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College of Education

College of Education
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Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-5525
785-532-7304 fax
edcoll@k-state.edu

Patrice Scott
Communications Coordinator
1114 Mid-Campus Drive North
16B Bluemont Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-2521
patrices@k-state.edu

2016 News Releases


Recent news involving our students, faculty, programs and events…

New teaching program, fellowship target western Kansas and urban schools

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College graduates who want to teach at the elementary school level have an innovative, one-year pathway to the classroom thanks to the College of Education at Kansas State University. Kansas Transitions to Teaching Fellowships are available for those interested in teaching in underserved districts in Kansas, such as in western Kansas, Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita. Funded by the Kansas Board of Regents, these $6,000 tuition fellowships and $750 technology stipends are for career changers who pursue the university's Master of Arts in teaching degree and work in an underserved area. Successful program completers will also be recommended for a K-6 teaching license.

The Master of Arts in teaching is an intensive, 12-month online degree specifically designed for people who have already earned a bachelor's degree but want to pursue their dream of teaching. It enables qualified Kansans and residents of other states to earn the degree in 12 months and be recommended for a Kansas initial teacher licensure in grades K-6. The rigorous curriculum is delivered by online coursework, and field experiences are arranged in accredited elementary schools convenient to students in the program. Students are able to complete the program from any location in Kansas. Classes begin in May, and Kansas State University is now accepting applications at global.k-state.edu/education/mateaching/.

Kansas Transitions to Teaching fellows must complete the program, obtain the necessary licensure and engage in full-time teaching in an underserved geographic area in Kansas within six months of licensure.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, believes this innovative program can help address the state's and nation's projected teacher needs while maintaining high professional standards. "The college frequently receives inquiries from college graduates who want to become teachers but there has been no path available to them, other than the bachelor degree in education," Mercer said. "Now, they have a road to that goal from a trusted, cost-effective program that has prepared teachers for more than 150 years."

Thomas Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction, said the program helps mitigate many of the financial, educational and geographic obstacles that prevent people who are highly interested in becoming a teacher from doing so. "Our first cohort of 49 students — who will finish their degrees in May — included highly talented people from a variety of backgrounds who shared the common goal of wanting to become elementary teachers," Vontz said. "We believe the Master of Arts in teaching and Kansas Transitions to Teaching programs will prepare highly effective elementary teachers for classrooms in underserved school districts."

For more information about the Master of Arts in teaching program, visit global.k-state.edu/education/mateaching/.


Excellence, potential earn College of Education students honors

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Kansas State University's College of Education is recognizing several of its new graduates for excellence. Earning the college's Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award for outstanding leadership and scholarship are six students, while two students are receiving the Outstanding Future Teacher Award for their potential as future teachers. In addition, two students are being honored by the Kansas State Department of Education as Teachers of Promise. All of the students were recognized at the college's commencement ceremony Dec. 10. In addition, the Teachers of Promise award recipients were recognized earlier this fall at the Kansas Teacher of the Year State Awards Banquet in Wichita.

The following students, all December 2016 bachelor's degree recipients, have earned one of these select honors:

  • Anna Hein, elementary education, Andale, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A university honors list student, Hein was the recipient of the Hucke-Wavering Scholarship and the Skeen Education Scholarship. She is the daughter of Roman and Patty Hein. Hein is a 2012 graduate of Andale High School and earned an associate of arts from Hutchinson Community College.
  • Jensine Ernacio, elementary education, Junction City, Outstanding Future Teacher Award for elementary education. Ernacio was a member of K-State's Asian American Student Union, serving as secretary; vice president of the Philippine Student Association; and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She was the recipient of the Beverly and Morris Greenwood Scholarship, Memorial Scholarship and the Elvon G. and Lydia E. Skeen Education Fund. In addition, Ernacio participated in K-State's women's ultimate Frisbee. The daughter of Juanito and Josephine Ernacio, Junction City, she is a 2012 graduate of Junction City High School.
  • Skylar Ross, elementary education, Linwood, Teacher of Promise Award. Ross, an Eagle Scout, is the recipient of a National Heroism Award. The son of Matthew and Maureen Ross, Linwood, he is a 2012 graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School, Basehor.
  • Shannon Oakley, secondary education, Manhattan, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Oakley was president of the College of Education Ambassadors, rituals chair of Kappa Delta Pi education honorary and a member of the Kansas National Education Association. She also served as co-chair of the All-University Open House Student Core Committee and was a career specialist with K-State's Academic and Career Information Center. She was the recipient of the Tomorrow's Teachers Skeen Scholarship, Memorial Scholarship, Foundation Scholarship and a K-State Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship. She is a volunteer with the Kansas Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership program, currently serving as director of operations. She also volunteered as a tutor at the Douglass Community Center in Manhattan and served on the university's International Service Team in the Dominican Republic and with the USD 457 Student Teaching Incentive Program. The daughter of Tom and Christi Oakley, Manhattan, Oakley is a 2013 graduate of Rock Creek Senior High School, St. George. She will teach seventh-grade mathematics at Kenneth Henderson Middle School in Garden City.
  • Elizabeth Hix, secondary education, Olathe, Teacher of Promise Award. Hix, who graduated summa cum laude and served as the College of Education's student commencement speaker, was a member of the University Honors Program; Quest, the freshmen honorary; Christian Challenge; and Helping International Students. She also participated in the K-State Idol competition and studied abroad at Queen Mary University in London. She was the recipient of the Rankin, Skeen, Memorial and Foundation Plus scholarships. The daughter of John and Judith Hix, Olathe, she is a 2012 graduate of Olathe South High School.
  • Alyssa Dimon, secondary education, Overland Park, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Dimon served as treasurer of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honorary, and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key academic honoraries. She also was the recipient of K-State's Putnam Scholarship. The daughter of Jeff and Maureen Dimon, Overland Park, she is a 2013 graduate of Blue Valley Northwest High School, Overland Park.
  • Erin Stout, elementary education, Shawnee, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. An ambassador for the College of Education's Project Excel, Stout also was a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honoraries, Wildcat Buddies and St. Isidore Catholic Student Center. She received the Tomorrow's Teacher Scholarship, Academic Achievement Scholarship, Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship and Shawnee Rotary Club Scholarship. She also received a Presidential Service Award and was a religion teacher at Sacred Heart School. The daughter of Randal and Kimberly Stout, Shawnee, she is 2013 graduate of St. James Academy, Lenexa.
  • Molly DeBusk, elementary education, Kansas City, Missouri, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. DeBusk served as volunteer with the College of Education's Project Excel, as well as with Meadowlark Hills retirement community, Friendship Meals, and the Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan. She served on the K-State Homecoming Committee, as a K-State Johnson County ambassador and was a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, the human ecology honorary. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, serving as new member educator, and was on the Panhellenic Council, serving as continuous open bidding/retention chair. She was a mentor with the Ellis Scholarship Program, an intern with the Department of Defense and North Carolina State University, is an Apple-certified teacher, and took part in a domestic violence training program. DeBusk also earned a bachelor's degree in family studies and human services from K-State in May 2016, graduating magna cum laude. She is the daughter of Steve and Deb DeBusk, Overland Park, and a 2011 graduate of Blue Valley High School, Stilwell. She is married to Nathan Petrie.
  • Jessica Pennybacker, secondary education, Geneva, Illinois, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Pennybacker was a member of the College of Education Ambassadors; served as a learning assistant for the Spanish in Action CAT committee, a program of K-State First; was a recruitment guide for the K-State Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life; and was vice president of standards for her sorority, Kappa Delta. She also served as a student assistant in the College of Education's Academic Advising Office, was a K-State orientation leader and studied abroad in Argentina and Costa Rica. The daughter of Mark and Leslie Pennybacker, Brenham, Texas, she is 2012 graduate of Geneva Community High School, Geneva.
  • Nicholas Uremovich, secondary education, Euless, Texas, Outstanding Future Teacher Award for secondary education. Uremovich is the son of Gerry and Lisa Uremovich and 2011 graduate of Colleyville Heritage High School, Colleyville, Texas.

College of Education hosts research fair for undergraduate students

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Several undergraduate students in the College of Education presented their research findings during the fall 2016 Research and Creativity Fair Dec. 8 at Kansas State University. Todd Goodson, chair of the curriculum and instruction department, said this is the fair's third year and students choose to participate for a number of reasons. "Some participants are honor students who present their honors projects," Goodson said. "Senior art education students typically present their senior art projects while other students present research projects they completed with faculty members, as is the case with our Rural Arts Day project."

Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, said many people don't realize research is actually a crucial part of what teachers do every day when they observe their students. "Teachers are constantly evaluating what's happening in the classroom," Mercer said. "Sound research techniques and principles help teachers conduct studies to determine what is working to enhance student learning in their classrooms."

Goodson believes research experience equips future teachers with an important tool as a professional. "It's one thing to be a teacher," Goodson said. "It's another thing to be a teacher leader. Teachers become leaders of other teachers by developing their own ideas through reflection and creativity, and by sharing what they learned. This fair gives our students an opportunity to see themselves as professionals with ideas and experiences worth sharing with their peers."

The following future educators made presentations at the symposium:

  • Jenny Karr, senior in secondary education-biological sciences, Allen, "Designing Instruction to Affect Student Engagement and Motivation in Middle Level Science."
  • Meredith Clark, senior in secondary education-English, Barnard, "Rural Arts Day: A University/High school Partnership Celebrating Identity through Integration of Music and Writing."
  • Mellissa Wiltrout, senior in secondary education-English, Herington, "Culturally Responsive Literacy Lesson."
  • Blake Madsen, senior in secondary education-English, Manhattan, "Teaching Heroism Literature in a Diverse Classroom."
  • Nicole Kraly, senior in secondary education-modern languages, Shawnee, "The Role of L1 in L2 by Learning."
  • Rylee Shea, senior in elementary education, Shawnee, "Investigating the Different Uses and Effects of Music in the Classroom."
  • Melissa Smith, senior in elementary education, Onaga, "Science of Sound (Creating Instruments with Students)."
  • Tiffani Lawrence, senior in secondary education-English, Overland Park, "Star-Gazing at the Center of the World." 
  • Peter Fisher, senior in secondary education-chemistry, Overland Park, "The Effect of Student Involvement in Building Models to Learn the Structure of Ionic Compounds." 
  • Adam Schmitz, senior in secondary education-biological sciences, Westmoreland, "Teaching Plate Tectonics in a Seventh-Grade Earth."
  • Lucia Scott, senior in secondary education-speech, Wichita, "Communication and Diversity: Gender Neutral Pronouns in the Classroom."

The fair was created by the curriculum and instruction department's Research and Scholarship Committee and is chaired by Sherri Martinie, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction.


Doctoral students have new opportunity to present research

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A new graduate-level class in the College of Education has inspired a new event. Kay Ann Taylor, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, developed the course, Historical Research Methods in Education, and it concluded with eight doctoral students presenting their research findings in a mini-conference setting Dec. 8. "The goal is for their research to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication or to present at a conference," Taylor said. "Their research topics are related or contributed to their dissertations, and I believe this was an excellent way for them to conduct research and engage in academic rigor."

Taylor said creating the course was a collaborative effort, as she worked with colleagues in her department and with many across campus to develop the syllabus. Many were ultimately invited as guest speakers. K-State faculty members Heather McCrea, associate professor of history, provided expertise for defining primary documents and using them in research; Jim Sherow, professor of history, provided enormous insights about publishing; M.J. Morgan, assistant professor of history and research and curriculum director for the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, lectured on oral histories; Laura Bonella, associate professor at Hale Library, shared information about electronic library sources; and LouAnn Getz, curriculum and instruction program assistant, presented about Kansas teachers.

Taylor said everything about this course was exceptional, especially having all doctoral students. "The depth of conversations and community of learners we had in the class was honestly something I will carry with me for the rest of my life," Taylor said. "Not only were the students amazing, I give much credit to my K-State colleagues for the invaluable contributions they made to the course and its content."

The following scholars made presentations at the mini-conference:

  • Xinran Wang presented "Historical Background Interpretation: How the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) Influenced Chinese Higher Education and Chinese People."
  • Irina Tarabrina presented "Lemons to Lemonade: Avoidance Phenomenon Defined in English Language Learners 1970s-1980s."
  • Sam Roberts presented "High School Dropout Rate Up; Poverty and Failure Blamed — The Federal Role in Shifting Graduation Rates."
  • Melia Fritch presented "Beyond the Worksheet: Searching for Engaged Pedagogy in Library Instruction."
  • Mark Ellner presented "Women's Role and Expectations in PE and Sport."
  • Abdullah Masmali presented "The Development and Change in Education and Technology in Saudi Arabia."
  • Nadyah Abdullah presented "Education in Saudi Arabia, 1930-1980."
  • Jennifer Brown presented "Influence on Writing Instruction at the Turn of the Century: 1870-1892."

Bhattacharya publishes book on power, race in higher education

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Power, Race and Higher Education book coverA College of Education faculty member and her former graduate student recently published a book about the complicated interaction between power and race at colleges and universities. It all started with a question about a dissertation topic. "Power, Race, and Higher Education" is a parallel narrative written by scholars Kakali Bhattacharya, associate professor of educational leadership, and Norman K. "Kent" Gillen, a former College of Education graduate student and adjunct professor at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. The book is published by Sense Publishers. 

"I believe this book would be beneficial for anyone who wants to teach about race, gender and culture," Bhattacharya said. "At the graduate level, this book would be applicable in various qualitative research methods classes, ethnodrama classes, classes that focus on qualitative research writing, and arts-based research classes."

Bhattacharya explained the subject for the book came about organically while mentoring a white graduate student, Gillen, her future co-author. He wanted to conduct a critical qualitative study and approached her without realizing the complexities of creating an entry point to conduct cross-cultural research. Bhattacharya, a South Asian woman who immigrated to the U.S., noted that even when dealing with predominately critically conscious white students like Gillen, challenges exist.

"The process revealed how power works within and outside of academia and how we understand ourselves in relation to the power," she said. "I had some power as an academic because I am the gatekeeper and his dissertation supervisor, yet I am a woman of color. These realities can create complicated power dynamics."

While the nature of the research can be personally challenging and even emotional at times, Bhattacharya believes it is worth it. "The work is really challenging to do and there are misunderstandings, heartbreaks, and sometimes invitations to face some darker parts of our memories," she said. "But it is rewarding to take those journeys because of the insights gained as a result of traveling those arduous paths."

Read more information or order "Power, Race, and Higher Education" online


Project EXCELL wins national award

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Project EXCELL, a K-State, community-based program designed for special needs adults, recently earned a national award for service to an underserved population. This is the third award the program has received since its inception in 2010. 

Project EXCELL received the 2016 Outstanding Service to Underserved Populations Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education at its annual conference last month in New Orleans. The program is a partnership between the College of Education and UFM Community Learning Center, and the K-State Student Union donates the space for the classes. The college provides the professional expertise and majority of student volunteers, and UFM serves as the program's fiscal agent. 

Warren White, professor of special education, counseling and student affairs and College of Education director of assessment, said about 10 percent of students in a typical public school population have disabilities, and there are mandated services for them. However, once they graduate or age out at 21, no mandated adult services exist. That lack of services creates waiting lists for the limited services that are available, and in the case of the Manhattan area, the wait may exceed seven years.  

"We certainly never envisioned receiving a national award for Project EXCELL, but it is certainly rewarding to be recognized," White said. "This program is an excellent example of how K-State is fulfilling its land grant mission in the 21st Century."

Linda Teener, UFM executive director, said this semester's enrollment was the largest in program history with 64 students, about half coming from the Marysville-Greenleaf area. Two five-week sessions are offered each academic semester on Saturday mornings, and topics range from yoga and dance, countries around the world, social skills, tailgating games and more. "The coolest thing about Project EXCELL is to go on a Saturday morning and see how excited the students are to be here and how much they want to participate," Teener said. "They share and they learn from what they are doing, and they retain the information. It's really fun, exciting, and rewarding because it means so much to them."

Project EXCELL provides personal enrichment and life skill classes to adults 18 years and older with developmental disabilities. EXCELL is the first program in the Manhattan area to enable this population to have purposeful access to a college campus. It also provides the opportunity for EXCELL students and K-State students to grow and learn through interactions with each other. The program has a profound impact on the lives of the participants, allowing them to participate in the community, experience a college environment and develop employability skills.


Herrera receives international research award in Cuba

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A College of Education professor was recently invited to present at a conference in Cuba where she was surprised with an international award for her research and textbook concerning the cultural dimension.

Socorro Herrera, professor and executive director of the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy, received the World Science and Research Award from the World Council of Academics and University Researchers for her book "Biography-Driven Culturally Responsive Teaching." She was presented with the award earlier this month at the organization's conference in La Habana, Cuba. Twenty-three countries worldwide were represented.

"I was honored to receive this research award because it represents the work that I've done my entire professional life, which is grounded in understanding the learner," Herrera said. "It was truly humbling because in Cuba, and many of these other countries, emphasis is on the learner and they open the door to the learner through caring about them, learning about their families then they address the curriculum."

At the conference, Herrera presented "Preparing Classroom Teacher for a Transnational, Transcultural World: New Realities in the Post-Millennial Era."

Under Herrera's leadership, the center has secured more than $38 million in external funding. She has authored/co-authored nine textbooks, 11 book chapters and 16 articles published in refereed publications.


McClish wins poster presentation competition at national conference

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Keondria McClish with posterA graduate student in the College of Education recently won a poster presentation competition at the 65th annual conference for the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

First place was awarded to Keondria E. McClish, a doctoral candidate in adult, occupational and continuing education. The title of her poster was "Contemplative Practices as Pedagogical Practice: Where Does Adult Education Fit?"


College of Education conducts research related to
military-connected students

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Since 2012, the College of Education has used excellence funding from the president's and provost's offices to jump-start expanded endeavors to meet the needs of military-connected students and their families in educational settings. These college efforts include a recent research study designed to identify faculty perceptions about military-connected students.

According to the education researchers who are conducting the study, understanding the culture of the military family and the unique dynamics and contextual factors that are a part of the military lifestyle can provide educators with better insight into facilitating the academic needs of military-connected students of all ages. The investigators are Linda P. Thurston, professor and associate dean in the College of Education; Royce Ann Collins, associate professor of adult education; and Ana Paulo, a graduate student.

Thurston said she believes it is a national imperative to conduct research about the most effective ways to prepare educators and to identify the most efficacious strategies for the educational success of military personnel, veterans and military-connected children.

The College of Education became a member of the Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit, worldwide organization focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition. The college became one of the first 100 universities to join Operation Educate the Educators, a nationwide Joining Forces initiative that was given guiding principles set forth by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Military Child Education Coalition. In addition, the college's adult education program has a long history of engagement at Fort Leavenworth and the Command and General Staff College.

One of the specific goals of the project funded with excellence dollars was to contribute to the knowledge base about education and military-connected students and families. College of Education faculty and graduate students are conducting important research that contributes to and informs the field of K-12 education, educational counseling, student affairs, educational leaders and adult education. The college has produced numerous books, chapters, professional presentations, special journal editions and peer-reviewed research articles related their research about military-connected students. Students have produced more than a dozen related dissertations in the past five years.

A study is currently being undertaken to assess faculty attitudes, perceptions and knowledge of post-9/11 veterans and active duty military-connected students at four-year universities. The researchers are focusing on postsecondary students because current downsizing trends in the military are translating into increasing numbers of veteran and military-connected students in higher education.

"Military students are a campus subculture in need of attention that has largely gone unnoticed in terms of research," Collins said. "Since a good faculty-student relationship can be very influential on student achievement and well-being, one of the strategies that may be necessary is faculty professional development. However, this strategy is rare."

Thurston said there is much to be gained from this research.

"Effective professional development that builds faculty-student relationships and promotes educational success must be based on accurate data from both student and faculty perspectives."

The team is preparing to launch a survey to K-State faculty very soon to collect data on faculty perspectives. The research team urges faculty to complete the survey when they receive it from Qualtrics.

"Our goal is to produce relevant professional development to promote the academic and social success of military students in higher education," Collins said. "The survey questions are based on previous research projects about military-connected students and veterans and on a series of interviews we conducted with military students in higher education. The success of the study hinges on the instructional faculty's participation, and we truly value faculty input."


Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation experts present
at 2016 national evaluation conference

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Several team members from the College of Education's Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation, or OEIE, presented at the American Evaluation Association's 2016 National Evaluation Conference, Oct. 24-29, in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference theme was "Evaluation + Design" and explored the intersection of design and evaluation related to designing programs, evaluations and information. More than 3,500 evaluation professionals attended the conference and nearly 1,000 more participated online.

Cindy Shuman, acting director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation, led a roundtable, "Designing the Team: What have we learned about creating an effective environment for evaluation professionals?" Valerie York and Allison Teeter, evaluators; Katie Allen, project development specialist; and LeAnn Brosius, evaluation projects coordinator, presented "Logic Model Design and Use" during the poster session and "Teen Focus Group Design and Implementation" as a skill-building workshop.

The Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation was established by the College of Education in 2000 and is a full-service evaluation center that provides services for a broad range of clientele in educational institutions, governmental agencies and other organizations. Professional staff within the office have extensive expertise in program evaluation design, project management, instrument development, strategic planning and program assessment and evaluation.

For more information about the office, including a searchable database of evaluation projects and contact information, visit oeie.ksu.edu.


Lecture series on 'Spare Parts' begins Tuesday, Nov. 1

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On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the K-State Book Network launches its faculty and staff lecture series for the 2016 common book, "Spare Parts." "Spare Parts: A Public Lecture Series" draws upon the collective knowledge of the campus community, alongside others beyond K-State, to help everyone understand more about the issues raised in Joshua Davis' book. All events are free and open to the public.

"Our campus experts will help our community consider connections between the experiences of 'Spare Parts' and our own cultural landscape," said Karin Westman, PR/Event Committee chair and department head of English. "We're glad that we can provide a venue for conversations about key themes in Davis' book."

The lecture series will include the following two presentations:

"Coming Out of the Shadows: A Panel Discussion" with Madai Rivera, academic services and diversity coordinator in the College of Human Ecology, will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, in 163 Justin Hall. A panel of students will share their experiences and thoughts about being an undocumented student at K-State.

"While many undocumented students prefer to remain silent regarding their immigration status in this country because of the stigma and fear, many openly and candidly fight the struggles of their daily lives," said Rivera, who will moderate the panel discussion.

"K-State has become the lead institution in our state that is friendly to undocumented students," she said, "and this year's common book, 'Spare Parts,' introduced the story of a group of undocumented students from Arizona. Our panel of current undocumented K-State students brings it home and makes it even more real to us as a campus community. Our students are eager to share their journey, their success stories, and the ways in which our campus can be supportive to their individual needs."

The panel is sponsored by KSBN in partnership with the League of United Latin American Citizens and the American ethnic studies department. 

"A Conversation with Fredi Lajvardi" with faculty/staff expert Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, will be at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in the Leadership Studies Building's Town Hall. Lajvardi, the high school teacher featured in "Spare Parts," visits campus to share his perspective on Davis' book and on the challenges and opportunities for students at his high school and others across the country.

"Fredi Lajvardi is obviously a teacher that did not sit students in rows, lecture and test," said Mercer, who will introduce Lajvardi. "He looked beyond stereotypes and challenged the students to dream beyond themselves, to problem solve, to think creatively, and to accept responsibility for their own learning. He is an inspiration and a model for College of Education students preparing to lead in their own classrooms."

Lajvardi's lecture is sponsored by KSBN in partnership with K-State First, the College of Education, K-State Libraries, the University Honors Program, Student Governing Association and the English department. 

Visit the K-State Book Network for more information about Davis' book and the KSBN program.


College of Education offers graduate program in school counseling at K-State Olathe

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The College of Education announces the availability of its school counselor program at the K-State Olathe campus facilitated by its award-winning faculty.

Enrollment for the Master of Science in school counseling in Olathe opened Oct. 20 and classes begin in January 2017. The master's program is 24 months and was designed to accommodate working professionals, chiefly educators or anyone with a bachelor's degree looking to change careers. While no graduate entrance exams are required, admission requirements include a 3.0 GPA, letters of recommendation, resume and statement declaring the student's goals and objectives.

According to Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, courses will be delivered via a mix of online and on campus, and a faculty member will either teach the onsite courses in Olathe or from Manhattan via Zoom.

"We are excited about having a cohort present at the Olathe campus primarily because we see a need to address the counselor shortage in Kansas," Hughey said. "This is an opportunity to make our program more accessible and prepare professionals for what I believe is one of the most rewarding careers in education."

The school counseling program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, or CACREP.

For more information about the master's program, please visit the website or contact Hughey at jhughey@k-state.edu or 785-532-5527. Also, find us on Facebook for the latest information.


K-State faculty, future teachers host Rural Arts Day in Pratt

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A group of K-State educators and future teachers reached for the sky by taking their expertise to Skyline Schools in Pratt, Kansas, Sept. 30 for Rural Arts Day. The activities integrated arts into the curriculum on several levels, from writing lyrics to percussion exercises. Skyline Schools are part of USD 438, and the rural district encompasses 490 square miles. 

Faculty members from the curriculum and instruction department included Todd Goodson, associate professor and chair of the department; Vicki Sherbert, assistant professor, and Lou Ann Getz, research associate. Phil Payne, assistant professor, represented K-State's School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Five music education majors along with speech and theatre education and English education future teachers took part in this activity. 

"We are grateful to Superintendent Becca Flowers and all the teachers who so graciously welcomed our group into their schools," Goodson said. "We approach this outreach with very specific outcomes in mind and were energized by what we learned and got to take back into our classrooms as well."  

Payne kicked off the day with 100 high school students in the gym moving to the beat of percussion. Next, students were asked to identify traits about their school and what made it unique. They were divided into groups of 20 for more in-depth work. 

Future teachers paired up and led brainstorming sessions to determine the factors that made Skyline special. The students generated lists of places, foods, traditions and activities and were challenged to create a rhythm to represent the categories. As the lesson progressed, the phrases morphed into lyrics sung to the melody of "We Will Rock You." The groups united and practiced on stage before a performance for the entire school. A stream of 300 kindergarten through eighth graders filled the stands and Payne taught them the beat, just as he had with the high school students. Each group sang their verse with the refrain, "We are, we are Skyline."

Goodson said outreach activities like this are a priority for his department. The goals are to build relationships, partner with rural districts and provide future teachers with a forum to develop their classroom skills and techniques. Goodson, Payne and Sherbet will share their experiences with a previous rural arts day at the National Rural Education Association meeting Oct. 21 in Columbus, Ohio. The subject of their presentation is about a university/high school partnership integrating music, writing and painting across STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — topics.


History teachers touch history

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About 25 social studies teachers from across the region visited K-State's Manhattan campus Oct. 14 to handle some of humanity's most precious documents. The professional development day was led by Thomas Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education and director of the Center for Social Studies Education. The activities were part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the Center for Civic Education — the James Madison Legacy Project.  

"Our K-State Libraries and librarians, in this case Laura Bonella and Sara Kearns, deserve high praise for bringing this collection to K-State and for helping us interpret the motivations of the authors, printers, and binders," Vontz said. 

After a brief training session in Hale Library about the history and handling of primary documents, the teachers headed to the second floor of the library where the books were on display as part of "The Remnant Trust's Wisdom of the Ages" exhibit. Librarians are available during open case hours to assist patrons handling the books. More than 40 of "The Remnant Trust's" items — some dating as early as 2500 B.C. — are in the collection. The exhibit, which includes the Emancipation Proclamation, Magna Carta and 38 other great works, will be on display throughout the semester. 

Blanche Wulfekoetter, social studies teacher at Jefferson West High School in Meridan, was elated to literally touch history. "What a joy and surprise," Wulfekoetter said. "I thought we were going to have just a lecture, which I do enjoy, but to actually touch the books, and, like the presenter said, 'mix our molecules' with people from the past, is really exciting. It's motivating to go back and share with my students." 

Collin Mangus, social studies teacher in Papillion, Nebraska, said he was using today's technology to connect his students to history. "I took pictures to show my students where these ideas came from and that they actually exist and that we can put our hands on them," Mangus said. "One of the hardest things for middle school students to do is to connect to ideas that are hundreds of years old, so I've been tweeting to them."


K-State education finance expert releases Kansas school funding brief

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A national expert on faculty in the College of Education authored a policy brief outlining the structural elements of state aid formula construction that are aimed at meeting the state of Kansas' constitutional obligation to public education. David C. Thompson, professor and chair of the department of educational leadership, Elvon G. Skeen endowed chair and National Education Finance Academy distinguished research fellow, penned "A Policy Brief on Kansas School Finance." Thompson is routinely sought after as a policy analyst by media outlets and has provided expert service to both plaintiffs and defendants in school finance disputes across the nation.

"The state of Kansas specifically invited ideas as it is faced with rewriting its school aid formula, and I am pleased that this policy brief may serve to contribute to a critical statewide conversation as nothing is more important to Kansas' future than how the state pays for K-12 education," Thompson said. "Among the key recommendations was a strong state/local partnership with assurance of a per-pupil expenditure floor from which to build in need-driven and all-inclusive instructional/support/operational costs. Of equal and paramount importance was that the state accept the responsibility to shoulder the lion's share of costs and to ensure that school funding is highly equalized in every school district. An important consideration was that a new state formula should not result in loss of baseline funding to any school district."

The brief addresses the key elements of fiscal equity, adequacy, efficiency, stability and accountability. Thompson stressed three points:

  1. The importance of a broad revenue base with great preference for progressive tax systems that seek the income tax as the first stream, statewide property tax as the second stream, highly equalized local property tax as the third stream, and sales tax as the least preferred stream;
  2. The need for an expenditure floor, an expenditure cap and vertical educational need adjustments that take all costs into consideration; and
  3. The need for determining the actual cost of equitable and adequate school funding through comprehensive true cost analyses rather than being driven first by historic expenditure patterns.

"School funding is one of the most important and critical issues facing Kansas and every state," Thompson said. "Kansas school leaders know best what is needed to preserve, sustain and grow the successes of Kansas schools."

Thompson is the author of several books on school finance and was engaged in legislative debates leading to enactment of the state's previously longstanding school funding formula. For more information about his views on Kansas school finance, please watch his interview on "EduCATion Today."


College of Education ambassador program grows in diversity, impact

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The Kansas State University College of Education has selected 62 future educators for its 2016-2017 class of ambassadors. The new class holds the distinction of being the largest group of ambassadors in college history. Mac Benavides, recruitment coordinator and ambassador advisor, said allowing incoming sophomores to apply to become ambassadors accounted for the increase in size of this ambassador class. "The ambassador program does an outstanding job of developing leaders, but we saw an opportunity to improve the experience for both the students and the college by opening up the program to incoming sophomores," Benavides said. "This extends the future teachers' professional exposure by 25 percent — a full academic year — and allows the college to benefit from more developed leaders."

Emma A. Miller, senior in elementary education and ambassador president, believes the changes in the program will enhance recruitment efforts. “We have an excellent mix of ambassadors who are male, female, in elementary and secondary education and in all the different areas of concentration," Miller said. "It will be wonderful to match them with prospective students to really be able to personalize each student's visit to campus."

The following students are 2016-2017 College of Education ambassadors:

Melissa Lawrence, sophomore in elementary education-English, Andover; Brooke Jackson, senior in elementary education-mathematics, Arkansas City; Kori Hopson, sophomore in secondary education-English, Atchison; Alyssa Bisagno, senior in elementary education-English, Augusta; Joni Sheets, sophomore in elementary education-mathematics, Belleville; Nicholas Van Pelt, sophomore in elementary education, Beloit; Brier Fox, junior in elementary education-English, and Jordan Jimerson, senior in elementary education-special education, both from Council Grove; Sarah Watkins, senior in elementary education-mathematics, Derby; Mikala Potts, sophomore in elementary education-mathematics, Elmdale; Mara Kling, junior in elementary education-mathematics, Goodland.

From Greater Kansas City: Elizabeth Young, junior in elementary education-English, Fairway; Maggie Thomas, senior in secondary education-social studies and secretary, and Emily Webb, junior in secondary education-art, both from Leawood; Paxton Akin, senior in elementary education-special education and vice president, Brett Kippley, secondary education-physics, Taylor Sheffield, junior in secondary education-English, Katherine Wernes, senior in elementary education-English, and Samantha Wright, sophomore in elementary education, all from Olathe; Samantha Bendrick, senior in elementary education-modern foreign languages, Ryan Bird, junior in secondary education-chemistry and Education Council representative, Sarah Brekke, junior in elementary education-English as a second language, Riley Clark, junior in secondary education-physics and event coordinator, Emily Hoffman, junior in elementary education-mathematics, Dane Janner, senior in secondary education-social studies, Abigail Sweeney, junior in elementary education-special education, and Sally Sweeney, junior in elementary education-special education, all from Overland Park; Mary Grace Poskin, junior in elementary education-English, Prairie Village; Clayton Kistner, sophomore in secondary education-English, and Brittany Rouse, junior in secondary education-social studies, both from Shawnee; and Madison Jewett, junior in elementary education-English, Stilwell, recruitment co-chair.

Scotti Twombly, junior in elementary education-general science, Highland; Dylan Graves, sophomore in elementary education-social studies, and Shelby Shearon, junior in secondary education-social studies, both from Hutchinson; Erin Davis, senior in elementary education-special education, Louisburg, membership education chair.

From Manhattan: Perlita Dominguez, senior in elementary education-English as a second language; Shawn Finch, senior in secondary education-family and consumer science; Levi Jones, sophomore in secondary education-English; Emilie Liebe, senior in elementary education-English as a second language; Emma A. Miller, senior in elementary education-special education, president; Emma K. Miller, senior in elementary education-special education, Education Experience Day co-chair; Anne Roberson, junior in elementary education-special education; Allison Sears, junior in secondary education-family and consumer science, treasurer; and Lauren Wilson, junior in elementary education-English as a second language.

Baylee Heitschmidt, sophomore in secondary education-English, Nickerson; Rylan Laudan, senior in elementary education-special education, Osawatomie, Educators Rising representative; Dallas Froome, senior in elementary education-modern foreign languages, and Brooke Waters, senior in secondary education-mathematics, both from Salina; Addison Howley, junior in elementary education-special education, Scandia; Janie Bramhall, sophomore in elementary education-mathematics, Seneca; and Miranda Wildeman, junior in elementary education-general science, Stockton; Janeigh Dantzson, senior in secondary education-social studies, and Grace Lady, junior in elementary education-special education, both from Topeka; Shannon Caffrey, sophomore in secondary education-mathematics, Westmoreland.

From Wichita: Shelby Carpenter, sophomore in elementary education-social science; Madison Clinton, junior in elementary education-English; Jessica Maly, sophomore in secondary education-family and consumer science; and Amy Matlick, junior in secondary education-social studies.

From out of state: Jenna Gilio, junior in elementary education-English as a second language, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, recruitment co-chair; Dominique Wiedmaier, sophomore in elementary education, Maryville, Missouri; Abby Hershenow, sophomore in secondary education-mathematics, St. Louis, Missouri, Education Experience Day co-chair; Shannon Nolan, junior in secondary education-social studies, Henderson, Nevada; and Paige Garrity, sophomore in secondary education-social studies, Frisco, Texas.


College of Education premieres documentary about social justice in education

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Five people from remarkably different backgrounds are the subject of the College of Education's latest documentary about what attracted them to teaching. A Walk in My Shoes: Social Justice in Education will be streamed live during the Oct. 3 premiere at 1:30 p.m. in Forum Hall, and topics traverse issues from equity for students with special needs to mascots to school funding. The trailer is available online, and the full-length film will be available after the premiere.

The documentary features College of Education faculty members James Teagarden and Amanda Morales, College of Education graduate students Teara Lander and Alex RedCorn, Pawhuska, Oklahoma; and early-career teacher Eli Schoeman, Kansas City, Missouri. Each member of this diverse group reveals the moment, observation, or event that drew them to the field of education.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, said this film is a powerful tool for uniting people who are passionate about equity and inclusion and what they mean in the classroom. "I am excited about this documentary because it offers a rare look into the lives of teachers and the deeply personal reasons they chose this profession," Mercer said. "Every teacher was once a student, and who knows what moment in a classroom may inspire a child to teach."

Rusty Earl, college videographer and film director, echoed Mercer's sentiments. "Most teachers have a back story that people will likely never know, and I can't help but think about the many lives that have been changed by teachers and their families," Earl said. "I used to think making documentaries was just about sharing someone's story, but now I realize the power lies in opening people's hearts and minds and bringing focus and clarity to real-world situations that many of us may have not encountered or considered."

About the video participants:

  • Teagarden, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, was a successful business owner in Kansas City, Kansas, when a comment made by a regular customer, who happened to be a teacher, changed the trajectory of his life.
  • Morales served the college as an assistant professor and diversity coordinator before accepting a position this fall with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Morales, who grew up in Hoxie, Kansas, tells how her background inspired her to become an educator.
  • Lander shares how her life as a military-connected child traveling the world and a chance meeting with President Bill Clinton inspired her to dream big.
  • RedCorn is a member of the Osage Nation and provides valuable insights into the lives of indigenous people. He offers his perspective on important social issues like Native American imagery used as mascots.
  • Schoeman, a first-year teacher, details difficult events in his childhood and his personal mission to help each child feel treasured and succeed.

Bradshaw receives scholarship, technology award

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Michelle Bradshaw, sophomore in elementary education, Jetmore, is this year's recipient of a prestigious scholarship and technology award designed to help her become the best educator possible. Doris Wright Carroll, College of Education associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, presented Bradshaw with an Apple laptop on Sept. 20 in the college's Catalyst Center.

Carroll said the recipient of the Doris Wright Carroll Multicultural Technology award receives the Lawrence G. Wright scholarship. The latter scholarship is in honor of Carroll's father, Lawrence G. Wright, a retired human resources officer for the Santa Fe Railroad in Topeka. The purpose of both scholarships is to enhance opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds, and Carroll quickly realized that successful students needed access to all of the tools possible, especially a computer. "When selecting our recipient, we look for the ideal combination of need but also passion and commitment to the field of education, and clearly Michelle is the perfect candidate," Carroll said.

Bradshaw was surprised and humbled at the award. "Honestly, I was just very grateful," Bradshaw said of learning she was selected as the Wright scholar. "Money is tight for everybody, and every little bit helps."

Bradshaw grew up Jetmore, a community of 850 and graduated from Hodgeman County High School in 2015. She always looked forward to helping her two younger sisters with their homework so teaching seemed like a natural choice. "I've always enjoyed helping people, especially with my sisters' homework because it was something I was really passionate about and really enjoyed," Bradshaw said. "My area of concentration is special education, and I want to help kids with special needs because I think they can be easily overlooked."

Upon graduation, Bradshaw hopes to work for Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 while pursuing a master's degree, then return to Jetmore to teach. Carroll quickly attempted to recruit Bradshaw to the college's counseling program, Carroll's area of expertise. Bradshaw said she hopes to convince her younger sisters to attend K-State, but it may not require much recruitment at all because her family already has significant ties to the university. "My uncle is Charlie Dickey, the offensive line coach for the Wildcats, and we've been coming here to games for years, so I already felt like I was part of the K-State family by the time I enrolled freshman year."


Payne published in national music education journal

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Phillip Payne, assistant professor and chair of music education, published an article titled, "Using Engagement Theory to Establish Musical Collaborative Opportunities within School-University Partnerships," in the September 2016 issue of Music Educators Journal.

The article provided an in-depth look at one current collaborative opportunity K-State music education majors engage in during their time on campus and how to transfer these experiences to various school systems and universities across the country. Music Educators Journal is the national publication of the National Association for Music Education and has a readership of more than 77,000.


College of Education develops graduate certificate in qualitative research

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The College of Education is now offering a graduate certificate in qualitative research in response to the high demand for qualitative researchers at the national and international levels. The certificate is an 18-credit hour program that is composed of online, hybrid and face-to-face classes and is appropriate for both degree-seeking and nondegree-seeking graduate students. Students will be exposed to various research designs and learn how to integrate the latest tools into qualitative inquiry. A strong emphasis will be placed on writing skills for interdisciplinary purposes.

Kakali Bhattacharya, associate professor of educational leadership and program coordinator, explained the growing interest in this specialized area of research. "I don't believe there has ever been a greater need for trained qualitative researchers, especially in the fields of academia, public health, the nonprofit sector as well as business and marketing," Bhattacharya said. "We are very excited about this certificate because our program has several fundamental strengths when you consider the caliber of the faculty, the mentorship opportunities and the program's interdisciplinary approach."

For more information about the program, please visit the website or contact Bhattacharya for more information at kakalibh@k-state.edu.


Harbstreit eyes end of career that has spanned a half century

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Steve HarbstreitSteve Harbstreit remembers the days when a little encouragement from a seventh grade agriculture teacher in Indiana and later a high school agriculture teacher in Missouri spurred him on to a career of serving others. Nearly a half century later, Harbstreit has carved out quite a legacy in Kansas for serving agricultural education, having directly taught, mentored or graduated 128 of the current 223 teachers in the state.

Harbstreit, an associate professor in the Kansas State University College of Agriculture, recently announced that he will retire in January 2017. He has taught agricultural education at the university since 1987. During his time in Kansas, agricultural education has grown from about 160 sites to more than 200 teachers and 185 programs. Harbstreit notes that the number of high school students in agricultural education grows consistently, and agricultural education is becoming more common in urban areas. Harbstreit notes that a hallmark of the Kansas State University program is that he and others interact with graduates throughout their professional career.

Harbstreit grew up in southern Indiana and Missouri where he participated in 4-H and FFA. He earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education from the University of Missouri in 1971, a masters degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University in 1977, and a doctoral degree from the University of Missouri in 1987. He also taught high school agricultural education in northwest Missouri for 13 years.

is a member of the American Association for Agricultural Education; the National Association of Agricultural Educators and Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators; and the Association of Career and Technical Education and Kansas Association of Career and Technical Education, the latter of which recently honored Harbstreit with a Lifetime Achievement award. Harbstreit also received notice that he will receive the VIP award from the National FFA organization at its national convention in October.

In retirement, Harbstreit said he plans to travel, spend time with family… and keep on serving others. He has plans to work on a national curriculum for agricultural mechanics, and he'd like to lead workshops for teachers.


Music education professors present music integration research at biannual International Society for Music Education conference

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Ruth Gurgel and Phillip Payne, assistant professors of music education, co-presented a paper at the biannual International Society for Music Education's 32nd World Conference on Music Education earlier this summer in Glasgow, Scotland. Their presentation, "Taking the Plunge: Practicum Experiences in Music Integration," offered research and case studies examining the effects of preparing pre-service teachers to design lessons that integrate music with social studies in elementary classrooms and with language arts in middle school classrooms.

Research has indicated increased learning and student engagement with arts integration, but some teachers are reluctant because they don't have the expertise or perceive integration as additional work. Gurgel and Payne's findings indicated that focused practicum experiences helped the students bridge theoretical knowledge from coursework and internship experiences during student teaching. They also found that music integration helped disrupt academic deficit labeling of students.

Ultimately, Gurgel and Payne aim to help teachers gain confidence and motivation to design lessons that cross disciplines and promote critical thinking. "Students leave this project energized in exploring ways to integrate music across all disciplines. Not only does this project promote critical thinking in their students, but also in themselves as reflective practitioners of education," Payne said.

A forthcoming article in Research Issues in Music Education by Payne and co-author Frederick Burrack, professor of music education and director of the K-State Office of Assessment, explains how effective reflection predicts effective planning and instruction in the secondary classroom. The findings are applicable to a wide range of educators. "Gurgel and Payne are conducting important research in the preparation of future educators, and although their focus is on pre-service music teachers, their findings are true of teachers of all disciplines," said Jeffrey Ward, director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

Gurgel also presented a poster at the conference. "Including Popular Music in the Choir Classroom: Student Perspectives on (Dis)engaging Instruction" detailed her work on how 7th grade choir students in a diverse urban area in the Midwest experienced and interpreted their teacher's inclusion of popular music in musical instruction. She found that bringing popular music into a classroom does not engage students on its own, but that instruction must also be challenging. She noted that teachers can use popular music elements that resonate with students' experiences to help design effective instruction.

Payne and Gurgel met researchers, graduate students and music educators from around the world at the conference, many of whom are studying similar issues in their own countries. They discussed opportunities for future international collaborations. Gurgel will start one project closer to home this semester with Vibha Jani, associate professor of interior architecture and product design in the College of Architecture, Planning, & Design. Jani has a degree in the classical music and dance of India, and she and Gurgel will work with each others' classes to model interdisciplinary collaborations and enhance students' creativity by facilitating connections between music and architecture.

Payne is currently working with the National Association for Music Education as a research advisor for the national pilot of the Music Technology Model Cornerstone Assessment where he is working with music educators across the country gathering data on music technology integration. Upon completion, Payne will collaborate with other research advisors from across the country to analyze the data and report the final results of this multiyear study in a book to be published in 2017. His other projects include a collaboration with Todd Goodson, Vickie Sherbert and LouAnn Getz in an arts integration project for rural schools, writing the epilogue for the Model Cornerstone Assessment book, and serving as the lead researcher for the Kansas A+ Schools Pilot Program.

Gurgel and Payne's travel was supported by Faculty Development Awards from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in the spring of 2016.


U.S. Constitution subject of online course, summer institute for high school teachers

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Twenty-five social studies and history teachers who attended a statewide institute are continuing their professional development experience through an online course taught by two faculty members in the College of Education. Thomas Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction, and Brad Burenheide, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, are teaching EDCI 786: Teaching about Constitutional Government through Kansas State University's Center for Social Studies Education to further enhance the teachers' understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

The course supplements the We the People Summer Institute in Topeka, which explored historical, legal and social perspectives of the Constitution — the origins of constitutional ideas, their development throughout history and their meaning in our world today. The summer institute was directed by Vontz and Burenheide, and the institute received funding from the U.S. Department of Education and the Johnson County First Amendment Foundation.

Vontz praised the participating teachers. "They are a top-shelf set of teachers — smart, curious and engaged," Vontz said. "We suspect this is going to be a big boost for Kansas We the People."

Called the Kansas James Madison Legacy Summer Institute, the institute featured presentations by John J. Patrick, professor emeritus at Indiana University and an internationally renowned civic educator; Stephen Schechter, professor of political science and history at Russell Sage College and editor of the Encyclopedia of American Governance; and Mark Graber, Jacob A. France professor of constitutionalism at the University of Maryland and one of America's leading experts on constitutional law.

The teachers were presented curriculum from the national Center for Civic Education's We the People program, which annually hosts state and national civics education competition for middle and high school classes. Topics at the Topeka Institute included "Thinking Constitutionally," "The Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System," "Overview of a Congressional Hearing," "How Did the Framers Create the Constitution?," "Using We the People in the Classroom," "Hearing Preparation," and "How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence?" The institute concluded with a panel discussion by We the People alumni.

For more information about the We the People program, contact Vontz at tvontz@k-state.edu.


Support K-State's military-connected students at inaugural resource fair

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About two dozen organizations are joining forces to create a networking event to better support military-connected students on campus. Faculty are especially encouraged to attend to familiarize themselves with the scope of resources available in the community and at K-State. The inaugural Military-Connected Resource Fair, sponsored by the K-State College of Education's Military Initiative Committee and the Veteran Student Organization, will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, in the K-State Student Union's Ballroom, and the public is invited to attend. Military-connected students are defined as military veterans and those on active duty as well as those serving in the National Guard, Reserves, and ROTC. The definition also includes family members.

Jane Fishback, associate professor of educational leadership and co-chair of the Military Initiatives Committee, said military-connected students often have career demands to balance and are experiencing a different culture. These situations can be challenging, but there are resources that offer support. "Kansas State University cares about its military-connected students and their educational experience," Fishback said. "Military-connected students are strongly urged to attend this resource fair because representatives from numerous agencies will be available to provide very valuable information. Faculty are encouraged to attend so they become more aware of resources and assistance available to their military-connected students."

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, said she is proud to sponsor the event. "K-State has deep roots with the military," Mercer said. "Not only has the university been designated as a military-inclusive campus but our college has a significant number of military-connected students, so any time there is an opportunity to serve those who serve us, the college will be the first in line."

Jana R. Fallin, professor and director of the Teaching and Learning Center, said the resource fair is an efficient way for K-Staters to discover the scope of services offered by both campus- and community-based organizations. "Our military-connected students are an incredible addition to the K-State student body, and they are also extremely varied as a group," Fallin said. "We want to help our military-connected students succeed, and one important key is having the faculty, as well as the students themselves, be aware of the variety of resources available in Manhattan."

Participating organizations include:

  • From Fort Riley: Army Community Services/Solider Family Assistance Center, Fort Riley Spouses Club and USO — Rally Point 6.
  • From K-State: Academic Assistance Center/Tutoring Center, Career Center, Center for Advocacy, Response and Education, Counseling Services, Financial Assistance/Veterans Office, Global Campus, Institute for Health and Security of Military Families, Lafene Student Health Center, LGBT Resource Center, Non-Traditional and Veteran Student Services, Office of Student Life, Transfer Student Ambassadors, Undergraduate Research Ambassadors, Student Parent Organization and Veteran Student Organization.
  • From Manhattan: Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan Vet Center, Manhattan Workforce/Kansas Works and New Pathways Neurofeedback.
  • Statewide: National Guard, extension military family specialists and National Guard family assistance specialists.

Yahnke recognized as leader, legend

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A College of Education faculty member's impact has been so substantive she was recognized as both a leader and a legend at a recent national conference. Sally Yahnke, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, was celebrated as a legend in family and consumer sciences at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences' 107th annual Conference and Expo June 22-25 in Bellevue, Washington. The recognition focused on her professional contributions to the field as well as the various leadership positions she has held within the organization.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, believes Yahnke's contributions will be felt for generations to come. "Sally's career has been defined by her commitment to students, her passion for family and consumer sciences education, and her leadership in program development," Mercer said. "She is exceptionally deserving of recognition at the national level."

During the conference, Yahnke participated in the panel discussion, "Learning from Legends in Our Field." She was a natural choice for the panel as her autobiography appeared in "Leaders in Family and Consumer Sciences," published by Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society for Human Sciences.

Yahnke earned a bachelor's degree in home economics education from South Dakota State University, and her graduate degrees from Colorado State University — a master's degree in home economics education specialization and a doctorate in vocational education, teacher education and staff development. Her areas of specialization are curriculum development for family and consumer sciences, career and technical education, and improvement of teaching and learning.


Brooks receives social justice certificate's inaugural scholarship

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A graduate student who is pursing the Social Justice Education graduate certificate has been awarded the first scholarship associated with the program. Janelle Brooks, master's student in the College of Education's counseling and college student development program, is the first to receive the $500 scholarship.

"I am extremely grateful and appreciative to be the recipient," Brooks said. "When I came to graduate school at K-State, I knew I wanted to make the most out of my education. So when I learned about this particular certificate, it seemed like the perfect fit to further enhance my education, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity." Brooks earned a bachelor's degree at Truman State University in exercise science-sport and recreation management and a minor in business administration. She quickly realized it wasn't her life passion.

Linda P. Thurston, associate dean for research and graduate studies and Lydia E. Skeen endowed professor, said Brooks represents what many students encounter in that she completed her degree but realized her studies did not match her interests and passions. "This is one of our motivations for creating this certificate program," Thurston said. "After graduation, individuals have experiences that put them on a different path. Janelle discovered her interest in working with college students, and the certificate in social justice education is a perfect complement to her talents and interest. What's so wonderful about this program is that it applies to nearly all people in all professions."


NACADA, Gates Foundation collaborate on student success research project

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NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising and two partner associations recently collaborated to produce the largest publicly available data set investigating administrator perspectives and approaches to academic advising.

Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the 74-page report titled "Driving Toward a Degree: Establishing a Baseline on Integrated Approaches to Planning and Advising" was released recently. Partners include the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, or NASPA, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or NACAC. The study was completed in collaboration with Tyton Partners and Babson Survey Research Group located in Oakland, California.

Charlie Nutt, NACADA executive director, said the data emerged from a 2015-2016 survey of 1,400 administrators from more than 1,000 institutions. NACADA leaders were actively involved in developing the survey. "We've found effective academic advising to be a critical component of student success," Nutt said. "The data in 'Driving Toward a Degree' has the potential to support real change by helping institutions identify where they currently stand and ultimately chart a plan for improvement."

Nutt said the study revealed:

  • 82 percent of respondents reported that student retention and success are a primary objective of their institution's strategic plan.
  • Only 19 percent of respondents said they believed their "institution successfully achieves an ideal advising situation."
  • 44 percent of respondents reported moderate to significant growth in the number of undergraduate advising and planning staff.
  • Only 12 percent of institutions reported widespread use of three primary technology solutions: degree planning, early alerts and reporting/analytics.

NACADA is the global leader in academic advising and has 13,000 members worldwide. The College of Education is the host institution for the association's executive office at K-State.


Work with University Experience program helps graduate student from Beloit earn special scholarship

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A master's student in special education, counseling and student affairs is the recipient of Kansas State University's Marie R. Bonebrake Graduate Award. The $3,250 award is being presented to Jordan Dunn, Beloit. The award recognizes graduate students based on academic merit and financial need. The student must demonstrate excellence in research, scholarship and creative inquiry appropriate for his or her academic field. The Kansas State University Graduate School has established a set of guidelines and criteria for the evaluation and selection of the candidate.

"Winning this award means more to me than I am able to put into words. It is a representation of the passion I have for the students and the opportunity to teach, counsel and guide here at Kansas State University," said Dunn. "It has reinforced that the effort of my daily triumphs and failures are all serving a greater purpose and that I am leaving a positive impression upon those with whom I interact."

Dunn's research focuses on evaluating and updating the course material for the University Experience program. The program is offered to first-year students and provides information and strategies on becoming a successful college student and provides access to resources within the university. Her adviser is Judith Hughey, associate professor of counseling. "I've had the pleasure to watch Jordan develop professionally throughout her time in the program," Hughey said. "It is exciting to watch her self-efficacy grow as she advocates for success of every student. Jordan demonstrates professionalism, intellectual curiosity and leadership in her coursework and assistantship responsibilities."

Dunn plans to use the funds to attend events, workshops and conferences that will aid in her professional development. Upon completion of her master's degree, Dunn wants to improve the education of students by working with them to help facilitate a successful support system.

The Marie R. Bonebrake Graduate Award was established to honor Case Bonebrake's late wife, who received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University.


Suicide prevention, hope are themes of school counselors conference

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The College of Education hosted a two-day conference for school counselors that included an address from the Kansas commissioner of education, the world's leading research on hope, a father turned activist, and the chair of the board of the American School Counselor Association.

The 2016 Counselors CAN! conference on May 31-June 1 was organized by two members of K-State's department of special education, counseling and student affairs: Judy Hughey, associate professor and 2016 Kansas School Counselor of the Year; and Ken Hughey, professor and chair of the department. Approximately 350 school counselors from across Kansas were in attendance.

Randy Watson, Kansas commissioner of education and K-State alumnus, presented "A New Vision for Kansas — New and Critical Roles for School Counselors." Shane Lopez, Gallup senior scientist and author of "Making Hope Happen" presented "Making Hope Happen in our Schools." Julie Baumgart, board chair of the American School Counselor Association, presented "Advocacy is not a 4-Letter Word" and Clark Flatt, president of The Jason Foundation, presented "Youth Suicide: The Silent Epidemic."

Flatt has made it his life's mission to promote suicide awareness and prevention since July 16, 1997, the day his "All-American son" ended his life. Flatt created The Jason Foundation and has worked to pass the Jason Flatt Act, legislation mandating free, online suicide awareness and prevention for all school employees. Kansas was the 19th state to pass the legislation, and the new law goes into effect Jan. 1. "School counselors work collaboratively with teachers to enhance students' academic achievement and career success; however, at times social-emotional issues of students need attention for learning to occur," Hughey said. "Many students today have very complicated lives and that's why Mr. Flatt stressed the importance of providing professional development for educators to enhance awareness and prevention of youth suicide."

According to Judy Hughey, the goal of the conference was to empower school counselors with new research and evidence-based strategies that they can implement in their schools. From Flatt's suicide prevention address to Lopez's message of hope and Watson's vision, all are centered around student success.


College of Education hosts undergraduate research fair

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The College of Education had its spring 2106 Undergraduate Research Fair in which 19 students participated. Poster presentations ranged in topics from international literacy to music education. Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, was impressed with the level of student research and appreciated the extra time faculty advisors invested in each project. "I am thrilled with the scholarly work these students presented," Mercer said. "As time goes on, I believe these young professionals will view this as an invaluable asset to their academic coursework and provide a foundation that will be used throughout their professional teaching career."

Daniel Patterson was one of the presenters. He is a senior in secondary education-social studies and completed a research project about instructional video games in social studies. "Research enriches coursework by serving as an area of application," Patterson said. "You use the knowledge you learned in class and apply it to the real work you do. You learn why you learned what you did in class by doing research."

Six of the poster presentations were action-research projects:

  • Dara Denton, senior in secondary education-English presented "National Board Certification: What is it and Why does it Matter?" Faculty advisors are Vicki Sherbert and Todd Goodson.
  • Caleb Roth, senior in secondary education-English, and Jordyn Holle, senior in secondary education-social studies presented "Knowledge Brokering." Faculty advisors are Sally Yahnke and Megan Klozenbucher, clinical instructor.
  • Amanda Braun, senior in secondary education-biological sciences, presented "Addressing Culture through Culture Human Population Growth." Faculty advisor is Lori Goodson.
  • Dylan Owings, senior in secondary education-biological sciences, presented "Science has No Boundaries." Faculty advisor is Leah McKeeman.
  • Paige Gasper, Hunter Sherretts and Ryan Smallwood, seniors in elementary education, presented "The Swedish Partnership Project: Teaching and Learning with Technology." Faculty advisor is Lotta Larson.
  • Ronald Atkinson, senior in music education, presented "Teaching Writing through Culture and Music for ESL/non-ESL Students." Faculty advisor is Lori Goodson.

Honors projects included:

  • Emily Tilden, sophomore in elementary education, "Nature Integration and the Student's Environmental Perspective." Faculty advisor is Laura Tietjen.
  • Elizabeth Hix, senior in secondary education-speech, "Manuscripts Developed During Study Abroad." Faculty advisor is Todd Goodson.
  • Daniel Patterson, senior in secondary education-social studies, "Instructional Electronic Gaming in Social Studies: An Evaluative Rubric for Judging Games." Faculty advisor is Brad Burenheide.

Other projects included:

  • Joseph Fedrizzi, senior in music education, "Selections."
  • Senior art education exhibit: Brooke Kuehny, senior in art education; Taylor Holthaus, senior in art education; and Jonathan Atteberry, senior in art education. Faculty advisor is Trina Harlow.

College of Education honors outstanding students

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Nine new graduates of the College of Education at Kansas State University have been recognized for excellence and for promise in the education profession. The students were honored at the college's commencement ceremony May 14. Five students received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award, which is given for outstanding leadership and scholarship; two students received the Outstanding Future Teacher Award, which recognizes their potential as future teachers; and two students received the Kansas State Department of Education Teacher of Promise Award for their work as pre-service teachers

The following students, all May 2016 bachelor's degree recipients, were honored by the College of Education:

  • Kelly Kristiansen, secondary education-mathematics, Lawrence, Kansas State Department of Education Teacher of Promise Award. A member of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honorary, Kristiansen served as president. She also was a member of the College of Education Ambassadors, serving as treasurer, and she was a member of Kappa Delta sorority, where she served as academic excellence chair and on the standards board. A 2012 graduate of Lawrence Free State High School, Kristiansen is the daughter of Susan Kristiansen, Lawrence.
  • Hannah Splitter, elementary education, Sterling, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Splitter also was a Kansas Regents scholar and a Leadership Scholarship recipient. She was active in Christian Challenge and intramural sports at the university. Splitter is a 2012 graduate of Sterling High School and the daughter of Mark and Ruth Splitter, Sterling.
  • Madeline Ginder, elementary education, Topeka, Outstanding Future Teacher Award in Elementary Education. A magna cum laude graduate of Kansas State University, Ginder received university semester honors from 2014-2016. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and on the K-State Classy Cats dance squad from 2012-2013. Ginder is the daughter of Rob and Liz Ginder, Topeka. She is a 2012 graduate of Washburn Rural High School.
  • Robert Hamilton, music education, Topeka, Outstanding Future Teacher Award in Secondary Education. Active in music and music education, Hamilton was selected to perform at the National Collegiate Choral Organization as a member of the university's Men Choir and as a student speaker at the university's Rhapsody I Concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. He also was a section leader of the university's Concert Choir, and was a co-presenter at the Kansas Association for Middle Level Educators and at the Kansas Association of Music Educators conferences. He was a research aide for the college's science education program and was a classroom volunteer at Manhattan's Anthony Middle School and Northview Elementary School. A member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, he served as historian. He also was intramural swimming champion in 2010 and 2011. His community service includes performing at the Marian Clinic Benefit Concert in Topeka for seven years, serving as an assistant on a surgical mission to Haiti in 2010, and as a conducting assistant for the Flint Hills Masterworks Chorus in fall 2014. Hamilton, a 2009 graduate of Topeka High School, is the son of James and Sylvia Hamilton, Topeka.
  • Sydney Ho, secondary education-mathematics, Topeka, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. Ho was a member of the College of Education Ambassadors, serving as Experience Day co-chair. As a member of Mortar Board, the senior honor society, she served as director of the New Student Convocation, and as a member of Silver Key, the sophomore honorary, she served as treasurer. Ho also was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honorary, and the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble. She was a peer instructor for the University Experience and severed as an undergraduate teaching assistant and a resident assistant. She is the daughter of Samuel Ho and Jennifer Ho, both of Topeka, and a 2012 graduate of Washburn Rural High School.
  • Jessica Zink, elementary education, Turon, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A university honors list student from fall 2012 to spring 2016, Zink was the recipient of the Leadership Scholarship, College of Education Scholarship and College of Education Alumni Scholarship. She is a 2012 graduate of Stafford High School and the daughter of Larry and Laura Zink, Turon.
  • Becky Brady, elementary education, Wichita, Kansas State Department of Education Teacher of Promise Award. A member of the College of Education Ambassadors, Brady served as president from 2014-2015. She also was a member of Blue Key, the senior honorary, serving as leadership programming co-director for the organization's high school leadership conference. Active in the university's Student Governing Association, Brady was executive initiatives director, an executive cabinet committee member, student affairs director, intern and intern coordinator, and Governmental Relations Committee member. She also served as campaign manager for a student body president-vice president campaign, and was the College of Education's representative to the Tuition and Fees Strategies Committee. As a member of the K-State Student Union Governing Board, she served as vice president, student-at-large member and a member of the Union Renovation Design Core Committee. As a member of the Union Corporation Board, she served as president and secretary. Active in Gamma Phi Beta sorority, she served as Philanthropy Day chair, assistant homecoming chair and with alumnae relations. Brady also volunteered as a tutor for at-risk student at the Douglass Community Center in Manhattan. In addition, she has been serving as a student assistant in the dean's office of the College of Education since 2012. The daughter of Patrick and Terry Brady, Wichita, Brady is a 2012 graduate of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School.
  • Katelyn Meek, secondary education-social studies, Longmont, Colorado, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A member of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honorary, Meek also was an inaugural member of the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellow program and served as a LEAD 212 class leader. She was active in Women's Club Volleyball from fall 2012 to spring 2015, serving as co-president from spring 2013 to spring 2014. She also was a member of Cru campus ministry. Meek is the daughter of Marvin and Margaret Meek, Longmont, and a 2012 graduate of Niwot High School.
  • Dan Zhang, secondary education-English, China, Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. A member of Phi Kappa Phi academic honorary, Zhang is the daughter of Yueming Zhang and Fung Su, also of China. She is a 2011 graduate of Shenzhen Senior High School and attended South China Normal University.

College of Education, Osage Nation create leadership academy

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Leaders from the College of Education and the Osage Nation in Oklahoma have entered into a partnership creating a specialized leadership program designed for the tribe's unique educational needs. The Osage Nation Educational Leadership Academy begins this fall and the hybrid program offers classes through K-State Global Campus with some face-to-face meetings on the Osage reservation and occasional student trips to the Manhattan campus. The purpose is to develop leaderships skills for every aspect of Osage education including leadership in K-12 institutions, language preservation and immersion, family outreach, community development, adult education and more.

Osage Nation education leaders played a critical role in the program's construction, and will work in partnership with K-State Educational Leadership faculty in curriculum and delivery. Alex Red Corn, doctoral candidate in educational leadership and member of the Osage Nation, said the academy fills an essential professional development need for preparing graduate students for their environment.

"Educational leadership in the Osage Nation and across Indian country requires a unique set of cultural and technical skills that are often nonexistent in typical educational leadership training," Red Corn said. "Many educational leaders in Indian country are not being trained for the specific realities of work in their communities and tribal governments."

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, promised learning will be reciprocal. "The academy is an opportunity for us to learn and grow together," Mercer said. "We look forward to taking our strong educational leadership program and molding it to ensure that it is culturally responsive to the needs of the Osage Nation. At the same time, we appreciate the trust the StandingBear administration has put in us, the unprecedented access, and the many ways the academy will deepen course content across the college."

Red Corn agrees. "Faculty and staff in the College of Education have the opportunity to not only teach in this environment, but to also learn from it as they interact with the students and Osage Nation education leaders," Red Corn said. "I hope this enriches the college's collective understanding of what education looks like in a diverse setting that there has been previously little access to."

Red Corn said education is a top priority for the StandingBear administration, which is taking steps to develop a premier school that will enhance the skill set of the Osage people and preserve the Osage culture for generations to come. "This academy allows for the Osage Nation to build its educational capacities from within with on-site convenience to working professionals and with a curricular emphasis on Osage-specific educational leadership topics and experiences, as opposed to generic conversations that may be less relevant to this specific setting," he said.

For Red Corn, the importance of this academy is as personal as it is professional. A passionate educator and father, he understands the future of the Osage Nation depends on the tribe's ability to cultivate highly skilled and credentialed members who assume the responsibility for educating their people.


K-State student researches Spanish songs in vocal music education

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A Kansas State University student is researching the importance of Spanish songs in vocal music education. Sharon Wilson, sophomore in music education, Manhattan, is conducting a four-year project with funding from the university's Developing Scholars Program. Her project looks at the unique qualities of Spanish music, how students learning to sing Spanish music may study it differently from other songs, what students like and dislike about the music and more.

"Right now in the music research sphere, world music is a big topic," Wilson said. "One of my professors recently went to a conference where someone asked, 'Why is Spanish music not being studied more?' People are starting to realize it. We just have to interest the decision-makers for it to have a snowball effect."

The project started in August 2014, when Wilson and her advisor, Amy Rosine, associate professor of music in the university's School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, recruited six students to learn a Spanish song. The researchers documented the students' perceptions and experience of the music before they were exposed to it, while they learned the diction and the song's meaning, and after they performed the piece.

Wilson said the project challenged participants vocally, intellectually and emotionally. "The piano parts in Spanish music are actually guitar parts written on piano, so they are complicated and grand, and they do not help the singer with cues they have become accustomed to in German or Italian songs," Wilson said. "The singer had to learn to be confident in their part.

"Also, the poetry in Spanish is really emotional, so the singers had to research the meaning of their song and perform it with expression to show they knew what they were singing about," Wilson said. "That was difficult for some of the singers, especially the boys, because it's a little harder for most of them to connect emotionally."

Next year, Wilson and her mentors, including Rosine and Ruth Gurgel, assistant professor of music, plan to research how and when Spanish music fell from inclusion to disconnect in regard to vocal performance and music education. "I think the Hispanic culture right now in the U.S. is at a low," said Wilson, who is part Hispanic. "If you turn on a TV show like 'Modern Family,' 'Rob' or 'Work It,' you'll see them making fun of Hispanics and portraying them as foolish or lazy."

Wilson said that Hispanic culture includes not only Mexicans but also any peoples who speak Spanish or Portuguese, from Central and South America to Spain. Despite Spanish culture's existence in Europe, Wilson said Spanish music is often viewed as separate from highbrow European culture and less refined than French, Italian or German styles. The study of Spanish music exposes all students to the value of Spanish culture, including those who have never spoken Spanish, as well as students of Spanish descent who may not take proud in their heritage, Wilson said.

"I experienced racial situations growing up that caused me to be ashamed of being half-Hispanic, and I didn't enjoy that part of myself," Wilson said. "Since starting this research, I've gained confidence in who I am, and I'm also helping other Hispanic students to embrace our culture."

This summer, Wilson will present her research at the university's annual music education symposium. She is considering writing an anthology that would include sheet music to more than 20 Spanish songs, along with historical context about each song and guidance for teaching it correctly. Also, she and Rosine are laying the groundwork to establish a study abroad program to a music college in Wilson's mother's hometown, Lima, Peru.

"I would like to see a Spanish diction class created at K-State so students know how to sing the Spanish language," Wilson said. "Most of all, I hope students and educators will become excited about Spanish music."


Education faculty present at National Field Experience Conference

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Six individuals representing the College of Education's curriculum and instruction department presented at the National Field Experience Conference April 21-22 at the University of Northern Colorado. Two of the three presentations focused on continuing research regarding distance supervision. Both were led by David S. Allen, associate professor and director of the office of field experiences.

Allen, Twyla Sprouse, a Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 clinical instructor, and Lori Goodson, assistant professor, presented "Distance Supervision: Designing an Effective Model." They discussed the process and protocol for successful distance supervision. In a related distance supervision presentation, Allison Rothwell, a USD 475 Geary County Schools clinical instructor, and graduate student Erica Sponberg discussed their ongoing research in the presentation, "Reflective Video-Feedback for Distance Supervision: Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Responses to Supervisor Comments." They shared their research on feedback in the distance supervision process.

Todd Goodson, associate professor and curriculum and instruction department chair, and Lori Goodson presented "Alternative Field Experiences for Pre-Service Teachers," which included conversation about the Summer STEM Institute and the field experience collaboration with Manhattan-Ogden USD 383.


Peruvian artist Victor Gutierrez to present on his art, retablos and life

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Victor Huáman Gutiérrez will lecture on his life, his retablos and his life in Peru, April 26-28, in 118 Bluemont Hall. Gutiérrez will present three lecture-workshops from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26; 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27; and 2:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28. Gutiérrez is an award-winning retablista from Peru.

After seeing his first retablo at the age of 9, Gutiérrez dedicated himself to this traditional art form. His themes include regional festivals and cultural moments in the native Quechua villages in the central highlands of Peru. Gutiérrez manually creates all of his work, from crafting the boxes to shaping the figures by hand using a traditional mixture of flour, gypsum and water. He even makes the paint brushes from his own hair or that of the dog, burro or cat.

Gutiérrez has won several national prizes in Peru and his work appears in various museums in Lima, Peru. He lives with his elderly parents, who taught him this art, and supports them with his earnings from his work as a retablista


K-State dean, instructor recognized at White House

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A Kansas State University dean and an instructor were recognized at the White House on April 13 for their work with First Lady Jill Biden's Operation Educate the Educators. Biden invited Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, and Sandy Risberg, instructor of curriculum and instruction, to participate in Operation Educate the Educators: Sharing Successes and Setting Sights for the Future.

Risberg served on a panel that included one representative from each of the program's four pioneer institutions — Kansas State University, Old Dominion University, George Mason University and University of Southern California. As part of the panel, Risberg explained the efforts Kansas State University has taken in preparing future educators to serve military-connected students.

Since signing on to the program in 2011, the College of Education:

  • Created a documentary, "A Walk in My Shoes: Military Life," featuring veterans, military spouses and military-connected children who share intimate details about their lives and what they wished their teachers would have known about them as they advanced in the P-12 school system.
  • Established a noncredit class, Teaching Military Connected Students, which offers future employers evidence that they are prepared to educate and build relationships with military-connected students.
  • Spiraled concepts from Operation Educate the Educator throughout the curriculum. For example, when discussing students from diverse backgrounds, professors and pre-service teachers explore the strengths and challenges military-connected students bring to the classroom.
  • In Biden's remarks to Operation Educate the Educators stakeholders, she publicly thanked Mercer for participating in the event and also for facilitating the previous week's discussion with Kansas State University pre-service teachers and faculty at Fort Riley Middle School on April 6. "The work that you are doing — that your student teachers are doing in the classroom — is so important. Thank you," Biden said. "Not only does it make a difference in the life of each and every student, but, as you can imagine, it means so much to our service members when members of their community reach out to support military families during deployments."

Jess Holliday, a senior in secondary education-social studies, Soldier, who is student teaching at Fort Riley Middle School, was featured in a video that was shown at the event. The video is available at http://bit.ly/1XKhNHT. "The big thing I think for me personally is this focus on building relationships with your students, because we've talked about how the outside world impacts students' lives in the school," Holliday said in the video. "The Educate the Educators program is important because not only does it help teachers connect with military-connected kids, but it's going to help them connect with all kids."

Mercer said Biden's commendations about the College of Education are actually an accolade for the university as a whole. "This program is indicative of Kansas State University's embracing of military-connected students, because while the College of Education is preparing teachers, the entire university has a welcoming atmosphere for veterans transitioning out of the military," Mercer said. "The event was affirming, and it energized me to strategize how we can take this program to the next level."

Some of those next steps under consideration:

  • Coordinating military-focused coursework pieces to build on each other so student-teachers are optimally prepared to positively impact student learning for military-connected students.
  • Prioritizing continuing education related to Operation Educate the Educator for faculty within the college.
  • Making the school counseling program more systematic and robust.
  • Expanding the use of recent findings from Kansas State University's military initiative standing committee, which had a discussion in March with K-12 school leaders from across the state.

"Military-connected students are a special and unique population," Mercer said. "If military-connected students are in a school system where the teachers understand, are supportive and build that type of culture with other students, it's better for everybody involved. That's what we want to create at Kansas State University."


Border War inspires film about Underground Railroad

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Long before the term Border War was co-opted by sports enthusiast, it defined a period in Kansas history during which abolitionists — including those in Wabaunsee County — fought for the soul of this nation. That story is being captured in a new documentary produced by the College of Education titled "Dawn of Day: Stories from the Underground Railroad." The hourlong premiere is scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in the K-State Student Union's Forum Hall. The event is free and open to the public, and the documentary will be available on the college's website as a resource for teachers. The film was commissioned by Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, and it is narrated by Richard Pitts, executive director of the Wonder Workshop. It also includes in-depth interviews with Michael Stubbs, a historian; Madge McDonald, a descendant of area abolitionists; and Brad Burenheide, historian and associate professor of curriculum and instruction.

Mercer commissioned the film after the college's videographer Rusty Earl approached her with the idea. Her response was immediate. "It is important," Mercer said. "We don't want part of our history to be forgotten or assume that children are going to automatically know or pick up on what we think is important. We need to very purposeful in what we share with with them and what we teach them."

Lifelong Kansans may think they know the story behind how Kansas became a Free State but according to one faculty member, few realize the true importance of the Kansas Territory in the defining issues of the time. "The Kansas-Nebraska Act ignited the first piece of tinder that would be the Civil War," Burenheide said. "Here, in Kansas, is the start of the modern United States in my opinion," noting people identified themselves by their home state before the Civil War and as an American after it.

Pitts is excited about this project because it combines his greatest passions: educating children and history. "So often we drive past places we think we know and don't even stop to think what really went here," he said in the film. "In 1985, I first came to Manhattan, Kansas, as a student and was introduced to some of the stories about the Underground Railroad. As I began teaching and working with kids, I've tried to share my love of history with them. To me, history is a current event, whatever came before us, acts upon our lives today."


School finance expert weighs in on Kansas school funding formulas

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One of the nation's leading authorities on school finance says the term "extracurricular" should be replaced with "co-curricular" to show how these activities supplement what is being learned in the classroom. David C. Thompson, professor and chair of the educational leadership department in Kansas State University's College of Education and the author of multiple textbooks on school finance, has spent more than 40 years in public education. In 2013, he was awarded the National Education Finance Conference's lifetime achievement award.

With budget cuts looming for K-12 schools in Kansas, Thompson said co-curricular activities likely will suffer. "I've been a proponent for a lot of years that says 'extracurricular' is one of those words that ought to be banned from the language," Thompson said. "The reason is that I don't regard anything as 'extra' in what schools do. I call it co-curricular. That includes school buses; it includes social workers; it includes counselors; it includes administration; it includes one of my favorites, food service. Who would argue that children who come to school hungry are ready to learn?"

Thompson said funding cuts are very difficult for administrators because what students learn is not limited to the classroom. "School districts, school superintendents and school boards don't have choices when they are told they are either not going to get new resources or their resources are going to be reduced," he said. "Very often there is some level of reduction or some level at least of very agonizing tension in a school district about where to make those cuts. It's very popular in the current sort of idiom way to talk about dollars in the classroom, but that's exactly the point that I am making. Where does the classroom stop?"

When it comes to school funding, Thompson said the state's block funding formula essentially takes a snapshot of the good and bad parts of a budget and makes no exceptions for changing demographics. "The block grants freeze things in time," Thompson said. "Block grants ignore things of the future. They're touted as being high levels of flexibility at the local school district level, but my honest professional opinion is that if you were to go to lots of school districts in Kansas and ask them how much they have gained from it, that their answer, for the most part, would be, 'I'm too busy trying to cover unfunded expenses to worry too much about any imaginary flexibility I've received.'"

Thompson believes block grants are a funding formula from the past. "From a purely academic perspective, and here I'm leaving aside the politics of the matter, a flat grant has never had any real champions in people who are like myself for at least the last 100 years," he said. While Thompson readily admits there are challenges, he is encouraged by current conversations relative to education funding in the Kansas Legislature that he doesn't believe would have taken place over the last year or two. "I'm grateful that the conversation is happening," he said.

Thompson discusses the history of funding Kansas schools and the pros and cons of the current block grant formula in an interview for the College of Education's Web series, "EduCATion Today." Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, serves as the interviewer for the discussion with Thompson. Thompson served as a teacher, principal and school superintendent before entering higher education. His books are used in more than 200 universities in America.


Education researchers develop e-book based on first-gen documentary

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Being the First ebook cover on an iPadFootage from a College of Education documentary about first-generation college students provided the material for a narrative inquiry research project that culminated in an open source e-book for any educator with an internet connection. "Being the 'First:' A Narrative Inquiry into the Funds of Knowledge of First Generation College Students in Teacher Education" was written by Jeong Hee Kim, professor of curriculum and instruction at Texas Tech University; Amanda R. Morales, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction and diversity coordinator for the College of Education; Rusty Earl, the college's videographer; and Sandra Avalos, academic advisor in the college's Center for Student and Professional Services. The e-book, published by New Prairie Press, made its debut this week at the American Educational Research Association's annual conference in Washington, D.C., where Kim and Morales were part of a panel discussion.

Dean Debbie Mercer commissioned the film, "A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students," upon learning that 40 percent of K-State students are first-generation college students and more than one-third of the college's future teachers are first gen. Nationally, about 20 percent of college students are first generation.

Morales said the e-book project took root when Mercer realized that, due to time constraints, many aspects of the participants' stories were left untold in the documentary. "Dean Mercer reflected on Rusty's films and came to the realization that he's actually a researcher who tells stories in amazing ways," Morales said. "She learned that a wealth of footage would never see the light of day as part of the editing process, so she reached out to Dr. Kim, whose background was in narrative inquiry."

Kim, Morales and Avalos began working on the project before Kim accepted a position at Texas Tech. According to Morales, the project was labor intensive. "Over the course of a year, we worked and sifted throughout hours and hours of data to construct the essence of who these people were and their journeys as first-generation college students," Morales said. "It shows the amazing strengths and cultural capital first-gen students have and how they have to fight and endure hardships to get to college. The book not only tells students' stories, it also provides a strong literature review and the theoretical context for understanding their experiences more fully."

Avalos said her involvement in the project was both personal and professional. "Being a first-generation college student, I wanted to give back and somehow let others know what they could do to help students like me," Avalos said. "I hope this book helps teachers, school counselors, principals and anyone who works with youth to be aware that there are students who have no idea about how to get to college. They need someone to be a mentor for them and hold their hand — and sometimes push them — to do what's needed to prepare for college. If it wasn't for a teacher who believed in me and pushed me, I wouldn't be where I am today."

Earl said he appreciated the opportunity for his footage to have new life and access to new audiences. "It's exciting," he said of being part of the research project. "It adds validity to the individual stories. I like the concept behind narrative inquiry, that a single person's story can be viewed as part of a greater whole. These stories will live on, and they can be used as examples for educators, academic advisors and for start-up programs for first-gen students."


Education faculty, clinical instructors present research at national Professional Development School conference

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Several individuals representing the College of Education's department of curriculum and instruction presented their research at the Professional Development School National Conference April 7-10 in Orlando, Florida. David S. Allen, associate professor and director of the office of field experiences; Lori Goodson, assistant professor, and clinical instructors Twyla Sprouse, with USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden and Allison Rothwell, with USD 475 Geary County Schools, presented "Progressing Through Distance Supervision: Navigating the Bumps in the Road." The presentation focused on the group's efforts to build a distance supervision program for student teachers.

Vicki Sherbert, assistant professor of English/language arts, and clinical instructor Jennifer Ruffley with USD 475 Geary County Schools presented "Through New Eyes: Supporting Teacher Candidates to Work with Military-Connected Learners." Sherbert and Ruffley collaborated to share their research regarding student teachers' experiences with military-connected students.

Todd Goodson, associate professor and chair of the department of curriculum and instruction, and Lori Goodson provided details on their ongoing research with their presentation,"The Art of Good Teaching: The Value of Field Experiences." They are collecting and analyzing data regarding preservice teachers' field experiences in the college's partner schools.

The College of Education has maintained successful partnerships with several area school districts since 1989. School district teachers and administrators collaborate with college faculty to support students and provide learning opportunities in the teacher preparation program, including student teaching and other field experiences. The Professional Development School conference is an opportunity for universities and schools to share their programs and research at a national level.


Participation in K-State's first film festival exceeds expectation

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Seven K-State students made history when their team took first place in the university's inaugural K-State 48-Hour Film Festival. "Bluffing," a six-minute murder mystery filmed in an apartment in the Wareham Hotel, features students playing poker when their game goes awry. Team Couch won $500, and members included five students majoring in broadcast journalism: Dakaota German, Tana Akers, Santiago Amarilla, Zach Radabaugh and Clarissa Weers. Completing the team were Blane Worley, graduate student in math, and Jaden Woofter, political science and media arts.

"The Sketch" by the team STORY ARC claimed a $250 cash prize, and "Disconnected" by team "48-DOMINATE" took third place and received $100. In total, 12 teams participated in the competition, and prizes were distributed during the awards ceremony April 9.

Woofter, a member of Team Couch who works as a student video editor in the College of Education, said the group came up with the poker game concept during a brainstorming session after the kickoff event. "Coming up with the idea was fun, but it was strenuous making something in such a short amount of time," Woofter said. "None of us slept for a solid 36 hours."

Rusty Earl, College of Education videographer and an event organizer, explained each film had to contain three elements — dialogue that included the words "make sure you're right," a shot of a prominent building on campus, and a food item used as a prop. Jeff Carson, founder and partner of Gizmo Pictures in Topeka, was one of the competition's three judges. He was impressed with the students' creativity and production quality of the films. "There were drone shots, lots of long lens shots, good lighting and some stories with excellent surprises," Carson said. "It makes me want to see more work from these students down the road."

What did Woofter learn from the experience? "Teamwork is really difficult but always worth it in the end," he said. "It's important to let people play to their strengths."

Matthew Blomberg, a K-State news production specialist and an event organizer, believes the festival struck a creative chord with students. "In the beginning, we wondered whether students would respond to an event like this, but the enthusiasm from them, and the quality of their submissions really drove home the point that this campus needs an outlet for filmmaking," Blomberg said. "I hope we can continue to bring this opportunity to students in the coming years."

Members of the planning committee would like to extend their sincerest thanks to the many sponsors who made this event possible, especially Provost April Mason. "Without Provost Mason's lead sponsorship, this event would likely not have been possible," Blomberg said, with Earl's steadfast agreement. "I hope each sponsor realizes the impact they had on these students and the university as a whole. It really was an amazing 48 hours."

Sponsors included the Division of Communications and Marketing, the College of Education, the Staley School of Leadership Studies, the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Hale Library and the Media Development Center. Off-campus sponsors included Jeff's Pizza Shop and Hy-Vee of Manhattan. Members of the K-State 48-Hour Film Festival planning committee include Matthew Blomberg, Rusty Earl, Donna Schenck-Hamlin, project coordinator in the Center for Engagement and Community Development; Nick Homburg, graduate student in mass communications; Tom Hallaq, assistant professor in journalism and mass communications; Shelia Ellis-Glasper, news and digital media specialist; Ellen DeBord, client manager in the Division Communications and Marketing; Jahvelle Rhone, information technology coordinator; Ryan Otto, assistant professor in Hale Library; and Ambrosia Cooper, client manager in the Division of Communications and Marketing.


K-State faculty, future teachers lead STEAM lesson in western Kansas

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K-State educators in visual arts, language arts and music traveled to western Kansas to share an integrated science and arts lesson while also providing a multicultural experience. Faculty from the College of Education's curriculum and instruction department and the College of Arts & Sciences, along with several of their students spent April 1 in Syracuse, providing an integrated lesson at Syracuse Junior-Senior High School. The faculty members included Lou Ann Getz, research associate for rural schools; Todd Goodson, associate professor and department chair of curriculum and instruction; Trina Harlow, art instructor; Vicki Sherbert, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in English/language arts; and Phil Payne; assistant professor in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. The pre-service teachers were Elizabeth Hix, Marie Taylor, Jonathan Atteberry, Shannon Miller, Chi Dougherty, Muneera Alonazi and Dana Bruna.>/p>

"Our department is excited to provide activities and connections with rural Kansas communities in our service area," Goodson said. "We thought this project would accomplish several goals — support rural schools, provide teaching and leadership opportunities for our own future teachers, while demonstrating that the arts fit nicely into STEM projects. And, as an extra benefit, it's a great recruiting tool as high school students see how passionate our faculty are about teaching."

Under the leadership of K-State faculty and direction by the pre-service teachers, the afternoon's STEAM activities, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts and math, were woven together for the high school students. The high school students were introduced to a cajon, a box-like percussion instrument originating in Africa and South America. Payne taught the group an African greeting beat, while Harlow demonstrated how to make the instrument. The students were divided into three subgroups; the first subgroup painted the cajons with geometric shapes and images representing the instrument's origins. The remaining groups worked together on a "word picture life" about Syracuse, the language arts portion of the project. Sherbert led a brainstorming session for students to identify words and phrases that best described their hometown in terms of music, entertainment, leisure activities and school. Students then used percussion instruments to explore different sounds that represented the descriptors. Finally, the group established a cadence, keeping the beat with the phrases they had generated, as well as body drumming. The session ended with an "informance," which allowed the students to share with each other the connections made with the numerous components of this project.

Rhonda Levens, Syracuse art teacher, said she believes the students will talk about this experience for a very long time. "The energy that the students and professors brought to the classroom was awesome," Levens said of K-State's cohort. "Today was a 'memorable moment' for my students, as they will talk about it five, 10 and 20 years from now. I still remember vividly when I was a sophomore in high school and a band from Trinidad performed for our student body. Today was one of those days."

Goodson said the results were amazing as Syracuse and K-State faculty and students alike joined together for a lively example of teaching and learning. "I'm really pleased we had such a good turnout and that the students and teachers and administrators at the school were so welcoming and energetic regarding this project," Goodson said. "I also appreciate that our faculty were willing to give some of their time and energy to make this happen." Goodson said the project is part of a growing focus on rural Kansas schools. He plans for this Rural Arts Day to become a regular offering through the department, as faculty members hope to work with more rural schools for similar events.

USD 494 Syracuse is in Hamilton County and is adjacent to the Colorado border. The 24 students who participated in this half-day workshop included a larger number of students enrolled in the visual arts classes. Principal Paul Zuzelski, and Superintendent Ken Bridges helped coordinate and fine tune this experience.


Jill Biden meets with K-State students, faculty at Fort Riley

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FORT RILEY — Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, met with Kansas State University pre-service teachers and faculty at Fort Riley Middle School on April 6 to discuss her Joining Forces initiative. During her visit, Biden, who earned a doctorate in education, highlighted the educational partnership between Fort Riley and Kansas State University as part of Operation Educate the Educators, a progressive effort through Joining Forces to bridge the gap between teachers and military families.

"Dr. Biden's desire to see her program's impact firsthand within the College of Education and the schools on Fort Riley is a clear indicator of her background as a professional educator," said Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education. "This program has presented amazing opportunities for future teachers to better understand the social-emotional needs of military-connected students in a powerful way and how schools can better support these kids. This was a wonderful experience for our students, something they will remember for the rest of their lives."

To celebrate the Month of the Military Child, Biden talked with several K-State pre-service teachers about the importance of building relationships with military-connected students, who face unique challenges in regard to familial transition, mobility and other issues. Biden invited Mercer to participate in a follow-up event, Operation Educate the Educators: Sharing Successes and Setting Sights for the Future, April 13 at the White House. "The event will give me tools and ideas to bring back to K-State for the development of our plans and resources to prepare educators for a diverse classroom," Mercer said. "I look forward to gaining information and strengthening K-State's relationship with Joining Forces."

In 2011, Kansas State University became one of the first 100 universities in the nation to sign on to the program. Mercer said the program was a perfect fit, as it complemented the a 25-year partnership with schools in Geary and Riley counties, which have high concentrations of military-connected students. In response to Biden's initiative, the College of Education created a documentary, "A Walk in My Shoes: Military Life," featuring veterans, military spouses and military-connected children who share intimate details about their lives and what they wished their teachers would have known about them as they advanced in the P-12 school system. The university also established a noncredit class, Teaching Military Connected Students, which offers future employers evidence that they are prepared to educate and build relationships with military-connected students. Additionally, The College of Education has spiraled Educate the Educator concepts throughout the curriculum. For example, when discussing students from diverse backgrounds, professors and pre-service teachers explore the strengths and challenges military-connected students bring to the classroom.

While students at Fort Riley Middle School are visibly military-connected, there are other military-connected children, some whose parents serve in the National Guard or other divisions, in every school district in the United States. "It's important that we identify military-connected children so that whether teachers are working on a military post or in a public school system, they are aware of who those children are, what they might be going through and how they can best meet their learning needs," Mercer said.

The Kansas State University program started with focusing on teachers, and it is now expanding to the university's leadership and school counseling programs to ensure that everyone who is preparing to work in an educational environment is knowledgeable about military culture.


Climate change in K-12 education topic of climate change meeting

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Jackie Spears, professor of curriculum and instruction and director of the Center for Science Education in K-State's College of Education, will be the speaker for the K-State Climate Change Interest Group meeting. Spears will present "Climate Change Education in the K-12 Classroom" at 10 a.m. Friday, April 8, in 207 K-State Student Union. All are invited to attend.

Climate change became an explicit part of K-12 science classrooms when the Kansas State Board of Education adopted the Next Generation Science Standards as the state's science standards. Spears' presentation will introduce the framework used to develop the new science standards, provide an overview of how climate and climate change content is being integrated across the K-12 science curriculum, and profile a few of the many sources of K-12 educational materials on climate change that are available.

Work conducted as part of the Central Great Plains Climate Change Education Project, National Science Foundation award No. 1043393, revealed that Kansas teachers wanted to integrate locally/regionally specific climate data into classroom activities.

Lisa Tabor, doctoral candidate in curriculum and instruction, recently completed research into the extent to which geographic information system technology can provide a practical, reproducible and effective method for teaching climate change in grades 6-12 classrooms. An overview of her research findings will be presented.


Meet Your Military-Connected Students faculty development workshop April 15

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The College of Education's Military Initiative committee and the Teaching & Learning Center are co-sponsoring a faculty development workshop from 1-4 p.m. April 15 in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room. With many returning veterans and active duty military using their 9/11 veteran education benefits, the numbers of military-connected students are increasing. Anyone who interacts with military-connected students including active duty/National Guard and reserves/ROTC, veterans, military retirees, military spouses and children will benefit from this opportunity to meet and talk with military-connected students at the workshop. Multiple resources will be available at this session. Find more information or register online.


Jonathan Catherman to present high energy lecture for leadership event

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Jonathan Catherman, senior consultant with FranklinCovey's Education Practice, was recently recognized and awarded by the White House for his service efforts. Catherman will discuss the books, "The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People," and "The Leader in Me," during three high energy lectures at a Learning and Leading event Tuesday, April 5th. Catherman is a high-energy speaker, and water balloons, super balls and other objects will join the audience from the stage. His interactive presentation with the audience will inspire the leader in everyone.

Catherman has worked in private and public education for 23 years. As a sociologist and educator, Catherman is dedicated to understanding what mindsets, skillsets and toolsets best influences the character and leadership development of today's emerging generation. An international bestselling author, award-winning cultural strategist and education consultant, Catherman speaks worldwide to diverse audiences of all ages. His contagious energy and passionate speaking style engages and inspires, while his clear vision and practical instruction clarifies what leadership principles and structural relations empower greatness in people and organizations. For his success in the development and delivery of youth mentoring resources and programing, Catherman was awarded the 2016 President's Volunteer Service Award and Martin Luther King Drum Major for Service Award.


College of Education creates pathway to teaching for college graduates

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The College of Education at Kansas State University is accepting applications for a unique path to the classroom for college graduates nationwide who want to become elementary school teachers. Scholarships are available for those planning to teach in underserved schools in Kansas. Classes begin in May.

The Master of Arts in Teaching, or M.A.T, is an intensive, one-year online degree specifically designed for people who have already earned a bachelor's degree but want to pursue their dream of teaching. This pathway enables qualified Kansans and residents of other states to earn the degree in 12 months and be recommended for Kansas' initial teacher licensure in grades K-6. The rigorous curriculum is delivered by online coursework, and field experiences are arranged in accredited elementary schools convenient to students in the program. Once out-of-state students pass the Kansas licensure exam, they can seek licensure in their home state.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, believes this innovative program can help address the state's and nation's projected teacher needs while maintaining high professional standards. "The college frequently receives inquiries from college graduates who want to become teachers but there has been no path available to them, other than the bachelor degree in education," Mercer said. "Now, they have a road to that goal from a trusted, cost-effective program that has prepared teachers for more than 150 years."

Thomas Vontz, professor of curriculum and instruction, said that another innovative aspect to the degree program is the Kansas Transitions to Teaching, or KTTT, project that will provide a $6,000 fellowship and funding to purchase necessary technology for 30 career changers from underserved school districts in Kansas. KTTT fellows must complete the program, obtain the necessary licensure and engage in full-time teaching in an underserved geographic area in Kansas within six months of licensure. The college has partnered with school districts in Great Bend, Kansas City, Topeka, Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal for the KTTT project. "The M.A.T. and KTTT have mitigated many of the financial, educational and geographic obstacles that previously prevented passionate people from becoming educators," Vontz said. "The KTTT is especially beneficial for people interested in teaching in underserved districts in Kansas."


College of Education hosts comedy troupe, storyteller and summit as part of social justice program

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The College of Education and its partners are proud to sponsor many activities that advance social justice across campus as well as all the places K-State graduates will work and call home. As part of its "Not Just a Year of Social Justice Education" program, the college is promoting several great opportunities for students, staff and faculty to broaden their horizons.

Upcoming events include:

  • The 1491s will present a performance from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in the K-State Student Union Ballroom. Want to see what modern Indian humor looks like? Come see the 1491s put American Indian stereotypes and social justice conversations out in the open by using comedy and satire, while also having serious conversations with students and faculty about the modern spaces they occupy on social media. Join the troupe for a meet and greet over a brown bag lunch from noon to 1 p.m. in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room. A "Social Justice through Social Media" presentation will be from 2–3 p.m. in Nichols Hall's Chapman Theatre.
  • Clare Murphy, April 6-10: Irish storyteller Clare Murphy will offer a brown bag lunch session, "Storytelling to Promote Social Justice and Social Change" from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in 121 in Bluemont Hall. She also is offering a storytelling workshop.
  • Diverse Women's Summit: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22 in the Leadership Studies Building's Town Hall. This summit was created to support high school and undergraduate women who are underrepresented as leaders and to develop leadership of diverse women. Proposals are being accepted. For more information, contact Teara Lander at flagg@k-state.edu.

Hugheys receive counseling associations' awards

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photo of Ken and Judy Hughey with their Kansas Counseling Association awardsTwo College of Education faculty members were recently recognized by the Kansas Counseling Association for excellence in and contributions to the field of counseling.

Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, was named the association's 2016 Counselor of the Year. She also received the Counselor of the Year by the North Central Counseling Association and Counselor Educator of the Year by the Kansas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. Ken Hughey, department chair and professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, received the Kansas Counseling Association's 2016 Distinguished Service Award.

Judy Hughey said she was humbled by the awards. "I am honored to be recognized with these awards," she said. "We have been incredibly blessed to have worked with amazing students and colleagues throughout our careers and to work in an environment with faculty leadership that support activities that ultimately enhance the counseling program for our graduate students."

Ken Hughey was equally grateful. "It was tremendously gratifying to receive the Kansas Counseling Association's Distinguished Service Award," he said. "I appreciate the many opportunities afforded me to develop and maintain relationships with professionals across Kansas and the country."

Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, values the Hugheys' many contributions. "Ken and Judy have dedicated their professional lives to helping people, and it is wonderful that they are being recognized at the state level," Mercer said. "They have contributed greatly to the caring culture in the college and their impact is truly remarkable when you consider all of the people they have touched through their scholarship and service."


K-Staters' session wins Best of Region at NACADA conference

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An international academic advising association hosted a conference Feb. 29-March 2 in Manhattan where a College of Education faculty member was the lead presenter for the session voted Best of Region.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising held its Region 7 annual conference, "ALLIES for Advising: Advisors Learning, Leading, Integrating & Educating Students" Feb. 29-March 2 in Manhattan. More than 400 participants from across the country, and one from the Middle East, attended the three-day conference at the Hilton Garden Inn. Region 7 includes Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Arkansas.

Christy Craft, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, presented the region's winning session with colleagues Savannah Nulton, academic advisor in K-State's College of Arts & Sciences, and Joanna Seley, academic advisor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The title of their presentation was "Responding and Revealing: Addressing Challenges Related to Expressions of Religion and Spirituality in Academic Advising."

As Best of Region winners, Craft, Nulton and Seley are invited to present their session at NACADA's national conference in Atlanta this fall. The national conference typically draws nearly 4,000 delegates from NACADA's 10 North American regions and around the world, and includes more than 300 preconference and concurrent sessions in addition to the 10 Best of Regions.

Craft has long maintained students bring everything with them to advising sessions including their experiences, cultural attributes, economic status and their faith.

"Research suggests religion and spirituality are salient dimensions of identity for many college students and that many students refer to their religious or spiritual beliefs when speaking with their academic advisors about academic and career plans," Craft said. "For instance, some express the desire 'to do the will of God' or another higher power. Others state that they seek religious or spiritual confirmation about their decisions. The purpose of our session was to help academic advisors know how to appropriately respond when students bring up issues of faith regarding their academic careers. We are thrilled that the session was well-received at the conference."

The region's conference included 76 presenters and those who presented at the 36 concurrent sessions and the five preconference sessions.


Learning from past can pave way for education's future in Kansas

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February is the anniversary of historic legislation that created Kansas' public education system and higher education institutions. Teacher preparation programs forever linked colleges and the public schools, and fortunately education has always been paramount in Kansas and the country, even in times of turmoil.

The Kansas Territory came into existence by way of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, repealing the Missouri Compromise and the geographic line dividing the North and South. The Kansas-Nebraska Act introduced popular sovereignty, allowing each state the choice to be a slave or free state. This made Kansas a magnet for proslavery Missourians and abolitionists from the northeast. The ideological clash inspired the term "Bleeding Kansas" and made Kansas the tipping point for the Civil War.

What does this have to do with education? In a word, everything.

A year into the chaos of the Civil War, what did President Lincoln do? He signed the Morrill Act, which established land-grant institutions in the nation. Kansas State Agricultural College, now Kansas State University, became the nation's first operational land-grant when it was founded in February 1863. A simple truth came to light that is as true today as it was then: Education has never been easy; it just has to be a priority.

Kansas had already made education a priority in 1858 with the territorial legislature's vote establishing the public education system and 10 institutions of higher education - three years before statehood. Our forefathers realized highly trained teachers were the cornerstone of a quality education system and laid the foundation for successfully preparing homegrown educators.

In 1867, less than a decade later, Kansas State Agricultural College - K-State - and Kansas State Normal College - now Emporia State University - produced the first graduates from public institutions. Two of K-State's five graduates became educators, and both of Emporia State's graduates became teachers - a "normal" college's sole mission was teacher preparation. Interestingly, K-State and Emporia State share the distinction of each preparing half of the state's first generation of Kansas educated teachers. Wildcats and Hornets stand tall and strong in the history of teacher preparation and student success in our state and nation.

Another historic link between the universities is abolitionist Issac Goodnow, a founder of Bluemont Central College, K-State's forerunner. Goodnow was elected to the Kansas Senate and was a member of the education committee where he used his influence to establish the agricultural college. He was elected as president of the Kansas State Teachers Association in October 1863 and also served as an ex officio member of the Board of Regents for the State Normal School, or Emporia State.

We encourage those who care about education to celebrate the state's earliest lawmakers and their vision and investment in the public school system. A collective understanding of the value of education was required in 1858, and those same values will serve us well for the next 150 years.

Debbie Mercer, Dean, College of Education, Kansas State University
Ken A. Weaver, Dean, Teachers College, Emporia State University