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

Alumnus Victor Vergara selected for national leadership academy

img_vergara_vicGSE alumnus, Victor Vergara, ’17, is one of 16 Latino educators across the US chosen for the Superintendents Leadership Academy by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS). This is a yearlong leadership development program to prepare the next generation of Latino superintendents.

Vergara, who emigrated from Chile in 1995, completed the PSU Bilingual Teacher Pathway program and the Initial Administrator’s Licensure program, all while working for Woodburn School District. He was promoted to assistant principal of Woodburn’s Valor High School and in 2012 was named Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators.

Vergara completed the Educational Leadership Doctorate program in 2017 and is now the Director of Bilingual Education for Walla Walla School District in Walla Walla, Washington.

TriMet hosts Orientation and Mobility students in summer intensive


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GSE students are learning how to ride TriMet’s public transportation system blindfolded this summer.

When the Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) and the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) cohorts began this term, students came to campus for their initial three-week summer intensive course. Except for this session, these classes are delivered entirely online. Because these are regional programs, some of the VIL and O&M students are from as far away as Alaska and Maryland.

Amy Parker, O&M coordinator and new GSE faculty member, contacted TriMet’s training division to see if there was interest in working with PSU O&M students. TriMet personnel graciously responded and hosted 11 students and 4 instructors at TriMet facilities in Portland. TriMet provided bus passes, safety vests, classroom space, and seasoned TriMet trainers who collaborated with faculty for hands-on lessons.

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US News & World Report ranks GSE online early childhood master’s in top 21

img_eceThe Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education program has earned a high spot among early childhood programs in the country. US News & World Report announced that PSU’s three-year-old program merits 21st place among universities offering early childhood programs.

The Online ECE is grounded in an inquiry approach to education in which learners dialogue with colleagues from diverse early childhood settings across the country and the globe. The program engages students creatively in the uses of new technologies offering opportunities for early childhood professionals to access professional development where they live. This fully online, non-licensure program focuses on inclusive education for young children. It was designed in collaboration with two departments: Curriculum and Instruction, and Special Education. It features an action research project, an option for a campus summer intensive, and opportunities for study abroad.