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Featuring P. Buckley Moss Scholarship recipients and more

Feb. 7, 2014 – -

Congratulations to Dr. Kelly Parkes and Dr. Mary Alice Barksdale, recipients of the 2014 P. Buckley Moss Scholarship!

(The P. Buckley Moss Scholarship is co-sponsored by the SOE and ICAT)
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Featured this week is Dr. Kelly Parkes and her winning proposal. Next week there will be a feature on Dr. Mary Alice Barkdales's winning proposal.

Proposal/project title:
Professional Development for the Arts in Chesterfield County VA



Dr. Kelly Parkes Dr. Kelly Parkes, associate professor, Teaching & Learning

The aim of this project is to provide professional development to music teachers in Chesterfield County with respect to the new teacher evaluation guidelines and assessment of student learning outcomes, skills and knowledge. Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA, are committed to a comprehensive curriculum in all disciplines including music, dance and theater. The Performing Arts program serves as a vehicle to exalt the human spirit, enhance life and foster critical thinking skills. Because of the capability of music, dance and theater to transcend and yet to interrelate all aspects of the human experience, the performing arts possess qualities needed to educate the whole child. By participating in the performing arts, students cultivate skills that are quintessential to success in the 21st century. Chesterfield County has a growing and diverse student population with Hispanic (10%), black (27%), other 5% and Asian (3%) students. Chesterfield County Public Schools were recognized last year by our Virginia Tech School of Education with an Excellence in Education Award for 21st century teaching and learning. Partnering with Chesterfield County Public Schools in this endeavor keeps higher education institutions such as Virginia Tech connected with the real needs of K-12 schools across Virginia.

School of Education graduate is featured in Roanoke Times article:


Jordan Pinkard Future math teachers put in prime position

Teacher Jordan Pinkard spent little time lecturing in the Roanoke classroom as students calculated the size of angles in different shapes. Instead, he asked questions as he displayed new problems on an electronic white board and then moved from desk to desk. He offered help, encouragement and quick checks of students’ work. “Perfect, perfect. Check yourself. Good, good,” he said, moving around the room this week. Little more than two years ago, it was Pinkard who was the student. At Virginia Tech he was part of an elite crop of future educators who earned scholarships by committing to serve as math teachers in high-needs schools after graduation through a program called Virginia Teach, which the university will build on thanks to an $800,000 grant.

Full Story Link:



Zambian students Zambian students with boxes of the donated books

A local church in Blacksburg has rendered support to Virginia Tech’s School of Education Zambia Study Abroad Program by helping the program to collect and ship boxes of donated books to a village school in Zambia that hosted the study abroad program last summer.

The need for the books was identified last summer when Zambia Study Abroad program for Virginia Tech students and teachers from within the commonwealth to broaden their world view by experiencing life in a foreign rural educational setting through interacting and working with teachers, students, and the local community. The program organizers were looking for a project that could benefit the community in the host country, and one of the options was a contribution in the form of reading materials to the host school or the local community.


Dr. Bill Price Dr. Bill Price interacting with Zambian pre-school students

The organizers, however, faced some challenges concerning where to find the books and how to ship the books to Africa. And that is where, through informal networks, the community of St. Mary’s Catholic Parish in Blacksburg came into the picture. A member of St. Mary’s Catholic Parish knew of somebody who had some books to give away. Following that lead, several boxes of books were collected. Several parishioners raised the funds, which, along with a donation from Ballinger Foundation, were used to ship the boxes to Africa.

The next trip is planned for the summer of 2014 and there are still some places available for any faculty and students who would like to travel to Zambia.

The Higher Education Program at Virginia Tech welcomed Drs. Marcia Baxter Magolda and Peter Magolda for a lunchtime discussion.


On January 31 students and faculty in the Higher Education program had the opportunity to have lunch and discuss topics in Higher Education with Drs. Marcia Baxter Magolda and Peter Magolda. The topics of discussion spanned from student self-authorship to blurring the lines between traditional teaching and out-of-the-classroom learning. They also discussed ways to promote transformational learning for faculty, staff, and students. At the heart of the discussion was the idea of partnering with students rather than empowering students. Magolda and Baxter Magolda identified the need to interact with students as they are by giving them true agency in their decisions. Magolda and Baxter Magolda encouraged higher education professionals to give students the resources to help them make their decisions, while continuing to "dig deep and challenge harder."

Dr. Amy Azano is featured in a Virginia Public Radio on a piece that uses the Hunger Games Catches Fire as Learning Tool.

Azano says The Hunger Games series’ treatment of rural culture is different from typical stereotypes. "When we think about who rural people are, the places, we often think about it with such a deficit perspective. We think about what rural communities don’t have. We talk about rural schools as being financially constrained or not having opportunities, so what I like about the novels is that it gives a more dynamic perspective to think about what are the things that rural communities do have that are sources of strength for the people in those communities?" 

Full Story/Audio:

School of Education Director Dr. Carol Mullen and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department Chair Dr. Steve Janosik hit the road, making off-campus remote site visits with educational leadership faculty this past week. Conversations were energizing, productive, and rewarding for all.


Dr. Carol Cash and Dr. Carol Mullen Dr. Carol Cash and Dr. Carol Mullen at Virginia Tech's Hampton Roads location



Dr. Carol Cash and Dr. Steve Janosik Dr. Carol Cash and Dr. Steve Janosik at Virginia Tech's Richmond Center (photographer, Carol Mullen)

Professional and Instructional Development Events

This semester the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) is sponsoring a number of Professional and Instructional Development Events designed to foster the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to teaching and learning, assessment and evaluation, diversity and inclusion, and engagement and development.

This month two CLAHS faculty will be presenting workshops:

Susanna Rinehart, School of Performing Arts: Music, Theatre, Cinema – Tuesday, February 11 Marlene Preston, Communication – Wednesday, February 26 View the entire schedule:

Introducing the new Newsworthy News online submission process!!!

Thanks to Diana Wu and the Office of Instructional Technology for making this possible. Now any faculty or student can submit directly to the editor any news story or event they would like. You can select what forms of media (Newsworthy News, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) you would like your story or event to be published in; our link is conveniently located one click away from the SOE homepage on the Newsworthy News archive site!

School of Education Newsworthy News link to see the archives:

Submission Form for uploading your news:

Please contact Editor Dave Brod at with any questions or concerns