Campus Conversations is a monthly, student-led group that discusses issues of identity, oppression, and privilege. The group was founded by Grace-Ellen Mahoney, a first-year graduate student at the Morgridge College of Education (MCE). Mahoney’s efforts are supported by MCE Faculty members Andi Pusavat, Ph.D, a Clinical Assistant Professor, and Patton Garriot, Ph.D, an Assistant Professor, of the Counseling Psychology (CP) Department.

The first meeting took place on April 7, with a great turn out by faculty and students from a variety of different programs across campus. The meeting focused on what goals Campus Conversations should pursue, as well as setting group norms for future meetings.

Mahoney is a first year CP graduate student at MCE. She graduated from the University of Oregon in 2014 with a degree in Family and Human Services. Her academic and professional interests include providing culturally responsive mental health services to marginalized and under-served populations. Mahoney began Campus Conversations because she believes that an important aspect of graduate school is learning from others and having one’s beliefs challenged. This belief fueled an interest in providing students with a space to openly discuss issues of identity and social justice outside of the classroom.

Andi Pusavat, Ph.D., is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Counseling Services Clinic Director in the Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Denver. Dr. Pusavat’s clinical interests are in the intersections of identities and her research interests focus on emotional abuse. She is very excited to be a faculty sponsor of Campus Conversations and she is a current member of the Counseling Psychology Diversity Task Force and Morgridge College of Education Inclusive Excellence Committee at the University of Denver. Dr. Pusavat feels very fortunate to have participated in the first Campus Conversations meeting and looks forward to supporting the program as it continues to address issues of identity, oppression, and privilege. She espouses that transformational conversations about diversity and privilege require honest, respectful dialogue that both empowers and challenges participants to think and feel within the context of brave spaces. “It is never too late to give up our prejudices.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Dr. Garriott’s work focuses on the intersections of race, class, and vocational psychology with an emphasis on issues of access and equity. He is a member of the Counseling Psychology Diversity Task Force and proud faculty sponsor of the Campus Conversations program at DU. Dr. Garriott believes that Campus Conversations offers students, staff, and faculty the opportunity engage with one another on issues of privilege, oppression, and equity. He believes open dialogues on issues of diversity help us check our own biases and communicate at a broader level that the university community is invested in creating an environment that is truly inclusive.

The next Campus Conversations meeting will take place on May 12, from 4:00pm – 5:00pm in Katherine Ruffatto Hall Room 105. Campus Conversations is open to all DU students, faculty, and staff.

Interested in getting involved? Email Mahoney at Grace.Mahoney@du.edu.

The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) is proud to recognize the faculty and students participating at the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting: “Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies.” If you would like to find out more about the sessions being presented by MCE faculty, students and alumni then review the list below.

The Roles of Transfer and Forgetting in the Persistence and Fadeout of Early Childhood Mathematics Interventions 
Douglas H. Clements, PhD; Julie Sarama, PhD
Sat, April 9: 10:35am-12:05pm, Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D

Drs. Clements and Sarama will present their research on how the fadeout effect can be explained by a treatment-control difference during the forgetting of mathematics knowledge. They will present their findings on the fadeout of academic intervention impacts using the OLS probability regression analysis. Results indicate that while it is not the primary contributor of the fadeout, it is a significant contributor. It was found that the magnitude of this treatment-control difference in forgetting accounts for about 28% of the size of the fadeout effect of an early mathematics intervention.

Evaluating a Revised Developmental Progression for Volume Measurement—Kindergarten Through Grade 2
Douglas W. Van Dine, PhD
Sat, April 9: 10:35am-12:05pm, Convention Center, Level Two, Exhibit Hall D

Dr. Van Dine will present his research, which used Rasch modeling, on developmental progressions for filling, packing, building, and comparing volume measurement for Kindergarten through Grade 2. Van Dine will also present results, which indicate support that the developmental progressions are valid.

Academics in the Earliest Years of Formal Schooling: Building Evidence for Policy and Practice
Douglas H. Clements, PhD; Julie Sarama, PhD
Sat, April 9: 2:15-3:45pm, Convention Center, Level One, Room 146 A

This session explores a range of policy questions related to preschool and kindergarten. Faculty will present papers which explore questions related to academic and non-academic time in the earliest years of school as well as the effects of policy changes and interventions on a range of important student outcomes.

Technology & Transformation: Two Professors’ Experience Teaching Online for the First Time
Norma Hafenstein, PhD; Nicole Joseph, PhD
Saturday, April 9: 4:05-5:35pm, Convention Center Level Two, Exhibit Hall B

Drs. Hafenstein and Joseph will report the findings of a faculty self-study research they conducted to document and analyze their first-time experiences teaching in a virtual environment, including prior expectations, professional development, and the transferability of face-to-face pedagogical techniques and strategies.

Elliot Eisner SIG Business Meeting
P. Bruce Uhrmacher, PhD (Meeting Chair)
Saturday, April 9: 6:15-7:45pm, Convention Center Room 159A

In this meeting—chaired by Dr. Uhrmacher—Dr. Joel Westheimer will discuss the relationships between the work of Elliot Eisner and the 2016 Annual Meeting theme, “Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies.” Attendees will have input into the direction of the SIG as we discuss a variety of business matters.

Eisner in Mind: Fresh Perspectives on Inquiry and Education
P. Bruce Uhrmacher, PhD (Session Chair)
Sunday, April 10: 10:35am-12:05pm, Convention Center Room 153

Assessing and Increasing Novice Teachers’ Efficacy in Working with Families
Kirsten Hermanutz; Gloria Miller, PhD
Monday, April 11: 7:45-9:15am, Convention Center Room 141

Hermanutz and Dr. Miller will share their recently completed study to examine novice teachers’ self-reported efficacy, a factor affecting the attrition rate of novice teachers. Results are tied to specific field experiences enhancing novice educators’ efficacy about working with families and lessen the likelihood of leaving the field.

Discovery-Based STEM Learning 2.0: Are We There Yet?
Douglas H. Clements, PhD (Presentation Chair)
Monday, April 11: 7:45-9:45am, Marriott Marquis Level Two Salon 12

Approaching the centennial of Dewey’s ‘Democracy and Learning,’ presenters will appraise whether the field has realized John Dewey’s vision of meaningfully situated learning by establishing their contribution in a design study of STEM cognition and instruction.

A Rasch Analysis of the Current Opioid Misuse Measure for Chronic Pain Patients
Lilian Chimuma; Kathy E. Green, PhD; Courtney Morris
Monday, April 11: 11:45am-1:15pm, Marriott Marquis Level Two Salon Four

Chimuma, Dr. Green, and Morris will present results of using the Current Opioid Misuse Measure—used by clinicians—to monitor patients on long-term opioid therapy, using the Rasch model for dimensionality and scale use. They will discuss the results in detail, including suggestions for measure revision and future research.

Many-Faceted Rasch Measurement: Assessing Rater Errors in Performance Assessment
Priyalatha Govindasamy; Kathy Green, PhD; Jessica Lerner, EdS; Maria del Carmen Salazar, PhD
Monday, April 11: 2:45-4:15pm, Marriott Marquis Level Two Salon Four

The presentation of this paper will address the teacher supervisors (raters) potential errors through Many Faceted Rasch Measurement (MFRM), a complex process in which raters tend to introduce errors that are not attributed to the actual ratees’ performance.

The Design & Implementation of an Evaluation Model for Equitable & Effective Teaching
Priyalatha Govindasamy; Kathy Green, PhD; Jessica Lerner, EdS; Maria del Carmen Salazar, PhD
Tuesday, April 12: 12:25-1:55pm, Convention Center Level Three Ballroom B

Govindasamy, Dr. Green, Lerner, and Dr. Salazar will describe the development, implementation, analysis, and results of a research study to design a preservice teacher evaluation tool known as the Framework for Equitable and Effective Teaching (FEET), and will assess rater bias, analyze measures of reliability and validity, and identify implications for revising the evaluation model and training for supervisors.

Teacher Education Program (TEP) student Krystal Giles participated in a round-table discussion with Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock as part of the Make Your Mark campaign. The round-table, hosted by Denver Public Schools (DPS) Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova and Mayor Hancock, focused on the important role teachers of color play as advocates and role models for students of color.

The Make your Mark Campaign is an initiative dedicated to diversifying the faculty population working in Denver schools by recruiting educators of color. Mayor Hancock, DPS, six charter school networks, and several foundations have teamed up to lead this campaign. Their goal is to assure that the faculty working in Denver schools better reflects the diverse student population.

Diversifying teacher demographics is especially important in Denver. Statistics from Make Your Mark show that—in DPS—while over 75% of Denver students are of color, teachers of color make up less than 25% of the regions educators.

As part of the TEP field experience requirement, Giles, a Dual Degree Teacher Education candidate at MCE, works as an Apprentice Teacher at Barnum Elementary School in Denver. She was invited to participate in the round-table through the connections she developed during her field experience.

MCE promotes inclusive excellence and diversity in all of its programs, and recruits students who have a passion for inclusivity. Students like Giles are trained to become ideal candidates for schools looking to employ teachers dedicated to serving diverse populations.

The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) had a substantial presence at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference, which was held in Denver and attracted over 2,500 participants. Faculty from the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program, Kennedy Institute, and Marsico Institute were all in attendance along with Students from several MCE programs. MCE faculty and students presenting included:

  • Julie Sarama, Ph.D – MCE Faculty and Kennedy Endowed Chair in Innovative Learning Technologies
  • Douglas H. Clements, Ph.D – MCE Faculty and Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning
  • Jeanine Coleman, Ph.D – ECSE Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Pilyoung Kim, Ph.D – Assistant Professor at DU’s School of Art, Humanities and Social Science
  • Rachel Schiff-Gray – ECSE Alumni
  • Heather Blizzard – RMS Graduate Student
  • Laura Dietert – CI Graduate Student
  • Ksenia Polson – RMS Graduate Student
  • Jessica Carswell – ECSE MA Student
  • Tara Brand – ECSE MA Student
  • Katie Belleau – ECSE MA Student
  • Brita Strub – ECSE Cert Student
  • Hazuki Tochihara – – ECSE Alumni

Drs. Clements and Sarama were the keynote speakers for the conference alongside Dr. Bob Sornson Founder of the Early Learning Foundation. They started the Saturday morning conference with their presentation on early math education setting the stage for the rest of the event.

“A few of the teachers in the audience commented that they could not wait to share what they had learned” said Heather Blizzard a Ph.D student in the Research Methods and Statistics (RMS) program. Blizzard presented on the effects of teaching geometry to young children alongside her peers Laura Dietert and Ksenia Polson.

Nicolle Ingui Davies has been named the 2016 Library Journal Librarian of the Year, marking the first time a Colorado librarian has been recognized for the honor. Davies became the Executive Director for Arapahoe Library District in 2012. A District which runs eight libraries and recently received a budgetary increase of $6 million, bringing the total annual budget to $30 million. She began teaching at MCE for the Library and Information Science Program in 2015; Davies taught the Public Libraries course and is scheduled to do so again in the near future.

After becoming ALD’s Executive Director, Davies worked with the library board and staff to create a strategic plan and rebrand the library’s operations by establishing four pillars – deliver very important patron experiences, surprise and delight, make every experience matter, and strive for simplicity – to move ALD from “nice to essential” as a community resource and to ensure memorable experiences for every patron.

In addition to prioritizing high-quality patron interactions, Davies’ transformation of Arapahoe Libraries into essential community centers has included access to technology. Under her leadership, ALD is a local leader by taking on the costs, risks, and rewards of adopting and providing access to products in early development – sharing technology that is in its beta phase has proven to be extremely popular with patrons. Notable products ALD has procured include Google Glass, Go Pro camera, and 3-D printers.

MCE extends its congratulations to Nicolle and the Arapahoe Library District in obtaining national recognition for providing exemplary community leadership and resources. Read the full article here.

About Library Journal
Founded in 1876, Library Journal (LJ) is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 8000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and web sites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit
www.libraryjournal.com. Library Journal is a publication of Media Source Inc., which also owns School Library Journal, The Horn Book publications, and Junior Library Guild.

About Arapahoe Libraries
Arapahoe Libraries serve 250,000 patrons and include eight community libraries, a jail library and a Library on Wheels in Arapahoe County, Colorado. For more information, visit arapahoelibraries.org.

The Fisher Early Learning Center a partner of the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) has received a renewal of their five-year accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) by the Academy for Early Childhood Program Accreditation. In order for a program to be accredited by NAEYC, it must meet all of the required criteria during evaluation, meet at least 80% of assessed criteria for each program standard, meet at least 70% of assessed criteria for each classroom or group observed, and continue to meet candidacy requirements after accreditation is conferred.

The Center, which opened its doors in 2000, has earned top marks for assessment on 9 of 10 programmatic areas and near-perfect scores for classroom observation assessment. Furthermore, Fisher met all candidacy requirements and achieved a grade of “PASS” on all required criteria. The NAEYC Academy commended Fisher for going above and beyond on a number of assessment points, including:

  • Promoting positive relations among children and adults and encouraging individual self-worth and belongingness
  • Implementation of a curriculum consistent in its goals and promotion of social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development
  • Using teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in a developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and effective manner
  • A sound system for ongoing formal and informal assessments to inform on child learning and development
  • Promoting nutrition and health, as well as prevention of injury and illness, among staff and children
  • Employment of a qualified, knowledgeable, and professional teaching staff able to support the diverse needs and interests of students and families
  • Recognizing the importance of relationships between families and schools
  • Effective establishment of relationships with agencies and institutions within the community that provide support for Fisher’s goals
  • Efficient and effective leadership and administration that is inclusive of staff, children, and families

The MCE extends its congratulations to Rebecca Tankersley, Director of the Fisher Early Learning Center, and to the staff at Fisher. MCE is proud to continue supporting their ongoing commitment to providing an inclusive and high-quality early learning experience.

Since 1985, NAEYC has offered a national, voluntary accreditation system to set professional standards for early childhood education programs, and to help families identify high-quality programs. Today, NAEYC Accreditation represents the mark of quality in early childhood education.  Over 6,500 child care programs, preschools, early learning centers, and other center- or school-based early childhood education programs are currently NAEYC-Accredited.  These programs provide high quality care and education to nearly one million young children in the United States, its territories, and programs affiliated with the United States Department of Defense.


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