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Morgridge College of Education takes great pride in the lasting impact of our faculty whose work improves opportunities for student and community success. We are proud to share that Dr. William E. Cross, Jr. of the Counseling Psychology and Higher Education departments and Dr. Cyndy McRae of the Counseling Psychology department were each awarded a 2015 Elder Recognition Award for Distinguished Contributions by the Society of Counseling Psychology at the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto Ontario this August. The award recognizes the hard work and distinguished contributions that Counseling Psychology professionals bring to the field.

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Dr. Cross, who also received the Elder Recognition Award for Distinguished Contributions in 2013, is one of America’s leading theorists and researchers on black identity development and racial-ethnic identity development. His book, Shades of Black (Temple University Press, 1991) is a classic in the field. Dr. Cross was swept up by the Black Consciousness Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. From these experiences, he constructed Nigrescence Theory to explicate the identity-change process linked to social movement dynamics. The Cross Model became “the” template for scholars fashioning similar models on Native American Identity, Women’s Identity, Gay-Lesbian Identity, and Asian American Identity. Currently, he is co-authoring an edited text with Dr. Jas M. Sullivan of Louisiana State University, incorporating empirical studies on identity meaning and forms of internalized oppression. The book will be published by SUNY Press in January of 2016. Dr. Cross earned his PhD in Psychology from Princeton University.

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Dr. McRae’s research is focused on  psychosocial adjustment of persons with Parkinson’s disease, caregiver issues, and chronic illness, as well as the placebo effect and the effects of “Dance for PD” on daily lives. She is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellow of the Society of Counseling Psychology since 2013, and she was the Chair of the Counseling Health Psychology Section, Division 17 of APA from 2006 to 2007. Dr. McRae is also a member of the Movement Disorder Society and the only non-MD chosen as an investigator in the Parkinson Study Group. Over the course of her career, she has mentored more than 65 students through the dissertation process. She actively encourages the Counseling Psychology community to focus on social justice, the expansion of internationalization efforts, and the importance of Counseling Health Psychology as integrative medicine becomes more widespread. Dr. McRae is the recipient of several awards: a Fulbright Specialist Award to Uganda, a National Institute of Health (NIH) FIRST award, and several other grants from NIH and other foundations. She earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Iowa.

Congratulations to Doctors Cross and McRae for their well-earned honor from the Society of Counseling Psychology.

Professors in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) DepartmentDr. Ellen Miller-Brown and Dr. Doris Candelarie strive to impact and empower education leaders to release their “untapped potential.” On July 30th at the 46th Annual CASE Education Leadership Convention in Breckenridge, Colorado, they presented Releasing Untapped Potential: What Works for Equity Leadership alongside Jesús Rodríguez, school leader and Ed.D student, and Tracy Stegall, school leader. During this interactive session, the speakers discussed how they are working to build an intentional, inclusive, and collaborative culture with a growth rather than deficit mindset, and to ensure balance in their schools for educating the whole child. Attendees also had the opportunity to delve into common leadership challenges and apply innovative solutions to address them.

Focusing the discussion on the importance of equity literacy during their presentation, Dr. Miller-Brown commented, “While much is known about best practices in leadership for curriculum, instruction, assessment, systems design, and community engagement, little is applied or discussed about the impact Equity Literacy and intercultural competence in leadership can have on student success.” The ELPS Department, which was recently approved by the Colorado Department of Education to be a provider of Turnaround Leadership development, prepares leaders equipped to transform schools to release the untapped potential within their schools and communities.

Organized by the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), the Education Leadership Convention is the largest professional development event of the year for critical learning and sharing best practices with colleagues. This was the first year CASE offered a series of workshops on Equity Leadership, and following the success of this series, Drs. Miller-Brown and Candelarie have been invited to present on the topic once again at the CASE Winter Leadership Conference in February 2016.

Dr. Frank Tuitt is devoted to the examination and exploration of topics related to access and equity in higher education, including issues of race, Inclusive Excellence, and diversity in and outside the classroom from the purview of both faculty and students. As Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, and Associate Professor of Higher Education at the Morgridge College of Education, his studies are centered on teaching and learning in racially diverse college classrooms, diversity, and organizational transformation.

On Tuesday, July 21, 201Dr. Frank Tuitt. Exemplifies Inclusive Excellence5, the American Council on Education released the report, Race, Class, and College Access: Achieving Diversity in a Shifting Legal Landscape at a release convening in Washington, D.C. As a member of the research oversight committee for the report, Dr. Tuitt contributed to a panel discussion at the event for a conversation on the report findings. During the final session of the day, focused on the connection between admissions and student success, he commented, “ We recognize our students, faculty, and staff come to us with a variety of experiences that are assets—not something that should be checked at the door—but that are valuable resources that will help them be successful and we find ways to help them leverage those rich assets to support their overall success.”

The report fosters a much-needed dialogue on how institutions can best respond to a shifting policy and legal landscape at a time when access to postsecondary education has never been more vital and our citizenry never so diverse. The researchers examine contemporary admission practices at four-year colleges and universities across a wide range of selectivity in the context of recent legal challenges to race-conscious admissions, including the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. Among other findings, the authors examine the most widely used and effective diversity strategies; changes in admissions factors after the 2013 Fisher ruling and statewide bans on race-conscious admissions; and, the most sought after research and guidance given the current legal and political landscape.

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The Plight of Invisibility: A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os

Dr. Judy Marquez Kiyama, Associate Professor in the Higher Education department at Morgridge College of Education, was featured in the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s (ASHE) June 2015 podcast. Dr. Kiyama spoke about her recent book, “The Plight of Invisibility: A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os” and on how her research which is related to communities, families, and college access, offers examples of collective action and systemic change. Dr. Kiyama reflected on how her work aligns with the 2015 ASHE conference theme, Inequality and Higher Education.

Dr. Kiyama’s current research examines the structures that shape educational opportunities for under-served groups through an asset-based lens to better understand the collective knowledge and resources drawn upon to confront, negotiate, and (re)shape such structures. Her research is organized in three interconnected areas: the role of parents and families; equity and power in educational research; and under-served groups as collective networks of change. Her current projects focus on the high school to college transition experiences of first-generation, and low-income, and families of color and their role in serving as sources of cultural support for their college-aged students.

Her recent book, The Plight of Invisibility, offers her unique contributions that inform the use of a community-based research approach that examines educational issues identified by urban, Latina/o communities. Through her research, Dr. Kiyama offers a new lens  from which to understand the circumstances of Latina/o students in schools as they navigate in social systems that are in opposition to them.


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