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College of Education

Lali McCubbin

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.

Pondering among the posters

Adisa Anderson greets a visitor at the Academic Showcase
Adisa Anderson greets a visitor at the Academic Showcase

It’s fun to wander around the annual WSUPullman Academic Showcase and ponder studies that are outside the range of most mortals (“Jump Frequencies of CdProbe Atoms”) and others that are charming as well as elucidating (“Shadow Play and Romance: The Oboe in Southeast Asia”).  The giant poster session is a great place to eavesdrop, too.  At Friday’s Showcase, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about research being done at the College of Education, such as “Academic Achievement Among Native Americans: Performance or Data Gap?” Grad student Adisa Anderson explained to me, with passion, the findings displayed on a poster that featured striking Native art.  Did you know that almost 75 percent of Washington school districts that have Native students do not report their test scores? That’s to protect the privacy of students, who comprise a tiny minority, but clearly makes it hard to gather data about how Native students are doing.  Adisa worked on the research with recent Ph.D. graduate Jason Sievers, student Lisa Bruna, and Assistant Professor Lali McCubbin.

Got perspective? Students, faculty and staff in Pullman still have time this semester to sharpen their intercultural skills and earn a certificate confirming the fact.  Christian Busnardo, who is finishing his master’s in higher education, is one of the presenters at the Global Perspectives Workshop, which “provides participants with a working knowledge of different cultural values, norms, behaviors and expectations that are critical in today’s multicultural workforce. ” The hour-long workshops sponsored by the Cougar Leadership Program are tailored to fit each group’s specific needs. Interested? Contact Christian at cbusnardo@wsu.edu.

Alumni success: Gene Schmidt (’08 Ph.D. education administration, ’73 teaching certificate) is superintendent of the Bridgeport, Wash., School District, which is a grand prize winner in the American School Board Journal’s 15th annual Magna Awards program.  The district will receive $4,000 in scholarship money during a presentation at the National School Boards Association’s conference in April. Bridgeport was recognized in the under-5,000 enrollment category for “College in the High School,” which offers college-level classes to high school students in the tiny district. Students from the past five graduating classes have completed high school with up to 45 college credits and many now attend colleges and universities throughout the nation. The college-level classes also have helped increase scores on state reading and writing graduation tests.  Read other success stories on our alumni news page.

Happenings:
Healthy Schools Summit, May 28-29, Seattle, co-sponsored by WSU Extension.

Reading matter:
Lessons from the Ivory Tower. K-12 learns from higher education’s online experience.
Idaho teacher sells advertising space on tests. Good morning, class, and welcome to U.S. history, brought to you by Molto Caldo Pizzeria.

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