Graduate Student Stories- Program: Mathematics Education Ph.D.

After five years of dedication, Allison Dorko is graduating this spring with a PhD in Mathematics Education. Dorko recognized her passion for teaching while she was working on her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and Physical Education from the University of Maine. Later on, she got her Master’s in Mathematics Education in Maine and “fell in love with the research component” which inspired her to pursue a Ph.D. “in order to do more research and teach college mathematics.”

While at Oregon State, Dorko added a Bachelor’s of Mathematics to her studies before working on her PhD. She especially enjoyed her last two years in the PhD program working with the STEM Club (which is part of the FIESTAS project) at Lincoln and Garfield elementary schools in Corvallis, OR. Dorko says “it is a lot of fun to do maths and science with children and to help the Education majors [in the College of Education] learn how to make maths and science exciting” and “we [even] do maths with Legos!”

Dorko’s years as a student have been busy and she advises other graduate students about the importance of getting enough sleep because “when you’re sleep-deprived, your brain simply doesn’t function well.”

After graduation, Dorko is moving to Oklahoma where she has landed a job as an Assistant Teaching Professor. There, she will “coordinate and supervise their college algebra program, teach mathematics, and do research.” Dorko says, “it’s a great job and I’m excited about it… I’ve heard Oklahoma has amazing storms [and] I’m looking forward to seeing some of those.” Dorko has enjoyed her time here in Corvallis, but she is excited to move on to the next step in her career, “being a faculty member instead of being a student.”

Graduate Student Stories- Program: Community College Leadership

Bruce Hattendorf’s final years of school have been challenging, but his hard work and determination has paid off and he is graduating from the Community College Leadership (CCL) program this year. Hattendorf began his work in the education field as a tenured English professor before being asked to step into a role as an Associate Dean of Instruction. “I had no administrative experience or training at the time”, says Hattendorf, “so I enrolled in the CCL program to develop professionally and also to get a degree that would allow me to advance my administrative career in the future.”

Hattendorf was attracted to the OSU program saying, “I am very committed to the community college mission and OSU had one of the few higher education leadership programs that focused specifically on my area of interest.” He also found at “doing the program and learning a new job that was directly related to the program simultaneously, was a great way to learn.”

As a distance student, Hattendorf says that the most valuable experience was “the cohort interaction, both at Silver Falls and online [because] the cohort provided great friendships and terrific professional contacts.”

While in the program, one of the challenges was being able to “balance work, school, and life” because “it meant putting a lot of my personal life on hold – or at least scheduling things more carefully.” Hattendorf was very busy due to “working full time and [becoming] a full Dean at that point”, and yet his determination pressed on­—listening to advice from a former OSU student who had completed the same program, “to take three weeks off at Christmas and lock [himself] in a room and write”, Hattendorf did just that, using vacation time during school breaks to get the work done.

After graduation, Hattendorf plans to continue his current job as Dean for Arts and Sciences at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington and with the pressure of his dissertation lifted, he hopes to have more time to enjoy hiking and traveling with his wife and dogs, as well as being more involved in community arts and practicing his creative writing again. Hattendorf is optimistic about the education field, saying that “the thing about education, whether it’s in the classroom or at the administrative level, is that we can always find ways to get better at what we do, and I find that exciting and engaging.”

Darlene Russ-Eft-“leading the profession through research”

Since 1984, Darlene Russ-Eft has been an on-going contributor to the Human Resource Development (HRD) field by “leading the profession through research” and the “development of new knowledge”.  She is considered one of the founders of the field of HRD, with a passion for teaching and research that has awarded her with an Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) Hall of Fame honor.  

This Hall of Fame award is unique in that it is only given to those who have received the AHRD Outstanding Scholar Award prior. Russ-Eft received this award in 1999 with evidence of scholarly publications that contribute to the fundamental theory and practice of HRD. This practice is more specifically seen in her books and articles that emphasize and highlight the role of program evaluation. At this time Russ-Eft was the Director of Research for Achieve Global, an international training provider. She also contributed to the development and adoption of the AHRD Standards on Ethics and Integrity (AHRD, 1999) and is currently co-chair of a task force working on revisions of those standards. She has served on the AHRD Board, as the vice president for research, and recently as president.

The focus of Russ-Eft’s research involves the connection of human resource development and program evaluation. At OSU, she engages in evaluation of educational programs and activities related to the Bioenergy minor program, the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experience (SMILE) teacher workshops, and the SMILE Summer Bridge program that introduces Bioenergy concepts.

Russ-Eft’s education and research efforts have allowed her to travel as well. As a graduate student, she served as a teaching assistant in undergraduate psychology courses.  While a researcher at the American Institutes for Research in Palo Alto, she taught undergraduate courses in psychology. One of her recent travels for teaching has been to Bangkok, Thailand where she taught a course titled Ethics and Good Governance in Complex Organizations in the doctoral program in Human and Organizational Development at the National Institute for Development Administration (NIDA). Russ-Eft shares that she has also guest-lectured at other universities in the United States and internationally.

Russ-Eft has worked at Oregon State University’s College of Education since 2002. Today she continues her work as a Discipline Liaison in Adult and Higher Education (AHE) and a Professor in the doctoral program for Community College Leadership, Higher Education, and in the AHE Masters program. Russ-Eft shares how she “love[s] both research and teaching” and how she has “enjoyed the various research and evaluation projects that have been a part of [her] OSU position.” She emphasizes that she has especially “enjoyed teaching the various courses here; including Learning Theory at the masters level, Instructional Leadership at the doctoral level, Research Analysis and Interpretation at the doctoral level”, as well as her current courses.  In addition, “advising both masters thesis students and doctoral advisees have been a highlight” for her.

Along with her love for teaching and research, Russ-Eft says, “for fun [she and her] husband, who is a retired Division Counsel (lawyer) for the Army Corps of Engineers, love to travel, hike, bicycle, and cross cross-country ski, and sing in a choir.”

 

The counseling program at OSU has come a long way since the founder, Professor Frank H. Shepherd, taught the first counseling course during the Spring Semester of 1917. This year, Oregon State University’s College of Education’s Counseling program is proud to announce the celebration of its 100th anniversary.

Entering the 100th year of counseling, Cass Dykeman shares, that “the centennial is a chance for all of Oregon to celebrate the pivotal role the citizens of the State have played in the continuous development of this profession, [which is] so vital to the health of the nation.” Cass Dykeman, the Associate Professor in Counselor Education at OSU’s College of Education, has been a part of the program’s development since 1998.

After receiving a Master’s in Educational Psychology with a School Counseling concentration and a Doctorate in Counselor Education, Dykeman pursued his passion in the following years as a counselor educator, and as an elementary school and high school counselor in Washington. Although he loves his current job, he admits that he “miss[es] playing football with the kids at recess. You don’t get recess teaching doctoral students!”

Today, Dykeman continues his work as an Associate Professor in the program. His favorite part of the program is working with doctoral students on their dissertations because, “helping advanced students create new knowledge is a thrill” for him. He enjoys the manuscript style of the dissertations, because many of the doctoral students publish their efforts in peer-reviewed journals. Rebecca Bolante is one of Cass’ prior students who has produced two peer-reviewed journal articles from her dissertation about Threat Assessment. Dykeman has already served as a major professor for 24 PhD graduates, and says, “[his] goal is to hit 50 by the time [he] retire[s].”

Dykeman understands that pursuing a doctorate is an overall large investment; but finds the Counseling program unique because, it has offered “distance hybrid education since 1933” and is ranked third oldest for continuously operating counselor education program in the world. Dykeman adds that, the program is “high quality and [has] a proven track record.”

 

Larry Flick– A Message from the Dean

“I am retiring from OSU after 23 years. My decision to retire is mostly personal in that my wife retired last July after 46 years as a high school teacher. It immediately became apparent that I too was ready for our next chapter.  But my decision to retire comes at good time for the college. Eight years ago, the Department of Science and Mathematics Education merged with the College of Education and 4H moved to the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. It was a time of major changes across the entire campus. Now nearly a decade later, the college is very different from what it was. I see this as a good time for college faculty and staff to take stock of their significant accomplishments and look to what they want the college to be in the next decade.

Most immediately, my wife and I will be traveling at times other than summer. We have always enjoyed trips that involve view wildlife, hiking and interacting with the local culture. In July, we’ll be on the Bernese-Oberland Traverse in the Alps. September will be Tuscany followed by joining Global Volunteers in Siedice, Poland working with middle school children in using English while doing science activities. In December, we will be in a boat exploring the coast of Costa Rica and Panama and making a canal transit.” –Larry Flick

—- As we say our farewells, the College would also like to add that we are searching for a new Dean to follow in Larry’s footsteps.

We are seeking a collaborative, inspiring, and entrepreneurial leader to serve as the Dean of Oregon State University’s College of Education. The Dean will work closely with faculty and staff to achieve its vision to be an international leader in research and in the preparation of researchers, scholars, learning leaders, teachers, and counselors who make a difference by promoting innovation, social justice, and lifelong learning and thereby preparing citizens who are socially empowered, reflective, innovative, and caring members of increasingly diverse communities and the world. Learn more about the position.

screen-shot-2014-07-03-at-3-22-05-pmFirst Lady Michelle Obama addressed the critical role of school counselors in helping students successfully complete high school and pursue post-secondary options recently when she was made an honorary school counselor at the annual American School Counselor Association conference

“College is for everyone,” according to Mrs. Obama.  “Every student in this country needs some higher education, whether that’s a two-year degree, a four-year degree, or professional training of some sort.”

Unfortunately, with one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the nation, Oregon’s students will certainly struggle to achieve this goal, which is part of both the White House’s College Opportunity Agenda and Oregon’s 40-40-20 legislative mandate.

Research continues to show that the leadership and collaboration provided by school counselors not only increases student achievement and post-secondary matriculation through college and career readiness planning, but is instrumental in creating environments that help students overcome obstacles which are affecting their ability to learn.

In a recent letter to chief state school officers, Arne Duncan echoed Mrs. Obama’s call to action when he asked leaders to find “systemic and sustainable” support for school counselors.

School counselors are more important than ever to Oregon students, families, and school staff members with forty percent of our state’s children identified as being exposed “to the social-economic, physical, or relational risk factors that adversely impair their ability to develop the foundations of school success.” (Oregon Learns: Executive Summary-OEIB Report to the Legislature, December 2011.)

Before outlining the newest federal funds available to support, hire, and train school counselors; Mrs. Obama stated that school counseling “is a necessity to ensure that all our young people get the education they need to succeed in today’s economy.”

Only eight states have a worse counselor-to-student ratio than Oregon, and Mrs. Obama called the national average, “outrageous.”   Making matters worse, Oregon has never established staffing or funding mandates for school counselors.  While the importance of equitable student access to professional school counselors is at the forefront of a national conversation, Oregon’s educational leaders and politicians should take the necessary steps to ensure that its students are better prepared for academic success, social-emotional well-being, and college and career readiness through the resources and support provided by school counselors.

For more on this topic, please see a previous post: Where Are The School Counselors?.

Gene Eakin has a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Oregon and worked in the public school for over 30 years, including 23 years in the Lebanon School District.  He is the School Counseling Program Lead in Oregon State University’s College of Education and advocacy chair for the Oregon School Counselor Association (OSCA).   Dr. Gene Eakin can be reached at gene.eakin@oregonstate.edu .

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Oregon State University College of Education professor, Kathryn Ciechanowski was interviewed by OPB about bilingual education and the interview aired this morning.  Here’s a short excerpt:

Oregon has 70 schools with dual-language programs, with more on the way. Demand is booming for two reasons: research shows that dual-language programs work better for foreign-language speaking students than English-only programs.

But Esperanza de le Vega, the coordinator of Portland State University’s bilingual teacher pathway program, says there’s another big driver. “There is an educated population of sometimes bilingual, sometimes monolingual parents, who want this for their children. I think it’s great, because we have more allies,” she says.

But as programs mulitply and expand into middle and high schools, it gets harder for districts to find teachers who are both qualified in the necessary subject area, and who have the language ability.

Oregon State University language professor, Kathryn Ciechanowski, says school districts pursue candidates who are still in college.

“Our bilingual candidates are very often offered jobs before they even finish their programs,” she says, and adds, “we often advise students to think carefully about what they would like to have in their teaching positions, because there typically will be multiple districts trying to hire them — because of the need for bilingual educators.”

Read more on the OPB website: http://www.opb.org/news/article/bilingual-education/

STEM Workshops for Educators: Offered by OSU research faculty. Free. Lunch provided. Limited funds available to support lodging costs for  participants more than 80 miles away.

Here’s the summer schedule of workshops:

  • July 31-Aug. 1: Explorations in Nanotechnology for 6-12th Grade Educators.
  • Aug. 11-12: Climate Change and Ocean Acidification.
  • Aug. 14-15: Biological Motions through the Lens-An Advanced Light Microscopy Workshop.

To register or for more information, email Kari van Zee, Program  Coordinator STEPs, at vanzeek@science.oregonstate.edu541-737-1773.

VIA PRESS RELEASE

ELLMOOCHeader2CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has won a grant of nearly $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to investigate what happens to Oregon students who begin school as English language learners.

Researchers will use the grant to examine the academic performance of current and former English language learners and determine how best to support their academic achievement, said Karen Thompson, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Education, who will lead the study.

“Being able to see, over a long period of time, how a student is doing is very important,” Thompson said. “Some students might need ongoing assistance even after they are considered proficient in English, while others might achieve at very high levels.”

Students who do not speak English proficiently when they enter school are considered English language learners. When students master the language, they are no longer considered English language learners and are reclassified as English proficient students.

Some states continue to monitor former English language learners throughout their school careers, but until recently, Oregon has only monitored them for two years, as required by the federal government, Thompson said.

The grant, from the education department’s research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences, will give investigators the opportunity to assess the longer-term academic success of students who enter school as English language learners, including graduation rates, she said. Researchers will also collect and analyze data about how current and former English language learners are faring in different types of programs, including dual-language programs, which have greatly expanded in Oregon schools in recent years, Thompson said.

The grant runs from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2016. The Oregon Department of Education and WestEd, a nonprofit education research agency, are partnering with OSU on the project. David Bautista, an assistant superintendent at the Oregon Department of Education, will serve as co-principal investigator.

The three agencies have established the Oregon English Learner Alliance in an effort to improve educational outcomes for Oregon’s English language learners. The alliance is part of a larger effort by the Oregon Department of Education to improve educational outcomes for students learning English.

The number of English language learners in Oregon has grown dramatically over the last 20 years and now makes up about 10 percent of the state’s kindergarten- through 12th-grade population. The number of reclassified students also has grown, making it more important than ever to understand how those students do in school once they’re no longer receiving extra help to learn English, Thompson said.

If researchers identify areas where current and former English language learners do well, they want to examine practices in those classrooms or schools and share the best of them with other educators, Thompson said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This work will be supported by U.S. Department of Education grant number R305H140072. The amount of federal funding is $399,928, the non-federal funding for the project is $29,009 and the project’s total funding is $428,937. Of the total funding, 93 percent is federal and 7 percent is non-federal.

About the OSU College of Education: The mission of the College of Education is to prepare, inspire and support teachers, counselors, educational leaders, researchers and volunteers to promote lifelong learning in schools, colleges, universities, communities and workplaces.

It might be summer but last week Furman Hall was buzzing with teachers and over 30 middle school students from Lane County who participated in the first Quality Teaching and Learning Institute.

The five-day QTL Summer Institute, supported by the OEIB and hosted by OSU, focused on the development of pedagogical skills that will prepare a new generation of teachers to work with students meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

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The institute engaged teams in rethinking educator preparation pedagogy approaches to better support models of teacher preparation. Participants include arts and science faculty, educator preparation faculty, and K-12 school partners.

Participants built:

  • a common vision of high quality instruction,
  • a shared language to describe and analyze teaching, and
  • a means for articulating core practices that can be examined and improved.

Learn more about the QTL Summer Institute here.

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