The updated standards describe the characteristics of effective literacy professional preparation programs, integrating research-based promising practices, professional wisdom, and feedback from various stakeholders during public comment periods. Helman served as an appointed member of the select Standards Revision Committee 2017 and was a writer on Standard 4: Diversity and Equity, as well as led the team that made recommendations for principals’ use of the literacy standards.
Last updated in 2010, the title reflects ILA’s expanded definition of literacy beyond reading. Standards 2017 promotes a broader repertoire of skills—achieved through more rigorous field work, digital learning and equity-building practices, among other key changes—ensuring that all candidates are prepared to meet the demands of 21st-century literacy instruction.
“Standards 2017 sets forth a common vision of what all literacy programs should look like—and hands institutions a road map to get there,” says ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “This is an important step toward ensuring that all literacy professional preparation programs and practicing literacy professionals provide the foundational tools needed to deliver high-quality literacy instruction.”
Although the category of specialized reading professional was introduced 20 years ago, there remained some confusion about the various roles and responsibilities. Standards 2017 delineates three roles of specialized literacy professionals—reading/literacy specialists, literacy coaches and literacy supervisors/coordinator—explaining the differences between and among the roles, clarifying expectations and enabling preparation programs to meet more specific goals.
Standards 2017 also revises guidance for the roles of principals, teacher educators and literacy partners and provides literacy-specific standards for classroom teachers for pre-K/primary, elementary/intermediate and middle/high school levels, ensuring that literacy practices are infused in all areas of the curriculum.
Oliver Williams, the founder of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC), received the 2018 Alliance for HOPE International Lifetime Achievement Award in Fort Worth, Texas on April 25, 2018.
“Oliver Williams has changed the world for thousands of victims and offenders in the course of his amazing career. He is without a doubt one of the most transformational leaders we have ever worked with,” said Alliance President Casey Gwinn.
Williams is a professor of School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He was the Executive Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) from June 1994 to September 2016 and served as the project director of the African Immigrant and Domestic Violence Initiative from 2010 to 2016 and the Safe Return Initiative that addressed prisoner reentry and domestic violence from 2003-2016. Currently, he directs the African American Domestic Peace Project that works with community leaders in 12 cities across the United States.
Williams has worked in the field of domestic violence for more than thirty-five years. He is a clinical practitioner, working in mental health, family therapy, substance abuse, child welfare, delinquency, domestic violence and sexual assault programs. He has worked in battered women’s shelters, developed curricula for batterers’ intervention programs, and facilitated counseling groups. He has provided training across the United States and abroad on research and service-delivery surrounding partner abuse.
Currently he is a consultant with the Education for Critical Thinking and an advisor with Domestic Violence Shelters.org. He has been appointed to several national advisory committees and task forces from the Center for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Office on Women’s Health, and the U.S. Department of Education. He has been a board member of various domestic violence and human service organization including the early days of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1999-2000) and the Alliance for HOPE International Advisory Board from 2006 to 2016.
In 2000, he was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Domestic Violence by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and U.S. Attorney General. In 2010, he hosted a roundtable on youth and violence for the U.S. Attorney General. He also participated in a roundtable with the U.S. Attorney General on issues related to fatherhood and participated in a White House Roundtable on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence. He has conducted training for military Family Advocacy programs in the United States and abroad. He has presented to numerous Family Violence, Research and Practice organizations in the United States, Kenya, Canada, the Virgin Islands, the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2015, he was invited to speak at the United Nations about domestic violence among Africans in the United States and in Africa. His research and publications in scholarly journals, books, reports and DVDs have centered on creating service delivery strategies to reduce violent behavior and support victims of abuse. He has consulted with the NFL, MLB, and the NBA on issues related to domestic violence.
Williams has received many awards, among them include an award from the American Psychological Association, an International “Telly Award” for his documentary work; the National
“Shelia Wellstone Institute Award” related to his national work on Domestic Violence and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work.
Dr. Williams received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Michigan State University; a Masters in Social Work from Western Michigan University; a Master’s in Public Health and a PH.D in Social Work both from the University of Pittsburgh.
“Dr. Williams is a visionary, a change agent, and an advocate for the marginalized,” said Alliance CEO Gael Strack. “He continues to challenge us to keep growing, changing, and dreaming as we seek to improve Family Justice Centers, Rape Crisis Centers, Child Advocacy Centers, and other types of collaborative approaches to providing trauma-informed support for survivors and their children.”
Alliance for HOPE International is one of the leading systems and social change organizations in the country focused on creating innovative, collaborative, trauma-informed approaches to meeting the needs of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. Alliance for HOPE International and its allied Centers serve more than 150,000 survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children each year in the United States. The Alliance supports multi-agency Centers in more than ten countries and trains more than 10,000 multi-disciplinary professionals every year.
Alliance for HOPE International operates the Family Justice Center Alliance, the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, Camp HOPE America, the Justice Legal Network, and the VOICES Survivor Network. The Alliance was launched by the founders of the San Diego Family Justice Center after the development of the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative in 2004. At the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, the team was asked to develop a program to support new and developing Family Justice Centers across the country. There are currently more than 130 operational Centers in the United States with international Centers in more than twenty countries. There are over 100 Centers currently developing in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Central America.
Aarinola Esther Okelola, an elementary education foundations major and TESL minor, received the 2018 President’s Student Leadership and Service Award (PSLA). The PSLA recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding student leaders at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. It is presented to approximately one-tenth of one percent of the student body for their exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community.
Okelola was also a TRIO McNair scholar this past year where she was supported in her academic research focusing on disciplinary practices in schooling and how those can impact K-12 students’ academic achievement.
Thanks to support from the administrators of the University of Minnesota and the principal and teachers at LoveWorks Academy in Golden Valley,Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), recently established a Brain Gym Lab in the fitness room of LoveWorks Academy. Specifically, four Wii U exercise stations and four Xbox One Kinect exercise stations have been set up in the Brain Gym Lab, which promotes learning through movement.
Loveworks Academy is a public charter school located in a diverse neighborhood and works with a large number of low-income, underserved children ages 4 through 14. The school focuses on a strong academic program that personalizes learning for all students, helping develop independent, cooperative, responsible, and creative adults.
Thus far, the novel exercise program has been well received by teachers and students in the school. This is the third school-based lab Dr. Gao has established in the public schools in the state of Minnesota. Below are photos from the program.
A new study by the Minnesota-Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (MN-ADDM) at the University of Minnesota identified 1 in 42 children (2.4 percent) as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Minnesota. Focused on children who were 8 years old, the study relied on 2014 data from the health and special education records of 9,767 children in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
As part of a nationwide network of studies funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring Network (ADDM), the Minnesota-specific study shows the rate of ASD is higher than the national average. The CDC found that, on average, 1 in 59 (1.7 percent) children was identified as having ASD in communities where prevalence was tracked by the ADDM Network. This is the first time Minnesota has been involved in the ADDM Network.
“Minnesota’s higher prevalence rates could be due, in part, to the concentration of services and supports in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area,” said Amy Hewitt, PhD, the principal investigator for the Minnesota study.
The Minnesota study is unique in relation to other ADDM Network studies because, in addition to examining data from white, black and Hispanic populations, it also collected information on two immigrant groups with large populations in Minnesota — Somali and Hmong. The study found no significant statistical differences in prevalence rates between Somali and non-Somali children or between Hmong and other children. The prevalence finding was 1 in 26 for Somali children and 1 in 54 for Hmong children.
“While both these numbers may look very different from the overall Minnesota average of 1 in 42, the sample sizes were too small to be able to tell if these differences are real or occurred by random chance,” Hewitt said. “By being able to expand our study area beyond the borders of Hennepin and Ramsey counties in future studies, we will be able to gain a better perspective on autism rates among all Minnesotans, including those of Somali and Hmong descent.”
The Minnesota-specific study also found that:
consistent with previous national estimates, 8-year-old boys were four times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls of the same age;
while ASD can be diagnosed as early as age two, about half of the children tested in Hennepin and Ramsey counties were not diagnosed with ASD by a community provider until 4 years and 9 months;
of the children with ASD who had IQ tests in their records, 43 percent of Somali children and 18 percent of Hmong children had a co-occurring intellectual disability compared to the overall average of 28 percent. Sample sizes were too small to be able to determine if this difference was real or whether it occurred by random chance.
“Understanding the prevalence of autism in Minnesota communities is a critical first step as we make plans to ensure access to services from childhood through adulthood,” said Hewitt. “We hope that as a result of the MN-ADDM project, the differences uncovered in this study will help us better understand health disparities in our state and to expand Minnesota’s autism support services and workforce network.”
The MN-ADDM Network, which is part of the Institute on Community Integration in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, collaborates with a wide variety of community ASD organizations and several Minnesota state organizations, including the Minnesota Departments of Education, Human Services, and Health. The MN-ADDM Network also partners with an active community advisory board.
As a NSF Graduate Research fellow, Stallworthy plans to build on her past and current research focusing on self-regulation and social engagement in early infancy from bio-behavioral and social-cognitive perspectives. Through her research, Stallworthy hopes to inform parent education and caregiver interventions on ways to promote successful socio-emotional, communicative, and self-regulatory skills early in life. “I am excited to build upon my past research experiences to ask new questions about the emergence of the social mind and brain, synthesizing ideas from multiple labs and research traditions,” Stallworthy said.
Lakhan-Pal’s research focuses on the understanding of emotional regulation during the transition to adolescence. With help from the fellowship, Lakhan-Pal plans to use electroencephalography (EEG) to assess whether parenting practices around emotions have an impact on how effective teens are able to self-regulate. “I’m mainly curious on how parents’ supportiveness and tendency to coach kids through emotional experiences will affect their children’s ability to regulate during adolescence,” Lakhan-Pal said.
Ravyn Gibbs, an M.S.W./M.P.H. student, was selected for the 2018 Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship Program. She will be interning with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Gibbs is Anishinaabe. She is an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and a direct descendant of the Red Lake Nation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and is enrolled the dual-degree master’s program in social work and public health at the University of Minnesota. She works at the American Indian Cancer Foundation as a graduate research assistant. After graduation, she intends to advocate for and develop policies that positively impact the health and well-being of American Indian communities. During the internship, Gibbs hopes to gain insight and better understanding of how federal policy is developed and its relationship with tribal sovereignty and tribal development.
The Udall interns will complete an intensive, 9-week internship in the summer of 2018 in Washington, D.C. Special enrichment activities will provide opportunities to meet with key decision makers. From 1996 through 2018, 267 Native American and Alaska Native students from 120 Tribes will have participated in the program. Seven Udall interns have been students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
School of Kinesiology alumna and beloved U of M and professional basketball player Lindsay Whalen has been hired as head coach of Gopher women’s basketball.
Whalen, who was starting point guard for the Gophers from 2000 to 2004, was a three-time All-America star. During her tenure, she was the program’s all-time scoring leader at 2,285 points, and her powerful presence propelled women’s basketball into the forefront at the University. Average attendance at Williams Arena increased more than 900% during her career as a Gopher.
After four years playing for the U of M, Whalen was drafted by the Connecticut Sun and played for six seasons before returning to Minnesota in 2010 to play for the Minnesota Lynx. She graduated from the School of Kinesiology in 2006 with a B.S. in Sport Science (now Sport Management). She will continue to play for the Lynx and coach for the Gophers.
A few of the many media reports, including Whalen’s press conference, are linked below.
Scott Glew, an eighth grade social studies teacher at Salk Middle School in Elk River graduated in 2006 with his M.A. in Social Studies Education and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Social Studies Education in C&I.
Reese Butterfuss, a Ph.D. student in the psychological foundations of education program in the Department of Educational Psychology and a member of the Reading + Language Lab, has been awarded the 2018 Graduate Student Research Excellence Award by the American Educational Research Association (AERA; Division C; Learning and Instruction). This award represents Division C’s continuing efforts to recognize excellence in graduate student research. Butterfuss will receive his award at the division’s annual business meeting at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in New York City, April 13-17.
Butterfuss—under the mentorship of faculty member Panayiota (Pani) Kendeou—conducts research on the role of higher-order cognition on knowledge revision during reading comprehension. He has published several papers in this area. Read more about his most recent work on executive functions (EFs) and reading comprehension here. In addition to this award, Butterfuss received the Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) from the Society for Text and Discourse and the Research Excellence Award from the psych foundations program in 2017.
Butterfuss is currently a Graduate Research Assistant on the TeLCI project, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. In his role on the project, Butterfuss, along with Britta Bresina, are leading the investigation on the role of EF in young children’s inference making.
Sidney Peters, Gopher Women’s Hockey goaltender and senior in the School of Kinesiology, was drawn to volunteer work from the very beginning of her college career. As a freshman, she became involved in M.A.G.I.C (Maroon And Gold Impacting the Community), a program designed to encourage student-athletes to get involved in community service, and she has continued volunteering her time and talents with organizations ever since. On Friday, April 6, her commitment to helping others was recognized when she received the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award from the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation. The organization presented Peters with a check for $2,500 during a ceremony held at the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four tournament in St. Paul. The funds will be donated to her designated charity, Project Medishare.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award is given each year to college hockey’s finest citizen — a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team, but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.
Peters was deeply affected by her experience in 2016 when she traveled to Haiti to work as a volunteer in a hospital there. She continued her service when she returned, volunteering as an EMT and getting involved with other community organizations.
This could lead to earlier intervention and potentially better treatment outcomes.
For the first time, researchers have used MRIs to show that babies with the neurodevelopmental condition fragile X syndrome had less-developed white matter compared to infants that did not develop the condition. Imaging white matter can help researchers focus on the underlying brain circuitry important for proper communication between brain regions. These findings could lead to new and earlier interventions, and potentially better treatment outcomes.
The study— co-led by University of Minnesota researcher Jason Wolff, Ph.D., and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill researcher Meghan Swanson, Ph.D., and published in JAMA Psychiatry —shows that there are brain differences related to the neurodevelopmental disorder established well before a diagnosis is typically made at age three or later.
“Our work highlights that white matter circuitry is a potentially promising and measurable target for early intervention,” said co-first author Wolff, an assistant professor of educational psychology in the College of Education and Human Development. “These results substantiate what other researchers have shown in rodents—the essential role of fragile X gene expression on the early development of white matter.”
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder and the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability in males. Symptoms include intellectual disabilities, problems with social interaction, delayed speech, hyperactivity, and repetitive behaviors. About 10 percent of people with fragile X experience seizures. About one-third of people with fragile X meet the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder.
“One of the exciting things about our findings is that the white matter differences we observe could be used as an objective marker for treatment effectiveness,” said co-senior author Heather C. Hazlett, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine.
For this study, Wolff, Hazlett, and colleagues imaged the brains of 27 infants who went on to be diagnosed with fragile X and 73 who did not develop the condition. The researchers focused on 19 white matter fiber tracts in the brain. Fiber tracts are bundles of myelinated axons—the long parts of neurons that extend across the brain or throughout the nervous system. Think of bundles of cables laid across the brain. These bundles of axons connect various parts of the brain so that neurons can rapidly communicate with each other. This communication is essential, especially for proper neurodevelopment during childhood.
Imaging and analytical analysis showed significant differences in the development of 12 of 19 fiber tracts in babies with fragile X from as early as six months of age. The babies who wound up being diagnosed with fragile X had significantly less-developed fiber tracts in various parts of the brain.
“It’s our hope that earlier diagnosis and intervention will help children with fragile X and their families,” said Swanson, co-first author and postdoctoral research fellow at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC. “We also hope that this knowledge might inform drug development research.”
So far, drug clinical trials have failed to demonstrate change in treatment targets in individuals with fragile X. One of the challenges has been identifying good treatment outcome measures or biomarkers that show response to intervention.
Other authors are Mark Shen, Ph.D., Martin Styner, Ph.D., and Joseph Piven, M.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Annette Estes, Ph.D., of the University of Washington; Guido Gerig, Ph.D., of New York University; and Robert McKinstry, M.D., Ph.D., and Kelly Botteron, M.D., of Washington University in St. Louis.
Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health and the Simons Foundation.
This study, which used data collected from 2008 to 2016, would have been impossible without the dedication to research from families who had another older child already diagnosed with fragile X syndrome.
Prepare2Nspire is a tiered tutoring program that prepares underserved middle school and high-school math students to succeed. The program connects math students in urban classrooms with undergraduate mentors at the University. The tutoring sessions take place in North Minneapolis and provides free bus fares and food to the students and mentors. The students served are primarily African-American, historically the group that has the lowest scores on national and state assessments. Through the program, she has seen ACT and standardized test scores rise.
Curriculum and Instruction department chair Cynthia Lewis says that “Lesa has developed and implemented a program that not only provides students with support in mathematics but also creates a culture of excellence and high academic standards…Lesa strives to provide underrepresented populations with the power of math as a tool for social justice.” Clarkson’s commitment to educational equity and social justice is an outstanding exemplar of the department’s mission.
As a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Roisman will receive a $100,000 grant for research and scholarly activities, and carry the title throughout his University career. Roisman is one of six University professors receiving the award in 2018. Four CEHD professors have earned the award previously, including Frank Symons of educational psychology, and Megan Gunnar, Ann Masten, and Stephanie Carlson, all of the Institute of Child Development.
At the Institute of Child Development, Roisman leads the Relationship Research Lab, which examines the legacy of early relationship experiences as an organizing force in social, cognitive, and biological development across the lifespan. Roisman also oversees the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which began in 1975 and primarily focuses on how people think about their social experiences, risk and protective factors, and issues of continuity and change.
Through his research, Roisman has used innovative statistical methods and the unique datasets provided by longitudinal studies to determine how early relationship experiences impact different individuals and how those experiences support or undermine their physical and psychological health as adults.
Roisman and the other winners of this year’s Distinguished McKnight University Professorships will be recognized at a Board of Regents meeting in Spring 2018 and honored at a celebratory dinner.
Jenna Cushing-Leubner, a Ph.D. candidate in the Second Language Education program, recently received the 2018 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Critical Educators for Social Justice (CESJ) Special Interest Group (SIG) within the American Educational Research Association (AERA). This award is given out to one standout emerging student each year who deserves to be recognized for their work on their dissertation. This year, given the number of standout applicants, the committee chose to honor two students. This included C&I’s own Cushing-Leubner, who was advised by Martha Bigelow throughout the dissertation process. There will be a business meeting at AERA on April 15 to formally honor her.
The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) continues to climb in the latest U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings, breaking the top 20 this year with a ranking of 19, a move up from a ranking of 21st last year.
For the U.S. News & World Report rankings, 385 schools that grant doctoral degrees were surveyed. Schools were rated on 10 measures including peer assessment, educational professionals’ assessment, student selectivity, faculty resources, and research activity.
“We are pleased to continue to rise in the rankings, said CEHD Dean Jean K. Quam. “It’s validation for our work moving forward in educational equity, teaching and learning innovations, and children’s mental health and development.
CEHD is a world leader in developing programs with a positive impact on child development, teaching, and learning. CEHD laboratory preschool, for example, bases its instruction on the idea that children are the agents of their own learning, encouraging hands-on, child-directed experiences. CEHD researchers bring real-world data collection to the classroom to help teachers in Minnesota and beyond. We are also developing new programs and technology, such as Check & Connect, to help educators improve student outcomes and keep at-risk kids on track to graduation.
The mission of the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development is to contribute to a just and sustainable future through engagement with the local and global communities to enhance human learning and development at all stages of the life span.
Taylor Williamson, a junior double majoring in Human Resource Development and Business and Marketing Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), scored a goal in the 3-1 win against Wisconsin to claim the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff championship. A triumphant comeback after she underwent brain surgery and was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Myasthenia Gravis (MG), in the last year.
Her story is highlighted in the following news articles:
Sung Tae Jang has been selected to receive the 2018 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group: Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans (REAPA) for his dissertation, Student Experiences and Educational Outcomes of Southeast Asian Female Secondary School Students in the United States: A Critical Quantitative Intersectionality Analysis.
This award recognizes a scholar whose dissertation has had a significant impact on our understanding of Asian American and/or Pacific Islanders in education and will be presented in April at the annual business meeting in New York City.
Family Social Science Professor Steven M. Harris assumed a new role as editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy for a four year term.
Published by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy is dedicated to both reflect and foster the best scholarship in the MFP field that makes a difference, moves our field forward, crosses borders, is sensitive to diversity and social justice, and is relevant to both researchers and clinicians.
Dr. Harris received his master’s and doctoral degrees in marriage and family therapy from Syracuse University. Prior to Minnesota, he was an MFT faculty member at Texas Tech University for 13 years. He has been practicing as an MFT for over 27 years. His history with JMFT includes serving as the reviews editor from 2000-2005, and he has been on the Editorial Board since 2000. Dr. Harris is the author of over 65 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has written four books, and has contributed a variety of other publications to the field throughout his career. He also serves as the associate director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project. He and his co-author, Dr. William J. Doherty, also a professor in the FSoS Department, released the first textbook on discernment counseling last year.
JMFT, published quarterly, is the flagship scholarly journal of AAMFT and the field of family therapy. The goal of the journal is to ensure the continued development of the science, theory, and practice of marriage and family therapy. JMFT disseminates relevant, current scholarship and research that moves the field forward.