Kansas State University


K-State College of Education

Author: Patrice Scott

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.

Bluemont Circle dedication draws crowd

Key alums, philanthropists and student leaders join Dean Mercer for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

About 75 philanthropists, faculty and friends gathered outside of Bluemont Hall on April 25th for the official dedication of Bluemont Circle.

Inspired by K-State’s sesquicentennial celebration, Bluemont Circle is lined with 150 pavers, many immortalized with the names of people who helped build the college – from the inside out.

The focal point is a magnificent four-foot bronze statue that is an international symbol for education: a boy sitting atop a globe wearing a graduation cap reading a book. A special thank-you to longtime education advocates Lee and Barbara Harris who donated the funds for the statue.

‘A Long Road’ documentary, lesson plans available on MEAC website


Five K-Staters share personal accounts of their experiences in this moving documentary.

The College of Education has produced a new documentary that is also a tremendous resource for classrooms across the country as it includes lesson plans aligned with the common core curriculum.

“A Long Road: 150 Years of Collective Experience from Five African-American K-State Alumni” tells the stories of these highly successful professionals who have had distinguished careers at K-State. They are: Kathleen Greene, David L. Griffin, Sr., Juanita McGowan, Charles I. Rankin and Veryl Switzer.

Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of education, and former College of Education faculty member Albert Bimper developed the project.

“It was our team’s privilege to be selected for a Michael C. Tilford Faculty Incentive Grant,” Martinez said. “Viewer response affirms that our distinguished alumni have a relevant and inspirational message for all audiences.”

The documentary and lesson plans are free can be found on the website for the Midwest Equity Assistance Center at www.meac.org.

Ecuador turns to K-State to create English Language Center

Dean Debbie Mercer and Héctor Rodríguez Chavez, general manager of YACHAY E.P., sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing this exciting educational partnership.

An exciting three-year program gets underway this spring when a group of eight College of Education instructors and a director spend a year in Ecuador to establish the English Language Center at a new university.

The Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy, or CIMA, is spearheading this effort at Yachay University, which means city of knowledge. This partnership is the result of CIMA’s role as the lead institution for the Go Teacher project. When Ecuadorian leaders decided to build a brand new university, they turned to the College of Education at K-State to create the English Language Center.

“The purpose of this program is to develop a research-based and innovative curriculum and program model to teach English to entering, first-year, Yachay University students,” said Socorro Herrera, CIMA director. “The main goal is to prepare these students with the English literacy skills and content language proficiency to take courses in both languages.

Yachay is expected to attract top students and faculty from around the world, and this international visibility and impact will support many of the college’s K-State 2025 goals and objectives.

Professional development symposium focuses on military-connected students


Sandy Risberg’s e-book is available free on iTunes.

The Colleges of Education and Human Ecology are hosting the K-State Military Education and Family Initiatives Symposium on March 11 at Riley’s Conference Center on Fort Riley. The event costs $15 and includes lunch.

This conference-style event will focus on local school and community partners and the issues related to better serving all military-connected students, including children of military families, veterans, military spouses, etc. Topics such as college and career ready standards, training school counselors, the impact of multiple combat tours on learning, transitioning from soldier to student, financial behaviors of military members, and the impact of trauma and PTSD on spouses and families will be discussed.

The four presenters from the College of Education are Jane Fishback, Ashley Gleiman, Judy Hughey and Sandy Risberg. In addition, there will be a number of subject matter experts from the College of Human Ecology who will also present.

To RSVP by the March 4 deadline and see the program of sessions, please follow the link to https://ksumilitaryed-ops.wikispaces.com.


Faculty write book, donate profits for scholarships

This book will bring back fond memories for generations of K-Staters.

A new book written by two College of Education faculty captures all of the elements that make K-State the special place it is: friends, family and fun.

Debbie Mercer, dean of the college, and Lotta Larson, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, wrote “K-State: An Alphabet Journey Across Campus.” It’s a joyful journey that literally covers campus from A-Z.

“Lotta and I are overwhelmed by the response from this book,” Mercer said. “It feels wonderful hearing how people are connecting and reconnecting with campus through the pages of this book. The fact that we can help support students in our college at the same time by donating our profits to scholarships only adds to our enthusiasm.”

The books are $20 and available in the dean’s office, Bluemont Hall 06. They are also being sold at Varney’s, the K-State Campus store at the Union, and online through Mascot Books.