tHE Uhrmacher sCHOLARSHIP & p. bRUCE uHRMACHER

The Uhrmacher Scholarship was created in 2010 in honor of Professor P. Bruce Uhrmacher by a group of his former graduate students. The goal of the Uhrmacher Scholarship reflects his educational philosophy; namely, it seeks to support and mentor graduate students while nurturing creative ideas in the field of education. The Uhrmacher Scholarship is generously supported by his former students, current students, faculty, and staff, and DU alumni.

The award is dedicated to preserving the open sharing of fresh ideas, and to helping students artfully express these ideas at the American Association for Teaching & Curriculum (AATC) Annual Conference. Awards are given to proposals related to broad themes that extend Dr. Uhrmacher’s scholarship, including, but not limited to: qualitative research, arts-based research, educational connoisseurship & criticism, art and aesthetics, diversity, ecology, alternative schooling, curriculum, instruction, and engaged learning. To learn more, applicants are encouraged to visit Dr. Uhrmacher’s portfolio site: https://portfolio.du.edu/buhrmach.

Dr. Uhrmacher is Professor of Education and Research Methods at the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver. He has been honored with various awards, including a Career Champions Award, University of Denver, 2020; the Upton Sinclair Award, Education Views, 2018; the Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education Award, Think360Arts, 2016; and the 2003-2004 University of Denver Distinguished Teaching Award, among others.

He served as President of the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum and has chaired the Elliot Eisner Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. Uhrmacher co-edited the Curriculum Teaching Dialogue and was the book review editor for the International Journal of Educational Leadership. Currently, Dr. Uhrmacher serves as the faculty advisor for the Institute for Creative Teaching, which is co-sponsored with Think360Arts. He is the author of several books and numerous articles and essays, often written or co-edited with former students. Uhrmacher currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Higher Education.

He received his PhD from Stanford University. He supports students interested in curriculum and instruction generally, while his specific research interests include alternative school settings, curriculum theory and practice, and issues in qualitative research–especially the method of criticism and connoisseurship. Dr. Uhrmacher is a St. Louis Cardinals fan and a music aficionado of western swing music and jazz.

Uhrmacher Scholars, 2010-2021

Alexandra Manion (2021) is a fourth-year doctoral student in Child, Family, and School Psychology, and is currently pursuing clinical training in neuropsychology. She is a former visual art and elementary educator, and has taught in a variety of schools, community settings, and museums. Her research interests are focused on the benefits of therapeutic art in school-based mental health, and the use of creative interventions with children who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Paula Adamo (2021) is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Curriculum & Instruction and a teaching professor in the Department of Spanish Language, Literary and Cultural Studies at DU. Her dissertation explores undergraduate teaching excellence through an aesthetic lens.

Andrea Johnson (2019) is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Denver. Her research interests include literacy, emergent bilingual students, and rural education. Andrea is a GRA for the Center for Rural School Health and Education (CRSHE) and is an adjunct faculty in the Teacher Education Program teaching Secondary Literacy.

Rob Evans (2016) is completing his Ed.D. in the Curriculum and Instruction program at the University of Denver. He balances his studies with his professional role as the Senior Team Lead for Special Education at Farrell B. Howell ECE-8 School in Denver Public Schools. Over the past 15 years in education, Rob has served as an outdoor programs instructor, science teacher, EFL teacher, ESL teacher, and special education teacher. At Farrell B. Howell, Rob has served on the Collaborative School Committee, the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Committee, the Student Intervention Team, and currently is a member of the Instructional Leadership Team at Farrell B. Howell. Rob received an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from Northern Arizona University in 2012 and a MAT in Special Education from the Metropolitan University of Denver in 2014.

Throughout his career to date, Rob has been interested in what educational conditions are necessary and sufficient to allow curiosity and inquiry to emerge in learning. His current focus in his doctoral studies is on how Japanese Lesson Study can be translated as a form of educational criticism and connoisseurship into the context of public education in the United States. His hope is that this approach to professional development will support curiosity and inquiry in teacher education. In the 2019-2020 school year, Rob was selected as a Denver Public Schools THRIVE fellow, where he had the opportunity to explore how action research in the form of Lesson Study could improve educational conditions within the district. Rob’s family and commitment to the spirit of public service are the sources of much inspiration in his studies and leadership in education.

Dr. Brittany Miller (2015) received her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Denver in 2018. She is currently Chief of Staff in the Academics Division for Denver Public Schools.

Joe Bolz (2014)  is a current third-year PhD student in the Curriculum and Instruction program at the University of Denver and the most recent recipient of the Professor P. Bruce Uhrmacher Scholarship. He has been teaching high school mathematics for the last 14 years and continues to do so as he pursues his doctoral degree. Teaching has taken him from the University of Illinois where he received his undergraduate degree, to the suburbs of Chicago where he taught and received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Aurora University, to his current position as Mathematics Department Chair at a Denver public high school.

During his time in Chicago, Joe served as an instructor and administrator for the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Currently, in his work with Denver Public Schools (DPS), he is a mentor for new teachers, a Teacher Leader for DPS schools, and is a member of the School Leadership Team.  He has also been recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher.

Joe has contributed to his field in many ways including presenting at conferences such as the Illinois Council for Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM), the Colorado Council for Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM), the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and, most recently, the 2014 TODOS conference. Joe is the husband to a brilliant wife who is an outstanding high school English teacher and is a proud father of two girls – Tess, 3, and Elsa, 1.

Melanie Reiser (2012)  is the Leader of Programs and Activities for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.  She is currently working on her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Denver. She was a Class Teacher at the Detroit Waldorf School and has served in many administrative capacities including, Faculty Chair, Outreach Director, Enrollment Director, and as a member of accreditation teams.  A past recipient of the DU alumni scholarship, Melanie presented a paper entitled “Philosophical Capital: Will the Real PC Please Stand Up?”  She has continued this research and is incorporating ideas from the paper into her dissertation proposal.

Matthew Spurlin (2011) is a graduate student in the Curriculum Studies and Teaching program at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.  He is currently writing his dissertation on contemplative education and is an adjunct faculty member at Naropa University in Boulder.  Thanks to the Uhrmacher scholarship, Matthew has the opportunity to attend his first American Association for Teaching and Curriculum conference. Since then, Matthew has taken over as the Book Fair Coordinator for the organization and established collegial relationships that continue to open both intellectual and professional doors. Just as Bruce continues to do, the scholarship has created a rewarding and enjoyable educational opportunity that serves as a catalyst for a career of learning and teaching.

Ben Ingman (2010) is Project Manager at the University of Colorado, Denver, for the Healthy Eaters, Lifelong Movers project. He graduated from the University of Denver in 2013 with a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. His dissertation, Re-thinking the adventure education experience: An inquiry of meanings, culture, and educational virtue, was supervised by P. Bruce Uhrmacher and awarded the John Laska Distinguished Dissertation Award from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum in 2014. Ben received the inaugural Uhrmacher Scholarship in 2010 for his paper “Henry David Thoreau: Spirituality and Experiential Education”, which he presented at AATC and published in Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue in 2011Ben has since published in national and international journals on various topics concerning education. He shares a home in Denver with his wife, Becky, and their dog, Klaus.

Uhrmacher Scholar Selection Committee 2014-2019

Christy McConnell, PhD, (University of Denver, 2007) taught high school English and was department coordinator in Colorado for seven years. She is co-author of the book Lesson Planning with Purpose: Five Approaches to Curriculum Design. Her master’s work at DU focused on teacher preparation and urban education, and her doctoral work explored the practices of ecologically minded teachers. Her dissertation, Greening our Future: The practices of ecologically minded teachers, was supervised by Bruce Uhrmacher and won the AERA Division B Dissertation of the Year Award in 2008. Christy’s publications have largely explored aesthetic and ecological perspectives of teaching and learning (she formerly published under the name Moroye). She is now Professor of Curriculum Studies and Educational Foundations at the University of Northern Colorado. Christy spends time in the desert with her son and dogs and enjoys writing poetry, hiking, and running a small art business.

Kevin Cloninger, is a researcher, an educator, and a coach, and currently serves as President of the Anthropedia Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting health and decreasing rates of lifestyle and stress-related illness through scientific research and education. Over the last four years, Dr. Cloninger has overseen the research and development of Anthropedia’s innovative Well-being Coach Certification Program and the completion of the foundation’s resources including the Know Yourself DVD Series. In his work with Anthropedia, he has lectured widely, appeared on TV and radio, and offered many workshops and trainings on well-being, coaching, and education in the United States, France, and the UK.

An award-winning teacher and public speaker, Dr. Cloninger has taught at almost every level of education from grade school to graduate school and served for four years on the executive board of the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum (AATC). He currently serves on the board as the head of the committee on AATC’s outreach initiatives.  In his work with the Center for Well-Being at Washington University and the Anthropedia Institute, Dr. Cloninger continues to publish essays and research articles. Dr. Cloninger’s recent publications include a book chapter entitled, “In Pursuit of “the Good Life” or “the Good Job”?” in The Stewardship of Higher Education (Sense Publishers, 2013), “Person-Centered Therapeutics” (International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, 2011), and a forthcoming book on Oxford University Press with his father Dr. C. Robert Cloninger related to Evolution, Neuroscience, and Self-awareness.

Dr. Cloninger received his B.A. in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology with a minor in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He earned a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2003, and completed his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Denver in 2008.

Bradley Conrad is an associate professor in the School of Education at Capital University. Dr. Conrad is co-author of the book Lesson Planning with Purpose: Five Approaches to Curriculum Design. He has published several articles in the areas of curriculum, teacher dispositions, culturally responsive pedagogy, and the arts in education. In K-12 education, he has been a substitute teacher, high school English teacher, department coordinator, instructional coach, and new teacher mentor during his career beginning in 2001. He serves as the team lead on the Tales from the Classroom Project, an undertaking designed to improve education by sharing the voices of those in our schools along with the best research in K–12 education. He received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver in 2011. 

Uhrmacher Scholar Alumni Scholarship Contributors and Mentors

Amy L. Masko is an Associate Professor at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She earned her PhD from the University of Denver in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Urban Education, and her M.Ed. from Lesley University in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy Education.

Amy’s research interests include the intersection of race, poverty, and schooling, Critical Race Theory, and comparative international education. She has written articles about urban and rural education in the United States and Ghana, West Africa. She has worked for public schools and community based educational non-profits. Amy is immediate Past President of the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum.

Dr. Megan S. Kennedy joined the education faculty of Westfield State University (WSU) in 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Education. She earned her Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Teacher Preparation from the University of Denver. Megan earned her initial elementary teacher licensure at Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, IN and her M.Ed degree at Smith College in Northampton, MA.

Before pursuing her PhD she was a sixth grade teacher in Southampton, MA, at William E. Norris Elementary School. While in Denver, she spent two years as the Gifted and Talented facilitator at a K-8 charter school.

Megan teaches courses focusing on the interconnection between instruction, assessment and the elementary curriculum. In addition, she serves as the Director of Graduate Education Programs for the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education where teaches research and advanced pedagogy courses to graduate students.

Megan is the counselor for the Iota Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Education Honor Society at WSU. Since 2011, she has been an active member of the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum (AATC) where she reviews proposals, presents at the annual conference, and serves on the O.L. Davis Jr. Book Award Committee. In 2014, she was appointed by the executive board to serve as the O.L. Davis Jr. Book Award Committee Chair for the AATC conference in Tampa.  Her current research interests include teacher identity in the classroom, creating inclusive spaces in schools and communities for LGBT youth, and literature as a tool for creating socially just classrooms. Dr. Kennedy co-authored, Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth, which was released in 2011.

Cassandra Trousas is a Morgridge College of Education alum who earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction in 2009. In 2010, her dissertation “Teacher Artistry and the Not-So-Still life of Arts-centered School Reform” won the American Association of Teachers & Curriculum’s Distinguished Dissertation Award in curriculum. Her research interests include arts-based education and research, qualitative research, and childhood studies. Her recent essay, “With Nose Pressed Against the Glass: One Adjunct’s Experience as an Online Professor” will be published in the book, Dignity of the Calling in 2015. Cassandra lives in the DC Metro area with her family.

Caitlin Lindquist, bio coming soon.

Barri Tinkler, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Education at the University of Vermont. Her research focuses on the impact of service-learning on pre-service teachers’ preparation for working with diverse learners.

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