This is the latest online edition of Learning Connections, a magazine for alumni and friends of the UW–Madison School of Education. The Summer 2020 issue centers on the School’s efforts to rise to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. But there’s more — much more — worth checking out in this online edition spotlighting a range of high-quality work being done by the School’s faculty, staff, and students across the arts, health, and education.
Persevering through a pandemic
The coronavirus presented an unexpected crisis — but the School of Education was up to the challenge.
The past several months have certainly been memorable — but for reasons Dean Diana Hess never anticipated at the start of 2020. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic altered lives across the world in significant ways, Hess notes how it has transformed the way the School of Education operates.
Luis Columna's Fit Families program transitioned online during the COVID-19 crisis to help keep children with autism spectrum disorder active.
During a period when many are struggling with their mental health, Simon Goldberg is leading two research projects that hold the potential to bring mindfulness and well-being practices to a large number of people via a mobile app.
Due to growing concerns over the pandemic in early March, Guzzo Pinc's in-person master of fine arts show and reception was canceled. After the initial shock and a feeling of “despair” wore off, Pinc became determined to find a way to bring his exhibition into public view.
The coronavirus presented challenges to the UW-Madison campus community and the world. This report highlights examples (including Li Chiao-Ping, pictured here, teaching her dance courses online) of how people across the School of Education made the most of a difficult situation.
Check out some of the latest publications from School of Education faculty and staff, including Xueli Wang's “On My Own: The Challenge and Promise of Building Equitable STEM Transfer Pathways,” and Erica Turner's “Suddenly Diverse: How School Districts Manage Race and Inequality.”
School of Education No. 1 among public institutions in U.S. News rankings
In addition, nine graduate specialty programs within the School are rated among the Top 10 nationally — including No. 1-ranked programs in curriculum and instruction (Department of Curriculum and Instruction), and printmaking (Art Department).
Diana Hess was reappointed as dean of the School of Education in June. Every five years, deans of the university’s schools and colleges undergo a comprehensive review to assess their leadership and performance. “It has been a privilege to serve as the dean of the School of Education, and it is an honor to continue in this role,” says Hess.
LaVar Charleston began his role as the inaugural associate dean of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the UW–Madison School of Education just more than a year ago. He sat down to talk about his vision and plans for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the coming year.
The Class of 2020 is unlike any other. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, it persevered, overcoming a difficult final semester and finishing strong. Here we share a few images and quotes submitted by our Class of 2020 — including Laura Patricia Minero (above), who earned her PhD from the Department of Counseling Psychology.
Check out this series of porch portraits — or “Porchtraits” — taken from a safe distance by photographer Sarah Maughan during the first couple weeks of the pandemic. Although everyone was far apart physically in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, we remained connected as a School community.
During the Spring 2020 semester, several faculty members with the School of Education took a stand and made their voices heard by writing op-eds that were published via various outlets. Following are snapshots of these opinion pieces, plus links to the full column.
Despite the difficult final weeks away from classmates and campus due to the pandemic, members of the Class of 2020 were excited about the next chapter in their lives. Cecilia Rosborough shared her thoughts about hoping to lead and inspire her community through a career in public health.
Faculty and staff from across the School of Education are routinely quoted or make their voices heard in newspapers, magazines, and online news media outlets. Similarly, these experts are often interviewed and showcased on a range of local, national, and international radio and television news reports.
William Schrage, a professor of exercise physiology with the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, was awarded a five-year, $3.04 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve understanding in how women and men regulate blood flow in their brains.
Jake Ruesch has a secret weapon to ensure the educational video games he helps design for UW−Madison’s Gear Learning are playable not just by "gamers," but by those with little or no experience playing video games. One of Gear Learning’s recent projects is “Newt’s Voyage,” which aims to teach basic physics.
Read about a sampling of innovative projects underway across the School of Education, including work taking place within the Educational Neuroscience Lab to examine physical changes that occur in the brain as children learn.
What does a live events-based education outreach organization like PLACE do in the midst of a global health pandemic? When it's embedded in one of the top-ranked schools of education in the country, innovation and adaptation are a given.
“Mom loved to read,” recalls alumnus George Affeldt Jr., who spent four decades working as an educator. “We would come home from school and she would be reading.” Affeldt recently made a gift to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center to honor his mother’s love of books.
Check out what School of Education alumni from across the globe have been up to.
Alumni of the School of Education are doing remarkable things. Here are a few highlights since the start of 2020, including Tashia and husband John Morgridge's $70 million gift and matching opportunity to support faculty recruitment and retention.
A roundup of honors and awards received by faculty and staff from across the School of Education — including Li Chiao-Ping, Robert Enright, and Stacey Lee being appointed to prestigious WARF Named Professorships.
A roundup of recent honors and awards received by students studying with the School of Education — including Qing Liu, Huimin Wang, and Choua P. Xiong (each of them PhD candidates with the Department of Educational Policy Studies) being named NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellows.
Keep in touch!
If you have questions or comments about Learning Connections, email Todd Finkelmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 608-890-1430.
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