School of Education Newsletter, September 2013


A Message from the Dean

On behalf of the entire School of Education –faculty & staff – I am pleased to welcome our new and returning undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates to the fall semester. We hope that you are well-rested and ready for an exciting year full of learning, teaching and engagement both in our School of Education community and in the communities where we live, study and practice our craft.

The new school year isn’t just limited to the students on our New York City and Westchester campuses. Many of our alumni who are now educators and administrators are returning back to their own classrooms across the region and across the country to begin a new year of inspiring a love of learning and thirst for new knowledge among the young minds in their classrooms. We offer a number of opportunities for seasoned classroom teachers to hone their skills and enhance their expertise, particularly in light of new educational initiatives like the Common Core, and we are looking forward to offering more in the future. Our mission also extends to high school students through several youth access programs and initiatives to engage students to invest in themselves, academically, and work towards fulfilling their dreams.

This year, the University is continuing to explore the theme of “justice” as an academic theme, initiated during Convocation activities in early September. Justice goes hand in hand with education. Every day, we educators and future educators work so that each student in our care has the same opportunity for academic success and to fulfill their greatest potential, despite challenging circumstances brought on by shrinking budgets, changing standards and other societal pressures. We encourage you to always aspire and think of ways to make your classroom a safe place of justice and opportunity, even when you are seemingly awash in a sea of negativity and opposition. As an educator, you have the power to change not just the lives of your students, but of entire families and communities. We look forward to working with you on this journey to become the educator students in today’s schools need and deserve.

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

Redefining Professional Development: SOE Commitment to Excellence and Effectiveness in the Classroom

The School of Education is dedicated to advancing excellence in the classroom through the preparation of effective, engaging and successful teachers for all students. Our work is not just with our teacher candidates at the undergraduate and graduate levels; School of Education faculty and staff work with in-service teachers to enhance the skills of these front-line professionals in the classroom through a myriad of programs and initiatives.

SOE Promotes Access and Equity Through Youth Programs

The School of Education prepares professional educators to be effective teachers who create classroom communities that help all students become successful learners, and more importantly, believe in their aspirations above any perceived limits to achieve their greatest potential. Our work extends to students as well, and finds an expression in several college-access programs and partnerships.

Special Education Programs Receive National Recognition

The School of Education recently received notice that our Special Education programs have received national recognition from National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). This is recognition speaks to the excellence of our program and faculty, who in turn prepare candidates to be successful and effective educators to students with special needs.

NCATE accreditation and recognition is a mark of distinction, and indicates that a college of education has met stringent national professional standards for the preparation of teachers and other educators. CEC works to improve the educational success of children and youth with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, and is comprised of international members who consider themselves the "voice and vision of special and gifted education."

SOE To Host Day-Long Conference on Issues Faced By Students with Autism & Learning Differences 'Moving On' From High School
The Pleasantville Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA) and the School of Education are co-sponsoring a one-day conference on Saturday, October 5 at the Pleasantville Campus. "Moving On: Preparing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Learning Differences For College" will explore the critical issues for students with Autism and spectrum disorders, and other learning differences, who are transitioning from high school into post-secondary programs and adult living. Dean Spencer will moderate the event, which will include speakers from the Yale Child Study Center; Mary Riggs-Cohen, PhD, from the OASIS Program at Pace University; Manhattanville College's HELP Center, the Pleasantville High School LAB Program at Pace; the New Rochelle High School Program at Iona College; and the Project SEARCH Program.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Tickets are $60 for Pace alumni, faculty & students, and are available online at

STEM Collaboratory Taking Root

There was no summer break for the Pace STEM Collaboratory. Between hosting a major conference and a summer camp, STEM is full-steam ahead. The Pace STEM Collaboratory continues to advance its work to enhance STEM teaching and learning among students and teachers alike.

Pace Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Pleasantville Campus

Pace is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Pleasantville campus! Festivities will kick off on September 16, with a live Beatles tribute band during Common Hour (12:15-1:15 pm) and a birthday cake for the campus. The fun continues with 50 days and nights of events and activities celebrating our past and future throughout the 2013-2014 academic year.

As part of this celebration, we want to collect 50,000 stories from students, faculty and staff. It can be a fun memory from your orientation here, your first snowball fight on campus with friends, why you chose to attend the University on the Pleasantville campus or a memory of a professor, club or experience that changed your life. Feel free to submit multiple stories if you’d like. Submit your story via Twitter, a photo in Instagram or a Vine video by tagging your post #PLV50. Or click here to add your story to this celebration of our Westchester community!

New Teaching Fellows Join School of Education Community

In June, the School of Education welcomed a new cohort of 150 New York City Teaching Fellows for their pre-service training. These teachers will be teaching science and special education in high-need New York City schools, while attending Pace University for their master’s degrees. The Fellows completed two weeks of intensive pre-service training covering various aspects of pedagogical training, information about adolescent development, educational theory, and classroom management techniques to prepare for teaching in schools this fall. 

Part of the training included a Q&A with Fellows entering their second year of teaching to hear firsthand about their experiences with students and families, the challenges and rewards of the program.

PASE and Pace

The School of Education was pleased to partner with the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) and host the 2013 PASE @Pace conference on July 31. The conference drew 400 participants from more than 150 after-school programs, organizations and offices in New York City and more than eight states, who came together to share best practices, discuss trends and connect with peers in the field. The School of Education’s Sharon Medow and Jermain Smith led a workshop showcasing the use of the TeachLivE avatar technology for staff development. The session, and avatars, were well-received by the attendees.

PASE is a child-focused organization that promotes and supports quality afterschool programs, particularly those serving young people from underserved communities. We are proud to partner with an organization so closely aligned to our mission of educational equity and access for all children and students to be successful.

Center for Literacy Enrichment Awarded Gannett Foundation Grant

The Gannett Foundation/Journal News Media Group awarded $5,000 to the School of Education's Center for Literacy Enrichment at Pace University in late July. The grant was awarded in renewed support of the Center’s work to meet the literacy enrichment needs of students in Westchester County for more than 40 years.

The Center for Literacy Enrichment was founded in 1972 as a Developmental Reading Program. During the beginning years, emphasis was placed on elementary level school children from the residential area of the White Plains. It has developed into a literacy enrichment center to enhance reading, comprehension, and writing skills for students from all over Westchester County, and with many School of Education candidates staffing the center as tutors to young learners working to enhance academic skills including math and science.

Pictured (from left): Sister St. John Delany, PhD, RDC, Founder and Director of the Center for Literacy Enrichment at Pace University; Janet Hasson, Publisher, The Journal News; Amanda Schick, Assistant Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations at Pace University; and Christopher P. Clouet, EdD, Superintendent of Tarrytown Public Schools and Advisory Board Member, Center for Literacy Enrichment.

For more information about the Center and its programs, please contact (914) 422-4135.

Faces of the School of Education: Meet Fatuma Hydara and Claire Villard

Meet Fatuma Hydara and Claire Villard, two School of Education candidates helping to change the lives of students.

Student News

Have you registered for LiveText yet? If not, you will need to do so to complete and submit class assignments, course evaluations and more. You should have received a membership key code via email. If you need a code, or any assistance registering in the system, please contact Mariajose Romero at or 914-773-3979, Jermain Smith ( or 914-773-3241) or Merrill Lee Fuchs ( or 914-773-3884). Please stay tuned for notices and a schedule of upcoming LiveText training!

New Certification Exams and Requirements! School of Education faculty  and staff have been working all summer on planning workshop and updating courses to align with and prepare you for the changing New York State Certification Exams and Requirements. Please visit our resource page for the basic information about the new requirements. We will keep you informed of workshops and other resources to help you succeed.

Connect with the SOE!! We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+ and LinkedIn. We often post photos from events in Facebook albums, and share helpful and important information via these social media channels. We also just started a new LinkedIn group—join LinkedIn to expand your professional network and connect with other SOE candidates and alumni!

We Want Your Opinion!

Current Graduate Students & Alumni— The School of Education is considering adding an educational doctorate program (EdD) to serve the many alumni of our masters degree programs who would like to pursue further education to become future superintendents or school district administrators. Please click here  to answer a few questions to help us gauge what kind of program would be of interest to educational professionals in the field.

Alumni News

Congratulations to Lachmi D. Rai, BA& MSEd '12 (Childhood Education and Special Education), on the celebration of her marriage in June 2013!

NYC Homecoming is October 17-20. Highlights include a showcase of performing arts students, brunch with faculty and staff, a pub crawl, a “Leaders and Legends Dinner” and more. Pleasantville Homecoming is October 24-26 and alumni highlights include the Alumni Tent during the football game, an Alumni/Student Meet-Up, and “50 Years, 50 Faces,” a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Pleasantville campus. The September eConnect featured Homecoming highlights and can be found at Additional Homecoming info can be found at Details and registration for “50 Years, 50 Faces” can be found at

PLV Alumni, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Pleasantville Campus on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the "50 Years, 50 Faces" Alumni Dinner. Have you viewed the list of hosts yet? Click HERE to see a list of the faculty and staff who will be celebrating this milestone event, then register to join in this wonderful evening to celebrate the Pace Community!

Helping Children Recognize Their Value: Meet Evelisse Mercado, BA/MSEd '13
Recent graduate Evelisse Mercado, BA & MSEd ’13, has always known she wanted to be a teacher. Her experience at Pace helped her envision just what kind of educator she wanted to become.

Read More

Faculty & Staff News

School of Education faculty member Peter McDermott, PhD, was invited by the International Reading Association to participate in its "Diagnostic Reading Project" this past summer. In this project, co-sponsored by USAID and Catholic Relief Services, Dr. McDermott taught teacher educators in Sierra Leone how to implement constructivist methods of teaching in their classrooms, and will return to visit and work more with those teachers in the winter and spring. He did similar work for the "Diagnostic Reading Project" previously in Tanzania. To view a slideshow of Dr. McDermott's photos from the trip, please click here.


We are pleased to announce several appointments and transitions within the School of Education:

  • Nancy Campoverde has been named Program Manager in our New York City office.
  • Frank DeLuca has assumed new role as edTPA Coordinator, helping candidates, faculty and staff navigate the implementation of this new state certification requirement.
  • Rita Murray, Assistant Director for Student Support Services, has assumed the role of Teaching Fellows Coordinator in New York City.
  • Raquel Plotka, PhD, has been appointed to a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education program. The program was launched last year and has grown to include a number of new traditional students this fall.

We are also delighted to welcome into the School of Education community several new faculty and staff members:

  • Dr. Gerald Ardito has joined the School of Education faculty as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Ardito is well-known to many faculty and staff since he is a graduate of the SOE and the Seidenberg Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS) program at Pace, and has been an adjunct instructor for the School of Education. Together with Sandy Flank, PhD, Dr. Ardito helped developed the Saturday Science program for students in grades 4-8, which began through a partnership with the Croton-on-Hudson Schools and has since grown to include several other Westchester districts. 
  • David Green will join the School of Education in late September as Coordinator of School Partnerships.
  • Pat Kobetts joins the School of Education as Director of School Partnerships. She has extensive experience as a school administrator in New York City and will provide excellent leadership in building relationships with the New York City Department of Education, Teaching Fellows, the TEAM project and other school partnership initiatives.
  • Jennifer Pankowski joins the faculty as a Special Education clinical appointment. She is an experienced special education teacher with extensive experience working with children with severe and multiple disabilities.
  • Mariajosé Romero, PhD, has joined the School of Education as Coordinator of Assessment. She has extensive experience in applied research, program evaluation and assessment, data analysis and reporting, and statistic and research methods. She has been immersed in reviewing and revising data collection procedures, and will continue to work in close collaboration with faculty on both campuses, and with Merrill Lee Fuchs and Jermain Smith to ensure an effective implementation of LiveText.

Congratulations to all and we look forward to a new year of continued success!

School of Education In The News
School of Education professors decry new state teacher evaluations; Partnering with the NYC Department of Education to create the NYC iZone; SOE Professor weighs in on a proposed research paper required for high school graduation and more In The News.

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