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.
Five alumni from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development have recently won dissertation awards.
Matt Schuelka (EDPA PhD-comparative and international development education, 2014) has received the 2017 South Asia SIG Best Dissertation Award from the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). His dissertation, entitled Constructing Disability in Bhutan: Schools, Structures, Policies, and Global Discourses, used a vertical (comparative) case study approach to explore the multiple levels of policy-making that have shaped inclusive education discourse and practice in Bhutan. This year-long ethnographic study, which involved participant-observation, interviewing, and critical policy analysis, has served as the basis for an edited book about education in Bhutan and numerous journal articles published by Dr. Schuelka during the past few years.
Anna Farrell (EDPA PhD-comparative and international development education, 2017) has received the 2017 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Language Issues Special Interest Group from the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). Her dissertation, entitled There Is No Nation without a Language (Ní tír gan teanga): Language Policy and the Irish Dancing Commission, raises important questions about how language policy affects cultural and political identity, particularly in post-colonial contexts like Ireland. Dr. Farrell will be honored at the CIES meeting in March in Atlanta.
Leonard Taylor (EDPA PhD-higher education, 2016) is the First Place 2017 Doctoral Student Awardee bestowed by the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) for his dissertation entitled Organizational Learning for Student Success: Exploring the Roles of Institutional Actors.
Corbyn Smyth (EdD-higher education, 2016) has received the Dissertation of the Year Award from the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) for his dissertation entitled Where All May Meet on Common Ground: Elements of College Unions Evident in Campus Community. Dr. Smyth will be honored at the awards ceremony during the 2017 annual conference in Philadelphia held March 21st.
Molly Wickam (WHRE PhD, higher education, 2015) has received the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation award from the Association for Research in Business Education (ARBE) for her dissertation entitled Enhancing Employability Skills in Graduate Business Programs: Service-Learning in Capstone Courses. Dr. Wickam will present at the 2017 Business Education Conference on April 12th.
Michael Stebleton and Rashne Jehangir, associate professors in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented recently at the University of Minnesota’s Focusing on Student Success Conference. Their presentation, Empowering Students through High Impact Practices, focused on the highlights of the College of Education and Human Development’s first-year experience program. Specifically, they showcased examples of students’ work including documentary short films.
Takehito Kamata, a Ph.D. student (higher education track) in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), is a recipient of the Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization recognizing outstanding student contributions to international education. Kamata will receive his award at a ceremony held on March 3, 2017.
Christopher Johnstone, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was awarded a Global Programs and Strategy Alliance international travel grant and will be engaging in a series of meetings related to inclusive education with scholars from University of Western Cape, University of South Africa, University of Free State, and the Western Cape Provincial Government.
Karen Seashore, Regents professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented a keynote address entitled Collaborative Partnerships for System-Wide Improvement: Framing the Narrative at the International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) in Ottawa, Canada, in January.
Romina Madrid, post-doctoral associate at CAREI, presented as part of a symposium on Place, identity and belonging in a changing world: Exploring contemporary issues for policy, practice and leadership.
Laura Willemsen, alumna (Ph.D. 2016) and lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has won the 2016-17 Gail P. Kelly Award for her dissertation, Embodying Empowerment: Gender, Schooling, Relationships and Life History in Tanzania.
This award of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) is conferred on an outstanding Ph.D. or Ed.D. dissertation that manifests academic excellence; originality; methodological, theoretical, and empirical rigor; and that deals with issues of social justice and equity in international settings. These issues may include—but are not limited to—gender, race, class, ethnicity, and nationality.
The committee wrote the following assessment of Dr. Willemsen’s dissertation:
“This is a solid piece of academic work engaging with ethnographic realities which clearly paints a scenario of gender disparity and the fundamental role that education should play in ameliorating the current status quo. It examines the role schooling has played in empowering young women from vulnerability toward increasing security and well-being. The study illustrates how school needs to include an element of care to be successful, particularly in marginalized women’s lives, underscoring how quality education moves beyond what can be measured through traditional indicators such as academic performance. Through her study, Willemsen critically engages with prominent discourses in the field of comparative and international education, for example the role of education in empowering of marginalized groups (here young women in a low-income country), yet also underscoring how the school is not necessarily the decisive factor in this empowerment, how additional forces, such as family, community and religion can play more prominent roles than education. Additionally, she put forward a critical perspective on the content of schooling, promoting a more holistic notion of education for the institution to at all be able to function as a factor for empowerment of marginalized groups. In this dissertation, the notion of empowerment as understood by researchers and development experts, and the role of education within it, is challenged through this dissertation and the young women populating it. The role of social justice is a cross-cutting issue in the dissertation by Willemsen. She also engages with central CIES discourses in a critical manner, something rather bold in a Ph.D. dissertation and in such a way contributing to academic excellence and originality.”
Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) and co-principal investigator of the Research for Improving Education Systems in Vietnam (RISE), conducted interviews with national policymakers in January. The research will be analyzed to understand the political-economic changes that affected Vietnamese educational successes and challenges. One of the unique features the research aims to understand is how policies were implemented throughout the country and at local levels during a process of decentralization and “democratization” that allowed for a large expansion of educational participation and learning, while also maintaining a strong socialist ethos and commitment to equality.
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and colleague Lesley Bartlett (University of Wisconsin-Madison) have recently published the book Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach with relevance across the fields of education and human development. The book is designed as a textbook for graduate students and other researchers seeking a more holistic approach to case study research, especially research with a focus on policy, and it has exercises in every chapter that guide readers through the research process.
The book is available at www.routledge.com (use the following promo code for a 20% discount: IRK69) or at www.amazon.com. Professor Vavrus will also be available in the fall term to speak in classes that might want to use the book.
Darwin Hendel, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and his collaborators, Karen Kaler and Gwendolyn Freed, presented the results of their study “The lives of Presidential Partners in Higher Education Institutions” at The Presidents Institute at a meeting of the Council of Independent Colleges in Orlando Florida. Their study was featured in the Inside Higher Education article “Gender Roles and Presidential Spouses.”
Andrew Furco, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership Policy, and Development (OLPD), provided his expert insight for the WalletHub article 2016’s Best College Towns & Cities in America by Richie Bernardo.
Alexandre Ardichvili, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), delivered a keynote at the Association of South East Asian Institutions of Higher Learning in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He also conducted external evaluation of graduate and undergraduate programs in HRD at the University Putra Malaysia.
An article by Kyla Wahlstrom, lecturer and senior research fellow in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), is the cover story of the December issue of Kappan magazine, which is a publication of Phi Delta Kappa, a leading professional organization for educators. See the story, “Later start time for teens improves grades, mood, and safety.” Wahlstrom has been researching the outcomes of later high school starting times on teens for 20 years, and this story reports on the largest study ever done on the topic.
Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), wrote an op-ed article for The Huffington Post: Muslim Registry Would Be Hideous-And Thoroughly American. It examines the history of racialized surveillance in the U.S. and the possibilities of resisting and confronting this latest version.
“But taking a look at Trump’s proposals against a long history of racial and religious surveillance provides a larger, and even more disturbing landscape. Because, for one, it is shocking to find that this kind of program is nothing new. And, second, programs like the ones he’s suggesting have provided no discernible benefit for the shame of betraying the rights of our neighbors.”
Michael Stebleton and Rashné Jehangir, associate professors in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently had a feature article published in the journal Learning Communities Research and Practice. “Creating Communities of Engaged Learners: An Analysis of a First-Year Inquiry Seminar” focuses on student engagement and the high-impact practices used in the First-Year Inquiry program in the college.
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was an invited speaker in the Faculty of Education and Social Work Dean’s Lecture Series, which is part of the University of Sydney Ideas program. The lecture, entitled When ‘What Works’ Doesn’t: Comparative Pedagogies and Epistemological Diversity in Education, was presented on Wednesday, November 16th. Professor Vavrus was a Visiting Researcher at the University of Sydney for the month of November.
Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and Maria Hantzopoulos, associate professor at Vasser College, co-authored a blog post titled In a Time of Islamophobia, Teach with Complexity on the Teaching Tolerance website.
“When teaching about the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), U.S. teachers are often confronted with a dearth of accurate and nuanced material about the history, politics and people of the region. This crisis of critical awareness mainly materializes through two recurring narratives that circulate in mainstream media, political discourse and popular culture: “Islam as anti-Western” and conflict fueled by “ancient hatreds.”
David Chapman, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented a paper, co-authored with Nancy Pellowski Wiger and Joan DeJeaghere at the UNESCO-APEID education conference in Bangkok October 25-28. The paper summarized key findings from their 5-year longitudinal study of the effectiveness of entrepreneurship training for economically disadvantaged youth in East Africa, funded by the MasterCard Foundation, Canada.