GSE mentor project yields robotic champs

Caskey_legoHow do you motivate elementary children to love science and math? Answering that question led five local middle school students; their coach, Arun Sagiraju; and their mentors, GSE doctoral student Donna Webb and GSE faculty member and Associate Dean Micki Caskey to victory in the 14th Annual Intel Oregon FIRST* Lego League Championship tournament at Hillsboro’s Liberty High School on January 18, 2015.

Their team, Lego Legends, was one of two Oregon teams that will move on to the World Championship in Lego Robotics, combining the plastic building bricks with technology. The win is a significant accomplishment because Oregon has over 400 robotics teams, making the Intel event one of the largest in the country.

The competition required the teams to identify a community-based problem, build a functioning Lego robot that would solve the problem, and then describe what they did to judges. The competition’s theme for this year was “How to find a better way to help someone learn.”  Continue reading

Randy Schild named 2015 Oregon Superintendent of the Year

Randy SchildPSU/GSE alumnus Randy Schild ’94, ’96, ’01, is the 2015 Oregon Superintendent of the Year. He is a graduate of both GSE Educational Administrator programs, IAL and CAL, and holds an MST from the PSU’s School of Business Administration. He is the superintendent of Tillamook School District.

Not too many superintendents can say this, but Randy Schild actually attended first grade through high school in his district. He left town briefly to earn his degrees at PSU, then returned as a business teacher, coach, and administrator before becoming superintendent 14 years ago. Continue reading

Thrashers invest in access to education

Marta ’90 and Ken Thrasher endorse Portland State’s mission of access. They recognize the power of education to advance lives and demonstrate their commitment with generous gifts to scholarships.


“It’s all about the students for us,” Ken says. “Marta and I really believe in the educational system. It has a triple payback—it promotes individual success, prepares the workforce and reduces social costs. It is a decider in terms of the future of young people.”

Former PSU Foundation trustee Ken Thrasher and his wife Marta attend a Graduate School of Education reception for scholarship donors and recipients.

Continue reading

Carnegie project honors GSE doctoral alumna

Mary CatoJPGGSE doctoral graduate Mary Cato, ’13, is one of three individuals nationwide recognized by the 2013 Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Dissertation in Practice Awards. Her dissertation, entitled Nursing student anxiety in simulation settings: A mixed methods study, received honorable mention at the CPED annual awards event. The study looked at how baccalaureate nursing students’ learning is impacted by anxiety in clinical simulations, an academic practice that is gaining popularity in nursing schools. Continue reading

GSE announces new education policy blog

OR Edu Policy BlogThe Graduate School of Education is pleased to launch a new education policy blog to focus on issues that impact education in the state of Oregon. Our intent is to bring attention to national, state, and local policy initiatives and to explain how those initiatives may impact education of Oregon students from prekindergarten through graduate school.

Heading this blog will be Dr. Pat Burk, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education. Dr. Burk is very well known and respected throughout Oregon for his vast knowledge of Oregon education policy. He has been in Oregon education for over 35 years in a variety of roles including school principal, Deputy Superintendent in Portland Public Schools, and Chief Policy Officer for the Oregon Department of Education. In 2007 the Oregon Confederation of School Administrators presented him the President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education. In recent years he has done an amazing job of keeping many of us informed and connected through email messages and twitter. It is a natural and significant next step for him to continue to enlighten us via this blog. Continue reading

Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp celebrates eight decades

MHKC 1970s“We are going to camp!” said Fairview Training Center residents Jeff and Nancy. “We won’t be here next week!” ”Yeah, right,” said Ann Fullerton, who knew this was unlikely. It was 1967, and she was a volunteer at the strict, state-run institution for patients with a variety of developmental and mental disabilities. “But I was wrong,” she said, “there actually was such a camp and going to camp was the most important week in their lives.”

Fairview closed many years ago, but Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp (MHKC) is still going strong. PSU Professor Ann Fullerton has been involved with the MHKC for 46 years. She is an essential part of helping young people with disabilities learn what they can achieve while having the time of their lives at summer camp.

This month marks 80 wonderful years of camping on the side of pristine Mt. Hood. In partnership with Portland Kiwanis, the MHKC has enabled persons with disabilities to have unforgettable outdoor recreational activities. Continue reading