“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.
The University of Minnesota Autism Initiative (UMAI) welcomed an audience of 250 people for the third annual UMAI Day: Research to Practice Update. The event, held May 5 at the Masonic Children’s Hospital, featured current University of Minnesota research collaborations relating to autism.
UMAI represents an interdisciplinary collective of researchers, educators, and providers focused on improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder in the state of Minnesota. Their mission is to unify stakeholders toward the ultimate goals of collaborative research, excellence in education and training, and community partnerships.
Bulman, who has been a language arts teacher at Mound Westonka High School in Mound, MN since earning his teaching license 17 years ago, was inspired by his high school teachers to reach his potential after years as a struggling student. He wrote in his Teacher of the Year portfolio, “This educational experience taught me an important lesson: education is a gift that is renewed every time it is shared. This fact has driven me to give to others what I was so graciously given all those years ago.”
“Even after 18 years, I still remember this outstanding student,” said Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education who advised Bulman during his time in graduate school. Beach notes that Bulman is the third graduate from the English education program to receive the Teacher of the Year award.
Bulman told the Star Tribune that his students remain a constant source of inspiration. “I’m so incredibly proud to be their teacher,” he said. “They make me think every single day, they challenge me, they keep me young, they keep ideas fresh and vibrant. I’m very fortunate to be their teacher.”
A former student of Bulman’s, Sara Strother, who is finishing her M.Ed. in Arts in Education this May from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, wrote in support of Bulman’s nomination, “When I was in high school, it mattered a great deal to me how adults treated me. Corey was an adult who showed me he believed I was smart and cared about my ideas. He was honest, funny and made me believe in myself.” She adds, “Corey doesn’t just care about the people in his classroom. He cares about how to make them better people, thinkers and leaders of thoughtful lives.”
As an All-Big Ten running back for the Golden Gophers football team in the late 1970s, Barber was a record-setting player. In 2017, at age 57, Barber’s determination off the field culminated May 11 when he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota as part of the commencement ceremonies for the College of Education and Human Development. He graduated with a major in youth studies from the School of Social Work.
Barber finished his Gophers football career as the all-time record holder for rushing yards (3,094), rushing touchdowns (34), and 100-yard rushing games (12). Those records have since been broken, but he still ranks sixth all-time in program history for total rushing yards.
All of Barber’s sons have played football for the Gophers, including former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl running back Marion Barber III, former Houston Texans safety Dominique Barber, and current Gophers linebacker Thomas Barber.
In fall 2015, Marion Barber Jr. started back on his academic career at the U of M, knowing he would need two years of credits to complete his degree this spring.
“Once I saw the commitment required, I decided it would be worth it,” Barber said. “And, believe it or not, the time has gone by fast and been enjoyable. I have really appreciated all of my classmates, professors, and advisers who made me feel welcomed.”
Barber, a Maple Grove resident, is particularly proud of his perfect attendance in all of his classes, as well as his record of mostly A’s (and a few B’s). Outside the classroom, Barber worked as an educational intern at Armstrong High School. He now has a full-time position as a special education assistant at the school. He is also an assistant football coach there.
Barber said he has always been interested in youth development and children. After nearly 40 years since beginning his time at the U of M, he feels that he has something to offer young people — especially lessons about reaching high for goals and maintaining perseverance.
Participants in the third annual China Champions Program(CCP) were celebrated at their Graduation Celebration on Friday, April 28, at Burton Hall Atrium.
Six Chinese Olympic and world champion athletes and a coachenrolled in the China Champions Program (CCP) arrived last fall to attend specially designed courses in the School of Kinesiology. CCP provides academic courses, seminars, workshops and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to accomplished athletes from China as a collaborative educational project with Beijing Sport University (BSU).
This year’s participants, the third class since 2014, enjoyed a wide range of educational, cultural and social activities in addition to their formal courses, such as meeting former Vice President Walter Mondale at Regent Peggy Lucas’ home, attending all major sporting events at UMN and in the Twin Cities area, and visiting local schools to share their experiences with students.
At the celebration, Ms. Maud Meng, President and CEO of Infinite Media Co. Ltd. in China, presented the University of Minnesota Foundation with a gift of $100,000 to benefit the CCP. Kinesiology Director Li Li Ji met with Ms. Meng on a recent trip to China and shared the CCP’s mission and goals. “Ms. Meng pledged to provide financial support to the CCP to expand the participants’ careers and to share their skills and experiences with Chinese society,” said Ji. Ms. Meng’s generous support also helps to advance University, CEHD and School of Kinesiology international initiatives.
Participants in this year’s China Champions Program were: Lu Xiudong, national taekwondo coach and professor at BSU; Chunlu Wang, Xue Kong and Lin Meng, all short track speed skating Olympic gold medalists; Haixia Liu, World Champion and record holder for weightlifting; Di Mu, World Champion in bicycling; and Ziyi Wang, World Champion in sailboating.
This award recognizes exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments, and service units by an active or retired faculty or staff member. Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community.
Miksch’s contributions to the college and University have been extraordinary through her work and consultation on legal issues, academic freedom, student admissions, and fostering diversity and inclusion in graduate education.
She will be honored at a reception at Eastcliff on June 15, and the Board of Regents will recognize her at their meeting on May 12. See all of this year’s winners.
This year, ASF awarded three pre-doctoral and six post-doctoral fellowship grants to student and mentor teams conducting research in deep brain stimulation, gene and environmental interactions, epigenetics, pain response, neurobiology, and sex differences in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
“Each of the projects selected for funding has the potential to improve the lives of people with autism,” said Autism Science Foundation President Alison Singer. “We are pleased to support the work of this impressive group of young scientists and look forward to the progress that will be made as a result of their efforts.”
For her research, Sharer will examine the female protective effect in infants with ASD. Four times as many boys as girls are diagnosed with autism, and evidence suggests a “female protective effect” as one explanation for the sex bias.
Sharer’s study will be the first study to investigate the female protective effect in infants who show behaviors of concern, compared with those who develop typically and those who are later diagnosed with ASD. Sharer will be mentored by ICD Assistant Professor Jed Elison, Ph.D.
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.
Psychology Day at the UN is an annual event that highlights how psychological science and practice contribute to the UN agenda. It’s attended by UN staff, ambassadors and diplomats, non-governmental organizations, members of the public and private sectors, and other stakeholders.
This year’s theme was “Promoting Well-being in the 21st Century: Psychological Contributions for Social, Economic, and Environmental Challenges.” The topic was chosen to align with the inclusion of well-being in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015 and outlines the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In her remarks, Masten addressed the economic pillar by discussing her research on competence, risk, and resilience in development.
The Ambit Network works to improve access to quality care for traumatized children by giving practitioners the skills and resources they need to address mental health issues with evidence-based practices.
Has high sensitivity (it screens in those children and youth with trauma symptoms)
Has high specificity (it screens out those children and youth who do not have trauma symptoms)
Is brief and easily administered by professionals and paraprofessionals in child serving systems.
The screening tool is already in use at agencies within and outside Minnesota. It is available to clinicians, case workers, educators, and any other staff who work with children ages 5 to 18 that may have experienced a traumatic event and are in need of services. Learn more and download the tool here.
An extensive review of existing trauma instruments went into developing the tool, combining common criteria and distilling down into the five most powerful and predictive items. For more information on the methodology behind the tool, contact ITR’s Chris Bray at firstname.lastname@example.org or (612) 624-3748.
Barbara Billington, a science lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will collaborate with University of Minnesota colleagues and educational technology company Andamio Games on a project funded by the National Science Foundation to produce a series of tablet-based lessons and challenges to help high school students master concepts related to photosynthesis and cell respiration. This project will enable students to learn difficult science concepts using a collaborative gaming approach that aims to significantly increase student engagement and understanding.
As part of the grant, Billington will partner with life science teachers from Saint Paul Public Schools to conduct a classroom study in the second year of the project. Lessons will be designed and research directed by both Billington and her colleagues Sehoya Cotner, associate professor in the College of Biological Sciences, and Christopher Desjardins, research associate at the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement.
“Science teacher feedback in Phase I of the project reconfirmed the value of our multi-player approach and also led us to the addition of a virtual biology lab,” said Andamio Games president Adam Gordon. “Teachers wanted their students to get a practical experience of scientific experimentation — including when it doesn’t go quite as expected — independent of the usual costs and time commitments for conventional lab experiments.”
Billington has a unique understanding of science classrooms after seven years teaching high school biology. She earned both her teacher licensure and Ph.D. in science education from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where her current research focuses on training pre-service teachers and gender equity in STEM education.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. This is the 237th class of members elected. It includes winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize, MacArthur Fellows, Fields Medalists, Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients, and Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award winners.
Gunnar is one of the nation’s leading researchers in child development and developmental psychobiology. Her work focuses on understanding how stress early in life “gets under the skin” to shape the body’s stress response systems and neurobehavioral development.
“Professor Gunnar is an exceptional faculty member whose research and leadership in her field has improved the lives of many children,” said Jean Quam, CEHD dean. “The University of Minnesota and the College of Education and Human Development are extremely proud of her accomplishments.”
Gunnar holds the University’s highest faculty honors as both a Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor. She was recently elected to the National Academy of Education and has been honored with lifetime achievement awards by the American Psychological Association, Division 7 Developmental Psychology, the Society for Research in Child Development, and the Association for Psychological Science. Gunnar has a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
The 2017 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences will be inducted at a ceremony on October 7, 2017, in Cambridge, MA.
“Jennifer is highly deserving of the award,” says Department of Educational Psychology chair, Geoffrey Maruyama. “She has worked over the past decade in Minneapolis Public Schools, first in North Minneapolis, then with Anishinabe Academy, and recently, she added tele-health research to connect with rural communities,” says Maruyama. “These and other projects reflect her deep commitment to engaged research and to doing work that makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Please join us in congratulating Professor McComas on this tremendous accomplishment!
Crediting her colleagues at DirectCourse, the Institute on Community Integration’s Amy Hewitt accepted a Committee’s Choice Award at the University of Minnesota’s 2017 Innovation Awards on March 28.
Hosted by the University’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office for Technology Commercialization, the event at the McNamara Alumni Center recognized 220 University inventors whose technology had been licensed or patented between July 2014 and June 2016. Hewitt’s award was one of only four Innovation Awards presented, all of which recognize the accomplishments of outstanding University innovators who have demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, are actively engaged in developing new innovations and transitioning those technologies to the commercial market, and have made an impact on society.
DirectCourse is an online training curriculum designed to empower support and care professionals to help people with intellectual, developmental, physical, and psychiatric disabilities, and older adults, lead meaningful lives within their communities. During last year alone, it provided more than 6 million hours of training to over 500,000 learners in 41 states and abroad.
Hewitt has led the research, development, and management of DirectCourse over the past 15 years, working with a team of staff at ICI, its business partners at Elsevier, and its community roots. “I am delighted that this award recognizes an ‘invention’ that was created by and for the community in alignment with our university’s land grant mission to promote education and collaboration that advances knowledge which benefits communities, the state, and the world,” Hewitt told the gathering. “DirectCourse was not created in a laboratory on campus: the community was its laboratory and this has made all the difference. The learning provided by DirectCourse has had an immediate and lasting effect on hundreds of thousands of direct support professionals and the people with disabilities they support.”
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.
Three School of Kinesiology faculty contributed chapters to an award-winning book on sport management theory.
Routledge Handbook of Theory in Sport Managementwas selected as an Outstanding Academic Title 2016 by CHOICE magazine, published by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Yuhei Inoue, Ph.D., Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D., and Lisa Kihl, Ph.D., each wrote chapters. This is the first book to trace the intellectual contours of theory in sport management, and to explain, critique and celebrate the importance of sport management theory in academic research, teaching and learning, and in the development of professional practice.
Inoue and Kihl contributed to the Managerial Theories section with their chapters, “Developing a Theory of Suffering and Academic Corruption in Sport” (Kihl) and “Applying Strategic CSR in Sport” (Inoue). Kane contributed the chapter “The Continuum Theory: Challenging Traditional Conceptualization and Practices of Sport” in the section Sociocultural Theories. Dr. Kane is director of the School of Kinesiology’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, and Dr. Kihl is an affiliated scholar in the Tucker Center.
“Our college continues to reach new heights of excellence in graduate teaching, research, and outreach,” said Dean Jean K. Quam. “We are focused on improving the lives of students across Minnesota, the nation, and the world.”
Rankings methodology: U.S. News surveyed 379 schools granting education doctoral degrees. It calculates rankings based on quality assessments from peer institutions and school superintendents nationwide, student selectivity, and faculty research and resources, which includes student/faculty ratio and faculty awards as well as support for research.
As a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Carlson will receive a $100,000 grant for research and scholarly activities, and carry the title throughout her University career. Carlson is one of six University professors receiving the award in 2017. Three CEHD professors have earned the award previously, including Frank Symons of educational psychology, and Megan Gunnar and Ann Masten, both in the Institute of Child Development.
Through her research, Carlson has developed innovative ways of measuring executive function – or the set of skills that helps individuals pay attention, control impulses and think flexibly – in very young children. She has also made discoveries about the role of executive function in other aspects of human development, including decision-making and creativity.
Her accomplishments include co-developing the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS), a testing app that measures executive function and early learning readiness in children. The MEFS is the only early learning readiness assessment measuring executive function that can be used with children as young as two years old. To help put the tool in the hands of early educators, she co-founded the tech start-up Reflection Sciences and now serves as its CEO.
“Stephanie Carlson not only has conducted ground-breaking research that has advanced the field of cognitive development, but she also has developed practical tools for early educators,” said CEHD Dean Jean Quam. “She is an engaged professor, researcher and mentor to her students, and an outstanding asset to the college.”
Carlson and the other winners of this year’s Distinguished McKnight University Professorships will be recognized at the May Board of Regents meeting and honored at a celebratory dinner.
When the St. Paul City Council voted to remove police officers from the city’s Police-Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission last December, School of Social Work Professor Mark Umbreit was a little stunned, but also proud.
Umbreit, who is the director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, was a part an audit team from the center that recommended 18 changes to commission operations, the most controversial being that police officers should no longer serve as voting members of the commission.
Police officers have been voting members since the commission was established in 1994, and, although a 2009 “Report of the Best Practices Assessment of the St. Paul Police Department” had recommended removing them, that recommendation was never implemented. So when the auditors started their work in the summer of 2015, Umbreit said, they believed “it was simply not realistic to talk about removing the police officers.”
Two associates of the center, social work doctoral student Jennifer Blevins and Dr. Raj Sethuraju, assistant professor of criminology at Metropolitan State University, worked with Umbreit on the audit, with Blevins taking the lead.
The audit included interviews with 23 key stakeholders in the commission’s process, including seven current members, five previous members, two current and two former administrators, the police union president, the current police chief, a police former chief, the senior commander of the police Internal Affairs unit, and three community stakeholders.
They also reviewed 40 commission memos from 2011 through 2014, which included a total of approximately 310 cases of complaints about police conduct, to determine what the commission did once a complaint and the investigation files were presented to them.
The auditors also looked at literature on civilian review of police conduct from throughout the United States. In their search, they could not find one civilian review board that had police officers on it, Blevins said, although she noted that one could exist that they were unable to find.
As the audit progressed, Umbreit said, they were hearing from people who felt very strongly that police officers should not be members of the commission.
“We decided we could not make a recommendation based on what we thought was politically realistic, but on what we believed to be the best course of action based on our analysis of the data we gathered,” Blevins said.
After the audit report was released in October 2015, city officials announced plans for gathering public input. They asked the center to organize three feedback sessions to allow city officials to hear from community members in order to decide how to move forward with the audit recommendations. The sessions were held in November and December of 2015.
“It was through the community conversations that people started to see the possibility of real change,” Umbreit said.
After the sessions, grass-roots groups began organizing to push for an all-civilian review board. By the end of 2016, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “St. Paul residents and at least 18 community organizations have been calling on council members to make it an independent, all-civilian commission.”
On December 7, 2016, a diverse crowd of people filled the St. Paul City Council chambers and an overflow room as the council held a public hearing on the proposed changes. The Pioneer Press reported that more than 35 people addressed the council, with most of them speaking in favor of removing police officers from the panel. The council voted 5 to 2 in favor of the change; final adoption followed at the council’s December 14 meeting.
“Particularly with the current very troubling times our nation is facing, this provides a beacon of hope of people power, real and effective social change, and a true academic and community partnership,” Umbreit said.
“We put out the information and gave people what was needed to come to a conclusion and take action. It feels good that people paid attention and used it … I am proud of this work,” he said.