General News

College of Education rises to 42nd in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Graduate School rankings

The College of Education moved up to 42nd in the nation in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate School rankings. Consistently named in the Top 50 graduate schools in education, the College ranked 50th in 2016.

“The rise in rank this year is a recognition of the college’s outstanding programs and the commitment to excellence of our faculty, staff and students,” said Robert S. Feldman, Interim Dean of the College of Education.

Six faculty members named to administrative leadership team in College of Education

Six faculty members recently accepted interim positions in the College of Education. They are: Martina Nieswandt, associate professor in science education, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Development; Jennifer Randall, associate professor in psychometric methods, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Raymond Sharick, lecturer in elementary teacher education, Graduate Program Director; John Hosp, professor, Interim Chair of the Department of Student Development; Laura A.

McDermott receives Spencer grant to investigate implicit bias in schools

College of Education professor Kathryn A. McDermott, an expert on the politics of education policy, received a 2016-17 Spencer Foundation Mid-career grant to conduct research on how implicit bias influences school practices and school-level effects of education policy.

“The effects of broad policies in education depend on the day-to-day decisions that teachers and administrators make about students,” McDermott explained. “Understanding how these decisions contribute to maintaining or challenging racial bias is key to understanding the actual effects of public policy.”

Wells named ISSR scholar

Ryan Wells, education policy, research and administration, was named one of seven 2016-2017 Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) Scholars. ISSR's mission is to promote excellence in social science research. One of its goals, served by the scholars program, is to strengthen existing social science infrastructure on campus in order to stimulate high-quality scholarship and interdisciplinary collaboration. Wells' research focuses on college access and success for underrepresented students.

Kimball named Family Research Scholar

Ezekiel Kimball,  assistant professor, educational policy, research and administration, was named a 2016-17 Family Research Scholar by the UMass Amherst Center for Research on Families (CRF). CRF noted that Kimball’s proposed project, “Academic Self-Concept & Parental Involvement in the Postsecondary Outcomes of Students with Disabilities,” is “tremendously important and relevant” to its mission.

Pluta, 2009 MEd, receives 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award

Jeff Pluta, 2009 MEd, is a recipient of the 2016 UMass Amherst Distinguished Alumni Service Award in acknowledgement of his contribution to the educational system in Nicaragua. These are the most prestigious awards given by the university to alumni, faculty and friends. This year’s awards will be presented at noon on Monday, April 4 in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

Woodland to work with Pakistani educators

Rebecca Woodland, Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration, was awarded a $32,300 subcontract from the UMass Amherst Donahue Institute for the Instructional Leadership for Pakistani Educators Project, which will take place this summer.

 

More Faculty News

Robert S. Feldman named interim Dean of the College of Education

On February 9, Provost Katherine S. Newman announced the appointment of Deputy Chancellor Robert S. Feldman as interim Dean of the College of Education following the decision of Christine B. McCormick to step down from her position as dean after eleven years of service to the college.

Austin Honored by Heritage Language Group

Theresa Austin, languages, literacy and culture, was recognized at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Heritage Language Special Interest Group in San Diego.

For her scholarship and leadership over the past six years, she was awarded a plaque honoring her contributions to heritage language education and research.

 

More Faculty News

Valdiviezo Discusses Teaching, Testing, Learning in Radio Interview

Laura A. Valdiviezo, associate professor of language, literacy and culture in the College of Education, discussed “Rethinking Testing, Teaching and Learning in Education” during a recent interview on New England Public Radio.

She urged listeners to evaluate testing not as an educational tool but as a profitable multibillion-dollar industry, and instead to pay due and much needed attention to the central role quality teaching and learning play in the construction of equity in education.

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