Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Regents Approve Promotions of Two SOE Faculty

On May 19 the Board of Regents approved recommendations for promotions for regular associate and full professor ranks, with tenure and/or promotion of faculty on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. The promotions of two faculty members from the UM-Dearborn School of Education were among those approved by the Regents. Stein Brunvand, whose specialty area is educational technology, and Laura Reynolds-Keefer, whose specialty area is educational psychology, were both promoted to associate professor of education, with tenure. Please join me in congratulating them on reaching this important professional milestone and in wishing them much continued success as they continue their professional journeys.

A full list of all promotion recommendations approved by the Regents is available at

Thursday, May 19, 2011

State Board of Education Seeks Input

Education is a topic much in the public eye these days in Michigan, and the Michigan State Board of Education is seeking the views of citizens to inform their efforts to oversee the educational system and recommend policy and funding to the governor and Legislature. The Board plans to hold a series of five forums across the state in the next few weeks to listen and to discuss education conditions, reforms and future direction. Forums will be held in Ann Arbor, Clinton Township, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Mount Pleasant.

Location details for the sessions within easy reach of UM-Dearborn are as follows:

Macomb Community College Center Campus; 4-7 p.m.; May 25
Professional Development Center, University Center
44575 Garfield Rd, Clinton Township
Attendees should report to Assembly Hall.
The closest parking for visitors is in lot 3 or lot 5B as indicated on campus map.

UM-Ann Arbor; 4-7 p.m., May 26
Michigan League, Hussey Room
911 North University Ave.
Ann Arbor campus map

Detroit; Details to be determined

Forum sessions are open to the public and participants are invited to make written or oral comments. This is a terrific opportunity for members of the UM-Dearborn SOE community to participate and make their voices heard.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Legacy Magazine Features Two SOE Alumnae in Upcoming Issue

The upcoming issue of Legacy contains stories about two SOE alumnae. One features Bonnie Baker. After 10 years as a classroom teacher, Bonnie joined her husband to create the Critical Thinking Company, which is now one of the largest publishers of supplemental education materials for home schooling. The second features Midori Grahl, who graduated in December 2010. Midori utilized her M-Portfolio to secure a position with the Michigan Virtual University.

Legacy is the UM-Dearborn alumni magazine. It is published each year in fall and spring and mailed to over 40,000 UM-Dearborn alumni. It's also mailed to a select group of over 500 regional and community leaders to inform them about the wonderful things that UM-Dearborn and its alumni are doing.

Brava to our distinguished alumnae!

Three New Faculty Members to Join SOE in Fall 2011

The School of Education has successfully concluded its search for new faculty members in the areas of educational leadership, early childhood education, and reading/language arts. With these additions the SOE affirms its commitment to these instructional areas and enhances its profile with respect to research productivity and to excellence and innovation in teaching.

Our new faculty member in the area of educational leadership is Maiyoua Vang. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California-Davis, and she is currently serving as assistant principal of a school in the Coalinga-Huron Joint Unified School District and as adjunct professor at California State University, Fresno. Vang holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and a Master’s degree in reading/language arts. In addition to her recent administrative assignment she has 13 years experience as a teacher in California schools. Her research interests include school leadership from a social justice perspective and the interaction of policy and practice in legislation and interventions aimed at remedying the achievement gap in school performance associated with racial, language, and socioeconomic factors.

Joining in the area of early childhood education is LaShorage Shaffer, who is completing her doctorate in Special Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to her doctoral studies in this area, which complement and extend her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education and her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Shaffer has experience working for several years in an inclusive early childhood program in Illinois. Her research interests lie in the realm of early childhood special education, with particular emphasis on social and emotional development and disorders, and the interaction between policy and practice in the area of early childhood special education.

Dr. Danielle DeFauw will be joining us in the area of reading/language arts. She obtained her doctorate at Oakland University in the area of reading education. Her Bachelor’s degree was in elementary education, and her Master’s degree is in the area of literacy. In addition, she has served as literacy specialist for the Davison Community Schools for three years, after having worked as a classroom teacher in the district for seven years. DeFauw’s scholarly interests include designing and studying programs to assist below-grade-level readers acquire proficiency and the interaction between policy and practice in the area of reading interventions to assist struggling students.

New Members and New Officers for Pi Lambda Theta Chapter at UM-D

At a recent ceremony on the campus of University of Michigan-Dearborn, 38 new members were initiated into the Pi Lambda Theta national honor society.

Pi Lambda Theta is the most selective national honor society in the field of education. Membership is open to any graduate or undergraduate student who is nominated by his institution or invited by a chapter. Minimum eligibility requirements are: an intention to pursue a career in education, a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and current enrollment in a qualified degree program. The University of Michigan-Dearborn is home to the Gamma Iota chapter of Pi Lambda Theta, which is one of only two recognized chapters in the state of Michigan.

At an upcoming meeting, new officers of the Gamma Iota chapter of Pi Lambda Theta will be installed. The incoming officers are: Co-Presidents - Stefanie Partin and Michelle Gale, Treasurer - Candice Penn, Membership Representative - Amanda Smith, and Activities and Programs Representative - Tiffany Dillard.

Please join me in congratulating the new initiates and officers of Pi Lambda Theta at UM-Dearborn!

Early Childhood Conference Attracts Particpants across the State

On May 6, 2011, nearly 400 professionals involved in early childhood education in the state of Michigan participated in a daylong conference, Making Inclusion Work in Early Childhood Education with Transdisciplinary Teaming, held on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. More than 300 attended the conference on site, and other participants attended virtually via a multimedia connection that allowed their participation from Paw Paw, Michigan.

The theme of the conference was inspired by the accomplishments of the partnership between UM-Dearborn’s Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) and Oakwood Health System’s Center for Exceptional Families (CEF). The conference was designed to meet the needs of a broad array of professionals who might participate as members of early childhood transdisciplinary teams, including early childhood and special education teachers; early interventionists; parents; occupational, physical and speech/language therapists; social workers; psychologists; and students preparing for careers in these fields. Conference participants had opportunities to learn research-based strategies, techniques and best practices for including young children with special learning needs within natural environments and general education settings.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Professor at Kent State University in the area of Special Education – Early Intervention. The title of her presentation was, “Creating Meaningful Learning Opportunities Within the Context of Everyday Activities and Events.”

Breakout sessions featured best practices in inclusive early childhood education. Among the leaders of the breakout sessions were several UM-Dearborn faculty and ECEC/CEF staff members who made presentations on strategies for teachers working with children with and without disabilities and their families in inclusive early childhood classrooms.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

SOE Students at Commencement

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, approximately 100 members of the School of Education community had degrees conferred upon them at the Commencement ceremony on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

SOE Dean Silver presented 36 students who received graduate degrees, either the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, or Master of Science, and 55 students who received undergraduate degrees, either the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of General Studies, or Bachelor of Science. In addition, several CASL undergraduates were recognized for having completed requirements for secondary school certification.

SOE Chancellor's Medallion winner, April Lindsey Kersey, received special recognized at the commencement ceremony. She received her medallion at a luncheon event preceding commencement.

Another member of the SOE community merits special recognition. Karen Claiborne, administrative specialist in the SOE Dean’s Office, received a Master of Public Administration degree at commencement. Bravo, Karen!

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