Virginia Tech School of Education Newsletter - October 2022
REIMAGINING THE FUTURE
SOE NEWS DIGEST
New Center for Rural Education to Focus on Educational Equity
Amy Prize Azano, the founding director of the new Center for Rural Education at Virginia Tech, has studied how structural challenges related to poverty and educational inequities can adversely affect rural schools and communities. As a first-generation college student from a rural community, Azano understands these challenges both professionally and personally, but also believes in the power and promise of rural schooling.
VT School of Education Professor Examines the Question, "What's for Lunch?"
Marcus Weaver-Hightower, a professor in the foundations of education program, has been studying school lunch for 15 years. The history of school food in America goes back over a century, starting as state and local programs as early as the mid-1800’s. States are now debating if they want to keep school lunch free for all students. Regardless of the vote, Weaver-Hightower has lots of hope. Weaver-Hightower has recently published an article titled “The Failed Promise of Free, Universal School Lunch” and a book titled “Unpacking School Lunch,” published earlier this year.
Chase Catalano and Rachelle Kuehl Recognized by the Spencer Foundation For Their Research
Chase Catalano (pictured left), assistant professor in the higher education program, received a $50,000 grant for his project, “Racial justice and anti-racism work in LGBTQ+ centers: Creating a shared vision with scholars and practitioners.” He will host a research conference in the summer of 2023 that will focus on the role LGBTQ+ centers can play to address racial equity on college campuses.
Rachelle Kuehl (pictured right), alumna of the School of Education and research scientist in the Center for Rural Education, received a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship for her project, “Enacting an anti-racist critical literacy pedagogy in rural places: How Appalachian teachers engage students in the interrogation of whiteness.” The project will involve working with eight K-12 teachers in rural Appalachia to develop and implement language arts units taught through an anti-racist lens.
VT School of Education Alumna and Social Justice Advocate Leads the Way
Brenda Russ cares deeply about empowering students by showing them what they can be. And that's just what she's doing, by becoming the first ever Latina Principal in Roanoke City public schools (RCPS).
Russ is an alumna of the educational leadership and policy studies program, and has been working in the field of education for 11 years. She's held a variety of positions in education, including director of organizational diversity for RCPS, assistant principal, secondary English learner specialist, English as a second language (ESL) coordinator, ESL Department chair, and ESL teacher.
Russ said she chose to pursue working in educational administration for the same reason she started working in education -- to help as many students as possible.
AWARDS & OUTREACH
David Alexander Receives Prestigious Publishing Innovation Award
David Alexander, professor of educational leadership and policy studies, has been awarded the 2022 Creighton Award, recognizing his contributions to the field of educational leadership.
The International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership (ICPEL) awards the Creighton award to individuals who have an extensive record of publications in major journals in the field, are supporting graduate students as they start their publication career, and are actively working to address issues facing PK-12 school administrations.
Carol Mullen Receives Master Professor Award
Carol Mullen, professor in the educational leadership and policy studies program, was selected as the 2022 recipient of the Master Professor Award from the University Council for Educational Administration. As noted on the council’s award website, the award “recognizes senior professors in the field of educational administration whose professional lives have been characterized by extraordinary commitment, distinguished leadership, superior teaching, and outstanding service to leadership preparation.”
Indigenous Scholar Reflects on Decolonizing the Curriculum
Brittany Hunt, a member of the Lumbee tribe and assistant professor of education in the Virginia Tech School of Education, reflects on Indigenous people’s place in the curriculum.
Border of the County Kid: External Influences in Rural Schools
Always the first child on the bus in the morning, and the last off in the afternoon, Clint Whitten knows the trials of living far from schools and the impact this can have on participation in school activities. A doctoral student in the School of Education, Clint is also a middle school English, creative writing, and theatre teacher, whose motto for these far-flung students is "give them a ride."
- Kristin Gehsmann and her research team published The Interaction of Silent Reading Rate, Academic Vocabulary, and Comprehension Among Students in Grades 2–12
- Doctoral student Rebecca Clark-Stallkamp published "Pressure on the System: Evolving Demand for and Implications of Flexible Learning Options in Distance Education" with Barbara Lockee. She also published "Exploring Dimensions of the Past: A Historiographical Analysis of Instructional Design and Technology Historical Works" with Barbara Lockee and Alicia Johnson.
- Natalie Ferand published "Implications of Science Illumination on Student Content Knowledge of Technical Floriculture and Core Scientific Ideas" with Catherine A. DiBenedetto, Brian E. Myers, and Debra M. Barry. She also published "Student Teachers’ Perceptions of Motivation, Independence, and Supervision Preferences: An Exploratory Study" with Bradley M. Coleman and J.C. Bunch.
- George Glasson and Joseph Mukuni published “Reconstructing the Impact of Colonialism on Science Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Toward Place-Based STEM Education for Workforce Development".
- Brett Jones and Thomas Williams published Chinese Students’ Perceptions of the Motivational Climate in College English Courses: Relationships between Course Perceptions, Engagement, and Achievement.
- Gerard Lawson, Yasuo Miyazaki, and Laura Welfare published "Integrating Large Data Sets in Outcome Research: A Case Example".
- Joseph Mukuni published Struggles and Tribulations of Provisionally Licensed Teachers of Business and Information Technology and Marketing Education.
- Carol Mullen published "Public School Charters: An Incendiary Topic of Political Discourse"
- Marcus Weaver-Hightower published Unpacking School Lunch: Understanding the Hidden Politics of School Food.
WE ARE HIRING!
Open Rank Professor, Instructional Design and Technology
The VT School of Education (SOE) is seeking applications for an open-rank professor of Instructional Design and Technology (Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor). This nine-month, tenure-track/tenured faculty position is available August 2023 at the main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.
This appointment provides a unique opportunity to join and to shape a vibrant research and education community situated in an increasingly diverse and globally connected university. Applicants seeking appointment with tenure at the Associate Professor or Professor rank must meet Virginia Tech’s criteria for tenure at the appropriate rank.
To learn more or apply, visit this link.
Grants Coordinator Assistant
The VT School of Education (SOE) is seeking a staff member to join a team of two other outstanding staff who manage the School’s research portfolio of ~$20M in external funding and ~$500k in internal funding. The Grants Coordinator will manage post-award fiscal and HR needs, working closely with principal investigators (PI’s) to ensure their sponsored research/outreach is moving forward, helping them maximize the resources available to them. The working environment is fast-paced, collegial, and fun.
To learn more or apply, visit this link.
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