Category: CEPS Faculty Recognitions

New CEPS Faculty – Fall 2020

Several new faculty members will be joining the Broncho family this fall across several departments within the College of Education and Professional Studies. Below are the names of the new faculty within each department.

Department of Adult Education and Safety Sciences

  • Janet Handwerk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • Yadira Reyes-Pena, Lecturer
  • Monica Walls, Visiting Instructor

Donna Nigh Department of Advanced Professional and Special Services

  • Ed Collins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Department of Educational Sciences, Foundations and Research

  • Joseph Mathews, Ed.D., Assistant Professor

Department of Human Environmental Sciences

  • Joanne Wong, Instructor

Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies

  • Eric Conchola, Ph.D., Instructor
  • Ericka Johnson, Lecturer
  • Kerry Morgan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • Kim Reeves, Lecturer

Department of Psychology

  • Heloisa Campos, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • Kaitlyn Downey Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • Vickie Jean, Ph.D., Lecturer
  • Sean McMillan, Lecturer
  • Heather Shea, Lecturer
  • Nathaniel Stafford, Ph.D., Lecturer

 

Math for Social Justice

Education Students at the Teacher StoreWhen most people think back on their college statistics class, they likely think of a semester full of charts, numbers, and confusing formulas that take hours to understand. A new course at UCO, Math for Social Justice, is aiming to take a new approach at teaching this math concept while providing students with real-world experiences to better prepare them for their future career in teaching.

In the elementary and early childhood education programs, all students are required by the Oklahoma State Department of Education to take twelve hours of math course credits as part of the 4×12 general education requirement. In the past, these students have opted to take a statistics class in a traditional math course format, with little information provided in regards to how statistics will apply in a future classroom setting. Professors in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction saw this as an opportunity to create a new statistics course, specifically for education majors.

“When we received permission to create this course, I thought ‘there are a lot of issues in schools that deal with social injustices,’ and we realized that math and social justice pair well together. I also wanted to combine a service learning project with this element,” said Darlinda Cassel, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

“This class allowed our students to collect data for statistics and also complete a service project for a nonprofit.”

Math for Social Justice pairs statistics with facts and realities about injustices in the world, specifically centered on education and resources teachers often need. To help study this, the class has partnered with the nonprofit organization Feed the Children which operates a Teacher Store warehouse in Oklahoma City. Businesses across the country donate items to the store where teachers from title I schools across the state are then able to visit and select free materials for their classrooms. Items in the store range from books and writing materials to snack foods and classroom furniture.

Education Students Touring the Teacher Warehouse
The goal of the project is for students to conduct research on if teachers’ needs are being met by the materials they receive at the store and how the process could be more effective. All students are responsible for a portion of the project that has included visiting the Teacher Store to interview teachers and observe the processes involved. They will then compile their research and present it to administration at Feed the Children at the end of the course.

The process has been eye opening for many students in the class as they have been exposed to the need often faced by teachers in low-income districts when trying to provide materials for their classrooms.

“I talked to a wide range of people at the teacher store that included teachers and school administrators, and all of their needs seemed to be the same,” said Dillon Wise, a senior elementary education major.

“They are just trying to help support their students however they can.”

Karen Inselman, a senior elementary education major, explained, “One teacher at the store that I talked to said she was sometimes spending around $100 per week to just help feed her students, so the teacher store has been a good resource for her.”

Overall, the students agree they have gained so much more than just statistics knowledge throughout the course, and it has reaffirmed their passion for their future profession.

“I took this course, because I felt like it would give me an opportunity to experience more than just a traditional classroom setting,” said Taylor Gutierrez, a junior elementary education major.

“I feel like I actually know this material and can apply it to my future school setting since I have had a chance to use it for real-world experiences in this class.”

Students will complete this course in May 2020, and the course is expected to be offered again in a similar format for the upcoming fall.

Faculty Recognitions: Jill Davis

Jill Davis, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, was honored with the inaugural 2019 Advocacy Award from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE). She was selected for her outstanding advocacy in the field of early childhood education through her work at Central and was invited to attend the NAECTE awards reception in Nashville, TN in November to accept the award.

Davis currently teachers courses in the elementary education program and also serves as the faculty adviser for the Central Association for Responsive Educators (CARE) student organization. Jill Davis receives award at Education Conference

Faculty Recognitions: Rachelle Franz

Franz receives award from OKC Fire DepartmentUCO College of Education and Professional Studies faculty member, Rachelle Franz, Ed.D., was recognized by the Oklahoma City Fire Department for her assistance with the OK CHILD Injury Prevention Program. This program was created to educate children and families across Oklahoma to prevent unintentional child injuries and deaths. UCO students and Franz developed all lesson plans utilized in the program. Franz currently serves as an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and health studies.