College News and Notes: Spring/Summer 2020



Mulholland continues as dean

Dean Colleen MulhollandProvost Jim Wohlpart announced that Colleen Mulholland, who has served as interim dean of the College of Education since August 2019, will continue as dean through the 2022 academic school year. An initial search was closed, and Wohlpart says a new public search is planned during the 2021-22 school year. 

“The stability that Dr. Mulholland has offered over the last year and will offer over the next two years is essential in assisting us in navigating the challenges before us,” Wohlpart said. 

Mulholland joined the college in July 2018 as associate dean for undergraduate studies and student support services. She came to Cedar Falls after 10 years with the University of Indianapolis, where she most recently served as interim dean for 18 months. She was appointed assistant dean in 2014 after joining the faculty as an assistant professor in secondary education. 

Mulholland earned her doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction and master’s in instructional design from the University of Central Florida. The Michigan native attained a B.A. in middle school education with a specialization in English language arts and social studies from University of Kentucky, and previously taught middle level and high school English in Florida. She holds national board certification in English language arts/adolescent young adulthood. 

Countryman named head for Teaching

Lyn CountrymanEffective July 1, Lyn Countryman, a professor in the Teaching department, will step into the role of head, Department of Teaching. Countryman has been with UNI for 30 years, and served previously in several roles with the Malcolm Price Laboratory School. She replaces interim head Mary Donegan-Ritter, who will return full time to her role as associate professor, early childhood education. 


Be A Teacher!

Be a Teacher Day!Nearly 400 prospective students and family members joined in at two new events in fall 2019: Transfer! Teach! Transform!, an afternoon event for prospective transfer students in early childhood and elementary education; and Be a Teacher Day, specially dedicated to students interested in teaching at all PreK-12 levels.

The latter event was a collaboration of admissions and all four colleges which support the UNIMade to Teach Teacher Education program. COE educational leadership alumni Eric Rosburg (M.A.E., ASC/principalship, ‘15), a Cedar Falls junior high associate principal, and Mike Fisher (M.A.E., ‘11, ASC/superintendency, ‘15), superintendent for Charles City schools, joined several current students on a panel that kicked off Be a Teacher Day at the Gallagher Bluedorn Great Hall. 

Time to code! 

Pre-service UNI teacher education students and faculty gained hands-on experience in computerHour of Code 2019 coding on December 9 when the college’s Instructional Technology Division hosted an “Hour of Code” in the Schindler Education Center. The event was part of a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. “As a college of education, it’s important that we prepare our future teachers for curricular changes which include greater emphasis and exposure to computer science,” said Magda Galloway, instructional technology. With this initial foray, Galloway and colleagues are already planning for next year. 

EPFLS faculty explore moral and intellectual virtue 

A team of five faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies (EPFLS) will explore the literature on moral and intellectual virtues, studying how that connects to, and can inform changes in, two foundational courses for teacher education.  

Over the next year, Ron Rinehart and Anthony Gabriele will focus on how to cultivate intellectual virtues, such as open-mindedness, in a course on learning and motivation. Suzanne Freedman and Elana Joram will examine ways that moral virtues, such as empathy, can be infused into a course on child and adolescent development. The work is supported by a $149,964 grant from the Kern Family Foundation. 

Benjamin Forsyth, the project’s leader, says that in addition to making recommendations for changes in curriculum, the group also hopes to bring guest speakers on related topics to campus over the next year. 

The grant is the second received by EPFLS faculty from the Kern Family Foundation. The foundation has previously supported the Institute for Educational Leadership, led by EPFLS’s Denise Schares. The four-year project includes think tanks and leadership camps, school board dialogues, mentor training and funding for the Iowa School Finance Leadership Conference.

Camp Adventure closes 

Following months of discussions, Camp Adventure Child and Youth Services closed May 1. Numerous factors contributed to this decision, including declining participation, unsustainable budget deficits and the impact of COVID-19 which accelerated the decision. 

Camp Adventure, a program within Health, Recreation and Community Services, had been offered through UNI since 1991, and was affiliated with several other universities. It provided thousands of students from Iowa and across the nation a service-learning opportunity through running summer youth programs primarily for military families or participating in summer and fall internships.

Many faculty and staff have fond memories of the rich history of Camp Adventure,  having served both as guides and participants during their student years. Domino Chumrley-Birch served as interim program manager. The previous manager, Susan Edginton, retired in November 2019 a few months after her husband Dr. Chris Edginton retired. Dr. Edginton founded Camp Adventure.  

AEAs and UNI partner to ‘grow’ school psychologists 

A “grow your own” distance education program to increase access to mental health services in schools is underway, thanks to a grant secured by the Green Hills Area Education Agency from the U.S. Department of Education with UNI School Psychology program assistance. 

School psychology faculty helped write the grant and are contracted to assist in its implementation with Green Hills and Prairie Lakes AEA. The goal is to add 10 school psychologists in high need rural areas of western Iowa over five years. 

“This is a great opportunity to work with Green Hills and Prairie Lake AEAs. We’re grateful for their commitment to the practice of school psychology in Iowa,” said Nicole Skaar, school psychology program coordinator. 

The first cohort was recruited from Green Hills and Prairie Lakes AEAs and districts they serve. They started courses in January and are expected to graduate with their Ed.S. degree in Spring 2022. The next cohort will be recruited in Fall 2021, begin courses  in January 2022, and graduate in Spring 2024.

Revamped Doctor of Education program launches 

A revamped and streamlined program awaits future students entering the College of Education’s Doctor of Education Program.  

Now delivered in cooperation with UNI Continuing and Distance Education, the updated program shifts from rolling admissions to a cohesive, cohort-based model and offers a more robust combination of online and hybrid learning. Credit hours total 48, down from an average of 60 hours, with a flexible, three-year plan of study, two courses per semester. 

In addition, the program has added an intensive study area (ISA), postsecondary education: student affairs. 

“With this revamped program, we are even better positioned to meet the needs of today’s professionals who are preparing for their next step as leaders in formal and informal education and community settings,” said Colleen Mulholland, dean of the College of Education. 

The first fall 2020 cohorts in educational leadership (including special education) and PSE: student affairs begin this fall. The next round of cohorts will start in fall 2022. 

New names, new minors fall 2020

Kinesiology and Health, Recreation and Community Services (HRCS) will welcome students to new or newly renamed degree options this fall. 

  • Leisure, youth and human services is now recreation, tourism and nonprofit leadership (HRCS) 
  • M.A. in community health and recreation, a blend of the previous M.A. in community health and M.A. in leisure, youth and human services (HRCS)
  • Athletic training and rehabilitation studies minor (HRCS)
  • Strength and conditioning minor (kinesiology) 

Program faculty say most of these changes reflect student interests, program trends nationwide and UNI program strengths. 

Professional development and education kick off new year 

Ahmad Washington Education SummitBefore COVID-19 emerged, the College of Education hosted a full slate of professional development and educational outreach events which reached hundreds of faculty, staff, professional colleagues and community members. These included:

2019 Education Summit, November 11-12, featuring presentations and dialogue centered on Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practice: Challenging Systemic Inequity and Injustice in Education and Health. Coordinated by the Center for Educational Transformation, the summit explored research, practices and policies that underpin the current education and health care systems in the United States. 

Weather kept two keynote speakers from attending, but Ahmad Washington, assistant professor, counseling and Christopher Burkehuman development, University of Louisville, led a contingent of UNI faculty, community members, health care and other guests, and K-12 students who participated in individual, panel and poster presentations. They focused on four strands: culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy and practice; community, school and university partnerships; inequity and injustice in education and health; and cultural and linguistic competence in school and healthcare systems. Christopher Burke (ASC, ‘16, principalship, and M.A., ‘15, educational leadership and postsecondary education), 2019 Iowa Teacher of the Year, facilitated conversations focused on the criticality of the whole self (e.g., social, emotional, and cultural) and how they intersect with school outcomes, including academic achievement.

Tubbs Teaching ConnectionsBill and Linda Tubbs Teaching Connections, January 30-31, professional development which explored the needs of emergent bilingual learning students and families. A diverse mix of community partners including representatives of EMBARC, Heartland AEA, McFarland Physical Therapy and Marshalltown and Waterloo schools joined COE and UNI faculty in dialogue for two days on this important topic.

African American Children and Families Conference and African American Read-In, February 27-28. First came the first African American Read-In 2020graders -- nearly 1,000 of them from Waterloo and Hudson schools -- for the 14th Read-In, filling Maucker Union with day-long activities. A record number of middle and high school students along with UNI students, university and community professionals attended the 9th annual conference: “Transforming Communities for the Betterment of the Lives of African American Children and Their Families.” Gloria Kirkland-Holmes, who coordinated these events from the beginning, reminisced about their origins and growth prior to her upcoming retirement in an InsideUNI feature

In memory… Christopher Kliewer

Christopher KliewerChristopher Kliewer, a 24-year member of the special education faculty in the UNI College of Education, passed away on November 5, 2019. 

Kliewer was a true advocate for children with disabilities and their families. Throughout his tenure at UNI, Chris received numerous awards and recognition for his teaching, research, and service, including the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in 2009. He was a distinguished scholar in the areas of disability studies, inclusion, literacy and students with significant disabilities, and one of the first inclusive education scholars interested in the implications of literacy learning for young children with significant disabilities.

Through several federally funded grants, his work contributed to advancing understanding and practice in his field. He was active nationally in advisory roles, on editorial boards and as a speaker at national educational and inclusion conferences. 

Kliewer had a gift for explaining complex constructs in a clear, understandable fashion and loved to tell his students stories drawn from his classroom experiences teaching young students with disabilities. He leaves behind an inspiring and enduring legacy.  

Honoring our retirees

Ten faculty and staff, who together represent nearly 250 years of experience, retired by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. 

  • Susan Edginton, 28 years, Health, recreation and community services
  • Kathy Johnson, 12 years, Kinesiology
  • Gloria Kirkland-Holmes, 41 years, Curriculum and instruction
  • Rick Knisveld, 27 years, Teaching
  • Loleta Montgomery, 6 years, Educational psychology, foundations and leadership studies 
  • Karen Peterson, 25 years, Health, recreation and community services 
  • Mary Stichter, 30 years, Teaching
  • Paul Waack, 38 years, Kinesiology
  • Michael Waggoner, 32 years, Educational psychology, foundations and leadership studies
  • Robert Weaton, 7 years, Teaching