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 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.

PSU’s Dr. Yun Shi delivers keynote to international counseling conference

Dr. Yun Shi is a faculty member of Portland State University’s Counselor Education department.

Each year, the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the NBCC Foundation host an international conference, bringing together counselors and educators from around the world. The third annual international conference was held virtually in December 2022, and focused on the theme of “Mental Health Connections: Building a Global Counseling Community.”

Dr. Yun Shi, an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education department of Portland State University, delivered the keynote address with two of her research collaborators, Dr. Maha See and Dr. Zachary Pietrantoni. The trio focused on “International Mental Health Education, Services, and Research: Working Across Cultural Boundaries with Humility, Creativity, and Perseverance.” Conference organizers invited Dr. Shi to deliver the keynote address and to choose her co-speakers after hearing from past conference participants who appreciated her intercultural dialogue, openness, authenticity, and vulnerability.

The theme of the conference sparked discussions that will lead to collaboration and new approaches. “Coming back, I feel inspired and refreshed with a bigger perspective,” says Dr. Shi.

Dr. Shi is in the rare position of having nearly 20 years of experience in counseling and supervision in the United States, while working with many international counselors who serve international clients in the Unites States and Asian countries. She notes that U.S.-based training, with its roots in Western culture, values, and assumptions, provides a framework for counseling practice and theory, but requires adaptation to the practice environment in Asia. In much of East and Southeast Asia, as well as other parts of the world, awareness of the counseling profession is still very young. For example, when Dr. Shi was growing up in China, psychiatric treatment was available for extreme symptoms but mental health counseling was essentially nonexistent as a field; she first encountered counseling after arriving in the United States as an international student.

Dr. Shi and her co-presenters have a deep level of understanding about the need to prepare counselors for the global mental health community. Dr. See, who divides his time between San Francisco, Singapore and Myanmar, is the founder and Program Director of the Myanmar Clinical Psychology Consortium, Myanmar’s first clinical psychology training program. Dr. Pietrantoni, a faculty member at Florida International University, is helping to establish one of the first school counseling program in Fiji, where counselor education and training are also in early stages of development.

At the NBCC conference, presenters from more than 20 countries helped to bring an international perspective to the counseling profession. Core topics included the state of mental health worldwide, mental health needs of international students and immigrants, and the challenges of helping professionals in different countries. More than 300 counselors and mental health professionals attended the event, which was sponsored by the International Association of Counseling.

The 2023 NBCC Global Capacity Building Conference is scheduled for November 29 – December 1, 2023.


By Sherron Lumley

Free international webinar to feature sustainability education thought leaders Drs. Burns and VanWynsberghe, Feb. 16

Sustainability Teaching Event:

“Exploring the Potential of Transformative Sustainability Pedagogy”

Date: Thursday, Feb 16, 2023; Time: 3-4:30pm (ET)

This free webinar is open to all with advance registration in 

Universities worldwide play a transformative role in shifting communities towards sustainability. What commitment is higher education making to prepare teachers with pedagogy that aligns with this urgent responsibility? On Feb. 16, a free webinar that is open to all will feature two of North America’s top sustainability education leaders.

Join panelists Dr. Heather Burns of Portland State University, and Dr. Rob VanWynsberghe of the University of British Columbia, as they discuss transformative pedagogy that is community-engaged, justice-forward, and action-oriented. Reflecting on curriculum and pedagogy in university courses helps to avoid replicating the same approaches to teaching and learning that have contributed to the climate crisis.

Dr. Heather Burns, Associate Professor, Leadership for Sustainability Education, PSU

This webinar is part of the Adams Sustainability Celebration, and co-organized by the Committee on the Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability (CECCS), and University of Toronto’s Community of Practice on Sustainability Teaching that focuses on aligning sustainability pedagogies with equity and inclusion. 

Dr. Burns is Associate Professor and coordinator of the Leadership for Sustainability Education (LSE) program in the Educational Leadership and Policy department of the College of Education at PSU. Her scholarship focuses on sustainability pedagogy, including the roles of transformative learning, contemplative inquiry, experiential learning, and community-based learning in creating sustainable change.

Dr. VanWynsberghe is an Associate Professorin the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada. His research expertise is in sustainability and the related areas of social movements and capacity building. His research is rooted in an abiding interest in human action and social change.

Register today.


The Community of Practice on Sustainability Pedagogy is supported by the University of Toronto’s School of the Environment, with support from its Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. It is designated as a Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group for 2022-23.

Student spotlight:  Kate Almon on GoodMaps, guide dogs, and Portland State’s O&M program

College of Education graduate student Kate Almon has just three credits left to go in the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program to earn her master’s degree from Portland State University. The program, which is in the Special Education department, champions wayfinding for people who are blind or visually impaired, something near and dear to her heart.

Kate Almon with Dublin (l.) and Timber (r.) on Mt. Hood.

Almon, who works full-time at Guide Dogs for the Blind, recently supported the PDX Accessibility Committee for Portland International Airport, led by Walter Marchbanks, Passenger Programs and Services Manager. PDX is partnering with a company called GoodMaps to bring point-to-point indoor navigation technology to the airport for travelers through an app that is free to download. “GoodMaps is an app– it is like Google Maps, but indoors,” explained Almon.

“Recently we went to the airport with GoodMaps, Chief Evangelist Mike May and Evelyn Tichenor, GoodMaps, VP of Sales and Partnerships, to test GoodMaps, which is now useable in Concourse E,” says Almon. In addition to Concourse E (home of Southwest and United Airlines), the ticket lobby and baggage claim are also mapped, with plans to extend this to the rest of the airport.

“This app is especially helpful for people who are blind or have low vision,” says Almon, “but the neat thing about it is everyone can benefit from it.”

Previously in the O&M program, she worked on a wayfinding project with Drs. Amy Parker and Martin Swobodzinski of PSU. GoodMaps employees mapped the interior of the Smith Memorial Student Union Building and other locations on campus. Now heading for graduation, she took some time to chat with the College of Education about her journey to PSU, and her time in the O&M program.

What was your path to PSU and the Orientation and Mobility program?

“I attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, but I’m from the Northwest, from Kent, Washington. My first interest was veterinary science, and my undergrad degree is in biology with an ecology focus. I knew that I loved animals, and was fortunate enough to work at Duke University’s Canine Cognition Center. Through Duke I spent time with service dogs and that research led me to Guide Dogs.

“My path to PSU and O&M was unusual in that I came through Guide Dogs for the Blind, where I am a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. I like to say that I came for the dogs and stayed for the people. I discovered I love teaching and working with people one on one, helping promote independence.”

COE: Is there a great need for Orientation and Mobility professionals?

“We need O&Ms across the world. Where there are people, support is needed from O&Ms and other blind rehab professionals. Blindness doesn’t discriminate. It is a unique type of teaching that is sorely needed. Ninety percent of people in the United States who are blind or visually impaired do not use a cane or mobility tool. Only 9.5 percent use a cane and .5 percent use a guide dog. That means more than 90 percent of blind or visually impaired Americans are staying home or are dependent on others, at least in part due to a lack of services.”

COE:  What is wayfinding and how does it work?

“Wayfinding is figuring out how to get from where you are to where you want to go. For people who are blind or visually impaired, orientation and mobility skills are still very necessary while using a navigation app like GoodMaps. For example, if you are a cane user, you should still use your cane to know what’s around you, you should listen for cars even if an app says to cross a street, and other important safety skills.

“GoodMaps works using LIDAR and image recognition to scan the inside of a building to get you to your destination. For example, to get to gate E-10 at the airport, the app brought us all the way from security to the gate’s ticket counter. The camera on the app and LIDAR are used to see where you’re going.”

What do you love about your career?

“I love helping people do whatever they set their mind to or set their heart on. Someone working with their first guide dog might say, ‘I haven’t walked that fast since I lost my vision – it’s freeing.’ Or, someone learning to use their cane may realize they are so much more in tune with their surroundings than they were before they lost their sight.

“Guide Dogs for the Blind provides a two-week immersive training opportunity for people learning to work with their new guide dog; there is a separate program, a one or two-week O&M Immersion program to teach O&M skills to people who are blind or visually impaired.

“Being an O&M specialist prepares you to work with people of all ages and walks of life. When I work with someone who is still adjusting to their vision loss, I might ask them, ‘What did you love doing when you were sighted? Let’s go do it!’ I like to find what motivates them or makes them happy, and build that into my training to make the new skills valuable.”

What was your favorite part of the O&M program at PSU?

“My favorite class at PSU was the cane class in the fall, where I learned the O&M skills that I would teach to my future clients. It was the most difficult of all my classes but so immersive and memorable. We had one instructor and just the three of us students meeting every Sunday for the full fall quarter at PSU, the Sellwood neighborhood, and downtown Portland. I work full time and live an hour from PSU’s campus, so I appreciated the ability to take this class on weekends over time rather than the traditional full month format. I would say that overall, PSU’s O&M program is very flexible and can work with whatever else you have going in life.”

PSU student Kate Almon (r.) with PSU alumna Grace Dostal in Cramer Hall during cane class training.

What’s next?

“I’m attending Mobility Matters this spring [PSU’s annual summit on Orientation and Mobility]. I loved all the different perspectives and people who came together last year. We heard from many people in our community. I appreciate the Zoom conference format because so many more people can participate this way.”

Mobility Matters 2023 Summit: March 10, 2023, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  


By Sherron Lumley