News, Media & Events

Visit this site regularly for News from the School of Education, including our quarterly e-newsletter and links to media stories about the School.
If you are a member of the media and would like to reach the School of Education, please contact Jennifer Argenta, Communications Coordinator, at (914) 773-3885 or via e-mail

Making the Grade Newsletter

The School of Education issues a quarterly e-newsletter, Making the Grade, to highlight the news and achievements of our faculty, staff, current students and Alumni.

Current Issue - December 2014


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The School of Education In the News

Links to the School's recent news and media stories


Click here to access Dean Spencer's study, "Blind Spot: The Impact of Missed Early Warning Signs on Children’s Mental Health,” courtesy of the Center for Children’s Advocacy.


News from the School of Education








October 2014

With $5M NSF Grant, Billion Oyster Project, Pace University and Partners Launch Curriculum and Community Enterprise Project for New York City Schools

10.30.2014--New York, NY -- Pace University, its the School of Education and Seidenberg College of Computer Science and Information Systems has celebrated the launch of the “Curriculum and Community Enterprise for New York Harbor Restoration in New York City Public Schools” project, that was recently awarded a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. A press conference on October 30 was held on Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, and featured remarks by core project partners, and hands-on demonstration of BOP in action from participating middle and high school students.

The project will expand and build upon the work of the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) model of restoration-based education by developing hands-on marine science and stewardship curricula for New York City middle school students. We congratulate Lauren Birney and Jonathan Hill (Seidenberg School) for the success of their collaborative efforts to foster innovative STEM programming and curricula, particularly for implementation in urban schools. The expansion of the BOP combines the resources of many organizations to develop sustainable, effective ecological restoration/conservation curricula in urban schools. Partners in this project include the New York City Department of Education, the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Harbor Foundation, the New York Aquarium, and Good Shepherd Services.

The press event was wonderfully organized and executed. We are looking forward to the incredible work of this grant and the engagement of New York City students in the sciences. As NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said at the event, New York City sets the standard for many other urban school systems. We are thrilled to see how this project can be translated for and replicated in other schools and regions throughout the country.




September 2014

Pace University to lead consortium awarded $5M NSF Grant for "Curriculum and Community Enterprise for New York Harbor Restoration in New York City Public Schools”

09.29.2014--New York, NY --  Pace University’s School of Education Assistant Clinical Professor Lauren Birney Ed. D joined with former President Bill Clinton and New York Harbor School co-founder Murray Fisher on Thursday, September 4 on Governors Island to announce that the “Billion Oyster Project” has been awarded a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand the program into as many as 60 middle schools throughout the city.  Students have so far introduced 11 million oysters into New York Harbor while studying how they purify water, develop and interact with the ecosystem.

Commenting on the award, Professor Birney said, “Bringing together partners from so many disciplines in this collaborative effort is what I hope to continue to contribute at Pace and throughout the STEM community in NYC and around the world.”

According to Dr. Birney, the grant is a direct result of the successful work undertaken by the STEM Collaboratory at Pace University, which was founded and created by Dr. Birney and Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems Associate Dean Dr. Jonathan Hill. 

“I hope to begin collaborating with all the Pace schools to create cross-disciplinary offerings for introducing STEM concepts and competencies to non-majors, who are not likely to take traditional science and math offerings, and to expand our partnerships with K-12 schools and afterschool programs,” Dr. Birney said.

The STEM Collaboratory addresses the need for greater focus and productivity in the teaching of Science Technology, Engineering and Math through:

  • Advocacy for the resources and capitals of STEM students and teachers in inner city environments.
  • Enhancement of the STEM learning and teaching experience through the development of curriculum, professional development of teachers and administrators and the development of STEM-focused technologies including mobile apps for learning.
  • Sustaining meaningful dialogue between schools, universities and employers on the necessary skill sets for a 21st Century, STEM-educated workforce.
  • Establishing and leveraging partnerships within the STEM industry to provide internships, residencies and practicums for aspiring STEM students.

The NSF grant funding will build upon the existing Billion Oyster Project, and will be implemented by a broad partnership of institutions and community resources, including Pace University, the New York City Department of Education, the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Harbor Foundation, the New York Aquarium, and others STEM industry leaders.

The NSF advised Dr. Birney that its panel of professionals representing the scholarly communities of the marine sciences, biology, science education, cognitive psychology, and education research, found the proposal “to be compelling, innovative, and responsive to a significant need to develop models of learning ecologies that engage students in local STEM-related issues and concerns through blended models of formal and informal education.”

For more information, please visit/contact: 

Billion Oyster Project:

BOP STEM C Project Director Samuel P. Janis:

Pace University PI/Dr. Lauren Birney:

Pace University STEM Collaboratory:

From the New York Harbor Foundation



June 2014

SOE Mourns John DiNatale, EdD

6.12.2014 -- The entire School of Education community mourns the loss of our beloved colleague John DiNatale, EdD, Director of Student Support Services in Westchester.

Dr. DiNatale was a much loved member of the School of Education family. His enthusiasm for working with students was matched only by his deep and abiding belief in the value of teachers in the field of education. He was very kind and caring towards our students and candidates. He often exhibited a wonderful pride in their successes, and faith in their abilities when they were faced with challenges. He truly believed in the importance and value of caring educators to shape and change the lives of children and young adults.

Our deepest condolences, and most sincere thoughts and prayers, are with his family during this difficult time.





May 2014

Pace University Partners with Ossining Schools to Strengthen Teacher Effectiveness, Student Learning

5.19.2014 -- The Pace University School of Education and the Ossining Union Free School District (UFSD) are embarking on a partnership to support the refinement and development of early-career teachers’ skills using innovative avatar technology, thanks to a two-year grant from New York State.

Both Pace and Ossining have long-recognized the value of using cutting-edge advances in education to enhance student success. Ossining UFSD was awarded a two-year, $537,625 Strengthening Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness grant from New York State in Fall 2013. The activities of the grant will take place over 2013-2015 to expand the career ladder for teachers, and offer professional development and mentorship opportunities, especially for novice teachers with one-to-two-years’ experience in the education profession.

Novice teachers--educators with one-two years’ experience--from schools throughout Ossining will work with their mentor teachers to develop and refine instructional skills through use of Pace’s TeachLivE™ avatar technology, a sort of ‘flight simulator’ for teachers that uses student avatars in a virtual classroom. The avatars are not programmed, and can give teachers a realistic experience of dealing with different students and learning styles in one classroom. The technology can also accommodate simulation for parent-teacher conferences and bilingual instruction.

“Simulations have long been used to prepare soldiers, doctors, and other professionals,” said Dr. Joan Walker, Associate Professor at the pace University School of Education. “The TeachLivE avatar technology now makes simulation a part of teachers’ professional development. It’s a modern bridge across the age-old gap between teacher preparation and teacher practice.”

Teachers who elect to be a part of this program will attend the TeachLivE™ lab sessions after-school at an Ossining school. They will develop their avatar session objectives for their individual sessions with the avatars to develop specific, individual skills. The first phase of these workshops will be conducted through June 2014. A second phase is planned for August 2014, during district-wide orientation for all teachers. The Pace-Ossining avatar initiative will continue into 2015.

The Pace University School of Education brings to the partnership with the Ossining UFSD experience in professional development and innovative technology to refine and strengthen the skills of early-career teachers, leading to increased effectiveness of their instructional skills for greater student engagement and learning. Pace University also brings expertise in the application of TeachLivE avatar technology for professional preparation.

TeachLivE™ is an innovative educational tool developed by the University of Central Florida that uses a classroom of interactive avatar students for teacher preparation to further classroom skills enhancement and effectiveness for experienced teachers. Pace University’s School of Education is one of only 25 sites in the country using TeachLivE™ in the training of teacher candidates in its undergraduate and graduate programs, and was an early adopter of this technology.

“Given my role at Pace as Coordinator of Professional Development and my two decade career in Ossining- most recently as superintendent-I can attest that this partnership, designed to enhance teaching and learning, demonstrates the forward thinking of both Pace University and the Ossining School District,” said Dr. Phyllis Glassman, from the Pace University School of Education.

This is not Ossining’s first foray into the TeachLivE avatar experience. Last year, a cadre of Ossining’s National Board Certified teachers worked with the technology. “ The teachers taught lessons to the Avatars in an effort to enhance their understanding of the Instructional components from the Danielson Rubric,” said Dr. Angela White, Assistant Superintendent for Curriclum and Instruction for Ossining Union Free School District. “This year we are continuing our collaboration with the Pace University School of Education. Several of our novice teachers and their mentors have volunteered to either teach a lesson or conduct a parent-teacher conference.  These experiences will allow teachers to practice a wide range of pedagogical approaches and strategies.”

“Given our successful collaboration with Ossining, we at the Pace University School of Education look forward to developing new partnerships with schools in the region to support excellence in teaching and learning and ultimately benefit all students,” Dr. Glassman added.

About Pace University:  Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, N.Y., enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.

About Ossining Union Free School District: The Ossining Union Free School District, nationally recognized for its mission to further the success of all children, serves approximately 4,700 pupils in six schools: Park School for newborn to Kindergarten, Brookside School for grades one and two, Claremont School for grades three and four, Roosevelt School for grade five, Anne M. Dorner Middle School for grades six through eight, and Ossining High School for grades nine through twelve.




April 2014


Temple Grandin Speaks at Pace University in Manhattan

4.17.2014 -- 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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Pace University School of Education Collaborates to Host One Day Conference on Effective Practices for STEM-D Teaching & Learning

4.15.2014 -- Pace University School of Education, The Lower Hudson Teacher Center Network, The New York Technology Educators Network, Southern Westchester BOCES, and The Lower Hudson Regional Information Center will present an exceptional one-day conference Rethinking STEM-D Education: Innovative Practices from the Field on May 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pace University Graduate Center at One Martine Avenue in White Plains. This conference is geared toward practitioners and administrators who are interested in student success in STEM-D fields- sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and design—Pre-K-12 teachers, pre-service teachers, afterschool and museum educators, school and non-school program administrators.

The need for students to succeed in STEM fields – in school and in work- has been an ongoing national conversation. The key to STEM success is engaging students in science early and encouraging their exploration of the deep and engrossing STEM fields.

Conference attendees will attend workshops to learn from teachers and researchers who have helped engage students, from elementary through high school, in effective STEM-D instruction.Workshops will delve intotopics including robotics, Scratch programming, lunar rover design, roller coaster physics, MaKey MaKey, 3D printing, game design, digital design lab, MakerSpace, and nature and science for young children.

Two keynote addressed by renowned science education innovators will be the highlight of the event:

  • Stephen Jacobs, Associate Director of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s new MAGIC Center and its Technological Literacy Lab, will present “Games for Learning & Education: A Historical Look Back, A Survey of Today’s Landscape and Predictions for the Future That Will Be Proven Wrong Later.”
  • Vicki Cobb, innovator in hands-on-science and author of the classic book Science Experiments You Can Eat, will present “How To Teach Science: It’s Not the Answers That Count, It’s The Questions!

The cost for the conference is $25, which includes morning refreshments, lunch and a raffle ticket to win one of 10 Kindle fire tablets. Attendees may register online through Pace University or, if paying by Purchase Order, through MyLearningPlan.

For more information, please visit the Pace School of Education website at contact Merrill Lee Fuchs at (914) 773-3884 or


March 2014


Temple Grandin to speak at Pace University in Manhattan April 16

 “Training the Talent of Artists with Autism” will feature a VIP reception, art auction and lecture

3.20.2014 -NEW YORK – On Wednesday, April 16 beginning at 6pm, Pace University in lower Manhattan will hold an event, Training the Talent of Artists with Autism, with keynote speaker Temple Grandin, PhD. The event will take place in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, entrance at 3 Spruce Street, NY, NY, across from City Hall. An art auction and VIP reception will be held at 6pm. The lecture begins at 7:30pm. Media admission is by press pass.

Grandin is one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism in the world. She is a best-selling author, an activist for issues relating to autism, a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and an engineer who was the subject of an award-winning biographical film starring Claire Danes. Grandin was listed in Time magazine’s 2010 “Time 100” list of the one hundred most influential people in the world in the "Heroes" category. Grandin spoke to a crowd of thousands of students, faculty and staff as the keynote at Pace University’s convocation ceremony in Pleasantville in 2010.

The event is a partnership between Pace University’s Ongoing Academic and Social Instructional Support (OASIS) program in the School of Education which provides assistance to college students on the autistic spectrum, and Strokes of Genius, an organization that develops artistic talents through professional art studio experiences and workshops.

Artwork by individuals with autism will be on display in the Schimmel Theater Lobby at Pace April 14 – 20. A special art auction and VIP cocktail reception with Grandin and the artists will help fund the OASIS and Strokes of Genius programs. For tickets or more information, visit Admission to the lecture is $5 for students and $40 for non-students. Tickets to the VIP cocktail reception, auction and lecture are $200.

MassMutual Financial Group of Westchester and Fusion Academy are sponsors of this event.

About OASIS: The OASIS Program at Pace University’s School of Education serves students with autism, Asperger Syndrome, learning disabilities, nonverbal learning differences and related challenges. The program is grounded in research that recognizes that all-inclusive services are needed to prepare students for community integration, career development, employment and adult life. The program has been designed to support students, family and faculty. The OASIS team consists of academic coaches, a vocational coordinator, academic advisors, a counselor, campus life coordinator, social coaches as well as weekly meetings, trips and activities, academic supports in the form of tutoring and other classroom learning accommodations. Most of all, students learn among their peers in an academically rigorous setting. While accommodations in courses are provided, the work is not modified and remains at the college level.

About Pace University:  Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, N.Y., enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.



January 2014


Pace University to host Professional Development Workshop organized by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, Tuesday, January 14

1.10.2014 - NEW YORK, NY -- Pace University’s School of Education will host a Professional Development Workshop organized by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) with assistance from Pace and cIcu members. The event takes place on Tuesday, January 14, at Pace’s downtown New York City campus, east of City Hall and six blocks from Wall Street, in the Aniello Bianco Room of One Pace Plaza from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Laura L. Anglin, President, cIcu, will deliver the keynote address on “The Current State of Higher Education.”

Independent college and university faculty, and admissions and financial aid professionals will share and facilitate discussions about innovative programs and the college admissions process and provide updates on paying for college and applying for financial aid.

The workshop is designed for principals, school counselors, college counselors, mentors, tutors, teachers, school administrators and community-based organizations’ college advisors.

The event is made possible with federal College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) funds awarded by the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC).


SOE Alumna Named Chancellor of NYC Schools

1.1.2014 - Carmen Fariña, '88, has been appointed the new Chancellor of New York City schools by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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