Category Archives: Uncategorized

Aspiring English teacher and first-generation American Quynh Van wants to reshape the discussion on race in the classroom

Quynh-Huong Nguyen Van is a senior majoring in English enrolled in the DirecTrack to Teaching program. She shares her hopes of shaping the conversation about race in America with students, becoming an English teacher, and how being a first-generation American will help her as a teacher.

What do you hope to accomplish as a teacher?

I want to be a teacher because it’s more than teaching a subject you are passionate about, but also about creating a safe space for students to be themselves and to grow intellectually. I also believe racism is a serious issue in America today and want to play my small part in helping to reshape the way we view race by incorporating discussions about racism and society into my classroom. I cannot think of a better setting to facilitate this than English classrooms; especially since many literary works can be used as a vehicle to help students see truth through fiction and to help students build empathy for other people by getting to know characters and authors.

What strengths do you think you will bring to the classroom? 

I believe one of my greatest assets as a future educator is my Vietnamese-American background. I feel my first-generation immigrant experiences have given me unique perspectives that will allow me to be a more empathetic and inclusive teacher

What has been your experience with the DirecTrack faculty?

My experience with my DirecTrack advisors over the last three years has been absolutely phenomenal. They have always been understanding and supportive of not only my academic work, but also my personal endeavors. My DirecTrack advisors have proven to be some of the strongest faculty relationships I have cultivated at the University.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I imagine myself in a classroom, more adept at my job than my first year of teaching, and hopefully being an advisor for a school club like speech or directing the school play.

What’s been your favorite course so far?

My favorite course has been ENGL3601: Analysis of the English Language, an intro-level linguistics course focusing on the English language. It is a course that is required for my major as well as a prerequisite for the Master’s in Education and Initial Teaching license in English program. I initially only took the class because it was required, but it quickly became my one of my favorites. The class felt like I was applying chemistry or math to the study of the English language; I found the class to be a breath of fresh air!

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

Through DirecTrack, I have been able to have many meaningful service-learning experiences, make great friends who are as dedicated about teaching as I am, and have found a community I feel I belong in.

Learn more about the DirecTrack to Teaching program and the M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quotes Kane on collegiate athletic directors

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, “Female athletic directors at Pitt and Penn State stand out in a field still dominated by men,” commenting on the potential for women candidates for AD positions within a power differential that works against their being hired.

Elementary education majors work hands-on with students in Montpellier, France

Students interested in teaching have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a teaching practicum in Montpellier, France through the  Learning Abroad Center. Participants can meet their major requirements for  the Elementary Education Foundations  program while learning and teaching in the vibrant city of Montepellier, which is known for its beautiful architecture and atmosphere of political tolerance.

Engaging in a teaching practicum in France presents a wonderful opportunity for elementary education majors to flex their teaching muscles in a classroom with students of different cultural backgrounds. During this one-semester study abroad program, participants plan lessons alongside local teachers in Montpellier that explore effective ways of teaching English to students who do not speak the language.

Cynthia Zwicky, a lecturer in the   Elementary Education program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, recently returned from Montpellier, where she observed students working in their classrooms. “They teach in classrooms that are representative of a large immigrant population in Montpellier and learn many skills that are transferable and applicable to multicultural elementary classrooms in the United States,” she explains.

This program offers not only the opportunity to interact with students of many cultures and backgrounds, but for university students to learn for themselves what it’s like to be a new language learner.

“There is no substitute for living an experience that many of these aspiring teachers’ future students will be experiencing here in the United States,” Zwicky says. That cross-cultural understanding students can be carried with them back into their teaching practice in their classrooms.

Find out more about the  Teaching Practicum in France at the Learning Abroad Center.

Learn more about the B.S. in Elementary Education Foundations program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Aaron Doering gives keynote speech at #EdCrunch 2017 in Moscow

Professor Aaron Doering of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction recently gave the keynote to over 3,500 participants for #EdCrunch 2017 in Moscow, Russia.  Doering’s keynote, “Higher Education: Tomorrow Is Already Here,” addressed his principles aimed at transforming learning communities and improving student interaction with online learning materials.

#EdCrunch is one of the largest European conferences in the area of new educational technologies in secondary, higher and professional education. This year’s conference highlighted personalization in education technology, technological capabilities in classrooms, and teacher competency and ability to embrace change.

Doering is the Co-director of the University of Minnesota’s Learning Technologies Media Lab, and a professor in the Learning Technologies program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Find out more about the Learning Technologies degree programs  and educational technology research in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

International student and online learning researcher: Ph.D. candidate Fan Ouyang

Fan Ouyang, a Ph.D. candidate in the Learning Technologies program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, talks about the unique challenges of studying in a foreign country, her research in online and blended learning, and deep commitment to education. 

What drove you to enroll in the Learning Technologies Ph.D. program? 

I have a background in computer sciences and software theories. After graduation, I taught college-level courses for six years in my native China. I thought an intersection of education and computer technology would be a good fit for my professional interests, so I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies. I’ll complete in February, 2018.

You are originally from China. How has your experience been studying in a foreign country?

It is a worthy experience, full of challenge, anxiety, hope, and joy. I came to the U.S. at a relatively mature age to purse my doctoral degree. I believe that helped because it was an age that I started to really want to know myself at a deep level, without self-judgment. Putting all the emotions aside, I believe it is the persistency of hard work that helps me not only overcome all language and research barriers to complete my degree, but more importantly, it helps me to become more open-minded, reflective, and calm in all life situations. I believe I come to the end of my Ph.D. journey as a better person.

What is your current research focus?

My research interests lie at the intersection of online and blended learning, pedagogy development, and learning analytics. Specifically, my current research focuses on three interrelated strands:

  • the research of computer-supported, network-based collaborative learning
  • the design of online and blended learning and development of relevant pedagogies
  • the application of computational methods and analytical techniques to understanding learning and instruction.

I want to better understand how students learn in online and blended learning contexts to help educators and practitioners better use this knowledge. I also hope to design innovative instructional tools to foster learner engagements.

How is the field of online teaching changing? Do you think it could replace face-to-face teaching?

At the early stage of online education, instructors tended to utilize traditional instructor-centered methods. Now, online teaching is changing to be more democratic, where instructors play a more symmetrical, participatory role with students. Students transform from the passive recipient of information and knowledge in the traditional instruction context to critical constructors of knowledge under their own autonomy.

Overall, the ultimate goal of education always stays the same, no matter the format: to nurture responsibility and initiative in learners, to build diversity and openness in the learning environments, and to help learners become self-directed and reflective. Therefore, I don’t think we need to replace one format with another. Instead, we as educators need to think about how to empower learners to view themselves as individuals who can shape their fields of interest, make action to achieve their personal and professional goals, and help people in their communities to grow and develop.

Which resources have you found through the department to help with your research?

I have benefited from department traveling funding, research workshops, involvement in research day, graduate student associations, and interactions with faculty in the department.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

During my Ph.D. study here in U.S., I have made efforts to cultivate four characteristics in myself: life-long learning (being eager to learn), capacity (being accessible, positive, and resourceful), entrepreneurship (being critical, innovative, and open-minded), and collaboration (being trustful, supportive, and collegial). I think this mindset has laid a positive foundation for my Ph.D. journey.

Learn more about the Learning Technologies programs in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

Biltz to present at Pediatric Work Physiology Meeting XXX in Katerini, Greece

School of Kinesiology senior lecturer George Biltz, M.D., will be attending the Pediatric Work Physiology Meeting XXX, October 3-8, in Katerini in Macedonia, Greece. The conference is sponsored by the European Group of Pediatric Work Physiology, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

On Oct. 6, Biltz will present a poster he co-authored with Kinesiology alumnus Christopher Lundstrom, Ph.D.,  titled “Time series variability of steady state RER, tidal volume and VO2 show a common response to marathon training in older adolescents.” The poster is a continuation of research on physiological time series analysis that they previously reported on at PWP 2015 in Utrecht ,Netherlands, and at the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM) in 2016 in Knoxville, TN. Biltz will also co-chair an oral presentation session on Oct. 7 on Physical Activity.

Kane quoted in Outside Magazine

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane,  Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, is quoted in an Outside Magazine article, “The Adventure Film Industry’s Women Problem.” Kane comments on the visibility, or lack thereof, of female athletes and its impact.

Gewirtz’s ADAPT program in the news

Abigail Gewirtz, Lindahl Leadership Professor, Dept. of Family Social Science, and Institute for Translational Research in Child Development.

 

Abigail Gewirtz, Lindahl Leadership professor in the Department of Family Social Science and the Institute for Translational Research, was interviewed by WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV about her research program, ADAPT, that supports military families reintegrating following deployment. The unique program provides tools and resources to support positive parenting. A U.S. Department of Defense grant is underwriting  an online version of  ADAPT to serve more military families.

Sport Management alumnus nominated for 2017 Wuerffel Trophy

A 2016 graduate of the School of Kinesiology has been nominated for a prestigious award recognizing athletic and academic achievement and community service.

Ryan Santoso, a Gopher punter who received his B.S. in Sport Management in Fall, 2016, has been nominated for the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy, awarded to the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

During his time at the U, Santoso has volunteered for numerous organizations– Children’s Hospital, the Boys and Girls Club, Luxton Learning Center, and with various sports camps– all while performing exceptionally in the classroom and on the field. He continues his academic and football career this year as a master’s student in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs studying nonprofit management.

Santoso’s story was featured this week in the U of M’s online News & Events section.

 

Curriculum and Instruction library launches digital catalogue and website

The Curriculum and Instruction (CI) Library, housed in 45 Peik Hall, recently launched a new website featuring an online searchable catalogue that effectively creates a digital space for patrons to search for texts that are not available in the UMN library system. The library is the only campus space that loans children’s and adolescent literature to students, faculty, and staff.

The CI Library is one of campus’s best-kept secrets. It houses a curated collection of children’s and adolescent literature and a smaller repository of academic curricular materials and texts. Library staff can partner with instructors to work on course assignments and put course materials on reserve. Students can check out books, use the space for study or meetings. Staff are happy to give a tour to interested patrons.

“We are excited to extend our reach outside of Peik Hall with the launch of our first website,” says CI Library Coordinator, Sara Sterner. “We welcome visitors to enjoy our new digital space and visit us in person.”

Learn more about academic programs in literacy education  in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Search the CI library’s online catalogue.

 

Ph.D. student in STEM Education travels to Japan to research STEM equity

STEM equity researcher, National Science Foundation fellowship recipient, Ph.D. candidate, and sushi connoisseur Jeanna Wieselmann shares her research agenda as she spends the semester in Japan partnering with Shizuoka University.

What is your degree program?

I am in the STEM Education Ph.D. program within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  I plan to graduate in May of 2019.

What drove you to enroll in the STEM Education Ph.D. program?

I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota and spent several years teaching for a STEM non-profit.  As a STEM teacher, I observed students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields excelling.  I wanted to learn more about how to make quality STEM education accessible to all students, through quality curricular materials and support for teachers.  The University of Minnesota has amazing faculty and an integrated STEM program that perfectly matched my research interests.

What is your current research focus?

I am currently interested in gender equity in STEM and am looking at the factors that influence whether girls are interested in pursuing STEM careers.  Girls already tend to have less interest in STEM by the time they reach middle and high school, so I’m focusing primarily on the elementary grade levels in the hopes that quality elementary STEM experiences can help foster continued STEM interest.

You are in Japan this semester working on STEM education. Tell me about your goals for the semester and how the project came about.

I am interested in international perspectives on STEM, and I decided to visit Japan because my adviser, Dr. Gillian Roehrig, has cultivated a strong relationship with Dr. Yoshisuke Kumano from Shizuoka University. I was able to study through my National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This semester, I am working on two research projects.  The first project investigates middle school students’ perceptions of STEM and interest in STEM careers after participating in STEM activities through various programs.  The second project involves helping with teacher professional development focused on STEM and supporting these teachers as they implement STEM activities in their elementary classrooms for the first time.

What have you found surprising/challenging as an educator and researcher working across international borders?

This certainly hasn’t been a surprise, but the language barrier is a major challenge to conducting research across international borders.  I’m fortunate to be surrounded by Japanese colleagues who are willing to help me, but my ability to understand what is happening in a classroom is limited.  As a researcher, I’m also very aware of my positionality and am cautious about entering a new culture and pushing my beliefs and values on people. I’m working in collaborative groups with Japanese researchers to help ensure that the Japanese perspective is fairly portrayed in the research I conduct.

Which resources have you found through the department to help with your research?

The biggest resource that has helped with my research is the faculty within the department.  I learned a lot through my coursework, and I also have wonderful mentors who are willing to give advice and feedback on my work.  Every time I talk to another professor about my research, I leave with new ideas and new resources to explore. In addition, my fellow graduate students are irreplaceable for the support they provide.

And the key question: have you eaten the most delicious food in Japan?

The food in Japan is absolutely amazing!  There’s great, affordable sushi available everywhere, including the grocery store that’s a block away from my apartment.  One of my favorite meals was Okonomiyaki, a regional specialty of Hiroshima that features a savory pancake topped with cabbage and other veggies, noodles, meat, and a delicious special sauce.

Learn more about the Ph.D. in STEM Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Family Social Science Professor featured in CEHD Connect

Susan Walker, associate professor and director of the Family Social Science’s Parent Education program, is featured in the latest issue of the College of Education + Human Development’s magazine, Connect, for her efforts to expand the education program in Iceland.  The extended online feature details the Iceland-Minnesota exchange.

Learn more

Parent Power, CEHD Connect, June 2015

Tucker Center’s “Media Coverage and Female Athletes” video rebroadcast

Media Coverage and Female Athletes
Media Coverage & Female Athletes

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport is proud to announce several new airings of its groundbreaking video, “Media Coverage and Female Athletes.”

tpt statewide digital MNChannel
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 5:00 AM
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 5:00 PM
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 11:00 PM

The video builds on a research-based examination of the amount and type of coverage given to female athletes with commentary from expert scholars and award winning coaches and athletes who discuss this timely issue from a variety of perspectives as they help dispel the common—but untrue—myths that “sex sells” women’s sport, and no one is interested in it anyway. Effective strategies for increasing media coverage and creating images which reflect the reality of women’s sports participation and why this is so important are also discussed.

To view the entire program online now, click here. For more information on upcoming broadcasts, click here.

McNair scholar and Al Franken’s education intern: Aarinola Esther Okelola

esther okelola

Senior Aarinola Esther Okelola talks about her drive to change the educational system, her research on school discipline practices, and her internship with Senator Al Franken.

What is your current degree program?

Elementary Education  Foundations, and I am minoring in English as a Second Language (ESL). I expect to graduate in May 2018.

What drove you to enroll in the program?

I’ve always been interested in a teaching role, and in education as a whole.  In my First Year Inquiry class titled “Making a Difference in the Lives of Young People,” we read The New Jim Crow and Start Where You Are, But Don’t Stay There.  I learned from this class and the books we read about the school-to-prison pipeline and the opportunity gap that leads to the achievement gap. I felt very strongly in myself that I have to do something about these racial disparities, specifically those in education that start at an early age. That led me to become an elementary education major.

Tell me about your research as a McNair Scholar.

I am conducting research in the area of education justice with Professor Catherine Squires. This last year, we collected literature on both  punitive and restorative justice discipline practices in Minnesota schools.  Moving forward, we’re working on collecting discipline data from schools, meaning find out the different discipline practices used to create a map that displays school discipline practices in Minnesota.

You also are interning in Senator Al Franken’s office. What are your duties there?

I currently do administrative tasks as well as sorting through constituent policy requests. I am partnered with the education expert at the office and will be working with him on education-related projects. I will be present the results of our projects at the end of my internship. We will get a chance to meet the Senator later on in the internship, too.

What do you hope to get out of your educational experience?

I hope to grow in my understanding of our education system, to make connections with my colleagues and professors, to find mentors, and eventually to take a leadership role in making the policies surrounding education.

What has been your experience with the faculty?

My experience has been positive so far in regards to CEHD faculty. All have been receptive, knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to share helpful information.

Did your coursework help prepare you to move forward in your career of choice?

The coursework has given me a good scope of material that I will need to know as a future teacher. Because there is always room for improvement, adding more lesson planning and multicultural discussions to the Elementary Education undergraduate coursework I feel will better prepare us as educators in our current world.

Any other thoughts you want to share about your experience?

I feel I’m exactly where I need to be and CEHD has been a warm environment for me to learn in.

Learn more about the elementary education foundations program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

 

C&I faculty and staff discuss racial justice in day-long retreat

Faculty and staff in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction kicked off the school year with their annual retreat, but the topics of the day were not the usual plans and announcements. Instead, the department sat down to discuss the departmental climate as it relates to race, bias, and diversity.

The conversations were facilitated by Samuel D. Museus, Director of the National Institute for Transformation and Equity at Indiana University, Bloomington and Kimberly Truong, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

“We hope that this will be a transformative experience and lead to an even stronger and more cohesive community within the department,” Museus wrote.

After the retreat, the staff and faculty are prepared to continue working on bringing topics of race and bias to the forefront and plan to address areas in the curriculum where equity can be more deeply interwoven into the instruction. “As as an outcome of the retreat, the Second Language Education program has begun process for systematic review of curriculum so that the goals of social equity, multilingualism and racial justice are highlighted throughout coursework and program planning,” notes Professor Kendall King.

Many in the department expressed optimism for the coming year after the constructive dialogues.Teaching Specialist Linda Buturian noted that “when we share our stories, when we feel heard, it makes things lighter.”

Learn more about the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s commitment to diversity and social justice.

 

Mom Enough, U of M College of Education and Human Development team up to help kids, parents

Two organizations that are committed to healthy child development and parenting have formed a partnership to expand their promotion of easy-to-understand tips and resources for moms, dads, and professionals.

Mom Enough®, founded by Twin Cities child and family health professionals Marti and Erin Erickson, and the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) are joining forces to present evidence-based research on effective child-rearing at a time when myth-busting and innovative solutions are needed more than ever.

The Mom Enough/CEHD partnership will expand the dissemination of world-class research from the University of Minnesota through all Mom Enough communications, including CEHD experts featured in weekly podcasts (available on iTunes and MomEnough.com), e-newsletters, events, and social media. CEHD experts also will create new tips and resources that will be available through both University and Mom Enough websites, social media, and in print.

Mom Enough aims to provide reliable, research-based information on child development, parenting, and maternal health and well-being. Often delivered with personal anecdotes from the mother-daughter co-hosts, the information is accessible and useful for helping all moms and dads become the parents that their children need.

CEHD is focused on the value of every child as an individual with unique talents and challenges. The college features more than 180 faculty members engaged in research, teaching, and service across Minnesota and around the world. They are represented in the departments of child development; curriculum and instruction; educational psychology; family social science; kinesiology; organizational leadership, policy, and development; and social work.

“CEHD is uniquely positioned to address many of our toughest challenges in society, such as teaching and learning innovations, children’s mental health and development, family resilience, and healthy living across the lifespan,” said Dean Jean K. Quam. “This partnership with Mom Enough is another step in our efforts to collaborate with important community organizations that are dedicated to improving lives.”

Mom Enough’s Marti Erickson, who earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. from CEHD, said, “CEHD was my academic home throughout my long career at the University of Minnesota and is where I developed my passion for bringing research-based information to parents and other caring adults. So it is especially exciting for me to enter into this formal partnership to help Mom Enough’s large and diverse audience tap into CEHD’s extraordinary resources.”

For more information on this new partnership, contact Steve Baker (s-bake@umn.edu, 612-624-3430) or Stacy Downs (stacy@momenough.com, 763-234-4054).

Tucker Center benefactor, Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, passes away

portrait image of Dorothy McNeill TuckerWe have recently learned of the passing of Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, our founder and benefactor. The Tucker Center was established in 1993 due to her incredible and ongoing support and generosity. Dr. Tucker graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1945, majoring in Recreation Leadership. She went on to earn a doctorate in Counseling Pyschology at UCLA. As a pioneer in many aspects of her life, Dr. Tucker became the first woman to be tenured as a faculty member at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

“I am sure I have received more from the gift than has the University. The joy of giving is increased tremendously when you can see how your gift is being used during your lifetime.”
— Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker (December, 1996)

Because of her vision and commitment, the Tucker Center has conducted groundbreaking research and mentored the “best and the brightest” students from around the world who have come to the U of M to do their own research at the Tucker Center.

We have shared our research and educational initiatives with scholars, educators, policymakers, parents, administrators and female athletes. Dr. Tucker’s vision became a reality and, as a result, she truly made a difference in the lives of countless young girls and women, their families and communities.

Dr. Tucker’s contributions and commitments to the University of Minnesota extended beyond her support of the Tucker Center. She served with distinction for 12 years on the U of M Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and in 2006, she was named one of the 100 Most Distinguished Alumni of the College of Education and Human Development.

“Dr. Tucker’s commitment to and passion for the Tucker Center were unparalleled. We are able to achieve our goals and fulfill our mission because of her generous financial support and pioneering spirit. On behalf of every member of the Tucker Team, all of our Affiliated Scholars at the U of M and around the globe, as well as our current and former students, we are forever in her debt. Rest in peace, Dr. Tucker.”
— Professor Mary Jo Kane, Director

“I and so many others will be forever grateful to the vision and commitment of Dr. Tucker and for her founding gift to make the Tucker Center a reality. Her gift is an example of how one individual can truly have a remarkable impact, and the Tucker Team is privileged to carry on her legacy in making a difference in the lives of girls and women in sport.”
— Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, Co-Director

“The School of Kinesiology is incredibly grateful for Dr. Tucker’s support of the Tucker Center.  Her tremendous gifts to the Tucker Center have been instrumental for conducting important research and community outreach on girls and women in sport.  I look forward to seeing the Tucker Center continue its great work for decades to come thanks to Dr. Tucker’s support.”
— Professor Beth Lewis, Director of the School of Kinesiology

— See also an obituary in the Star Tribune.

Javen Ulambayer, Kinesiology B.S. alum, performs in “Moby Dick” in Chicago

A School of Kinesiology alumnus has led an adventurous life since graduating with a B.S. in Kinesiology in Spring 2012 . It’s been a somewhat dangerous one as well.

Javen Ulambayer has taken his education and experience to new heights as he performs in the Ensemble cast in an adaptation of  “Moby Dick” at the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago. The native of Mongolia moved to the United States in 2005 with his mother, Oyunchimeg “Oyuna” Yadamjav, one of Mongolia’s most famous contortionists,  when she accepted a job at Circus Juventus in St. Paul. The school attracts elite circus performers from around the world to teach their craft. Ulambayer became interested in learning aerial gymnastics and circus arts at the school, and began his practice there. His fascinating story is featured in this Chicago Tribune article.

Kinesiology professor emeritus Leo McAvoy awarded U of M’s OAA

CEHD alumnus and professor emeritus Leo McAvoy received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) on July 31 at an evening reception at the Campus Club. Regent Abdul Omari presented the award, which recognizes McAvoy’s significant contributions to outdoor and adventure education. The OAA is the University of Minnesota’s highest award for its graduates.

McAvoy earned a Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies from the College of Education and Human Development, and spent more than 30 years as a professor in the School of Kinesiology. He directed the Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies division for a total of 12 years, and served twice as acting director of the School. He has been honored nationally for his contributions to his field, including its highest honor, the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research.

What makes McAvoy’s work special is his focus on populations that are often overlooked in the literature. Much of his research concentrated on the notion of inclusive recreation. His groundbreaking work challenged long-held myths about the preferences of individuals with disabilities for outdoor environments and the extent of their participation in adventure activities. Throughout this career, McAvoy collaborated with nonprofit organizations such as Wilderness Inquiry, an inclusive outdoor program in Minneapolis, and consulted for schools and government agencies.

McAvoy was also recognized for his skills in the classroom. His classes included hands-on work, such as visiting a local YMCA camp to participate in a high ropes challenge. McAvoy is beloved by his former students, who remember his passion for the outdoors and his innovative syllabi. Many of his advisees attended the award ceremony.

McAvoy’s frequent research collaborator, former School of Kinesiology professor Stuart Schleien, shared in his nomination letter: “Leo’s work exemplified the ideals of integrating research with action, and I would regard him as one of our field’s outstanding scholars in his ability to share his knowledge, expertise, and experiences to multiple audiences.”

Congratulations, Professor Emeritus McAvoy!

Sato helps to edit new handbook on international teacher education

Professor Misty Sato in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction was part of the editorial team behind recently released SAGE Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. The handbook, co-edited by D. Jean Clandinin at the University of Alberta and Jukka Husu at the University of Turku, Finland, provides an international overview of the current landscape of teacher education, as well as insights about how research can influence future practices and policies.
Within the two-volume handbook, Sato edited “Section Nine: Learning with and from Assessments in Teacher Education.”

Watch a short description of the handbook and an interview with the co-editors:

Learn more about the teacher education degree programs and teacher education research in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.