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Washington State University

Celebrating grads, past and present

Our guests weren’t quite ready to get up and dance, as the students in this picture urged, but they were all smiles.

The Golden and Diamond Graduates reunion under way on the Pullman campus included a Wednesday visit by alumni to the College of Education.   The annual spring celebration here has grown to include dance performances by students in the teacher preparation program’s arts integration class, plus presentation of the Inga Kromann Medal Awards for students who create children’s books.  To see more pictures, visit the College of Education’s Shutterfly site.

And here’s news about some prominent alumni-to-be:

Both Xyanthe Neider and Paul Mencke plan to be college professors. Both will be among the graduates whose accomplishments are highlighted at Pullman’s May 8 commencement.  But as you can find out by reading about Xyan’s background and Paul’s background, they have taken very different journeys on their way to getting those doctoral hoods.

EGO leaders think big

Jennifer LeBeau

Except for the fact that the change would mess up a fun acronym, it might make sense to rename the Education Graduate Organization the “Education Graduate Connection.”

Incoming EGO President Jennifer LeBeau has a list of impressive goals for the upcoming year, including:  re-establishing contacts with faculty, administrators, and students; increasing connections with the Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver campuses; and making connections with other units throughout the university, as well as within the college. Jenny and her fellow officers are especially excited by the idea of engaging students, faculty, and staff in a college-wide community service project.  Read more about them and their ideas on the EGO page.

Arizona Coug kids update

A batch of thank-you letters arrived at the College of Education from those fifth graders at Palomino Elementary in Phoenix who’ve adopted WSU, inspired by some gifts from Pullman–including T-shirts that are the envy of other classes.  The notes are sweet. Here’s one from Silvia Ramirez, who has one sister, two brothers, and likes going to school:

“Thank you for the cool gifts. One of my favorite gifts is the shirt. I use the highlighter when Ms. Cook tells me to highlight key words. I haven’t used the sticky notes. We got more things than the other classes. We are learning the fight song. When we learn it, we are going to send you a video. Go Cougs!”

We’re doubly honored
Education doctoral student joan.Osa Oviawe and alum John Doty (Ph.D. ’08) are among winners of this year’s Civic Engagement Awards. The Center for Civic Engagement honored joan for her service with the YWCA of WSU, where she serves as board president, as well as her efforts to aid the education of poor Nigerian students through the Grace Foundation, which she founded.  Doty is the founder and director of READ for LIFE, a program he started as research toward his doctoral degree. The nonprofit provides free tutoring for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade.  On top of his volunteer work, John has a day job coordinating the Academic Enrichment Center/Computer Lab in WSU’s Office of Multicultural Student Services.

Super advisor boosts research career

Jennifer Beller

Associate Professor Jennifer Beller‘s passion for undergraduate research has been recognized by the Honors College, which presented her with its Thesis Advisor Award for her above-and-beyond efforts to assist Emily Cox.

Emily, a senior from Seabeck, Washington, is studying exercise physiology and metabolism at WSU Spokane. Her thesis, “An analysis of running gait in elementary aged students 5-12,” is one of the first studies ever conducted on children with normal motor development.

“Dr. Beller once told me to `Think of this as a team project. Think of us as partners,’ ” Emily recalled. And that’s just the way things turned out.

Offered congratulations on the award, Jennifer deflected the attention to Emily.

“Working with Emily has been a great joy,” Jennifer said, noting that the two of them presented the study at WSU’s Academic Showcase in Pullman and at the Northwest Health Symposium in Spokane.  “Now we are working on a manuscript for Research Quarterly and have plans to conduct a follow-up study to several different elementary schools this fall.”

The researchers have already collected data on more than 300 elementary students. Their eventual goal is to establish normal ranges for children’s running stride characteristics.

It’s an enormous project, said Emily, with implications for athletic training and clinical practice in exercise physiology and orthopedics.  It all started when Jennifer agreed to be her advisor, then suggested she narrow her research focus, then agreed to be principal investigator, then helped her secure approval for working with minors, then secured equipment, then help build relationships with schools … and much more.

In her letter of nomination for the Outstanding Advisor Award, Emily wrote:  “Thanks to her commitment, professional integrity, academic guidance, and multidisciplinary proficiency in research, this project has inspired me to continue graduate education in anticipation of a career in medical research.”

Science day video captures bright smiles

Today’s cloudy skies did nothing to dampen enthusiasm at the  annual science day at Klemgard Park, organized by Assistant Professor Blakely Tsurusaki.  Nor did a bit of Mother Nature’s bluster keep WSU videographer Matt Haugen from recording the energy of some of the 275 youngsters who were on hand.  Matt’s video, which is already posted online, features WSU students Amy Romero, Dave Marshall and Adrian Espindola.

More award winners
Assistant Professor Pauline Sameshima will receive the 2010 Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Early Career Award at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting this spring.  Pauline, who is known for her interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research, has written three books and is a regular contributor to curriculum journals.  She has co-chaired the WSU Globalization, Diversity & Education Conference and administers a curriculum theory social network.

Two doctoral students from the Department of Teaching and Learning were among those recognized by the Association for Faculty Women as outstanding women in graduate studies.  Finalists for the Harriett B. Rigas Award included Cara Preuss, who took third place,  and Janine Darragh, who received honorable mention.

WSU rolls out welcome mat for dean candidates

Curious about the three candidates for the College of Education dean position? Keep an eye on our Web calendar for opportunities to meet with them, starting next week, and learn about their visions for our future.

The trio of accomplished educators are Glenn E. Good, associate dean for Research, Graduate and International Studies, and Technology in the College of Education and professor of educational, school, and counseling psychology at the University of Missouri; Anthony G. (A.G.) Rud, head of the Department of Educational Studies and associate professor of Educational Studies, College of Education at Purdue University; and Jayne E. Fleener, dean of the College of Education at Louisiana State University.

New faculty highlights on WSU site

Research Professor Bruce Becker stars in an excellent video interview, “New Frontiers in Aquatic Therapy,” now linked from the WSU home page. It’s also posted on YouTube.

Assistant Professor Tom Salsbury is pictured on a future students page, where he’s quoted about the College of Education’s links to a global community of educators.

WSU Today and the WSU News pages both feature stories highlighting the research of Associate Professor Lali McCubbin, who explores the resilience that a multicultural heritage can bring; and Assistant Professor Matt Marino, who wants middle school students to explore the wonders of science using video games.