Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, announced the creation of the Office of Innovation & Collaboration, a comprehensive effort to draw on the faculty’s expertise and experience to help solve some of the most challenging issues in the profession.
The office was officially established this summer and its first program, Ed Cats, was launched this month. Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, was named program coordinator.
Ed Cats offers support for early-career teachers by providing access to free resources that include an electronic newsletter, a blog, and networking through social media. The resources were developed after the college held focus groups developed to address teacher retention and ultimately, student success.
“Our goal is to provide graduates with a toolbox that goes with them into their first job and we stay connected to them, available to them throughout their early career, which we have defined as the first three years,” Martinez said. “We’re building post-graduation relationships, and look at the benefits. It benefits students. It benefits school buildings. It benefits districts. It benefits communities,” Martinez said. “This adds value to our graduates’ degrees.”
To learn more about Ed Cats, please watch this video, friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @WeAreEdCats or visit coe.k-state.edu/edcats.
Keeping true to its heritage of diversity and inclusion, the College of Education and the Midwest Equity Assistance Center, or MEAC, will launch a universitywide and communitywide initiative to bring light to many of the defining social issues of our time.
“Not Just a Year of Social Justice Education” is the brainchild of Linda P. Thurston, College of Education associate dean of research and graduate studies and Lydia E. Skeen chair. The effort brings together researchers, subject matter experts, clergy, authors, community members and student organizations to weigh in on some of this generation’s most pressing social issues. The activities supplement the college’s Social Justice Education graduate certificate program.
“So many organizations across campus and in the community are doing great work in their areas,” Thurston said. “What we have the opportunity to do here is to highlight many of these efforts together in one focused series of activities throughout a whole year.”
“Not Just a Year of Social Justice Education” kicks off with a video and will offer monthly activities throughout the academic year to support a predetermined theme. Remember educators: MEAC’s resources (books, movies, journals and more) are available free! For more information, contact Ronna Olivier at email@example.com or by calling (785) 532-6408.
Five decades, seven deans, thousands of teachers and countless students have been touched by excellence in action at the K-State College of Education.
From humble beginnings – two of the first seven graduates from Kansas State Agricultural College became educators to today’s distinction of being the largest teacher preparation program in Kansas – the college continues to forge new paths and develop relevant programming.
“I invite all friends, faculty, alumni and students to celebrate this milestone with us,” Mercer said. “Join us at Cat Town, join us for speakers and events on campus, or access our resources. We want to connect with you in any way we can during this very special year.”
“Connections” magazine will be published later this fall and promises to offer a fascinating look at college – both then and now.
The school year is here, and it’s a great time to remind educators of the resources available through the College of Education.
The Midwest Equity Assistance Center, or MEAC, has a complete library filled with books and DVDs that are available free to educators in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. For a complete list of the organization’s resources and services, visit http://meac.org.
The college produced several documentaries that are exceptional educational tools. The series “A Walk in My Shoes” offers in-depth looks at the lives of international graduate students, military life, and first-generation college students. Other films include the regional Emmy-nominated “A Long Road: 150 years of African-American Experiences at K-State,” and “Humanity Looks Good on Everyone.” A film about the Underground Railroad in Kansas will be released in the spring of 2016. All films can be found on the college’s YouTube channel.
Lisa Comer, English as a second language director at Syracuse High School in Syracuse, Kansas, said “A Long Road” was a powerful teaching resource as it promoted discussion, empathy and family pride.
“The students actually enjoyed discussing these more difficult topics because they were able to relate their own experiences they might not have been ordinarily invited to discuss openly in a school setting,” Comer said. “It allowed them to lower their affective filters and feel more comfortable in talking about real issues in their lives and what they are seeing in the news and world around them.”
Can something good really come from the loss of a cherished daughter? For one couple – and about 200 teachers and counting – the answer is “yes.”
Philanthropists Bill and Marilyn Taylor, Olathe, Kansas, created scholarships that have provided nearly 200 preservice teachers with a study abroad experience after their daughter, Megan, was killed. She was struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle on a high school band trip in Germany.
In 2002, the Taylors created the Megan E. Taylor Memorial Scholarship for Study Abroad and they have inspired future educators with their generosity and grace. The college recently produced a video about this amazing couple where they share their story and commitment to “paying it forward.”
“In Germany, when she passed away we were there for an additional four days and staying with the family, actually, that she was with and somewhere during that time, we decided that we had to make something good come out of this,” said Bill Taylor. “And so we came back and started to think about scholarships, and we just really felt like study abroad was an ‘extra’ and the term that we use and others use is ‘life changing.’”
Thank you, Taylors, for sharing Megan with your K-State family and for being the embodiment of “paying it forward.”
The College of Education created a new Web series to build a bridge between subject matter experts in education and external audiences.
“EduCATion Today: The Issues & The Experts” will air Webisodes throughout the school year on the college’s YouTube channel that will address current issues in the field of education. Experts from both on and off campus will weigh in on current issues ranging from inclusion and diversity to school finance.
Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, is producing the series in the hopes it serves as a prompt for positive discussion for students, teachers, administrators, parents and policymakers.
“The professionals interviewed are experts in education who have practical experience and know what works,” Mercer said. “Too often, it seems educators are overlooked when important discussions take place, and our goal with ‘EduCATion Today’ is to provide a forum for meaningful discussion and insight.”
The first guest on “EduCATion Today” is Raymond Doswell, the college’s 2015 Alumni Fellow and vice president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. He discusses the creation of the NLBM and the 25-year partnership between the College of Education and the NBLM, including the curriculum materials the college developed for teachers as an introduction into diversity.
“The museum provides content as an entrée into diversity,” Doswell said. “Sports is a terrain that is shared and understood equally. It allows students to imagine their favorite teams without some of their favorite players. For older students, they can even imagine some of the social pressures these players faced like eating and traveling. It wasn’t that long ago.”
Stay tuned for more information about upcoming experts to appear on “EduCATion Today.”
Want to make memories that last a lifetime with your grandchild or a special child in your life? The only requirements are: 1. You must be a K-State alum who wants to share your love of K-State; and 2. The child must be between the ages of 8-12.
If so, join us for the College of Education’s Grandparents University, or GPU, Aug. 2-4. Participants will stay in the dorms and dine in the Derby Food Complex, just like college students. This year, there are seven engaging activities to choose from at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art and the colleges of architecture, planning and design, engineering, human ecology, and education.
GPU participants will receive a true Wildcat welcome as members of the The Pride, K-State’s Marching band – the number one marching band in the nation – greet participants.
More information and registration details are available on the College of Education’s Website, or by contacting Teara Lander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corbin Witt, superintendent of Geary County Schools, has been named this year’s recipient of the prestigious Dan and Cheryl Yunk Excellence in Educational Administration Award.
The Yunks were both exemplary teachers and administrators throughout their careers in the Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 school district. Established in their honor, this award recognizes the importance of educational administrators who establish environments that promote student learning.
Witt is the superintendent of Geary County Schools, a position he’s held since 2014. As the organization’s chief executive, he is responsible for district budget preparation and management including federal impact aid, Board of Education relations, curriculum and instruction, negotiations, public relations, crisis management, and day-to-day district level leadership.
His career began as a teacher in 1988 at Northview Elementary School in Manhattan, Kansas, where he also became an assistant principal/lead teacher. In his next position, he served as principal at Sterling Grade School in Sterling, Kansas. Witt moved to Atchison, Kansas, where he was named principal at Atchison Elementary School from 1997-2001, after which he became the associate superintendent then acting superintendent of Atchison Public Schools. From 2007-2014, Witt was the executive director of School Improvement for Salina Public Schools, a position he held until accepting the superintendent position in Junction City, Kansas.
Witt believes his experiences in small, medium and large school districts contributed to his growth and perspective as a leader. He is member of multiple state and national education-related organizations and actively engaged in service organization in his communities where he has lived.
Witt earned three degrees from K-State: a bachelor’s degree in elementary education; a master’s degree in educational administration; and a Ph.D. in educational administration.
Two of the top five finalists in the university’s first-ever Student Employee of the Year competition were College of Education students.
Julia Comstock, senior in elementary education, and April Gee, senior in secondary English, rose to the top five out of 47 students nominated across campus. K-State employs more than 5,000 students annually, serving the campus community in a variety of roles. The purpose of the Student Employee of the Year Award program is to recognize and reward those students who go above and beyond to make exemplary contributions to the K-State community.
Comstock works in the College of Education’s Catalyst Center as a video editor, and Gee works at the K-State libraries. One-minute videos were created for all of the finalists including Comstock and Gee.
Registration is open for a three-day, hands-on workshop designed to inspire and equip educators to facilitate student media projects using iPads.
The iPad Media Camp is being held Aug. 3-5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Bluemont Hall. The sessions are being co-lead by eBooks author Wesley Fryer and Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, instructor of curriculum and instruction.
Kuhn said the workshop will focus on creating narrated slideshows and screencasts, creating and safely sharing “Quick Edit” videos, and the final day will focus on interactive writing and creating multimedia eBooks.