GSE faculty member John Nimmo generates global early childhood documentary

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What is a right? What rights do children have in their schools, families and communities? And most importantly, What are the rights young children believe they should have in order to reach their full potential and participate in their community? These are the questions early childhood Professor John Nimmo pondered as he embarked on a film project entitled “Voices of Children,” for the World Forum Foundation (WFF).

John Nimmo, assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department, is working with a team of multinational educators to discover the central values of our youngest global citizens –ages birth to eight years old. He is a member of the Working Initiative on Children’s Rights, for the WFF, an international consortium of educators working to improve the lives of young children around the world.

Nimmo’s global committee of early childhood educators and videographers sought to establish the voice of children in a documentary that would help adults understand the point of view of children. The group wondered what children actually knew about their rights. How did they feel about their place in society? And what was truly important to them?

For Nimmo, it was a unique chance to work with early childhood professionals from around the world. “What would it look like for videographers and social scientists from Brazil to come together with educators from the United States and Singapore and come to India and think about not only how we listen and how we speak about rights but also how we document them and make them visible?” said Nimmo, who has spent 30+ years working in early childhood education in multiple countries and cultures. “In the process, our goal was to unpack the typically Western and individualistic concept of rights and develop a more complex and culturally inclusive understanding.” Continue reading

PSU project in the Republic of Georgia aids persons with disabilities

Hollie Hix-Small (left) with employees of the Free-Space Café—a social enterprise designed to raise awareness and support the needs of persons with disabilities in the Republic of Georgia.

Hollie Hix-Small (left) with employees of the Free-Space Café—a social enterprise designed to raise awareness and support the needs of persons with disabilities in the Republic of Georgia.

Hollie Hix-Small, an early intervention specialist in the Special Education Department, is partnering with several organizations in the Republic of Georgia. Since 2011, she has worked with Open Society Foundations to build early intervention (EI) services for children with developmental delays and disabilities. Hix-Small has hosted Georgian EI specialists interested in learning about EI practices in the United States. Together with local service district partners, Hix-Small introduced them to services in Portland. They are part of an emerging effort in Georgia to transform the lives of individuals with disabilities.

“Eastern Europe and Central Asia have the highest rates of institutionalized children in the world,” said Hix-Small in a recent article she authored in the Open Society Foundations newsletter. “For many, placement in an institution begins at birth.” Continue reading

Ebony magazine names GSE faculty member Jada Phelps Moultrie a Power 100 Honoree

Moultrie is part of the “Great Eight” PhD class at IUPUI. The eight women are Jasmine Haywood, Demetrees Hutchins, Tiffany Kyser, Shannon McCullough, Nadrea Njoku, Juhanna Rogers, Johari Shuck, and Moultrie, who is at the top far left.

Moultrie is part of the “Great Eight” PhD class at IUPUI. The eight women are Jasmine Haywood, Demetrees Hutchins, Tiffany Kyser, Shannon McCullough, Nadrea Njoku, Juhanna Rogers, Johari Shuck, and Moultrie, who is at the top far left.

Jada Phelps Moultrie, an assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Policy at PSU and recent graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), has been selected by Ebony magazine as an Ebony Power 100 Honoree. The Ebony Power 100 celebrates the world’s most inspiring African Americans from various sectors as standout achievers in their respective fields. This year’s list includes some very familiar names, such as Michael Jordon, Beyoncé, Serena Williams, and the Obamas, as well as seven of Moultrie’s classmates.

Moultrie is part of the “Great Eight,” a group of eight Black women who graduated with their PhDs from the School of Education at IUPUI at the same time—a first in the school’s history. Moreover, like many traditionally white institutions (TWI), it’s a rare occurrence. “To graduate eight African American females from one school is a big doggone deal,” said Robin Hughes, interim executive associate dean of the School of Education at IUPUI. “And not just for IU, but across the country, that just doesn’t happen.” The women formed their own unique support group that helped them overcome obstacles, which they agree was a vital component to their success. Continue reading

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

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.