Kansas State University


K-State College of Education

Category: Winter 2013

Join College for 150th kickoff celebration on Thursday

Dean Debbie Mercer invites all alumni and friends of the College of Education to Kansas State University’s 150th anniversary celebration.

The Sesquicentennial Kickoff and Grand Exhibition is Thursday, Feb. 14th from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ahearn Field House. Spend Valentine’s Day with people who share your love of K-State!

Judy Hughey will host the College of Education display from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., David Griffin from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Dean Mercer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

As part of the celebration, the College is creating an electronic anthology – a dynamic collaboration using inspiring interviews, interactive activities and historical research – that will contain at least four areas such as the History of the College, Circles of Influence, Slates to iPADS, the History of Technology in Education, and interviews with key figures in education.

In addition, Dean Mercer and literacy researcher Lotta Larson have written a children’s alphabet book tentatively titled “K-State: An Alphabet Journey Across Campus.” There will also be themed brown bag luncheons throughout the anniversary celebration.

Exhibit honors Polish citizens’ heroic deeds during Holocaust

From left: Dean Lori Goetsch, Provost April Mason, Dean Debbie Mercer, Consul General Paulina Kapuscinska, Megan Stewart Felt, Sabrina Coons Murphy and Norman Conard.

An amazing exhibit will be on display in Hale Library throughout February thanks to the efforts of Susan Yelich Biniecki, assistant professor in the department of educational leadership.

There is much to learn from the Righteous Among the Nations exhibit that honors non-Jews who performed heroic deeds that saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. This exhibit is dedicated to Polish citizens living in southern Poland who were conferred with the honorary decoration of Righteous Among the Nations.

One hero’s story could have faded with time if not for teacher Norman Conard in Uniontown, Kan. Four of his students chose to learn more about the Holocaust and began researching a woman named Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic woman who smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. The students – one of whom went on to graduate from K-State’s College of Education – created a play titled “Life in a Jar.” The play inspired a book, which inspired a movie, and Irena was eventually nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

To arrange a tour for a school or community group, contact Melia Fritch at 785.532.7361 or melia@k-state.edu.

College focuses on needs of military-connected students

Faculty tour an elementary school on post.

K-State’s College of Education was one of the first 100 Universities to join Operation Educate the Educator, an initiative that is part of Joining Forces developed by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.

Operation Educate the Educator is a nationwide initiative to better support military families by including military-connected students in the definition of diverse populations.

Sandy Risberg, instructor in the department of curriculum and instruction and subject matter expert as a military spouse and parent, explained the benefits. “By including the military child as a diverse population, the faculty will have a better opportunity to train preservice teachers about the military child’s lifestyle and address their unique needs,” Risberg said. “This will also enhance the faculty member’s ability to teach the preservice teachers in the course who are also military-connected. It’s a win-win situation.”

Last semester, Risberg arranged a visit to Fort Riley for curriculum and instruction faculty, including a tour of a model home, elementary school and middle school teen center. “Our faculty needs to have a good concept and connection with the culture and lifestyle of the military-connected student to educate future teachers.”

Risberg is conducting professional development sessions such as “The Military-Connected Child in the Classroom” at area schools. It provides teachers with a glimpse into the culture of the military child and family, the social-emotional cycle that mirrors the deployment cycle, and strategies that can be used with students in the classroom to build resiliency.

Faculty on a field trip!

Project EXCELL fulfills land-grant institution’s purpose

Volunteer assists Project EXCELL student.

A College of Education program designed to give special needs adults an authentic collegiate experience is changing lives and receiving recognition.

Warren White, professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, founded Project EXCELL, an acronym for Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning, in 2009. Classes are held on Saturday mornings in the K-State Student Union, and courses are grouped into two five-week sessions per academic semester.

“In my opinion, this is a great example of how well K-State, as a land-grant institution, serves all residents of Kansas,” White said. “These ‘students’ are people who have never had an opportunity to attend college, and it has positively affected them, their families, the University and College of Education students. It has truly changed many lives.”

Since 2010, Project EXCELL received the Celebration of Excellence Award for “Innovative Programs-Non-Credit,” given at the University Professionals in Continuing Education Association Central Region meeting, as a program that addresses issues of social diversity in education. The program was also nominated for the 2011 national C. Peter Magrath University Engagement Award and the regional W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award. It has also been recognized nationally and in Kansas by “Think College,” an initiative to provide an inclusive post-secondary education for students with developmental and other disabilities.

Griffin ushers in changes as Center director

The professionals in the CSPS office.

The Center for Student and Professional Services, or CSPS, the all-inclusive information hub for College of Education students, has undergone a series of improvements since Assistant Dean David Griffin was named director this summer.

When you visit the refurbished office, you will be greeted by both new and familiar faces. Even more exciting is the news that the Center plans to launch an internal e-Newsletter for faculty very soon.

To contact the professionals in CSPS, call 785.532.5524, email csps@ksu.edu or visit them in 013 Bluemont Hall.