PSU announces Dr. Tina Peterman as new Interim Dean of College of Education

PORTLAND, Ore. – May 31, 2023 – Portland State University (PSU) is pleased to announce Dr. Tina Peterman as the new Interim Dean of the College of Education. She was previously the school’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Her new post as Interim Dean of PSU’s College of Education will begin on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Tina Peterman headshot
Dr. Tina Peterman named Interim Dean of PSU College of Education

“I am honored and excited to be the Interim Dean of the College of Education,” says Dr. Peterman. “Given the challenges schools are experiencing, I see the deanship as an opportunity to partner with our faculty and staff to lead responsive and positive change in our community, particularly for those who are historically underserved in our education systems. I look forward to collaborating with the faculty and staff to continue making the COE a safe and welcoming place for diverse learners, and to develop teachers, counselors, and leaders.”

Dr. Peterman, a Professor in the College of Education, completed her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been in higher education at public institutions for 18 years, and in academic leadership positions for the past seven years. She began her career as an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at Washington State University, and moved to PSU where she received tenure and was the Counselor Education Department Chair for two years and Associate Dean since 2017.

She is active within her professional discipline as a clinical rehabilitation counselor and a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Oregon, and has worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, mental health counselor, and career counselor. In her private practice she provides clinical supervision to counselors through the licensing board. She is also the past Chair of the National Career Development Association Credentialing Commission and served a term on the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.
Her academic scholarship focuses on career development for youth with disabilities, leading to numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and invited articles in internationally distributed publications. She has received more than $5 million dollars in grants from the U.S. Department of Education and is the Principle Investigator on the US Prep Project, which aims to transform university-based teacher preparation. In addition, she served on the editorial board of the Career Development Quarterly since 2012.

Dr. Peterman was awarded a prestigious national ACE Fellowship for the 2022-23 academic year. As an ACE Fellow, she worked in the Chancellor’s Office at the University of Washington Tacoma, focused on student success and retention, budgeting and fiscal management, enrollment management, university fundraising and philanthropy. 

Dr. Amanda Sugimoto, presently the Interim Associate Dean, will become the permanent Associate Dean of the College of Education.

“I am especially looking forward to working with Amanda Sugimoto, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs,” says Dr. Peterman. “This past year, she graciously stepped in and served as Interim Associate Dean of the College of Education, doing an extraordinary job. Under her prior stewardship as Accreditation Director, and then as Interim AD, the COE recently received seven years of AAQEP accreditation. I look forward to leading together again in the Dean’s office,” Dr. Peterman added.

Dismantling White Supremacy Culture conference at PSU, June 16-17, to feature leading author Zaretta Hammond

Distinguished author-educator Zaretta Hammond to speak at PSU’s DWSC Conference.

Portland State University’s department of Curriculum and Instruction is sponsoring the 2023 Dismantling White Supremacy Culture Conference (DWSC). This year’s theme is Creating Conscious Curriculum, featuring author Zaretta Hammond, who will address: “Why Teaching is Still a Subversive Act.” The conference is virtual with an optional in-person component on day two, held at PSU’s Vanport Building, home of the university’s College of Education.

Hammond wrote, “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain,” using neuroscience as the foundation for rigorous teaching practices that respond to students of color, affirming their excellence, and supporting their highest potential. The conference, organized by Truss Leadership, will be attended by educators from throughout the United States. This is an opportunity to learn about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) resources and anti-racism while establishing a national network of DEI thought leaders and educators.

Registration is open now.

“It’s important that folks be brave enough to be beacons,” says racial equity coach and consultant Joe Truss. “We can’t all be scared. Let the light shine.” Truss provides professional development to schools and organizations, and with Hammond, will keynote the conference. He shares his experience transforming schools as a teacher and principal in California, providing ideas and insight into why things are broken, and how to address white supremacy culture. This is the fourth annual DWSC conference at PSU, with record-breaking attendance expected. More than 3,500 people have participated in the past.

“When education is under attack, it’s a reminder of the importance and power of what we teach, the conversations we have and the books we read, acknowledging that power and using it to transform. Serving the public with education is a political action,” says Truss. “I’m unapologetic about centering our most marginalized students.”

The 4th annual DWSC conference will be held June 16-17, 2023, at PSU.

PSU faculty Andreina Velasco in the Elementary Graduate Teacher Education Program responded to the importance of the conference in view of recent political attacks on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in public education:

“When I see today that Amanda Gorman’s poem for the Presidential Inauguration, ‘The Hill We Climb,’ was banned in Florida, and the reason given was indoctrination – I think, indoctrinating in what? In excellence? These kinds of attacks fuel me to better prepare myself and future educators, to be brave, be bold, and advocate for classrooms where there is space for the multiple lived experiences and narratives of students and families.”

Hammond’s book is used in PSU’s Bilingual Teacher Pathway (BTP) and Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP). “For at least the last five years, faculty in GTEP and BTP have ensured that all teacher candidates are exposed to Hammond’s work as part of their training to become culturally responsive teachers,” says Velasco.

The Vanport Building on PSU’s campus where the DWSC conference will be held is named for the highly diverse and largely Black community in Portland where PSU began, destroyed by a flood on May 30, 1948, and never rebuilt.

“Hosting this conference in a space that honors the Vanport community is a testament to PSU’s effort to move forward and rewrite its institutional DNA. It demonstrates how the College of Education is committed to preparing teachers who are conscious about creating curriculum that addresses and disrupts white supremacy culture, that tells stories like that of Vanport, and so many others,” says Velasco.

[Learn more about Vanport and memory activism at the Vanport Mosaic Project.]

Registration for the DWSC conference is open now. Note that space is limited for the in-person option on Saturday, June 17, 2023. Educators interested in facilitating small groups for an honorarium fee are welcome to apply.

Registration is open now.

Cost to attend virtual DWSC conference:  $300

Additional cost for In-Person option: $200

Scholarships available for PSU alumni, staff, and students.


By Sherron Lumley

PSU faculty and Improvement Science dream team co-author, edit new book: “Improving America’s Schools Together”

A new book just published by Rowan and Littlefield includes the work of four Portland State University (PSU) educators, national thought leaders and award-winning authors in the Improvement Science field.

“Improving America’s Schools Together:  How District-University Partnerships and Continuous Improvement Can Transform Education,” provides case studies, methods, theory and research on leadership development that enhances student learning. The book is co-edited by PSU College of Education Dean Emeritus Randy Hitz, Louis M. Gomez, Manuelito Biag, David G. Imig, and Steve Tozer. The foreword is by Anthony S. Bryk.

“Colleges of Education and school districts share the mission of providing the best possible education for all students,” says Dr. Hitz. “They also share problems of practice which can best be addressed jointly, drawing on the unique strengths of each. They are advancing partnerships from transactional relationships to more productive mutually beneficial associations with greater potential to solve real problems in education.”

Randy Hitz, Dean Emeritus

[Watch the video interview with Dr. Hitz: “Improvement Leadership in Higher Education, The iLEAD network,” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.]

The iLEAD team meeting in New York. Photo courtesy of Manuelito Biag.

Among the book’s co-authors are PSU Professor Susan Carlile, Associate Professor Emerita Deborah S. Peterson, and former Assistant Professor Tania McKey, who were part of the Portland iLEAD project for five years. Carlile, Peterson and McKey wrote one of the book’s chapters (Ch. 8), which recounts the iLEAD journey at PSU from 2017 through the 2022-23 academic year.

“More than 580 educational leaders participated in PSU’s Principal Preparation program, where the focus on anti-racist and culturally responsive leadership was enhanced by Improvement Science as the signature change leadership strategy. This book is a collection of equity-focused improvement science-in-action with university and district-based case studies led by university professors and school district leaders across the United States,” notes Prof. Carlile.

College of Education faculty members developed expertise in improvement science and became national leaders in the work,” says Dr. Hitz. He is a senior fellow of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, following a three-decade career in higher education and prior work for the Oregon Dept. of Education. “They developed curricula to prepare aspiring educational leaders to use improvement science to improve problems of practice,” he adds.

Dr. Peterson and Prof. Carlile are also the co-editors of two nationally award-winning books on Improvement Science:

“Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes,” (2022), and “Improvement Science: Promoting Equity in Schools,” (2021), published by Myers Education Press.


By Sherron Lumley

Tiffanie Lambert, PSU College of Education doctoral student, honored for leadership and response to Almeda Fire as Asst. Superintendent

Portland State University’s College of Education is proud to share the news of a great honor presented to Special Education doctoral student Tiffanie Lambert. She is part of PSU’s SPED LEAD program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education, for special education leaders in Oregon.

Tiffanie Lambert is a PSU Special Education doctoral program student

As Assistant Superintendent of Phoenix-Talent Schools, Lambert is also the Special Education director for her school district. She leapt into action following a devasting fire that destroyed much of the Rogue Valley, leaving one-third of her district’s students homeless. Her remarkable leadership was recently honored with an Achievement of Excellence award by the Oregon Association of Central Office Administrators.

See the video here:

“Tiffanie was instrumental in leading our district through the most tumultuous two-year stretch in its history with integrity, compassion, courage and a focus on students and families that are traditionally underserved. She continues this work each day, as she serves our school community,” wrote Brent Barry, Superintendent of Phoenix-Talent Schools, in his nomination of Lambert.

The Almeda Fire in Southern Oregon displaced many students, staff and families, a situation that could have led to total chaos. Instead, Lambert’s work resulted in the district achieving a high graduation rate despite the tragedy that left 700 students homeless.

“The work she did to care for and connect with families during such a difficult time proved invaluable and helped our 2021 graduating seniors reach new heights with a 93 percent overall graduation rate, 10 points better than the state average. More impressive, in programs she directly supervises, our students with disabilities and Migrant students graduated at 91 percent and 100 percent, respectively. These impressive benchmarks were met despite the fact that many of those graduates completed their course work from outside our district boundaries after being displaced by the fire,” added Superintendent Barry.

Disaster response training and experience as an educator and administrator helped as she formed a logistics team, a Response Team, three remote education centers, and an onsite daycare staffed with Phoenix-Talent employees. She ensured all voices were heard and a concise response plan was communicated to families to strengthen those relationships. In addition, Lambert helped the district negotiate with T-Mobile executives to bring in 450 mobile hotspots to cover families’ needs.

Before, during, and since the fire, she champions inclusive practices for students with disabilities being implemented in all Phoenix-Talent schools, providing avenues for special education students to learn alongside their peers.

In addition to being a full-time school administrator, and mother of three, Lambert is part of a cohort of doctoral students at Portland State University in the Special Education LEAD program. The online flexibility of the program, with classes on Friday evening and Saturday, allows her to attend from Southern Oregon. She also chose the program at PSU for its focus on equity work and inclusion, and her passion for working in the field of special education. Prior to becoming an assistant superintendent six years ago, she was a special education teacher for 15 years.

“One area we continue to segregate is by disability. We have a ways to go. Having our most vulnerable students in classrooms benefits all of the kids,” says Lambert. “The fire brought us together, schools and families and nonprofits. I love the community I work in and look to bring best practices and research to transform schools. One thing we recognize is that our school system is an integral part of the community and people trust us. And we are rebuilding so it is going to be even better,” she says, noting that the voices of special educators are critical in advocating for students with disabilities.

Tiffanie Lambert with her family

Outside of work, she enjoys nature and camping trips with her husband, who is a Roads and Parks director, their three children, and first grandchild in a restored 1984 VW Westie van. “It’s my happy place. I’m an enthusiast for anything outdoors,” she says with a smile. “When the fire happened, it was so quick. People responded. It blows my mind how good people are. Public educators serve the public. I can’t say enough good things about our staff – they are second to none.”


By Sherron Lumley

In memory of Dr. David C. Cox, Science Educator, PSU Associate Professor Emeritus of Education

(March 23, 1937 – May 3, 2023)

It is with deep sadness that the College of Education at Portland State University shares the news of the passing of our colleague and friend, David Charles Cox, Associate Professor Emeritus of Education (Ph.D., 1982 Ohio State University; BS/MS, Oregon State University). His life work in the field of science education was significant and extraordinary.

Dr. Cox was a science educator for more than 40 years, teaching at Portland State University as a full-time faculty member from 1984 to 1995, following more than two decades as a high school science and math teacher. He began his career at McMinnville High School, and then continued at Rex Putnam High School for 20 years. During this time he also taught at PSU. From 1995-1998 he was a faculty member at Willamette University.

Memorial contributions may be made to the David and Wilma Cox Science Educator Scholarship at Portland State University, or the Wilma and David Cox Science Educator Scholarship at Oregon State University, care of Fisher Funeral Home at 306 S.W. Washington St., Albany, OR 97321. No services will be held at his request. The Oregonian has published his obituary with an online guest book and opportunity to select a forest and plant a tree in memory.

David and Wilma Cox

PSU Counselor Education students Kapu Dancel and Kennedy Hanson named 2023 NBCC Fellows

Kapu Dancel, (she/they) and Kennedy Hanson (she/they), are two of just 30 scholars nationwide awarded National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Foundation Minority Fellowships with $10,000 grants. Dancel and Hanson are second-year graduate students in the Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling program in Portland State University’s Counselor Education department.

“The PSU Counselor Education department is honored that two of our students, Kapu Dancel and Kennedy Hanson, were chosen to be 2023-24 National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellows.  They are very competitive and prestigious fellowships that are only given to 30 students nationally each year.”

Dr. Rana Yaghmaian, Counselor Education dept. Chair

About Kapu Dancel

Kapu Dancel, NBCC Foundation MFP Fellow

Dancel, 32, returned to pursue a master’s degree at PSU following a 10-year hiatus from college. After earning a bachelor’s degree in social work, a new path unfolded.

“I diverged and went into the world of creative movement, starting a nonprofit for teens from high-need backgrounds, giving them access to a safe place for people to express themselves, and making it accessible and without cost for queer and BIPOC teens,” says Dancel.

The ʻIolana Collective, as the nonprofit is called, is named for the soaring hawk over the Hawaiian Islands where Dancel, a Kanaka ‘Ōiwi (Native Hawaiian), was born and raised on Maui.   

“I’m passionate about counseling theories that draw on Indigenous practices that have existed for a long time. In these counseling approaches, we find healing can come from dance, movement, art, nature, somatic [body-oriented or mind/body], and experiential modalities. My desire is to make this within reach of people, who for racial, ethnic, and socio-economic reasons may feel that maybe they don’t belong in those spaces,” she says.

NBCC Minority Fellows commit to working with minority populations, and Dancel intends to continue looking for new ways to democratize therapy, beyond the often cost-prohibitive, one-to-one model of talk therapy. Following second-year practicum at PSU’s Community Counseling Clinic, in the fall, they will begin an internship with the Portland Therapy Project.

About Kennedy Hanson

Kennedy Hanson, NBCC Foundation MFP Fellow

Kennedy Hanson works with the LGBTQIA and BIPOC communities as a graduate assistant in PSU’s Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, and as chair of the BIPOC Student Council for the College of Education. Additionally, they co-founded the abolitionist, healing justice, arts collective, the Healing Underground (@thehealingunderground). 

“When the 2020 uprising happened, I noticed a need for healing. Currently, my main thing is working with the Queer and Trans Black and Indigenous’ communities, and I would do that regardless,” says Hanson. “I came to PSU because there is a wider community, and it is affordable. My interests are in counseling couples, non-traditional families/relationships, and intergenerational healing. I do grassroots community organizing in healing justice.” 

One of the main features of the NBCC Foundation fellowship, is the ability to connect with other counselors around the country, and Hanson, who loves the outdoors, intends to build a larger direction. Their long-term goal is dual licensure to counsel in Portland and Atlanta, an environmental hub city with a larger Black community than Portland. 

“Through my work on campus, I’ve seen many sides of PSU and I’ve learned about how large institutions work, and how they treat their students of color – young adults struggling. I see where PSU is doing good and bad, and I’ve met a lot of great people,” says Hanson. 

One of the things PSU gets right, Hanson notes, is providing financial support and opportunities, such as the tuition-free program at PSU for eligible undergraduate students. However, PSU could improve in doing the work that makes BIPOC students feel safe on campus, instead of focusing on the image of diversity.

At the end of May, Dancel and Hanson will join the other NBCC Foundation Fellows at a national symposium in Atlanta, called “Bridging the Gap: Eliminating Mental Health Disparities.” The 2023 theme is “From Awareness to Action,” building actionable steps that address inequities in mental health care.