GSE mentor project yields robotic champs

Caskey_legoHow do you motivate elementary children to love science and math? Answering that question led five local middle school students; their coach, Arun Sagiraju; and their mentors, GSE doctoral student Donna Webb and GSE faculty member and Associate Dean Micki Caskey to victory in the 14th Annual Intel Oregon FIRST* Lego League Championship tournament at Hillsboro’s Liberty High School on January 18, 2015.

Their team, Lego Legends, was one of two Oregon teams that will move on to the World Championship in Lego Robotics, combining the plastic building bricks with technology. The win is a significant accomplishment because Oregon has over 400 robotics teams, making the Intel event one of the largest in the country.

The competition required the teams to identify a community-based problem, build a functioning Lego robot that would solve the problem, and then describe what they did to judges. The competition’s theme for this year was “How to find a better way to help someone learn.”  Continue reading

GSE offers LGBTQ discussion panel

Event Details
Date: Thursday, March 5, 2015
Time: 6:30-8pm
Location: Room 408 PSU Graduate School of Education, 615 SW Harrison, Portland

The Graduate School of Education Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) invites students, faculty, and community to an event that will explore issues around LGBTQ in schools. The event will feature a panel of professionals discussing their experiences as teachers, counselors, and administrators.

It is hoped that participants will:

  • Engage in open and honest dialogue with queer professionals to increase personal comfort and understanding in negotiating queer identity and/or advocacy efforts
  • Begin/continue to develop a personal framework for encountering and making sense of sexual orientation and gender as they manifest in schools

The format of the event will take a two-fold approach. The first 45 minutes will feature panelists as they respond to questions that have been prepared ahead of time by members of the QSA. During the second half, panelists and other professionals will lead small round table discussions that offer attendees the opportunity to share their experiences, fears, and hopes related to queer identity and/or queer advocacy in the workplace. Continue reading

GSE student Dana Gieszler receives NBCC fellowship

Dana GieszlerCounseling student Dana Gieszler has been named a recipient of the Minority Masters Fellowship for Addictions Counselors. Gieszler is a student in the Counselor Education master’s program, specializing in clinical mental health and also the Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling. The award is sponsored by the NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and includes $11,000 and a trip to the NBCC Foundation National Symposium in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With this fellowship, Gieszler will be committed to working with minority transition-age youth for at least two years. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and feel honored to represent PSU at the conference,” said Gieszler, who will receive the award in May.  Continue reading

Alumna profile: Nelly Patiño-Cabrara

Patinio-Cabrera (2)Nelly Patiño-Cabrara is a 2014 graduate of the Bilingual Teacher Pathway (BTP) program and holds a master’s in early childhood and elementary education from PSU. She is currently a second-grade dual-immersion teacher at Lowrie Primary School in West Linn-Wilsonville School District. Her bachelor’s degree in management and administration is from the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana in Quito, Ecuador. She is originally from a very small town, Mindo, Ecuador, surrounded by the Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest.

Like many other students in the BTP program, she was a talented bilingual classroom assistant who was identified and sponsored by her district to obtain a teaching license. Her story as an immigrant from Ecuador and first-generation college graduate is inspiring. She was recently invited to speak at the Oregon Leadership Network Fall Leadership Institute and motivated attending school administrators to a standing ovation.
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GSE welcomes new faculty and staff for 2015

Ingrid Anderson, assistant professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Ingrid Anderson is joining the GSE as staff to the Early Childhood Council, with additional teaching assignments in the Master in Early Childhood and the Bilingual Teacher Pathway programs. She completed her EdD at PSU in December 2014 and over the last four years worked as the certification and credentials coordinator of the Oregon Registry, housed at the Oregon Center for Career Development (OCCD). Prior to that, she worked at the Portland Children’s Museum as the director of education and supervised the Opal School, a public K–6 charter school. Over her career, Anderson has written grants, worked for school districts and departments of education city government, and served as adjunct faculty at various colleges.

Jennifer Anderson, director of outreach and student services, GSE
Jennifer Anderson works with GSE faculty and staff to help promote various degree, certificate, and continuing education opportunities to prospective students and community members. She has a bachelor’s in communication disorders, a master’s in developmental psychology, and a master’s in public administration from Eastern Washington University. She also has a doctorate in postsecondary education from the GSE. Anderson has a passion for working with college students in admissions and student affairs. Her professional interests include memberships in the National Association for Student Affairs Professionals (NASPA) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Anderson is active in the local chapter of the Pacific Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (PACRAO). She is a board member for Quest Integrative Health Center, which provides mental health counseling and holistic wellness services and support to underserved populations throughout Portland.

Sarah Blattner, instructional designer, GSE
Sarah Blattner will be working with faculty as an instructional designer to develop and redesign courses moving to online or hybrid formats. Blattner has 20 years’ experience writing and developing curricula for K–12 educators and students and 10 years’ experience in education technology. She is a licensed middle and high school language arts teacher and leads a digital learning project for secondary students and teachers called TAMRITZ.

Kiley Melicker, department coordinator, Educational Leadership and Policy
Kiley Melicker provides administrative support for the department, faculty, and student workers in ELP. She has a bachelor’s in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Melicker has previously worked with academic advising, student life, and university libraries for the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Jana Smilanich-Rose, chief finance officer, GSE
Jana Smilanich-Rose is the new CFO for the GSE, working in the dean’s office. Smilanich-Rose has a master’s in public administration and a graduate certificate in public sector financial management from PSU. Smilanich-Rose has an undergraduate degree in art history and anthropology from Colorado State University. Since 2000, she has worked in higher education financial and administrative management, with a strong background in analytics to support evidence-based decision making. Prior to coming to PSU, she worked at Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Oregon.

Farewell to GSE colleague Greta Krahn

Greta Krahn, 1950-2015 (pictured with her mother in 2009)

Greta Krahn, 1950-2015 (pictured with her mother in 2009)

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our friend and colleague Greta Krahn who passed away on Friday, January 23, after a 10-year, courageous battle with cancer. Greta had a long history with the GSE, both as an alumna and an employee. She received her master’s in counselor education in 1986 and returned to PSU in 2003 to coordinate the ESL/Bilingual program for Continuing Education. She also served as the associate director of Continuing Education and the ESOL program manager until her retirement in 2014. Her professional contributions were many and far-reaching, but most important was her gift of friendship and collegiality that she shared with all who knew her.

“Greta used her counseling skills in daily life, whether it was her reflective listening skills to help me figure out what I really wanted to do, her ability to ask questions that got to the heart of an issue, her ability to problem solve very sticky issues, or just being there for every one of us,” said Cheryl Livneh, emerita faculty and recently retired associate dean of the GSE. “She was always professional, calm, thoughtful, and caring.”

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