Inaugural Edition of the Virginia Tech School of Education Newsletter
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
A Message from Dr. Kristin Gehsmann, Director of the Virginia Tech School of Education
Welcome to the start of a new year and new semester. Beginnings are such exciting times; we stand temporarily suspended in a hopeful space somewhere between what was and what is yet to be.
As I reflect on the past year, I am taken by the effects of the pandemic and the inequities it has revealed in nearly every aspect of American life. I consider how social media and technology have brought the full spectrum of the human experience into our homes and hearts. And I am humbled by the selfless service of so many in our society, including teachers, school counselors, mental health clinicians, higher ed professionals, and educational leaders.
At Virginia Tech, we have a motto, Ut Prosim, “that I may serve.” As Hokies, we are called into action through service to others, education, applied research, and advocacy. At the start of this new year, we know too much to return to the complacency of “normal.” Individually and collectively, we must aspire to invent a future that’s different, better, and more equitable and just.
I invite you to join us in being a catalyst for individual and social transformation. With more than $25 million in sponsored research projects, the Virginia Tech School of Education is focused on improving the education and well-being of children and youth, families and communities, and individuals across the life-span. Our world-class faculty, innovative programs, and rigorous research place equity and excellence at the fore of all we do. To learn more, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn where we share current events and the accomplishments of our faculty, students, staff, and alumni.
May the year ahead be productive and rewarding for you all.
Stay safe and well, and know you’re always welcome here. #thisishome #reimaginingthefuture @VaTechSOE
Dr. Kristin M. Gehsmann
Director of the VT School of Education
Dr. Laura Welfare granted ACA Fellows status
December 21, 2020
The American Counseling Association recognized Laura Welfare’s dedication with the 2020 Fellows Award, the organization’s highest honor. Welfare joins 12 others as the only recipients across the United States.
Dr. Bernice Cobbs named superintendent of Franklin County Public Schools
December 8, 2020
Bernice Cobbs, a graduate of the Virginia Tech School of Education’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, has been named superintendent of the Franklin County Public Schools in Virginia after an exhaustive national search.
Curiosity and unicycles make for an award-winning graduate student
December 7, 2020
Sabrina Sturgeon, a School of Education graduate student in Higher Education and Student Affairs, was among the five to win the Aspire! Award for 2020–21. The Aspire! Award recognizes students, faculty, and staff who exemplify one of the five key aspirations for learning as defined by Student Affairs.
- Dr. David Alexander published University Law, American Casebook Series (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Academic Publishing, 2020) with Kern Alexander and Klinton Alexander.
- Dr. Amy Azano published Teaching in Rural Places: Thriving in Classrooms, Schools, and Communities (New York, New York, and London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2021), with Devon Brenner et al. In addition, Azano published: “Overcoming Structural Challenges Related to Identification and Curricula for Gifted Students in High Poverty Rural Schools,” Conceptions of Giftedness and Talent: Worldwide Perspectives, ed. Robert J. Sternberg and Don Ambrose (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer Nature, 2021), pp. 51–64, with Carolyn M. Callahan; and “Validation of Instruments for Measuring Affective Outcomes in Gifted Education,” Journal of Advanced Academics 31.4 (November 2020): 470–505, with Carolyn M. Callahan et al.
- Dr. Marcus Weaver-Hightower, Education, co-edited The Wiley Handbook of Gender Equity in Higher Education (Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), with Nancy S. Niemi. His individual contribution to the volume was “Critical Theories and Methods in Gender and Higher Education,” pp. 469–92. In addition, he published “An Appreciation of the Ethnographic in Connell’s The Men and the Boys,” Boyhood Studies 13.2 (2020): 129–32.
"We Cannot Walk Alone", Virginia Tech MLK 2021 Virtual Events
In honor of the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Virginia Tech launches its 2021 celebration of his legacy themed, “We cannot walk alone.” That quote from Dr. King is especially meaningful now, as we are challenged by tense and turbulent times. Hokies are encouraged to participate in the virtual celebration of Dr. King over the next two weeks. To learn more about the schedule of upcoming events, please visit the MLK 2021 Virtual page.
"An Evening with Tara Westover" —Interviewed by Amy Azano
Tara Westover, the author of Educated, will speak and answer questions as part of the Moss Arts Center’s HomeStage series. Westover will be interviewed by Dr. Amy Azano, Associate Professor in the School of Education, and answer audience members’ questions. This online event is free for Virginia Tech students. $10 individual tickets for the general audience. The livestream begins February 6 at 7:30 p.m. Learn more
Webinar: “A Crisis of Democracy”
The deadly storming of the Capitol Building on January 6 dramatically underscored the current crisis in American democracy. “A Crisis of Democracy” brings together Virginia Tech scholars to examine the state of democracy in the United States today, while also making connections to the global political landscape. Sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the virtual event, held Thursday, January 21, from 6 to 7 p.m., will aim to place recent troubling events into historical and comparative context to better understand fundamental challenges to American democracy and where the nation should go from here. Learn more