Category Archives: Uncategorized

C&I’s Vichet Chhuon writes in the Star Tribune on the importance of teacher diversity in MN

Vichet Chhuon, C&I associate professor the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, wrote about the crucial need for more teachers of color and native american descent in Minnesota classrooms in an op ed in the Star Tribune, “Counterpoint: Teachers of color and American Indian descent in Minnesota are crucial.”

Chhuon underscores the reasons that  a diverse teaching force is imperative for students. “Minnesota has had some of the worst academic and opportunity gaps in the nation,” he notes. “Developing trusting and affirming relationships with diverse students and families is crucial to closing equity gaps.”

Chuuon believes that the Minnesota teaching force should reflect the population of its students and its inhabitants. He argues that research has shown that students of all races benefit from being taught by diverse teachers. In addition to simply seeing diversity of adults in professional roles, all students will receive exposure to diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Read the full article in the Star Tribune.

Billington collaborates on NSF-funded grant to create interactive science education games

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.

Find out more about the science education programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

 

Inaugural C&I Emerging Scholars Conference highlights student research

Keynote speaker, Maria Asp of the Children’s Theatre Company, presents at the C&I Emerging Scholars Conference

On April 7, the first annual C&I Emerging Scholars Conference was held in Peik Hall to recognize undergraduate and graduate students engaged in projects and research. Organized by the C&I Graduate Student Association (CIGSA) this conference (formerly named C&I Research Day) was reimagined this year in a conference format to highlight the research scholarship of students. The theme for the conference was “examine everything” based on a call to action from our Department Head, Dr. Cynthia Lewis in the Fall to “denounce supremacy, confront hatred, and build socially just classrooms and communities”.

The event kicked off with a keynote from Maria Asp of the Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges Program. Asp led the group through a critical literacy activity that allowed participants to examine a story from different perspective. After the keynote over 60 C&I students presented their work through paper, roundtable, and poster presentations. The day culminated with an ice cream social in the C&I Children’s Literature Library.

Special thanks to the organizers, Tracy Leitl, Sara Sterner, Lana Peterson, Dan Bordwell, Jeanna Wieselmann, Jeff Henning-Smith, and Ryan Oto, who serve as CIGSA leadership. To see highlights from the event search#ciesc17 on twitter.

C&I students are encouraged to get involved by serving on the planning committee for next year by emailing cigsa@umn.edu.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors Megan Gunnar

Megan Gunnar

Megan Gunnar, director of the Institute of Child Development in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), has been elected to the 2017 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is one of three University of Minnesota professors and 228 national and international scholars, artists, philanthropists, and business leaders elected this year.

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.

LaVoi and colleagues publish chapter in Sex Integration in Sport and Physical Culture

Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., and colleagues Janet S. Fink (U Mass Amherst) and Kristine E. Newhall (Smith College) have published a chapter entitled “Challenging the Gender Binary? Male Basketball Practice Players’ Views of Female Athletes and Women’s Sports” in the edited book, Sex Integration in Sport and Physical Culture: Promises and Pitfalls, (Alex Channon, Katherine Dashper, Thomas Fletcher, and Robert J. Lake, editors) from Routledge.

 

 

C&I graduate, Jennifer Eik, receives 2017 Rising Alumni award

Jennifer Eik (left) and her collaborator, Jenna Cushing-Leubner.

Jennifer Eik, a graduate from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Second Language Education was selected for the prestigious Rising Alumni Award for 2017. The award is presented by the CEHD Alumni Society to a CEHD alum who has achieved early distinction in their career (15 years or less since graduation), demonstrated outstanding leadership or shown exceptional volunteer services in their community.

Eik is a Spanish teacher at Roosevelt High School where she has pioneered a new curriculum teaching Spanish as a heritage language, along with Ph.D. candidate in Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Jenna Cushing-Leubner. Their work has been profiled in the MinnPost and has made a huge impact for students who speak Spanish at home or come from Spanish-speaking households. Eik’s Spanish Heritage curriculum spends the first year teaching students Spanish with a different historical perspective — one that delves into Latino ancestry, culture, and historical figures – and identity exploration.

“Students of color are yearning for curriculum that they can connect to,” Eik says, noting that it helps students to think of themselves in a more positive light when they hear stories of historical accomplishment and contribution from their communities and ancestry.

Cushing-Leubner believes that Eik’s contribution to the field of teaching Spanish as a heritage language, for both pre-service and practicing teachers, is “remarkable and certainly deserving of recognition. I’m sure Minneapolis Public Schools and Roosevelt High School are very proud of the tireless efforts and powerful impacts that she, her students, and her teacher candidates/mentees are making in the area of justice-oriented language education.”

Learn more about the teacher education programs in the area of Second Language Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

 

KSTP cites Tucker Center’s LaVoi on hockey boycott

Tucker Center co-director and Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., is quoted in a recent piece from KSTP, “Former Gopher Speaks Out on U.S. Women’s Hockey Team’s New Agreement,” saying “What this boycott was about was getting the resources that [female hockey players] deserved.”

KARE11 video interview with Tucker Center’s Nicole LaVoi on USA Hockey boycott

Tucker Center co-director and Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., was interviewed in a KARE-11 video piece, “The Team USA Women’s Hockey boycott is winning for a few reasons” in which Dr. LaVoi spoke to the various reasons the boycott has been successful.

New York Times quotes Tucker Center’s Mary Jo Kane on women’s hockey deal

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in a New York Times article, “U.S. Women’s Team Strikes a Deal With U.S.A. Hockey,” noting the deal to be “an iconic moment in women’s sports.”

LaVoi is guest speaker at Haverford Group’s spring meeting

Tucker Center co-director and Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., was a guest speaker at this year’s Haverford Group spring meeting held March 25-27 at Macalester College in St. Paul.

LaVoi spoke on the topic, “Women in Coaching and Team Culture.”

The Haverford Group was created in the mid-1980s to bring together an influential group of academic institutions concerned with the positive influence, thinking and direction of NCAA Division III athletics. Members include Amherst College, Austin College, Bridgewater College, Bryn Mawr College, Centre College, Clark University, DePauw University, Grinnell College, Haverford College, Lewis & Clark College, Macalester College, Occidental College, Pomona-Pitzer College, Skidmore College, Smith College, Swarthmore College, Washington & Lee University, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, Whitman College and The College of Wooster.

 

 

 

M.S.W. graduate named 2017 Bush Fellow

Brenda Hartman (M.S.W. ’89), a St. Paul therapist who provides counseling to adolescents, adults, and couples, was named a 2017 Bush Fellow this week.

She and 23 other people were selected from nearly 650 applications for the fellowships. Applicants described their leadership vision and how a Bush Fellowship would both help them achieve their goals and make their community better. Each Fellow will receive up to $100,000 to pursue the education and experiences they believe will help them become more effective leaders.

With her Bush Fellowship, Hartman will study end-of-life practices from different cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions, and grow her leadership skills through coursework and consultation.

She has lived nearly three decades longer than expected after receiving a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Over those years, she has devoted herself to addressing the social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the cancer experience. She sees a strong need to promote a cultural shift in society’s response to death. She wants to introduce a narrative that counters fear and denial with a view of death as a healing process. She seeks new ways to incorporate end-of-life planning into training for healthcare professionals.

More information about Hartman and her therapy practice. (link this line to http://www.healingthroughlife.com/index.php

More information on the Bush Fellowship.  (link to https://www.bushfoundation.org/fellowships/bush-fellowship)

 

CEHD’s top rankings reflect innovative programs, district partnerships

The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) is ranked 12th among public professional schools of education, 21st among all schools, in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report rankings of graduate schools. CEHD maintains a #8 ranking in special education and moves up to #9 in educational psychology. CEHD’s developmental psychology program (Institute of Child Development) is #1 in the country.

CEHD is a world leader in developing innovative programs to address opportunity gaps in child development, teaching, and learning. Consider its outstanding partnership programs with school districts in Minnesota that apply evidence-based teaching methodologies to strengthen schools. Note also the impact of recent groundbreaking research on autism, which has uncovered new patterns of brain development in infants. CEHD’s productivity last year included $44.3 million of externally funded research.

“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.”

Learn more about CEHD’s top-rated master’s and doctoral programs.

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.

Abdi’s research finds critical link between public school and immigrant student experience

“Public schools are the de facto experience for immigrant children to be part of this country, both to learn about and participate in the nation,” says Nimo Abdi, a faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, noting that public schools are the first place where immigrant children contact mainstream culture and learn ways to integrate.

Abdi’s research focuses on the intersectionality, or interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, as they apply to the immigrant student. She is interested in how context shapes the identities of students. And what she has found is that the impact of schooling cannot but understated for students that are new to this country.

Preconceptions Hurt Immigrant Students

Abdi is studying the Somali community in Columbus, Ohio which is very similar to the one here in the Twin Cities. She sees Somali students face the obstacle of preconceived notions based on their background in the Columbus public schools. “Teachers and school administrators and students have certain concepts of what it means to be a Somali,” Abdi says.

As a science teacher in Columbus, Abdi noticed that students were treated differently based on their appearance. Russian immigrant students were mainstreamed into regular classes even if they needed the help of an ESL class. However, second-generation Somali students were still being placed in ESL classes even if they were proficient.

“Those things tend to mark and label students in a certain way—being visible, being black and Muslim, and also being Somali,” Abdi finds in her experience and research.

Caught Between Two Cultures

Somalis students deal with the dual pressure of having to fit into their schools and into their home communities by changing their identities in different contexts. “In urban settings, some Somali students appropriate hip-hop culture to be part of the black youth culture,” says Abdi, noting that they are not necessarily accepted completely not do they see themselves as such.

“One boy told me that sometimes he identified as Somali, sometimes as African-American. It all depends on the context. “

Trying to fit into the school and home community is especially difficult for girls. “Girls come to school completely covered, and in literally less than ten minutes they take everything off and look completely different,” Abdi says that “the tricky thing about the whole notion of dress code is it could have completely different meanings in different settings. Covering is appreciated in the Somali context as a show of modesty but it has the opposite effect in mainstream culture. It’s a very difficult for young children to navigate that.”

Creating Spaces for Immigrant Students

In order to help immigrant students thrive in the educational system, Abdi believes that schools need to create spaces for all children, by educating students about different religions and offering options for students who don’t conform to the majority religion. She believes that a culturally responsive pedagogy could go a long way towards helping to integrate immigrant children and their communities.

“Social categories have real-life consequences in people’s lives. Being labelled in a certain way, has real meaning for children and how they see themselves,” Abdi reveals the main finding of her research: “The context of our education shapes who we are and how we see the world.”

Find about more about teacher education programs designed to support immigrant students in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

Rec Admin students develop report for Three Rivers Park District on barriers to underrepresented groups

Sara Hansen and Tyler Tegtmeier, both Recreation Administration students in the School of Kinesiology, have developed a report for the Three Rivers Park District to research recreation opportunities for underrepresented populations in the district’s public parks. The 27-page report of their findings provides recommendations to reduce barriers to parks and recreation facilities by underrepresented groups. The report was presented to the organizations involved in the study for their consideration and determination of next steps.

Hansen and Tegtmeier proceeded with the report under the guidance of Recreation Administration Director Connie Magnuson, Ph.D., along with Alex McKinney, Recreation Supervisor at Three Rivers Park District.

Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women quotes Tucker Center’s Mary Jo Kane

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in the Women’s Sports & the Media and Legislative Update Newsletter from the Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women. In an analysis of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s sports section’s percentage of men’s  vs. women’s article, Kane’s comments help interpret the data regarding media coverage.

Wiese-Bjornstal will present at Florida State University’s SPEAR conference

Wiese-BjornstalD-2015On February 9, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab,  will be the keynote speaker at  Florida State University’s Sport Professionals’ Experience and Research (SPEAR) conference hosted by the student-led graduate organization, Sport Psychology Organization & Research Team (SPORT). Dr. Wiese-Bjornstal will be giving two invited lectures about evidence-based research and evidence-based practice in sports medicine psychology.

Cuevas wins EMERGE Villages Catalyst Award

Cuevas photoFaustina Cuevas, senior academic adviser in CEHD Student Services, was awarded the EMERGE Villages Catalyst Award.  EMERGE is a Twin Cities community development agency that works to help people access jobs, financial coaching, supportive housing, and other key services. This award recognizes Cuevas for her time investment and contributions as a mentor to formerly homeless families, an ability to work with families to support stabilization and overcoming barriers, and whose positive effort supports the infrastructure in Emerge Villages.

Students spend winter break in Jamaica, Singapore, and Kenya

Students earned credit over winter break for learning experiences in three locations far from the snow.

In Jamaica, ten students studied colonization, slavery, black identity, and education. They heard lectures by local faculty and served at Blessed Assurance, a home for severely disabled youth, and Alpha Boys School, a vocational and life-skills school for young black men. They also got to celebrate an indigenous people’s emancipation day in the historical Maroon village of Accompong. The course was led by Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) associate professors Muhammad Khalifa and Na’im Madyun.

In Singapore, nine students learned about cultural intelligence with OLPD professor Michael Goh. To experience the rich diversity of Goh’s former home, they interacted with vendors in local markets, visited places of worship, met with eighth-graders at a first-day-of-school assembly, conversed with Singapore’s “invisible” population of migrant construction workers, and observed the consequences of an oil spill on a marine nature preserve. They were also able to visit a youth-led environmental club in nearby Malaysia.

In Kenya, ten undergraduates and assistant professor of kinesiology Daheia Barr-Anderson attended a global seminar focusing on girls’ empowerment in sports and athletics. They enjoyed homestays and traveled to urban and rural locations to learn how physical activity impacts Kenyan youth, especially girls. In Nairobi, they spent time with organizations that teach sports and life skills to youth in need. In the city of Iten—home to many high-altitude training camps—they heard the personal stories of athletes and participated in a training session with an Olympian.

Returning home, Barr-Anderson’s students collected donations to support one of the Kenyan organizations they visited. The response was overwhelming—465 items, from youth cleats to sports bras, that filled 18 boxes, enough to distribute to three more organizations!

“Well done, students!” said Barr-Anderson. “Our lives were made better because of the hospitality and courtesy the Kenyan people showed us.”

Read more about students’ experiences in Kenya on their travel blog.

Health, sport and recreation career fair to be held Feb. 8

Career fair photoThe CEHD Health, Sport and Recreation Career Fair  on Feb. 8 at the U’s Recreation and Wellness Center is specifically designed for Kinesiology, Sport Management and Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies students looking for internships, full-time positions and graduate program information. Fifteen organizations from diverse areas such as Allina Health, U of M Athletics, and the YMCA and YWCA, will be there to recruit and share information about their organization. Visit GoldPASS to see all of the employers who will be attending. No registration is required.