Dean’s reception honors GSE supporters and scholarship recipients

The annual Dean’s Reception was held last month to honor GSE supporters and the students who received scholarships for GSE programs. Three GSE students were asked to speak, along with special guest Matt Morton, Equitable Education Portfolio Director, Meyer Memorial Trust.

This year’s student speakers included:

  • Marcos Rodriguez Romerez—Friends of the Graduate School of Education Scholarship. Romerez Rodriguez is working on a master’s in education in the Bilingual Teacher Pathway program.
  • Lucy BertoloPivotal Scholars Fund for Math/Science Teacher Education and Renaissance Foundation Graduate School of Education Scholarship. Bertolo is studying for a master’s in secondary education in the Graduate Teacher Education Program.
  • Yennifer Chavez—Jorgensen Family Endowed Scholarship. Chavez is a master’s student in elementary education in the Graduate Teacher Education Program.

GSE scholarship recipients spoke about how much the scholarships have helped them with their goals and how important it is to continue to support GSE scholarships today. GSE students received more than 60 scholarships for the 2017–18 school year. As tuition and other costs continue to escalate, the GSE scholarship program becomes even more critical. Thanks to our supporters, though, the number and amount of scholarships awarded to students has steadily increased each year.

PSU workshop helps GSE faculty apply equity lens to curriculum

As part of the GSE’s mission to promote equity and social justice, our faculty consistently seek new ideas for adapting culturally responsive practices to their courses. In October, five GSE faculty members completed a new training sponsored by the PSU Global Diversity and Inclusion office in partnership with University Studies and the School of Gender, Race and Nations.

Anita Bright, Susan Carlile, Karen Haley, Holly Lawson, and Deborah Peterson attended the training entitled Exploring Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Curriculum. These faculty represent three departments, CI, ELP, and SPED.

Included in the training were two workshops entitled Embracing Equity as Our Lens and Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum.

The assigned work consisted of prereading, in-class activities, and a reflection paper on how the instructors would adapt their specific curriculum to fit an equity lens. The workshops culminated with a personal commitment from each participant to bring culturally inclusive practices into the courses they are teaching.

“These faculty members have taken the next steps to revise one of their current courses to better align with PSU EDI goals,” said Dean Marvin Lynn. “This is a good beginning in our work to model an equity lens for our candidates. Congratulations.”

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GSE announces new leaders of research and diversity, equity, and inclusion

Moti Hara to serve as GSE director of research

Associate Professor Moti Hara has been appointed as the GSE’s new director of research. Hara will report directly to Dean Marvin Lynn and will work closely with GSE faculty, PSU’s Office of Research and Strategic Partnership (RSP), and community partners to enhance the school’s internal research capacity. The overarching objective of his role is to provide leadership, direction, coordination, and management of ethical and culturally responsive faculty research activities within the GSE.

Hara earned his PhD in advanced quantitative methods from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Since first arriving at PSU in 2010, he has been teaching quantitative research methods courses to the doctoral and master’s students. He also advises several doctoral students and has spent a substantial amount of time working on research projects focusing on closing the gap in student outcomes. Hara has published and presented many papers on topics related to student success, including projects co-led by Esperanza De La Vega and Maria T. Tenorio.

“Research is absolutely critical to the GSE,” he said. “As educators whose primary objective is to train the next generation of change agents in the field, we should always be curious about what more we can learn, what data we can collect, and who we can collaborate with as community partners.” Hara looks forward to further strengthening the GSE’s research capacity, which will lead to additional external research funding, produce more faculty scholarly work and could establish the GSE as a notable research institution.

Tara Cooper to lead GSE efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion

Teacher Pathways Program Coordinator Tara Cooper has a new role as the GSE coordinator for equity, diversity, and inclusion. She came to PSU in 2013 to lead the Teacher Pathways Program, which assists culturally and linguistically diverse students seeking education and counseling careers. Since then, she has taken on significant leadership to advance the GSE’s equity work as the co-chair of the GSE Equity Committee.

This past year, Cooper led faculty and staff professional development initiatives, bringing in outside consultants John Lennsen and Hector Roche to help frame difficult conversations about race and privilege. She organized an evening of conversation with guest speaker Tara Yosso prior to the GSE State of the School celebration as an opportunity to collaborate in a more intimate setting at the PSU Native American Center.

A new member to the GSE leadership team, she is working to build a strategic vision in line with the GSE priorities for accomplishing equity and inclusion in all facets of GSE operations. She will also be looking to advance conversations and practices around equity and diversity in hiring.

Cooper is looking forward to having an overall equity plan in place for GSE by next year. “We need a clear plan, and we need to be accountable to our students and each other as we dig deeper. I look forward to the work ahead and having multiple perspectives and diverse voices informing everything we do,” she said.

Cooper has a master’s degree in intercultural relations with an emphasis in higher education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and ethnic studies and was recently admitted to the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program at PSU.

GSE faculty member Sybil Kelley receives science award

GSE Associate Professor Sybil Kelley received the Fred Fox Award for Distinguished Service to Science Education from the Oregon Science Teachers Association (OSTA). Kelley teaches science methods in two different disciplines: Curriculum and Instruction, where she leads a cohort in the Graduate Teacher Education Program, and Educational Leadership and Policy, where she works in the Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE) program.

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to nominate Sybil,” said Professor Micki Caskey. “She deserves this recognition. Like Fred Fox, Sybil is highly respected and well-loved by her peers and students.”

Kelley came to PSU in 1999 as a research assistant in the Center for Science Education and earned an MS in Science Teaching and a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Management, both from Portland State. She is an expert in sustainability education and works closely with the Learning Gardens Laboratory.

About the award (from OSTA)

This award is named in honor of Fred Fox, a distinguished and well-loved teacher educator from Oregon State University (1957–82). The award is intended to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to mentoring and developing new teachers. It is intended for nominees involved in teacher training programs at the college level, ESD, or district administrators or other administrative positions. The awardee is selected based on career longevity, breadth of influence, enthusiasm for science and the profession of science education, and the demonstrated ability to motivate.

National think tank highlights GSE/PPS partnership to build a bilingual teacher pipeline

In May 2017, Amaya Garcia reached out to the leadership of the Portland Public Schools and PSU Dual Language Teacher Partnership. In her role as senior researcher at New America—a relatively young public policy think tank, Garcia was interested in learning more about the PPS-PSU partnership. Her goal was to gather first-hand accounts about the partnership and the program that is dedicated to preparing dual language and world language teachers. Her interviews with the leaders of the PPS and PSU Dual Language Teacher Partnership led to the development of the report, The Portland Public Schools and Portland State University Dual Language Teacher Partnership. The report is the second in a series of papers that examines innovative approaches to bilingual teacher preparation across the nation.

Read the case study 

View the report




Grant raises math scores in East Multnomah County

Photo caption:
EaMML leadership team (left to right): Nicole Rigelman (PSU), Amy McQueen (DDSD), Karen Prigodich (CSD), Paul Latiolais (PSU), Chandra Lewis (RMC), Jackie Cooke (MESDD), Steve Vancil (DDSD), and Roxanne Malter (MESD).

PSU faculty member Nicole Rigelman, Curriculum and Instruction, and Amy McQueen, David Douglas School District (DDSD) math specialist, have completed a three-year, $1 million project to improve mathematics education in East Multnomah County. The East Metro Mathematics Leadership Project (EaMML) began in 2014 with a grant from the ODE. Both David Douglas and Centennial School Districts saw significant gains in participating students’ math test scores on Smarter Balanced Tests over the three-year period.

The grant has increased the capacity of over 70 K-12 teachers in DDSD and Centennial School Districts (CSD) to more effectively teach math. Both teachers and students were assessed before, during, and at the end of the project. Students were scored using the Smarter Balanced Assessments. The results were on average 34 points higher for EaMML Teachers’ students than those of their peers. Teachers were assessed using a tool from the University of Michigan called Learning Math for Teaching, and their pedagogical knowledge and skills with the Instructional Quality Assessment. Both measures demonstrated significant increases. Continue reading