Kansas State University


K-State College of Education

Author: Patrice Scott

College produces Web series ‘EduCATion Today’

Raymond Doswell, vice president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and 2015 alumni fellow, is the first guest on "EduCATion Today."
Raymond Doswell, vice president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and 2015 alumni fellow, is the first guest on “EduCATion Today.”

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.”


Register now for Grandparents University



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 flagg@ksu.edu.


Witt receives Dan and Cheryl Yunk Excellence in Educational Administration Award


Corbin Witt named this year's recipient of the prestigious Dan and Cheryl Yunk Excellence in Educational Administration Award.
Corbin Witt named this year’s recipient of the prestigious Dan and Cheryl Yunk Excellence in Educational Administration Award.

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.


Education students are finalists in campus competition

Julia Comstock and April Gee were two of five finalists in the university's Student Employee of the Year competition.
Julia Comstock and April Gee were two of five finalists in the university’s Student Employee of the Year competition.

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.



Register now for iPad Media Camp on campus

Register today for the iPad Media Camp workshop Aug. 2-4 in Bluemont Hall.
Register today for the iPad Media Camp workshop Aug. 3-5 in Bluemont Hall.

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.

For more information and registration information, visit www.ipadmediacamp.com.

College of Education earns national diversity award

Dean Debbie Mercer and Amanda Morales are presented with a prestigious diversity award from AACTE.
Dean Debbie Mercer and Amanda Morales are presented with a prestigious diversity award from AACTE.

The College of Education received a national award for global teacher education based on its nearly four decades of inclusion and commitment to diversity.

The college was presented with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education – Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Teacher Education at the association’s 67th Annual Meeting in Atlanta Feb. 27. Debbie Mercer, dean; Amanda Morales, assistant professor and diversity coordinator; and Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor; accepted the award.

“Diversity isn’t a class that is taught within our college,” Mercer said. “Diversity is how we live, it is how we relate to others, and it is how we prepare future teachers to educate all of the students in their classrooms. This award is particularly meaningful as it affirms that we are taking the right steps at the right time, and are truly impacting the education students receive in Kansas as well as students far beyond our state’s and nation’s borders.”

Morales drafted the five-page application with support from Kevin Murry, associate professor, detailing the college’s many initiatives, which center on the concept that diversity is a collective responsibility that is woven into every aspect of the college’s teacher education program.

Open House to have many new activities this year


Open House is always a special event at K-State; however, it will be special for two reasons this year as the College of Education is also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The university’s theme is “Unfold Your Future” and the college’s Education Council added an international spin, “Unfold Your Future Around the Globe.” Open House is scheduled for Saturday, April 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trina Harlow, Open House coordinator, said the front of Bluemont Hall will be jam packed with fun and activities. There will be live music, a train and bounce house, a wishing tree, dry erase comment boards, balloon animals, and popcorn and drinks. At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, will make brief comments about the college’s 50th anniversary.

Rooms throughout Bluemont Hall will each represent a continent and offer corresponding activities. For example, visitors to “Asia” (room 118), will appreciate the Pagoda, origami tables, a photo area and more. “Africa” (room 121) will be all about experimenting with colors – dying and mixing.

“This is my first year on faculty at K-State, and I was very excited about the opportunity to help plan Open House,” Harlow said. “As an art education instructor, this event presents a fabulous opportunity to infuse color and culture into all of our activities.”

Happy birthday to the College of Education

The College of Education celebrates its 50th anniversary of training future teachers, counselors, advisors and military leaders in 2015.

The university has a long and proud history of training future teachers, as two members of Bluemont College’s first graduating class went on to be educators. The department of education was housed in the College of Arts and Sciences until 1965 and moved into its new home in Bluemont Hall in 1981.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, explained there will be a yearlong celebration that kicks off at Open House and concludes with the 2016 Open House.


Documentary available on NACADA online store

First-generation studentAn acclaimed documentary produced by the College of Education is now for sale on the website of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising.

“A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students” is available on the NACADA store for $40. This powerful resource, which tells the stories of five current students and three successful alumni, is rich with examples concerning finances, family issues, perceptions, learning disabilities, language barriers and more. Proceeds will support a scholarship for academic advising in the College of Education.

The gripping stories are ideal to share with middle and high school students, parents and anyone else interested in attending college.

Global academic advising association celebrates 25 years at K-State


The world’s leading association for academic advising in higher education is celebrating an important milestone this year.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising is celebrating its 25th anniversary of being headquartered at K-State. The association formalized its relationship with the university in 1990 when it established its executive office here. The College of Education is the association’s host institution.

NACADA made history in 2014 when it was the first organization to hold a conference on academic advising in the Middle East. It is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and boasts 12,295 members around the world who are professional advisors, counselors, faculty, and administrators working to enhance the professional development of students.