GSE students receive PSU 2018 President’s honors

Each year PSU students are selected for Presidential Awards that celebrate the exceptional work they have done during their time at PSU. These awards include all PSU students, not just those who are graduating this spring. GSE is proud to have two of the top recipients.

University Service

img_rileylakosRiley Lakos, ’18, is a graduate of the Educational Leadership Master’s program. They received the University Service Award for involvement, initiative, and leadership in activities that benefit and enhance PSU students’ experiences. They specialized in Postsecondary, Continuing, and Adult Education (PACE) and hold a certificate in Student Affairs in Higher Education. PACE is the second PSU master’s degree for Lakos, who earned an MSW from the School of Social Work in 2017.

After helping to coordinate the University Studies freshman and sophomore mentor program as a Graduate Assistant, they now work full-time as an Office Specialist for the department. They are on the advisory board of the Queer Resources Center and have been closely involved in the PSU food pantry.

Community Engagement


Amie Riley, a student in the Educational Leadership Doctoral program, has received the President’s Community Engagement Award. Recipients of this award are celebrated for their participation, initiative, and leadership in off-campus community engagement activities.

She has a master’s degree in Education Leadership and Policy with an emphasis in Sustainability Education.

She has worked as a graduate assistant supporting community-based learning (CBL) in the Office of Academic Innovation. Riley has been working to advance the CBL efforts at PSU through support for the ongoing Engaging Exchanges discussion series, the CBL Institute for Japanese Faculty, and the PSU CBL Faculty Summer Institute, as well as development of numerous pedagogical and administrative CBL resources.

She is an active member of many community-based organizations and nonprofits, including the ACLU, Audubon Society, International Nonprofit Collaboration Network, the Willamette Riverkeepers, and Standing Up for Racial Justice. She founded the international nonprofit Casa Verde in Nicaragua that focuses on global citizenship and sustainability.

She is a current student in the GSE’s doctoral program working toward an EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy.


GSE hooding/commencement ceremony highlights

GSE has over 500 graduates in the class of 2018, earning bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, licensure and certificates. All of our GSE candidates are outstanding students who are planning to make a difference in their careers. These are just three of their amazing stories.

Family of three graduates with master’s degrees together

Photo of Duong family

(L to R), Peter Duong, Hoang Nguyen, Dean Marvin Lynn, and Don Duong.

Husband and wife Don Duong and Hoang Thi Cam Nguyen, and their son, Peter Duong, are refugees from Vietnam who wanted to make a new life in this country. They are planning to be teachers, completing master’s degrees from the PSU Graduate School of Education this spring.

They have worked in Portland’s immigrant community teaching English. Don taught in the Vietnamese Language Immersion Program at Roseway Heights School and completed the Bilingual Teacher Pathway program at PSU. Peter has undergraduate degrees from PSU in science and math. Peter and Hoang would like to teach math.

The family is grateful for the help they have received, especially from their extended family in Vietnam.

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GSE to hold Academic Hooding and Commencement in new Viking Pavilion


Graduate School of Education students completing their programs need only attend a single ceremony this year. Traditionally, the GSE hosts a separate event from the University Commencement, Academic Hooding. For the first time, the school will instead host an official Academic Hooding and Commencement Ceremony, the first of five such events involving academic schools at PSU this spring. On June 15 in the newly renovated Viking Pavilion, the GSE will honor 355 students with master’s and doctoral degree diplomas while also performing the traditional academic hooding to signify advanced degree completion. The new pavilion seats up to 3,500 guests to accommodate graduates’ families and friends. This year, the GSE will also offer free childcare in collaboration with Little Vikings on a drop-in, as-needed basis.

PSU’s newly inaugurated ninth president, Rahmat Shoureshi, will congratulate graduates while Marvin Lynn officiates his first Academic Hooding and Commencement Ceremony as dean.


This year’s guest speaker is Karen Fischer Gray, the current superintendent of the Parkrose School District and the 2018 Oregon Superintendent of the Year. She has led Parkrose since 2007. Gray is the chair of the Oregon Educational Equity Advisory Group, which meets to increase the number of linguistically and racially diverse educators in Oregon. She is a former Spirit of Portland Award winner and served on the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission from 2010 to 2015. Gray has worked in education for 36 years.

Tickets to the 27th Academic Hooding and Commencement Ceremony are obtained through the student graduates, who may contact the PSU Box Office.

Winter Count project portrays GSE students’ journeys


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Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) teacher candidates in the Integrated Arts cohort have used a tribal method to construct “portfolios” of their journeys through their program. Curriculum and Instruction Department Associate Professor Jan Abramovitz collaborated with American Indian Teacher Program Director Maria Tenorio to give students a new process by which to construct portfolios of their learning in a creative way that honors those who originally occupied the land.

The Winter Count project is modeled after one method employed by tribal nations to record and preserve their history. Students’ artwork is based on the Nakota Sioux Winter Count, an educator lesson from the National Museum of the American Indian. The Winter Count lesson illustrates how an oral culture used pictographs as a mnemonic device to create a calendar of a year in the tribe’s life. As such, it provides American Indian context to a time in American history when major social, cultural, and economic changes took place in tribal cultures. Continue reading

Torrey Kulow selected for national math fellowship

Torrey KulowThe Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) has named GSE Assistant Professor Torrey Kulow a Mathematics Fellow. The Service, Teaching and Research (STaR) in Mathematics Education Fellowship is an induction program for early-career mathematics educators working at institutions of higher education.

“I am pleased that Dr. Kulow has received this prestigious fellowship,” said GSE Dean Marvin Lynn. “She is an excellent scholar with a deep commitment to mathematics teacher education. The fellowship will allow her to further enrich her already strong research agenda.”

Kulow is completing her first year at PSU where she is a cohort leader in the Graduate Teacher Education Program, specializing in secondary mathematics. Kulow taught middle school mathematics in Massachusetts prior to getting her master’s degree and PhD in curriculum and instruction (in the area of mathematics education) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

“Dr. Kulow is a promising young scholar,” said Curriculum and Instruction Department Chair Will Parnell. “She is mindfully building her agenda with passion, energy, and focus.”

AMTE is the largest professional organization devoted to the improvement of mathematics teacher education. It includes over 1,000 members who support preservice education and professional development of preK–16 teachers of mathematics.

The STaR Fellows program includes a summer institute, academic year networking, and a follow-up session in conjunction with the annual AMTE meeting. The program was initiated through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Admission to the program is competitive. Fellows are selected from a broad range of institutions and for their academic objectives. To date, 270 early-career mathematics educators working at institutions of higher education have completed the program as STaR Fellows.

GSE celebrates 2017 graduates at annual Academic Hooding Ceremony

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On Sunday, June 18, GSE students and their families crowded the Oregon Convention Center for the 26th Annual Academic Hooding Ceremony. The ceremony was the culmination of their programs. GSE graduates will serve the community as teachers, counselors, adult educators, and sustainability educators in Oregon and elsewhere. More than 500 GSE students complete programs each year, and 334 attended this event.

Joining the 15 doctoral graduates were master’s and licensure students from Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Counselor Education, and Educational Leadership and Policy. Four undergraduate students also received recognition through GSE’s award-winning Bilingual Teacher Pathway Program. Continue reading