Friday, December 20, 2013

Turning the Page, Not Closing the Book

This is my 157th and final blog posting as dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services (formerly the School of Education) at UM- Dearborn. On January 1, 2014 I resume my life as professor of education and mathematics on the Ann Arbor campus.

I am delighted to have been able to follow the footsteps of Paul D. Carter. Those who know their campus history know that three faculty were hired in 1960 to launch the education program at what was then the Dearborn Center of the University of Michigan. Carter, who was an associate professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, was selected to be the first head of teacher education, and he held appointment on both campuses until his retirement.

I am confident that Paul Carter would agree with me that it is a very special personal and professional privilege to be affiliated with both campuses and have an opportunity to serve the University of Michigan in this multidimensional way.

I depart this campus with thoughts and feelings of gratitude and optimism. To all who have supported me in my work over the past 3.5 years – faculty, staff, and administrators both within my academic unit and across the campus – I say thank you. I am very pleased with what we have been able to accomplish together, and I am bullishly optimistic about the future of the college and the university. Yesterday, the new dean of CEHHS, Dr. Janine Janosky, was appointed by the Board of Regents, and I am confident that the college will thrive under her leadership.

I return to Ann Arbor as a great fan of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. This campus adds a special, important dimension to the University of Michigan by providing a transformative educational experience to the residents of southeast Michigan, who in turn shape the future of the region. The opportunity to be part of this campus community is something that I will treasure always.

With All Good Wishes,

Ed Silver

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CEHHS Department Chairs Selected

An announcement on December 16 jointly issued by the deans of CEHHS and CASL heralded the selection of new leaders for departments within the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

Pending Regental approval, Dr. Susan Everett, Associate Professor of Education, will be appointed Chair of the Department of Education, and Dr. Juliette Roddy, Associate Professor of Public Policy in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, will be appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Health and Human Services. Both appointments will be effective January 1, 2014.

Susan Everett has been at the university since 2003; her research and teaching focus on science education. Susan brings extensive knowledge of the university and faculty governance to this role along with an extensive body of published work. Her faculty colleagues strongly supported her appointment as department chair.

Julie Roddy has been at the university since 2005; her research focuses on substance abuse, public health, and community service. Julie’s successful pursuit of grants, her knowledge of current campus programs and faculty related to health, and her administrative skills make her an excellent choice to lead a new department during its critical formative stage. During her two years as interim chair Julie will teach courses both in CASL and in CEHHS.

Please join me in congratulating Susan and Julie on their appointments and thanking them for their willingness to serve. The campus is fortunate to have these new departments in such capable hands.

CEHHS Grads and Honorees at Fall 2013 Commencement

On Saturday, December 14, nearly 400 students braved a snowy day to have academic degrees conferred upon them at the Fall Commencement ceremony on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. For more about the commencement ceremony, see this story:

More than 100 of the eligible graduates were from education programs within the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, roughly equally divided between those receiving graduate degrees and those receiving undergraduate degrees. In addition, the pool of CASL graduates included several undergraduates who also completed the requirements for secondary teacher certification.

A very special part of this commencement was the awarding of the first doctoral degrees in education on this campus. Three of the four doctoral recipients – Andrea Juarez, Peggy Sepetys, and Joshua Tolbert – were “hooded” as part of the ceremony; the fourth doctoral recipient (Truman Hudson) was unable to attend. The ritual of receiving the doctoral hood is part of a historical tradition that began with the earliest foundations of European universities. Hooding has been a central feature of commencement exercises since the twelfth century. When popes, kings, or emperors authorized the conferral of the doctoral hood, they were certifying that the recipients were master teachers who had earned ius ubique docendi – the right to teach anywhere. For more on the doctoral recipients, see this story:

CEHHS Chancellor's Medallion winner, Sarah Pinto, was recognized at the commencement ceremony, and she received the medallion at a luncheon event preceding commencement. For more on the Chancellor’s Medallion winners see this story:

Please join me in congratulating all of the graduates and in wishing them great success now and in the future.

Monday, November 4, 2013

CEHHS Speakers Address Key Educational Issues

On Monday, October 21, at an event sponsored by the CEHHS Alumni Affiliate, State Representative David Knezek spoke to an audience of about 50 UM-Dearborn faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members regarding educational issues in Michigan.

Representative Knezek, who is an alumnus of the University of Michigan–Dearborn, provided a legislative update on a wide range of issues including the Common Core State Curriculum Standards, initiatives to boost funding for early childhood education, and state support for public postsecondary education institutions. The session included a lively Q&A period following the presentation.

On Wednesday, October 30, the CEHHS Research colloquium featured LaShorage Shaffer, assistant professor of education. She presented the findings of a comprehensive analysis of standards for the social-emotional development of young children that are promulgated across the 50 states.

In addition to her analysis of these published documents, she also shared findings obtained in interviews with key education personnel in selected states. Dr. Shaffer also identified implications of these findings for the development of policy in early childhood education and the design of optimal educational programs for young children.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CEHHS Co-sponsors Young Authors' Festival

UM-Dearborn will be the site of the Young Authors' Festival on Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. until noon at the Mardigian Library. The event is sponsored by the College of Education, Health, and Human Services and the Mardigian Library.

As part of a year-long celebration of Henry Ford's 150th birthday, Carol Hagen and Matt Faulkner, author and illustrator of "The Night Henry Ford Met Santa," will talk to children about writing and illustrating a book. Faculty and pre-service teachers will lead break-out sessions with activities, along with tips and techniques for writing and supporting children in their writing. Danielle DeFauw, CEHHS assistant professor of education, has assisted in planning the program. The festival's theme is "Henry's Dream."

An associated Young Authors’ Writing Contest for children in grades 4, 5, and 6 is underway, and the winners will be announced at the Festival. The writing contest theme is: "What are your dreams for your future? How do you plan to reach your dreams?" One winner from each grade will receive a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card, and the grand-prize winner will receive a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card.

Original artwork from Matt Faulkner, along with artwork from other illustrators, will be on display in the Berkowitz Gallery. In addition, Ms. Hagen (UM-Dearborn alumna) and Mr. Faulkner (local illustrator) will be available for autographs. Copies of "The Night Henry Ford Met Santa" will be available for purchase.

The event is FREE and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Details and registration can be found here

Monday, October 28, 2013

Colleagues and Friends Gather to Honor Professor Leslie Thornton

On October 23, 2013 a celebration was held to honor the career of Dr. Leslie James Thornton II. Earlier this year, Professor Thornton retired from the University of Michigan-Dearborn after more than 20 years of service. Numerous friends and family members, professional colleagues from inside and outside the university, and former students joined in recounting his contributions and accomplishments.

Les has deep educational roots in the state of Michigan. He earned his baccalaureate degree at Michigan State University, after which he obtained three graduate degrees on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus. He earned an MSW from the School of Social Work, concentrating in Administration and Social Policy, and a Master of Arts degree and a PhD in Education from the School of Education. Prior to his arrival at UM-Dearborn, Les served as a visiting professor of social work at Saginaw Valley State University.

Professor Thornton has a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding teacher and mentor. His engaging teaching style, often featuring creative use of simulations, has received high praise from students. In 1995 Les received the prestigious UM-Dearborn Distinguished Teaching Award. During his 21 years at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Professor Thornton’s focus and passion has been in the area of multicultural education. As the students and colleagues who spoke at the retirement event attested, his deep commitment to social justice infused all that he did and influenced those with whom he interacted. His insistence that students confront and try to understand how circumstances of social power and privilege—often invisible to the advantaged—can contribute to conditions of disadvantage confronting disempowered members of society left a lasting impression on numerous students who were lucky enough to attend his classes.

Along with his work teaching and advising students, Les was an active contributor to faculty governance and student activities on campus, and also to national and international academic professional organizations.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Education, Health, and Human Services is pleased to recognize Professor Leslie James Thornton II Moyer for more than 20 years of outstanding service as a member of the faculty; for his commitment to social justice and his contributions to the preparation and continuing education of Michigan’s teachers; and for his service and mentorship. Bravo and bon voyage!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Donovan Rowe Named 2013 CEHHS Alumnus of the Year

For more than 30 years, UM-Dearborn has honored outstanding alumni for their contributions to the University and community. These men and women are "difference makers" who have continued the University's legacy of leadership in their lives and careers. They are making a positive impact in their workplaces and communities, and serve as strong role models for a new generation of UM-Dearborn student leaders. Among the Alumni Difference Makers for 2013 is Donovan Rowe, who was named Alumnus of the Year in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

Mr. Rowe has had a distinguished career with the Huron School District. He was selected as principal of Huron High School in 2007, after having served the district as a classroom teacher and an assistant principal. During his time as principal, Donovan has spearheaded change, initiated quality educational programs, nurtured and developed strong relationships, and contributed to the success of Huron High School.

Donovan holds two degrees from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, including a Bachelor of Arts degree, with emphases in English and French Studies, in 1999, and a Masters of Public Administration degree, with an emphasis on educational leadership, in 2004. He also completed the requirements for his secondary school teaching credential through UM-Dearborn in 1999.

Donovan has also given back to UM-Dearborn in many ways. He currently serves as chair of the CEHHS Alumni Affiliate. He has helped to reignite the affiliate, grow its membership, and launch activities that enrich the lives of current students and faculty, alums, and the local community. His accomplishments last year included a celebratory event to mark the 25th anniversary of the formation of the UM-Dearborn School of Education and a Quiz Bowl tournament that featured accomplished youngsters from area high schools.

The Alumni Association Award was presented to Mr. Rowe, and the corresponding award winners from other units on the UM-Dearborn campus, at a ceremony on October 4. Please join me in congratulating Donovan Rowe on his distinctive accomplishment and in thanking him for his dedication to the education profession and to the education enterprise at UM-Dearbprn.