Faculty Notes

Published November 2, 2011

Special Education faculty member wins 2011 Teaching Excellence Award

On October 28, 2011, Sally L. Burton-Hoyle was one-of-six recipients of the 2011 Teaching Excellence Award. The Teaching Excellence Awards honor faculty members at Eastern Michigan University who have distinguished themselves as teachers. Sally challenges her students to "change the world" by supporting the self-determination of each student with a disability. Sally uses her experiences as a family member of a person with autism as a strength and encourages her students to always use their strengths as educators. Sally involves herself with her wonderful students and thoroughly loves them and her EMU colleagues. Sally feels she is very lucky to be an educator of future special educators at EMU. Recipients selected receive an award commemorating the event, a medallion and a certificate.

Leadership and Counseling faculty member appointed to State of Michigan Board of Counseling

Diane Parfitt, PhD, LPC, associate professor in the Department of Leadership and Counseling at EMU, site coordinator of EMU's school-based counseling clinics and a private practice counselor at Depot Town Counseling Center in Ypsilanti, was recently appointed by Governor Snyder as a professional member of the State of Michigan Board of Counseling for a four year term ending June 30, 2015. Diane is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and is one of the 11 voting members of the Board of Counseling which includes six LPCs, one mental health professional and four members from the public sector. The board licenses and oversees the practice of counseling of over 8,500 Limited Licensed Professional Counselors (LLPCs) and LPCs in Michigan. Responsibilities and duties as a member of the Board of Counseling as mandated by the Public Health Code include promoting and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public within the context of the counseling profession, helping to maintain the integrity of the counseling profession and taking disciplinary action against professional counselors who have adversely affected the public's health, safety and welfare.

Special Education faculty member presents at Teaching and Learning in Korea (TaLK) conference

From August 8-12, 2011, 18 professors from universities in the United States and the United Kingdom assembled in Seoul, South Korea to attend a Teaching and Learning in Korea (TaLK) conference and to learn more about the missions and goals of the TaLK program. Dr. Myung-Sook Koh (Special Education) and Dr. Mary Rearick (Teacher Education) of Eastern Michigan University's College of Education faculty were part of the group. The TaLK Program is a Korean government funded program that invites junior (or above) level college students, who speak English (as a primary language) to Korea to teach English at the afterschool programs in rural areas in the country. One of the highlights of the event was a presentation in which Dr. Myung-Sook Koh, professor in the Special Education Department at Eastern Michigan University, spoke of the Memorandum of Understanding between Eastern Michigan University and the TaLK program.

Teacher Education and Leadership and Counseling faculty members continue participation in GEAR UP

Russell Olwell, History and Philosophy and Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities, and Wendy Burke, Teacher Education, have received $572,263 for the sixth year of their GEAR UP (U.S. Department of Education) project to increase academic performance and preparation for secondary education. The public schools involved are Ypsilanti, Willow Run, and Wayne-Westland. GEAR UP is a federally funded initiative that works with students and their families to promote college readiness and enrollment in post-secondary programs.

Similarly, Dr. Ronald Williamson, Professor of Leadership and Counseling, is working with 36 small, rural schools in Oregon in a project supported by the Oregon University System's GEAR UP Program. The Principals Leadership Program provides participating principals with tools and resources that principals can use to support college readiness in their communities. Dr. Williamson provides on-site technical assistance to principals, maintains an Oregon GEAR UP Principals blog, and prepares research reports for principals. The program is funded in part by the Oregon University System and the Ford Family Foundation. Dr. Williamson works closely with Russell Olwell on the GEAR UP project serving schools in Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Teacher Education faculty member to participate in Global Learning Seminar

Dr. Mary L. Rearick will participate in the Global Learning Seminar offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and facilitated by Professors Margaret Crouch and Solange Simoes. The purpose of this project is to collaborate with 8-12 EMU faculty (from various colleges and departments) integrating global learning teaching and learning strategies into one of their courses. A secondary goal for this project is the integration of different disciplinary approaches to global issues. The Global Learning Seminar will meet from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on November 4 and 18, and December 2 and 16, 2011. Upon completion of the seminar, submission of a course description and syllabus including pedagogical strategies for active learning and assessment, and composing a brief (two-to-five pages) essay describing how seminar materials are incorporated into the course, participants will receive an honorarium.

Leadership and Counseling faculty member publishes book on improving rigor in schools

Rigor in Your School: A Toolkit for Leaders is the most recent publication of Dr. Ronald Williamson, Professor of Leadership and Counseling. It complements Rigorous Schools and Classrooms: Leading the Way (published in 2010). Both books provide school leaders with explicit strategies and tools to work with their faculty and community to improve the academic experience of students. Williamson and his co-author, Dr. Barbara Blackburn, developed the COMPASS model for improving rigor. The model includes improving school culture, nurturing ownership and shared vision, managing data, providing professional development, advocating for one's school, shared accountability and implementing structures that support rigor.