Thursday, December 1, 2016

LACAL and NBA Partner to Make a Difference in Afterschool in Louisiana

The Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning (LACAL), under the direction of Mr. Andrew Ganacheau and the LACAL Leadership Team, is pleased to announce an expansion of the Fun Math curriculum through a partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Shavonda Washington Shines Light on the CRRC and TEAM Mentoring Program

Shavonda Washington,5th grade Lincoln Parish ELA teacher and one of the first graduates of the full-year clinical residency program in 14-15, recently representing Lincoln Parish and Louisiana Tech in Baton Rouge, LA, where she shared her personal experiences as a clinical resident at Cypress Springs Elementary School with the Louisiana BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) board.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dogs with a Cause

Dogs with A Cause Arrived at Cypress Springs Thursday as the College of Education TEAM Model Clinical Residents and the Louisiana Tech Baseball Team collaborated to make a difference in all 26 classrooms. This is one of two partnerships between the COE and the Louisiana Tech Athletics Program. The previous adoption was the Louisiana Tech Basketball Team and Ruston Elementary School. Both partnerships will continue to visit both Ruston grades 3-5 schools quarterly this year with future partnerships planned for 17-18. Much credit is given to Head Basketball Coach Konkol and Head Baseball Coach Burroughs for their willingness to collaborate and better understand the TEAM model full-year co-teaching experience of our elementary clinical residents. The true winners are the students that get to spend an afternoon with some of Louisiana Tech's finest students! It's a great day to be a DOG!

Thanks to Dr. Amy Vessel for leading this powerful effort and submitting the story!

Friday, October 28, 2016

COE'S SciTEC, NICERC, and CenturyLink host Inaugural NELA RARC

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, at CenturyLink Headquarters in Monroe, LA, SciTEC in the College of Education along with NICERC and CenturyLink hosted the inaugural North East Louisiana (NELA) Regional Autonomous Robotics Circuit (RARC).  There were over 20 teams onsite competing at the middle, elementary, and highschool levels.  The students competed trying to accomplish various tasks in a limited amount of time utilizing their programmed robots. Our own AE Phillips Bullpups placed during the event also, going home with two third place trophies for their outstanding efforts!
In addition to the outstanding teams, volunteers, coaches, and parents, there were also COE partners including Louisiana Tech University Admissions representative Collin Bailey, BASH Booth's Sarah Jeffords, and AXI Education Solutions, Lisa Dick who brought exciting STEM educational tools including Promethean panels, Spheros, and Little Bit circuitry kits. This is the first of three competitions planned for the 2016-2017 academic year. The event was only possible with the help of CenturyLink Vice President Bill Bradley, Mr. Alex Bohl, Mrs. Kristy LaCroix, Ms. Jaicee Choate, Ms. Jo Ann Marshall, and numerous volunteers, coaches, parents, and teams.  To learn more about NELA RARC and how to participate in future competitions, please contact NELA RARC Competition Coordinator, Ms. Jaicee Choate at 3182572866 / or Lindsey Keith-Vincent at


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Leader in our COE and in our State

Dean Don Schillinger has been very busy since becoming Dean of the Louisiana Tech College of Education in 2014. While serving as dean, he has reorganized the college to encourage not only efficiency during these times of budgetary constraints, but has also emphasized the establishment and implementation of innovative, synergistic, and entrepreneurial efforts among the units and divisions.

In addition to steering the COE ship, Dean Schillinger was recently elected to serve as President of the  Louisiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (LACTE), and he serves as the state representative to the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, which "represents more than 800 postsecondary institutions" (
As President of LACTE, Dean Schillinger, represents other educational leaders from Louisiana institutes of higher education that offer teacher preparation programs. Dr. Schillinger noted that "I am very honored and humbled to be entrusted with this leadership role by representatives of the higher education teaching programs throughout Louisiana, and I will earnestly strive to function as a collaborative catalyst for raising the level of achievement, productivity and prestige of teacher education." We are overjoyed about his selection and grateful for the leadership he provides to our college and leaders across our state! Congratulations, Dean Schillinger!

Monday, August 1, 2016

COE Psychology Student wins Jim Castaneda Postgraduate Scholarship for Conference USA!

Diamond Every
Image from
Congratulations to Psychology's own Diamond Every on her recent selection as the Jim Castaneda Postgraduate Scholarship recipient for Conference USA!  Dr. Donna Thomas, Psychology Department Chair and Faculty Athletics Representative Presented Every's application to the Conference USA committee earlier this year. Dr. Thomas stated,“I’m so proud of Diamond. She crushes the stereotypes many people hold about student-athletes. By earning this postgrad scholarship, she made her road to becoming a successful helping professional a little easier. Good things come to those who work, and Diamond Every worked hard for this honor. As the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for Louisiana Tech, I have the privilege of presenting nominees for this scholarship each year; the fact that she was a Psychology major made it even more special this year.”

Diamond is a graduate of the psychology department and is currently working on her Post-Bac obtaining necessary prerequisites for physical therapy school.  She participates and competes in track and field.  Diamond indicates that she has great interest in being, "a mentor to many young people while inspiring them to be an achieve all they would like to achieve."   Jake Cohen, Assistant Track Coach at Louisiana Tech noted that, "Diamond is an excellent student, athlete, and community member." He further describes her as a, "hard worker, dedicated, and a team leader." Coach LaMonte Vaughn insists that, "Diamond ....was an asset to achieving our team goals." She is a great representative of our College of Education and our  Louisiana Tech University, and we are thrilled about this achievement. Congratulations, Diamond!
To learn more about her award, check out the link below:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Web Development Pop Up Class Hosted by the eLearning Research Institute (e-LRI)

The e-Learning Research Institute (eLRI) in collaboration with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Instructional Technology presented the Weekend Weebly Wobble and other Technology Management Tools to a group of budding educators and business entrepreneurs on Saturday, July 23rd. Dr. Pamela Morgan, Director of eLRI, and Mrs. Melaie Gleason hosted the event in the College of Education's Active Engagement classroom, the Think Tank. Participants first learned the importance of front loading and pre-planning and then progressed into website development using the Weebly platform. The afternoon was spent exploring a variety of business and educational applications designed to enhance the entrepreneur's websites. It was a great group and everyone, including the presenters, gained new knowledge and experience. Thanks, ladies, for offering such great educational opportunities for our campus community through the COE's eLRI.

Monday, July 18, 2016

PDRIB Offers Resources to Those Interested in Obtaining a MAT with a Concentration in Teaching Blind Students

Meaningful, rewarding careers in the field of blindness begin here!
Become Certified to Teach Blind/Visually Impaired Children in Louisiana
Scholarships are now available!
Through support from the Louisiana Department of Education, financial support is now available for individuals who wish to complete coursework and training with PDRIB in order to become certified in the state as a Teacher of the blind/Visually Impaired.
Many children with a significant visual impairment throughout our state do not have a certified teacher to help meet their learning needs, and their regular classroom teachers do not have the background or support from a trained specialist to help modify classroom materials in such a way that these children can get the education they desperately need to meet their full potential. This is where you come in!
      Using innovative technology and support, individuals can now complete most of our coursework online regardless of where they live.
•             No prior background or experience in blindness is necessary—we’ll teach you everything you need to know.
•             Scholarships are provided on a competitive basis to qualified persons and can cover tuition, fees, and necessary books and supplies.
If you already have a Bachelor’s (B.A.) degree in any area from an accredited university, have a grade point average of 2.5, obtained passing scores on the PRAXIS I and II exams, and want to join this exciting career, contact us! We Offer both a Master of Arts in Teaching with Concentration in Teaching Blind Students and a Graduate Certificate in this area. (Note that certain exams may be waived for individuals who already hold a valid teaching certificate.)
For program details, Click Here
•             Applications are now being accepted for Fall, 2016, with classes beginning September 7
•             Financial support is prioritized to individuals who wish to take courses on a full time basis
•             Subsequent funding is based on successful matriculation through the program
For more information, please contact Dr. Edward Bell at or 318-257-4554

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Peachy Weekend for our COE!

This weekend was just Peachy for our COE students, faculty, and staff!

Over the weekend, five young women from Louisiana Tech University participated in the 2016 Miss Louisiana Scholarship Competition. Of those, we are happy to report that one of our COE's own, Miss Anna Blake, a junior kinesiology major also competed and did quite well.  She is pictured to the right in the News Star at check in. Check out the link to learn more.
Anna even made it to the Top Ten! Congratulations, Anna! Your COE family is quite proud of you!

Our College clocked over 50 hours of community service for the Peach Festival this year! Pictured is PDRIB's Sheena Manuel that helped contribute to our COE volunteer time. Thanks, Sheena! We are still waiting to hear back about the total hours for all organizations and see if we won; however, win or lose, It is pretty impressive to have that kind of support from a single College within Louisiana Tech University. Thanks to all who found a way to contribute and be part of the Peach Fest experience!

AROS, a branch of the Department of Psychology had an incredibly important job this weekend, too. They began data collection related to the economic impact of the Peach Festival on our community. AROS is a supporting partner of the Ruston/Lincoln Chamber and CVB and a sponsor of the 66th Annual Peach Festival.

In addition, SciTEC in our COE helped host multiple events at the Annual Louisiana Peach Festival including the Fishing Tournament at Lincoln Parish Park and the Entertainment Tent for Kids near RailRoad Park! Check out the pictures of all of the fun!

....and this week may even be better!

Co-Directors, Drs. Carrice Cummins, Libby Manning, and Kim Kimbell-Lopez of the Literacy Center in CIL in our COE will be hosting the first annual Powerful Instruction Literacy Conference in Shreveport/ Bossier and welcoming teachers from across the region for the three day professional development in-service Tuesday through Thursday of this week. The event will be held at the Tech Center.

Drs. Jordan Blazo and Braden Romer of Kinesiology and Lindsey Vincent of SciTEC will be hosting the first Project KINES Professional Development workshop funded by the Lincoln Health Foundation. The three day event will be a precursor to the year-long implementation in AE Phillips Lab School and RJHS and serve as an introductory class meeting series for the corresponding fall graduate course for participating Lincoln Parish educators.

Camps through SciTEC's IDEA Place and Bricks4Kidz will continue this week with Worlds of Amusement and Mining and Crafting. Students will design, create, and build. A few spaces are still available if there is interest in participating!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Notre Dame's D'Agistino Visits our COE for STEM Partnership

The Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB) is privileged to welcome Notre Dame of Maryland University Chemistry Professor Alfred D'Agostino, Ph.D. to Ruston. Dr. D'Agostino is spending a week in Ruston working with blind high school students enrolled in the Center's Summer Training and Employment Project (STEP) Program. LCB is working in partnership with Louisiana Tech University through the College of Education's SciTEC outreach initiatives, as well as the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness (PDRIB) to provide high-quality, fully-accessible STEM initiatives for blind and visually impaired students in kindergarten-21 programs.

As a blind person himself, Dr. D'Agostino understands how critically important it is for all students to experience hands-on, meaningful interactions with STEM-related subject matter, and we are grateful for his expertise and leadership. The Center is appreciative of Dr. Donald Schillinger, Lindsey Vincent, Dr. Edward Bell, and all of the faculty and staff at Louisiana Tech who work collaboratively to ensure greater access to fun and interesting activities designed to strengthen student skill sets in a variety of areas and through completely accessible means.

Thanks to Mr. Guillory for the blog submission above, our friends Drs. Eddy and Deese in Chemistry for use of some of their Chemistry equipment, and Dr. D'Agostino for the  visit!  We in the COE are hopeful that it is the first of many!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kinesiology's Blazo Blazing Trails Internationally

Dr. Jordan Blazo, pictured with his furry friends, in the Department of Kinesiology recently presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) in Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Blazo presented two projects focused on understanding sibling relationships in sport and how they may change as children approach and go through adolescence. The first project presented data regarding the adaptive function of making sport-based comparisons with an older sibling for developing perceptions of competence in youth sport. This project also highlighted the importance of the relationship quality of sibling interactions (i.e., warm and compassionate, or hostile and conflictual). Specifically, siblings that reported making more comparisons, perceiving more warmth, and higher levels of conflict, related to higher perceptions of sport competence. 

Dr. Blazo's second presentation shared information from a recent study regarding sibling relationship qualities, role modeling, and engaging in shared activities. The findings again suggested the importance of sibling relationship qualities.Sibling warmth was positively associated with using an older sibling as a role model, and leading to more shared activities in sport. Sibling conflict was negatively related to these same outcomes. Across both projects, specific attention was paid to the age of the participants (8-13 years old), as prior research in physical activity, and family studies areas has suggested that the importance of family relationships begins to wane compared to the broader peer group. In both studies, the influence of age was not supported, suggesting that having a sport involved older sibling may continue to hold value for youth sport experiences in the presence of other relationships. 
Thanks to Dr. Blazo for this amazing work and great story to share with our COE family! We are fortunate to have you with us, Dr. Blazo. Congratulations on your International Success!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Words Their Way in the COE Today!

On Tuesday, June 21st from 9am to 3pm, 38 Lincoln Parish professional educators joined Dr. Carrice Cummins, Dr. Libby Manning, and Dr. Kim Kimbell-Lopez from the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership in the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University for a Words Their Way Workshop in Woodard Hall in the new College of Education Literacy Center. Teachers came from each of the Lincoln Parish elementary schools, and many administrators joined as well. Central Office Elementary Lead, Sherry Boyd was also in attendance and has been a great advocate for the use of the tool in the schools she serves. Dr. Bryan McCoy, Department Chair for Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership noted that this workshop was a "fantastic opportunity to engage with K-12 educational professionals to strengthen both the teacher education programs and K-12 classrooms." Words Their Way is a trademarked product through Pearson Learning Services. The system focuses on " word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling instruction," as noted on their website The faculty enjoyed a full day of professional development activities and modeled instruction delivered by the University professors. "This voluntary workshop was hosted at no charge, and is an extension of the strong existing partnership between the Louisiana Tech University College of Education and the Lincoln Parish Schools," noted Dean Schillinger. In addition to the exciting event today, the trio of outstanding literacy educators will be hosting a regional conference in Shreveport/ Bossier at the Tech Center from June 28- June 30. This is the first annual conference of its kind and is titled Powerful Instruction: Developing Readers, Writers, and Thinkers. For more information about the upcoming conference, please visit the Eventbrite site at . There is limited space available for those interested in registering.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

COE Volunteers Help Out with the Annual Louisiana Peach Festival!

In just three short weeks, the Annual Louisiana Peach Festival will be taking place in our very own Ruston, LA! We are happy to report that as of Friday, June 3, the Louisiana Tech University College of Education was 4th place in the race for the most volunteers helping with the event! In addition to those from SciTEC helping host special events including the Kid's Fishing Tournament, the Family Tent, AROS in the Department of Psychology will actually be doing evaluations of the economic impact of the event on our community! There is still time to register and lend a hand with the volunteer effort. Events for which you can volunteer your time include pre-festival preparations; clean up; FREE Kid's Fishing Tournament; multiple art and craft shows, booths, and competitions; the annual Peach Hunt and Passport Challenge; Peach Cookery Contest; Baby Photo Contest; concerts; parades; 5K Walk/Run; Tennis Tournament; Peach Cobbler Eating Contest; Rodeo, Bass Tournament;  Antique Car Show; Pageants; Family Kids Tent;  BMX & Skateboard Show; and even a new Dinosaur exhibit! If you have any free time in the next three weeks, please check out the link below and select times and events of which you would like to be a part. The winning organization will receive a  recognition at the festival and a cookout for those who volunteered from the organization sponsored by Super 1....PLUS: You get free passes to the festival and a volunteer shirt!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Summer STEM Opportunities through SciTEC in the COE

We have some exciting things planned! If you've not already laid out your plans for you and your kiddos this summer, there are a few spots still left in our summer camps being offered at SciTEC'S IDEA Place in the College of Education. We would love to have you and yours as our guests! Please see below, and let us ( / 3182572866) know if you have any questions regarding registration.
June 6-10 - Bricks4Kidz Superhero Academy
June 6-10 - Bricks4Kidz  Jurassic Brick Land
June 6-10- Bricks4Kidz Work Vehicles (PreK)
June 6-10- Bricks4Kidz Garden Girls (PreK)
June 13-17- Bricks4Kidz Island Adventures (PreK)
June 13-18- Bricks4Kidz Character Craze
June 13-18- Bricks4Kidz Galaxy Far Away
June 20-24- Bricks4Kidz Brick Critters
June 20-24- Bricks4Kidz B4K EV3 Robotics
June 24- SciTEC's IDEA Place FREE Peach Fest Fishing Tournament at Lincoln Parish Park
June 25- SciTEC's IDEA Place will be at Peach Festival at the Kid's Tent
June 27-July 1- Bricks4Kidz Worlds of Amusement
June 27-July 1- Bricks4Kidz Mining and Crafting
July 5-9- Bricks4Kidz Interesting Insects (PreK)
July 5-9 Bricks4Kids In the Jungle (PreK)
July 11-15- Engineering By Design
July 13- Bricks4Kidz Pre-K STEM Day
July 25-29 Red Stick Robotics VEX IQ
July 25-29 Red Stick Robotics Jedi Mind Tricks
Don't forget; you can always schedule a private planetarium show or IDEA Place tour for a birthday party, family visit, or just a day out on the town, too!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Children's Choices Awards

The Children's Choices Program is a joint project between the Children's Book Council and The International Literacy Association. There are only five Children's Choices selected sites in the U.S., and Louisiana Tech's College of Education is one of those partnerships! Dr. Amy Massey Vessel applied last year to serve as a host site and was selected to serve as a team leader on ILA's Children's Choices Committee. Lincoln Parish School district leaders, Lisa Mangum (District Reading Coach) and Sherry Boyd (Elementary Supervisor) were integral in supporting the establishment of the Children's choice program in our area schools and will continue to support this 3-year program. More than 2,500 students at Hillcrest Elementary, Ruston Elementary, Glen View Elementary, and Cypress Springs Elementary School submitted votes from August - January after having the opportunity to choose books to read and share their reviews. Those votes were compiled and submitted to the Children's Book Council to create the 2016 award winning reading lists that were published this week during Children's Book Week.

Teachers from across the country use Children's Choices, Teachers' Choices, and Parents' Choices recommended book lists to select new books for their classroom libraries. For the many hours the Lincoln Parish Schools dedicated to this project, their reward is an entire set of almost 1,000 books for their school libraries. Teachers had the opportunity to see these 2015 published books from the many national publishing companies, sometimes even weeks before they were available in local bookstores.

According to Children's Choices Team Leader, Dr. Amy Vessel, "Bringing the Children's Choices Program to Lincoln Parish was a dream come true! Some things cannot be captured with a photo or put into words, like the excitement of delivering new books to the hands of a child. We look forward to watching this partnership continue to reach additional schools in the next year." Vessel is currently collaborating with Dr. Bryan McCoy, Chair of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership, to establish a children's library in Woodard Hall for our teacher candidates and the community. The 2016 Children's Choices winners are currently on display in the Clinical Residency Research Center in Woodard Hall 214. The following link highlights the selections: Thanks to Dr. Amy Massey Vessel for her hard work, the story submission, and the impact being made in our region through this program!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Kinesiology helps make Field Days Fun in Lincoln Parish Schools!

Attached are pictures from the LPECC Field Day held on Friday, April 29 for which 31 students from KINE 113 under the direction of Dr. Tammy Schilling and KINE 414 , under the direction of Ms. Lacey Deal, ran stations. There were approximately 230 preschoolers that participated and enjoyed the educational stations on Friday.
The Ruston Elementary Field Day will be held on the campus of Louisiana Tech on Friday, May 6. The Tech Leadership Council will host carnival-like stations in Lambright while students from KINE 113 under the direction of Dr. Tammy Schilling, KINE 256 under the direction of Dr. Jean Chen, and KINE 414 under the direction of Ms. Lacey Deal, will run Teambuilding and Olympic-themed stations on the rugby and football practice fields, respectively. Thanks to Dr. Tammy Schilling of Kinesiology for organizing the event and sharing this exciting story with our COE!

Louisiana Tech COE Children's Choices Program Celebrates Children's Book Week

Children's Book Week has been celebrated since 1919. The Clinical
Residency Research Center (CRRC) will provide a treat to anyone showing their love of literature daily during our week-long celebration next week, May 2nd-6th! Wear stripes on Monday or grab your favorite sporting hat on Tuesday! Most importantly, read a book to a child sharing your love for literature! (The CBW Calendar is attached to this email and posted throughout Woodard Hall.)

Please drop by the CRRC next week to explore the Children's Choices Book Submissions from 2015! We hope to have this book collection available fully circulating for all COE faculty, staff, and students by Fall 2016! The 2016 Children's Choice winners will be announced soon, and a copy of
all winners will be available for checkout! The Children's Book Council and the International Literacy Association co-sponsor the Children's Choices program, and Louisiana Tech is one of only 5 sites in the nation collaborating with school district children. We would like to thank Lincoln Parish Schools for collaborating in our 2015-2016 CC partnership.

For more information regarding Children's Book Week, please visit

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dr. Guler Boyraz Selected as the COE's Outstanding Researcher of the Year!

Pictured are Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Donna Thomas,
Dr. Guler Boyraz, and Dean Don Schillinger of the COE
Congratulations are in order for Dr. Guler Boyraz for her well-deserved selection as the College of Education's Outstanding Researcher of the year! Dr. Boyraz serves in the COE's Department of Psychology and was recognized at the Davison Athletics Complex today along with awardees from the Colleges of Engineering and Sciences, Applied and Natural Sciences, Business, and Liberal Arts. In attendance were President Guice, Vice President Napper, each of the Deans, family and friends of the awardees, as well as representatives from the University Research Growth Team and University Research Council. Dr. Boyraz's biography is below:

Guler Boyraz, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Louisiana Tech University. She received her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the University of Memphis. Her research focuses on understanding the personal, social, and cultural factors that affect individuals’ responses adversity, with a particular emphasis on traumatic life experiences, such as exposure to violence, childhood maltreatment, bereavement, and life-threatening illnesses. She is interested in exploring the risk factors that contribute to negative psychological outcomes following adverse life events. In addition, she is exploring the protective factors (e.g., personal, social, or cultural resources, or coping mechanisms) that promote resilience in the face of adversity to inform prevention and intervention efforts that are aimed at fostering resilience and positive psychological outcomes in vulnerable populations.  Dr. Boyraz’s research in this area has resulted in numerous publications and presentations, many of which are co-authored with students.

Congratulations, Dr. Boyraz, on this noteworthy accomplishment!

Monday, April 25, 2016

COE and PDRIB's Sheena Manuel Selected as Educator of the Year for the National Federation of the Blind for Louisiana

Recently, Ms. Sheena Manuel was recognized at the 2016 National Federation of the Blind of Louisiana, our state's affiliate of the NFB, Conference as the Outstanding Educator of the Year! Ms. Manuel is a member of the COE family and serves with Dr. Eddie Bell in the PDRIB office. Below is an excerpt from her acceptance speech and images from the celebration, Congratulations on the great work you are doing in our region, state, and nation, Sheena! We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with and learn from you!

Look at God! This has been the most challenging year of my career so far but this award lets me know that the people who matter the most appreciate my time, talent, and efforts to change what it means to be blind, to ensure that kids know blindness is a nuisance and not a defining characteristic, and any blind person can live the life they want! I am only the educator I am with the help of my team at the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness, Dr. Ruby Ryles, all the blind people I have met here and at National convention who continue to tell me their stories and dreams for blind children, my students and their families for allowing me to fight for their rights to a free and appropriate public education, and my family and friends who continue to support my dreams and believe that I can change the world! I humbly accept this award and know that even the Educator of the Year still has room to grow!

Monday, April 18, 2016

COE Partners with Jacksonville State University to Validate the Collaborative Regional Education Model: Technology in Rural Classrooms

In 2013, the highly competitive U.S. Department of Education, Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant Program, funded Jacksonville State University’s Validating the Collaborative Regional Education (CORE) Initiative. Jacksonville State University is partnering with eight regional universities, including Louisiana Tech University to participate in a national study to expand the CORE model and implement a rigorous study of approximately 40 control and treatment classrooms in 8th-12th grades across the nation. The initial grant awarded by the USDOE was 12.5 million. 

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Louisiana public school partners (grades 8-12) and participating teachers met to have their project roles “revealed” as part of the national study, Validating the Collaborative Regional Education Model: Technology in Rural Classrooms (CORE), a project conducted by Jacksonville State University in collaboration with Louisiana Tech University's SciTEC Center in the College of Education.

The mission of CORE is “To fuel transformation in K-12 and higher education classrooms through professional development, project-/challenge-based learning, technology, classroom support, change management and partnership building, evaluation and research, dual enrollment, and innovative teacher preparation.”
The goals of CORE are:
    1. To prepare students for college and career through increases in 21st Century skills.
    2. To expand methodologies and technologies in the classroom.
    3. To create sustainable support for system-wide change management.


COE Students help with the Big Event!

On  Saturday, April 16, students from the Counseling Psychology doctoral program, as well as ESPE and PEK from Kinesiology, and the FETCH student from UTeachTech participated in the 2016 Big Event.  Faculty advisors helping with the groups included Dr. lore Dickey, Ms. Jessica Szymanski, and Ms. Rhonda Boyd. The event, organized by the Louisiana Tech SGA as an extension of a national Big Event clean up day, allows students and faculty to engage in their communities and help others with yard work, community beautification, and more! This service event is national in scope. After meeting in Joe Aillett stadium on Saturday morning, the students took off into Lincoln Parish to make a big difference, and they did. Thanks to the Departments of Psychology and Kinesiology for your hard work on this special day!  Check out our COE facebook for more great pictures from the Big Event!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Arkansas STEM Education Schools Connect to LA Tech

Last Friday was a very enjoyable and personally fulfilling day due to having the privilege of visiting two innovative STEM-focused schools, eSTEM Middle Charter (enrollment, 900 students) and eSTEM High School Charter (enrollment, 600 students) in Little Rock, Arkansas. Coming from a rural environment, it is a bit different to visit schools located in the midst of the business and busyness of a city. This aspect made the visit educational while the teachers and students I met made it extremely enjoyable and very fulfilling.

If you are wondering about the reason for this visit, it begins with the COE’s connection to Ms. Danni Stuckey, COE alumnus and former teacher at Dubach Elementary School. During her association with the COE, Ms. Stuckey also participated in the SciTEC Scholars program where she learned of innovative methods to integrate STEM concepts, demos, and experiments into a reading curriculum to heighten student engagement. Prompted by this professional development, she developed a series of STEM/literacy lessons including activities such as how design and use pinhole cameras to discuss light and color, concepts while connecting directly to texts such as Lois Lowery's 1994 Newberry Medal recipient, The Giver. While the book was available on the students' Kindles and iPADs, they were unable to take them home, annotate, or otherwise physically engage with the text, and they seems to especially enjoy interacting with one that has a hard cover. Ms. Stuckey submitted a request outlining her vision and her need (40 hard cover texts), which the COE was able to meet due to the generosity of funding made available through the Pipes Foundation. 

Ms. Lindsey Keith-Vincent, Director of Outreach and External for the COE, who played a primary role in this collaborative event, joined me in “welcoming” the eSTEM students to the Tech traditions of excellence and in distributing copies of The Giver.  We had the pleasure of speaking with some engaging students from two high school classes who asked many insightful and interesting questions about Tech, Ruston, and University life in general. I am very thankful to the wonderful students of Ms. Craig’s AP English class and Mr. Pursley’s AP Chemistry class who asked thoughtful questions and who seemed genuinely engaged and interested in the process of learning and achieving. To Ms. Craig and Mr. Pursley, thank you for your kindness and consideration in allowing us to use some of your valuable instructional time to meet and chat with your exceptional students.
In summary, the visit to the eSTEM Charter Schools saw the establishment of a new competitive grant program offered through the Office of Outreach and External Funding for the College of Education, the initiation of a new relationship with some exceptional students and teachers from a stellar school, and a view of the P-12 education thriving in city environment.
- A BIG thank you goes out to Ms. Debra, Mr. Sarper, and Ms. Stuckey for a great visit and a wonderful start to what we hope is a long-term partnership

*Enrollment numbers are approximations provided by eSTEM Charter School faculty.

Visit for more information about the eSTEM Charter Schools.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Psychology Faculty and Staff Present Across North America

Dr. Jerry Tobacyck and Dr. Mary Margaret Livingston recently delivered a poster presentation titled Paranormal Beliefs of Latvian and American Students: Support for Motivational-Control. Other authors included Arturs Utinans ,  Gunta Ancane, Vinita Cauce, from Riga Stradins University; Elizabeth Dixon, and Quinn Warner, presented at Southeastern Psychological Association in New Orleans on March 31. Pictured is Dr. Tobacyck with two of the presenting students, Quinn Warner and Elizabeth Dixon.

In addition, COE IT Coordiantor, Chris Coleman also had a poster there presented in conjunction with Livingston, M., Boyraz, G., Hindman, M., and Tobacyk, J. titled Self-Stigma Toward Counseling: Internet Online and Office Settings. This presentation was also delivered at the New Orleans event on March 31.

A third poster presentation was also accepted and delivered at the American Counseling Association and Canadian Counseling Association in Montreal, Canada. The proposal was titled, Willingness to Participate in Online Counseling and Computer Security Concerns. Co-Authors included Livingston, M., Hindman, M., and Coleman, C. The presentation was delivered on April 2, 2016.

Congratulations to these outstanding COE faculty, staff, and students on great work related to Psychology!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The COE helps host WiSTEM Session for Parents while students engage with COES SWE!

The goal of the Women Influencing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (WiSTEM) organization is to provide opportunities for our youth to experience STEM related activities with institutional, industry, and community support. On Saturday, March 19th, as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hosted Future Engineer's Day on Louisiana Tech's campus. Simultaneously, the WiSTEM group hosted a special informative event in SciTEC in Woodard Hall in the College of Education for parents which included information about engaging young women in STEM learning opportunities such as camps and competitions. Team leaders also discussed ideas submitted by parents about bringing STEM to activities and events across the region. There were 15 people in attendance, and informational sessions were hosted by COE Dean Don Schillinger, COES Associate Dean Heath Tims, and WiSTEM founding Directors, Ms. Amanda Sutherland of Murphy Oil, Dr. Mary Colderera-Moore and Dr. Katie Evans of COES, and Mrs. Lindsey Keith-Vincent of COE. Lunch was  provided for the parents, siblings, and presenters by COES. STEM-focused activities were also available to the young siblings of the aspiring engineers through SciTEC's IDEA Place. Sarah Wages with Bricks-4-Kidz also contributed and helped engage students with Lego building. Volunteers from SciTEC, Dr. Julie Rutledge's class in CANS's Human Ecology, and UTeachTech worked with the young ones as they explored rocketry, engineering, and enjoyed time in Louisiana Tech's Planetarium!   If you have interest in engaging in STEM opportunities and promoting women pursuing educational opportunities and career paths, please feel free to contact the group through facebook at or by email at Those interested in summer STEM learning opportunities through SciTEC can contact Lindsey Keith-Vincent at Scheduled WiSTEM events for the spring include demonstrations with COES and COE STEM groups at the Ruston Farmer's Market. The market will reopen May 7.  There will also be many summer learning camp opportunities highlighted on the facebook site by mid April should you be looking for exciting educational activities for your students during the summer. Pictured are some of the participating students and parents from the event!

New Adventures with the New Frontiers Series!

On Monday, April 4, 2016, Dr. Joseph Bass of Northwestern University, delivered a community lecture at 5:30 in the COE's Memorial Gymnasium. The event was funded by the Lincoln Health Foundation.  Kinesiology, SciTEC, the Department of Nursing, the Department of Human Ecology, LSUAg Center, Gibson's Natural Grocer, the Boys and Girls Club, the Lincoln Health Foundation, as well as COE, CANS, and COES  collaborated to host this extension event of the already wildly successful New Frontiers Seminars hosted by Drs. Jamie Newman and Mary Colderera-Moore.

Before the lecture, The Boys and Girls Club enjoyed interactive activities, lessons, door prizes, and refreshments all led by team members Dr. Tammy Schilling, Dr. Jean Chen, Ms. Dewanna Blake, Ms. Patti McFadden, Dr. Braden Roemer, Ms. Dawn Erickson, Ms. Cathy Judd, Ms. Lindsey Keith-Vincent, and their excellent students and colleagues. About 100 students from the Boys and Girls Club from grades 1-12 took part in making this community extension of the New Frontiers Series a great success.

There was standing room only for Dr. Joseph Bass's presentation that followed the activities with the Boys and Girls Club.  We wish to extend great thanks to Gibson's Natural Grocer and Ruston's Farmer's Market for the awesome smoothie supplies and door prizes. Journalist, Derek Amaya, from the Ruston Daily Leader, also joined in the festivities to capture the great event!

Monday, April 4, 2016

CIL Represents the COE well at CAEP Meeting in Baton Rouge

Dr. Randy Parker and Dr. Pam Morgan participated in the Board of Regents CAEP - Educational Leadership Leadership Institute in Baton Rouge.
Higher Education Faculty from throughout Louisiana developed a deeper understanding of the new Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards and Assessment Expectations. The Session was chaired by Dr. Stevie Chepko - CAEP Sr VP for Accreditation- Washington DC. Thanks to Dr.Parker for submitting the story!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

We need your help more than ever!

Please see the note below from Dr. Reneau:

With only two days remaining in the special legislative session, we need your help more than ever. In this very tight timeframe, legislators must find $177 million to ensure the budget gaps for higher education and healthcare are filled. Today is the last day for members to pass bills from the House in time to be approved by the Senate before session ends.

We need you to spread the word on the importance of valuing higher education in Louisiana. Louisiana’s higher education system is already the lowest funded state in the South—we need reinvestment, not more disinvestment.

Instruments that could help spare higher education from another budget cut include:
House Bill 34, Rep. Walt Leger, changes upper and middle income tax brackets. Generates $44.2 M in FY 16 and $324 M in FY 17.
House Bill 33, Rep. Walt Leger, reduces the deduction from gross income for federal itemized deductions. Generates no revenue in FY 16 but $142 M in FY 17.
House Bill 64, Rep. Jack Montoucet, “cleans” one penny of sales and use tax exemption for utilities. May be amended to “clean” two pennies. Fiscal note in FY 16 is $60 M and FY 17 is $240 M.
House Bill 46, Rep. Ted James, reduces the amount of ad valorem tax credits and provides for the carry forward of 80 percent. Fiscal note assumes no revenue in FY 16 and $48 M in FY 17.
Clean penny legislation:
House Bill 61, Rep. Jay Morris, no fiscal note
House Bill 101, Rep. Katrina Jackson, FY 16 fiscal note of $170 M and $797 M in FY 17
House Bill 104 by Rep. Julie Stokes, FY 16 fiscal note of $116 M and $574 M in FY 17.

Please contact your legislator today and ask them to find funding to support our universities.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Believe and Prepare: LADOE Celebrates Louisiana Tech's COE and Lincoln Parish Schools' Successes

At 9 am in the Claiborne Building in Baton Rouge, LA, the Believe and Prepare Community Meeting was hosted by the Louisiana Department of Education. Featured was Mrs. Lisa Allen, a Louisiana Tech graduate, Fourth Grade educator at Ruston Elementary School and collaborator with Drs. Dawn Basinger and Amy Massey Vessel of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership on the Louisiana Tech University Believe and Prepare project. The project is focused on mentor teacher preparation to support teacher candidates before and during year long clinical residencies.  A variety of sessions were hosted during the event and included the following :

Mentor Training
Communicating to Ensure Candidate Success
Digital Support Tools
First, Are Students Learning? Using Data to Strengthen the Preparation Experiences
Preparation Program Inspection: Process and Outcomes
Teachers' Guide to PARCC Results

The Louisiana Tech University Believe and Prepare project has been incredibly successful. More than 70 educators have attended multiple workshops and conference sessions in the College of Education since the beginning of 2016. State Superintendent John White has also visited the district on multiple occasions to see the great things happening as a result of the grant program. We are proud of the work of the COE faculty and the amazing mentor teachers in Lincoln, Ouachita, and Union parishes!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Health Fair hosted at Ruston Elementary School by Faculty and Students from Kinesiology

On Friday, February 5, students and faculty from Louisiana Tech University hosted a health fair that promoted health and wellness at a local elementary school, Ruston Elementary. This is the second time this year, the University group has served the local school.  Students from KINE 255 and 402 and from Nursing 212 were assigned to different stations.  In addition, the Student Dietetics and Kinesiology students talked with the elementary students about the importance of health and wellness, and they physical demonstrated each of the exercises for the elementary-age children. In addition, the Louisiana Tech students encouraged them to participate in such physical activities in their spare time, especially after school and on the weekends. Three rotations were created for 344 third-fifth graders to rotate through. During the interdisciplinary service effort, there were 14 nursing, 1 dietetics, and 1 child life booths at the exhibition area, representing both the College of Applied and Natural Sciences (CANS) and the College of Education (COE). Four health-related fitness workout stations were implemented by the kinesiology students and faculty. The Ruston Fire Department also brought one of their fire trucks to provide fire safety education.

The four workout stations included:
o   line jumps, clap jacks, mountain climbers and standing elbow-and-knees for the cardiovascular endurance component;
o   partner claps, leg shuffle, inchworms and burpees for the muscular strength/endurance component
o   hip flexor, seated hamstring strength/spinal twist, abdominal stretch and stranding quad stretch/toe touch kicks for the flexibility component; and
o   BMI calculation and identification. 
The event would not have been possible without the leadership of Dr. Jean Chen, faculty from the Louisiana Tech Nursing Department, Mrs. Sarah McVay and Mrs Tanya Sims, and most importantly without the support of the teachers, administrators, and students at Ruston Elementary school! Below are just a few quotes from some of the participants and leaders. Thanks, also, to Dr. Chen for submission of this great story!

o   “I think it is important to encourage our youth to stay active and healthy. In our country, childhood obesity is a problem. By teaching our young people how to exercise, hopefully we can help fight childhood obesity.” – Matt Gunsallus, Kinesiology major
o   “I had a great time at the health fair. I really enjoyed being around the kids all day. It was great to see the kids so excited to exercise. That is the reason I am in this field of study. I want kids to be able to learn how to lead a healthy life.” – Dustin Horton, Kinesiology major
o   “It was great to see the kids’ engagement in all of the activities! As a student myself, I can relate to their excitement to being out of the classroom. The kids definitely kept us on our toes and we almost had to keep up with them!” – Sara Jones, Kinesiology major
o   “I felt great and energized teaching those little kids. They made me so happy and welcomed. They helped me improve my communication skills too. I hope to go back on day!” – Emily Rodrigues, Kinesiology major
o   “The health fair was a great opportunity to show my students how to deliver health content using physical activities. I had been “preaching” in class and we, as a class, had practice sessions on the stations/exercises, but nothing is more powerful than a reality shock. It was quite interesting to see how our students reacted to the “organized chaos” when at one point for the entire hour there were 106 children in the gym!” – Dr. Chen
o   “The Health Fair is a great way to introduce our children to the different types of health care.  The children in my classes enjoyed every aspect of the fair - from learning how to brush their teeth to crawling through a simulated fire tunnel, to learning how different exercises make one stronger - to name a few.  Not only are the students at RES learning how important it is to take care of their bodies, they are being taught by an excellent group of role models from Louisiana Tech.  It is always exciting to be able to bring these two schools together” – Patti Scheaffer, third grade teacher at RES