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News and Events



Kwon Named Cable Chair

Associate Professor Kyong-Ah Kwon has been named the Drusa B. Cable Chair in Education and Early Childhood Education in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.

Kwon Named
Cable Chair

Zarrow Receives $2M Grant

The Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment received a nearly $2 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to develop an assessment tool.

Zarrow Receives
$2M Grant

2021 Staff Awards

Congratulations to JRCoE staff who were honored with distinguished performance and service awards at the 2021 OU Norman Campus Staff Awards.

2021 Staff

2021 Faculty Awards

Congratulations to JRCoE faculty who were honored with distinguished professorships and service awards at the 2021 OU Norman Campus Faculty Tribute Awards.

2021 Faculty




Previous News

The University of Oklahoma announced the appointment of Stacy Reeder as dean of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.

Reeder Named Dean

Learn more about educators and education advocates who were honored for their work that is making a difference in Oklahoma and beyond.

2021 Celebration of Education

The Thomas family have established The Dr. L. Kent Thomas AIM Fund to support the advancement, innovation and mentoring of graduate students.

Endowment Established to Benefit JRCoE

JRCoE Receives Murray Award
The JRCoE received the 2020 Frank Murray Leadership Recognition for Continuous Improvement from CAEP.

JRCoE Receives Murray Award

DCDT Sitlington Award Winners
Mary Barczak and Malarie Deardorff were named DCDT Sitlington Emerging Researcher Award winners.

DCDT Sitlington Award Winners

Shotton Receives García Award Heather Shotton was awarded the CEP Mildred García Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Shotton Receives Mildred García Award

Zarrow Center Partners with ZHO
Zarrow Center enters into research partnership with the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination in Abu Dhabi.

Zarrow Center Partners with ZHO

JRCoE Names New Department Chairs
Kristy Brugar (ILAC), Heather Shotton (ELPS) and Maeghan Hennessey (EDPY) were named department chairs.

JRCoE Names New Department Chairs

Faculty Receive Research Funding
Diane Horm and Natalie Youngbull received research funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships.

Faculty Receive Research Funding

Velázquez Earns Research Grant
Associate Professor Mirelsie Velázquez was awarded a 2020-21 research grant by the OU Arts and Humanities Forum.

Velázquez Earns Research Grant

Johnson Named Dissertation Fellow
Jennifer Johnson Jennifer Johnson, a doctoral candidate in educational studies, was named a 2020 Dissertation Fellow by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.

Johnson Named Dissertation Fellow

2019-20 Faculty Awards
The 2019-20 Faculty Award winners were honored this spring.

2019-20 Faculty Awards

2020 Celebration of Education
The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education honors the 2020 Celebration of Education faculty, staff and student award winners.

2020 Celebration of Education

Reeder Named Interim Dean
Stacy Reeder was named interim dean of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.

Reeder Named Interim Dean

90th Anniversary Celebration Recap
The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019. Take a look back at the 90th anniversary celebration and more.

90th Anniversary Celebration Recap

OU Receives $2.4 Million Grant in Partnership With University of Arkansas for Special Education Transition Services Program

The University of Oklahoma and the University of Arkansas have partnered to help meet the need for transition-based special education services with a project titled Razorback-Sooner Scholars: Leaders for Transition.

OU Receives $2.4M Grant

A Message From Dean Gregg Garn
Over the past few months, we formed a committee to evaluate the opportunity to increase access to our academic offerings through the creation of OU Global. OU Global would provide high-quality graduate programs to adult learners who seek the benefits of higher education and OU’s outstanding academics, but whose access is challenged by distance and time constraints.

Interim President Harroz has asked me to lead this effort, and as such I will step out of the College of Education for the next five months and work directly on this project.

Message from Dean Gregg Garn

OU Launches Sooner Works Program
The Sooner Works program welcomed its inaugural class for the 2019-20 academic year.

OU Launches Sooner Works Program

Zhao To Give 2019 Humphreys Lecture

Yong Zhao, Ph.D. has been selected to give the 2019 Cathey Simmons Humphreys Distinguished Education Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 4:30 p.m. at the Sam Noble Museum – Robert S. Kerr Auditorium.

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education with an appointment in the School of Business at the University of Kansas. He is also the global chair professor of education at East China Normal University, a global chair professor at the University of Bath, United Kingdom, and a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Education Policy at Victoria University, Australia.

Zhao focuses on the intersection of education in the age of globalization. His talk will touch on the idea that nobody is average, and focusing on strengths can benefit America's schools.

Centering The Margins – Feb. 1

The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education invites you to participate in its Diversity Scholars Conference on Friday, Feb. 1

Dr. Bryan Brayboy will serve as the keynote speaker for the conference. Dr. Brayboy President's Professor and Borderlands Professor of Indigenous Education and Justice in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University, where he currently serves as Associate Director. At ASU, he is Special Advisor to the President on American Indian Affairs, Director of the Center for Indian Education and co-editor of the Journal of American Indian Education. He serves as affiliate faculty with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, American Indian Studies, and the Department of English.

His research focuses on the experiences of Indigenous students, staff, and faculty in institutions of higher education, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and Indigenous Research Methodologies. He is the author of almost 70 scholarly documents and has been awarded over $12 million from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Ford, Mellon, and Spencer Foundations.

From 2007–2012, he was Visiting President’s Professor of Indigenous Education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In the last 15 years, he and his team have created programs in Alaska, Arizona, and Utah that have prepared over 135 Indigenous teachers, most of whom are still teaching in Indian Country.

Ge Named Co-Editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning
Purdue University Press is pleased to announce that the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning (IJPBL) has engaged a new co-editor, Xun Ge, to serve the publication alongside journal co-editor Krista Glazewski, associate professor of instructional systems technology at Indiana University.

IJPBL publishes relevant, interesting, and challenging articles of research, analysis, or promising practice related to all aspects of implementing problem-based learning (PBL) in K–12 and post-secondary classrooms.

Dr. Ge is a professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology with the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. She teaches courses related to cognition and instruction as well as instructional design and development for various open learning environments, including problem-based/project-based learning, multimedia learning, game-based learning, and virtual learning communities. Dr. Ge’s primary research interest involves scaffolding students’ complex and ill-structured problem solving and self-regulated learning through designing instructional scaffolds and cognitive tools in problem-based learning environments.  Her recent scholarly inquiry also shows an attempt to extend her work beyond cognition and metacognition to include motivation and epistemic beliefs. Dr. Ge has conducted extensive research in STEAM education in various educational settings, from K–12 to higher education, and she has collaborated with researchers and scholars from diverse disciplines around the world.

“Dr. Ge is an established and well-recognized leader and scholar in a wide range of areas. We are lucky to have her lend her expertise and leadership to IJPBL,” said Dr. Glazewski.

The journal is published twice annually in open access format. To read or submit to the journal, visit
Release courtesy of Purdue University Press

Trio of Professors Earn Faculty Honors

Three Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education professors were recognized at the annual Faculty Tribute ceremony hosted by the OU Board of Regents and President David L. Boren on April 10.

Diane Horm – David L. Boren Professorship
Diane Horm, Ph.D., is the George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education, as well as director of the Early Childhood Education Institute at OU-Tulsa. Horm joined the OU faculty in 2006 and was the founding director of the ECEI. She is a past winner of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Leadership/Citizenship award, as well as the JRCoE Research award.

Kristy Brugar – Robert L. and Nan A. Huddleston Presidential Professorship in Education
Kristy Brugar, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of social studies education in the department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum. Brugar joined the OU faculty in 2014 and was awarded the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Junior Faculty award in 2016.

Paula McWhirter – University of Oklahoma Student Government Association Awards Outstanding Faculty Award
Paula McWhirter, Ph.D., is a professor of counseling psychology and professional counseling, as well as the training director for counseling psychology. McWhirter came to OU in 2006, after time spent as a clinical director and therapist. A Fulbright scholar, McWhirter completed her dissertation on intervention strategies with high-risk youth while training at a school-based community mental health center in Santiago, Chile.

Urick Named AERA Division A Early Career Award Winner
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.

OU at AERA 2018
Click here to download a list of panels, presentations and workshops featuring Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education faculty, students and staff at the 2018 AERA Convention, April 12-17 in New York, New York.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a national research society, strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

List of JRCoE AERA Presenters (PDF)

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

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.

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.

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
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).

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.

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.

Early Childhood Education the Focus of 2018 Humphreys Lecture Series
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 April 10 on the University of Oklahoma-Norman campus.

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.

Sinclair Named CEC Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year
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.

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
Assistant Dean Sherry Cox 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.

Brugar Receives Early Career Award
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.

Baird Receives Fulbright Award

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.

Baird Receives Fullbright Award

JRCoE Faculty Honored at OU Faculty Tribute
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.

JRCoE Faculty Honored

2017 Celebration of Education

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.

2017 Celebration of Education

Sara Goldrick-Rab Gives Lecture at OU

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

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.

For more information, visit

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

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

Click Here to Read More About "One Year of High-Quality Early Education" (PDF)

Sister Rosemary Visits OU for Humphreys Lecture
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
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.

JRCoE Professors Discuss Special Education Needs with OU Lawmakers
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 JRCoE Professors Discuss Special Education Needs

Patel Lecture Headlines Decolonizing Education Diversity Symposium
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.

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.  

ECEI Partners with Georgetown and Harvard

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.

OU Student Receives Head Start Grant

Students in the News
Instructional Psychology and Technology doctoral student Cat Jackson 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.”

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
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.

Dancy Named Associate Dean
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.

Ballard Named CIEDA Board of Trustees 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.

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
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.”

Reed Earns CFRE Designation
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

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.

2016 Student Council for Exceptional Children 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
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
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
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.

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

Renteria Named NPS Rookie Teacher of the Year
Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education graduate Juanito Renteria 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.

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, 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 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.

OU Daily Story

Sharen Jester Turney Inducted into Oklahoma Hall of Fame
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.

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

Read more about Charles Butler

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.

2015 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!

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.

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

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.

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.

2015 Scholarship Luncheon
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.

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 about Shawn Sheehan 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.