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JRCoE Faculty Honored at OU Faculty Tribute

Maeghan Hennessey 17 Faculty Awards

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 speaks at the 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

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

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 with students

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.  


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 with students and Gene Rainbolt singing the OU Chant.

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

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.

Photo of Keith Ballard CIEDA Chairman

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

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. 

Literary Evening with Rainbolt and Turpen

Rainbolt, Garn and Boren

Nearly 100 people crowded into the Beaird Lounge at Oklahoma Memorial Union on Monday, April 25, to hear Gene Rainbolt and Mike Turpen talk about their early lives and careers in Oklahoma.

University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren started the evening with an introduction of the two gentlemen who play a significant role at OU. Guests were treated to an inside look at the rise of two prominent men in Oklahoma business and philanthropy. A fun banter between two long-time friends and political allies Turpen and Boren was also part of the evening.

At the conclusion, guests received copies of Rainbolt's book, "Out of the Dust: Gene Rainbolt, A Life for Oklahoma" and Turpen's book, "Turpen Time: The Wit and Wisdom of Mike Turpen." Both men were available to sign copies of their books.

Most significantly, the purpose of the event was to shine a light on OU's Debt-Free Teachers Program. More than $80,000 has been raised to date in the effort.

View more photos from the evening here

Cullen Awarded John and Jane Kenney Endowed Faculty Fellowship

Associate Professor Theresa Cullen was awarded the John and Jane Kenney Endowed Faculty Fellowship on May 3. This first-time award was given to Cullen to complement her work in STEM education.

2016 Student Council for Exceptional Children Prom

JRCoE student and attendee at 2016 SCEC Prom.

The annual prom put on by the OU Student Council for Exceptional Children in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education took place April 15 in the Oklahoma Memorial Union food court.

More than 150 people in were in attendance at this year’s prom, a majority of whom were invited guests at the event, now in its ninth year. This year’s attendees took things to the next level, arriving in limousines while decked out in tuxedos, formal dresses, flowers and jewelry.

“This year’s event was really incredible,” said Molly Sokolosky, an early childhood education major and president of OU SCEC. “The prom is one of my favorite events of the year, and I am so thankful I got to be involved.”

Attendees were treated to a music show DJ’d by none other than Shawn Sheehan, the 2016 Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year and a graduate of OU with a master’s degree in special education.

More than 30 OU students, who are not only education majors but also from other colleges around campus, were involved in the organization of the event, doing everything from working with the Union on setup and food, to decorations and invitations

Invitees included guests from various locations in central Oklahoma, to as far away as Ardmore and Okarche.

Frick, Williams-Diehm Named Presidential Professors

Kendra Williams-Diehm Presidential Professor

Dr. William C. Frick and Dr. Kendra Williams-Diehm were honored at the University of Oklahoma faculty awards ceremony on April 5, earning presidential professorships.

Frick, who is a faculty member in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department, earned the Rainbolt Family Endowed Education Presidential Professorship. Wiliams-Diehm, a member of the Educational Psychology department, earned the Brian E. and Sandra O'Brien Presidential Professorship.

In addition, Dr. Cal Stoltenberg was honored for 30+ years of service to OU, while Dr. Neil Houser was recognized for 20+ years of service to OU.

Atkinson Earns Outstanding Administrative Support Award from NSELA

Linda Atkinson - K20 Center

Dr. Linda Atkinson, associate director for K12 and STEM partnerships at the K20 Center, has earned the Outstanding Administrative Support Award presented by the National Science Education Leadership Association.

Learn more about Dr. Atkinson's award here.

Alumna Sharen Jester Turney Visits Campus

Sharen Jester Turney

University of Oklahoma graduate and recent CEO of Victoria's Secret Sharen Jester Turney was on campus March 30 to give a talk about the importance of philanthropy.

Jester Turney earned a business education degree at OU before going on to lead the Fortune 500 company as CEO for the last decade.

Click here for photos of the event.

Surbaugh Defies Disease to Earn Ph.D.

At a Broken Arrow assisted living center, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Ph.D. student Michael Surbaugh became Dr. Michael Surbaugh as he was presented with his doctorate in educational studies by his dissertation chair, Dr. Susan Laird.

What made this day special is that Surbaugh is in a fight for his life, having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February.
Learn more about Surbaugh's story here.

Juanito Renteria

Renteria Named NPS Rookie Teacher of the Year

Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education graduate Juanito Renteria (above, center) has been named the inaugural Norman Public Schools Rookie Teacher of the Year for 2015-16.

Renteria is currently a fifth-grade teacher at Truman Elementary. He is a 2015 graduate of the college, where he was named the Outstanding Senior for Elementary Education last year.

Robert Henry and Dean Gregg Garn at Celebration of Education

2016 Celebration of Education in Oklahoma

The 2016 Celebration of Education in Oklahoma took place on Friday, March 4, in the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom at Oklahoma Memorial Union. More than 250 educators and supporters were on hand to honor those who are making a difference in the field of education.

Judge Robert Henry (above) was given the Award of Distinction, with other awards honoring Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education faculty, alumni, as well as friends of the college and those changing lives in the state of Oklahoma.

Click here for a complete list of 2016 honorees.
Click here for photos from the event.

Horm Leads Research on Infant Development and School Readiness

Dr. Diane Horm

Dr. Diane Horm, George Kaiser Family Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Education and director of the Early Childhood Education Institute, OU-Tulsa Campus, served as lead author on a recent study on how development during the infant-toddler years serves as the foundation for school readiness.

The study was commissioned by the Office of Planning, Reseach and Evaluation, through Dr. Horm's work with the Network of Infant-Toddler Researchers.

Read the complete study here.

Robert Putnam standing at Podium

Robert Putnam Visits OU Campus

Dr. Robert Putnam, professor of public policy at Harvard University, visited the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education on January 20, 2016, to deliver the Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Lecture.

A crowd of more than 200 at Meacham Auditorium listed to Putnam lecture about his latest book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. The hour-long talk was followed by a question-and-answer session. Later that evening, Putnam was the guest of honor at a President's Associates dinner.

See photos from the lecture here

OU Daily: Harvard professor speaks at OU about impact of economic inequality on children

Sharen Jester Turney Inducted into Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Sharen Jester Turney

Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education graduate Sharen Jester Turney was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 19, at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center.

Jester Turney earned a business education degree at OU and currently serves as president and CEO of Victoria's Secret.

Click here to learn more about Jester Turney and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

College Mourns Passing of Dr. Charles Butler

Dr. Charles Butler

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education mourns the passing of Professor Emeritus Charles E. Butler, Sr.

Read more

Our Annual Report is now available online

Students Smiling

The 2014 Annual Report for the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education is now available.  Our Annual Report contains pertinent facts and figures about the impact we make on our community.  

Read it now at

Philip Johnson Named Staff Service Award Winner

Meet Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Undergraduate Academic Adviser for Elementary and Special Education Philip Johnson. Johnson is this quarter's Staff Service Award winner for the college.

Sandra L. O'Brien Collaborative Learning Hub

Wall sign and computer workstations at the Sandra L. O'Brien Collaborative Learning Hub

On October 27 the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education celebrated the grand opening of the Sandra L. O'Brien Collaborative Learning Hub. Previously the college's computer lab, the new hub features comfortable and technology-friendly seating areas, computer workstations, and a separate classroom with Smartboard that can be reserved for student use.

Check out photos from the event

2015 Homecoming Tailgate

Photo of students and attendees at the homecoming tailgate.

The 2015 Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Homecoming Tailgate took place on Saturday, October 24 in the Clarke Anderson Room at Oklahoma Memorial Union.

We welcomed alumni, their families and friends of the college to enjoy food, fellowship and fun!

Check out photos from the event

Photo of Effie Bennett-Powe

Effie Bennett-Powe Speaks at Endowed Lecture Series

On October 16, the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education welcomed Effie Bennett-Powe, professor emerita at State University of New York, Cobleskill. Bennett-Powe was on campus as the featured speaker for the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Endowed Lecture Series.

An early childhood educator, Bennett-Powe spoke of her time growing up in Rentie Settlement, Oklahoma and the role that race played in her schooling and career. After her talk a panel discussion took place featuring Bennett-Powe and professors from the college of education, anthropology and African and African American studies.

View a photo gallery of the event

Annual OU Ring Ceremony to Honor H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt

Headshot of Gene Rainbolt

The University of Oklahoma Ring Ceremony, scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, will honor the class of 2016 and OU alumnus H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, who has championed the state of Oklahoma, the city of Norman and the University of Oklahoma throughout his lifetime. The ceremony will be in the courtyard of Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.

Read more here

OU-Texas Reception

2015 OU-Texas Reception

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education welcomed alumni and friends of the college to its annual OU-Texas reception at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Friday, October 9.

As reception attendees mingled, they were also treated to demonstrations of educational technology courtesy of the One University Store.

Check out the full photo gallery of the event

Terri Cullen and OU student at Arthur Elementary

Students, Faculty and Staff at Arthur Elementary iPad Rollout

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education took part in the iPad rollout on October 5 at Arthur Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Every student in the school received an iPad as part of the White House's ConnectEd Initiative, and the OU students and staff were on hand to help them get started with the new technology.

Check out a photo gallery from the event

2015 Scholarship Luncheon

2015 Scholarship Luncheon Students with Donors


On Sunday, October 4, more than 160 Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education scholarship benefactors and recipients gathered in the Sandy Bell Gallery at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the Norman campus for the annual scholarship luncheon.

Both undergraduate and graduate students were honored for their academic accomplishments, while also having a chance to meet with some of the people that make their scholarships possible.

As part of the program, students Michael Rath, Lena Tenney and Margaret Johnson addressed the crowd, describing their educational goals and how the scholarships have helped aid their academic pursuits.

View the complete photo gallery of the event

2015 Scholarship Luncheon Program (PDF)

Joy Hofmeister and Dr. Gregg Garn congratulate Shawn Sheehan for 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Photo/Shannon Cornman

Sheehan Named 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education graduate Shawn Sheehan was named the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

Read More Here

Cullen honored as Apple Distinguished Education for 2015

Theresa Cullen, an associate professor in the Instructional Psychology and Technology Program and director of the iPad program in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU, and Bekah Hightower, director of the Media Center and Instructional Technology at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, join a select group of instructors from around the world as Apple Distinguished Educators. These educators embrace new ideas and opportunities through Apple technology and collaborate — in person and online — on solutions to the global education challenges of today and tomorrow.

Cullen was integral in launching the college’s iPad program, which put iPads in the hands of 575 students enrolled in the college’s undergraduate teacher education program in Spring 2013. The iPad program, now in its third year, is part of OU’s One University digital initiative, which integrates technology and creates digital content to enhance the learning experience.

Read more about the program here.