Sunday, December 19, 2021

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Alumna awarded grant to encourage rural students to see themselves as citizens of Appalachia

Heather Wright, who earned her doctorate in English Language Arts Education from the Virginia Tech School of Education in 2020, recently received a grant from the Rural Schools Collaborative’s Celia B. Godsil Grants in Place Fellows program.

Her project, “Rural Places and Rural Pages,” has two goals: to engage high-school seniors in exploring their own rural identities by creating place-based stories, and to provide area elementary students with stories in which they can see themselves as rural citizens in western Appalachia.

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The VT School of Education Actualizes STEM Potential in the Mississippi Delta

“The thing I’m most proud about would probably be that we put silence to the stereotypes and the doubts that we have being in the Delta,” a high-school sophomore living in the Mississippi Delta said. “Who would expect Black kids who grew up in poverty in the Delta to be able to make a robot within a month and then go off to an international competition?”

Actualizing STEM Potential (ASP) in the Mississippi Delta — an afterschool robotics program now in its seventh year — encourages underrepresented minority high-school students to consider STEM careers by helping them realize their capacity to achieve in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The program is funded by a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The program was patterned after an ongoing Montgomery County Public Schools robotics collaborative that Brenda Brand, ASP’s principal investigator and a professor of science education in the Virginia Tech School of Education, co-developed 22 years ago.

Brand continues to lead the Virginia Tech School of Education research team that developed the Mississippi Delta program, which is facilitated by high-school instructors. Students can enroll in their freshman year and remain in the program throughout their high-school years. The program consists of an inquiry-based curriculum integrated with engineering design principles.  

Summer institute sought to nurture diversity among doctoral students in STEM fields
December 16, 2021

A workshop on communicating science, a virtual reality game based on the television show “Survivor,” and a series of research presentations were all part of a summer institute focused on supporting doctoral students in the STEM fields.

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Heidi Anne Mesmer helps teachers decode reading instruction
November 16, 2021

Heidi Anne Mesmer, was invited to give a sponsored webinar for the International Literacy Association in October. The webinar, “Using Research to Accelerate Decoding and Letter Instruction,” focused on using research-based instruction in the early literacy classroom.

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Rebecca Clark-Stallkamp named Strohbehn Intern for AECT 2021-2022

Rebecca Clark-Stallkamp, a doctoral candidate in the Instructional Design and Technology program of the Virginia Tech School of Education, has been named the Earl F. Strohbehn Intern for 2021–2022 by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Each year the association offers the Strohbehn, the Cochran, and the Johnson International internship scholarship programs. These programs are subject to fierce competition from an array of highly qualified and motivated candidates. Of the three, the Strohbehn is considered the most prestigious.

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William Price, associate professor of career and technical education in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of associate professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

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Three doctoral students in the Instructional Design and Technology Program – Sharon Flynn Stidham, Bryce Platt Kayanuma, and Zhenhuan (Henry) Yang – were among a group of graduate students honored by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) for their significant volunteer contributions to the success of the 2020 Virtual AECT Conference. They were presented with the “Presidential Special Service Award” during the members’ meeting and general session of the 2021 AECT Convention on November 5; they also were recognized at the Leadership Luncheon held that week.


Researchers’ reflections offer insights on collaboration
November 29, 2021

Collaboration isn’t always seamless. Collaboration that involves multiple universities can present extra degrees of difficulty in the form of logistical and administrative hurdles to navigate. But when everything falls into place — or researchers find creative ways to nudge it into place — the rewards outweigh the effort. 

That was the consensus at a panel discussion hosted by the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at this fall’s research summit focused on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) and minority-serving institutions (MSI). The summit is an annual event hosted by the Graduate School that helps faculty connect across institutions and offers students an opportunity to explore options for graduate education.

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Asst/Assoc Prof of Elementary Education

Come join the School of Education in our mission to reimagine the future! We are now hiring an assistant/associate professor of Elementary Education.

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  • Amy Price Azano, Education, co-edited The Bloomsbury Handbook of Rural Education in the United States (London, United Kingdom, and New York, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021), with Karen Eppley and Catharine Biddle. Her individual contributions to the volume were: “Introduction, Unsettling Rurality: Mapping a Third Space,” pp. 1–4, and “Challenges and Innovative Responses in Rural Gifted Education,” pp. 294–303, the latter with Rachelle Kuehl, Education, and Carolyn M. Callahan.
  • Brett Jones and doctoral student Kevin Krost published “Relationships Between Students’ Course Perceptions, Effort, and Achievement in an Online Course,” Computers and Education Open 2 (December 2021), 100051, with Mia W. Jones.
  • Natalie Ferand, was awarded support from the Undergraduate Research Faculty Grant Program of the Office of Undergraduate Research for her project titled “Sowing Seeds for Undergraduate Research in Career and Technical Education.” The project will provide research opportunities for students in Career and Technical Education in conjunction with the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education.
  • Global Partnership Project Grants from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were awarded to the following faculty for 2021–2022: Amy Azano and Barbara Lockee, to organize the International Academic Forum–VT Conference on Educational Research and Innovation in 2022; and John Irrera and Annie Stevens, Performing Arts, to support a musical residency/partnership at the Conservatorio Superior de Música Óscar Esplá de Alicante in Alicante, Spain.
  • Barbara Lockee, published “One Year Later . . . and Counting: Reflections on Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning,” EDUCAUSE Review, on November 10, with Stephanie Moore, Torrey Trust, Instructional Design and Technology alumnus Charles Hodges, and Aaron Bond, Communication and Senior Director of Technology Enhanced Learning and Online Strategies.