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Urick Named AERA Division A Early Career Award Winner

Angela Urick

Assistant Professor Angela Urick has been named the 2018 American Educational Research Association Division A Early Career Award winner. She will be recognized during the Division A business meeting at the AERA annual meeting this April in New York.

Each year, Division A of the AERA presents an Early Career Award. This award recognizes an early career scholar within his/her first seven years after the award of the doctorate or in the first five years of tenure track position and who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of leadership, administration, or organizational theory. Scholars are nominated for this award.

Urick is an assistant professor in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, department of educational leadership and policy studies. Her research interests include school improvement in the areas of principal and teacher perceptions of leadership, leadership styles, school climate and teacher retention. She specializes in the application of advanced statistical methods and large databases to the study of school leadership.

Columbia Teachers College's Alex Bowers to Present Workshop, Lectures at OU

Alex Bowers, Columbia University

Alex J. Bowers, Ph.D., associate professor of education leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, will present a workshop and a pair of lectures on March 7 and 8 as part of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Endowed Lecture Series.

Bowers will present a workshop titled Cluster Analysis Heatmaps and Latent Class Analysis on Wednesday, March 7, from 3-5 p.m. in Collings Hall room 275. This workshop is limited to 35 people and reservations can be made by visiting

At 7:15 p.m. on March 7, Bowers will give a lecture Examining School Leadership as a Congruency – Typology to Inform Teacher and Leader Practice in the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Auditorium in Gaylord Hall. To register to attend, visit 7.

Bowers concludes his visit on Thursday, March 8, at 7:15 p.m. with the lecture Education Leadership Data Analytics: Using Big Data Visual and Education Analytics to Inform Evidence-Based Improvement Cycles in Schools. The lecture will take place in the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium in Gaylord Hall. To register, visit

Bowers’ research focuses on the intersection of effective school and district leadership; organization and human resources; data-driven decision making; student grades and test scores; student persistence and dropouts. His work also considers the influence of school finance, facilities and technology on student achievement. Bowers studies these domains through the application of Intensive Longitudinal Data analysis, data science and “Big Data” analytics such as data visualization analytics, multilevel and growth mixture modeling, and cluster analysis heatmap data dashboards.

JRCoE Hosts Social Justice in Education Conference, Feb. 6-9

Cynthia Dillard, Ph.D.

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education presents the 2018 Social Justice in Education Conference, Feb. 6-9 on the University of Oklahoma-Norman campus.

The event kicks off with a keynote lecture from Cynthia B. Dillard, Ph.D. (Nana Mansa II of Mpeasem, Ghana) on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in Zarrow Hall (JJ Rhyne Community Room). The event is open to the public and you can register to attend by visiting

Dillard is the Mary Frances Early Professor of Teacher Education and department chair, educational theory and practice, at the University of Georgia College of Education. Dillard's talk is titled Democracy is Just a Word Unless You (Can) Live It: Learning from the Work and Lives of Women of Color.

The OU Center for Social Justice, along with JRCoE, will lead a workshop for OU faculty on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Frontier Room at Oklahoma Memorial Union. Social Justice in the Classroom: Inclusive Teaching Praxis will feature panelists Meta Carstarphen (Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication), Kirsten T. Edwards (Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education), Neil Houser (Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education) and Heather Shotton (Native American Studies).  The panel will be moderated by Associate Dean for Commuinty Engagement and Academic Inclusion T. Elon Dancy, II.

Registration is required for the faculty workshop. Visit to register.

On Friday, Feb. 9, Collings Hall will be the site of the JRCoE Graduate Student Symposium from 5:30-9 p.m. Graduate students from across the OU campus will offer discussion and share research related to social justice and equity in education. To register to attend, visit

Early Childhood Education the Focus of 2018 Humphreys Lecture Series

2018 Humphreys Lecture Invite

Click here for the live stream of the Feb. 15 lecture

Click here for the live stream of the Feb. 22 lecture

NORMAN, Oklahoma — Julia Torquati, Ph.D. and Karen LaParo, Ph.D. have been selected as the featured speakers for the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Lecture Series, Feb. 15 and Feb. 22 on the University of Oklahoma-Norman campus.

Torquati’s lecture will take place on Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m. LaParo will speak on Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m. Both lectures will take place in the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium in Gaylord Hall.

The lectures are open to the public at no charge. Those wishing to attend may respond by visiting

Torquati is a professor in the department of child, youth and family studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her talk focuses on the influence of natural environments on children’s development and well-being. Specifically, her research looks at exposure to nature and benefits to executive functions and self-regulation; young children’s environmental moral reasoning; and implications for education.

LaParo is an assistant professor in human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She will focus her talk on research areas of quality in early childhood education programs and preparing effective teachers, using a systems perspective of understanding teacher preparation.

The Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Lecture Series is an annual event put on by the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. Previous speakers include Robert Putnam, Ph.D., Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe and Wes Moore.

For more information on the event, contact the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at (405) 325-4844.

Transforming the Early Education Workforce

New America Foundation visited Tulsa this past summer and filmed Diane Horm, Ph.D., Libby Ethridge, Ph.D., current early childhood education students and OU-Tulsa ECE graduate Nammi Kim in her Educare classroom. The resulting video was released as part of the “Transforming the Early Education Workforce” series.

This video produced by New America tells the story of how Tulsa Community College and the OU-Tulsa, together with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, created a new bachelor's degree program in early childhood. It was designed to teach developmentally informed practices, be accessible to child care staff members and educators already in the workforce, and provide loan forgiveness to offset costs.

Sinclair Named CEC Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year

Tracy Sinclair

Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Ph.D. student Tracy Sinclair was named the 2018 Council for Exceptional Children Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year. Sinclair is a student in the special education program.

The CEC Student Awards recognize CEC's outstanding college student members -- undergraduate and gradute students - and chapter advisors who make outstanding contributions to CEC and to exceptional children. The Outstanding Graduate Student award honors a student CEC member for his or her dedication and contribution to children and youth with exceptionalities and to student activities.

Student award recipients receive a plaque at an awards ceremony during the CEC Annual Convention & Expo, held Feb. 7-10, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. All student award recipients will be recognized on the CEC website.

Sinclair is currently a Sooner Scholar at the OU Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment and entered the University of Oklahoma doctoral program as a three-time teacher of the year at multiple grade levels, special education department chair and RTI coordinator.

"Tracy is constantly formulating new ideas to improve our field," said Amber McConnell, Ph.D., assistant director of learning enrichment at the Zarrow Center. "When other doctoral students are working on projects, they often seek feedback from Tracy. She strategically guides conversations to solutions. This is such an important quality when so many people can only see problems."

"Tracy has excelled in her courses, scholarly undertakings and in professional service," said Jim Martin, Ph.D., director of the Zarrow Center. "She has become a peer leader of those her in her doctoral cohort and this becomes obvious in class and community projects."

Cox Wins Award for Work in Student Retention

Sherry Cox Award

Assistant Dean Sherry Cox (center) was honored for her work in student retention at 13th annual National Symposium on Student Retention held in Destin, Florida. The event was held by the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) at the University of Oklahoma.

The University of Oklahoma won the Institutional Research Leadership in Student Retention Award. The paper, “Retention and Recruitment: Using a Predictive Analytic Model to Build and Implement a Strategic Graduation and Retention Action Plan,” was written by Cox, Jeremiah McKinley and Glenn Hansen. This award is given to the paper best demonstrating the importance of institutional research to the field of student retention. The Office of Business Analytics worked with the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education to build a predictive model. Based on historical data, it identifies strong candidates for teacher certification programs. It also predicts the likelihood of graduation and program completion from the College of Education. Academic advisors and administrators use the model to develop and carry out action plans to assist at-risk students.

The CSRDE hosts the symposium each year as a forum for administrators, faculty and staff from institutions of higher education to share the most current research on student retention and success. NSSR is distinguished from other conferences in that all papers presented at the symposium have gone through a multiple stage review process before presentation, beginning with the submission of abstracts. If selected, the papers are also published in the conference proceedings.

The CSRDE has a diverse membership of about 400 colleges and universities—two- and four-year, public and private—with the common interest of achieving the highest levels of student success through sharing data, knowledge and innovation. It is operated by the Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis at the University of Oklahoma Outreach.

Brugar Receives Early Career Award

Kristy Brugar

Assistant Professor Kristy Brugar has been awarded the Early Career Award for the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies.

This award, made to a scholar in the early (pre-tenured) stages of his/her career (with degree awarded during or after 2010), recognizes a significant program of research on important problems of theory and/or practice in the area of social education. The recipient of this award must be engaged in scholarly inquiry that extends a significant line of research, addresses new and/or persistent issues of concern to the field, fills a gap in current knowledge, or raises significant questions about extant knowledge.

In addition, the awardee should be engaged in studying problems or questions that are timely and that contribute to current debates or dilemmas of theory and/or practice. The scholar's body of work must be characterized by conceptual and/or empirical significance, rigor, coherence, and sophistication, and must hold potential to contribute significantly to scholarship in the field.

Said one reviewer on the awards committee, "What put Kristi on top for me was the quality/quantity of her work, years past doctoral study and overall service to the profession."

College and University Faculty Assembly is an affiliate group of the National Council for the Social Studies. CUFA consists of higher education faculty members, graduate students and others interested in working with social educators (K-16) such as social scientists, historians and philosophers. It is also an advocacy organization for social studies education.


Social Justice Graduate Symposium - Call for Proposals

Deadline Extended to Jan. 2, 2018

18 Symposium Call for Papers

The annual JRCoE Social Justice Conference Graduate Symposium will take place on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 from 5:30-9 p.m. in Collings Hall.

Proposals are now being accepted for presentations at the symposium. The symposium welcomes proposals of three to five type-written double-spaced pages in 12pt font. Use this opportunity to indicate a broader context and purpose of the proposal with supporting information, such as a) problem, issue, or rationale grounded within scholarly literature; b) a summary of the methods including a description of the data collection, instrumentation, participants, and analysis, OR a summary of question or claim being investigated with relevant sources/resources; c) results, conclusions, and implications of the study.

Please upload your abstract and proposal to the following link:
Application Deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.


Baird Receives Fulbright Award

Fulbright logo

Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education 2017 graduate Hannah Kristen Baird has been named a recipient of a Fulbright Grant for academic year 2017-2018. Baird will serve as an English teaching assistant in Mexico.

Read More Here

JRCoE Faculty Honored at OU Faculty Tribute

Maeghan Hennessey

Three faculty members in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education were honored for their work at the 2017 OU Faculty Tribute on April 11, at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

Associate Professor Maeghan Hennessey (Instructional Psychology and Technology), Associate Professor Crag Hill (English Education) and Professor Sally Beach (Reading/Literacy Education) were honored for their work.

Read more here

2017 Celebration of Education in Oklahoma

Gene Rainbolt - 2017 Celebration of Education in Oklahoma

On March 31, the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education honored educators and supporters of education from around the state at the annual Celebration of Education in Oklahoma. Award of Distinction winner Gene Rainbolt served as the guest speaker.

Read more here

Find Your Future Campaign on Thousands Strong Through April 21

FYF - JRCoEred

You can donate to the 2017 Find Your Future Summer Education Camp via Thousands Strong through April 21. To donate, visit

The Find Your Future Summer Education Camp is a five-day residential summer program designed to recruit and prepare high school students of color who are interested in exploring the possibility of becoming educators. The Find Your Future program is led by Associate Dean T. Elon Dancy, Ph.D. and Krystal Golding-Ross, M.Ed.

For more information about the camp, visit

Sara Goldrick-Rab Gives Lecture at OU

Dean Gregg Garn, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Dr. Derek Houston

Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab visited the University of Oklahoma campus on Feb. 21, as the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Endowed Lecture Series speaker. Goldrick-Rab spoke about her book "Paying the Price: Financial Aid, College Costs and the Betrayal of the American Dream."

Goldrick-Rab is founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the nation's only translational research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable. She has been featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The New York Review of Books and CSPAN's Book TV.

Watch Dr. Goldrick-Rab's Lecture Here

JRCoE Student Wins 3-Minute Thesis Competition

3-Minute Thesis Logo

Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Counseling Psychology graduate student LaVonya Bennett was named first-place and people's choice award winner for OU's 3-Minute Thesis competition on Feb. 24 in Meacham Auditorium at Oklahoma Memorial Union.

Bennet was one of 10 OU graduate student finalists vying for the top prize. She will represent the University of Oklahoma at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT® Competition in Indianapolis in April.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia, and is now held at hundreds of universities around the world. This exercise will challenge you to present your thesis or dissertation research in just three minutes to a non-specialist audience. As you prepare for the competition, you’ll decide on the most important points in your research, find an interesting way to convey them, then deliver them in a clear, concise, and confident manner.

For more information, visit

JRCoE Faculty, Students Author Report on Vision for School Improvement Under ESSA

Learning Policy Institute Logo

Professor Patrick Forsyth, Associate Professor Curt Adams, Assistant Professor Timothy Ford, Post-Doctoral Fellow Jordan Ware, and Ph.D. candidates Jentre Olsen and John Lepine have co-authored a report titled "Next Generation Accountability: A Vision for School Improvement Under ESSA" for the Learning Policy Institute.

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states gain considerably more authority and autonomy over the design of school accountability systems. This shift in responsibility creates the opportunity for states to reimagine new accountability models that align to goals of college and career readiness for all students and to move from a culture of compliance to one of continuous improvement.

Click Here to Read the Report

How Using Multisensory Structured Language Reading Methodologies in the Classroom Can Teach Students to Read, Write and Spell

Date: March 8, 2017
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Dale Hall, Room 128

Who should attend? Anyone wishing to learn more about inclusive, effective teaching methodologies for reading, which can reach all students, including those with dyslexia and other reading challenges.

Click Here to Learn More (PDF)

One Year of High-Quality Early Education Improves Outcomes for Low-Income Infants & Toddlers

Dr. Diane Horm

Release courtesy of OU-Tulsa

Fewer than half of children from low-income families are considered ready for school at age 5.  Since 85% of brain development occurs by age three, early child education is vital to a child’s future success in school.
A new study by OU-Tulsa and four other universities have found that infants and toddlers from low-income families who attended a high-quality, center-based early education program do better in language and social skills after only one year than children who do not attend the program.  Participants were assessed after one year of attending Educare sites in each of the four cities, including Tulsa Educare.  Children who participated had better language skills, fewer problem behaviors, and more positive interactions with their parents than children who didn’t participate in a program.
The study appears in the journal Child Development.  It is based on research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Chicago, OU-Tulsa, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  
“This study shows high-quality early childhood programming starting in infancy makes a difference in the lives of young children who are growing up in poverty,” said Diane Horm, Ph.D., director of the OU-Tulsa Early Childhood Education Institute.  “The achievement gap has been a critical problem and this study shows the power of starting in infancy and toddlerhood, and how it will set children on a path to short- and long-term success.”
Researchers randomly assigned 239 infants and toddlers (ages 6 weeks to 19 months) from low-income families to attend or not attend local Educare programs at five schools (Chicago, Milwaukee, two in Omaha, and Tulsa). About half of the children were African American and about a third were Hispanic. One year later, they measured the children’s language skills, observed them playing with their primary caregiver (usually mothers), and asked parents to rate their children’s social and emotional skills.
The differences between children who attended Educare and children who did not attend were larger than differences seen in previous studies of similar programs, such as Early Head Start or home visiting programs. The findings from this study extend those of the Abecedarian Project and other research suggesting that starting a comprehensive early childhood education program early can improve the outcomes of infants and toddlers from low-income families. The study will follow the children’s progress through age 5 and at that time, assess their abilities in academic areas that predict later success in school.
Educare includes specific components that may contribute to the positive development of children from low-income families. In particular, all teachers have at least a B.A. degree, and many have an M.A. degree. They are supervised by master teachers, who provide ongoing professional development and coaching on research-based best practices. Educare staff conduct at least two home visits and two parent conferences each year. In addition, they offer meetings, activities, classes, and social events geared to parents and families.
“This study reinforces the incredible results Educare’s evidence-based, early childhood education program has on the outcomes of children from low-income families,” said Caren Calhoun, executive director of Tulsa Educare. “Educare is specifically designed to let children explore, learn and develop in a safe space. Our commitment to small class sizes, well-trained and bachelor degreed teachers and family engagement helps our students develop the skills necessary to be socially and academically successful.”
The research was funded by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, the Brady Education Foundation, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and an anonymous foundation.
The ECEI is part of the OU Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.  It is one component of the Early Childhood Education research and academic programs available at OU-Tulsa.
OU-Tulsa is a nationally-recognized center for higher education offering a wide range of 30+ undergraduate, Master’s, and Doctorate level degrees, as well as graduate certificates.  Programs include architecture, engineering, education, nursing, public health, occupational and physical therapy, human relations, library and information studies, organizational dynamics, public administration, social work, as well as medicine through the OU-TU School of Community Medicine.  Since 1957, OU-Tulsa has provided higher education to NE Oklahoma and moved to the 60-acre Schusterman Campus in 1999.  For more information, visit
Educare is an early education program for children from 6 weeks to 5 years that operates in 21 schools in 18 U.S. cities. The program is designed to reduce the achievement gap between children from low-income families and those from more economically advantaged families. It offers full-day, year-round comprehensive services, including enriching educational experiences, in infant-toddler classrooms of 8 children and 2 adults.

Sister Rosemary Visits OU for Humphreys Lecture

2017 Humphreys Lecture - Sister Rosemary

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe visited the OU campus on Thursday, Feb. 9, as the guest speaker for the 2017 Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Lecture Series.

Sister Rosemary is the founder of St. Monica's Vocational School for Girls in Gulu, Uganda, which has helped more than 1,400 girls learn skills such as sewing, cooking and hair dressing. Sister Rosemary founded another St. Monica’s at Atiak, Uganda, and the new Sewing Hope Children School.

Sister Rosemary is working with the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU to establish a primary school for teen and adult women in Uganda. Her humanitarian work earned her a spot in TIME Magazine’s 2014 “100 Most Influential People” list, and in 2007 she was named a CNN Hero.

Click Here for the video of Sister Rosemary's speech at OU

JRCoE Honors Sandra O'Brien

Sandra O'Brien Reception

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education recently honored Sandra O'Brien for her years of service to the college.

O'Brien recently retired from her role as a member of the JRCoE Board of Advocates, a position she has held since the board's inception. She and her husband, Brian, made a major gift to the campaign to expand and renovate Collings Hall. O'Brian and her husband helped found and equip the Sandra L. O'Brien Collaborative Learning Hub in the college, and they were the very first donors to endow a Presidential Professorship.

Click Here for Photos of the Reception Honoring Sandra O'Brien

JRCoE Professors Discuss Special Education Needs with OU Lawmakers

Nancy Marchand-Martella

Professors Nancy Marchand-Martella and Ron Martella met with Oklahoma state lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 31, to discuss what can be done to strengthen the special education system in Oklahoma.

Watch the video here

Lisa Patel Lecture Headlines Decolonizing Education Diversity Symposium

Lisa Patel

NORMAN, Oklahoma — The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma welcomes Lisa Patel, Ph.D., as keynote speaker for the two-day Decolonizing Educational Research Symposium, Feb. 16-17, on the OU campus.

Patel’s talk takes place on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Gaylord Hall in the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium. The lecture is complimentary and open to the public. Childcare will be provided at no cost.

Day two of the symposium takes place on Friday, Feb. 17, as students from around the OU campus gather to give presentations on various topics related to the “Decolonizing Educational Research” theme. The symposium will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Collings Hall.

Patel is an associate professor at Boston College in the Lynch School of Education. Her work addresses the narratives that facilitate societal structures. With a background in sociology, she researches and teaches about education as a site of social reproduction and as a potential site for transformation. Patel works extensively with societally marginalized youth and teacher activists. Prior to working in the academy, Patel was a journalist, a teacher, and a state-level policymaker. Across all experiences, her focus has been on the ways that education structures opportunities in society and the stories that are told about those opportunities. Her daily work has been with youth who are marginalized through those structures.

Patel is the author of Decolonizing Educational Research: From Ownership to Answerability, which will be discussed at the lecture. Another of her books, Youth Held at the Border: Immigration Education and the Politics of Inclusion, was named an American Educational Studies Association Critics’ Book Choice of 2013.

ECEI Logo with background

OU-Tulsa ECEI Partners with Georgetown & Harvard to Study Three-Year-Olds’ Development

Eighty-five percent of brain development occurs by age three, making early child education vital to a child’s future success in school.  The OU-Tulsa Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI), a research-based institute to advance the quality of early child education (ages 0-3), has been selected to work with researchers from Georgetown University and Harvard University on a new long-term study.  


Emisha Pickens-Young

OU-Tulsa Ph.D. Student Receives First Head Start Research Grant in Oklahoma

Emisha Pickens-Young, an OU-Tulsa Ph.D. student, has been selected as one of only six doctoral students in the entire country — and the first ever in Oklahoma — to receive a prestigious and highly-competitive federal Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant.  



College Debuts New App for Phones and Tablets

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education is proud to announce the creation of an informational app for the college, now available for download in the App Store (Apple) and Google Play (Android).

By downloading the app students, faculty, staff, alumni, prospective students and parents will be able to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in the college. This includes events, news, important deadlines, contact information and much more.

To find the app in the App Store or Google Play, search using "OU Education."

Students in the News

Cat Jackson

Instructional Psychology and Technology doctoral student Cat Jackson (left) just returned from the annual conference of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). On Oct. 20, she co-presented a round-table discussion with Dr. Amy Bradshaw titled “Does our Complacency in Online Settings Dehumanize Our Students and Ourselves?” Jackson also presented solo a poster session on “Fostering Creative Thinking in Online Education.”

Dr. Xun Ge’s former Instructional Psychology and Technology doctoral students, Dr. Kun Huang (class of 2011, now faculty at Mississippi State University) and Dr. Victor Law (class of 2012, now faculty at the University of New Mexico), recently won the “Division of Distance Learning Burmeister Award 2016” at the 2016 convention of Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) for their research titled “Examining the relationship between learners’ epistemic beliefs and perceptions of online learning.”

DCDT Group Picture

From Oct 19-22, more than 40 OU Special Education graduate students, recent graduates, faculty, and staff attended the 2016 the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition Conference in Myrtle Beach, SD.

 Several OU attendees presented the results of recent transition education research and practice developments and become involved with various DCDT professional committees. Attending this conference enabled current OU students to learn from and interact with leaders in the field and to meet and share ideas with graduate students from other universities.

Funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education , Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, and the Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment supported student attendance at this year’s DCDT Conference.

2016 JRCoE Scholarship Luncheon

2016 JRCoE Scholarship Luncheon

On September 11, the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education celebrated more than 180 students receiving more than $315,000 in scholarship money from the college. Adult and Higher Education master's degree student Stephanie Terrazas, and special education doctoral student Josh Pulos addressed the nearly 200 students and scholarship patrons in attendance.

Click here to see photos from the event

Meet Our New Faculty for 2016-17

Welcome Image

Meet the new faculty members in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education for the 2016-17 academic year. READ MORE

Dancy Named Associate Dean

Dr. Elon Dancy

NORMAN, Oklahoma — T. Elon Dancy II, an education sociologist who has served on the University of Oklahoma faculty since 2008, has been named to the inaugural position as associate dean for community engagement and academic inclusion at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.

Dancy, who began his appointment on July 1, currently serves as a fellow in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and professor in the educational leadership and policy studies department of the college. He holds affiliate faculty appointments in African and African American Studies, as well as Women’s and Gender Studies and its Center for Social Justice, all in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dancy previously held faculty appointments at Temple University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

“I am honored to lead strategic initiatives critical for advancing democratic, pluralistic, and inclusive learning environments in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education,” Dancy said. “By embracing the essentiality of equity to the college’s mission, we position ourselves to learn from the profound lessons of the past, to comprehend more deeply the challenges of the present, and to shape a brighter future for our students and the communities they serve. I look forward to collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and various stakeholder groups to chart a course for rich possibilities.”

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Dancy join our senior staff,” said Gregg Garn, dean of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. “We look forward to the leadership he will provide to our students and faculty, as well as the OU community at large. He has shown he is committed to helping build a thriving community of diverse learners.”

Dancy studies school and college organizations as sites of social identity development. His research is driven by questions related to sociohistorical contexts, masculinity formations, and the ways in which policies (e.g., education reform, identity-based initiatives) are implicated in students’ academic and social outcomes.

With approximately 90 publications to his credit, he is author or editor of five books including The Brother Code: Manhood and Masculinity among African American Males in College and Managing Diversity: (Re)visioning Equity on College Campuses. His forthcoming book, Black Colleges Across the Diaspora: Global Perspectives on Race and Stratification, examines comparative student outcomes of international historically Black colleges and universities. Dancy is past editor of the College Student Affairs Journal.

Dancy's research on males of color and collegiate outcomes has been supported by several funding agencies including the National Science Foundation. He has been honored with research and scholarship awards from the American Educational Research Association Division-J (Postsecondary Education), Association for the Study of Higher Education Council on Ethnic Participation, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and American Enterprise Institute. In 2014, Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine named him Top Emerging Scholar for his study of underserved college students and campus inclusion. In that same year, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Louisiana State University College of Human Sciences and Education.

Dancy currently serves on the executive boards of the American Education Research Association’s Research Focus on Black Education and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education. Prior to joining the OU faculty, he held administrative posts in both university advancement and health care settings.

Dancy earned his bachelor of science degree in psychology, with honors, from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a master of health administration degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He received a doctorate with distinction in higher education administration and a cognate in sociology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Keith Ballard CIEDA Chairman

Ballard Named Chairman of the Board

The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) announced that Dr. Keith Ballard, has been elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He replaces Mr. Phil B. Albert who retired from the Board in June 2016. 

The board consists of Dr. Keith Ballard (Chairman), Mr. Ryan Neely (Vice Chairman),  Mr. Jeff Jensen, Mr. Tim Fleetwood, Mr. Wade Welborn, Mr. Brian Green, and Mr. Mick Webber.

Read more about Ballard's new position here.

Frick Named Core Fullbright U.S. Scholar

Bill Frick

William C. Frick, associate professor in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma, has been selected as a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar.

Frick will study at the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University in the Republic of Georgia for a nine-month award beginning in September.

Frick, who recently earned the Rainbolt Family Endowed Education Presidential Professorship, teaches in the educational leadership and policy studies department in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. He began his tenure at the university in 2006 after earning his doctorate in educational theory and policy from The Pennsylvania State University.

While in the Republic of Georgia, Frick will teach a range of coursework pertaining to school management, administration and leadership; curriculum development and design; and progressive pedagogy and instructional methods that focus on cognitive and social constructivism (learning acquired and knowledge built through experience and social exchange) including student voice (the engagement of student views in the learning process). In addition to these activities, he has been invited to join with social science faculty engaged with research sponsored by the EU Commission for Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, Tempus Program, specifically focusing on the Developing and Applying Structure for Inclusive Strategies in Higher Education initiative.

The Fulbright Program operates in over 155 countries and provides highly competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. One of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, the Fulbright Program was established to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.

Irani Makes Significant Gift to OU Debt-Free Teachers Program

Ronnie Irani

NORMAN, Oklahoma — RKI Energy Resources President and CEO Ronnie Irani recently presented a major gift to the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma to support the Debt-Free Teachers Program, a merit- and need-based assistance initiative directed toward outstanding students in the college with significant debt associated with their education. 

The fund targets high-need areas in Oklahoma education in order to recruit and retain the nation’s best students.  For each year recipients teach in the state – up to four years – a maximum of $5,000 of student loans will be forgiven each year up to a total of $20,000.

The gift from Irani, a longtime supporter and past chairman of the board of visitors of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, where he serves on the board of the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, followed a Literary Evening held in April on the OU campus to raise funds for the program. The event was co-hosted by Gene Rainbolt, founder and chairman of BancFirst, and State Regent for Higher Education Mike Turpen.

Though unable to attend the event, Irani saw the importance of the program through further conversations with Rainbolt and Turpen.

 “The pipeline for grooming Oklahoma’s future talent starts with great teachers in our local schools,” Irani said. “This program helps ensure that the very best teachers will stay in Oklahoma and work with our students.”

The program has enrolled 64 students over the past two years, 17 of whom have since graduated and begun working in Oklahoma in high-need subject areas, such as math and special education, as well as high-need inner urban schools.

“This program has made it easier for students with a passion for teaching to follow their dream,” Irani said. “Great teaching leads to positively impacting students and will create our next generation of exceptional Oklahomans.”

To learn more about the OU Debt-Free Teachers Program, visit, or contact Emily Reed at (405) 325-1976.

Reed Earns CFRE Designation

Emily Reed

NORMAN, Oklahoma — The University of Oklahoma’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Director of Development Emily Reed was awarded the Certified Fund Raising Executive designation by CFRE International. Reed joins more than 5,500 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.

Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service to not-for-profit organizations.  They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights. 

Reed joined the college in August 2013 as director of alumni outreach and took over the role of director of development in September 2015. In addition to her work at OU, Reed serves as co-chair for philanthropy for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Oklahoma Chapter and the vice chair/national liaison for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of OKC.

“Ever since I knew I wanted to fundraise for nonprofits, I had a goal of continually learning about the art and science of fund development as I saw many of my mentors doing, to the point that I could someday earn and maintain the Certified Fund Raising Executive designation,” Reed said. “I am proud to have achieved this milestone, and excited to continue using this knowledge to raise money for the students at the University of Oklahoma.”

CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period.  In order to maintain certification status certificants must demonstrate on-going fundraising employment and fundraising results, and continue with their professional education.  Employers and donors who work with CFRE’s know they are getting a professional who is committed to the best outcomes for their organization and has the requisite knowledge and skills.

CFRE International is an independent organization dedicated to the certification of fundraising executives by setting standards in philanthropic practice.  Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and led by a small professional staff, CFRE International consistently meets the highest standards for certification excellence and is itself accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies.