New Hires in GSE 2018–19

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Counselor Education
Benita Bellrichard Munson, MS, CRC, LPC, CADC I, is an assistant professor of practice in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program, in the Counselor Education Department. She is also a member of the Graduate Certificate in Addictions faculty. She obtained her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Portland State University. She maintains a private practice where her clinical specialties include working with individuals and couples adjusting to chronic illness/disability, relational improvement, and addiction. She has previous experience working in an inpatient alcohol and drug treatment program and a history of both social work and career counseling in Canada. She is interested in multicultural issues in counseling and the intersection among couples, families, and their adjustment to disability.

Helen Gordon Child Development Center
Mary Schumacher-Hoerner, MA, is the new head of PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC). Schumacher-Hoerner was previously an associate professor of early childhood education and director of the Child and Family Development Center at San Juan College (SJC) in New Mexico, where she supervised for the past six years. Schumacher-Hoerner has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and an MA from the University of New Mexico and has done doctoral work in curriculum and instruction.

Curriculum and Instruction
Alex “Xander” Davies, PhD, is a new assistant professor of ESOL and elementary education in the Curriculum and Instruction Department. Prior to coming to Portland State University, Davies earned his doctorate in education–TESOL from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. His research interests include ESOL infusion in teacher-preparation programs using interactive avatars and simulated classrooms; dual-language education with emphasis placed on curriculum and program implementation; ESOL methods among both preservice and in-service teachers; family and community involvement in K–12 schools; and second-language and cultural identities among first-generation immigrants and persons of refugee and asylum backgrounds. Davies has worked closely with administrators and content area teachers in local school districts throughout the Orlando area to provide professional development in both ESOL methods and dual language. Additionally, he worked with resettlement agencies as a cultural broker and language specialist to various families from refugee backgrounds.

Special Education
Mary E. Morningstar, PhD, is the new co-director of PSU’s ThinkCollege Inclusion Oregon project in the Special Education Department and will teach courses for preservice students focused on transition and postsecondary outcomes. She has a BSEd in special education from the University of Georgia, an MEd in special education from the University of Maryland, and a PhD from the University of Kansas. Morningstar’s research encompasses three interrelated concentrations: college and career readiness for youth with disabilities, teacher education and professional development, and secondary inclusive educational reform. She is the author of The Educator’s Guide to Implementing Transition Planning and Services (2017) and over 40 peer- reviewed journal articles and numerous book chapters, monographs, and technical reports.

Maria Gilmour, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, is an assistant professor of practice in the Graduate School of Education and head of the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) program in the Special Education Department. Gilmour is an educator who has extensive experience consulting with parents and families, teachers, educational leaders, and school administrators in both public and private programs for educating children and adults with special needs. Gilmour received her master’s degree in Special Education at Gonzaga University and her PhD from the University of Georgia, focusing on applied behavior analysis and autism, learning and cognition, and educational administration and policy. She has been working with families since 1998.

GSE’s Amy Parker receives transportation honors

Amy ParkerThe Portland chapter of the Women in Transportation (WTS) has awarded Special Education Assistant Professor Amy Parker an honorary membership to their organization for one year. She joins Governor Kate Brown and five others with this distinction.

Parker came to PSU in 2017 to coordinate the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Program in the Special Education Department, which can be taken alone as a certificate, be taken in concert with teacher preparation in PSU’s Visually Impaired Learner license or endorsement, or infused as an area of specialization in the Master of Science in Special Education.

Last year, Governor Brown championed a $5.3 billion transportation package to upgrade Oregon’s highways and infrastructure to withstand earthquakes and to create safer crossings and signals. It passed the legislature in 2017, and she signed House Bill 2017 in August of that year.

Since launching the O&M program at PSU, Parker has partnered with the Transportation Research Education Center (TREC) on projects to improve mobility in urban environments for individuals with disabilities and/or vision impairment. TREC, the Transportation Research and Education Center for Portland State University, houses the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) and the archives of its predecessor grant program, the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC).

WTS Portland was established in 1985 and provides career and technical support to women in transportation throughout Oregon. WTS Portland is a local branch of a national organization consisting of 79 chapters and 6,500 members throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

This year’s WTS Portland honorees include:
Kate Brown, Governor of the State of Oregon; Brendan Finn, Transportation Policy Advisor; Doug Kelsey, General Manager, TriMet; LaQuida Landford, Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Urban League; Amy Parker, PSU Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Orientation and Mobility Program; Momoko Saunders, Operations Director, BIKETOWNpdx, and cofounder, Bike Farm; and Alando Simpson, VP City of Roses Disposal and Recycling and Commissioner, Oregon Transportation Commission.

GSE alumna receives national award for research in Kenya

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Recent GSE doctoral graduate Staci B. Martin, ’18, is the recipient of the 2018 Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Dissertation in Practice of the Year Award for her work entitled Co-Creating Spaces of Critical Hope Through the Use of a Psychosocial Peace Building Education course in Higher Education in Protracted Refugee Context: Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.

Martin holds an EdD in the Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University and a scholar of critical hope and critical despair. She is a community-based action researcher working with vulnerable populations, in particular, refugee youth. She has lived and worked alongside communities in over 15 countries. Her experiences vary from designing to implementing to evaluating sustainable psychosocial peace-building education programs in four countries: South Africa, Dieplsoot Informal Settlement (nthabiseng project, 2001); Nepal, Vishwa Shanti Vihara Vishwa Monastery (Khelera Sikou Project, 2012); Jamaica (Irie Project, 2010); and Kenya, Kakuma Refugee Camp (Pambazuka, 2017). She has presented in over 20 conferences and authored five papers on this work.

Martin’s research and teaching interests include critical hope and despair, pedagogy of hope, refugee education, psychosocial, peace-building, participants as co-researchers, and community-based action approach.

“Staci is indeed a remarkable young scholar,” said her dissertation chair, Professor Emerita Dannelle D. Stevens. “She is humble, focused, articulate, and persistent in accomplishing her goal of conducting rigorous research. By doing so, she empowers individuals to create better outcomes for themselves and others. It has been my honor to work with and learn from her over these last five years.”

Her dissertation committee includes Micki Caskey, doctoral program coordinator, Samuel Henry, emeritus faculty in Curriculum and Instruction and Matt Carlson, Graduate Office representative.

Martin will attend the CPED Consortium Convening in Phoenix, Arizona, in October to receive a monetary award and plaque, and she will present her work at their luncheon.

The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate is the knowledge forum on the EdD with a membership of over 100 schools of education in the US, Canada, and New Zealand, working collaboratively to improve professional preparation in education at the highest level.

Helen Gordon Child Development Center director selected

img_schumacherAfter a nationwide search, Dean Marvin Lynn has announced a new head for PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center (HGCDC). Mary Schumacher-Hoerner will succeed retiring director Ellie Justice at the early childhood center and laboratory school beginning this fall.

Schumacher-Hoerner was most recently an associate professor of early childhood education and director of the Child and Family Development Center at San Juan College (SJC) in New Mexico. She has supervised the operation of the Child and Family Development Center at SJC for the past six years. One of her accomplishments there was leading the effort to achieve a five-star childcare rating for the program through the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department. She achieved and maintained national accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). HGCDC also holds a five-star rating and accreditation from NAEYC, and operates as a lab school.

PSU has acquired four Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) grants that provide federal funding to help reduce childcare costs for student parents. Schumacher- Hoerner has also led a CCAMPIS grant program on her campus, making an easy transition for collaborating on the grant-funded research project. Schumacher-Hoerner reminds us, “We know that when you are a student parent you are more likely to feel success when your children are in a high-quality center.”

Schumacher-Hoerner has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming, an MA from the University of New Mexico, and has done doctoral work in curriculum and instruction at SJC.

“We are quite fortunate that Mary will be able to continue the longstanding tradition of excellence in early childhood education at PSU,” said Dean Lynn.

Portland State University’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center serves 200 children ages four months to five years. The center provides high-quality on-campus early childhood education and serves as an academic resource for university faculty and students in the field.

First Farm to Fork Dinner a success

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A short burst of much-needed rain did little to dampen expectations for the first annual Learning Gardens Laboratory (LGL) Farm to Fork Dinner on Saturday, August 11, 2018. After the sun returned, nearly 100 guests settled into a lovely summer evening, exploring the acreage and visiting various stations that represented the garden’s many programs. At each station, students told stories while plying guests with appetizers like grilled mahi-mahi and a local brew or wine. The evening included a gourmet dinner prepared by PSU Eats—PSU’s campus dining service and catering—and concluded with a chocolate dessert under the stars. LGL provided fresh vegetables that Executive Chef Matt Steele carefully incorporated into each course. A community member, whose own garden plot was steps away, supplied background music.

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Two GSE students honored by PSU for diversity accomplishments

Each year PSU honors individuals for their outstanding accomplishments in making PSU a more diverse, inclusive campus. Awardees are selected from students, faculty, staff, and the campus community. This year’s honorees from the GSE are PACE student Ebony Oldham, who received an award from the Commission on Sexual and Gender Equity, and incoming GTEP student Nancy Perry, who is the winner of the Commission on the Status of Women Essay Contest. Congratulations to Ebony and Nancy. We are proud of you!

Previous awardees from GSE faculty, staff, and students include:
Aslihan Alkurt, ’17
Carmen Anderson, ’10
Julie Esparza Brown
Tara Cooper
Esperanza De La Vega
Samuel Henry, X 2
Virginia Luka, ’16
Ebony Oldham
Lynda Pullen
Judy Bluehorse Skelton, ’08
Shannon Sprague, ’14
Yer Thao
Hope Yamasaki, ’12