Fran Vavrus, professor, and Peter Demerath, associate professor, in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), were both plenary speakers at the Comparative and International Education Fall Symposium held on October 26-27 at George Mason University. Their panels addressed the theme of the symposium, Interrogating and Innovating CIE Research, by focusing on the legacies of colonialism in educational research and on methodologies that offer alternative approaches to knowledge production. OLPD alumna Laura Willemsen and Ph.D. student Richard Bamattre also presented a paper at the conference on their innovative approaches to teaching comparative education at UM.
Karen Seashore, Regents professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was in Norway last month, where she worked with school district leaders and school development agencies, gave a keynote presentation at the Nordic Educational Conference, and presented to 130 participants in a school leader preparation program.
With pleasure I introduce the Program Evaluation Series, an occasional publication of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI), which has its home in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) at the University of Minnesota. Owing to the lengthy history of its evaluation training programs (extending back to the late 1960s when the field originated), the University of Minnesota has a strong reputation for evaluation, both nationally and internationally. For over two decades, MESI has sponsored exceptional professional development on program evaluation* and provided graduate students hands-on opportunities to hone their skills on evaluation projects in a variety of organizations. This new endeavor, the Program Evaluation Series, seeks to broaden the number of people who can benefit from MESI activities by providing high quality, up-to-date, and affordable materials on critical developments in the field.
Why now? There are three reasons we are launching the e-book series at
- As the field of evaluation continues to grow around the world, it increasingly relies on on-line electronic materials to keep people current. The benefit of a series of e-books is clear since these books can be downloaded and re-produced for only the cost of the printing or formally printed for a nominal fee.
- The practice of program evaluation is a growing activity internationally, and the number of novice evaluators and people conducting evaluations who do not consider themselves professional evaluators is expanding. Knowing that only a small number of colleagues nationally and globally are able to attend trainings in person, this series of e-books will enable MESI to provide useful materials to a broader array of individuals engaged in the field.
- An e-book series provides a vehicle for dispersing innovative evaluation content stemming both from academic settings like universities and, equally important, from the world of practice, including the multiple communities in which evaluators ply their trade. Practicing evaluators, many of whom write weekly or monthly blogs, routinely develop materials that they would like to share widely. The Program Evaluation Series provides a mechanism for such dissemination.
We hope you find this publication of value to your evaluation practice and sincerely invite your feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org) and suggestions for additional volumes.
Jean A. King, PhD
Joan DeJaeghere, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently presented her new book, Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and Youth Livelihoods, a publication resulting from the MasterCard Foundation project on youth livelihoods, to several audiences in South Africa. She presented at an author meets critic session at the Human Development and Capability Approach annual conference in Cape Town. She then presented to a group of graduate students at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, a group affiliated with the Chair for Youth Unemployment, Employability and Empowerment. Finally, she presented her work to graduate students at the Institute for Social Development at the University of Western Cape. The issue of entrepreneurship education that Joan critically takes up in the book is of great interest to scholars, practitioners and policymakers in South Africa because the government is engaging in many entrepreneurship initiatives to address unemployment and poverty.
David Weerts, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was quoted in the Star Tribune article “Free tuition draws Minnesota students to University of the People.”
“What remains to be seen is how the marketplace will respond in hiring University of the People graduates,” he said. He also wonders how a school could survive without paying instructors (Reshef says they receive honoraria of $3 an hour.) “I was surprised that they could find that many volunteers to actually teach,” said Weerts.
Peter Demerath, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has been elected president of the Council on Anthropology and Education (CAE). A section of the American Anthropological Association, CAE was founded in 1968 to support scholarship on “schooling in social and cultural contexts, and on human learning both inside and outside of schools.” Its mission is “to advance anti-oppressive, socially equitable, and racially just solutions to educational problems through research using anthropological perspectives, theories, methods, and findings.”
Gary Peter, lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has written a collection of short fiction, Oranges, which has been named the winner of the 2016 Many Voices Project Competition in Prose sponsored by New Rivers Press. The national competition promotes the work of new and emerging writers, with one prize given each year in prose and one in poetry. The prize includes a $1,000 honorarium as well as publication of his manuscript in fall 2018.
Elisheva Cohen and Anna Kaiper, graduate students in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), have been awarded 2017 Spencer Dissertation Fellowships from the National Academy of Education. This fellowship “seeks to encourage a new generation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. These $27,500 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, analysis, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.”
Cohen and Kaiper are both Ph.D. candidates studying comparative and international development education. Cohen’s dissertation research, funded by a Fulbright Fellowship, employs ethnographic methods to examine the ways in which educational programs foster inclusive environments for Syrian refugees and country nationals in Jordan. Kaiper’s dissertation surrounds the English language learning of South African domestic workers drawing from both a postcolonial and poststructural framework.
Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently presented on her new book to faculty and graduate students of Agricultural Economics and Business Studies at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania. Morogoro is one of the sites for the study discussed in her book, Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and Youth Livelihoods in Tanzania (Routledge). Her presentation and the book ask the question of how global discourses related to entrepreneurship education that aim to reduce youth unemployment and poverty get adapted and reshaped in local social and economic contexts of Tanzania. It examines how entrepreneurship education is reshaping the purpose of education for citizenship – that of engaging in work that allows youth to supposedly get out of poverty. But such entrepreneurship education doesn’t necessarily ensure these youth get out of poverty; however, additional education/training for marginalized youth can change the social relations that exclude them because they haven’t completed their education or worked in the formal labor market. We found in this study that it gives marginalized youth additional credentials to be “skilled people” and allows them to contribute, even minimally, to the economic wellbeing of the community. The book is based on research in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation’s Learn, Earn and Save Initiative, for which Joan serves as PI.
Alexandre Ardichvili, professor in the Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), received the Best International Paper Award at the 18th International Conference on Human Resource Development held by the Academy of Human Resource Development in Lisbon, Portugal. The paper, titled “Focus on Demi-Gods or We’re All One Team: Talent Management in a Collectivist Culture,” was co-authored with practitioners from a Brazilian business organization and faculty members from the University of Sao Paulo.
Ken Bartlett, associate dean in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was awarded the Meritorious Service Award at the University Council for Workforce and Human Resource Education (UCWHRE) annual conference. This UCWHRE award “recognizes a faculty member from a member institution each year for long-term and high-impact service to the Council and the profession.”
Tania Mitchell, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has an article entitled How Service Learning Programs Benefit Students and Build Civic Identity posted on the improving Lives – CEHD Vision 2020 blog.
“I’m particularly interested in student outcomes as they relate to community engagement, service learning and building civic identity. I want to understand how students experience service learning and community engagement and how their educations are shaped by their work in communities. This will help us improve the programs and experiences we provide. We’re finding that the environment we create for service learning really matters in how the students and communities are affected. An extremely positive – or negative – experience can have a lifelong impact on students’ sense of engagement.”
Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), spoke on Reconfiguring Representations of The Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia as part of a special panel at Columbia University. His presentation explored the politics of representation in the classroom at a time of heightened political tensions between the US and Iran. It featured ethnographic research he carried out in the Twin Cities that addressed pedagogical challenges and possibilities in how English teachers approach the graphic novel Persepolis with students. The panel was sponsored by Teachers College, the Middle East Institute of Columbia University, and the Department of Social Studies Education at Teachers College.
Keelin Yenney, a Ph.D. student studying higher education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has been awarded a grant from the National Association for Orientation, Transfer, and Retention (NODA) for her research regarding the retention of rural students.
“Social Capital and Sense of Belonging: Exploring Assigned Academic Advising as a Retention Tool for Rural Students”
The purpose of this study is to explore how rural students experience assigned academic advising as a tool to develop social capital and sense of belonging in an urban college environment and the ways these experiences influence retention.
Rashné Jehangir, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), gave the keynote address for Inaugural First Generation Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) held May 4-5. Jehangir’s talk was on Purposeful Pioneers: First Generation College Students in Higher Education.
Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was recently quoted about her research in the article How HR Can Support Reverse Mentoring in HR Magazine, which is one of the most widely read human resource professional publications.
“As for program design, companies should build programs based on what leaders will learn that will help the company, says Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, a University of Minnesota lecturer in organizational policy and leadership development who has been studying reverse mentoring since 2012.”
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), participated in the National Conference on Teacher Training in Tanzania during the first week of April and gave a talk entitled The Local Picture: Contextual Considerations for Teacher Training in Tanzania. The conference was attended by representatives of the Tanzanian Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, the World Bank, Save the Children, Peace Corps, and a number of Tanzanian universities and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Vavrus has been involved in teacher professional development in Tanzania since 2006 as a facilitator and researcher studying the changing educational policy landscape in the country as it affects teachers’ lives.
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and her colleague at the University of Wisconsin, Lesley Bartlett, have an article in the most recent issue of University World News entitled “Why academics need to learn the art of storytelling.” They argue that the spread of ‘alternative facts’ makes it even more important for academics to ensure their research is accessible to the general public. They explain how the writing of compelling personal stories about our research participants and our own research journeys can enhance the accessibility of scholarship.
Clifford Hooker, professor emeritus and a national expert in school law, passed away on November 15, 2016, in St. Paul at the age of 96. Hooker was known as a master teacher, mentoring students and fostering internships, always engaged in the community and statewide. He authored The Courts and Education published in 1978 and conceived of—then served 30 years as the chair of the editorial advisory committee for—West’s Education Law Reporter.
Professor Hooker was born in Illinois, the son of a sharecropper and a mother who ensured he was able to attend the local one-room school. As valedictorian of McClure High School’s class of ’38, he received free tuition to attend teachers college. He graduated and married his first wife, Avelyn, in 1941, before serving in the Navy aboard the USS Massachusetts in the Pacific. In the post-war years their children Sherrill and Donn were born, and he worked in Illinois public education as a shop teacher, principal, and superintendent. He completed his Ed.D. at Indiana University in 1955 and a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University before taking his first academic position at the University of Pittsburgh.
In 1958, Clifford Hooker joined the U of M faculty, from 1964 to 1972 chairing the Department of Educational Administration, which would become what is now the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD). He founded the Educational Administration doctoral track and was influential in a 1965 restructuring of the college that reduced hierarchy and fostered faculty participation in decision-making. He also helped to found the Midwest Council for Educational Administration in 1971 in response to changes in licensing requirements for Minnesota school administrators. MCEA included higher education institutions from North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Manitoba, and Minnesota.
Professor Hooker was active in many sports before it was popular to stay fit, including biking, tennis, jogging, barefoot waterskiing, golfing, and downhill skiing. He designed and built a cabin on Pelican Lake in 1965 and shared it for departmental retreats. He also got his colleagues to join him in canoeing in the boundary waters. Officially retiring in 1991, he remained active in the field, consulting widely and supporting educational leadership.
He is survived by his wife, Leslie Gerstman, their daughter Sarah, and two grandchildren.
Gifts in memory of Professor Clifford Hooker may be made to the Educational Evaluation and Policy Studies Fellowship, Fund #6027, University of Minnesota Foundation.