Virginia Tech School of Education Newsletter November 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Virginia Tech, as a land-grant university whose mission includes a dedication to improving quality of life in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is host to the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC).
This center, based in the Virginia Tech School of Education, provides high-quality professional learning and technical assistance designed to help schools better serve students with disabilities from birth through the age of 22.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring research-based and promising practices to students in our regions, leading to successful graduation, employment, and full participation in their communities, regardless of disability,” said Patricia Bickley, founding director of T/TAC at Virginia Tech.
Across the commonwealth, T/TACs respond to schools’ requests for supporting the access of students with disabilities to the general curriculum, maximizing student learning in the least restrictive environment possible, and helping students achieve the knowledge and skills needed to make progress toward graduation.
September 7, 2021
“Dr. Johnson brings tremendous experience in teaching, research, faculty development, and external grant funding to the role of associate director,” said Kristin Gehsmann, director of the Virginia Tech School of Education. “He will help us amplify the outstanding work already underway in the school, connect with our stakeholders, and grow our research program. He will also advance our efforts to put innovation, diversity, equity, and transdisciplinary research at the fore.”Read more
September 7, 2021
Tracy Rutherford, head of the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Dr. Ferand’s work in STEM education, teacher professional development, and curriculum development are strong complements to the work of the faculty in our department. We look forward to working with her and the School of Education to develop future agriculture education teachers and supporting our current Virginia educators and agricultural education leaders.”Read more
September 7, 2021
“Dr. Robertson will be a tremendous asset both to the School of Education and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Heidi Mesmer, a professor of literacy at Virginia Tech and chair of his search committee. “His 11 years of K–12 teaching significantly inform his scholarship and teaching. He is an accomplished scholar in literacy coaching, has directed and funded a large reading clinic, and serves on the board of the International Literacy Association, an organization of some 300,000 members worldwide.”
Helping veterans acclimate to higher learning with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities
Beyond any action he takes in life, serving others is paramount to James Dubinsky--an associate professor in the Department of English and retired lieutenant colonel with more than 28 years of military experience in the U.S. Army.
Dubinsky and Lela Hilton, executive director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities joined with Jack Cheng, a Clemente Course colleague based in Boston, to apply for grant funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities in the fall of 2020.
The agency awarded the team with a grant to establish and run courses for veterans in the Roanoke-Blacksburg area and Boston. In addition to instructing veterans through the humanities, Dubinsky said the courses will include a service component.
“In my experience, service-learning and civic engagement are important elements of veteran education,” said Dubinsky.
Students can enroll in the course for college credit at no cost. Dubinsky said the National Endowment for the Humanities grant will enable the course to offer students free childcare, books, meals, and computers.
Dubinsky said he hopes to attract a wide range of veterans to the program, such as first-generation students.
September 30, 2021
Last year was an interesting year to be a toddler — and a challenging time to be an early childhood educator. As Shannon Marshall Mury, winner of the 2021 Helen Marks National Teacher of the Year Award knows, child development does not stop just because a pandemic rages. Sure, the mask mandates, social distancing, and sanitation needed extra diligence and respect, but so did the services provided by the Virginia Tech Child Development Center for Learning and Research.
New Book Co-Edited by Krista Stith, Alumna of the Integrative STEM Education Program
How educational leaders (e.g., superintendents, principals, directors) can navigate schools and districts in providing robust and inclusive STEM education programs.
November 12, 2021
“During my time at Virginia Tech, I received a Multidisciplinary Research in International Development Certificate making trips to Zambia, where I helped prepare for our global study abroad initiative, and India, where I participated in a USAID effort to assist Afghanistan agricultural teachers,” Michael Shumate says. “I helped my fellow professors and was successful in bringing a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program to our CTE program. This project was focused on globalization business skills, diversity awareness, and entrepreneurship workforce development in Zambia.”
The Virginia Tech Chapter of Iota Omicron Tau Theta Initiates Eight New Members
The Virginia Tech School of Education’s chapter of Iota Omicron Tau Theta (OTT) inducted eight students into the graduate honor society for students in Career and Technical Education (CTE). Initiates for 2021 include: Olivia Guyon, Schuyler Henderson, Hunter Hilbert, Annaliese Jenkins, Evan Lineweaver, Danielle Martin, Justin Petrie, and Sarah Wright. All eight students are enrolled in the master’s program that leaders to teacher certification in Career and Technical Education. Their areas of focus include agricultural education, business and information technology, family and consumer sciences, and marketing education.
Get your socks, NOW!!
- Chase Catalano, published Advising and Supporting in Student Affairs (Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 2021), with Rachel Wagner.
- John Gratto, published Inside the Schoolhouse: What Great Principals Know and Do (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2021).
- Brett Jones, published “Methodology to Combine Theoretical Knowledge with a Data-driven Probabilistic Graphical Model,” Journal of Business Analytics 4.2 (2021): 125–39, with Kazim Topuz, Murad Moqbel, and School of Education alumna Sumeyra Sahbaz.
- Tonisha Lane, and Ian Shoemaker, Physics, were awarded a $50,000 Spencer Foundation COVID-19 Research Grant to study the development of science identity among underrepresented students who engage in undergraduate research remotely during the pandemic. The project was one of only 20 funded out of 1,369 submissions during this cycle.
- Carol Mullen, edited the two-volume set titled Handbook of Social Justice Interventions in Education, Springer International Handbooks of Education (Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2021). Mullen’s individual contributions were “Preface,” “Introduction to the Collection,” and “Pedagogies for Decolonizing Education in Theory and Practice,” pp. vii–viii, 1– 8, and 11–37; and “Theorizing about Identity Politics in Education and School Leadership” with Kim C. Robertson, pp. 133–59. In addition, she coauthored the following chapters with School of Education alumnae: “Principals’ Responsibility for Helping Impoverished Students Succeed in Rural Appalachia” with Emily Boyles, pp. 227–53; “Teacher Strategies Used to Achieve Desired Outcomes for Students with Emotional Disability” with Turonne Hunt, pp. 897–928; “Access and Barriers to Stem Education for K–12 Students with Disabilities and Females” with Cindy Klimaitis, pp. 813–36; “Providing Equitable Services to Students with Special Needs through Collaboration: An Evaluation of Relationships” with Bethany Mazurek, pp. 465–97; “Preserving Black Education Legacy and Influence through Oral Histories of Southern Segregated Schools” with Star Norton, pp. 865–96; “Bringing Problem-Based Learning to Elementary Schools to Benefit Children’s Readiness for a Global World” with Samantha Reed and Emily Boyles, pp. 837–64; “Outcomes of First-Generation African American Postsecondary Students Who Completed Early College Access Programming” with Angelica Witcher, pp. 1193–1219; “Professional Development for Teaching Students in Poverty and Impacting Teacher Beliefs” with Barbara Wickham, pp. 255–81; and “Factors that Affect the Performance of Refugee Students in Public Schools: An Illustration from Virginia, USA” with Katina Otey and School of Education faculty members Jodie Brinkmann and Carol Cash, pp. 351–72.