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The Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center (RMPRC), under the leadership of Jini Puma, PhD, clinical assistant professor in Community and Behavioral Health and Research Methods and Statistics (RMS) Program graduate, has been awarded new funding from the Buell Foundation to expand the Culture of Wellness in Preschools Program (COWP). The expansion will include 20 additional preschools serving 1,240 children and 170 staff.

COWP works collaboratively with preschools to implement coordinated and comprehensive evidence-based activities aimed at increasing daily healthy eating and activity by preschool students, staff and parents. This new grant will expand COWP with a focus on outdoor playtime. COWP was also refunded by the Colorado Health Foundation in February for $1.4 million over the next 3 years and is now receiving on-going sustainability funds of $100,000 annually from Denver’s Great Kids Head Start. This is the first time that the Buell Foundation will be funding health promotion as part of their focus on positive youth development and  brings the funding for this year to over $2.1 million across COWP projects.

Intern: Ashley Bartlett, second-year master’s student in higher education

Employers: Arapahoe Community College: A two-year college in the greater Denver area  offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs.

Suitts Graduate and Alumni Career Center: Operated by the Daniels College of Business, this center offers opportunities for graduate students to explore career options, prepare for interviews, and advance professionally.

What She Did

Arapahoe Community College (ACC): I worked at ACC as an academic advising intern where I assisted with database management and academic advising for scholarship students in effort to increase retention and persistence of these students.

Graduate Intern at Suitts Graduate and Alumni Career Center: I provided career coaching for graduate and alumni students of the Daniels College of Business that included resume and cover letter assistance, job search strategies, and networking advice.

How her Internships Helped her Career

Due to my grad student schedule, I was actually able to accommodate both internships during the school year. My goal upon entering the Higher Education program at DU was to get a job in career services in the Denver area upon graduation, and I knew coming in that higher education in Colorado is a close-knit industry where everyone knows everyone. Keeping that inWordpress Quote (1)
mind, I was very intentional about seeking internships. I did informational interviews with directors at different types of institutions (community colleges, business schools, law schools, etc.) and discovered that certain types of institutions prefer you to have experience at an institution similar to theirs. That prompted me to seek out an internship at a community college so that I could diversify my resume. I also capitalized on my B.A. in business administration since so many business schools have their own career centers. Between each of these internships and my required fellowship, I was really able to take what I learned from the classroom into a real world setting. I also feel that my contributions in class were better informed due to my outside experience.

Advice She’d Give to DU Grad Students

Grad school provides you with the unique opportunity to be in a position where people want to help you and develop you. Get out there and meet the key players in your field early on, and make great relationships with them. The more fans you have, the more opportunities will come to you. Also, be open to new and relatable experiences you may have not considered before. Advocate for yourself, and find ways to make new opportunities.

Lastly, my taking advantage of multiple opportunities helped to substantially grow my network in a short amount of time. This networking certainly paid off. I had options in my career search, and have even been able to secure a position prior to graduation.

This blog is a part of the University of Denver Office of Graduate Studies blog series, True Stories. The purpose of the series is to share DU student internship experiences to help prepare students for their upcoming summer jobs/assistantships/internships. The last True Stories blog featured Ben Lampert, a  master’s student majoring in sport and performance psychology who interned at Rivermend Health Wellspring Camps.

FOX31 Denver featured Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate turned principal, Nickolas Dawkins, on Sunday 21, 2015. Dawkins is dramatically improving the quality of education students receive in Denver.

At the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) we seek excellence in our students, faculty, and staff. Our Research Methods and Statistics (RMS) students represent the professionalism and excellence expected of MCE students. We have highlighted just a few individuals from our diverse student body who are a part of our RMS program.

Featured Students

RMS Student Showcase_4(Kranti Dugar)Name: Kranti Dugar
Research interests: Consumer Behavior, Marketing Scale Development, Mixed Methods, Branding Strategy, Services Marketing, Early Childhood Learning, and Rasch Analysis.
Professional goals: To obtain a teaching position in education, research methodology, marketing, and statistics at the university level, pursuing administrative and service roles concurrently.
Advice for surviving graduate school: 4 P’s of grad school: Perseverance, Pragmatism, Proactivity, and Passion.
I chose DU because I wanted to work with inspiring faculty members – my role models.

RMS Student Showcase_2(kawanna bright)Name: Kawanna Bright
Research interests: Diversity in Academic Libraries; Assessment in Academic Libraries; Instruction and Information Literacy
Professional goals: Faculty member in Library & Information Science or Research Methods; Library Assessment Officer or Associate/Assistant Dean
Advice for surviving graduate school?:Stay active, eat as healthily as possible, and try to get enough rest.  Helps to keep you balanced as you try to juggle school, work, and life!
I chose DU because I wanted to make a change in my career and knew I needed to improve through education.  The RMS program with a focus on Institutional Research was the ideal program and will help me to meet my future goals.

RMS Student Showcase_1(sarah pollard) Name: Sarah Pollard
Research Interests:
Professional goals: Continue to learn and grow – apply what I learn in school to work, and what I learn at work to school.
Advice for surviving graduate school: Take it a day at a time. Do what you can, because that is all you can do.
I chose DU because DU has a positive feel, supportive staff, and incredible faculty.

RMS Student Showcase_3(paul thompson)Name: Paul Thompson
Research interests: Students with disabilities, K-12 education
Professional Goals:
Advice for surviving graduate school: Rely on fellow students and the generous faculty for support.
I chose DU because I felt the faculty would be more helpful than at a large public university. I wanted to be challenged.

The true value of our Teacher Preparation Programs is the student’s immediate immersion into the classroom under the mentorship and guidance of seasoned teachers and MCE faculty. The Denver Teacher Residency Master’s DegreeTeacher Education Master’s Degree, and Dual Undergraduate-Graduate Degree in Teacher Education prepare students for the realities of the 21st-century classroom.

It was recently announced that Teaching and Learning Sciences Clinical Professor Dr. Paul Michalec will be the recipient of the University of Denver’s (DU) 2015 Distinguished Teacher Award. This prestigious award is given to one exemplary faculty member a year and recognizes excellence in teaching. Nominations should emphasize the degree to which a nominee’s teaching has constructively influenced his/her students. The award will be presented to Dr. Michalec at DU’s Fall Convocation.

Dr. Michalec received his Ph.D. (Social, Multicultural, and Bilingual Foundations of Education) from the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is the former director of student teaching at Skidmore College and Director of Teacher Education at the Morgridge College of Education, serves on editorial boards for the newsletter EnCouragement and the journal Democracy and Education, leads professional development for religious communities, and is a founding member of Colorado Courage and Renewal. His research interests include teacher education, effective instruction in higher education, spiritual dimensions of teaching, and teacher renewal/formation.  Dr. Michalec enjoys biking, baking, drawing, nature study, and reading in the areas of theology, poetry, philosophy, identity, and educational-spiritual reform.

Dr. MichaleC’s Teaching Philosophy

I believe that the purpose of education is to transform the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual life of the learner.  I believe, consistent with the root meaning of education, that transformation is the process of drawing out the inner wisdom of the learner.  My responsibility as an educator is to create an engaged and rigorous learning environment where learners are invited into deep relationship with the content we are studying as well as each other as members of a classroom community. Academic success is premised more on change and transformation of the learner rather than the capacity to present back to me specific forms of information.”

As a proven student leader at the University of Denver (DU), Richard Maez has been involved in an impressive number of leadership activities on and off campus. He has been a member of the University’s Pioneer Leadership Program; external co-president of the DU Programming Board; coordinator of the Excelling Leaders Institute at the Center for Multicultural Excellence; and a fellow in the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Undergraduate Fellowship Program. Maez is also involved with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program of Colorado, serving as chair of the four-day leadership seminar held every June for more than 200 Colorado high school sophomores. To add to his many accomplishments, Maez was recently awarded the Founders Day Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award by DU.

Maez is a participant in the Dual Undergraduate-Graduate Degree program offered by the Teacher Education Program (TEP) at the Morgridge College of Education (MCE). This program offers DU students the chance to complete an undergraduate degree of their choosing at the university. On completion of their undergraduate degree, students move on to complete their Master’s Degree at MCE. Candidates that complete the program finish with both an Undergraduate and Graduate Degree in under five years.

Maez, who has already completed the undergraduate portion of this program, will be completing his graduate degree at MCE in 2016. He says that his decision to continue his education at Morgridge was driven by “a passion for working with students”.

The TEP program focuses heavily on providing in context learning experiences for their students in order to equip candidates and turn their passion into purpose; a concept that Maez attributes as the key to his academic success.

The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) is excited to announce the Morgridge Fellows Program for Engaged Learning.

Sponsored by the Morgridge Family Foundation, participants of this new fellowship will engage in in-context learning opportunities that link the fellows with cutting edge community partners. The program aims to develop well-balanced leaders, advance transdisciplinary solutions, and promote transformative education by combining leadership development opportunities with authentic problems and real world applications. This developmental process involves cultural, community, and academic exchange between the fellows and the P-12 practitioners, giving the fellows a comprehensive view of educational challenges and opportunities.

Initially, fellows will work with the PBL Network to aid in the expansion of the network and the sharing of PBL ideas. The PBL Network is a community designed for educators, administrators, and school districts to support each other in transition to the Adams 12 STEM model. The fellows will work with the PBL Network and the Adams 12 STEM team ensuring access to resources, creating industry partnerships, and providing professional and curriculum development opportunities.

The Morgridge Fellowship for Engaged Learning is a half-time fellowship. Three positions are currently available and fellows will be expected to commit 10 hours per week for 35 weeks with their P-12 practitioners and community partners. This will include travel and site visits. Fellows will receive a tuition waiver and stipend for the 2015/2016 academic year, and reimbursement for any required travel expenses.

Students in the Library and Information Science (LIS) program at the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education are bringing digitization to the community. With the guidance of Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, Dr. Krystyna Matusiak, students engage in experiential learning opportunities that utilize cutting edge technology in the classroom and connect classroom projects to the community. Digitization is the process of creating digital representations of information resources (e.g. photographs and documents), extending access, and preserving fragile materials. Dr. Matusiak says, “it is not enough to simply learn digitization for the sake of learning.” Rather she impresses upon her students the importance of using their digital skills in a practical context.

A key aspect of Dr. Matusiak’s instruction is developing community partnerships. She empowers students to initiate projects with community organizations in order to share unheard stories, resurrect fading communal stories, aid older generations and volunteers in the digitization process, and to give back for the public good. The LIS program is at the forefront of contributing expertise to the local community with regard to practices and standards in digitization, and is gaining a reputation for their commitment to the community. Often, organizations reach out to the LIS program and Dr. Matusiak for student support. A few recent projects from LIS students include, a digital collection of artifacts from Laura Hershey for the Western History and Genealogy department of the Denver Public Library, a gathering of community stories and converted technology for the Jefferson County Public Library known as JeffCo Stories,  a digital assembly for the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, and a the digital exhibit Building the First Transcontinental Railroad for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The Laura Hershey Digital Collection consists of photographs, articles, conference materials and poetry from the late, Laura Hershey. Current and former LIS students, Allison Bailey, Alicia Cartwright, Maggy Hade, Caitlin Hunter, Jen LaBarbera, Kristin Rowley, Gina Schlesselman-Tarango, Monica Washenberger and Hana Zittel, contributed to the project with the goal of extending access to the collection. They state “The disability rights community is dispersed globally, and digitization of the collection will likely be the only way that many will be able to experience previously-unavailable pieces of Hershey’s life and work.” Another important aspect of the project was to ensure the preservation of the Hershey collection. The digital collection is now housed and preserved by the Denver Public Library.

This May, The (DPLA) introduced a new exhibit, Building the First Transcontinental Railroad. The exhibition, created by Dr. Matusiak’s students, Jenifer Fisher, Benjamin Hall, Nick Iwanicki, Cheyenne Jansdatter, Sarah McDonnell, Timothy Morris, and Allan Van Hoye, looks at the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad, from inception to its finale, the laying of the last golden spike at Promontory Summit in Utah, May 10, 1969. There are five themes in the exhibit, History, Human Impact, Changing the Landscape, A Nation Divided, and A Nation Transformed.

Dr. Matusiak’s classes continue to lead the way in digitization and provide historical insights to local and national communities.

The Anderson Academic Commons (AAC), DU’s new state of the art library complex, provides “hands-on” experiential learning opportunities for Library Information Science (LIS) students at the Morgridge College of Education (MCE). The LIS program has partnered with AAC to increase those opportunities.

Opened on March 25, 2013, The AAC is a 154,223-square-foot building designed for collaborative, inclusive, and technologically advanced teaching and learning. The library gives students access to an impressive collection of resources including nearly eight miles of books, 98,000 online journals, special collections and archives, individual and group study spaces, and more than a hundred computers. Students can also engage with cutting-edge media editing technology in the Digital Media Center, receive academic assistance in the Math Center, or visit the Shopneck Family Writing Center.

Current LIS students can gain relevant experience by working in The AACs’ Reference Center as Reference Assistants or at the Lending Desk as Circulation Assistants. Second-year LIS students can teach workshops such as Library 101 and Intro to RefWorks or conduct research consultations with students and faculty.

Beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year, selected second-year students will be able to complete a classroom study of academic libraries complemented by a three-quarter, 100-hour internship.  During the internship, students will rotate through a number of departments in the library in order to experience and understand the variety of positions that exist in an academic library. Other class connections will introduce first-year students to the work of an academic library in public service, archives, and technology.

MCE’s Drs. Doug Clements and Julie Sarama, have been awarded a $3.5 million grant to study learning trajectories in early childhood mathematics instruction. Drs. Clements and Sarama, both Kennedy Endowed Chairs at the Kennedy Institute for Educational Success, have been funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences for their research. The project, which evaluates the effect of learning trajectories used in early childhood mathematics instruction, looks specifically at whether learning trajectories are better than other approaches in the support of young children’s learning.

Drs. Sarama and Clements will be working with colleagues Art Baroody and David Purpura, conducting research out of the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy and the Kennedy Institute. By conducting eight experiments in local schools, they will investigate the efficacy of learning trajectories. Their results will impact the ways in which learning trajectories are used across a variety of subject fields, but the implications for mathematics is particularly important. Mathematics is a strong predictor of later school success in mathematics, but also for overall school achievement, graduation, and even college entry.

Obtaining a degree in Research Methods and Statistics from morgridge will open the doors to a variety of career opportunities. Incontext learning experience in the program, such as cross discipline collaboration at the University of Denver, teaching assistantships,  and off-campus practicums prepare our graduates to apply their skills and education in the fields of higher education, government, health, and beyond. Our alumni have excelled in their careers through their experiences at morgridge and have become leaders in today’s world.

FeatureD Alumni

Research Methods and Statistics Alumni. Where Are they Now_1Director, Accountability & Research – Mya L. Martin-Glenn, PhD is responsible for directing District and state level assessments within Aurora Public Schools and supervising educational research within the District. She regularly meets with district and building administrators on assessment issues, designs and conducts program evaluations, develops assessment reports and conveys assessment results to the public.

Research Methods and Statistics Alumni. Where Are they Now_4 ( Michelle Vanchu_Orosco)Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Michelle Vanchu-Orosco, PhD, coordinates and carries out the activities necessary for the successful completion of the SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant titled Digitizing the Wisdom of Our Elders: From Digital Storytelling to Life Learning Project at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

Research Methods and Statistics Alumni. Where Are they Now_3Research Manager – Veronica A. Gardner, PhD works at D3, an international research firm located in the Washington D.C. area. Veronica leads a team of research analysts that manage public opinion surveys, monitoring and evaluation projects, and media research in various countries. She oversees projects throughout the full research cycle, from contracting to research design, questionnaire development and translation, sampling, fieldwork, quality control, data processing, and data analysis.

Research Methods and Statistics Alumni. Where Are they Now_5Clinical Assistant Professor – Jini Puma, PhD teaches a graduate-level Research and Evaluation Methods course at the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado School of Public Health. She also writes grants to fund her Culture of Wellness in Preschools (COWP) public health intervention program, oversees the implementation of the COWP intervention, serves as a statistics and evaluation methods consultant to university colleagues and community partners, advises students, and writes manuscripts.

Research Methods and Statistics Alumni. Where Are they Now_4Assistant Professor – Philip Osteen, PhD teaches in the Florida State University College of Social Work. He teaches general linear modeling in the PhD program, and his research focuses on health and wellness with an emphasis on suicide prevention training.

 

Research Methods and Statistics Alumni. Where Are they Now_2 (Morgan earp)Research Statistician –Morgan S. Earp, PhD works for the Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Survey Methods Research assessing nonresponse bias and measurement error. She also teaches graduate courses in statistical analysis and quantitative research methods at George Washington University.

 

On May 13, 2015, the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) Early Childhood Special Education (ECED) Certificate program received an endorsement as an Approved Educator Preparation Program by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

MCE’s ECED Certificate is a 24-credit hour program that aligns with the Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education. The endorsement includes an additional set of courses, knowledge, and skills that will be attached to the CDE Teacher’s License. Candidates of the ECED Certificate program are required to complete 600 hours of practicum over three age-levels (infant-toddler, preschool, and school-age), pass the ECSE Place test or Praxis II, and apply to the state for the Early Childhood Special Education Specialist Endorsement. Additionally, candidates who wish to complete the ECED Certificate program must already hold a Colorado Teacher’s License.

Dr. Julie Sarama and Dr. Doug Clements’ pre-K math curriculum, Building Blocks, is being implemented throughout New York City. Building Blocks is a part of a $25 million study in New York City, looking at ways to raise educational outcomes for children in poverty. New York Department of Education Deputy Chancellor, Josh Wallack, is expecting Building Blocks to be used by 13,500 children in 750 district and community-based classrooms in the city by fall 2015. An even larger majority of students are expected to be using it within the next three years.

The New York Department of Education will spend $6 million in the coming year on the Building Blocks roll-out. Through the use of puzzles, games, art projects, and songs, teachers will be able to work with preschoolers to help the learn about seeing the world mathematically through numbers, shapes, and patterns. Early math skills are seen as a strong predictor of future school success. The curriculum has shown excellent results in Boston, Buffalo, and Nashville, but teachers must be trained to feel comfortable and competent with the curriculum to effectively facilitate Building Blocks.

If you have a Wall Street Journal account, you can read more about the New York City Building Blocks roll-out here.

Morgridge Curriculum and Instruction professors and Kennedy Institute staff, Dr. Julie Sarama and Dr. Doug Clements, are a part of a team working to advance math and science skills in early childhood learning. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Dr. Sarama and Dr. Clements have developed the Connect4Learning (C4L) curriculum. Through C4L, preschool students are getting the opportunity to spend more time engaging in fun activities that promote science and math. C4L aims to educate pre-K students with a holistic approach that integrates academics, social and emotional development, and play in the classroom.  A key element to their research is video analysis of the program in action; this allows for program growth and provides ways to create better support for diverse student bodies.

Dr. Sarama and Dr. Clement’s work on C4L has been showcased in a new Science Nation video created by NSF. The video features their work at the All Souls School in Englewood, CO, which has adopted the C4L project. Through the use of sea creatures, pre-K students at All Souls School are learning their numbers and shapes. The highly engaging activities not only promote science and math-based learning, but are also fun for the students.

The C4L author team includes experts in all four domains. Nell K. Duke is a professor of literacy, language, and culture and a faculty affiliate in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. She studies early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Kimberly Brenneman is Program Officer for Education at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kimberly was research faculty at Rutgers University’s National Institute for Early Education Research where she led projects focused on curricular and instructional practices to foster science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning for young children in school and home settings. Mary Louise Hemmeter is a professor in the Department of Special Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and is a co-faculty director of the Susan Gray School for Children. She studies professional development, strategies for preventing and addressing challenging behavior, and instructional approaches for young children with disabilities.


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