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2019 Faculty/Staff Excellence Awards

PULLMAN, Wash. – The College of Education announced its annual faculty and staff excellence awards on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

This year, College dean Mike Trevisan announced that there would be two staff awards. The awards are as follows:

Faculty Excellence in Diversity: Katherine Rodela – Educational Leadership

Katherine Rodela

Faculty Excellence in Teaching: Kristin Courtney – Educational Leadership

Kristin Courtney

Faculty Excellence in Research: Yulia Ardasheva – Language, Literacy, and Technology

Faculty Excellence in Service: Judy Schultz– Kinesiology

Staff Excellence: Kelly McGovern – Director of the Office of Graduate Studies


Staff Excellence: Lindsay Lightner – Coordinator, Alternate Route Teacher Certification

Lindsay Lightner

Shameem Rakha wins Chancellor’s Award

Shameem Rakha smiling outside. Snow is seen in the background.

The following excerpt was taken from WSU Vancouver’s Campus FYI on April 15, 2019.

WSU Vancouver to present top awards at 2019 commencement

WSU Vancouver will present its 2019 awards for advancing equity, research, student achievement and teaching at this year’s commencement ceremony on May 4. Medallions will be presented to the following:

Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Equity—Shameem Rakha, clinical assistant professor of education

The newest Chancellor’s Award, introduced this year, honors a faculty or staff member for helping to infuse equity-mindedness throughout the campus and/or helping to build and maintain a safe, welcoming campus environment. Rakha is just such a person. When students need someone to talk to about a difficult situation, she willingly adds hours to her day to make herself available to listen and provide support and advice. She treats students with respect, validates their experiences and empowers them—and challenges others to think more critically about how to create an equitable experience for all students.

WSU associate dean wins outstanding reviewer award

By C. Brandon Chapman – College of Education

A Washington State University mathematics professor has been recognized by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) with its 2019 Outstanding Reviewer Award.

Amy Roth McDuffie, who is also the College of Education’s associate dean for research and external funding, was recognized for providing exemplary feedback as part of blinded peer-review of scholarly manuscripts for Mathematics Teacher Educator journal.

“As an associate dean, Amy has done meticulous work in development of strategic documents, internal grant processes, and critiques of external funding proposals,” college dean Mike Trevisan said. “She is analytical, reasoned, and well thought. In addition to my experiences and observations, I have heard the same from upper level administrators throughout the university. This award is a well-deserved honor for Amy and testament to the high-quality work of a consummate professional.”

Roth McDuffie is a well-published scholar in her own right, whose research focuses on teachers’ professional development, as well as equitable teaching practices and curriculum.

She has also served as the series editor for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Annual Perspectives in Mathematics Education.

She will receive a plaque from the AMTE, as well as be recognized at its annual meeting in Orlando, Florida in February.

Bruya-Wood tabs 2018 champ

Collette Edge wins grand prize for Parkinson’s research

By C. Brandon Chapman – College of Education

Washington State University’s Kinesiology program hosted its 2018 semi-annual Bruya-Wood Undergraduate Research Conference on Nov. 30.

While all presentations were top notch, when all was said and done, Collette Edge won the grand prize for Outstanding Work.

Collette’s research was titled: “Parkinson’s HAAO group fitness to maintain improved motor function post-therapy”.

As Collette presented, there are three main treatment options for Parkinson’s disease, a chronic neuro-degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Along with their respective pros/cons, they are:

  • Pharmacology: Effective in early stages, but with hard side effects.
  • Physical Therapy: Effective short-term, but expensive and time consuming.
  • Deep brain stimulation: Successful in late stages, but invasive and high-risk.

Using research literature based on high-amplitude therapy, as well as group action-observation therapy, Collette presented something called High-Amplitude Action-Observation (HAAO) group fitness. As a practical application, it includes maximum sustained movements like reaching from floor to ceiling and side to side, as well as repetitive movements like a step-and-reach, rock-and-reach, etc. Unlike physical therapy, because this is a group setting, it offsets some of the high costs.

Collette’s conclusions were:

  • High amplitude movement and speech, as well as group action-observation therapy, have been proven to decrease symptoms for moderate level Parkinson’s disease progression.
  • HAAO supports individuals with Parkinson’s by providing post-therapy maintenance of movement/speech and additional increased quality of life through community support.

Collette has been a group fitness instructor for the last 13 years on the Palouse, but went back to school, and will continue on to graduate school in occupational therapy. She said she would like to work in therapy for vulnerable populations such as people with Parkinson’s disease.

From the Bruya-Wood Conference, Edge joined the college’s podcast Education Eclipse.

Listen to podcast

Congrats to Collette, as well as the rest of the conference participants.

STEM research update

We previously hosted Tamara Holmlund on our podcast (Education Eclipse 027 Today’s STEM Education) and she told us about a Next Generation STEM Teacher Preparation project that she and other researchers were working on. This past summer, Holmlund and a colleague from UW Bothell collaborated to put engineering and sustainability into the STEM collaboration she’s been doing for the last five years.

“The outcome was very positive, even beyond the third grade classrooms,” Holmlund said.

The Battle Ground School District featured part of this project in a recent blog post. We republish here:

Sarah Brown student teaches in the Battle Ground Public Schools.

Pleasant Valley Primary 3rd graders help endangered butterflies

Armed with little more than pencils, clipboards, and their own ingenuity, the third graders in teacher Talea Jones’ class at Pleasant Valley Primary School are working to solve quite the complex problem: how can they, acting as ecologists and designers, help create a healthy habitat to attract and protect endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies to their school grounds?

This fun and scientifically engaging project is part of an annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) collaboration between the third grade classes at Pleasant Valley Primary in Battle Ground Public Schools and the student teachers at Washington State University-Vancouver. The partnership benefits both the district and the university through the practical application of STEM learning. WSU-V students earning their K-8 masters in education degrees visit the PVP campus and act as guest teachers for two hours a week over the two-week course of the project. The specific theme changes from year to year, but always involves a STEM project with a focus on sustainability education, design thinking, and engineering concepts.

“It’s a great opportunity for these young learners to experience a field-based research project,” said guest teacher and WSU-Vancouver student Stephanie Pederson. “Project based learning like this provides students with an engaging experience that is highly valuable and completely authentic.”

Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies were once abundant in the inland prairies of the Pacific Northwest, located west of the Cascade Mountains from British Columbia south through Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Almost two centuries of agriculture and the growth of urban areas has eliminated about 99 percent of the butterflies’ native habitat. As a result, the once abundant Euphydryas editha taylori are now a Washington state-endangered species and listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

To develop a design solution, the students have learned everything they can about the butterflies, including their habitat needs throughout all four stages of their life cycle. The students then learned to identify the native plants that serve as both food and shelter for the Pacific Northwest pollinators before heading out to the great outdoors to identify plants and make field observations in their project notebooks.

After their field books are full of notes and sketches, the young engineers-in-training head back to the classroom so they can start designing solutions that will help protect the butterflies throughout all stages of their life cycles. After creating their designs, the students swap booklets and peer review each other’s’ work, helping to refine their ideas and collaborate on the best, most practical solutions.

“I like that I got to be creative and make something,” said William Johnstone, a student in Mrs. Jones’ class. “Before this project, the only thing I can remember designing in school was a math word problem, so this was really fun.”

The Oregon Zoo began recovery efforts with the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly in 2003. Zoo staff work to save these delicate pollinators from extinction with partners from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Xerces Society, the Nature Conservancy, as well as several regional universities, zoos, conservation groups, government agencies, and correctional facilities to help protect and supplement wild butterfly populations. More information is available at


Building sport in-roads with Chinese college students

In the 2006 documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, former United States Vice President Al Gore comments on the perils associated with uncritical belief in conventional wisdom (in his case, on global warming) by citing Mark Twain: “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”

The same could be said about China, a country most Americans probably think of mainly as a political and economic threat to the United States.

The threat is probably overrated. More importantly, as philosopher Slavoj Žižek often says about a range of topics, “it’s a bit more complicated than that.”

Hence, while your blogger traveled to China this summer to teach a course in sport journalism, he probably learned about the Middle Kingdom just as much as the students enrolled in the course did about the fourth estate. Their own version of “fair trade.”

One learning outcome for the visiting lecturer of a course taught to 116 second-year undergraduates pursuing degrees in the English language at Beijing Sport University, or BSU, was that college-aged youth have rather similar interests regardless of the country they live in. During a class discussion, Wu Jingwei, who goes by the “English name” Ekko (pronounced ECK-oh) in courses with non-Chinese instructors, named Taylor Swift as his favorite singer.

However (it’s a bit more complicated… ), for every American pop music fan, there was also a student who consumes quality Western media. Ekko’s classmate Li Zhaoxiang (“James”), a Beijing Guoan F.C. fan, named the Voice of America as his favorite media outlet and regularly updated your blogger on news highlights published by the BBC. Another student, Gao Jianzhu (“Hebe”), had completed an internship with the Beijing Morning Post newspaper and is proud for having seen her pictures published on the outlet’s website.

Beijing Sport University
A student applies appropriate image composition as learned in the lecture on sports photography while taking this picture of visiting professor Simon Ličen during the lecture, “Current Trends in Sport Media,” held at Beijing Sport University on June 4, 2018. The student, Jingyi Hu (“Alex”), is an avid amateur photographer who knew about the subject and had studied some of her lecturer’s typical poses before passing the exam with flying colors.

A second learning outcome was a better understanding of the phrase, “Socialism with Chinese characteristics,” which is the expression used to describe the People’s Republic’s system of political theories and policies. The system involves adopting elements of a market economy to attract foreign investment and increase productivity. As a result, Beijing’s commercial districts are not unlike similar areas in New York, Rome, Cape Town, or other metropolises. An unadventurous traveler could sustain themselves on food from KFC and shop for Nike apparel while sipping Starbucks brews (though they would miss out on a lot).

China is not immune to globalization; rather, it is one of its driving forces. This influenced the decision of some Chinese universities to offer study programs taught entirely in the English language.

One such institution is BSU, the country’s top school for sport studies and one of the top (about) 100 schools included in Project 211. This status provides the school with additional funding to raise its research standards and cultivate strategies for socio-economic development. In 2017, there were 2914 colleges and universities nation-wide, up from 2542 in 2014.

To enhance the quality of its “English major,” BSU invites several international lecturers from the English-speaking world. This year’s faculty included Professor Scott Martyn from the University of Windsor in Canada, Dr. Jo An Zimmermann from Texas State University in the United States, Emeritus Professor Tony Collins from De Montfort University in England and the College of Education’s Simon Ličen.

This was the third time your Sport Management program’s expert in communication and sport was invited to the university. The course in sport journalism provides students with an introduction to journalism and broadcasting about sport as it is conceived in the United States and Western Europe.

Throughout the 15 lectures, students master the basics of covering sports events, discuss “hard news” topics such as match-fixing and corruption, and even record a short play-by-play broadcast of a game. This equips them with the fundamentals to explore the field at a more advanced level: upon graduation, many students pursue advanced degrees in China or other countries. Some, like Hu Hua (“Sunny”), are already pursuing related degrees and enjoy the course as it provides them with additional insight. Quite a few aspire to become broadcasters or pursue other careers in media. They are among the students who keep in touch upon completion of the course via WeChat, a social media service.

Beijing Sport University
Many students play, organize and watch student competitions. Here, men’s (front left) and women’s (back right) teams play games of the Foreign Language Basketball Association, a competition between departments offering degrees in the English language, on May 12, 2018. Beijing Sport University’s outdoor courts and terrains are well-attended outside of competitions, too (photo: Simon Ličen).

This year, your correspondent was also invited to prepare a general lecture for interested students and faculty of the institution whose people have collectively won 73 gold medals in the Olympic Games. In a lecture entitled “Current Trends in Sport Media,” we discussed automation, some features of Olympic broadcasting and some characteristics of social media usage, a topic that included a reference to a study currently in progress by Wei Ching Liao, a graduate student in our Sport Management program.

All in all, the visit was successful and BSU invited your blogger to teach the course next spring as well. The two institutions are developing an initiative that would involve student exchanges and year-round collaboration. Additionally, several ideas for research and professional opportunities have emerged during and after the third stay in Beijing. Follow us in the coming months to learn the details.

Beijing Sport University
Most students who completed the course in Sport Journalism at Beijing Sport University in the spring of 2015 raised their hands in response to the instructor’s question, “Who reads newspapers?”. Popular titles included China Daily, New York Times and other major outlets. Your blogger seized the moment to snap a group photo of the class, prompting students to smile.

The invites are a professional and personal achievement. They mark the third continent on which your correspondent has taught a university course, after Slovenia in Europe and the United States in the Americas. Also, teaching in a communist country while working in the foremost capitalist one is an accomplishment that is rarely bestowed to a scholar born in a non-aligned socialist republic. While the latter country has since crumbled, the values of quality education, collaboration and brotherhood among nations are still passed on by some. Also, the College of Education’s expert on sport communication can keep learning, expanding his horizons and sharing more diverse content and perspectives to students at WSU.

Beijing Sport University
The Sports Meeting, Beijing Sport University’s yearly intramural track and field meet, features some notable athletic achievements and attracts an estimated 2000 spectators to the main school stadium. This picture, taken by Simon Ličen early in the event on May 16, 2018, also indicates the substantial student media coverage dedicated to the event as about two dozen photographers and camera operators capture an interview with a participant.

When your blogger returns to BSU next year, perhaps he will finally cross paths with some of the prominent…co-workers who visit the school just days before or after him. In 2017, basketball superstar Yao Ming was appointed honorary president of the university’s China Basketball Academy just days before the Sport Journalism course started. This year, the WSU prof left the day before IOC President Thomas Bach became BSU Honorary Professor.

Even if he does not shake hands with bigwigs, it will be a pleasure to reconnect with many of the students who completed Sport Journalism this and previous years, and meet their peers who will enroll in the course next summer.

2018 Faculty/Staff Excellence Awards

PULLMAN, Wash. – The College of Education has given its annual faculty and staff excellence awards.

Faculty Excellence in Diversity: Pam Bettis – Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education


Faculty Excellence in Teaching: Kira Carbonneau – Educational Psychology


Faculty Excellence in Research: Brenda Barrio – Special Education


Faculty Excellence in Service: Tom Salsbury – Language, Literacy, and Technology


Staff Excellence: Matthew Vaughn – Director of Information Services

Matthew vaughn

Palouse Mental Health Resources Fair

Each year, students in the College of Education’s Sport Management program split into small groups and do a fundraiser as part of their capstone. To do this, every aspect of a good sport event has to be utilized, from operations, to legal, to marketing and promotion, etc. Each event is supposed to help raise money for a group or organization the students choose.

Palouse Mental Health Resources Fair

This collaborative event will present the Palouse community with resources available for mental health. The event will take place at the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center (located on the southeast side of campus: 405 SE Spokane Street, Pullman, WA 99164) on Sat., April 7, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The mission of this event is to create awareness of the various resources available while overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health. All event proceeds will be donated to our beneficiary Lynn Kramer of iBelieve of the Palouse. She aims to reach her goal of one million dollars to build a new youth and wellness facility in Pullman, Wash.

In accomplishing this feat, this event will offer three aspects of physical activity; Yoga, Zumba, and Body Pump. Each class will be led by a fully certified trainer. In addition, the event will grant participants social entertainment through carnival-style games as well as a raffle featuring apparel, autographed articles, and other entertainment prizes. The final aspect of the event will encompass the ‘Pie a Professional’. This portion of the event includes a silent auction fundraiser on a panel of WSU celebs, coaches, and well-known members of Pullman. All participants will receive the opportunity to bid in the silent auction fundraiser which will remain open until the final hour of our event. The individual with the highest donation placed will have the pleasure of throwing a pie in the face of the WSU celebrity, coach or member of which they donated towards. Food, refreshments, and snacks will be offered at no-cost in attendance at our event.

“We wanted to do this event because at some point we all hit down times and perseverance,” said sport management student Eddie Chavez, who is helping facilitate the event. “This event is to show that there is help and resources for when you need it and it’s okay to talk about what you are going through, thus eliminating the stigma that mental health has.”

View Event Flyer

Post event materials

Listen to Podcast


Diary from Japan — Day 17

From time to time, participants in the college’s study abroad to Nishinomiya, Japan, led by Tom Salsbury, will be giving updates on their experiences. This one was written by preservice teacher Kierstin Laisne, and received no editing from the college.

Today was such an exciting day!

We started it off as per usual with going to school and teaching/observing classes. Some of us continued teaching past tense verbs through charades while others were used to help one of the most energetic teachers demonstrate the differences between “this is” and “that is”. The classes that we got to teach were actually split into half the normal size so interacting with the students went smoother than usual.

After our school day ended, we all hustled back to the hostel, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and out we** went! Today’s destination: Nara. We’ve all been fairly excited about this trip because it meant we got to see and pet deer! …Okay there were other reasons to be excited about Nara but c’mon– there was the opportunity to pet cute little deer! Lots of selfies were taken and we even saw certain people teaching the deer to bow and other random citizens combing and taking care of the deer.

Next up, we walked to the Isuien Gardens, which were by far one of the prettiest things I’ve seen in Japan. This country never ceases to amaze me and just seems to get more beautiful the longer we stay! The picture taking opportunities went on and on so don’t be so surprised when you look at how many photos are included today!

The next place we went to was Todaiji Temple: home of the Great Buddha of Nara, which was built in the early 8th century! It’s safe to say that everyone was shocked by just how huge the statue is! The Great Buddha is about 50 feet tall while also being on a platform so you can only imagine our faces when our eyes adjusted to the dark temple to find a giant in the center! While in the temple, we also learned that this temple was one of the “Seven Great Temples” of Japan! Shrines, dozens of deer, and interesting cement lanterns also surrounded the temple, which seemed to stretch on for a while.

To top off the night though was the most refreshing summer storm that could’ve possibly happened. It was the whole nine yards with thunder, lightning, and completely soaked hair! Although we typically complain whenever it pours back home, rain was a sight for sore eyes, especially after experiencing the humidity here! We all want to make the most of the rest of our trip, so hopefully the weekend will be just as fun as today!

**The “we” in this case would be our group minus one member. Sadly Jeremiah couldn’t be with us today… He’s completely fine but just stayed behind to finish the grant he’s been working super hard on! Congrats Jeremiah! We felt that he should still get to experience Nara though, which led to some interesting pictures and videos… Enjoy!

Diary from Japan — Day 16

From time to time, participants in the college’s study abroad to Nishinomiya, Japan, led by Tom Salsbury, will be giving updates on their experiences. This one was written by preservice teacher Maria Garcia, and received no editing from the college.

Today at Imazu Junior High school we got the chance to interact with the students more by participating in class activities as well as leading our own activities that we came up with as a group.We started off the day in the second year English class. The students were divided into smaller groups so that each group had the chance to interview one of the English teachers (us!). The students were so excited to practice their English with us! They then presented each of us to th

We started off the day in the second year English class. The students were divided into smaller groups so that each group had the chance to interview one of the English teachers (us!). The students were so excited to practice their English with us! They then presented each of us to the class. The students that interviewed our professor, Tom, took some time to draw great pictures of him. It was really cute! After we were done with the interviews Kim and Gracie taught the kids how to play charades, also known as the gesture game. The kids played in their lunch groups with the help of the teachers. It was great to see the kids having a good time and enjoying themselves!

After that class was over we broke up into smaller groups and went to separate English classes. My group had the opportunity to work with the third year English students. We created a Jeopardy activity to help students practice spelling and listening, as well as to learn a bit more about American culture. It was my turn to lead todays activity, so I was pretty excited to practice my teaching skills. The students understood the rules and all the hints that we provided, and they also did a great job guessing all the trivia questions. I think it is safe to say that all the students and teachers included, had a great time teaching and learning English together!

To wrap up our day we hit it hard at the Coco Curry and afterwards hit up the Karaoke bar! It was a great way to unwind from a successful and busy day! Lets see what tomorrow brings, rest well my fellow Cougs!