School of Education Newsletter, November 2013


A Message from the Dean

It is with some measure of disbelief that we’re winding down another fall semester. This fall, the School of Education has been laying the foundations for an expansion of our programs, which will enhance our overall mission to prepare excellent educators prepared to meet the ever-changing demands on the American education system.

We are pleased to formally announce the return of the undergraduate program to the New York City campus for Fall 2014. Having an undergraduate presence in both New York City and Westchester will only benefit our students, who can experience both urban and suburban educational environments through their fieldwork and coursework and working with a variety of students and teachers in many different schools and classrooms. These experiences will enrich candidates’ knowledge and professional skills, and carry over into their teaching careers.

We will have more programmatic announcements in the next few months. Until then, I wish everyone a wonderful end-of-the-semester and holiday season.

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

Sr. St. John Receives Proclamation, Recognition From City of White Plains

October 24, 2013 was proclaimed "Sr. St. John Day" in White Plains! Sister St. John Delany, PhD, received a proclamation from White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach in a ceremony at the Center for Literacy Enrichment located on the Pace Law School campus.

Sister was honored and celebrated for her extensive work in developing the academic skills and sharing her love of literature with thousands of Westchester schoolchildren, not to mention the impact she has made on countless Pace students and School of Education candidates. The room was filled with Sister’s friends and supporters from the Westchester community, including Interim Superintendent of White Plains schools Timothy Connors and fellow educators and administration officials from Pace University.

In a heart-felt speech, Mayor Roach spoke about Sister’s dedication to teaching, her contributions to literacy in Westchester, and the countless students she has taught through the years. “Sister Delaney is a remarkable person who has been teaching and caring for others for most of her life.  You can see the affection that the young people who work with her have for her and it is heart-warming and inspiring to watch. That’s the kind of thing you can’t quantify.”

Sister St. John absolutely exemplifies the values of the Pace University School of Education,” says Andrea (Penny) Spencer, Dean of the School of Education. “As a teacher, she is a tireless advocate who ensures that all students have the skills and opportunities to grow into excited and life-long learners. She further serves as a beloved instructor and mentor to pre-service educators, inspiring them to create caring classroom communities where learning is a joy, not a task.”

Sister St. John taught first grade in White Plains from 1941 to 1972 before founding the Center for Literacy Enrichment and becoming an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Pace University. Sister’s former students include U.S. Poet Laureate (2004-2006) Billy Collins, football great Bob Hyland and Pat Casey, editor of the White Plains Examiner. Sister will also be honored on December 6 at a lunch at the Marriot in Tarrytown as a Senior Hall of Fame Honoree for her significant contributions to enhance educational opportunities and achievement for Westchester County children.

Years before commercial tutoring centers became the norm, Pace University’s Center for Literacy Enrichment was established offered affordable literacy instruction to students of all ages. This year, the Center is proudly celebrating its 41st anniversary with its founder and Director, Sister St. John Delany. “We encourage students in their efforts with their studies,” said Sister at the ceremony. “We tell the students, ‘You can do it. You can do better’ … and they do.”

Congratulations to Sister! Pictured from left, Sister St. John Delany, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach and Dean Penny Spencer.

SOE Candidates Learn About Teaching the Native American Experience Through Webchats

How can teachers share lessons about the Native American experience that are authentic and engaging? Students in the School of Education at Pace University learned how through Skype chat sessions with a retired Navajo school principal on November 5 and 7.

Patricia Seltzer, retired 20-year principal of the Monument Valley High School located on a Navajo reservation in Monument Valley, Utah, lectured to School of Education candidates in Professor Ainsley Adams’ undergraduate social studies teaching methods courses about how to teach about Native American history and life in the classroom.

“The presentations on the lives and education of Navajo people were sensational,” said Professor Adams. “The students were shocked by the conditions that humans in this day and age have to endure because they are Native Americans.”

“History came alive for the students.  The stories of suffering went beyond the text,” Professor Adams continued.

The experience was particularly enlightening to students who are less familiar with Native American nations, especially those of the Western United States. Monument Valley is a territory of the Navajo nation covering land in Utah and Arizona. The area is a well-known destination for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Monument Valley High School is a small junior/senior high school with less than 300 students. Most families in the rural area live below the federal poverty level. Agriculture is a major part of the school curriculum, with students helping to maintain orchards of pear and apricot trees, in addition to keeping livestock.

The idea for these chat sessions came when Professor Adams approached Sandra Flank, PhD, Professor Emeritus of the School of Education, about making the connection to Ms. Seltzer. Dr. Flank is active in promoting special projects for the School of Education, especially science-related activities and partnerships.

The Monument Valley chat is the first planned for the 2013-2014 academic year. Another chat, in which a woman will share her experiences growing up on a Seneca reservation, will be forthcoming.

“These experiences are exemplary of the School of Education’s commitment to preparing our candidates to become culturally competent educators who will pass on this type of valuable experiential learning to their future students,” says Andrea Spencer, PhD, Dean of the School of Education. “The School embraces technology that connects students to global resources. We are so fortunate to have innovative faculty who are continually exploring new ideas that help us to prepare highly competent, creative teachers."

Professor Adams plans to offer the Skype opportunity to his students again next year.

The sessions were recorded and will be available for viewing via the University’s iTunes U channel. Please check our website and social media channels for the links.

Actors, Avatars Help Candidates Refine Classroom Practice and Presentation

Every day, teachers present expertly prepared material in front of an audience of students whose attention is not guaranteed. So it makes sense for SOE candidates to learn keys to performance success from experts—actors.

But it wasn’t about soliloquies for students in this semester’s TCH 301: Understanding Teaching & Learning with Joan Walker, PhD. Dr. Walker brought in actors on October 30 and November 1 to work with School of Education candidates on various aspects of their classroom presence and presentation. Because educators often have to respond on their feet to whatever a student has to say, many of the exercises the actors—who are also certified and experienced teachers—engaged our candidates in revolved around improv techniques, and related on-the-spot reaction techniques. The actors led students in exercises that also forced them to think about how they convey authority and status vocally, through posture and how they move in their environment.

All of these expressive manners helped our candidates come to a greater understanding and self-awareness of how they present themselves to their students and how these manners affect how they are ultimately perceived and accepted by their students. Lessons about positioning and proximity were hammered home by the visiting actors, who shared their own experiences in how these techniques helped make the difference in capturing or losing a student’s attention in various classrooms.

Our candidates then got the opportunity to practice these different countenances with the TeachLivE avatars, seeing for themselves how students engaged, reacted or shut down altogether based on a teacher’s appearing indifferent, frantically high-energy, or confident and collected.

For the second day of exercises, candidates prepared 2 minute drills using the engagement techniques to master desisting behaviors arising from setting classroom rules and expectations with the avatar students—who were not always cooperative. One avatar immediately challenged a candidates rule prohibiting the use of swear words in expressing oneself in English class. The candidate responded quickly with proximity, lowering his voice and firmly laying down the law with the unruly avatar. Other candidates also skillfully circumvented avatar-student disruptions and successfully managed to explain their classroom expectations and get the class on track for learning.

Special Courses for Spring 2014


Join Dr. McCarthy for EDU 200i: Education & Society: Access, Opportunities & Outcomes, a 3 credit course that will explore the American educational system and what proposed changed could mean for students, equality of access, opportunities and outcomes. This course is open to all undergraduates and fulfills requirements for Honors College students’ honors credits. Learn more
New Special Topics Course for Spring 2014: New Literacies for Instruction & Assessment Across the Curriculum that Meet the Common Core Learning Standards. This online course will show candidates how to integrate the new technologies into their teaching across the curriculum. This course may be applied toward the MSEd in Literacy or the Advanced Certificate in Literacy. Learn more
Undergraduates & Graduates
Get Savvy with Interactive White Boards! These tech tools are in classrooms everywhere—learn the ins and outs of using one in your teaching practice. This one-credit course is offered for both Graduate( EDU 696A/22589) and Undergraduate ( EDU 200A/22537)students, with two convenient sections in Pleasantville and is taught by an area educator who uses white boards daily in his classroom. Learn more

Join Professor Adams for a Faculty-Led Study Abroad experience to Trinidad & Tobago. Students will study and prepare during Spring 2014 for a trip from May 25-June 8, 2014 to experience life in this Caribbean nation through the eyes of an educator, teaching lessons to school children and learning about the educational system of a developing country with a rich and diverse culture.  Learn more

Practicing Educational Professionals

Bring online teaching & learning into your school! With Dr. Lynch’s online course offering, Learning Online: Curriculum, Instruction and Implementation Design, you will be prepared to develop a strategy for implementation of a digital education program in your school or district. Perfect for practicing teachers or administrators. Learn more

Parent conferences and tough conversations are all part of the job for a teacher—but few are truly prepared to navigate these difficult conversations. Let’s Talk, Dr. Joan Walker’s innovative online program based on her award-winning research, can change that. This online program is perfect for busy practicing teachers to gain the skills and knowledge to make these challenging conversations productive and positive. Learn more


Faculty/Staff News

Innovation and Research Represented at Conferences Far and Wide







Drs. Hill & Birney in Borneo.

Lauren Birney, EdD, has been active in presenting both nationally and internationally to promote STEM-related research, often with Dr. Jonthan Hill from Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, her co-PI for the Pace STEM Collaboratory. They have presented most recently on building STEM Education with multinational partnerships, stakeholders and constituents at several conferences, including the STEM Forum & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri (May 15-18); International Conference on Management and Information Systems in Bangkok, Thailand (Sept. 22-24); World STEM Conference in Borneo Malaysia (Sept. 29 – Oct. 2); Transnational STEAM Conferencein Borneo, Malaysia (Oct. 3 – 5); National Science Teachers Association Conferences in Portland, Oregon, (Sept. 24-26) and in Denver, Colo., slated for Dec. 11-14; and Hawaii International Conference on Education in Oahu, Hawaii (Jan. 5-8, 2014). In addition, Dr. Birney presented “Working with Foundations and Private Enterprise to Meet Shared STEM Goals,” at the Triangle Coalition for STEM Education Annual Conference in Washington DC from Sept. 11-13.

Kelley Lassman, PhD, was the co-chair for the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders’ 2013 conference in Chicago, which met from Sept. 26-29. The theme was “A Brighter Future: Prevention and Intervention on behalf of students with Challenging Behaviors.” There she presented a poster on recent research utilizing coaching, video review and the TeachLivE avatars to advance the classroom management skills of Special Education Teaching Fellows, “Classroom Management Skill Development with Avatars, Live Coaching, and Video Review.” This was the first in more publications/presentations to come on this use of the avatar technology that really resonates with students.

Fran Falk-Ross, PhD, and Linda Carlson took five MST graduate students from their methods classes to the “Constructivist Conference for Math” at MoMath (the Museum of Mathematics) on East 26th Street on October 18. The conference included NYC school visits, museum work-shops, and architectural walking tours. “It was an exceptional opportunity to view applications of math in curriculum, NYC buildings and the environment,” reports Dr. Falk-Ross.

Dr. Lassman and Professor Sharon Medow  (photo, left) presented at the 2013 New York State Council for Exceptional Children conference in Melville from Oct. 24-25. Along the theme of “Education Improvement for All,” they presented “Teacher Training through Simulation and Video Recording.”

The 44th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Educational Research Association (NERA) convened in Rocky Hill, Conn. Wednesday, Oct. 23 through Friday, Oct. 25, with a theme of “Fairness.” Graduate degree candidate Alisa Mahoney presented “Manipulating Math: A Hands-On Approach to Teaching Mathematics” during paper presentation 1.7, “Teaching Math: Research on Math Pedagogy and Practice.” Peter McDermott, PhD, presented a co-written paper, “The Use of New Technologies in Reading Lessons: A Case Study of One Urban Elementary School” and Dr. Falk-Ross presented “Initiatives in Afterschool Literacy eTutoring” during Paper Presentation 3.8, “Education in a Changing World: The Effect of Instructional Technology & Online Classrooms on Achievement.” In session 4.7, “Professional Development: Improving Teacher and Student Outcomes?” Brian Evans, EdD, presented “Mathematics Content Knowledge, Anxiety, and Efficacy Among Traditional and Alternative Certification Elementary School Teachers,” and Dr. Falk-Ross presented “To Infinity and Beyond: A Study of One-on-One Teacher Technology Training” on behalf of graduate candidate Margaret Sullivan.

The New York State Reading Association Conference met in Albany from Oct. 27-29. Dr. McDermott served on the conference planning committee, and madea co-presentation on using screencasting in classroom teaching, “Using Multimedia Composing for Engaging All Learners,” for grades 6-12. Dr. Falk-Ross, Professor Medow and SOE graduate candidates Zhana Cannon and Maureen Gaynor alsopresented at the same conference on “Literacy and the Arts: Illuminating the Common Core Standards.”

Christine Clayton, EdD, participated in the American Educational Studies Association Annual Meeting that convened in Baltimore from Oct. 30-Nov. 3, with a theme of “Risk and the New Spaces of Collaboration.”  She participated in a panel and presented a paper entitled, "Objectifying Teaching: A critical review of edTPA and Danielson in the context of high-stakes teacher evaluation."

Dr. Lassman also presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) in Ft. Lauderdale from Nov. 5-9, 2013, with the theme of "Innovation Through Rejuvenation,"  which entails "inspiring effective practice by recharging special education teacher educators.”

Dr. Falk-Ross presented “Professional Preparation of Middle Grade Educators Using Avatars: Learning and Experience in Differentiation,” at the Association of Middle Educators Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., on Nov. 7. The theme of the conference was “Thrive.”

Dr. Gerald Ardito, Dean Spencer and SOE consultant Dr. David Penberg attended the 2013 Annual Teachers & Administrators Conference of the Mediterranean Association of International Schools in Rome, Italy from Nov. 6-10. Drs. Ardito and Penberg presented a workshop on the new 4D program, "4 Dimensional Learning: Designing and Managing Learning Environments that Support, Promote, and Foster Independent Learners."

Dr. Evans presented at the School Science and Mathematics Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas from November 14-16, with a theme of "Learning Mathematics and Science through Media.” He presented during two sessions: “Mathematics Knowledge, Anxiety, and Efficacy Among Traditional and Alternative Certification School Teachers” and “History of Mathematics in the Classroom: A Focus on Cultures.”

Mary Rose McCarthy, PhD, has created an online resource for training educators and pre-service teachers alike in using data effectively in classrooms at all levels. "Using Data to Inform Instruction" instructs participants in aligning teaching and learning in educator preparation programs so that candidates are prepared to demonstrate competency in using data to improve both their instruction and student outcomes. Dr. McCarthy developed the course for the Mid-Hudson region of the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), a consortium of more than 100 institutions of higher education in New York State and formed by the NYS Board of Regents. The CICU coordinates professional development and teacher-preparation activities to include new initiatives such as performance evaluation, new certification requirements, and Common Core Standards into the everyday practice and preparation of educators.

The SOE hosted the one-day annual meeting of the New York State Section of the American Physical Society on Saturday, November 16. The theme for the conference was an exploration of how physics can be applied to the study of natural phenomena. Dr. Ardito presented, “Vacuums Don’t Suck: Teaching Physics to Adolescents.”


Student News

New Candidates Officially Inducted into the School of Education

On September 23, we formally welcomed 33 new candidates into the School of Education in a Candidate Induction Ceremony during common hour. Christine Clayton, EdD, served as an emcee for the short program. Annjanet Woodburn, EdD, welcomed the students into the latter stages of their programs, where they will start to determine what kind of classroom leader they want to be. Senior Stephanie Georgioudakis '14 assured candidates that as they enter the latter stages of their programs, they would find their voice and the confidence to fulfill the many duties that fall on an educator. Lisa Balbona '15 shared her very moving and inspirational SOE application essay about how her desire to become a teacher was borne of personal experience helping her family navigate the complexities of American life and the educational system. Dr. Woodburn was joined by Professor Tony Alfonso in awarding apple pins to the thrilled candidates, and Dr. Clayton closed out the ceremony by giving candidates small mirrors as a reminder of the educator’s role to reflect light and knowledge for their students. Candidates then enjoyed a light reception with faculty, staff, family and friends to round out the afternoon.

Welcome to our new candidates! We look forward to supporting you in your continued growth and development as an educator.

View photos from our Facebook album.

Deyanira Aponte

Lisa Balbona

Angelica Barbosa

Kylah Bruno

Abigale Bucknor

Kristen Carbonaro

Halle Champion

Desirae Ciaffone

Rebecca D’Agostino

Erin Fligel

Lisa Gilbert

Dana Granozio

Margo Hackett

David Holder

Ashley Jimenez-Murphy

Valentina Kalaj

Elaina Katz

Shawn Maignan

Kenneth McDermott

Adriana Mirakaj

Victoria Mornhineway

Kayla Muscatella

Lucero Oceguera

Sharelle Olivier

Kaylee Pina

Dante Plush

Arbab Razvi

Bianca Ruggiero

Iman Sabbahi

Ashley Schmidt

Nicole Tata

Michele Tuttle

Helen Yu Holguin


Alumni News

Luisa M. Iadeluca, EdD, founded her own consulting company—as President/CEO of Meta Visions Enterprises Consulting Group, Inc. Her mission is to procure clients in projects ranging from shared and consolidation of services in school districts and municipalities; in efficiency and effectiveness strategies in organizations; and in building partnerships. Dr. Iadeluca invites all to view her company’s website:  www.metavisions.netand would love to hear from classmates!

Congratulations to Jessica Harris, MST ’13, on the publication of her debut novel, Home Sick ! The novel is not her first foray into writing, she has previously received awards for her poetry. Harris teaches science at The International High School at Prospect Heights and is active in the Pace STEM Collaboratory. You may learn more about Home Sick here.

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