Winter Count project portrays GSE students’ journeys


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Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) teacher candidates in the Integrated Arts cohort have used a tribal method to construct “portfolios” of their journeys through their program. Curriculum and Instruction Department Associate Professor Jan Abramovitz collaborated with American Indian Teacher Program Director Maria Tenorio to give students a new process by which to construct portfolios of their learning in a creative way that honors those who originally occupied the land.

The Winter Count project is modeled after one method employed by tribal nations to record and preserve their history. Students’ artwork is based on the Nakota Sioux Winter Count, an educator lesson from the National Museum of the American Indian. The Winter Count lesson illustrates how an oral culture used pictographs as a mnemonic device to create a calendar of a year in the tribe’s life. As such, it provides American Indian context to a time in American history when major social, cultural, and economic changes took place in tribal cultures. Continue reading

Torrey Kulow selected for national math fellowship

Torrey KulowThe Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) has named GSE Assistant Professor Torrey Kulow a Mathematics Fellow. The Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) in Mathematics Education Fellowship is an induction program for early-career mathematics educators working at institutions of higher education.

“I am pleased that Dr. Kulow has received this prestigious fellowship,” said GSE Dean Marvin Lynn. “She is an excellent scholar with a deep commitment to mathematics teacher education. The fellowship will allow her to further enrich her already strong research agenda.”

Kulow is completing her first year at PSU where she is a cohort leader in the Graduate Teacher Education Program, specializing in secondary mathematics. Kulow taught middle school mathematics in Massachusetts prior to getting her master’s degree and PhD in curriculum and instruction (in the area of mathematics education) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“Dr. Kulow is a promising young scholar,” said Curriculum and Instruction Department Chair Will Parnell. “She is mindfully building her agenda with passion, energy, and focus.”

AMTE is the largest professional organization devoted to the improvement of mathematics teacher education. It includes over 1,000 members who support preservice education and professional development of preK–16 teachers of mathematics.

The STaR Fellows program includes a summer institute, academic year networking, and a follow-up session in conjunction with the annual AMTE meeting. The program was initiated through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Admission to the program is competitive. Fellows are selected from a broad range of institutions and for their academic objectives. To date, 270 early-career mathematics educators working at institutions of higher education have completed the program as STaR Fellows.

PSU science professor wins national award

Cary Sneider is the recipient

Cary Sneider

We are proud to have Dr. Cary Sneider as our colleague!

of the Robert H. Carleton Award from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

This is the most prestigious award an NSTA member can receive. The Robert H. Carleton Award recognizes one individual who has made outstanding contributions to, and provided leadership in, science education at the national level and to NSTA in particular. It is NSTA’s highest honor. —NSTA

Sneider is a visiting scholar in the Educational Leadership and Policy Department and co-PI on the Science in the Learning Gardens grant. Until last year, he was an associate research professor at PSU’s Center for Science Education, where he taught courses in research methodology in the Master of Science Teaching (MST) degree program.

Sneider has a stellar career in curriculum development, teacher education, and assessment and frequently consults on best practices in both formal and informal science education. He contributed to and was on the writing team for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are rolling out across the United States and so far have been adopted by 19 states and the District of Columbia. Oregon adopted the NGSS as its state science standards in 2014. Sneider is also a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as The Nation’s Report Card.

We are proud to have him as our colleague!

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GSE Early Intervention students study in the country of Georgia

Georgia[March 2018] Students in Hollie Hix-Small’s Early Intervention (EI) special education licensure program traveled to the country of Georgia this spring to study emerging EI efforts there. PSU EI students are: Danitza Galvan, Vanessa Hernandez, Jennifer King, Shaya Mooney, Michelle Rodriguez, and Stephanie Wills.

The trip included visits to a Tbilisi Maternity Hospital, Mental Health Centre, preschools supported by the Kutaisi Kindergarten Union and Ilia State University, Habilitation & Development Centre, First Step Georgia, Bridge for Social Inclusion, and a workshop hosted by Akaki Tsereteli State University.

Georgia is one of the first countries in the former Soviet Union to recognize and develop early intervention services and programs for its communities. Since 2011, Hix-Small has worked with Open Society Foundations to build EI services in Georgia for children with developmental delays and disabilities. Hix-Small may periodically offer this or similar exchanges to countries she partners with in Eastern Europe for early intervention students and related fields. For more information about the Early Intervention Special Education program at Portland State University, go to the website or contact

PSU’s Sam Sennott collects assistive technology award

Sam Sennott

Sam Sennott, Special Education Department, is the first recipient of the Dr. Arthur I. Karshmer Award for Assistive Technology Research from the California State University Northridge (CSUN) Assistive Technology Conference. He was honored for his paper entitled SETT Framework, MODELER, and PODD AAC Intervention in Elementary Grades. The award was presented March 22, 2018, at the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference in San Diego, California.


Sennott shares the honors with three of his students, Alisha Chavez, Portland Public Schools (pictured), Hannah Goldberg, and Jess Theobald, David Douglas School District, who are working on graduate degrees in special education.

Sennott came to PSU in 2013, where he launched the Universal Design Lab (ULab) to conduct research for assistive technologies. He is the author of a smartphone app called Proloquo2Go, which enables nonverbal individuals to communicate and is a fraction of the cost of previous technologies. His ULab students are also involved in the Go Baby Go project that adapts toy cars for children with severe disabilities.

“This award honors the best of the best,” said Klaus Miesenberger, a professor at Johannes Kepler University Linz who made the announcement. Winners are recognized for an exemplary submission to the CSUN Assistive Technology Journal for excellence in research, and for the advancement of assistive technology.


This is the 33rd CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, which is one of the largest conference in this field, attracting several thousand participants each year from around the globe.

Portland State faculty to present at national AERA meeting: The Dreams, Possibilities and Necessity of Public Education


April 13 – 17, 2018, New York, NYaera

Graduate School of Education faculty will present their latest research at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in New York City.

Dean Marvin Lynn and Dr. Jada Phelps-Moultrie are invited speakers at this national event.

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