Making The Grade, May/June 2014


A Message from the Dean

It seems impossible that graduation is upon us once again! Every year comes with its own particular challenges and rewards, and this year has been no exception. Through coordinated efforts of the entire SOE community--faculty, staff and students--we appear to be clearing the new hurdles posed by this climate of intensifying accountability. While the process has required busy people to be even busier, the first returns suggest that the strategies for student and faculty support are producing a good number of successful outcomes.

A quote by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been making the rounds in light of the young women taken hostage during their April school exams in Nigeria-- “The terrorists showed what frightened them most: a girl with a book.” The group responsible for this reprehensible abduction has seemingly declared war on education, conducting similar attacks on schools for boys as well. These troubling events, though half a world away, remind us of the tremendous responsibility that our candidates and graduates are charged with as they become educators: enlightening the minds of students by sharing the power that knowledge brings. Yours is a calling that changes the course of individual lives, families, communities, and indeed, nations.

We bid a good summer to our students returning to campus in the fall, and hope that they enjoy a restorative summer. To our graduating students, we send you off into the world with our full confidence that you will change more lives than you can imagine over the course of your career. Congratulations!

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


Commencement 2014

The week of May 19 was one filled with celebrations of our candidates’ many achievements and accomplishments during their studies at the Pace University School of Education. All week, and across two campuses, we celebrated our candidates for their academic and professional excellence.

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Is There an App for That? SOE Professors' Reseach Collaboration Examines Use of Technology in the Classroom

In fall 2013, School of Education Associate Professor Shobana Musti-Rao, PhD, and Assistant Professor Tom Liam Lynch, Eddy, began a research project to gauge the value of “app” technology for learning among elementary school students in an inclusive classroom setting. In the time since conducting their in-classroom study, Professors Musti-Rao and Lynch have published a practitioner-friendly manuscript for inclusion in Intervention in School and Clinic, a special education journal.

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"Teacher as Researcher" Presentations Close Out Semester--In Westchester & New York City

The School of Education is always delighted to celebrate the emerging scholarship among our teacher candidates completing their “Teacher as Researcher” coursework. This semester was no different, although in addition to our presentations in Westchester, we hosted an evening of research presentations on the New York City campus for the first time in many years.

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Expand Your Skills With Our Advanced Certificates & New TESOL Program

Ensure Success Transcends Language - Introducing our new Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program at Pace University with two exciting options:

  • 15-credit Advanced Certificate program in TESOL for classroom teachers with certification
  • 30-credit-Master of Science in Teaching (MST) program for career-changers with a bachelor’s degree in another field and at least 12 credits in a language other than English.

Develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for a rewarding career teaching linguistically and culturally diverse students in grades PreK – 12, an in-demand specialty. For more information, please contact Dr. Soonhyang Kim via email, or at 914-773-3251 (Westchester) or (212) 618-6957 (New York City).

Advanced Knowledge for Excellent Teaching - Student success in the classroom is the fundamental goal of every school and district, and we know that teachers are a school’s best resource to drive student success. Pace University’s School of Education offers educational courses and programs based on in-depth and updated research that address the real and ever-changing needs of today’s students and curricula, to help teachers to expand and strengthen their professional expertise to draw out the very best in each student. The Pace University School of Education offers courses and programs (leading to NYS certification) to give practicing classroom educators enhanced knowledge, skills and expertise in new specialties. Advanced Certificate programs we offer include:

  • Special Education, with specializations in childhood and adolescent education;
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages(TESOL), to address the learning needs of English language learners (ELLs), and culturally and linguistically diverse students;
  • Literacy Specialist preparation, for expertise in this fundamental and critical educational skill which figures so prominently in the Common Core, new testing and assessments for students.

All of our graduate and post-graduate programs offer convenient evening and online/hybrid courses for working teachers, with full- and part-time study available.

We look forward to working with you to advance the best in educational practices for you to advance your career, and most importantly, to drive and support your students’ success. If you have any questions about our advanced certificate programs, please contact John Di Natale, EdD, Director of Student Support Services via email or at 914-773-3571.

Pace Leads Westchester & NYC Schools in Inquiry Practices to Boost Student Achievement

“But who says that the essential question has an answer? The essence of man is to be a question, and the essence of the question is to be without answer.” –Elie Wiesel, The Town Beyond The Wall

Improving instruction through meaningful inquiry and reflection is the core of the Pace Inquiry Learning Collaborative, and was the essence of the presentations of its Teaching and Learning Conference held on May 19 at the Graduate Center.

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Temple Grandin Keynote Speaker at Artists With Autism Event in April

On Wednesday, April 16, Pace University in lower Manhattan held an event, “Training the Talent of Artists with Autism,” with keynote speaker Temple Grandin, PhD, at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts.  More than 250 students, faculty, staff and community members attended the event.

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Upward Bound Students Fashioning a Fierce Future

After last month’s “Fashioning a Future” fashion show, students from Upward Bound and Liberty Partnerships showed that they are cut from a different cloth—one of resourcefulness, creativity, determination and community.

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STEM-D Conference Helps Educators Share Strategies for Engagement

With science and math becoming essential to our technologically entrenched future, how can teachers of all grade levels best engage students in these crucial subjects? More than 120 regional educators joined the School of Education and its regional BOCES partners at the Pace University Graduate Center on May 15 to share best practices and strategies to foster budding engineers and scientists among today’s students through science, technology, engineering, math and design subjects (STEM-D).

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Student News

Welcome New Future Educators of America!

Twenty-two students were newly inducted and reaffirmed their commitment to the Future Educators of America (FEA) organization at Pace University in a small celebration on April 23.

Christine Clayton, EdD, Chair of the Pleasantville Department, spoke to the students during the festivities. She lauded the students for coming together to create and participate in a supportive community.

Community is critical to the practice of education, she said, particularly as students move into the profession as new teachers. “It is so vital to not only your success, but that of your students and school to connect to like-minded colleagues,” Dr. Clayton said. “We can do more good for students when we work together and learn together and that is what FEA is all about.”

"Thank you for being a vital part of the School of the Education,” she continued. “Continue to do the good work you are doing and let us know more about how we can work together to promote the important work of teaching in our society."

Thank you to advisor Professor Tony Alfonso and the FEA executive board for their leadership and commitment to creating a supportive and fun community of future educators:  Kelly Daly, Ashley Miranda, Ornella Salza, Lindsey Soto, Nicole Tata and Nicholas Wang.

Welcome new FEA members:


Jenny Appel

Ashley Balaban

Christina Basso

Courtney Blecker

Annie Casale

Johnny Chapeton

Giuseppina Corrado

Shannan Drew

Chidinma Irobunda

Christine Lattores

Victoria Mournhineway

Lucero Oceguera

Kimberly Persaud

Kaylee Piña

Carolina Ramon

Iman Sabbahi

Lisa-Marie Serrone

Michele Tuttle



FEA Rocks Relay

Congratulations to the FEA for raising more than $1,000 for the Relay for Life at Pace University. Overall, 65 teams for the University raised nearly $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. We are so proud!

Faculty & Staff News

We bid bittersweet goodbyes to several staff members this month: Sr. St. John, PhD, will be leaving the full-time faculty to dedicate more time to her role as the Director of the Center for Literacy Enrichment in White Plains, particularly as the Center plans to  expand its services to the Graduate Center in the coming months. Beth Kava will be retiring from Pace University this month, and Frank DeLuca, EdD, will be retiring from the University in June.   We are deeply indebted to Sister, Beth and Frank for positively     impacting the lives of students during their many years of service, and wish them all the very best in their future endeavors.

Congratulations to Brian Evans, EdD, for his appointment as a New York City faculty fellow. He will become involved with exploring more ideas to further the Pace campus mission foci of teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and civic engagement. According to the Provost, faculty fellows bring an important faculty perspective to university-wide planning and implementation processes. Brian will begin his two-year term in September, and will remain the New York City department chair.


Recent Presentations

Kathryn DeLawter, Sharon Medow, Jermain Smith. “Multimodal Literacies: Avatars Informing Teaching Practices,” Global Learning Alliance Conference, April 2014.

Sharon Medow, Teri Buch. “Setting the Pace in Early Childhood Inclusive Classroom Settings,” New York State Association for the Education of Young Children (NYSAEYC), April 2014.


SOE Makes Major Presentations at American Educational Research Association Meeting

School of Education faculty presented at the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Philadelphia from April 3 through April 7. This year’s theme was “The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy.”

A highlight of the conference was a symposium featuring the research findings of the School of Education’s Pace Inquiry Learning Collaborative, chaired by its director, Christine Clayton, EdD. The symposium, “Tilting towards Inquiry:  Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development,” included papers by:

  • Facilitating the Tilt: Reflections on Professional Development That Promotes Inquiry in High-Stakes Times. Christine D. Clayton, Pace University; James F. Kilbane, Tulane University; Dr. Lauren Beth Birney, Pace University; Joan S. Kass, Pace University; Beth Kava, Pace University, Participants.
  • Moving Beyond Active Learning: Deepening Learning Through Reflective Lab Notebooks. Jason Choi, Tarrytown UFSD, Participant.
  • An Inquiry-Based Approach to the Imperative Mood in Spanish. Elena Pousada, Sleepy Hollow High School, Participant.
  • Building Ownership Inside Out: Self-Assessment and Writing in a Science Classroom. Joyce Kong, NYC Department of Education, Participant.
  • The Great Exhale: Interdisciplinary Inquiry With Ninth Graders in a City High School.Teresa Bologna, Bronx High School for the Visual Arts; Jim Nordlinger, Bronx High School for the Visual Arts; Nancy Rinaldi, Bronx High School for the Visual Arts, Participants.
  • Assessing Ambitious Pedagogy in a Time of Standardized Assessments: What Teacher Work Samples Reveal. James F. Kilbane, Tulane University; Christine D. Clayton; Mary Rose McCarthy, Participants.

A listing of faculty presenters at AERA and their work follows:

Francine C. Falk-Ross, PhD

  • Instructional Technology Roundtable Session: Web-Based Technologies. Educational Technology Facilitators: Agents of Change, with Jenny Sora, Pace University.Participant.
  • Research in Reading and Literacy; Business Meeting. Chair.

Soonhyang Kim, PhD

  • Narrative Research Roundtable Session: Narratives of Teachers: Grand, Cultural, and Messy. We Teach Who We Are: Cultural Narratives as a Classroom Model. Participant.

Tom Liam Lynch, EdD

  • Learning and Instruction Symposium: From Online to Off-Line: Examining Gaming Environments and Innovative Learning. Multimodal Miracles: The Kinds of Literacy Experiences Video Games (and Their Developers) Enable and Inhibit. Participant.

Mary Rose McCarthy, PhD

  • Religion and Education Paper Session: Issues in Faith-Based Education. Discussant.
  • History and Historiography Paper Session:Education Reform at the Turn of the 20th Century. Improving the Life of the Poor: Grace Dodge’s Membership on the New York City Board of Education, 1886-1889. Participant.

Peter McDermott, PhD

  • Teaching and Teacher Education Paper Session:Literacy and Language in STEM Teaching.An Analysis of Teachers’ Use of Technology in Elementary Reading Lessons. Participant.

Joan Walker, PhD

  • Family, School, Community Partnerships Roundtable Session:Building Preservice Teachers’ Understanding of Family Involvement Through Meaningful Pedagogy. Chair & Participant. Testing an Innovative Approach to Developing Teachers’ Home-School Communication Skills: Multimedia, Online Case Studies. Participant.

Alumni News

Congratulations to School of Education alumna Natacha Robert, who was honored for three years in the teaching profession at the Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT) 20th Anniversary Celebration Breakfast on May 2 at the Westchester Marriott Hotel. Ms. Roberts teaches History at New Rochelle High School. TSTT was founded 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.

Jessica Calamera, BA/MSEd‘13, has been busy promoting her new full-length CD, "This Much Fun." She's been performing live, and in October 2013, was a finalist in the American Country Star Finals, a Nashville-based online show to find the country's next country star. Her “This Much Fun” taped concert will be broadcast on PBS WCNY on May 31.  In June, she will be a WHUD featured artist of the month. She has a number of shows coming up, locally at the Montauk Music Festival, the Taste of Country Festival at Hunter Mountain NY Country Jam Music Festival in Colorado, and Headwaters Country Jam in Montana. All our best for your continued success!

Keep in touch, Alumni! 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.

School of Education In The News

Christine Clayton, EdD, comments on the hasty, flawed implementation of the edTPA as a certification requirement in this op-ed piece, published in The Journal News; Our STEM-D Conference inspires a blog posting in the Huffington Post and more

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