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Health and fitness majors bask in academic spotlight

rhodes-picture
From left: Chase Rhodes with brothers Taylor and Zac

It’s been a pleasure this spring to get acquainted with two WSU Pullman seniors who aspire to be teacher/coaches:  Kyle McKeeman, whose volunteer activities won him a Distinguished Service Learning Award and the goodwill of his College Hill neighbors; and scholar-athlete Daven Harmeling, whose accomplishments will be highlighted at the May 9 commencement.  A third health and fitness major, Chase Rhodes, will be noted at commencement as part of a threesome. He and his brothers, Taylor and Zac, are the first triplets to graduate from WSU since 2001. Chase plans to finish his special education teaching endorsement in the next year.

Not to be outshone is health and fitness student junior Richard Swihart III, a President’s Award winner and inaugural recipient of the Virginia E. Thomas Endowed Scholarship for $1,000. The scholarship is presented to a WSU undergraduate who has excelled in leading other students and coaching others to become better leaders themselves. As reported in the Daily Evergreen, Richard came by some of his acumen during 10 years in the military, including two tours in Iraq. He’s attending WSU to become a naval officer.

President’s Award winners

In addition to Richard Swihart, the College of Education boasts six other students among this year’s 44 President’s Award winners. They are: Patricia Celaya, counseling psychology, Ph.D. candidate; Janine Darragh, language and literacy education, Ph.D.; Richard Goranflo III, higher education administration, Ed.M.; Christian Granlund, sport management, B.A.; Ladan Maleki, counseling psychology Ph.D.; joan o’sa oviawe, cultural studies, Ph.D.

Reading matter
End the University as we know it
.  Writer argues that graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning.
Tight Times Call for Trustees Who Push Back, Presidents Say Economists do not know when the recession will end, the presidents said, and boards need to play a significant role in helping colleges restructure.

Question of the day
Who was the only U.S. president to have a Ph.D.? Find out here.

Heads up, sports fans

Be watching for a late-April announcement of the first fellowships awarded to Masters in Teaching students by Edgar and Holli Martinez, who through their Martinez Foundation are on a mission to increase the number of teachers of color in our schools.  The winners will be honored at the Seattle Mariners’ June 6 “Latinos in Beisbol” game.  Put on your crimson T-shirt and cheer them on. Each ticket bought through this link will result in $7 going to support the foundation’s efforts.

Speaking of sports…
Assistant Professor John Wong of our sport management faculty scored in the publishing scene with his chapter in The Chicago Sports Reader, “a celebration of the strong, the agile, and the tricky.”  John’s chapter is about the founding of the Chicago Blackhawks Professional sport-bookHockey Team. It uses literature in entrepreneurship as a framework in examining why the Chicago team succeeded when some of the other NHL teams folded during or shortly after the Great Depression. Of 20 chapters submitted to the editors, John’s was one of 13 chosen. I asked him how he got involved with the literary project. His reply:
“I got an e-mail about a couple of years ago from one of the editors – a fellow sport historian. He told me he and another sport historian were going to work on an anthology of sport in Chicago. They had started gathering contributors but then realized they did not have a chapter on hockey. Since Chicago had one of the oldest franchises in the NHL, they felt that hockey should be included. Because hockey is one of my research interests (and they know that from my conference presentations and publications), they approached me to take on the chapter. At the time, I did not know who the other contributors were. Now that I have received my copy of the book, I realize that the editors have recruited some of the big names in sport history. And, of course, I am very flattered and humbled by their invitation for me to participate.

By the way, John and his colleagues have ventured into the blogosphere with SMANET, a way to connect sport management alumni.

Reading matter
Washington Senate passes major education reform bill.
The state could eventually pay more for basic education under a bill passed by the state Senate on Thursday. Just how the state will find money for that obligation, however, is still far from certain.
UW is getting a big demotion
. Scarcely any state, even those with worse economies, is planning to cut higher education funding more than the Washington Legislature.
Don’t Just Rebuild Schools—Reinvent Them Prakash Nair writes, “What may be great for bridges and highways may be exactly the wrong thing for schools.”
Appreciation: Judith Krug. Defending the freedom to read from damaging assaults by censors in and out of government was a life’s work.

Special talent, special ed

Prize winner
michael-dunn-artWSU Vancouver’s just-released 2009 Salmon Creek Journal features prose, poetry and artwork that has been blind-juried by students, faculty, staff and alumni. The top-prize-winning art, “American Falls-Niagara Falls” (shown here), is the creation of our own Assistant Professor Michael Dunn, whose academic focus is on literacy and special education.  The journal’s release party will be held during the Art Fair today (April 10) from 3 – 5 p.m. in Vancouver’s Administration Building, rooms 129 and 130.
From left: Connie Beecher, Jamie Messinger-Willman, Janine Darragh
L-R: Connie Beecher, Jamie Messinger-Willman, Janine Darragh


Special delegation
Speaking of Michael Dunn… he and Assistant Professor Matt Marino of Pullman were part of a six-member WSU delegation that attended the Council for Exceptional Children national convention, held April 1-4 in Seattle.  With them were  doctoral students Connie Beecher, Danielle Clark, Janine Darragh, and Jamie Messinger-Willman. Connie and Janine gave a joint presentation on “Using Children’s Literature to Teach Preservice Teachers about Autism Spectrum Disorders”; Jamie presented on “Technology-based Teacher Planning and Collaboration Tools.” Reports Matt: “This was the first national presentation for Connie and Jamie, both of whom had very well attended sessions. Our doctoral students are to be commended for their dedication to the field and their professional presentation skills.”

Reading matter
Lessons Sifted From Tragedy at Columbine A decade after the attack at a Colorado high school, scholars are gaining fresh insights into student gunmen and the havoc they wreak.
Report Envisions Shortage of Teachers as Retirements Escalate Over the next four years, more than a third of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers could retire, depriving classrooms of experienced instructors and straining taxpayer-financed retirement systems, according to a new report.

Have you noticed?

Our college Web pages now boast a print button, just below the banner on the right. Another new feature is a “share” button so you can send COE information via email, or post it on a dizzying array of social networks such as Facebook.

Up the academic ladder

Congrats!
Come August, Cathyrn Claussen, Joy Egbert, Michael Pavel and Kelly Ward will be full professors; Jason Margolis, Lali McCubbin and Judith Morrison will be associate professors; and Leslie Hall will be a clinical associate professor. Click here for the WSU list of faculty promotions.

kucer-bookHow do you know that you’re a successful textbook writer? When your publisher puts out a third edition. That’s what happened for WSU Vancouver faculty member Stephen Kucer with Dimensions of Literacy: A Contextual Base for Teaching Reading and Writing in School Settings. The dimensions in question are linguistic (the nature of language, oral-written language relationships, language variation), cognitive (constructive nature of perception, the reading process, understanding written discourse, the writing process), sociocultural (literacy as social practices, authority of written discourse) and developmental (constructing the written language system).

Cyberbullying: Hot topic of the week
This Thursday’s Education Research Forum and Community Dialogue on Cyberbullying couldn’t be more timely. Listen to this NPR report on the subject, which discusses proposed legislation to prosecute offenders. It begins: “For years, kids who were the victims of bullying and teasing at school or on the playground could find refuge at home. But in the age of new technology, bullying has become a 24-hour problem, with harassers able to taunt and tease their peers through e-mail, text messages and social networks.”

Notable quote (from an ’02 Ph.D. Cougar)
From the April 2 Spokesman-Review:  Raphael Guillory, EWU Faculty Organization vice president, said legislators must recognize that if the state has any hope of pulling out of the current economic slump, it must make an investment in the future. “What you see here today,” Guillory said of the crowd of enthusiastic students in Cheney, “is the return on that investment.”

Reading matter
Stimulus Providing Big Funding Boost for Early Childhood. While other education officials are weighing the risks of starting new programs with federal money that may dry up in two years, early-childhood programs are ramping up for expansion after years of being underfunded, their supporters say.
Education Secretary Says Aid Hinges on New Data. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan tells the nation’s governors that in exchange for billions of dollars in federal education aid provided under the economic stimulus law, he wants new information about the performance of their public schools, much of which could be embarrassing.

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