Rosalind Horowitz (Ph.D. ‘82) Professor of Departments of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching; and Educational Psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio and S. Jay Samuels, Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology at The University of Minnesota—Twin Cities edited the book, The Achievement Gap in Reading: Complex causes, persistent issues, possible solutions (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2017). This volume presents the research of 24, distinguished scholars in varied fields, who conduct educational and literacy research.
Rebecca Shlafer, Ph.D., MPH, an alumna of the Institute of Child Development (ICD), and Laura Reimann, an undergraduate child psychology student in ICD, were recently featured in the Star Tribune for their involvement in Project Teddy Bear, a restorative justice project at a Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minn.
Shlafer, who teaches an honors class titled, Incarceration and the Family, partnered with Diana Poch, a psychologist at Sandstone, to launch the project. Poch had noticed positive behavior changes in inmates who learned how to crochet and were teaching others the craft.
Last semester, Shlafer and her students collected a total of 350 pounds of yarn to provide to the inmates. With the yarn, the inmates crocheted animals for sick children at four Twin Cities Ronald McDonald Houses.
“It was so powerful for my students to learn how many consequences there are to sometimes very limited decisions,” Shlafer said. “They made an impact in a way that really challenged the students’ assumptions about who is in prison for what and why, raising questions around equity.”
Reimann plans to continue to raise awareness about Project Teddy Bear next semester as Shlafer’s teaching assistant. “People have a tremendous capacity to change if given the chance and the resources,” Reimann said. “They are creating something with another human in mind and giving something back to a community that thinks they are only taking.”
A 2016 graduate of the School of Kinesiology has been nominated for a prestigious award recognizing athletic and academic achievement and community service.
Ryan Santoso, a Gopher punter who received his B.S. in Sport Management in Fall, 2016, has been nominated for the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy, awarded to the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
During his time at the U, Santoso has volunteered for numerous organizations– Children’s Hospital, the Boys and Girls Club, Luxton Learning Center, and with various sports camps– all while performing exceptionally in the classroom and on the field. He continues his academic and football career this year as a master’s student in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs studying nonprofit management.
Santoso’s story was featured this week in the U of M’s online News & Events section.
Rose Simon, a 2017 family social science graduate, was a keynote speaker at this year’s New Student Convocation, the U o f M’s welcome event for the incoming first-year class. Simon was encouraged to apply for the opportunity by her undergraduate student services adviser, Carole Anne Broad. A transcript of her speech is below, and view the event on YouTube. Simon’s speech begins around the 1 hour mark.
Welcome Class of 2021 and may I be one of many to congratulate you on this huge accomplishment. You are now officially a college student and you have certainly overcome numerous barriers to be here today and you should be very proud of yourselves. I am sure you are thrilled and eager to start classes and most importantly, for the “all you can eat” ice cream in the dining halls. However, before we get too far into your college days, I’m here to share a few of my own experiences and tips to help you along the way: and my first one to you is, don’t eat too much ice cream.
When I look back at my past four years of college, I can’t help but smile. I have done some pretty amazing things, but I was still surprised when I was asked to speak to you today. Surely, there was someone more qualified than I with a more picturesque college experience. What you heard in my bio is fairly impressive and I certainly worked hard these past four years but what you don’t hear about are the many challenges I faced throughout college. You don’t hear about the mental health issues I faced, or the time I was affected by a terrorist attack when I studied abroad, or the classes that I almost failed. These challenges became part of my journey and I realized that I DID have a perfect experience, just in a different manner that can’t be compared to any other college experience. It was perfect because I was challenged academically, mentally, emotionally and physically, and eventually I realized that I walked away with greater insight about myself and my potential.
So, I’m not here to tell you my life story, but I am here to share a few tips from my own journey through college. I have four tips for you that I hope will guide you in overcoming and succeeding when faced with your diverse challenges; whether your challenges are small or mighty.
Tip #1 Find your passion – whatever that is, and follow it, and do NOT let doubt overtake your confidence.
I love French, but boy did I struggle. When I was failing a French course my freshman year, it was difficult to remember how much I loved languages and connecting with other cultures when society was telling me that I should do something more practical, something that makes money. But my heart was telling me otherwise. When I made the wise choice to follow my passion by declaring my French major, I was able to live abroad in France for an entire year learning and challenging myself in a new space and culture. So find your passion, and stick with it, because some things are just meant to be.
# 2; Ask for help. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed and you need to know that the entire U of M community has your back. Asking for help, whether it’s going to your professor’s office hours and asking for homework help, asking your mentor, friend, advisor or coach for advice, or seeing a Boynton therapist – it will be the best way for you to find support when you face tough challenges. I personally have asked for help from all of those resources and I can attest to how much it helped me. So when faced with challenges, small or mighty, ask for help.
#3: Connect with your community on campus, and you will find your home and your second family where you will only receive love, support, and connection. Find your sport team if that’s what you’re into, join a fraternity or sorority, surround yourself with those that share pride in your culture by joining a cultural group, find support through programs like the Multicultural Center of Academic Excellence, TRIO or the President’s Emerging Scholars Program. I found my niche with the University of Minnesota women’s rugby team and my President’s Emerging Scholars family, and those two groups showed me nothing but love and support and as a result, I always felt like coming to campus was coming home.
And my final tip for you…
#4; Seek challenges and step out of your comfort zone. No doubt, this will happen without choice, but there are many ways that you can deliberately step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself with new experiences. Show up at a club meeting even if you don’t know anyone, study abroad in a different country, volunteer with a community you have never worked with, learn about a new culture. From studying abroad I learned that taking a step beyond what I was used to or comfortable with was an amazing way for me to learn beyond the classroom, and I don’t regret any of the challenges that I placed upon myself.
I know this is not the first time you have faced a challenge, and for many, you have faced bigger challenges then most can even imagine. When your faced with these new challenges, remember you’ve earned your place at the U of M and in four years you will be holding a diploma instead of a tassel and looking back at your challenges and honoring your successes, for teaching you so many life lessons.
I hope that when you look back on your college career four years from now, that you will have found your passion and followed it, found a community and embraced it, asked for guidance and given it, and challenged yourself, but most importantly, I hope you can look back and can’t help but smile. Best of luck on your journey and congratulations!
Beth Bowman (M. Ed. ‘06) has been selected to serve as a mentor in the 2017 The Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) Fellows Program. You can visit this website to learn more: www.wearelott.
Lynne Macziewski (M.A. ‘17) will be the new Head of Middle School at the Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga in August 2017. Macziewski is an experienced school leader and an award-winning teacher at Blake School in Hopkins. She is known for her relationship-building skills and ability to mentor and coach faculty.
Kelly Kleine (B.S. ‘13) was promoted in June 2017 to college scouting coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. Kleine is one of the 14 women who are currently working in football operations for teams across the league.
Carol Cheatham (M.A. ‘01, Ph.D. ‘04) was selected to join the Education Board at the American Health Council in June 2017. With over 17 years of experience in Psychology and Neuroscience, Cheatham will offer valuable insight and expertise on the effects of nutrition on brain development and function.
Corey Millen (B.S. ‘17) accepted a new position in August 2017 as the Director of Hockey Operations at the US Air Force Academy. Millen is a Cloquet native and former NHL player. Millen was previously the volunteer assistant for the University of Minnesota Gophers, working for Coach Don Lucia.
Linda Madsen (Ph.D. ‘00) retired in June 2017 after 36 years of service with the Forest Lake Schools.
Tina Jackson (B.S. ‘03, M.Ed. ‘04) hosted her 12th annual “Surviving the Game” conference in St. Paul in July 2017. The conference is held to help end the cycle of poverty for kids in the Minneapolis community, where Jackson grew up. More than 200 students attended the conference, where they learn financial literacy, go to a Lynx game, and meet the players. Over the years, the conference, “Surviving the Game” has been able to give out seven scholarships to students.
Beth Magistad (M.A. ‘94, Ph.D. ‘00) was recently welcomed as a new board member in July 2017 for the Park Bugle, a community nonprofit newspaper published by Park Press Inc. serving St. Paul neighborhoods of Como Park and St. Anthony Park.
Mollie Meyer (B.S. ‘05, M.Ed. ‘09) was named principal in May 2017 of Lonsdale Elementary School. Meyer will also serve as the Tri-City United Schools district’s assessment and Title I coordinator.
Carla Nelson (M.Ed. ‘97) was recognized in July 2017 as the “Outstanding Legislator of The Year” by the Minnesota School Boards Association. Senator Nelson modernized and restructured the State’s failing teacher licensure system, to efficiently bring more qualified teachers into the classroom. Nelson has been instrumental in tackling complex educational and political challenges in Minnesota; fighting for high-quality education and closing the achievement gap.
John Kavanagh (B.S. ‘89) was promoted to managing director for public and regulatory affairs for Minnesota Public Radio in July 2017. Kavanagh will serve as the liaison for MPR’s networked stations on a state and local level as well as nationally in Washington D.C.
Patricia Kubow (M.A. ‘94, Ph.D. ‘96) along with her graduate student, Mina Min, received the 2017 Joyce Cain Award for Distinguished Research on People of African Descent from the Comparative and International Education Society. The award recognized their scholarly article “The Cultural Contours of Democracy: Indigenous Epistemologies informing South African Citizenship”, that was published in the journal Democracy & Education.
James Lichtenberg (Ph.D. ‘74) was recognized in August, by the American Psychological Association as the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Contributions of Applications of Psychology to Education Award.
Timothy O’Connell (M.Ed. ‘91) won a 2017 3M National Teaching Fellowship. This is considered Canada’s most prestigious prize for teaching excellence at the university level and only ten are given out nation-wide each year. O’Connell is a Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Stanley Baker (M.A. ‘63) received the Ella Stephens Barrett Award for Excellence in Professional Leadership and Counseling in February 2017 from the North Carolina Counseling Association. The award is given to a faculty member who displays outstanding leadership, improvement, and enhancement of the counseling profession.
Jordan Dresdow (B.A. ‘12, M.Ed. ‘14) accepted a teaching position in August 2017 where she will teach Spanish at Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.