Kansas State University


K-State College of Education

Author: Patrice Scott

‘Before the Bell’ offers support for new teachers

Recent graduates have new resource.

The College of Education’s most recent graduates have a brand new resource at their fingertips thanks to a new e-Newsletter produced by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Before the Bell: Supporting New Educators” was launched Aug. 10 and offers practical tips to help new professionals successfully navigate their first year in the classroom.

Lori Goodson, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, serves as the publication’s editor.

“Our goal is to support our newest graduates by offering practical ideas for making the most of their first year in the front of a classroom,” Goodson said. “I’m looking forward to getting their feedback and making this a valuable tool as they begin their teaching careers.”

If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email Goodson as lagoodson@k-state.edu.

First generation students subject of latest film

Join us for the documentary’s premiere on Nov. 4.

The College of Education will premiere its next documentary this fall, and the subject matter touches more than one-third of the college’s student body.

“A Walk in My Shoes: First Generation College Students” will premiere on Nov. 4, and the film covers five students and three alumni living in communities from Garden City to Kansas City. Rusty Earl, the college’s videographer, traveled to each participant’s hometown to capture their life, their journey to K-State, and their lives after graduation.

To learn more about this project, please follow the College of Education on Twitter. Stay tuned for details about when the film will be available on the college’s YouTube channel.

College produces special edition of KJR

Kansas Journal of Reading

The College of Education produced its first-ever summer edition of the “Kansas Journal of Reading,” which is solely devoted to the common core standards.

Editors Lotta Larson, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, and Debbie Mercer, dean of the College of Education, explained the goal is to support teachers. In their letter from the editors, they write:

“As editors of the ‘Kansas Journal of Reading,’ it is our hope that this unprecedented, common core-themed issue of the journal will provide support, inspiration, and encouragement to Kansas teachers as they advance instruction in the classroom using the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. By sharing strategies, lesson ideas, and suggestions for both children’s literature and professional books, we can all gain insights to the new standards while promoting KRA’s mission to “promote learning through quality literacy experiences for all.”

Kansas Reading Association members can login to view this special edition. To join the association, please visit kansasread.org.

Ambassadors make history

The 2014-15 ambassadors

The College of Education has its largest group of ambassadors in history – 54 – for the 2014-15 school year.

This record-setting group was selected from a highly competitive field to represent the college at a variety of functions. These ambassadors are taking on higher profile roles than ever before in the areas of recruiting, promoting teaching as a career, communicating a positive image and assisting newly admitted students.

Officers are:

President: Becky Brady, EE – math, Wichita
Vice president: David Zeiger, SE – math, Overland Park
Secretary: Vanessa Burdiek, EE – special education, Centralia
Treasurer: Kelly Kristiansen, SE – math, Lawrence
Historian: Jessica Leichter, EE – special ed/Spanish, Shawnee
Membership chair: Allie Love, EE – ESL, Shawnee
Public Relations: Brandon Eastman, SE – Spanish, Haysville; and Tabitha McPheron, SE – math, Ottawa
Education council representative: Kathleen Hail, SE – math, Olathe

The ambassadors are:

Paxton Akin, EE, Olathe; Bonnie Bailey, EE – math, Washington; Alyssa Bisagno, EE –  social science, Augusta; Kasey Criser, EE – English, Wichita; Sara Curran, EE – ESL – Overland Park; Kortney Edelman, EE – special ed, Sabetha; Shawn Finch, SE – human ecology/life skills, Seattle, Washington; Bailey Fischer, EE – special ed, Wichita; Mitch Fulner, EE – social science, Killingworth, Connecticut; Tori Gilmore, EE – social science, Augusta; Madison Grier, SE – math, Stilwell; Justin Haun, EE – math, Fall River; Nathan Herrman, SE – Spanish, Lawrence; Alyssa Hilderman, EE – ESL, Topeka; Sydney Ho, SE – math, Topeka; Leah Kellerman, EE – special ed, Leawood; Cody Kennedy, SE – math, Phillipsburg; Lauren Laudan, EE – Spanish, Mission Hills; Rachel Londeen, EE – social science, Shawnee; Hannah Martin, SE – English & social studies, McPherson; Nicole Mason, EE-English, Mulvane; Molly Maxwell, EE – English, Iola; Rachelle McGehee, SE – math, Hesston; Emma Miller, EE – special ed, Manhattan; Taylor Murray, EE-ESL, Andover; Kilee Nolen, EE – ESL, Shawnee; Katie Noll, math, Nortonville; Shannon Oakley, SE – math, St. George; Cassidy Pascal, ESL, Wichita; Daniel Patterson, SE – social studies, Merriam; Jessi Pennybacker, SE – Spanish, Geneva, Illinois; Charlee Pierson, EE – special ed, Rolla; Sarah Potter, EE – special ed, Winfield; Chelsey Regester, EE – Spanish, Maize; Becca Renteria, SE – social studies, Olathe; Emily Schadler, EE – ESL, Olathe; Brendan Schmitz, SE – physics/math, Olathe; Kara Schnake, SE – chemistry, Augusta; Elizabeth Stover, EE – English, Prairie Village; Emilie Taylor, EE – ESL, Hays; Kaley Taylor, EE – ESL, Auburn; Elizabeth Vater, SE – English, Overland Park; Sarah Watkins, EE – math, Derby; Katherine Wernes, EE – math, Overland Park; and Kate Whitsitt, EE – ESL, Lenexa.

EE = elementary education SE = secondary education

College raises $2.3 million

Marty Kramer

The College of Education’s alumni and friends set a record this year by giving $2.3 million. In its 49-year history, the college has never broken the $2 million mark.

The vast majority of funds supported scholarships, which Dean Debbie Mercer has identified as the greatest need. Future plans include support for technology upgrades, programs supporting new graduates, and programs positioning K-State as a leader in education issues.

If you would like to meet with Marty Kramer, development director, about giving options designed to help you take care of your family and your alma mater, please contact him at martyk@found.ksu.edu or 785.532.7578.


Got Tween? Enroll in Grandparents University

For those wishing to share their love of K-State with their grandchild, niece or nephew, or any youngster between the ages of 8-12, consider enrolling in this summer’s Grandparents University, or GPU.

GPU was successfully piloted last year by the College of Education, and this three-day, fun-filled experience will be held July 20-22. Group activities are planned at Call Hall and Bluemont Hall, and participants can select two other areas of interest at registration. Amazing sessions are currently being planned at the colleges of Architecture, Planning and Design, Engineering, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine.

Families will stay in residence halls, and evening activities include swimming and bowling. Registration is $200 for tweens and $250 for adults.

For more information, contact Teara Lander, GPU organizer, at 785.532.6041 or email her at flagg@ksu.edu. To register before the June 20th deadline, visit Grandparents University.


Chris Dede, Harvard technology researcher, will present on campus Sept. 10.

We are proud to announce that Chris Dede, a world-renowned Harvard researcher and leader in the field of learning technologies, is presenting on Sept. 10 as part of the College of Education’s Distinguished Educational Research Lecture Series.

Dede will give one lecture in the morning tentatively titled “From Research to Results: Envisioning the Future of Technology in Teaching and Learning” and lead two afternoon discussions, one for K-12 on social media and emerging trends, and the second on emerging trends in online professional development in education and training. Videoconferencing will be available for 100 online attendees.

More details will be forthcoming as the event draws closer, so please add this to your calendar!


Pearson’s research attracts international attention

A class assignment – and a lot of research – has lead a graduate student to be named the U.N.’s Director of Research for Africa and to be chosen as the inaugural presenter for the College of Education’s Distinguished Graduate Student Research Colloquium.

From left: Dean Debbie Mercer, Stephanie Pearson and Lotta Larson.

Stephanie Pearson, a native of New York City, taught in Harlem where half of her class changed during her first year of teaching: the in-coming students were refugees from Sudan. How could she teach these students? She decided to pursue her master’s and doctoral degrees at K-State and learn new ways to reach them. That was the plan.

At the colloquium, Pearson explained a research assignment that led to a published article is how she was discovered by the U.N. Since then, she has testified many times before the U.N., had a private dinner with Hillary Clinton, and met with President Obama’s cabinet. She has also consulted with government officials in England, Russia and Iran about the educational model her research team created and how her model could be integrated into their own education and governmental systems.

Yunk named KELI executive director

Dan Yunk, a respected and nationally recognized leader, has been named the executive director of the Kansas Educational Leadership Institute, or KELI.

Yunk, who earned an Ph.D. in educational administration, will replace outgoing Executive Director Mary Devin, who is returning to full-time graduate teaching.

Yunk retired as superintendent of Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 and most recently retired from Kansas Farm Bureau as the chief executive officer. He brings decades of leadership to his newest position.

Dean Debbie Mercer is excited about Yunk’s role in the college.

Dan Yunk joins the College of Education.

“Dan has been not only a key alum for us, but also a philanthropist, an award establisher and now, a colleague,” Mercer said. “We are anxious to tap into Dan’s vast leadership reservoir and support him as he provides the best programs possible for superintendents and principals in Kansas.”

Register now for school counseling camp

Make your reservation now for what promises to be a great learning adventure!

Three entities are joining together to sponsor a camp for school counselors June 5-6 at Manhattan’s Hilton Garden Inn.

“A Camp to Enhance School Counseling in Kansas: An Adventure in the Little Apple” is packed with sessions lead by national presenters as well as Kansas professionals. For a complete list of presenters and for registration information, visit counseling camp.

The K-State College of Education, the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas School Counselor Association are sponsoring this event.