Summer 2013 - UMass Lowell

Special points of interest:
 We are a nationally accredited
school of education.
We have returned to undergraduate education with
three flourishing minors.
Half of our students are enrolled in online masters and
education specialist degrees.
The Tsongas Industrial History
Center’s visitation is stronger
than ever and new workshops
are being added.
Dear Alumni, Friends and Students,
I became the Interim Dean on
the same day as Chancellor
Meehan assumed the leadership of the university in July
2007. Now, as Dean, it is
amazing to look back on all
that has happened at UMass Lowell and the Graduate School
of Education. We have grown tremendously not only in enrollment, but also in the number of faculty and the facilities that
we have for teaching and for residential life. If you have not
been to the campus recently you will be amazed at how much
it has changed. The Graduate School of Education is housed
in O’Leary Library on the fifth floor. Each day it is a pleasure
to enter the building through the new Learning Commons and
to see the students working together in the beautiful space —
and drinking their Starbucks coffee from the café in the Commons. The new Health and Social Sciences building also
opened on south campus this year with new classrooms, offices , nursing practice rooms, and psychology research space.
We look forward to more residence halls opening in fall
2014 with more students having the opportunity to participate fully in the life of the university.
This has also been a very active year for Education at UMass
Lowell. Apart from teaching, faculty are involved in individual
research and externally funded projects. In this newsletter
you will read about some of the exciting work that is happening with partner school districts and in informal science education. We have also extended our undergraduate presence
and now offer three minors in education, one of which
UTEACH, leads to a teaching license in math, science or technology/engineering at the undergraduate level.
UMass Lowell is certainly an exciting place to work and learn.
I hope you attend one of the many events which can be
viewed at or, if you are
an alumnus, why not visit campus; we would love to see you.
Inside this issue:
Nine new Ed.D.s
New Teachers Graduate
Elementary Education
Undergraduate Education
Science Express
Faculty Updates
James H. Nehring, associate
professor in the Graduate
School of Education, has
been selected as the 20132014 Fulbright Scholar for
Northern Ireland Governance and Public Policy.
Nehring will be in residence
at Queens University Belfast
for the upcoming fall semester. He will conduct research
on schools serving lowerincome communities that
teach skills above and beyond those measured by
standardized, government
tests. A wealth of research
demonstrates that the pres-
sure of high stakes tests narrows the curriculum. Schools
serving low-income families
are under the greatest pressure to improve test scores.
“Teaching and learning suffer
the most in these schools, however, there are some outlier
schools successfully serving
lower income communities,”
says Nehring. “Despite test
pressure, these schools teach
students a wide range of skills
such as creative problem solving, collaboration, leadership,
intellectual openness and reflection. How do they do it?
How can other schools do
likewise? How can we alter
policy to promote what they
are doing?”
Nehring hopes that his research will provide practical
guidance for school leaders
and suggestions for policy
makers who want schools to
teach beyond the test.
Karen Angelo
Page 2
GSE doctoral students wait to
be hooded at commencement
Nine doctoral degrees were
awarded at the 2013 Commencement. The ceremony was
held at the Tsongas Center
which was filled to capacity.
Following a commencement
address by Police Commissioner Ed Davis, doctoral students
were hooded by their dissertation chairs. Many congratulations to our new doctoral scholars.
Michaela Colombo)
From left to right in the photograph taken at the doctoral
celebration at the ICC on May
Ellen O’Brien (Chair: Phitsamay Uy)
Valerie Finnerty (Chair:
Michelle Scribner-MacLean)
Carol Shestock (Chair:
This year the GSE graduated 41 new teachers
12 - Secondary English
8 - Secondary Science
9 - Secondary History
8 - Secondary Mathematics
4 - Elementary
Michael Deasy with his dissertation
chair Lorraine Dagostino at the GSE
awards event for doctoral students.
The students graduating with
their M.Ed. and Initial Teaching License celebrated at a
Mary Callahan (Chair:
Jill Lohmeier)
Qing Zhao (Chair: Elizabeth Bifuh-Ambe)
Julie Veno (Chair:
MinJeong Kim)
Michael Deasy (Chair:
Lorraine Dagostino)
Margaret Murray (Chair:
Stacy Szczesiul)
Not pictured is Kathleen
McLaughlin (Chair: Regina
dinner held in their honor at
UMass Lowell’s Inn and Concerence Center. Two students
were recognized for excellence in course work as well
as for exceptional performance in their practicum
when they were presented
with Coburn Award at the
dinner . Kimberly Hatfield
for Secondary History and
Christopher Sousa for Secondary Biology.
This year’s recipient is Kristina
Scott, a doctoral student nearing
the completion of her research.
Master’s students waiting to
receive their diploma’s at the
2013 Graduate Commencement
Michael Deasy was the recipient of this year’s outstanding dissertation award
for his research into
“Developing Basic and Higher Level Reading Processing
Skills.” A committee of three
faculty members reviewed
the nominated dissertations
and Mike’s work rose to the
top. Congratulations to him
and to the chair of his committee, Professor Lorraine
Teacher Preparation programs are strengthened when
college course work is complemented by working in
schools. In the past, the extended period of student
teaching was used as the
primary means of gaining
valuable classroom practice,
but no longer do students
have to wait until the end of
their program to find out if
they have the requisite skills
for teaching effectively. Our
Elementary Education program works closely with our
partner schools which include
the Murkland School, the Lincoln School and the Bartlett
School in Lowell as well as the
Harrington School in Chelms-
ford. Led by Clinical Associate
Professor, Patricia Fontaine,
all elementary preservice
teachers in the social studies
methods course participate in
a historical tutoring program
where they are matched with
2 students from Lowell elementary schools. The preservice teachers not only engage
elementary students in learning about American colonial
history, but also develop and
reinforce good literacy skills
by reading historical fiction
and informational texts. When
it comes to making decisions
about how to help an elementary child improve his or her
math skills, teachers must look
at the data gathered from
assessments and then target instruction appropriately. Graduate
students in Clinical Associate Professor, Michelle Scribner-MacLean’s
class are learning how to do this.
At the Murkland School, teachers
meet with UML students to teach
them to analyze student data and
make instructional decisions which
they immediately put into practice.
Page 3
Education programs at UMass
Lowell moved to the graduate
level in the early 1980s and
until four years ago faculty
had little opportunity to work
with UML undergraduates. All
that changed with the introduction of the education minor
in 2009. We now offer three
minors, two of which are coordinated by Dr.
John Brown, Lecturer in English
Education. The
education minor is
designed for undergraduates who
are contemplating a career in
secondary education. These
students may opt to “fast
track” into the M.Ed. program,
taking two graduate level
courses in their senior year
which count toward their
teacher certification degree.
The elementary minor includes
courses in
taught by
Clinical Assistant Professor
Roser Gine. Recognizing how
important mathematics
education is at the elementary
level, we have focused our
efforts on ensuring that UML
teachers feel knoweldgeable
and confident about their
ability to teach it math.
The National Science Foundation awarded a $2.2 million
grant to a team of researchers headed by two Graduate
School of Education associate
professors — David Lustick
and Jill Lohmeier — to study
the public’s understanding of
climate change science.
Dubbed the Science Express,
the project aims to assess
whether advertising space on
subway platforms and trains
is an effective means to engage commuters in learning
about climate science. In collaboration with Prof. Robert
Chen of UMass Boston, David
Rabkin, director of current
science and technology at the
Museum of Science, Boston
and Hofstra University Asst.
Prof. Rick Wilson, as well as
two advertising agencies,
Brodeur Partners and Bow-
how informal learning impacts
The third minor is called the
STEM Teaching minor and is
part of the national UTeach
program, funded for $1.6
million from a MA Race to the
Top award. UTeach began at
the University of Texas Austin
and is now being replicated by
over 35 institutions nationwide.
UML is the only replication site
in New England. Science, math
and engineering majors
complete their undergraduate
degree and also gain a
teaching license for middle or
high school in science, math or
technology/engineering. The
program is overseen by Dr.
Michelle Scribner-MacLean
was promoted to Clinical
Associate Professor. Clinical
professors are experts in the
field of practice and their
course work is integrally
linked to school-based activities.
Sumudu Lewis (left in the
photoghraph) and currently has
over 70 students taking UTeach
man Global Change, the team
will develop subway placards, billboards and mobile
phone applications, which
have the potential to grab
people’s attention. They expect commuters will be attuned to the content since
preliminary research showed
that 80 percent of MBTA subway riders surveyed indicated they were interested in
learning more about climate
science. David Lustick believes
that the project “...will be an
outstanding opportunity for
informal science learning and
climate education.”
Preparing Excellent Teachers of All
(English) Language Learners (PETALLs)
This year, Associate Professor Michaela Colombo was
awarded $1.6 million from the US Department of Education to improve classroom instruction for students whose first
language is not English. Funded for five years, PETALLs is a
partnership between the GSE and the Lawrence Public
Schools. Working with Heidi Perez and Laurie Hardwick
from Lawrence and with Qing Zhao as a research assistant,
Dr. Colombo hopes that the program will become a model
for districts across the country. PETALLs provides professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals and
administrators. Additionally, the grant supports professional development for UML faculty who are engaged in preparing preservice teachers to work with English language
learners and a 12 credit graduate certificate in ESL focused primarily on teachers in science and mathematics.
Jill Lohmeier (top) and
Elizabeth Bifuh-Ambe
(pictured above with
dissertation advisee Qing
Zhao and Dean Greenwood)
were promoted to Associate
Professors with tenure at
the June 2013 meeting of
the UMass Board of Trustees.
Graduate School of Education
University of Massachusetts Lowell
61, Wilder Street,
Lowell, MA 01854
The Tsongas Industrial History Center is overseen by the Lowell National
Historical Park and UMass Lowell’s Graduate School of Education. This
year, we welcomed a new superintendent to the park, Celeste Bernardo.
Under the direction of Sheila Kirschbaum, the TIHC has extended its program offerings. The TIHC’s interdisciplinary programs connect multiple content areas, looking at the Industrial Revolution. This includes the engineering
feats that brought Lowell to prominence, the experience of the workers in
the mills and the environmental impacts on the Merrimack River. Programming for K-12 includes a hands-on workshop and a tour of the park’s rich
resources. The workshops offered include: Bale to Bolt, Yankees and Immigrants, Workers on the Line, Power to production, Industrial Watershed,
River as a Classroom.
Phone: 978-934-4600
Fax: 978-934-3005
E-mail: [email protected]
New this year are: Engineer it! and
Bridging the Watershed
Many UML faculty are deeply engaged with the work of the TIHC
bringing UML undergraduate students to study aspects of the park
and participating in workshops designed for their particular needs.
UML faculty also serve as members
of the advisory board, and some have research projects which utilize the
facilities of the TIHC.
Professor James Carifio received the best paper of the 2012 Eastern Educational Research Association Conference entitled “The Arguments and Data in Favor of Minimum
Professor Dagostino with co-authors Professor Carifio and doctoral students Qing Zhao
and Jennifer Bauer presented at the Eastern Educational Research Association Conference.
Associate Professor Judith Davidson serves as an Associate to UMass Lowell’s Center for
Women and Work focusing her research on teens, gender and sexting.
Clinical Associate Professor Patricia Fontaine received a UML seed grant entitled iCIVICS
Clinical Assistant Professor Roser Gine has received funding from the Greater Lowell
Community Foundation to set up a mathematics tutoring program for middle school Lowell
Assistant Professor MinJeong Kim received funding from the Korea Foundation for the
fourth year to conduct the Korean Studies Teacher Education workshop.
Professor Regina Panasuk published a paper with doctoral student Sumudu Lewis entitled
“Constructivism: Constructing meaning or making sense?” in the International Journal of
Humanities and Social Sciences.
Professor Jay Simmons with Dr. John Brown is assisting Dr. Martin Moser from the Manning School of Business with research into the quality of student writing.
Associate Professor James Nehring and Assistant Professor Stacy Szczesiul received a
UML research seed grant to examine school performance, entitled: “Redefining School
Performance: Disseminating Principles and practices for 21st century Learning.”
Assistant Professor Phitsamay Uy was an invited speaker at the Asian American and Pacific islander Educational Research Coalition Summit. Her presentation was “Southeast
Asian Family and Community Engagement: Authentic Approaches through Community-Based
The O’Leary Library Learning
Dr. Patricia Fontaine (second
from left) and secondary history
education students who worked
with Cambodian children as
part of an iCIVICS seed grant