Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
College of Education

Special Education

Unified Sports Field Day

WSU to Host Inaugural Unified Sports Field Day

PULLMAN, Wash.—Individuals with and without intellectual disabilities will meet for an afternoon of fun, community, and inclusion through sports at Washington State University’s first-ever Unified Sports Field Day on Sunday, April 7. The event will be held 1-3 p.m. at Smith Gym in Pullman.

“The purpose of the field day is to have fun and bring WSU Unified partners together with those in our community who have intellectual or physical disabilities,” said Dr. Tammy Crawford, a clinical assistant professor of sport management.

In Unified Sports jargon, “Unified athletes” or “Special Olympic athletes” are participants with intellectual disabilities, while “Unified Partners” are individuals without intellectual disabilities who compete alongside them.

“The sport management faculty and University Recreation staff want to hear what kind of sport activities are most appealing to the community,” added Crawford.

“If we discover there are Unified athletes in the surrounding communities who want to participate on a regular basis, we’ll create regular opportunities for Unified Sports events, and perhaps even a league.”

Melanie Rossetti, coordinator of competitive sports and youth programs at University Recreation, said the field day will include soccer games and relays, as well as open play and team-building games.

Volunteers for the event are being actively sought. Corrie McGrath, an academic advisor for the sport management program at WSU, said: “Interested students can take the first step toward involvement in WSU Unified Sports by attending our Field Day event.”

“We will meet in Smith Gym 111 at 12:30 p.m., and prepare to welcome community members to campus for an afternoon of Unified play.”

Interested volunteers may contact McGrath for more information. Her email address is, and her office phone number is (509) 335-8832.

Participants of any age, intellectual, or physical ability are welcome.

Unified Sports is a program developed by Special Olympics to promote inclusion through sport. The program creates a welcoming environment for competition and training for athletes of all abilities.

Currently, 73 colleges and universities across the United States offer Unified Sports programming.

The Unified Sports Field Day is a collaborative initiative between the Sport Management program and University Recreation department at Washington State University.

More information on Unified Sports can be found at this website:


Contact: Corrie McGrath, academic advisor, sport management — (509) 335-8832 —

College of Education Graduate Assistant wins 2015 Wiley Research Exposition

By Trevor Havard – College of Education Intern

Doctoral candidate Andy Scheef won a $1,000 scholarship for his research presentation in WSU’s 2015 Wiley Research Exposition.4P7A6149cropped

Scheef is in the College of Education’s special education program.

The Wiley Research Expo is held every spring and gives graduate and professional students the opportunity to showcase their research through either oral or poster presentations, which are then judged by WSU alumni.

This year Scheef took first place in the International Research category for his oral presentation on his research endeavors in Singapore.

Scheef collected interview data last year in Singapore about the world-wide problem of the underemployment of people with disabilities, which Singapore has addressed in recent years by developing school programs to increase opportunities for youth with disabilities.

Scheef explained this problem in his presentation, along with data describing how Singapore schools develop and support relationships with businesses that provide these job training experiences for students.

“Any opportunity to share information is incredibly valuable and the potential to win an award through the process is an added bonus,” Scheef said. “The other presentations in my group were quite strong and I felt lucky to have received the 1st place award.”

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.