COE’s Nicole Rigelman receives Stewart Professorship in Mathematics Teaching and Learning

Nicole Miller Rigelman, Ed.D., awarded the Stewart Professorship in Mathematics Teaching and Learning.

By Emily Taylor

Nicole Miller Rigelman, Ed.D., a professor in the COE’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, has been awarded the Stewart Professorship in Mathematics Teaching and Learning. This professorship, funded by donors Lindsay and Corinne Stewart, was awarded in recognition of Rigelman’s important work in K-12 mathematics instruction. Rigelman teaches mathematics education courses for preservice and inservice teachers.

“This support from the Stewarts allows me to collaborate with elementary teachers and teacher leaders seeking ways to empower students as mathematical doers, knowers, and sense makers and develop their positive mathematics identities and sense of agency,” said Rigelman. “The professorship–in honor of Lindsay Stewart’s sister, a former elementary school teacher–is particularly meaningful given our shared commitment to education and genuine interest in assuring a strong mathematical foundation for each and every student.”

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Sarah Kenney, PACE master’s alum, recognized with PSU Diversity Award

Sarah Kenney, PACE master’s program alumna, was recognized with a Distinguished Staff Award as part of PSU’s 2021 President’s Diversity Awards, for her work on campus accessibility. (Photo provided)

By Emily Taylor

Sarah Kenney, an alumna of the COE’s Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s degree program, and part of the Finance & Administration team at PSU, received a Distinguished Staff Award in the 2021 President’s Diversity Awards.

Kenney’s award recognizes the results of her continued commitment to accessibility, which she has advocated for in her role as administrative services manager for the Planning, Construction and Real Estate group at PSU, as well as in her numerous committee positions.

“I am honored to be recognized, but I am just one piece of the larger team working to make PSU the most accessible campus it can be,” said Kenney, “It’s our goal to help all of PSU’s community feel welcome in every space on campus.”

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Osvaldo Avila, PACE alumnus, elected to Salem-Keizer School Board

Osvaldo Avila, newly elected to the Salem-Keizer school board, earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education’s PACE program. (Photo credit: Raul Prudencio)

By Emily Taylor

Osvaldo Avila, a graduate of the COE’s Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education (PACE) master’s program currently serving as the Talent, Innovation, & Equity Administrator at the State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), was elected to the Salem-Keizer School Board in the May 2021 election.

Salem-Keizer School District 24J, is Oregon’s second  largest school district with more than 40,000 students, 44 percent of whom are Latino.

Avila and two of his other newly-elected board member colleagues, Karina Guzmán Ortiz and María Hinojos Pressey, are the first Latino representatives ever elected to the Salem-Keizer School Board. Avila was also unanimously nominated by the other board members to serve as the board chair.

“The voters have elected a board that is significantly more representative of our student population,” said Avila. “I look forward to elevating the needs of all of our students and working with all of my fellow board members to implement strategies to address the achievement and disciplinary gaps that exist in our schools.”

Read more about Avila’s education and career path in this previous blog post.

Remembering Robert B. Everhart (1940-2021): A Personal Reflection

By Thomas G. Chenoweth, PhD, professor emeritus, Educational Leadership and Policy, College of Education, Portland State University

Robert B. Everhart (left) and Tom Chenoweth (right), fishing on the Columbia River.

Bob Everhart was an exemplary professor and an even better person. His accomplishments in the fields of scholarship, teaching, and community service were exceptional. Bob hired me as a new assistant professor in 1988 and from then on, his impact on both my professional and personal life was truly amazing. He came from UC Santa Barbara where he was a full professor and nationally recognized scholar. His 1983 critical ethnography, Reading, Writing and Resistance is still considered one of the richest and most insightful descriptions of junior high school student life ever written. He came to Portland State in 1986 to make an even greater impact in the field as a dean.

While earning his doctorate at the University of Oregon, Bob was influenced by acclaimed educational anthropologist, Harry Wolcott. Interestingly, while earning my doctorate at Stanford University I studied with one of Wolcott’s teachers, educational anthropologist George Spindler. Consequently, our work together at Portland State was grounded in a methodology of participant observation, with a cultural lens focusing our interpretations and analysis. Bob had come primarily from an academic world and I had most recently come from the world of practice as a public school teacher and principal. We were able to complement one another well. Bob brought more of an academic perspective and I brought more of a practitioner perspective. Yet we shared the same theoretical orientation and interests. Our relationship was at the nexus of theory and practice. We were both well trained academics but wanted to apply our work to practice. Portland State’s motto, “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” was a perfect fit for us.

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Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling master’s program alumni find rewarding paths

By Emily Taylor

Recent graduates from PSU’s Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) master’s program are pursuing multiple career paths to help people who have emotional and physical disabilities so that they are able to live independently. Due to the lack of professional counselors available to meet the growing demand for clinical rehabilitation professionals, a federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) grant program was established. The RSA grants provide tuition assistance for students who commit to working in the field after graduation. Approximately 50 percent of the master’s students in the CRC master’s program at PSU receive RSA grant funding.

The Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) master’s program, part of Portland State University’s College of Education’s Counselor Education Program, prepares graduates to work in a wide variety of clinical mental health and rehabilitation settings with individuals who are adjusting to the disability experience.  

In addition to working as vocational rehabilitation counselors, CRC master’s graduates can also pursue Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) certification. As seen in the stories of these three recent CRC program alumni, the training and expertise gained offers multiple, flexible career path options.

Shannon Barnes, CRC master’s alum

Shannon Barnes, CRC, LPCI, graduated from the CRC program in 2016. However, vocational rehabilitation wasn’t the field that Barnes originally planned to go into. She had been working in juvenile detention and preparing for an occupational therapist program. While she was taking prerequisite courses and doing the necessary volunteer work, a ruptured disc in her low back forced her to reevaluate her plans. 

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COE receives grant for bilingual teacher education from Meyer Memorial Trust

By Emily Taylor

Dr. Bernd R. Ferner, Associate Professor of Practice, Curriculum and Instruction

PSU’s College of Education has been awarded an 18-month grant of $104,986 from the Meyer Memorial Trust to support the COE’s work to enhance and further develop a secondary bilingual teacher preparation program. Dr. Bernd R. Ferner, associate professor of practice, Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, is the principal investigator on the grant and Esperanza De La Vega, associate professor and coordinator, Bilingual Teacher Pathway Program, Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, will collaborate with him on this effort.

The COE has been a leader in bilingual teacher education for more than 20 years. This latest grant will build on the work that was funded through an Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Grow Your Own (GYO) grant for $350,000. As part of that work, COE faculty have been collaborating with nine partner school districts to identify the specific needs for secondary dual language teacher preparation.

“The need for secondary level bilingual teachers continues to be an area of shortage among school districts. The importance of supporting bilingualism and biculturalism among our k-12 student population is emerging as one of the key goals for living in a diverse, and constantly changing global world,” said Ferner. “This funding will allow us to expand our program to prepare more bilingual teachers for secondary education where there is an ongoing and growing need.”  

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