School of Education Newsletter, May/June 2013


A Message from the Dean

As we wind down from not only another outstanding semester, but from a busy commencement season, I’m pleased to give my heartiest congratulations to all of our students on all that they have accomplished.

We bid a bittersweet farewell to our graduates this month. While we are sad to see leave the familiar students we have seen grow into compassionate educators, we know that they will bring so much warmth, energy, creativity and hunger for knowledge into lives of students throughout the NY metro area and beyond. We burst with pride at their accomplishments, their commitment to helping children and young adults, their readiness to meet the many challenges that they will face in the classroom and a constantly changing educational landscape. They emerge from our hallowed halls carrying with them the very best of the School and Pace University: most of all, a desire to help all students, from the eager and outwardly ambitious, but also the students who require a little more support, patience and coaching to be their best. This is perhaps our most enduring  and promising legacy.

We wish our returning students a relaxing and refreshing summer, so that you may come back to campus ready to take on the world. You too make us very proud. Emerging researchers, committed volunteers, academic leaders. We are ever committed to ensuring you all have the best opportunity and access to the tools and experiences that will help you as you become the teachers of a new era with so much to offer.

Andrea (Penny) Spencer, PhD
Dean, School of Education
Pace University

Commencement 2013

Commencement activities drew to a close on a beautiful day in Pleasantville on May 17.  All week, we celebrated our candidates for their academic and professional excellence with friends and family on two campuses.

Notably, our students received awards not only for achievements in the School of Education, but were also recognized for academic excellence from Dyson College of Arts and Sciences for the areas of their teaching concentration. Victoria Salame, MST’13, received the Modern Languages and Cultures award recognizing her academic excellence in Spanish during the Dyson College pre-commencement awards ceremony. Salame is seeking certification in French, Italian and Spanish. Melissa Meireles, BA ’13, received a School of Education award for earning the highest GPA among her graduating class, but also was honored by Dyson for “excellence and demonstrated potential in the field of mathematics.”

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Summer (Courses) With Us!

Sunglasses, check. Sunblock, check. Hot best seller, check.  Class towards certification extension? No? Call us.

Spend your summer with School of Education to move your career forward. Take classes towards a new certificate, extension, or to increase your confidence in implementing new curricular strategies with the Pace University School of Education this summer. Our convenient online and evening courses will suit your summer schedule and are perfect for current students, alumni and practicing teachers!  Learn more at For registration assistance, call the School of Education office at (914) 773-3829.

Work towards Middle School certification this June & July!

Pace University offers the two courses that New York State for the extension in June and July.

Learn more about our Summer 2013 Middle School Courses

Courses for Classroom Teachers

Join us this summer to enhance your classroom practice and confidence in implementing the new Common Core standards.

Learn More about our Summer 2013 Courses for Inservice Teachers

Create Pathways to Understanding with Bilingual Education Courses

Advance your work with bilingual students, in a multi-lingual setting, or work towards the bilingual extension with our Summer 2013 offerings.

Learn More about our Summer 2013 Bilingual Education Courses

SOE Launches Headways for High School Students

The School of Education is pleased to announce the launch of Headways, an intensive two-week program for high school juniors and seniors. Developed by the SOE and the Counseling Center, Headways is designed to support students who want to be best prepared for the demands of college and work after high school.  Students will learn about their individual learning style and personalized technology tools and digital strategies for success during this two week program.

The program runs from August 5 through August 16.

For more information, please visit or download our flier.

Pace Students, Alumni Celebrated at TSTT Event

Evelisse Mercado, Catherine Flores and Leslie Peidra were recognized as graduating seniors at the TSTT breakfast on May 3.

Alumna Jessica Zhnin was honored for three years in teaching.

School of Education students and alumni had quite a showing at the 18th Annual Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT) Recognition Breakfast on May 3 at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel.

SOE seniors Catherine Flores, Leslie Peidra, and Evelisse Mercado were honored for their graduation from Pace University. Alumni were honored as Perkins Scholars for various milestones in the teaching profession: Jessica Zhinin (3 years), Daniel Calabro (5 years) and Mario Suarez (10 years). 

“The School of Education is proud to be a longtime college partner with Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers,” said Associate Dean Annjanet Woodburn. “Their commitment to mentor and support culturally diverse students as they become future educators is very closely aligned with our conceptual beliefs and mission.”

TSTT was founded nearly 20 years ago by Pace alumna Bettye Perkins and we enjoy a very special relationship with this organization committed to supporting students as they transition into college and pursue teaching as a career.


SOE Plans, Participates in May Conferences

Faculty and staff of the School of Education are keeping May an event-filled month beyond classes ending, final exams and commencement by planning and participating in conferences related to advancing excellent, efficacious and innovative teaching practices.

Faculty members from both Pleasantville and New York City met for the 12th Annual Faculty Institute, a two-day gathering of breakout sessions on our New York City campus on May 21 and 22. School of Education faculty, including Lauren Birney, Brian Evans, Fran Falk-Ross, Shobana Musti-Rao, Peter McDermott, Raquel Plotka and Joan Walker, presented a report on the Teaching Circles held with Dyson, Lubin and Seidenberg faculty throughout the Spring to improve pedagogical practices throughout Pace University, to further enhance student learning. Fran Falk-Ross, Kelley Lassman and Pete McDermott also discussed technology integration in another session. Sharon Medow and Kelley Lassman closed out the first day of sessions with a discussion of using multimedia to prepare teacher candidates (complete with a TeachLivE demonstration). Soonhyang Kim and Joan Walker shared detailed presentations about their recent research on day two.

Together with regional BOCES, the School of Education was pleased to present the “Ensuring Learning For All Children: Sharing Successful Strategies for Students Who Struggle” conference at the Pace University Graduate Center on May 22. Nearly 200 teachers attended this day-long conference focused on student engagement and more than 50 regional teachers presented workshops and breakout sessions sharing strategies and practices that have proven successful in their classrooms—for both struggling and motivated students. Keynote speaker Kevin Feldman, EdD, cited the need to create a culture of active student learners where “engagement is not a choice,” that school is a “no-chill zone” where everyone participates and strives to improve (teachers as well as students).

Improving instruction through meaningful inquiry and reflection was the theme of the Teaching and Learning Conference, also held on May 22 at the Graduate Center, for teachers involved in the  Pace Inquiry Learning Collaborative, funded now for four years through New York State’s  Teacher Leader Quality Partnership Program.  This program connects School of Education and Dyson faculty to secondary teachers from a variety of schools, subject and experience levels to promote collaborative student-teacher inquiry learning; that is, engaging in a mutual process of questioning, ‘evidence gathering’ and reflection. Thirty-five teachers from Bronx High School for the Visual Arts, Millennium High School, Peekskill High and Middle schools, and Sleepy Hollow High School participated in the program and most shared the results of the work at the Conference. “The value you add by engaging in the ‘messiness’ of this process, by taking a leap of faith, is that you practice and model what you hope your students will do,” said Christine Clayton, EdD, Principal Investigator for the TLQP grant, during a dinner that followed the presentations.

The School of Education, together with Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, will present the first Pace STEM Collaboratory Conference on June 1.  The day-long conference will feature interactive sessions, guest speakers, a presentation of science education mobile apps developed together by Collaboratory teachers and Seidenberg graduate students, as well as a discussion of perspectives in STEM education. This is a free event, and space limited at the time of this writing. Click here to register.

TOC Program Celebrated Emerging Educators and Community

How do we use a community’s resources to promote social justice and student engagement in our classrooms and ultimately, in our schools?

The School of Education community and honored guests gathered at the beautiful jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab on April 18.

The Pace School of Education Teacher Opportunity Corps Program has explored this guiding question throughout this school year. This year’s worth of reflection culminated in a student film exhibition at the Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab in Pleasantville on April 18.

The exhibition featured a short film inspired by an urban expedition by School of Education candidates to the community of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to explore this key guiding question. The film depicts our developing educators exploring this community and engaging the principal of a unique high school, a compassionate community-based leader advocating for children of incarcerated parents, and a local business owner who serves up more than tea and baked goods for neighbors and students.

“Engaging students in this type of expeditionary learning in the community, where they can see for themselves the ways that schools, families and communities intersect and can align to achieve their goals,” said Pat Parrilla, Coordinator of the Teacher Opportunity Corps.

In addition, students each shared a slice of their own lives through short digital narratives, designed as an introductory lesson to share with their classroom students as a seed for relationship building in their classroom community.

The participating students are members of the School of Education’s Teacher Opportunity Corps, a program that supports the preparation of teacher candidates to become classroom educators and leaders who enable and empower students to learn and achieve, regardless of perceived limitations of abilities or environment. This program helps students celebrate the dynamic relationship between schools, families and communities to ensure the promise and integrity of students’ aspirations.

The Teacher Opportunity Corps of the School of Education also honored Westchester and New York City community partners who share the program’s core beliefs, including ‘looking below the surface’ to meaningfully engage and inspire students. The “Iceberg Awards” honored the following for supporting students, families and schools as active members of their community:

Iceberg Award honorees gather.
  • Marianne Rossant, Founder, The Urban Dove Team Charter School, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York.
  • Sharon Content, Founder & President, Children of Promise, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York.
  • Dashua Perkins, Owner, The Tiny Cup café, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York.
  • Edi Juricic, Expeditionary Learning Team Leader, Outward Bound.
  • Sister St. John Delany, Director, Center for Literacy Enrichment, Pace University, School of Education.
  • Emily Keating, Director of Education Programs, Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, New York.

“This was an absolutely awesome celebration of our candidates and how they internalize our conceptual mission, and act on it to become conscientious, dedicated teachers,” Parrilla said. “This was an opportunity to showcase our candidates and their belief in the promise and ability of all children to learn.”

New York State Field Tests for New Certification Exams: Opportunities Available for May - June 2013

Juniors, Seniors & Graduate Students: Please note important field test opportunity for the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) program!!

Field testing for the following tests is available through June 3, 2013 at Pearson Professional Centers and Pearson Authorized Test Centers throughout New York State. 

  • Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)
  • Educating All Students (EAS) Test

Participation in the field tests will allow candidates to:

  • Gauge professional knowledge by taking actual test items;
  • Gain practical testing experience; and
  • Provide input on the test that will be taken by future educators.

For each test form completed, participants are offered their choice of ONE of the following:

  • a $50 voucher that can be applied toward future test registration fees; or
  • a $100 Penguin® Books gift code.

In addition, participants may be entered into a drawing to win one of two available Apple® iPad® mobile devices (approximate retail value $399 each) or one of two $100 VISA® or MasterCard® gift cards.

Who is eligible to participate?

Qualified participants are juniors, seniors, or graduate students currently or recently enrolled in an approved educator preparation program preparing them for initial New York State licensure.

Eligible students can visit the NYSTCE field test website to register:

When does registration begin?

Registration is available beginning May 1, 2013.

Click for more information on the new tests and testing requirements

If you have any questions, please contact Pearson Customer Support at

Student News

Alex Lengers ‘13 presented at the Second Annual Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Showcase in Pleasantville on May 1. Alex is an Adolescent Education major with a concentration in Earth Science. He spent the past year researching "A Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction of the Wallkill River Valley," which included a study of remains of megafauna like mastodons in nearby Orange County, New York.




Pi Lambda Theta inducted 18 new students into the honor society on May 3. Congratulations to Laura Bellizzi, John Benit, Margaret Bradley, Leslie Comegys, Melissa Delvecchio, Raina Cunzio, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Lutvija Frljuckic, Jessica Lolis, Shivani Modi, Ashley Romm, Rebecca Sue Sciame, Daniella Sinapi, Jordan Tempro, Robert Thomas, Catherine Villaquiran and Kaitlyn Zezze.


Six School of Education students have been accepted into the Beta Eta chapter of Lambda Sigma, a national sophomore honor society, for the 2013-14 academic year. Lambda Sigma is dedicated to fostering leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and the spirit of service among college students during the sophomore year and is limited to 10% of the sophomore class. Congratulations to John Chapeton, Jennifer Cusack, Kelly Daly, Ornella Salza, Lindsey Soto, and Nicholas Wang.


The School of Education received the "Highest School Cumulative GPA Award" at the Plynteria Academic Award Luncheon on April 17. The School was recognized for earning the highest cumulative GPA amongst the Greek community.

Pictured from left, Caylie Lehrer (Phi Sigma Sigma), Dean Spencer and Stephanie Georgioudakis (Phi Sigma Sigma) represented the School of Education.



Alumni News

Former New York City Teaching Fellow Peter Sipe, MST ’04, wrote an editorial published in US Today reflecting on his students and an intruder/safety drill in their school. “I hope my teaching career is filled with fond memories,” he writes in the piece, published in March. “But what I hope most is that our children remember the worst threat they faced in my classroom was boredom.” Sipe teaches in Boston.

Julie (LaConte) Gencarelli was recently awarded the Gertrude Rossin Cultural Grant for 2013 from announced by New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT). The grant was used to fund activities for Foreign Language Week Celebration at Valhalla Middle School from March 4- March 8, 2013. Two dance instructors from the Lorenz Latin Dance Studio came to teach student and teachers various Latin dances, such as the Bachata, Salsa, and Merenguge.  Gencarelli is a Spanish teacher at the school, and this grant award reflects not only on her creativity, but the integration of the teaching of language and culture as per the National Foreign Language Learning Standards and the NYS LOTE Learning Standards

Two School of Education alumna received awards from the national nonprofit Fund for Teachers in April.  Liv Dillion, MST ’10, was awarded a grant to join citizen science projects in southeast Asia, which will inform her work with high school students scuba diving to restore the oyster and eelgrass populations in the New York City marine ecosystem.  Dillon, an SOE alum and a current STEM fellow, teaches at the new York Harbor School. Maria Stasavage, an alum of our Teacher Leadership Quality Partnership Program (TLQP) was awarded a grant to visit historically and culturalls significant sites in Turkey to learn about Islam and collect information for a contemporary world literature course on Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and One Thousand Splendid Suns. Stasavage teaches at Millenium High School in New York. The Fund for Teachers made a total of 531 grants totaling $2 million to help classroom teachers grow as educators, and supports the personal and professional growth of teachers by supporting global opportunities that will impact students and school communities. Great job!

Alumni, keep in touch! Have you gotten a new job, initiated an exciting new program with your students, or assumed a leadership role in your school? Are you starting a new educational venture? Are you traveling, have an engagement/marriage/commitment to share, or a new arrival in the family? We'd love to hear about it! Please contact Sofia Dupi, Communications Coordinator, via e-mail or (914) 773-3943.

Faculty & Staff News

LPP Site Coordinator Daniel Tejada has been selected to deliver the keynote speech to the 2013 graduating class of George Westinghouse High School. Daniel is a graduate of the school and currently works at the High School for Economics and Finance.

The Center for Literacy Enrichment, led by Sister St. John Delany,  and El Centro Hispano in White Plains celebrated the conclusion of a collaborative language development program on May 5. Since January, 25 kindergarten and first grade students met twice a week with three School of Education students at El Centro for reading, vocabulary, comprehension and writing skills enrichment.  White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach was on hand to celebrate the children, their families and this accomplishment.

From left, Drs. Musti-Rao, Soodak and Professor Kava at the Pleasantville Research Day exhibition.

Congratulations to School of Education faculty who were honored at the University’s First Annual Research Days, in Pleasantville on April 25, and in New York on April 30. In addition to an all-day poster presentation, remarks and awards were given to faculty members who obtained grants in FY 2011-2012. Christine Clayton, Leslie Soodak, Bobbe Wiener, Fran Falk-Ross and Jennifer Efferen received awards and commendation from Provost Sukhatme. In addition, Brian Evans, Xiao-Lei Wang and Sr. St. John also presented during these showcases. In his remarks, the provost emphasized the importance of research and the commitment that both Pace and the individual Schools have made to ensure we grow as a research institution. Among the goals of this exhibition, he said, were “finding innovative directions for new knowledge and stimulating more collaboration between campuses.”



The School of Education co-sponsored the “Inclusion Requires Participation” conference with the ARISE Coalition on April 27 on the NYC campus. Adjunct professor Mark Surabian organized the conference, which consisted entirely of students and young people presenting how assistive technology has transformed the way they learn and communicate—both in and out of the classroom.


School of Education faculty presented at the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in San Francisco from April 27 through May 1. This year’s theme was “Education and Poverty: Theory, Research, Policy, and Praxis.” A listing of faculty presenters and their work follows:

Christine Clayton, EdD

  • Professional Development in Rural and Isolated Areas. Teaching and Teacher Education Paper Session. "Growing Into Inquiry: Stories of Teachers Using Inquiry for Themselves and Their Students." With Mary Rose McCarthy, PhD.

Mary Rose McCarthy, PhD

  • Voices of Change in the History of Education. History and Historiography Roundtable Session. "Continuity for Change: Case Study of a Successful High School Principal."
  • Critical Teaching for Social Justice in the Classroom. Critical Educators for Social Justice Roundtable Session. "Critical Pedagogy, Social Justice, and Early College High School Students."
  • Judaeo-Christian Perspectives on Contemporary Issues in Religion. Religion and Education Paper Session. Discussant.

Joan Walker, PhD

  • Classroom Management Research Presentations. Classroom Management Paper Session. "Let’s Get (Virtually) Real: Learning About Classroom Management."
  • Culturally Responsive With Multiple Ways of Looking at Our Families. Family, School, Community Partnerships Roundtable Session. "Realizing the American Dream: A Parent Education Program Designed to Engage Latino Families’ Involvement."

Fran Falk-Ross, PhD

  • Using Mobile Technology for Instruction. Technology, Instruction, Cognition & Learning Roundtable Session. "Netbook Computers in a Bilingual Classroom of Low Socioeconomic Status: Student Achievement and Teacher Practice." with graduate student Holly Bukofser.

Tom Liam Lynch, EdD

  • Left Behind in the Race to the Top: Realities of Education Reform. Politics of Education Symposium. "Becoming Soft(a)ware: A Framework for the Critical Analysis of Educational Software."

Pete McDermott, PhD

  • Impact of Place. Teaching and Teacher Education Roundtable Session. "What We Learned From Observing Urban and Suburban Children’s Performance With the New Literacies."


Professor Ainsley Adams attended the “Museums and Higher Education in the 21st Century: Collaborative Methods and Models for Innovation” conference at Baruch College on April 25.


Professor Sharon Medow presented at the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC) Conference at Turning Stone Conference Center in Verona, NY from April 4-6.   Her presentation, “Holding Hands Together in Early Childhood Inclusive Settings,”  was an interactive workshop which highlighted early literacy, language development processes, social skills and shared video clips by our Campus Based Inclusion students, in which they shared their views and experiences attending inclusion classes.  “Their authentic and descriptive reflections are inspiring and stand as exemplars for promoting collaborative teaching models,” she said.


Professor Emeritus Sandy Flank, PhD, has been engaging with a school on a Navajo reservation in Utah throughout the Spring semester on a variety of projects. She visited the reservation in February to learn about the reservation school system and teach about science. In April, she arranged for Pat Seltzer, the principal of Monument Valley High School on that reservation, to speak to a School of Education class via Skype on “Non-Native Americans Teaching About Native Americans.” Many thanks to Dr. Flank for bringing this unique cultural experience to the School of Education and further enriching our candidates’ cultural competency.

School of Education In the News

Check out this selection of media stories featuring School of Education faculty, staff  and students. For a complete list, please visit the In The News page on our website.

5.23.2013 - The Journal News  Expert: Teachers Must Constantly Engage Struggling Students   Coordinator of Professional Development Fran Wills, PhD, discusses the importance of teachers sharing with their peers proven strategies for student engagement at our "Ensuring Learning For All Students" Conference on May 22.

5.13.2013 -The Hill  Congress Blog  "Congress Must Act Now to Address Mental Illness in Schoolchildren" This op-ed by Dean Spencer supports The Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013 (S. 195), as related to her earlier advocacy for identifying and addressing urgent needs in children's mental and developmental health, to not only prevent incidents of violence, but to create greater opportunities for all children.

4.18.2013 -Pleasantville Daily Voice  Pace Education Leaders Host Student Films, Awards at Jacob Burns  A preview of the Pace School of Education Teacher Opportunity Corps Program presentation of School of Education student films at the Jacob Burns Film Center Media Arts Lab in Pleasantville on April 18. The exhibition will feature a short film inspired by an urban expedition to the community of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to explore a key guiding question:  How do we use a community’s resources to promote social justice and student engagement in our classrooms and ultimately, in our schools?  In addition, students will each share a slice of their own lives through short digital narratives.

4.4.2013 - The Journal News  Eastchester Principal Walter Moran To Be New Superintendent  Eastchester Middle School Principal Walter Moran has been selected as the new superintendent for the district. Dr. Moran earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Pace University and his doctorate in executive leadership from Fordham University.

3.21.2013 - NBC Latino  Challenges and Tips for Raising Bilingual Children  Professor Xiao-lei Wang, PhD, shares tips and strategies for raising multi-lingual children, based on her extensive research.

3.18.2013 -Education Week  Better Parent-Teacher Conferences Goal of Online Class  Associate Professor Joan Walker speaks with Education Week's "K-12 Parents and the Public Blog" about her award-winning research on parent-teacher communication and the development of an online course to help educators engage in important conversations with families.

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