News and Accolades

News​

50th Annual Elementary Literacy Conference

J. Duea and J. Finkelstein at a decorated table with another womanUNI’s College of Education sponsored its 50th Annual Elementary Literacy Conference on April 13, 2018 in Schindler Education Center.  Keynote speakers included Eric Litwin, best-selling author of the original Pete the Cat, and John Schumacher, a dynamic teacher librarian and Ambassador for School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs. The 2018 conference served as a celebration as well as a farewell since UNI will no longer be holding the conference. The Beginning Reading/Elementary Literacy Conference was started by Joan Duea and Delsie Charais Foreman and was organized and run by the elementary faculty from UNI’s Malcolm Price Laboratory School for over 40 years. The conference has provided professional development in literacy strategies for thousands of practicing and pre-service teachers, as well as giving them the opportunity to meet many different authors and illustrators of children's books. For more information about the history of the conference and a full list of keynote speakers through the years, visit the conference website.   Pictured are Joan Duea (left), conference co-founder, and Judith Finkelstein (far right), professor emerita of Price Lab School and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

A gift to students

The Iowa Association of Communication Technology has donated $8,639 to the Eugene & Mary Grossman Quasi-Endowed Scholarship for Educational Media. Each year this fund provides one scholarship for an instructional technology master’s student and one scholarship for an educational technology minor student. The donation was made on the recommendation of Chuck Sengstock who was a recipient of the Grossman Scholarship when he was earning his master’s degree at UNI. Sengstock later earned an Ed.D. at Drake University and is currently the director of continuing education and professional development at Drake University School of Education. 

Recycling in Reggio

In June, Sohyun Meacham, assistant professor of literacy education, and twelve UNI students (eleven teacher education students and one communication major) visited Reggio Emilia, Italy, a city known for innovative education. They participated in a week-long workshop through Reggio Children, an organization that promotes the work of the city’s infant, toddler and pre-school centers, and ReMida, the Creative Recycling Center. They learned how to creatively use unused/recycled materials for integrative teaching and learning and how to run a creative recycling center similar to ReMida. This experience will potentially support Iowa schools' efforts to enhance creative learning environments.

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Accolades

The following tabs list awards (including grants), presentations and publications related to Curriculum and Instruction students, alumni, faculty and staff.  To find items involving C&I faculty, look on both tabs: collaborations that involve students and faculty are listed on the first tab, while items that only involve faculty or staff are listed on the second tab.

Alumna Tiffany Ahrens was invited to speak on humorous books at the 50th Annual Elementary Literacy Conference at UNI on April 13, 2018. Her presentation was titled, "Make 'Em Laugh: Great Humorous Books for Kids." Ahrens earned a B.A. in elementary education and a teacher librarian minor through UNI and is a teacher librarian at Cedar Heights Elementary School in Cedar Falls.

Sarah Montgomery, associate professor of elementary education, in collaboration with Zak Montgomery, associate professor of Spanish at Wartburg College, two UNI alumnae, Elizabeth Silbernagel and Yvonne Ayesiga, and Wartburg alumna Anne Epley, published an article titled, “‘You’re not Latino, You’re American’: Heritage Learners of Spanish Navigate Issues of Cultural Identity in Higher Education” in the College Student Affairs Journal in the spring of 2018.  The team of researchers investigated the evolving linguistic and cultural identities of heritage speakers of Spanish as they navigated higher education. Silbernagel earned a B.A. in elementary education with a minor in literacy education, and Ayesiga earned an M.A. in post-secondary education, both at UNI in 2016.

Amanda Wasylik (M.A. literacy education) presented a paper at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting in April 2018 in New York City titled “Changing Practice: Self-Study of My Use of Comprehensive Literacy Instruction for Teaching Students With Disabilities.” The paper was based on Wasylik’s master’s research and co-authored by Deborah Tidwell, professor of literacy education. Wasylik teaches elementary special education in the Middleton Cross-Plain Area School District in Wisconsin.

Dessy Stoycheva, C&I doctoral candidate, presented a co-authored commentary with former UNI professor Ralph Reynolds in a structured poster session at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting in April 2018 in New York City.  Her poster was titled “The Model of Domain Learning: Understanding the Development of Expertise.”

Matthew Mengler (B.A. elementary and middle level education) won third prize in Rod Library’s inaugural Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award competition in the spring of 2018 for his honors thesis, "’Slavery Wasn’t That Bad': An Examination of the Effects of Reduced Social Studies Class Time and Student Misconceptions.”  Mengler graduated in May 2018.  Sarah Montgomery, associate professor of elementary education, served as his honors thesis advisor.

Two teacher librarian alumnae were named AASL Social Media Superstars on April 30, 2018 by the American Association of School Librarians. Chelsea Sims (M.A. school library studies), a teacher librarian at South East Junior High School in Iowa City, was honored with the Sensational Student Voice award for using social media to share student work and and show the library's impact on student growth.  Teacher librarian, author, speaker and consultant, Shannon McClintock Miller (B.A. elementary education, M.A. school library studies), was honored with the Leadership Luminary award for her tireless leadership through social media.  

Mahjabeen Hussain, C&I doctoral candidate, was awarded a scholarship for winning First Place: Oral Presentation-State College Room at UNI’s 11th Annual Graduate Student Symposium on April 3, 2018 with Transforming Professional Learning Using Self-Study in an EFL Context.  Sixty graduate students and 29 graduate faculty judges participated in this year’s event.

Shehreen Iqtadar, C&I doctoral candidate, was awarded a scholarship for winning Second Place: Poster Presentation at UNI’s 11th Annual Graduate Student Symposium on April 3, 2018 with Personal Experiences of Students at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and (Dis)ability.  The Graduate Student Symposium provides a showcase for graduate students to present their research and creative works.

Sonia Yoshizawa (M.A.E. early childhood education) and Winnie Wong (Ed.D. leisure, youth and human services) collaborated with Beth VanMeeteren, associate professor of literacy education and director of the Iowa Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education (RCEDE), on a presentation entitled "East Meets West: Pathways to Understanding How Young Children of Different Cultures Engage in Physics" at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference on March 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.  They explored the societal constraints in eastern and western cultures that interrupt powerful integrative STEM experiences for young children. Yoshizawa coordinates early childhood research at East Tennessee State University, and Wong operates a STEM education business in Hong Kong.

Dessy Stoycheva, a C&I doctoral candidate and an instructor in educational psychology and foundations, and Leann Perkins, a child development specialist at the UNI Child Development Center, published an article in the Journal of STEM Arts, Crafts, and Constructions about preschoolers learning physics concepts through arts.
Citation:  Stoycheva, D., & Perkins, L. (2016). Three- and four-year-olds learn about gears through arts incorporation. Journal of STEM Arts, Crafts, and Constructions, 1(2), 67-83.

Dessy Stoycheva, C&I doctoral candidate and Educational Psychology & Foundations temporary faculty, co-authored a chapter with Ralph Reynolds, former Richard O. Jacobson Endowed Chair, in the book The Model of Domain Learning: Understanding the Development of Expertise.
Citation:  Reynolds, R. & Stoycheva, D. (2018). The Model of Domain Learning: A Good Science-based Theory.  In H. Fives & D.L. Dinsmore (Eds.), The Model of Domain Learning: Understanding the Development of Expertise. New York: Routledge.  

Carolyn A. Weber, assistant professor of elementary and middle level education, in collaboration with Sarah E. Montgomery, associate professor of elementary education, published a manuscript titled, “The Emergence of Elementary Citizenship Education: Insights from Iowa‘s Rural Schools, 1910–1935” in August 2018 in the journal Theory & Research in Social Education. The article explores the impact of World War I on social education curriculum shifts in Iowa's rural schools. It was found that despite nationalist rhetoric at the state level, Iowa's rural schools implemented a child-centered citizenship curriculum that focused on themes of kindness, peace, and community.

Debra Rich, instructor in literacy education, Linda Dorn, professor of literacy at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock, and Adria Klein, visiting professor, St. Mary's College of California, in collaboration with Reading Recovery teacher leaders in Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, and California presented “Changes, Challenges, and Choices: Reading Recovery in the 21st Century” at the Reading Recovery Teacher Leader Institute on June 15, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky.  Also at the institute, Rich presented "Creating Change to Carry on Tradition" in collaboration with Tiffany McConnelee, Reading Recovery teacher leader, Keystone Area Education agency, and Janelle Williams and Tami Huck, Reading Recovery teacher leaders, Central Rivers Area Education Agency. Keystone and Central Rivers AEAs are affiliated with the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy at UNI.

Jody Stone, professor of teaching and science education, published an article in Science and Children in July entitled “Lighting the Way to Learning Centers.” The article provides guidelines for setting up successful science learning centers in elementary classrooms and uses a batteries and bulbs unit as an example. Stone is a member of the Department of Teaching, and she also teaches courses for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. 
Citation:  Stone, J. (2018). Lighting the Way to Learning Centers. Science and Children, 70(5), 40-46.

Taraneh Matloob Haghanikar, assistant professor of literacy education, presented a paper titled “Meet me in Story” at the Augmented World Expo-AWE USA 2018 in May in Santa Clara, California.

Nandita Gurjar, assistant professor of literacy education, presented as a member of a panel on “Using Social Media in the Age of Fake News at the International Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education conference in March 2018. Gurjar also presented at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in November 2017 on “Exerting Reluctant Writer Agency: Cultivating & Nurturing Multimodal Poetry in an Elementary Language Arts Classroom Using a Text Set.”
Citations: Kinghorn, B., Krutka, D., Gurjar, N., & Thomas, S. (2018). Using social media in the classroom in the age of fake news. A panel presentation at the International Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education Conference. Washington, DC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Washington, DC, March 26-30, 2018.

Gurjar, N. (2017). Exerting reluctant writer agency: Cultivating & nurturing multimodal poetry in an elementary language arts classroom using a text set. A roundtable presentation in Literature and Diversity: Using Reading to Improve Cultural Competence, a presentation for National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), St. Louise, MO, November 16-19, 2017.

Farah Kashef, educational technologist for the College of Education and adjunct instructor in instructional technology (C&I), co-authored a white paper "Challenges to Creating and Sustaining Effective Technology Integration in Teacher Education Programs" that was released at 2018 American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Annual Meeting in February in Baltimore, Maryland. The paper was written by the Building Sustainable Systems Working Group convened by the US Department of Education Office of Education Technology in December 2016. The authors included Liz Kolb, University of Michigan; Candace Roberts, St. Leo University; Christine Terry, University of Missouri; and Arlene Borthwick, National Louis University.

Nandita Gurjar, assistant professor of literacy education, published two articles in peer-reviewed international conference proceedings of Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) about digital pedagogy and technology adoption.
Citations: Gurjar, N. (2018). A Critical Examination of Participation in an Online Community of Practice to Inform Digital Pedagogy. In E. Langran & J. Borup (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 2156-2164). Washington, D.C., United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 29, 2018 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/182837/.

Gurjar, N. (2018). Understanding Technology Adoption: Theory and Critical Review of Seminal Research. In E. Langran & J. Borup (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 787-799). Washington, D.C., United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 29, 2018 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/182619/.

Sarah Montgomery, associate professor of curriculum & instruction, presented at the 2018 African American Children and Families Conference in February at UNI. The presentation was titled "Mindfulness: Cultivating Peace in Classrooms and Communities" and was based on research regarding the positive impact of mindfulness approaches for classrooms and communities. 

Beth VanMeeteren, associate professor of literacy education and director of the Iowa Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education, and Brenda Kaufmann, second grade teacher at North Tama County Community School District, provided two presentations at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference on March 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. The presentations were "Ramps & Pathways: An Integrative STEM Experience" and "Integrative STEM Centers - It's More Than Content: Lessons From My Second Graders." These presentations focused on how elementary teachers can offer integrative STEM experiences to their elementary students on a daily basis.

Salli Forbes, professor of literacy education and director of the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy, in collaboration with Deb Rich, instructor in literacy education and assistant director for the Jacobson Center, presented at the 2018 National Reading Recovery and K-6 Literacy Conference in January in Columbus, Ohio. The presentation was titled "Powerful Teaching Decisions: Acceleration Through Reciprocity" and was based on a literature review and observation of Reading Recovery lessons.  

   
C&I faculty and students: Submit your Accolades

If you have questions about the accolade form (see link above) or need to submit additional information, email michele.gipson@uni.edu or alisa.weeks@uni.edu.