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.

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

GSE alumna Marilyn DeVault donates winnings to GSE scholarship

Marilyn DeVault displays one of her cakes, with professor emeritus Steve Brannan

Marilyn DeVault displays one of her cakes, with professor emeritus Steve Brannan

Alumna Marilyn DeVault, MS ’71, has parlayed what she learned in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) Special Education program at PSU into a career, “creating desserts that are amazing and that all can enjoy.” This includes her patrons with special dietary needs. And, thanks to her skills and talent, she is able to donate $10,000 toward a scholarship to support students in the Special Education program.

DeVault studied special education under Professor Steve Brannan, one of the founders of the Special Education Department, and received her master’s in 1971. After graduating, she taught students with disabilities for several years. In 1978, she made a career change, opening the Piece of Cake Bakery in Sellwood. Here, she combined her love of baking with her interest in supporting people with special needs. Abundant research exists on the impact of nutrition and learning. Devault’s teaching experience inspired her to address dietary issues, developing formulas that are gluten-free, organic, and vegan. Her bakery offers a wide variety of items that meet the needs of people who are pursuing gluten-free or other food sensitivity–related diets. Continue reading

Bill and Ricky Korach establish endowed GSE scholarship

Bill and Ricky Korach, two well-known Lake Oswego educators and PSU Graduate School of Education (GSE) alumni, have established a new scholarship for aspiring teachers. The Bill and Ricky Korach Graduate Teacher Education Endowed Scholarship will continue their lifelong legacy and dedication to the profession. The scholarship will support GSE students preparing for careers as K–12 classroom teachers. Academic merit and financial need are both considerations. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in 2016.

The establishment of this endowed scholarship is no surprise to anyone familiar with the Koraches and their enduring passion for learning. “Education is about hope, promise, and possibility,” they stated. “We feel fortunate to be able to provide an additional opportunity for PSU students now and beyond our lifetimes.” Continue reading

GSE Dean’s Fund for Excellence: FY15 Impact Report

Thank you to the Graduate School of Education (GSE) donors who supported the GSE Dean’s Fund for Excellence in the 2014-15 fiscal year. Because of these generous individuals, the GSE was able to launch creative initiatives, increase student support, and strengthen community engagement opportunities.

The largest GSE Dean’s Fund for Excellence investment made in fiscal year 2015 was $10,000 to the second phase of the Culturally Responsive Elementary Mathematics Education (CREME) project. CREME began in 2014 as a year-long teacher development course for teachers at two schools in North Portland. During the year, the teachers collectively explored how to relate mathematics in the classroom to the lived experience of diverse students, and to foster the students’ development simultaneously as learners of mathematics and as individuals with cultural identity.

 “Because of this investment from the GSE Dean’s Fund, we will be able to work with this team of teachers to reach out into the communities served by their schools and to further develop culturally responsive pedagogy and practices in the next phase of the CREME project.”
– Professor Swapna Mukhopadhyay, GSE Faculty member and founder of CREME

Continue reading

Dr. Thomas A. Chambers establishes new endowed scholarship for aspiring teachers

Tom Chambers

This spring, Dr. Thomas A. Chambers made a gift to establish the Thomas A. Chambers Endowed Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers within the Graduate School of Education (GSE). Through a planned gift valued at more than $1.2 million, Chambers has also generously provided for the endowment’s future growth. Beginning in 2016, this scholarship will be available to students in the GSE graduate teacher preparation programs. Financial need and academic merit are a consideration, and preference will be given to students who started their undergraduate education at an Oregon community college.

A Portland native, Chambers graduated from David Douglas High School in ‘65. He then went to work in the US Bank of Oregon Work/College Program, and enrolled at what was then Portland State College. He spent three years at Portland State, where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, before transferring to University of Oregon for his senior year, and graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1969. Continue reading