Joyce Serido, associate professor of Family Social Science, discussed her scholarship on financial behaviors of young people in the spring/summer issue of Connect, the magazine of the College of Education and Human Development. Read the full story on the Connect website.
The NAEd aims to advance high-quality education research and its use in policy and practice. The academy consists of 209 U.S. members and 11 foreign associates who are elected on the basis of outstanding scholarship related to education. Gunnar was one of 14 new members elected to membership this year.
As an NAEd member, Gunnar will play a role in NAEd’s professional development programs and serve on expert study panels that address pressing issues in education.
Gunnar will be inducted during a ceremony for new members at the 2017 NAEd Annual Meeting in November.
In an interview with NPR, Department of Family Social Science professor emeritus Pauline Boss said there is no such thing as “closure” when relationships end.
This month NPR featured Boss in a segment of On Being with Krista Tippett titled “The Myth of Closure.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Boss placed emphasis on the importance of remembering loved ones, and that actively trying to “get over” a death or failed relationship often prevents people from being able to do just that.
Boss also praised CNN anchor Anderson Cooper for putting “closure” in its proper place in the media when interviewing survivors and family members after tragedy.
“I know from his own biography that he knows what loss is, and he understands that there is no closure. He’s the only reporter I’ve ever heard explain that in the line of his work, and I think the rest of us have to do a better job of it, too.”
Boss coined the term “ambiguous loss” for her pioneering research on what people feel when a loved one disappears. However, she says, “We have to live with loss, whether clear or ambiguous, and it’s okay.”
Department of Family Social Science associate Professor Joyce Serido teamed up with Extension educators across the state to create a pilot program that helps students and families make better choices about financing higher education.
The program began in January, and Serido will meet with Extension educators in February to fine tune the program to make it accessible to various groups statewide.
The Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal selected FSoS associate professor Susan Walker’s article “Family Educators’ Technology Use and Factors Influencing Technology Acceptance Attitudes” as the best paper in family and consumer sciences education published by the journal in 2015.
FCSRJ chose her article for the following reasons: the topic is original, the research design and methodology demonstrate high standards, and the article has the potential to make a lasting contribution to the theory and/or practice in family and consumer sciences.
Walker’s article is one of seven published by FCSRJ in 2015 to be recognized. The journal published a total of 28 articles in 2015.
In a MinnPost article, Department of Family Social Science associate professor Jenifer McGuire stressed the importance of an inclusive approach when it comes to gender, and said the sooner we can talk to children regarding gender, the better.
In a US News and World Report article, Department of Family Social Science professor Steve Harris stressed the importance of preserving children’s mental health as parents divorce, and shared coping strategies for divorcing parents hoping to avoid long-term emotional effects on their children.
The Changing Story: Digital Stories that Participate in Transforming Teaching and Learning is available for download now. Developed by PsTL’s Linda Buturian over the last three years with CEHD’s Susan Andre and Thomas Nechodomu, the ebook examines how digital story assignments encourage students to deeply engage with subjects, and create a stronger sense of ownership of their academic work.
The Changing Story provides educators with assignments, resources, and examples to use in teaching and learning. It also assists educators in examining ways digital stories can be used in current teaching practices to help students harness the power of visual storytelling.
Access a downloadable, free copy of the ebook here: The Changing Story.
Rashné Jehangir and Michael Stebleton, both associate professors in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, and Veronica Deenanath, doctoral student in Family Social Science have published a monograph on research conducted with first-generation, low-income students at the University of Minnesota. The monograph is part of a research report series published with the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina.
Excerpt: In January 2014, the White House urged that college be made more accessible for low-income Americans. Yet, moving beyond access to success requires knowing more about the experiences of these students. A new research report captures the challenges low-income, first-generation students—many of whom were also immigrants and students of color—faced in their collegiate journey and examines the strategies they employed to persist.
Organized thematically and using student narrative, the report explores the diversity of first-generation students, the intersections of their multiple identities, and their interactions with the institutional agents that affect college success. An Exploration of Intersecting Identities of First-Generation, Low-Income Students also offers practical suggestions for higher education professionals working with this diverse and growing population.
Whether as an artist-in-residence in Italy or during self-directed sojourns to the North Shore, Gary Peter, Senior Teaching Specialist in PsTL, reserves summer vacation to further his vocation as a creative writer.
It’s a practice he began while finishing his MFA in Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, prompted by the welcomed parental directive of his thesis advisor. Peter recalls her guidance: “Well, the next thing you have to do is go to a residency.” That summer he spent three weeks at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a place his former advisor still attends. Every year Peter seeks out at least one or two residencies a summer. “You apply. You hope you get in,” he states humbly.
In 2015, Peter secured two, highly coveted and prestigious appointments: One as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and the other, an invitation to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference hosted by the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. His summer goals were to complete a fifth draft of his novel about dairy farm life, and garner inspiration for a story partially set in Rome.
Exploring in Rome
During his residency, the open structure of the American Academy’s program granted Peter the freedom to explore his craft and Italy’s capital. “I would try to use the mornings for work, for writing,” says Peter, choosing the Academy’s sun-lit, wood-paneled library filled with architecture and art history volumes over his monastic private quarters. In the afternoons he toured the city. “I had the space to experience things. To take the risk of exploration, a kind of willingness to let yourself get lost.”
Peter met up with another visual artist at the Academy who guided him on tours of churches she came to Italy to visit. While trying to locate a particular church, a city resident walking his dog kindly offered directions, but also clued them into a lesser-known local treasure. “The church wasn’t in any guide books and wasn’t on Hilary’s extensive list. We just stumbled upon it,” Peter remembers. “It was very austere, with frescos you could tell were quite ancient. And, no one else was there, just us.” In the simplicity and solitude, the pair embraced a profound sense of peace amid the bustling, tourist-filled city outside. “We spent an hour there because we couldn’t tear ourselves away. It was just so beautiful.”
This unexpected delight triggered reflection for Peter. “In terms of my own writing, I’m always trying to manage it and control it,” he admits. “I still think of that church, and our chance of finding it.” His experience demonstrated the value of surprise in writing, and in life. “It’s kind of the same, letting go of the need to control things in your environment.”
Fully scheduled in Sewanee
In contrast to Rome, at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference time is earmarked sun up to sun down with craft lectures, workshops, readings and receptions. Picture an intellectually themed, adult summer camp for prize-winning and promising poets, fiction writers and playwrights. Instruction from the distinguished Conference faculty, along with editors and agents, encompasses the literary spectrum from idea development to publishing, and benefits writers with a cross-pollination of disciplines. “The playwright Paula Vogel gave the most amazing lecture on playwriting, but so much of it was relevant to writing in general,” Peter says. “She’s an incredibly dynamic person.”
At open readings, writers shared their work with attendees in the cheerful atmosphere of the campus pub. Despite being a bit unnerved by the prospect, Peter took the plunge. “I read a very short piece, and it went over really well. People came up to me afterwards and said, ‘I didn’t know you were so funny,’” says Peter.
At Sewanee, workshops were held every other day and off days were spent reading for the next. “There were fifteen people in my workshop and each person had their work read and critiqued by the entire class,” Peter recounts. The peer review was augmented by a one-on-one conference with the workshop faculty that Peter found highly useful, although a challenge to his novel draft deadline before classes start. “I came away from Sewanee thinking, ‘Boy, that was really good, but I still have a lot of work to do.’”
A personal choice
Peter’s commitment to summer residencies and writing retreats originates from his early experience and demanding teaching schedule during the academic year. He values the minimal distractions, space and support of regular meals, but he realizes the practice is not for everyone. “I have writer acquaintances and friends who do just fine writing from their kitchen table,” he says. “For some people it’s wonderful, and for others it’s very intimidating to not have structure. You need to be open to the time, but also have a sense of what you want to do with it.”
During the school year in his academic writing courses, Peter wants to encourage creativity but also be mindful of the expectations and conventions of research-focused writing. When opportunities for voice and reflection present themselves, Peter looks for moments when he can help students realize their abilities. “When I can say to someone, ‘You write with a great style.’ That’s always nice when that happens.”
Perhaps sharing the gift of recognition is exactly how the judges of the highly esteemed 2015 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction feel about Peter. His collection, Oranges, was shortlisted for this year’s honor.
Gary Peter, senior teaching specialist in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. His collection, Oranges, was selected as a finalist among nearly 400 submissions in the 2015 competition.
More than fifty short-story collections have appeared in the Flannery O’Connor Award series from the University of Georgia Press, which was established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership.
For further insight into the selection process, Karin Lin-Greenberg, 2013 Flannery O’Connor Award winner for Faulty Predictions, shares her perspective on judging manuscript submissions.
In addition to impressive recognition for the Flannery O’Connor Award, Oranges was named a finalist in the 2013 New Rivers Press Many Voices Project competition, and a semifinalist for the 2014 St. Lawrence Book Award.
“Where are you from?” “Where did you grow up?”
When Rashné Jehangir recalls questions she’s been asked throughout her adult life, her voice shifts. Her signature energetic cadence slows, and her passionate timbre softens to a reflective curiosity as she envisions the inquirer’s mindset.
Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Jehangir first encountered similar questions as a freshman in Wisconsin. Her early experiences in Lawrence University’s freshmen studies program shaped an interest in interdisciplinary learning, where student and faculty could be co-learners in the classroom.
Now an associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning (PsTL), Jehangir’s lived experience nurtures a deep appreciation for the students she teaches and also fuels her research focus.
“I have an understanding of what it means to be an outsider in different ways,” she says. “The idea of not quite fitting in, and having to figure that out—this is where I feel really connected with students.”
Jehangir is committed to cultivating classroom communities where students can grapple with and interrogate big questions and learn from the lived experiences of others. Students feel connected to her, as well.
“I credit Rashné for being my academic fairy godmother,” says former student Kafia Ahmed, “seeing something in me I couldn’t yet see in myself—a capable and dynamic young woman.”
“The class I took with Rashné was one of the most memorable because she focused on creating a community in the classroom, and fostered open discussions about difficult topics like race, colonialism, and structural oppression,” says former student Abigail Schanfield.
Creating moments of advocacy and agency is central to Jehangir’s teaching philosophy. Helping students—especially students who are first in their families to attend college—recognize the strengths they bring to the academy while reinforcing their aptitude for walking in multiple worlds is a driving force for her. This year, she became a recipient of the University’s highest teaching honor, the Morse-Alumni Teaching Award.
“Our job is to help them translate strengths—that’s where the deep, ‘heart work’ is involved,” says Jehangir. “There is head work, and there’s heart work—both intellectual and relational.”
From career counselor to the classroom
Teaching came to Jehangir through a chance opportunity. She began her career as a counselor advocate in the University’s TRIO program at a time when Bruce and Sharyn Schelske were creating learning communities for students in the program. Bruce invited her to teach a one-credit class, and the experience shifted the entire trajectory of her career and her life.
“Once I was in the classroom I thought, ‘This is what I’m supposed to do’,” Jehangir remembers.
Her class was linked to another taught by LeRoy Gardner, Jr., that explored multicultural relations and relationships, specifically race, class, and gender issues in the United States.
“The types of conversations, the types of reflections on identity of self and others we were able to have [in the classroom] was unbelievable,” she says. Realizing these were the conversations and questions she wanted to explore as a teacher and researcher, Jehangir began pursuing her Ph.D. while working full time in TRIO. Her dissertation work was built around creating learning communities with seasoned faculty members Patrick Bruch and Patricia James.
“We had different languages from a disciplinary perspective,” says Jehangir. But the three established powerful points of connection: Identity, community, and social agency were the three themes that bound their work. Through experimentation, their curriculum included capstones of theater performances and class-driven murals, some still on the walls of Burton Hall.
Those early learning communities served as a springboard to her leadership role in developing CEHD’s successful interdisciplinary First Year Experience Program.
“It was a really joyous, challenging, messy time,” she says, reflecting on the work in which she and her PsTL colleagues engaged to design the program. “I think that’s as it should be when there is space to be creative and innovative about pedagogy.”
The power of story
As a qualitative researcher, Jehangir’s well-known and highly regarded work examines the stories and experiences of first-generation students, many of whom are also immigrants and people of color. Their narratives unlock the potential for understanding and advocacy, and she is reverent in maintaining the authenticity of their voices.
“They are in essence giving you the power to tell their story in a way that can influence agency, whether it’s changing how people see first-generation students, or changing how counselors work with first-generation students, or changing policies that might exist.”
This commitment to untold stories forms the basis of Jehangir’s own first-year curriculum, where students read diverse narratives examined from historical, sociological, and literary frames. In one early assignment, she invites students to explore personal narratives through a biographical object, asking students to reflect on and publically share an object that represents their experiences and identities. She participates in the assignment, too—“If they’re going to do it, I’m going to do it,” she says, referring to a practice embedded in her teaching since her work with James and Bruch.
Jehangir’s biographical object is handwritten letters from her father, scripted in fountain pen on white paper. Received during her undergraduate years in Wisconsin, the letters forged a connection and bridged the geographical divide.
“My father was a great storyteller and he was really unconventional and funny and irreverent,” she says. “I had the kind of dialogue with him in letters that I probably would never have had if I had gone to college at home.
“He wrote letters like stories, so I could picture things at home that I missed,” she continues. “They carried my history with me, and they were tactile in that I could smell a little bit of home in them.”
Jehangir keeps the treasured letters within reach of her office chair, knowing they contain the grace, humor, and strength of her father, who passed away shortly before she graduated from Lawrence.
“The capacity to laugh at yourself, but also honor who you are and where you came from, all of that is in those letters,” she says.
As a teacher and researcher, Jehangir helps students honor who they are and where they came from, while avidly paving support for where they hope to go.
Through the design, assessment and refinement of CEHD’s highly regarded first-year-experience program, professor and chair of the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, Amy Lee, and research associate, Rhiannon Williams, began a collaboration that’s evolved into a dynamic partnership: one deeply committed to enhancing holistic student development by supporting academic professionals who are directly and indirectly serving undergraduate students.
Lee and Williams bring complementary strengths to their work. Williams values Lee’s innovation, leadership and feministic critical background, and Lee credits Williams’ assessment skills, intercultural perspective and openness as vital. “I don’t feel I could do what I’ve done without Rhiannon,” says Lee. “Especially considering how rooted our work has been in the first-year program, and the diversity of the students we serve. That’s what brought us into thinking about holistic curriculum and co-curriculum to propel student development.” Williams adds, “Amy’s really gotten me to think with a critical lens and how that looks in terms writing.”
Together, they’ve authored numerous articles and three books motivated by the data collected from assessment of the FYE program, applying different perspectives to intercultural collaborations and how these can be supported, developed, thought about across multiple disciplines and bodies of literature. “We’re really trying to be interlocutors, bridging discourse communities,” says Lee.
Their first book, Engaging Diversity In Undergraduate Classrooms: A Pedagogy For Developing Intercultural Competence (2012) co-authored with Robert Poch and Marta Shaw, moves past the FYE program, incorporating scholars and scholarship from across different fields, to present a macro lens on lessons learned from engaging diversity broadly in the classroom.
In their recently published, edited volume, Internationalizing Higher Education: Critical Collaborations Across The Curriculum (2015), Lee and Williams push beyond theoretical frameworks to offer faculty, administrators and advisors an exploration of intercultural learning through applications in a variety of contexts. “We felt there were few publications with examples of how internationalizing the curriculum was being enacted,” says Williams. “We wanted to show how institutions are supporting this work and how it looks in an actual classroom.” Contributing chapters from practioners across a wide spectrum of disciplines, geographies and institutions candidly examine different ways intercultural perspectives have been integrated into their programs, including the tensions and opportunities of internationalizing the curriculum in a holistic manner. “The higher education academy has such a premium on scholarly identity, but teaching is still under the radar,” says Lee. “We wanted to give our book a more useful, purposeful form.”
According to Lee, their third book is even bolder. Set for publication in 2016, Intercultural Pedagogy: Equity And Global Citizenship In Contemporary Classrooms, co-authored with Catherine Solheim and Adam Jagiello-Rusilowksi, continues to support practioners and get faculty thinking: How can we come together in this larger intercultural work? “We are trying to pull people together to collaborate and support the structures and spaces that are going to develop students’ intercultural skills so students are able to use them in the workplace and society,” says Williams.
In addition to blending theory with application, Lee and Williams are also interested in disseminating the voices of colleagues and students. “Students are a source of great expertise on their own experience and needs and they are not consulted in real ways in a lot of research, and the same is true with teachers,” remarks Lee. “We’re trying to value and enfranchise the wisdom of the people we’re trying to reach or support.”
Based in themes of inclusion and equity, their work refuses the common dichotomy of writing for teachers or scholars, writing for domestic or international audiences. For Lee and Williams, the student is at the center of a higher ed. institution for everyone, and their work reinforces this position. “Our work is always about the students,” says Lee. “But in order to support the students, you need to further the knowledge, understanding and capacity of the people to support their students’ development.”
Williams adds, “Whether you’re an administrator, faculty, advisor or whatever role you have, there are ways to collaborate and engage in intercultural work within your smaller space. It doesn’t need to come from the top down and it doesn’t have to look one way, it’s an ongoing process.”
PsTL’s Molly Rojas Collins, Rhiannon Williams, Jill Trites and graduate student Sumitra Ramachandran have received funding from the International Student Academic Services Fee to develop and facilitate a professional development cohort experience to support University faculty who are teaching international students in blended classrooms of international students and domestic students. From research conducted by PsTL faculty and a graduate student in the fall of 2014, faculty expressed a need for having the resources and training to support international students in their classrooms.
Through Intercultural Pedagogy Development Workshops and sustained engagement, faculty from across the University will be encouraged to look for changes they can make based on best practice research and principles of universal design for international students, share their struggles with each other, and receive support and practical strategic advice from experts. Faculty will be given pedagogical resources they can begin to integrate, test, and modify within their own classrooms. In addition, they will gain a greater awareness about various institutional supports for both international undergraduate students and faculty seeking to support international students’ learning and development.
The Intercultural Pedagogy Development cohort program will be open to all University faculty. The program will launch in Fall 2015. For more information, or if you are interested in participating, please contact Molly Rojas Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tania D. Mitchell, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, was selected to receive an AAUW American Fellowship for the 2015-16 fellowship and grant year. AAUW provides one of the world’s largest sources of funding for graduate women and the awards are highly competitive. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.
The oldest and largest of AAUW’s fellowships and grant programs, the American Fellowships program began in 1888, a time when women were discouraged from pursuing an education. Now one of the largest sources of funding for graduate education for women, AAUW has provided more than $90 million to upwards of 11,000 fellows and grantees since awarding its first fellowship to Ida Street, a pioneer in the field of early American Indian history. Previous recipients include Susan Sontag and Judith Resnick.
Amy Lee, professor and chair of the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, and research associate, Rhiannon D. Williams, are co-editors of the recently published volume, Internationalizing Higher Education: Critical Collaborations Across The Curriculum, available from Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Developed for current and future faculty, student affairs staff, and administrators from diverse disciplinary, institutional, and geographic contexts, this edited volume invites readers to investigate, better understand, and inform intercultural pedagogy that supports the development of mindful global citizenship. The book features reflective practitioners exploring the dynamic and evolving nature of intercultural learning as well as the tensions and complexities. Contributors include institutional researchers, directors and key implementers of EU/Bologna process in Poland (one of the newest members and one that is facing unprecedented change in the diversity of its students), international partners in learning abroad programs, and scholars and instructors across a range of humanities, STEM, and social sciences.
Lee and Williams also co-authored the chapter, “Designing Intercultural Interactions: Students’ Reflections on a Personal Narrative Assignment” in the edited volume titled: Education and Creativity (2014). The volume was edited by a Polish colleague, Elzbieta Osewska, and published by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland.
Bob Poch, senior fellow and director of graduate studies in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians in St. Louis, Missouri. Poch’s paper, “Strangers in the Land — Again: The Historical Connection of Interposition and Race before and during Arizona’s Immigration Battle,” argued that Arizona’s contemporary immigration strategy has strong historical connectivity with U.S. Civil War era tensions between state and federal authority and also nativist movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
In addition, Poch’s article, “Howard University Students and Civil Rights Activism, 1934-1944,” has been accepted for publication in the American Educational History Journal. The article will appear in Summer 2015.
Gary Peter, senior teaching specialist in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching & Learning, has been invited to be a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome (AAR) for a three-week residency this summer. The AAR provides opportunities for artists and scholars from around the world to work on creative and academic projects, engage with other artists and scholars, and participate in the vibrant cultural life of Rome.
Pani Kendeou, associate professor in psychological foundations of education with the Department of Educational Psychology, has been selected to receive the 2015 Advising and Mentoring – Most Promising Advisor Award by the Graduate Student Assembly (GAPSA). The award will be presented to her in a ceremony on May 7 at Coffman Memorial Union.
According to GAPSA, the Advising and Mentoring award acknowledges University of Minnesota advisors’ efforts to help and advise students. One of the youngest advisors to receive this award, Dr. Kendeou was nominated by her students for her commitment to their personal and professional success.
Kendeou joined the Department of Educational Psychology in 2013 from the Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus. She is associate editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology and serves on the editorial boards of Scientific Studies of Reading, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Learning and Instruction, Discourse Processes, and Reading Psychology. She is also a member of the European Association of Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Society for Text and Discourse (ST&D), the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), and the Psychonomic Society.