PSU graduate student coaches David Douglas mock trial team

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On March 4, a dozen teams of high school students competed in a regional Mock Trial competition in the Clackamas County Courthouse. Joseph Cornett, a PSU graduate student in the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP) led the David Douglas High School (DDHS) team of eight. It is the first time in 10 years that DDHS has fielded a team.

Mock Trial is a competitive academic activity that puts two teams up against one another in arguing an authentic legal case. The Classroom Law Project developed the Mock Trial Competition to promote civic engagement and legal education throughout the state of Oregon.

In Mock Trial competition, there are three rounds. Teams are assigned to defend or prosecute cases they have previously studied, but until they begin, they do not know which side they will argue. Students must be familiar with and carefully follow court procedures. They learn to address the judge, how and when to object to questions, and what attorneys from each side are expected to know and do. Students get a dose of real-world public speaking practice and a positive courthouse experience. The “jury” is comprised of volunteer judges who tally scores.

Coach Cornett is in his second year of SDEP in the Graduate School of Education. Graduates of this program earn a teaching license and master’s degree in special education and a content area, in this case, social studies. Cornett will be qualified to teach social studies in middle and high school and able to work successfully with students from a variety of ability levels in his classroom. SDEP is unique to PSU and one of only a few such programs in the country. Dual-licensed teachers are in high demand in school districts because many schools are looking for flexibility in their workforce. Continue reading

GSE counseling student receives national fellowship

marie-mcmahonPSU student Marie McMahon is the recipient of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellowship. She is in the Clinical Mental Health program in the GSE and also working toward the GSE Certificate in Trauma-Informed Therapy. The NBCC award covers a substantial portion of her graduate-level tuition at PSU.

“We are all very proud of Marie’s efforts and thankful she is part of our program,” said Assistant Professor Joel Lane, who teaches in the program. “Marie has a creative spirit and an interest in using art as a therapeutic tool, which I think will be very powerful in her work with underserved transition-aged youth.” Continue reading

Doctoral student Staci Martin recognized by national organization

stacy-martinStaci Martin has been awarded a scholarship from Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Martin is PSU doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership Curriculum and Instruction and an adjunct instructor in Child and Family Studies in the School of Social Work.

Martin was awarded the $1,300 Louise M. Berman Fellows Award for doctoral students. She was recognized for her research project, Co-Creating Spaces of Critical Hope.

The scholarship is based on academic success, involvement in Kappa Delta Pi, and a written essay. She was selected from pool of applicants from students around the country. Continue reading

GSE students find help for children disabled by Zika virus

Go Baby Go toddler Students in Professor Sam Sennott’s Introduction to Special Education class at PSU have found a way to help children in Brazil who have birth defects caused by the Zika virus. The students have set up a fundraiser called Go Baby Go Brazil that will provide specially modified toy cars to very young children who have mobility issues. In Sennott’s class, students study about microcephaly and other conditions, like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome that delay development and prevent mobility. The students volunteered to build Go Baby Go cars and focused on raising money to provide cars for Brazil as a class project.

Go Baby Go build June 2016Go Baby Go is an emerging movement that began at the University of Delaware and is spreading across the country. The students participated in a local Go Baby Go build event in June. Volunteers at the event are trained to modify the toy cars that are individually customized to fit children as young as six months old. The June build event was directed by Portland physical therapist Bethany Sloane, along with the coordinator of Go Baby Go Oregon, Sam Logan. Eight cars were assembled at that event, and Sloane hopes to have a build event each month as money becomes available. Continue reading

Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE) students win 2016 PSU awards

Irene BaileyPSU Sustainability Award—Outstanding Student Employee: Irene Bailey 

As a graduate assistant supporting the Student Sustainability Center (SSC) for the last two years, Irene Bailey, a student in the Leadership for Sustainability Education program, has been a role model and inspiration for dozens of PSU students. Her passion for and guidance within sustainability leadership and self-care have permeated the culture of the SSC. Supervisors in the program describe Baily as responsible and responsive, a skilled facilitator, and a dream employee.

Bailey’s enthusiasm for her program at PSU is contagious. She said, “There’s just so many different things happening, and we are impacting so many students at PSU and getting them more integrated with the sustainability efforts on our campus and in Portland. We’ve been able to really incorporate a culture of care.”

Claire LagerweyPSU Community Engagement Award: Claire Lagerwey
All of Claire Lagerwey’s work involves intellectual and academic rigor, as well as service to the University and community.

For nearly two years, Lagerwey has been serving as the lead graduate assistant on an National Science Foundation-funded project entitled Science in the Learning Gardens: Factors that Support Ethnic and Racial Minorities in Low-Income Middle Schools (SciLG). Her contributions to the community through SciLG have been significant, and she has gone above and beyond the expectations of her graduate assistantship.

The main goal of this work is to provide access to high-quality learning experiences for students who have been marginalized in traditional educational systems. No matter what challenges arise, Lagerwey never loses sight of this fundamental goal, and she directly supports students, teachers, and the team of garden educators to ensure kids are getting the best experience possible.

Congratulations to both Irene Bailey and Claire Lagerwey for their excellent work that is being acknowledged and celebrated at the University level! 


Academic awards announced for 2016

Theresa Just

Theresa Just

PSU annual student achievement awards were announced during a special event at the end of spring term.

GSE award recipients for 2016 are: Anna Vetter, University Service Award for Master’s; Staci B. Martin, University Service Award for Doctoral; Claire E. Lagerway, Community Engagement Award for Master’s; Victor Vergara, Community Engagement Award for Doctoral; Theresa Just, Academic Achievement Award for Master’s; and Kate Statman-Weil, Academic Achievement Award for Doctoral.

Theresa Just, who is graduating with a master’s in special education, also earned one of the top honors for the university: the Outstanding Student Achievement Award for a Graduate Student.

Her master’s project focused on strategies for working with students who are bilingual and who experience reading difficulties or a reading disability. Just completed the GSE special education licensure program in 2014 and is already a special education teacher in North Clackamas School District where she works at two schools: View Acres Elementary and Milwaukie Elementary/El Puente Bilingual School. Both are Title I schools that have high numbers of children living in poverty. Continue reading