Thursday, March 29, 2012

SOE Graduate Student Named National Finalist

Jennifer Bagardi, a science teacher at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit, has been named a national finalist in the Shell Science Lab Challenge. She was initially selected one of 17 regional winners in the competition, and she is now one of 5 national finalists. From the national finalists one grand prize winner will be selected.

This competition among middle and high school science teachers is sponsored by the Shell Oil Company and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The competition encouraged teachers (grades 6-12), who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000.

Jennifer Bargardi was initially certified as a teacher after completing the Post-Baccalaureate Secondary Teaching Program in the UM-Dearborn School of Education. Now Jennifer is a student in the Master of Science in Science Education program in the School of Education.

Please join me in congratulating Jennifer on this splendid recognition of her outstanding educational efforts on behalf of her students! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SOE Students Recognized as 2012 Honor Scholar Award Winners

At the 30th annual Honor Scholars and Faculty Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2012, 12 SOE students were among 90 students from across the full spectrum of academic programs at UM-Dearborn who received recognition as Honor Scholars.

The Honor Scholar Award is presented to at most one student in each degree program, and it recognizes superior academic performance. Awards are made within both undergraduate and graduate programs. Faculty members within a program area choose the award winner.

The Honor Scholar Award winners in the School of Education at the undergraduate level were Danielle Archibald (Mathematics Studies), Jessica Boroniec (Social Studies), Jillian Carver (Language Arts), Blair Chamberlin (Science Studies), Alexandria Freeman (Special Education), Jaclyn Szuba (Early Childhood), and Diana Young (Children & Families).

At the graduate level, the SOE awardees were Batoul Baydoun (MA in Education), Patricia Hemme (MS Science Education), Eric Pace (MA Educational Leadership), Pamela Schroeder (M.Ed. Special Education), and Anca Stefan (MAT)

Please join me in congratulating all of the SOE award winners. We celebrate their academic excellence!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Seong Hong Discusses Transdisciplinary Research at Research Colloquium

Seong Hong, Associate Professor of Education, was the featured presenter at a recent session of the SOE Research Colloquium. Her presentation on March 15 focused on the collaboration between the Early Childhood Education Center and the Center for Exceptional Families operated by Oakwood Healthcare. She gave an overview of the collaboration to date, discussed some of the research that has been conducted by collaborative members, and identified some opportunities for further research.

The next colloquium in this series will be on April 12, 2012, at 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the School of Education conference room (252 FCS). At that session, Ed Silver and Crystal Lunsford will present the findings of an analysis they have undertaken examining the extent to which and the ways in which research is included in the content of articles that appear in journals specifically intended for educational practitioners. Their study focuses on the domain of mathematics education, but the general themes and methods should widely applicable.

Faculty and students from across the UM-Dearborn campus are invited to attend. Please visit the SOE Research Colloquium page for more information regarding dates, speakers, topics and updates.

SOE Project Featured at Community-University Partnerships Event

On March 6, 2012, representatives of the 15 public universities in Michigan gathered in Lansing for the first annual “Community-University Partnerships: Invested in Michigan’s Future” advocacy event at the Capitol Rotunda. The event, intended for an audience of Michigan state legislators and legislative staff, highlighted how communities are partnering with Michigan’s public universities to improve the lives of the people of Michigan.

The event included community-university collaborative posters and oral presentations as well as a luncheon roundtable discussion. Mesut Duran, SOE Associate Professor and Associate Dean presented one of the featured UM-Dearborn projects, Fostering Interest in Information Technology, that is designed to increase opportunities for high school students from underrepresented and underserved communities to learn, experience, and use the power of information technologies. Other UM-Dearborn projects were represented by Tim Davis (eCities: an annual research study that examines community-level factors that influence entrepreneurship, economic development, and job growth) and Associate Professor Bruce Maxim (Student Design Projects: projects that support local businesses that otherwise couldn’t afford design projects). UM-Dearborn’s participation was also represented and supported by the Integrated Learning and Community Partnership Office staff.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

ECEC Teacher receives National Recognition

Caryn Finkelstein, a lead teacher at the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) has been selected to receive the Terri Lynne Lokoff National Child Care Teacher Award, in connection with her award-winning project, Windows to Nature.

This award acknowledges the critical role of child care teachers in providing high-quality education to young children and recognizes exceptional professionals in the field. A ceremony for all award winners will take place this spring in Pennsylvania. This event celebrates outstanding early childhood development teachers from across the country.

Please join me in congratulating Caryn on this recognition of her teaching excellence and her exceptional dedication to the families and students at the ECEC.

Monday, March 5, 2012

UM-Dearborn Awarded TEAC Accreditation!

The Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) has officially voted to accredit the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s School of Education’s teacher education programs for a period of seven years. This accreditation is the culmination of a two-year process that included the development of claims about our programs and its graduates by faculty, the drafting of an inquiry brief with evidence to support those claims, a visit in November 2011 by a TEAC team to audit the data in the brief, an report from the audit team and a response by us, and a meeting with the TEAC Accreditation Panel in Philadelphia on February 9, 2012.  The TEAC Accreditation Committee met earlier this week and decided to award accreditation to UM-Dearborn.

With the close scrutiny being given to teacher preparation programs in the country, amidst deep skepticism about the quality of these programs, the accreditation by TEAC after a rigorous review and close examination of all aspects of our work, is especially gratifying.  This accomplishment represents the combined work of many individuals on the UM-Dearborn campus, and it recognizes the university's commitment to excellence in preparing education professionals.

Thanks to all who contribute to this work, to all who helped us through the lengthy TEAC audit review process, and to all who create an environment in which excellence is valued. Special thanks go to Paul Fossum, associate dean, and Susan Everett, associate professor, and to the other members of the school’s TEAC team for their excellent work in preparing the extensive documentation that resulted in this terrific outcome.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SMEA Embarks on New Project

The Student Michigan Education Association (SMEA) at the University of Michigan–Dearborn is assisting the Henry Ford Health System with the implementation of a reading program at its Fairlane Clinic site. The clinic is participating in the Reach Out and Read Program. Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. The program builds on the relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children ranging in age from 6 months through 5 years.

Research has shown that children entering kindergarten after participating in this program are better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and a six-month developmental edge over their peers. Medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children, focused in low-income communities. For more information, see

Using funds obtained through a grant from the Michigan Education Association, the SMEA will be providing the clinic with bookshelves, beanbag chairs, and wall murals. In addition, the SMEA has been collecting books since December 2011 and now has more than 120 children’s books to donate to the program at the Fairlane Clinic.

Please join me in congratulating the SMEA for undertaking this important community service project. Through their efforts the members of the SMEA are helping young children and their families establish a strong basis for lifelong learning and academic success.