Category Archives: Educational & Organizational Leadership

Khalifa featured in Equity Spotlight Podcast discussing supporting Muslim students

khalifam-2015Muhammad Khalifa, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was interviewed in a podcast titled The Killing of Knowledge: A Brief History of Islam in the Western Society. The first in the three part series Centering Equity in Supporting Muslim Students.

Dr. Khalifa offers a critical historical analysis of the religious oppression of Muslim peoples. He surfaces how, with a greater understanding of historical oppression and religious persecution of Islam, educators can better understand and disrupt school practices that create unsafe learning environments for Muslim students. Further, Dr. Khalifa discusses how educators can use this information to reflect upon their own assumptions and biases about religious stereotyping and discrimination.

Vavrus and Demerath led sessions for PhD Days in Norway

Dr. Frances VavrusDemerathP-2007Frances Vavrus, professor, and Peter Demerath, associate professor, from the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), participated in PhD Days on September 12-13th at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Oslo, Norway.  The two-day event, organized by the Faculty of Education and International Studies, included seminars for PhD advisors and sessions for PhD students on a range of issues relevant to doctoral education.

Dr. Demerath led a session for advisors on the internationalization of teacher education and a workshop for students on qualitative data analysis.  Dr. Vavrus’ session for advisors addressed academic writing and identity formation, and her workshop for students dealt with the intersection of epistemology, methodology, and methods in the design of a dissertation.

Weerts writes article regarding state-university relationships in AAUP Academe

weertsd-2014David Weerts, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and the Faculty Director of the jCENTER for Innovative Higher Education, has written an article regarding state-university relationships titled Covenant, Contract, and the Politics of the Wisconsin Idea included in the American Association of University Professors’ publication Academe.

“Political, demographic, and economic influences have fundamentally changed the state-university relationship since the “golden age” of higher education in the 1960s: a large segment of the public today views higher education primarily as a private good instead of a public good, and competing state priorities such as health care and corrections crowd out financial support for higher education.”

Dr. Weerts also has a post in the Academe blog titled Pursuing Virtue in State-University Relations.

DeJaeghere and Glewwe led RISE workshop in Vietnam

1DeJaeghereJoan-2013GlewweJoan DeJaeghere, Co-PI and associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), along with Paul Glewwe, PI and professor in the Department of Applied Economics, and other Vietnamese and international researchers led a workshop on the new Research for the Improvement of Education Systems (RISE) in Hanoi, Vietnam in August. The RISE program was discussed in the national newspaper, Dan Tri.

Read more about RISE, a 6-year, $5.2 million research project about children’s learning throughout the world.

DeJaeghere presents paper at youth and gender conference at University of Oxford

DeJaeghereJoan-2013Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), presented a paper co-authored with Aditi Arur (OLPD-CIDE alum) titled, Girls’ education and early marriage in Rajasthan, India:  A longitudinal capability approach, at the Young Lives Adolescents, Youth and Gender conference held at Oxford September. 8-9th. The paper is based on qualitative research that Dr. DeJaeghere leads as part of a 3-year research study funded by the Department of Labor to a research team at Williams College.

Goh provided testimony to MN Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health

Goh-Michael-2011Michael Goh, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), provided testimony on August 15 to the Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health regarding issues of access barriers and challenges and culturally competent clinical services for ethnically diverse, new immigrant, and refugee populations.

Vavrus presented at World Congress of Comparative Education Societies

Dr. Frances VavrusFrances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), attended the World Congress of Comparative Education Societies in Beijing in August and presented a paper entitled Critical Historical Geography of Educational Inequality. There were also three OLPD alumni who presented their research at the conference: Drs. Taro Komatsu, Xinyi Wu, and Ya Liu.

Goh invited speaker at APLU-CADE Summer Meeting

Goh-Michael-2011Michael Goh, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD),  was an invited speaker at the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (APLU-CADE) Summer Meeting in New York City. The title of his presentation on July 29 was Inclusive Excellence and Institutional Transformation.

 

 

Chapman was guest-leader for education staff in World Bank office in Bangladesh

ChapmanDavid-2013David Chapman, professor in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD),  was the guest-leader for a workshop on strategies for improving education quality in Bangladesh for the education staff in the World Bank office in Bangladesh. He also presented a paper at the Bulgaria Comparative Education Society in Sofia, Bulgaria. The paper was based on his Fulbright research in Malaysia on the response of university faculty to the intensifying pressure for research and publication in Malaysian universities.

Rodriguez talks with MPR, Pioneer Press about state math, reading scores

Michael Rodriguez head shot
Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez, Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development and professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s Quantitative Methods in Education program was recently interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and quoted in the Pioneer Press on the 2016 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). Students’ performance on these statewide tests— which measure progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards in reading and math— remained largely unchanged over last year. More specifically, Black, Hispanic, and Native American students’ test scores continued to be roughly one-third that of their white counterparts.

Dr. Rodriguez told the Pioneer Press, although the state has made smart policy decisions to try to close achievement gaps, the MCA results don’t reflect that. “We haven’t seen it in the outcomes, and that’s really frustrating,” he said. “This is not just the Minnesota story. We see this nationally.”

“It’s really unfortunate that we expect so much from this single event test score,” Rodriguez said in his interview with MPR. “It’s telling us there’s not much movement. But I’m not convinced that single measure is going to be sensitive enough to pick of the kinds of movements that are occurring.”

When asked (by the Pioneer Press) what schools can do to improve outcomes for low-performing student groups, Dr. Rodriguez suggested communities be brought into the schools, making the instruction more culturally relevant to the students and demonstrating that education leads to greater opportunities.

Read the Pioneer Press article.

Listen to the MPR interview.

Dr. Christ to keynote MDE Back to School Conference

Theodore J. Christ headshot
Dr. Theodore J. Christ

Theodore J. Christ, director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) and professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s school psychology program, will give a keynote speech at this year’s Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Back to School Conference.

Dr. Christ’s talk will focus on the importance of using research, assessment, and evaluation to guide decision-making and educational practice. During the speech, Dr. Christ will discuss ideas on how evaluation data may be used for system improvement to accelerate student outcomes. Finally, he will share the results of a recent statewide needs assessment in the areas of research, evaluation, and assessment with an opportunity to provide input on ways to respond to statewide needs.

The MDE Back to School Conference hosts education leaders and takes place August 9 -10 at the Minneapolis Marriot Northwest. This year’s theme is Minnesota’s commitment to the drivers of effective education leadership.

Theodore J. Christ’s leadership supports CAREI’s mission of improving the quality of education for all learners, and thereby society as a whole, through four service offerings: 1) evaluation, 2) research, 3) assessment, and 4) innovation and outreach. As applied researchers and evaluators, CAREI strives to have an immediate impact on communities, listening to and working with clients and partners to understand their experiences. CAREI seeks to impact 80% of Minnesota students within five years.

New project to improve learning on a large scale launches research in Vietnam

Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) — a new initiative aimed at conducting high-quality research to build evidence to enhance children’s learning throughout the world — announced today that it will begin work in Vietnam. University of  Minnesota and CEHD researchers are leading this effort.

The £4.2 million, six-year undertaking will seek to understand how Vietnam “got it right” in creating an education system that has led its students to achieve learning levels exceeding those of their peers in far wealthier nations.

The project in Vietnam is one of four research endeavors being launched in countries throughout the world  to shed light on ways to address a global learning crisis. Countries around the world have been remarkably successful in making progress toward universal primary (elementary) schooling, but in many places, learning levels are poor, or have declined. As a result, even when children finish many years of schooling, they still lack basic math and literacy skills. The RISE agenda emphasizes the need to make changes that can provide children with the education they need to be successful adults in their local, national, and global communities.

Research about the experiences of Vietnam offers the potential to inform policies that can help other countries enhance students’ education.

Vietnam’s achievements in elementary and secondary education over the last two decades are extraordinary. Out of 65 countries, Vietnam ranked 17th in math and 19th in reading — surpassing both the United States and the United Kingdom — in the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the worldwide scholastic performance measure of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Vietnam’s primary school completion rate is 97 percent, and its lower secondary enrollment rate is 92 percent.

Glewwe
Paul Glewwe

“Vietnam’s success raises key questions about how it reached such levels of learning, and whether its achievements can provide insights that help other nations,” said Paul Glewwe, one of the research team’s principal investigators (PIs). He has been engaged in research in Vietnam for 25 years and is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. “The project is very ambitious in scope, and it takes advantage of an incredible success story in education in developing countries.”

1aaDeJaeghereJoan-2013
Joan DeJaeghere

Co-PI Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in CEHD’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, is part of a team of nine experts from institutions within and outside of Vietnam that will undertake a systematic evaluation of Vietnam’s education system by analyzing the status and impacts of past, current, and upcoming educational reforms. The aim is to understand how policy levers made Vietnam’s exceptional achievements possible, and whether and how new reforms are able to build on its achievements.  DeJaeghere is a Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright Specialist to Vietnam, having worked on education projects there for over 10 years.

RISE is managed and implemented through a partnership based in Oxford, UK, between leading international development consultancy Oxford Policy Management and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. Research is led by the Center for Global Development, a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Read more on the RISE website.

PsyF student awarded the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle award

Kelsey-WillPsychological foundations student, Kelsey Will, has been awarded the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle Award (WPLC) for graduate students.

The WPLC award is for women graduate students to recognize their achievements and successes in their field of interest. The criteria for the award includes academic achievements, community involvement, leadership, and passion for the academic and professional career of choice.

Kelsey worked as a literacy tutor through the YMCA and St. Paul Public Libraries during her undergraduate career. She credits those experiences to what sparked her interest in supporting students’ learning and development related to reading. During the past couple of years, Kelsey has worked with preschool and elementary-age children who have been diagnosed with autism, which has furthered Kelsey’s interests in reading and comprehension skills in children.

As Kelsey explores career paths, she is interested in supporting children in reading and comprehension skills. She would like to not only support children at an individual level, but would also like to offer resources to teachers to understand the best methods to support students in the classrooms.  As a result in receiving this award, Kelsey will be able to present her research at the 26th Annual Meeting of the Society of Text and Discourse in Kassel, Germany in July 2016.

In memoriam: Art Harkins

HarkinsA-2004Arthur Harkins, professor emeritus in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development in the CIDE program, passed away on Wednesday. He was an associate professor and retired from OLPD in 2014.

Art came to the University in 1967 with a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, and he was one of the first three Coordinators in the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). He had also been a faculty member in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education (SPFE) and in the Master of Liberal Studies program.

Art was particularly interested in the relationship among three things: technology, education, and the workforce. During his career, he co-authored or co-edited five books, including Cultures of the Future and StoryTech: A Personalized Guide to the 21st Century. One of the projects in which he was most involved was StoryTech, a controlled imagination process he invented while studying the Shinto religion. The technique involves story telling using alterable variables. He was also deeply involved in a cross-college certificate in innovation studies, one of the first of its kind in the nation.  It was aimed at helping the University prepare “innovation workers.” Art also co-developed Leapfrog Institutes, an OLPD and CEHD program that worked to promote pilot projects and policy development focused on non-formal education, innovation, and the use of advanced hand-held learning devices.

Art taught both undergraduates and graduate students in OLPD in courses on knowledge systems, cultural models and simulations, and innovative systems thinking. In 2000, he received the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Continuing Education.

For those of us who knew Art, he was truly an innovative thinker and will be sorely missed.

~ Frances Vavrus, OLPD Interim Department Chair

Service Details

Friday, May 20, 2016
Visitation 11am-1pm
Service   1pm

Kozlak-Radulovich Maple Grove Chapel
13745 Reimer Drive
Maple Grove, MN
55311, US
Phone: (763) 416-0016

DeJaeghere and Arur complete interviews in India for research on life skills training for girls

DeJaeghereJoan-2013Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) worked with Aditi Arur (CIDE alumnus) to complete baseline interviews with 60 young girls and their parents, who participate in a life skills program that Room to Read implements in Ajmer, Rajasthan. The baseline qualitative data is part of a 3-year study with colleagues, Jessica Leight (Williams College) and Eric Edmonds (Dartmouth) and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), India, funded by the Department of Labor. The research seeks to answer the question of whether life skills training and mentoring by older female role models, denoted “social mobilizers,” can affect girls progress through and completion of secondary school, lower their rates of participation in child labor, and enhance their non-cognitive skills.

CSPP student awarded the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle award

Abigail-BuuckCounseling and student personnel psychology student, Abigail Buuck, has been awarded the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC) award for graduate students.

The WPLC award is for women graduate students to recognize their achievements and successes in their field of interest. The criteria for the award includes academic achievements, community involvement, leadership, and passion for the academic and professional career of choice.


Abigail’s career aspirations are to become employed as an urban high school counselor in the Twin Cities. She is passionate about equity and closing the achievement gap in education. Abigail’s previous community engagement included volunteering abroad in England, selected as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at a middle school in Minneapolis, and offering her time as a mentor for tutoring programs in college.

Johnson receives WPLC Rising Star Faculty Award

LeAnne Johnson head shot
Dr. LeAnne Johnson

LeAnne Johnson, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s special education program, recently was awarded the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC) “Rising Star Faculty Award.”

Dr. Johnson was nominated by her colleague, professor and special education program coordinator, Kristen McMaster. In her nomination letter, Dr. McMaster recognized Dr. Johnson for her work to “improve the quality of service delivery to children at risk of long-term behavioral problems – which can have tremendous social, emotional, and academic consequences.” According to Dr. McMaster, Dr. Johnson’s work “seamlessly links research and practice to ensure that critical knowledge is translated successfully into action.”

The WPLC Rising Star Faculty Award recognizes a pre-tenure women faculty member in the College of Education and Human Development who has demonstrated leadership and creativity in an academic area as shown by research, teaching, and service. The recipient receives a $1,000 award for professional development.

Magnusson gives keynote for Sultanate of Oman school principals

Magnusson-OMAN2016Deanne Magnusson, lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), gave the keynote address Re-Imagining School Leadership in an Era of Globalization and Glocalization at a conference for Sultanate of Oman school principals. The conference, held April 25-26 in Muscat, Oman, was sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Education as a leadership development initiative and as a  celebration of high achieving  Omani schools and students.

Photo: Magnusson (right) with an Oman principal and student. The principal’s school was presented with a High Performing School Achievement Award at the conference banquet, and the student is the highest performing student in the 4th grade class.

Rodriguez, Sweitzer partner on MinnPost op-ed addressing educational equity in Minnesota

Michael Rodriguez head shot
Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez, Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s Quantitative Methods in Education program and co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center, and Julie Sweitzer, director of the College Readiness Consortium and co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center, recently wrote a commentary featured in MinnPost,Educational Equity is Minnesota’s most important challenge.”

Julie Sweitzer headshot
Julie Sweitzer

In the article, Rodriguez and Sweitzer argue that if we fail to replace the state’s aging “baby boomer” workforce by helping our increasingly diverse student body graduate, “the state economic forecast is grim.”

The co-directors told MinnPost readers that there is no one way to bring about educational equity.  The key, they say, is to “focus on what works for whom, in what context and conditions, and develop a culture of continuous improvement that adjusts and tailors effective practices to each setting.”

Rodriguez and Sweitzer invited community members from across the state to be part of the solution by attending the first Educational Equity in Action convening hosted by the University of Minnesota.

Read the full article.

Register for Educational Equity in Action.

Chapman facilitator in 2016 Global Higher Education Forum in Malaysia

ChapmanDavid-2013David Chapman, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was a guest of the Malaysia Higher Education Research Institute  (IPPTN) to serve as a facilitator in the Global Higher Education Forum 2016 sponsored by IPPTN in Penang, Malaysia.