Dr. Randy Bell with his motorbike
Dr. Randy Bell with his brand new motorbike.

Hà Nội Ơi!

Greetings from Vietnam! In my regular job, I serve as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Science Education Professor at OSU’s College of Education. This year I’m on the very first sabbatical of my career, serving as visiting professor in the University of Education at Vietnam National University (VNU). I am also honored to serve here as a Fulbright Scholar.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international cultural exchange program, whose goal is to promote understanding between nations, advance knowledge across communities, and improve lives worldwide. As a Fulbright Scholar, I teach science education classes, provide professional development for VNU faculty, assist students and faculty with English speaking skills, and explore the possibility of a teaching internship for OSU students in Hà Nội schools. Even my day-to-day activities are part of the Fulbright mission, as I interact with my Vietnamese friends and neighbors and promote good will and mutual understanding.

Being introduced to VNU Faculty of Natural Sciences. (Photo by Randy Bell.)

This will be the first in a series of blogs that, along with plenty of photos, will recount my experiences in Vietnam. Through these updates, I hope not only to share more about this beautiful country and its people, but how my work as a faculty member of the College of Education is impacting university faculty and students on the other side of the world. 

My first full month in Vietnam (October) was very busy! I moved into offices on two campuses and participated in Freshman welcoming ceremonies at the newly opened Hoa Lac VNU campus. This month I also conducted a half-dozen faculty seminars, taught three lessons to science education students, led Vietnamese children on a museum tour, provided three keynote addresses and was interviewed by a national Morning Show TV host. I even purchased a motorbike for transportation.

Keynote address for grand opening of VNU University of Education new location at Hoa Lac. (Photo by Randy Bell.)

Speaking of motorbikes, traffic is something else here in Hà Nội! Traffic rules are viewed simply as mild suggestions, and it’s not uncommon to see drivers blatantly run red lights or drive the wrong way on a six-lane highway! Even crossing the street is hazardous, as pedestrians do not have the right of way. Westerners here exclaim in frustration (and fear) that Hà Nội traffic is crazy, and most can’t believe I drive here. But I think that’s not the only way to look at it– Hà Nội traffic norms are undoubtedly different from what’s familiar, but they work for Hà Nội. In the US, we (generally) obey traffic rules so that we can drive safely at high speeds on fairly open roads. In Hà Nội, where the roads are exponentially more crowded, it’s the driver’s responsibility to maintain a reasonable speed and anticipate other drivers and pedestrians to make unexpected moves. When this happens, you simply drive around the temporary obstacle while beeping your horn. In this way, traffic flows, and people get where they’re going even when the traffic is extremely heavy. 

I see Hà Nội traffic as a metaphor for my Fulbright experience here in Vietnam. The language, professional, and cultural norms here differ significantly from what I’ve known as an OSU professor. As a visitor to this rich culture, I am enjoying the opportunity to experience these differences and step outside of my comfort zone as I consider new possibilities for how to work and live productively. I am blessed with new friends and colleagues eager to guide me on this journey to understand and become a better-connected citizen of the world. Living abroad can be difficult, and even a little scary at times, but just like crossing a busy street in Hà Nội, faith, courage, and little help from your friends can get you where you want to be.

My home for the next year is the Nam Từ Liêm district of Hà Nội, the capital city of Vietnam. Being from Oregon, I’m used to rainy weather, but still adjusting to the high temperature and higher humidity here.

Sunset on West lake, Hà Nội
Sunset on West lake, Hà Nội. (Photo by Randy Bell)

People have been living in Hà Nội for more than 1,000 years, so there’s plenty to do and see when I’m not engaged in professional duties.  My colleagues and I have formed an English Club in which they hone their conversational English skills and I work on my Vietnamese. We always have a great time, and travel around Hà Nội for great food and views. Of all the wonderful things I’ve experienced in Vietnam, the best is the friendship and good times I’ve enjoyed with my new colleagues.

Till next time, Tạm biệt! Randy

Photo of a person sitting with a laptop in front of them on a desk and their hand on a computer mouse.

Dr. Arien K. Muzacz, clinical associate professor for the College of Education’s Master of Counseling Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, is helping usher in a new era where counseling services will reach clients through technology. 

Last fall, Dr. Muzacz was the recipient of a professional development award from the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC); this summer, she completed required trainings and a national exam to earn a new credential, the BC-TMH (Board Certification in Telemental Health). The award, which is presented through the NBCC’s Center for Credentialing & Education, included a $500 award to help Dr. Muzacz facilitate professional development in the area of telemental health.

The NBCC is the nation’s premier certification board devoted to credentialing those who meet standards for the general and specialty practices of professional counseling. The organization also provides what is considered the Gold Standard for those practicing remotely or specializing in telemental health. 

Telehealth, which is the distribution of health-related services through technology, is not new. Many Oregonians have used technology to communicate with their health care providers in some form or another, whether it is setting up appointments, checking lab results, or consulting on a new health concern. However, telehealth became more common and more vital during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, the telehealth innovations that came out of that global crisis do not always benefit clients in need of counseling services. 

Beyond the obvious privacy concerns, many Oregonians may not have access to internet-ready devices, or the bandwidth needed to get telehealth services. Even in heavily populated areas like Portland, potential clients may rely on libraries or other public spaces for their internet access — hardly an ideal situation for a counseling session. 

“As counselors, we are always looking for ways to reduce barriers for our clients,” said Dr. Muzacz. “Telehealth has great potential in this area. Even without the pandemic, telehealth could help counselors reach those living in very rural locations, or in smaller communities where in-person counseling services are few or nonexistent.”

But barriers still exist. Beyond access to the needed technology, Dr. Muzacz notes that it is vital for counselors to ensure confidentiality and implement best practices to make sure clients receive the same quality of care they would when meeting with a counselor in person.

“During the height of the pandemic, some privacy requirements through the Health and Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) were waived as the need for telemental health grew during an unprecedented crisis,” said Dr. Muzacz. “But as social distancing and other restrictions have eased, those exemptions are being reversed and counselors providing remote services will need to adapt to ensure privacy for their clients.”

Dr. Muzacz’s NBCC certification will allow her to build on her own expertise as a professional counselor and set an example for many of the College of Education Master’s students who are considering careers in telemental health.

“Due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home is very appealing to many of our students,” Dr. Muzacz said. “It’s our responsibility to fill in the gaps in their training to make sure they’re providing the highest quality care. I’m looking forward to helping them integrate these standards into their professional practice.”

The College of Education congratulates Dr. Muzacz on her award and the vital work she does for our students and our fellow Oregonians.

Post written by Marsh Myers

Graphic featuring photo of Amanda Kibler alongside text and the College of Education Logo.

Amanda Kibler is a Professor and Program Chair at the College of Education, whose work was recently published in the NYS TESOL (New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) Journal. To read her open access article for free, titled Teacher Collaboration To Support Multilingual Students Designated As English Learners: Ecological Perspectives and Critical Questions, follow the link here.

Marguerite Hagan gives back to nurture the value of a good education

Donor Highlight graphic featuring Marguerite Hagen

Of all of life’s gifts Marguerite Hagan has received, faith, a loving husband, successful children, plenty of small, smiling grandchildren; the best gift she ever received was a good education. And in return she’s spent the rest of her life in dozens of classrooms sharing that gift.

“We value the importance of education and what a difference it can make in your life. I think for us, when we were able to financially support Oregon State we looked at the departments that meant the most to us, mine being the College of Education,” Hagen said. 

Alongside being a pillar in her own classrooms and her children’s classrooms, Hagen’s generosity toward the College of Education has been vital to the success of its students and budding teachers, like she once was. 

Hagen grew up on her family’s farm in the town of Enterprise, Oregon. She and three of her four siblings attended Oregon State; her older sister attended nursing school. 

Her parents attended Oregon State for a couple years as well, before her father enlisted and upon his return married Hagen’s mother. Having grown up visiting campus to see her sisters and hearing stories about Oregon State, Hagen said campus already felt like home by the time she came to Oregon State. 

Hagen graduated from Oregon State in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Health. As early as freshman year, she was involved in hands-on teaching experiences through the College of Education. She would help set up reading programs at a local school in Peoria, Oregon. 

She said she felt very welcomed at the College of Education, where she found the programs and activities to be personalized to students’ needs, and helpful in guiding her toward the direction she wanted to go. 

Her sophomore and junior years were spent in the Corvallis School District, and in her senior year she taught in the Portland Public School District. 

“I felt like they really prepared you for the classroom. You can read in a textbook, but it’s the personal experience that makes a difference. Having that experience early on in a classroom setting and being around other teachers, getting their perspective, really helped me,” she said. 

Among the livelihood of springtime in Corvallis, Hagen met her husband Ron Hagen. During the last term of her senior year, Hagen’s friends had arranged a blind date that involved pizza at a friend’s house and a friend-of-a-friend she “had to meet.” 

Marguerite and Ron bonded over both being one of five siblings, small Oregon towns, and their outdoorsy lifestyles. The two have been married for 43 years, and have three children that all attended Oregon State. 

“Well, 43 years later, I guess it was meant to be. We’re really proud of that,” Hagen said. 

Upon graduation, Hagen moved up to Portland, Oregon where she taught 3rd grade at St. Thomas More Catholic School. Being her first full-time teaching gig, she enjoyed how involved the families were with the children in her classroom, and learned how important it is to have a supportive family structure behind young students.

“When I was teaching, a supportive family made such a difference for the students. You want a teacher who really helps the families understand how the child is learning. It’s just teamwork,” she said.

Hagen carried this knowledge along with her to Eugene, Oregon, where she and her husband moved after getting married a year later. In Eugene, she taught 4th grade at O’Hara Catholic School. After 7 years of teaching, Hagen became a full-time mother and remained active in the community learning new skills.

Hagen had her three children; however, she never really left the classroom. From elementary to high school, she was involved in her children’s classrooms as a volunteer and worked at the Career Center at their high school. 

Being in the classroom always meant more to her than being a teacher. At the Career Center she helped students navigate financial burdens, and find pathways toward continuing their education.

“One of the things that I think is important is that kids from the rural communities can be aware of these things,” Hagen said. “Sometimes you don’t know what kinds of scholarships are available, and we hope that that’s available to all kinds of students and schools.”

Hagen hopes that the current and future students of the College of Education will find that teaching is rooted in genuine care for their students.

“You hope that teachers will be unlocking the potential of each student. You want people who are dedicated to the field of education. My hope is that teachers are passionate about what they do and that it’s not just a job,” she said. 

Now Hagen is a grandmother of many. She jokes about having “her own preschool” made up of all her grandchildren, and continues to volunteer weekly in their classrooms reading to the students and finding creative activities for the students to learn from, like crafting birdhouses. 

Looking back at all that has led her to a big family of Oregon State students, and a preschool of grandchildren, her appreciation for the education she received at Oregon State is why Hagen chooses to give back to the College of Education. 

“Getting an education really changed my life, and I think my husband would agree. It changed our lives. And we see that with our children now and even our grandchildren; the importance of a good education. It matters, and it means a lot,” she said.

Get to know College of Education Student Ambassador Nathan Ratalsky in this student highlight!

What led you to Oregon State University?

I was drawn to Oregon State University for a few reasons! First, I really liked its education program. Two degrees for a five year plan? Sign me up! The College’s history and beautiful campus was also a big selling point for me right out of high school. And finally, I wanted to stay in Oregon through my college experience. I’ve lived here most of my life and I really enjoy the amazing nature this state has to offer. OSU is nestled between scenic farmlands, old-growth forests, and the beach is only an hour’s drive away. These were all pretty big selling points for me!

What is your major or field of study and why did you choose it?

I’m studying history and secondary education, and pursuing a minor in Spanish.  I’ve wanted to teach for as long as I can remember. History, while not always my strongest academic subject, was always interesting to me too. When I came to OSU, I decided that I’d go for a teaching degree, which was always the plan, and that I’d push myself to learn more about history and how to be a historian. Looking back on it now, that was probably not the smartest decision, but I’m glad I made it! It’s been incredibly rewarding to work with the history department here, and now that I’m in my student teaching year, I’m able to apply the skills I’ve learned in my lessons.

If you do research, what kind of research do you do?

I don’t really do any research anymore. My final history class was last year, and since then I’ve been focusing heavily on student teaching. I guess, the research I’m doing right now, if you can call it that, has just been learning how I want to teach in the future and figuring out what kind of teacher I want to be.  This isn’t very academic, I know, but I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s extremely satisfying to be able to stand in front of a classroom and use what I’ve learned throughout my college career to achieve my long-held goal of becoming a teacher.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in?

Outside of school, I work as a Peer Tutor/Advisor for the College of Education. I work with students who are preparing for their content area exams, and help new students figure out what path they’d like to take with their studies. Aside from that, I’m a new member of OSU’s Kendo Club!

What do you like to do for fun, in your free time?

In my free time, I like to play music, read, box, and hang out with friends!

What advice would you give to a future College of Education student?

Meet with your advisors at least once a term, for sure.  I’ve seen plenty of students ignore meeting with their advisors early on, I was one of them. I got lucky and my schedule ended up working out, but there are many students who don’t take advantage of the help advisors provide and it ends up biting them in the butt later on. College advisors know how to get you through your college career efficiently; they’re there to use that knowledge to help you plan your classes so you can graduate as quickly as possible. Nobody wants to have to pay for a whole extra year of tuition just because they were cocky and scheduled their classes poorly in their freshman or sophomore year! Use the resources you’re paying for!

Our wonderful Administrative Professionals in the College of Education:

Get to know some of our administrative professionals who submitted some fun facts

Carma Ganta Long

Counseling, Administration Program Assistant

  • What is a hobby of yours? – Dancing with my Husband, running and any outdoor recreational activities.
  • Where is your favorite place to eat near campus? – Lupe’s or Castors. Of course happy hour anywhere is always a favorite too.

Lydia Griffin

Professional Development for Educators and Adult and Higher Education, Administration Program Assistant

  • Where is your favorite place to eat near campus: I pick up sandwiches from Jersey Mike’s on a regular basis for myself and my family.
  • Share some fun facts: Even though I was a student at OSU (years ago) and didn’t end up getting my degree here, my two boys are both graduates of OSU.

Kathleen Lillis

Undergraduate Administrative Program Assistant

  • What is your favorite part about working for OSU? Watching students graduate. Especially the ones that were at risk or we worked hard to help. It is especially gratifying to see their names come across whatever I am working on and see the words “Pending” for graduation. I just feel like ringing a cowbell. 
  • Do you have a piece of advice for our studentsAsk at least twice. If you want something-don’t quit asking for it, working on it and talking about it. You do not find a happy life – you make it.

John Scholl

Executive Assistant to the Deans

  • Share some fun facts: 1) I have an affinity for classic cars/trucks, 2) I have lived in TX, AR, AZ, OH, MI, and NY
  • Do you have a piece of advice for our students? Enjoy the ride…even if you get lost, have a flat, take a detour or your car breaks down. You will have learned lessons along the way and some great stories to tell from your journey

Across Oregon, many school districts find themselves in short supply of qualified dual language teachers. With almost 20% of students being current or prior English learners, there is a new level of importance being placed on providing opportunities for educators to earn a dual language specialization.

In 2018, a 5 year, $2.5 million grant funded through the Office of English Language Acquisition National Professional Development from the U.S. Department of Education provided funding for over 80 in-service and pre-service teachers to earn their English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement or Dual Language (DL) specialization. 

The success of the program led to a new iteration of the grant, known as TEAMS 2.0. The new round of the program will support 100 teachers to earn their ESOL Endorsement and/or DL Specialization, expand the pool of new dual language teachers in partnered districts, and provide DL-focused professional learning opportunities for their current DL educators.

The award for TEAMS 2.0 is approximately $2.7 million and will run through 2026. Along with ESOL and DL specialization for teachers, the grant will support faculty and doctorate students in conducting related research. 

The program courses are all offered through OSU Ecampus, allowing TEAMS 2.0 recipients to complete the coursework remotely and in tandem with their teaching. The courses focus on professional development for licensed educators teaching English learners (EL) and bilingual students.

TEAMS 2.0 expands

This year, three new school district partners will be included in TEAMS 2.0: Portland Public Schools, Woodburn School District, and Hood River School District. The returning partner districts are Beaverton School District, Bend-La Pine School District, Corvallis School District, Greater Albany School District, and Springfield School District. 

“By expanding our work to more districts, we will increase the ripple effects that TEAMS has across the state,” said TEAMS Program Coordinator Nelly Patiño-Cabrera and Principal Investigator Karen Thompson. “This work also builds on successful efforts during TEAMS 1.0 to deepen family and community engagement in partner districts.”

Along with new district partners, a priority of TEAMS 2.0 is a focus on literacy among EL students and multilingual families. As part of TEAMS 1.0, each district group partnered with a local organization to co-design and co-implement activities for multilingual families, said the TEAMS 2.0 coordinators.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, TEAMS 1.0 participants in Corvallis collaborated with the Corvallis Public Library to design, assemble, and distribute literacy activity bags to 200 families, including bilingual books, writing materials, and instructions for literacy-focused activities caregivers and children could complete together.”

TEAMS 2.0 aims to build on the work of TEAMS 1.0, prioritizing meaningful collaboration between more than just the teachers and EL students, but their families and communities.

Why TEAMS 2.0?

Over the past six years, OSU has recruited 126 in-service teachers in four cohorts, far exceeding its goal of 80 teachers. As of November 2021, 107 teachers have completed coursework with 97 earning an ESOL endorsement and/or DL specialization.

“We met and exceeded our goal of supporting 80 teachers, and found that 95% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that TEAMS 1.0 was effective in preparing them to serve EL students, and increasing their knowledge and skills related to parent, family, and community engagement,” said TEAMS 2.0 Coordinators.

Prior to entering the program, 25% of participants reported being confident or very confident in using ESOL instructional practices in the classroom; this increased to 92% after completing TEAMS.

Tiffany Day, a first grade teacher at William Walker Elementary in Beaverton, Oregon, was a recipient of the TEAMS 1.0 grant and found that the strategies she learned through the program have helped her better meet the needs of her students.

“I feel very fortunate to have been able to participate in the grant program. The knowledge gained was much more beneficial and practical after having taught at a school with a high Emergent Bilingual population and with 10 years of experience using the co-teaching model,” Day said. 

Many other TEAMS 1.0 students found that the program helped them better understand issues of equity and social justice and empower them to play a proactive role in their schools. 

“Participants said they had built stronger relationships and collaboration with both EL specialists and other classroom teachers, and that the program had a major impact on their ability and motivation to engage with multilingual students’ families and communities,”  said TEAMS 2.0 Coordinators. “They had become more adept at building relationships because of their deeper understanding of family and community needs.”

TEAMS 2.0 Coordinators Patiño-Cabrera and Thompson anticipate that the project will have ripple effects on other teachers in schools, through developing design structures in partnering districts, providing stipends for teachers to lead future professional development activities, and a continuation of the College of Education’s partnerships throughout the state. 

“Beyond impacts on individuals, TEAMS 2.0 will have important long-term impacts on the College of Education. We are sustaining and establishing new partnerships with school districts around the state and strengthening collaboration with OSU faculty on research projects.”

Beth Rankin is an Assistant Professor at the College of Education, get to know her in this faculty highlight!

What led you to Oregon State University? How long have you worked for the College of Education?

I was excited to join the largest university in the state of Oregon for many reasons. I particularly appreciate the quality hands-on experiences that my teacher candidates are receiving in the Elementary Education Double Degree program. 

If you do research, what kind of research do you do? Can you give us the “elevator pitch” of a current or recent project?

In the past, my research has primarily focused on secondary traumatic stress in K-12 educators. That is to say, K-12 teachers “absorb” personal trauma from working with traumatized students. This trauma causes teachers to experience PTSD-like symptoms. My research has shown this is particularly prevalent in female teachers. More recently, my research has focused on the stresses of teacher candidates who are entering their internship experiences during Covid. Regardless of the research project I have embarked on, I feel prioritizing the socioemotional wellness of teachers is critical. 

What made you decide to engage in that kind of research/work?

My experiences as a former elementary teacher in a Title I school led me to understand first hand the trauma that teachers develop vicariously as a result of working with traumatized students. I know how devasting this can be for teachers and results in high rates of attrition in K-12.  These personal experiences have made studying secondary traumatic stress a priority.  

What is your favorite part about your job?

I enjoy helping my students make connections between my course material and their hands-on experiences in their elementary classrooms as teacher candidates.  

What do you like to do in your free time, outside of work?

The majority of my time outside of work is spent thinking about, training for, and playing volleyball. Although I’m learning to embrace the outdoor lifestyle of Oregon!  

Andrea De Lei is a College of Education student working toward her Master of Education (EdM) in the Adult and Higher Education Program. Get to know her in this student feature!

What led you to Oregon State University?

Family, job, school. In 2015, I moved to Corvallis with my family when my spouse took a job at OSU. Shortly after, I started working at OSU in 2018 with Rec Sports. Then in 2020, I decided to pursue my master’s degree at OSU.

What is your major/field of study and why did you choose it?

Master of Education (EdM) in Adult and Higher Education. After attending the AHE informational session to understand this program better, I was very interested in the instructional design components integrated throughout the AHE program. Additionally, I liked that this program was completely online through one of the top online programs, Ecampus. The program fits nicely with my busy lifestyle.

What year are you in school?

Second-year, anticipated graduation date June 2022.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in?

I’m currently working at OSU’s Recreational Sports as the acting Marketing and Events Coordinator. This is a short-term interim role, my previous role was the Marketing and Events Assistant. In a nutshell, I do all things digital content, including social media, facility and event service management, and internal facility scheduling and program planning.

What do you like to do for fun, in your free time?

I like to spend time with family and friends. Anything in a fun social setting, really. I play a lot of soccer, indoor and outdoor. I like to play pretty much any sport, golfing, soccer, basketball, ultimate. As well as go on short hikes in the spring/summer.

What advice would you give to a future College of Education student?

Coming from an Ecampus/online learning experience, don’t be nervous about reaching out to your peers or professors for help or clarification. Much great advice I saw, gave or received came from a quick group text/chat/email between my classmates when someone was unsure, wanted feedback, or need inspiration.