb 4, 1954 – Feb 23, 2016

We are so saddened to lose our friend and colleague, Ron Narode, who died on February 23, 2016.

Ron was an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, serving more than 25 years at PSU. He was a beloved teacher of math and science education, as well as a valued colleague throughout the University.

Ron brought a tremendous breadth of knowledge and experience to his work, including studies of Chinese, Judaic studies, philosophy, and English before pursuing his MAT in physics, and then his EdD in math and science education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was a masterful educator, always posing questions and exemplifying the passionate curiosity that he inspired in his students and colleagues.

Over his career at PSU, in addition to teaching, Ron published three books and wrote scores of articles on teaching math and science curriculum. He was principal investigator for over 43 grants totaling $14,115,079, including a multistate National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $10M with Portland Public Schools. In 1989 he was a Fulbright scholar in Portugal at the Universidade do Minho. He taught education at the University of the South Pacific, in Suva, Fiji, from 1989 to 1991. Continue reading