Associate Professor Lisa Aasheim receives statewide counseling award


Lisa Aasheim is congratulated by incoming ORCA president and GSE faculty member Joel Lane

Associate Professor Lisa Aasheim is the 2016 recipient of the Leona Tyler Award from the Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA). This is the organization’s highest award and recognizes counselors who have made outstanding contributions to the profession and whose work has had statewide implications for counseling. She received the award at their fall conference in Portland, November 5, 2016.

Aasheim is an ’02 graduate of the PSU Marital, Couple & Family Counseling program and holds a PhD in counselor education and supervision from Oregon State University.

She teaches in PSU’s counseling program, is the director of the PSU Community Counseling Clinic that provides low-cost counseling services to the PSU community, and has a private practice in marriage and family counseling. Continue reading

Library instructor Ruth Murray receives lifetime achievement award

ruth-murrayThe Oregon Association of School Librarians (OASL) honored the GSE’s Ruth Murray with a Lifetime Achievement Award: Outstanding and Lasting Contributions. Murray received the award at the OASL fall conference in Bend and will add it to her collection of previous awards she has received from the OASL and the Oregon Library Association (OLA).

The honor is conferred upon those who have made exemplary contributions to Oregon school libraries. Murray certainly has. She is a past president of OASL and has tirelessly lobbied for school libraries at both the state and national levels while continuing her teaching duties and mentoring scores of school librarians. Continue reading

GSE Dean’s Fund for Excellence: FY16 Impact Report

Your support of the Graduate School of Education (GSE) Dean’s Fund pays big dividends.

Because of generous community members like you, the GSE is able to launch timely initiatives, increase student support, and strengthen community engagement.

In fiscal year 2016, Dean Hitz invested $15,000 from the GSE Dean’s Fund for Excellence to the School’s Fostering Mutually Beneficial Partnership grant program. Local school districts are important partners for the GSE, and these competitive grants to faculty are supporting projects that allow them to work closely with professional educators in partner schools, benefitting the GSE, our students, and local schools. Past district partnership projects have accomplished important goals such as implementing EdTPA (a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by more than 600 teacher preparation programs across the U.S.), and establishing co-teaching arrangements and clustering of teacher candidates to create professional learning teams.


“This Dean’s Fund grant will allow us to bring together teacher candidates, cooperating teachers, and professional arts educators together in a conversation about the role of arts integration in the elementary classroom.”
– Jan Abramovitz, GSE Assistant Professor and grant recipient


dfir-chart-102616Gifts to the unrestricted Dean’s Fund allow the GSE to invest in opportune and beneficial projects, which improve the School, our community, and the education profession. Your contributions to the GSE Dean’s Fund are making a significant social impact, and are greatly appreciated!

For more information about how you can support the GSE, please contact:
Jaymee Jacoby, Director of Development or 503.725.4789

New GSE Staff for Fall, 2016

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Lindsey Freer is the new instructional technology services manager in Technology Services (formerly known as the MISL). She has a master’s in English from City University of New York, where she is also working toward a PhD. She has taught for both public and private colleges on the East Coast. She most recently worked for the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she was the program manager in the Instructional Technology Referral Office. She has a wealth of experience in both teaching and creating online instruction, especially working with faculty on technology tribulations.

K.C. Hall is the new chief finance officer (CFO) of the Graduate School of Education (GSE). Hall comes to us from the PSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she served for the last four years as fiscal officer. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Marylhurst University and served as interim CFO for the GSE prior to being offered the position permanently.

Amy Nye is the new manager of the GSE Dean’s Office and Academic Affairs. She has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Duquesne University. She has nearly 10 years of experience in higher education, ranging from management and operations, to admissions and enrollment, and conference and event services.

New faculty in GSE for 2016-17 school year

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Welcome to these exceptional new teaching faculty who have joined GSE this fall. 

Todd Cherner (CI) is an assistant professor in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), focusing on secondary education. He received his PhD in 2012 from the University of Tennessee with a concentration in secondary education English, and a cognate in cultural studies in education. He holds a master’s degree from Clemson University and a BS in English language arts from the University of Central Florida. He most recently was an assistant professor of English education and literacy at Coastal Carolina University. His focus is on technology and education, and he has expertise and interest in online education and digital literacy that will deepen departmental work in these areas.

Deanna Cor (COUN) is an assistant professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She holds a BA in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of Central Florida. She earned her MA in clinical mental health counseling from Rollins College and completed her PhD in counselor education and supervision from the George Washington University. Cor’s passion centers on facilitating multicultural counseling competencies and social justice advocacy skills among future counselors. Her research follows this vein by focusing on ways to assess and enhance knowledge, awareness, and skills in counseling trainees working with trans and gender-nonconforming clients.

Rana Houshmand (CI) is an assistant professor of practice who is leading a two-year cohort in the secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) as well as teaching in the GTEP and the Curriculum and Instruction (CI) master’s program. She holds a BA in English literature from the University of Oregon, and an MEd in education from Portland State University. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Portland State University in 2014. Houshmand’s focus is on all things literacy, with a specific focus on writing literacy and the Socratic method. Prior to joining the GSE and CI faculty, she taught English language arts at the high school level for 10 years. Her research interests include writing literacy, social dimensions of the K–12 classroom, teacher preparatory mentorship, and social justice. 

Karen Kennedy (CI) is an assistant professor of practice for the secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP). She teaches math methods and courses for the Deepening Mathematical Understanding certificate and supervises for the GTEP. Enhanced by her passion for mathematics education, educational leadership, and literacy, she has expertise in curriculum design and pedagogy, academic language development, literacy, and research on children’s mathematical thinking. Kennedy has served as a math consultant, middle school principal, school counselor, instructional coach, and high school math teacher. More recently, she worked as a professional learning partner for UCLA Center X and adjunct professor for the University of Southern California (USC). Kennedy received her doctorate of education in educational leadership from USC, her master’s in school counseling from Azusa Pacific University, and her bachelor of science in applied mathematics from the University of California at Irvine.

Jada Phelps Moultrie (ELP) is an assistant professor of education leadership. She is from Indiana University, where she completed her PhD in urban education studies with a silo in educational leadership and policy studies. Her dissertation was a two-year qualitative study focused on how Black parents are involved in schools. She used critical race theory as a framework and critical ethnographic methods to explore their involvement. Her current research agenda expands this line of inquiry. She explores the phenomenon known as racial battle fatigue and its influences on “parenting while Black.” At the school level, she is interested in how school leaders perpetuate or disrupt factors that marginalize Black children.

Shaheen Munir-McHill (SPED) is an assistant professor of practice and the coordinator of the part-time and full-time special education programs. Munir-McHill holds a BA in psychology from the University of Southern California. She earned her MS in special education and a PhD in school psychology from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the GSE, Munir-McHill was a practicing school psychologist in the Eugene/Springfield area, and coordinated the University of Oregon Center on Teaching and Learning reading clinic. Munir-McHill’s interests include the development and use of formative assessment tools, early literacy support and intervention, linking assessment and intervention, and systematic implementation of multi-tiered instructional service delivery models.

John Nimmo (CI), assistant professor, is working in early childhood education. He is an internationally known scholar who brings over 35 years of experience and leadership in the early childhood field. His most recent work is at the University of New Hampshire. His expertise is broad and theoretically grounded, with extensive practical experiences in teaching and teacher education, including interests in Reggio Emilia, diversity, and child development. His PhD in early childhood development is from the University of Massachusetts. He has an MA in human development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California, and a bachelor’s degree and teaching license from South Australian College and Kelvin Grove College in Australia.

Melissa Pebly (SPED) is a special education instructor and supervisor and is co-leading the full-time special education cohort. Her areas of interest are in literacy for students with significant disabilities and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In addition to teaching courses related to severe disabilities and literacy methods, Pebly is pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership with a specialization in special education.

Amanda Sugimoto (CI), assistant professor, is working in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) focusing on elementary education. She is completing her PhD at the University of Arizona in teacher education. She has focused her PhD coursework and research on best practices for preparing prospective elementary teachers to work with diverse students in a socially just manner, looking at second language acquisition, and qualitative research methods. She has an MA in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University and a BA in elementary education from the University of Arizona. She has worked as an elementary classroom teacher and taught ESL in China.

Maika Yeigh (CI), assistant professor, is an instructor and cohort leader in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), specializing in secondary education. Her focus is on supporting teacher candidates through preparation and into their induction years, with the hope that future educators will fulfill their goals of providing K–12 children with an empowering education. Yeigh has taught in elementary, middle, and high schools in California, Oregon, and Washington. She has a focus in literacy education and humane assessment practices, and a strong commitment to quality teacher education, partnerships, and social justice. Yeigh is a 2014 graduate of the PSU Doctorate in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction.

Rana Yaghmaian (COUN) is an assistant professor of practice and program coordinator of the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor and received her PhD in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in rehabilitation counseling. Her dissertation is entitled: Predicting Subjective Well-Being in Women with Fibromyalgia: An Application of a Feminist, Biopsychosocial Framework of Chronic Illness and Disability.

GSE alumna Stephanie Stokamer nationally recognized

Former GSE instructor Stephanie Stokamer, EdD ’11, has received honors from the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE). She is the recipient of the organization’s freshman award, entitled Recognition of Exemplary Contribution through Research and Community Engagement: Early Career. The award recognizes her important contributions to research on service-learning and community engagement. This honor also included an invitation to present her research at this year’s IARSLCE conference, September 27, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“It really was such an honor to be recognized by my peers in this way,” said Stokamer after attending the celebration in New Orleans. “IARSLCE is a fantastic organization that supports better understanding of civic learning through community engagement around the world, and as a practitioner-scholar, I think the conference participants really feel like my people.”  She expressly thanked her mentor, GSE professor Christine Cress, and her colleagues at Pacific University for their ongoing support of her work. Continue reading