Friday, April 29, 2011

MDE Reviews and Approves Six UM-Dearborn SOE Teacher Preparation Programs

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) conducts periodic reviews of teacher preparation programs to ensure adherence to current guidelines and standards. Programs are subjected to rigorous peer review based on an expensive set of submitted and posted materials provided by a teacher preparation institution. During AY 2010-11 MDE reviewed and approved UM-Dearborn School of Education programs in six areas: history (major, minor & cert only), political science (major, minor & cert only), economics (major, minor & cert only), elementary social studies (major & cert only), early childhood (major & cert only), and early childhood graduate additional endorsement.

Our success in every program review conducted this year represents a significant endorsement of our teacher preparation programs in these areas. Special thanks go to Associate Professors Julie Taylor and Seong Hong for their leadership in the effort to get all the required materials prepared and submitted for the program reviews, and also to all the faculty and staff who assisted them in these efforts. Bravo to all!

Monday, April 18, 2011

SOE Student Receives Winter 2011 Chancellor’s Medallion

In recognition of her outstanding academic accomplishment, April Kersey (Elementary Education) has been chosen as the School of Education’s Winter 2011 recipient of the Chancellor’s Medallion. This award is an honor presented each term to one graduating senior from each academic unit at University Commencement.

April began her studies at UM-Dearborn in fall 2007, shortly after being crowned Miss Westland and receiving a scholarship to support her college studies. During her four years at the university she has achieved high academic distinction, earning University honors three of four years and achieving dean’s list recognition in seven of her eight terms. In 2008 she received the William J Branstorm award for academic accomplishment. She was selected to be a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and Pi Lambda Theta, the School of Education Honor Society, and she served as PLT president from 2009 to the end of 2010.

In addition to her high academic achievement, Ms. Kersey has given generously of her time and talent in service to the community. She has volunteered with Girl Scouts, teens in the D.A.R.E. program, and troubled youth at events such as, “Turn off the Violence Night”. She has been an active participant in the MLK Day of Service at UM-Dearborn. In 2010, through the University’s Blueprints Leadership program, she received the Leadership Synergy award for creating and launching an after school program for Detroit pre-teen students to help them prepare for a successful future. She has also assisted with fundraising on behalf of the Oakwood Hospital Center for Exceptional Families. Off campus, she was employed at Panera Bread in Dearborn, where she was named Associate of the Year at the facility that is now known as Panera Cares, thereby giving her an opportunity to speak with community groups about Panera’s non-profit community cafĂ© concept. April also served as a DJ on UMD Radio!

During her final term at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Ms. Kersey has been a student intern in a 5th grade classroom. From this experience and her earlier involvement with the Early Childhood Education Center and Oakwood Center for Exceptional Families, she has decided to work with and educate children with special needs, especially those with autism. To fulfill that dream, she plans next to pursue a master’s degree in special education.

Please join me in congratulating April Kersey on being selected for this prestigious honor and in wishing her much success in her future endeavors!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SOE Students Recognized as Difference Makers

Four members of SOE community have been selected to be among the UM-Dearborn Difference Makers for 2010-11. Nominated by faculty, staff and peers, these individuals are outstanding students and alumni who are at the forefront of their fields, improving the lives of others and making an impact here in our local community. They embody academic and professional achievement, integrity, leadership and creative contribution in and out of the classroom.

The members of the SOE community in this prestigious group are:
Kawthar Ali (MA Educational Leadership),
Devon Banks (MA Educational Leadership),
Mai Bazzi (MA Education), and
Jennifer Forrester (BA Secondary School Teaching).

You can read details about these four students and the other Difference Makers at Please join me in congratulating Kawthar, Devon, Mai, and Jennifer on being selected for this honor from among a large number of worthy nominees.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Karen Thomas-Brown Named to National Assessment Panel

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has appointed Karen Thomas-Brown, assistant professor of education, to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Geography Standing Committee for the 2014 assessment. NAEP is the primary source of reliable national information about the status of student learning in a variety of school subject areas, including reading, mathematics, and science. Geography is a more recent addition to the portfolio of subjects tested in NAEP. Dr. Thomas-Brown will commence her service immediately on this test oversight committee and continue though the 2014 assessment cycle.

Dr. Thomas-Brown was also selected by the Goethe-Institute to be a participant in their Transatlantic Opportunity Program (TOP) study tour in Germany in Summer 2011. The goal of TOP is to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and to provide Social Studies educators with global understanding from an international perspective using modern Germany as the basis for comparison and contrast. The study tour will involve three weeks of travel and meetings throughout Germany.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Karen Thomas-Brown on these recognitions of her accomplishment.