Category Archives: Diversity

The Maynard Scholarship

Donors like James and Connie Maynard are making a difference in recruiting and retaining quality teachers in eastern North Carolina. The Maynard Scholars program awards the top 10 incoming freshmen who plan to teach in eastern NC a four year $20,000 scholarship. Not only do these students get a $20,000 scholarship, they also live in an education housing community and have unique enrichment activities that will help them be a successful teacher.  If you are interesting in providing scholarships to future educators, please contact Development Officer, Kendra Alexander, at alexanderk@ecu.edu. If you are interested in applying for the Maynard Scholarship, please contact  Program Director, Dionna Manning, at manningd@ecu.edu.

 

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Institute Features ECU Assistive Technology Students

The Irene Howell Assistive Technology (IHAT) Center presented on assistive technology at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) New Special Education Directors Institute on April 9, 2014 in New Bern, NC.

Led by the Director of the IHAT Center, Dr. Laura King, undergraduate student members of the IHAT staff, including Ayla Allen, André Anglin, Bridget Corrigan, Sara Farwell, Rob Hicks, Chloe Morgan, and Murphy Newton, presented to 40 new Special Education Directors through engaging and interactive breakout sessions, allowing the new directors to learn about a variety of AT hardware and software, as well as implementation strategies through a universal design for learning approach.

The format and venue allowed the IHAT Center to share snapshot views of the professional development sessions currently offered to all ECU students and is moving towards offering the sessions for continuing education credits for teachers currently in the field.

“The growth of the professional development sessions in the two years they have been offered has been amazing to see. It has become something with momentum of its own, causing us to strive to keep up— what a wonderful challenge to have,” said King.

The feedback from the state presentation shared by Cynthia Debreaux, NCDPI EC Consultant for Regions 1 & 2, was overwhelmingly positive. The participants in the session shared that they enjoyed learning new information and technologies in the AT field, and they were particularly impressed by the professionalism and level of engagement that the undergraduate students demonstrated. King shared that one participant commented that “having future teachers present was powerful!”

For more information about the IHAT Center, please contact the center at atcenter@ecu.edu.

Bridget and Rob group Murphy and Chloe Andre Sara and Ayla

 

Ryan Earns AERA Recognition for Article

Dr. Caitlin L. Ryan, assistant professor in the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education at East Carolina University and her co-author Dr. Jill M. Hermann-Wilmarth of Western Michigan University were honored to receive the Article of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Queer Studies Special Interest Group at AERA’s annual meeting this past weekend in Philadelphia, PA. They received this honor for their 2013 article in the Journal of Literacy Research entitled “Already on the Shelf: Queer Readings of Award-Winning Children’s Literature.”  The article was nominated for the award by a diverse team of scholars, several of whom reported already using it as the basis for further research and/or as reading material for their teacher education classes.

Dr. Caitlin Ryan

Dr. Caitlin Ryan

In their essay, Ryan and Hermann-Wilmarth ask what it might mean to read children’s literature in elementary school classrooms through a queer lens. They argue that because queer theory has a history as a literary theory that destabilizes normative associations among gender, sexuality, bodies, and desire, it provides a set of analytical tools classroom communities can draw on to create alternative readings of a wide range of familiar texts. Such readings of books already on the shelves of elementary school libraries and classrooms can highlight experiences and subjectivities of nonnormative sexualities and gender identities in the hopes of making classrooms more inclusive.

Specifically, they argue that four high-quality, award-winning children’s books already included in many schools and classrooms—Sendak’s (1963) Where the Wild Things Are, Woodson’s (2001) The Other Side, DiCamillo’s (2003) Tale of Despereaux, and Patterson’s (1977) Bridge to Terabithia—can be fruitful sites for opening up these more inclusive readings and conversations. Their article offers possible queer readings of these texts as well as suggestions for how to encourage elementary-aged students to think about both books and the socially constructed norms of real life through a queered lens.

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Dr. Jill Herman-Willmarth

By first queering on-the-shelf texts and then asking students to think about how that queering connects to larger social issues, elementary classrooms, they argue, can become places where strict identity categories—categories that can marginalize queer students and families—are made visible, questioned, and stretched to provide more effective and more equitable spaces of learning for all students.  In this way, the article chosen for this award contributes to Ryan and Hermann-Wilmarth’s ongoing body of both single- and co-authored research exploring ways to make classrooms more inclusive for a wide range of diverse students.

This is not the first honor that Ryan and Hermann-Wilmarth’s article has received. Prior to the AERA award, their article was also included in Research in the Teaching of English’s ”Annotated Bibliography of Research” for 2013.  Included in this list were “studies that held significant implications for teaching English language arts, as well as research that might lead to new insights into the paradigms or methodological practices within a given field in the coming years.”

The Queer Studies SIG of the American Educational Research Association, the organization who sponsored the award, was formed for the specific purpose of encouraging empirical, interpretive, and critical educational research in education that considers an interdisciplinary discourse including queer theory, queer students and educators, curriculum and sexuality, issues of intersectionality, and other vital issues.  More information about the SIG, the award, and an interview with Ryan and Hermann-Wilmarth can be found at the SIG’s website, https://sites.google.com/site/queersig/.

Ryan and Hermann-Wilmarth’s respective departments / colleges at ECU and WMU supported their trip to Philadelphia to receive this award.

Get Ready for Education Summer Camps!

ECU/PSC AIG Camp AIG camp

East Carolina University and Pitt County Schools’ AIG camp is an annual summer camp for Pitt County gifted students who are identified as academically/intellectually gifted that also provides a summer experience for ECU teachers pursuing AIG licensure through ECU coursework.

The theme for 2014 is INTERACTIONS, allowing students to learn about photojournalism, robotics, cryptography, and more, as they investigate numerous aspects of interaction sin the world. Students attending the camp will be able to select topics that match their interests and all topics will include hands-on activities and interactive use of technology. 2013 ECU/PCS AIG Camp video

AIG Camp Quick Facts

  • 105 participants attend camp: 60 elementary students and 45 middle school students from Pitt County Schools participate at Ridgewood Elementary School, our host site.AIG camp2
  • 92 East Carolina University AIG licensure students, under the guidance of ECU faculty, gain experience to prepare to teach and advise gifted students.
  • Camp master teachers are Pitt County AIG (Academically and Intellectually Gifted) teachers, who begin each camp day with a large group session and model teaching for the ECU students.
  • ECU teachers present academically rigorous units in small group learning stations. Four to ten children are in each station at a given time. All units incorporate this year’s theme “Interactions.” Small groups of campers move through two learning stations each day.
  • Campers filled out an online interest survey to choose two stations of interest prior to the first day of camp. Station topics and room locations are listed below.

For more information about the camp, visit www.ecugifted.com and for more information about the registration process, contact Carmen Webb, camp director, at webbc@pitt.k12.nc.us.

Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics

East Carolina University (ECU) is one of four UNC system campuses hosting Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics. Administered through the College of Education, the ECU Summer Ventures program invites academically talented high school students with demonstrated interest in science and mathematics to four weeks of research and intensive study in a living-learning environment on ECU’s campus. Camp participants are North Carolina residents with aspirations to have a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

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Contact the Summer Ventures Camp Director, Shawn Moore, at mooresha@ecu.edu for more information.

The camp curriculum will focus on experimental design, laboratory skills, mathematical modeling, exploratory data analysis, and more. Program topics include biological, physical, and earth sciences, archaeology and anthropology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, applied mathematics, and statistics. In addition to the rigorous academic experience, Summer Ventures students engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, arranged by institute directors.

Summer Ventures is a state funded program that is cost-free for participants. ECU expects to host 60 students for Summer Ventures in June and July of 2014. For more information, contact Shawn Moore, director, at mooresha@ecu.edu or Cheryl Miller, program assistant, at millerche@ecu.edu. Also, visit www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/smventures/Index.cfm.

ECU Summer Science Camp

East Carolina University is partnering with Go-Science for the eighth year to offer a range of summer day camps that engage, entertain and educate children about the wonders of science. The camps offer small group experiences for children preparing to enter 2nd through 8th grades and feature experienced teachers from Pitt County.

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Contact Tammy Lee, ECU Summer Science Camp director, at leeta@ecu.edu for additional information about this camp.

Current ECU students serve as camp counselors and guide children through the discovery of science principles while having FUN! With creative sessions including “Lego Explorers” and “Getting Buggy” elementary and middle grades children have an opportunity to engage their minds while enjoying a summer day camp experience. For more information, visit www.ecu.edu/educ/msite/summersciencecamp/ or contact Tammy D. Lee, Summer Science Camp Director, at leeta@ecu.edu. Online registration for 2014 ECU Summer Science Camp is now active!

Spread the Word to End the Word

Spread the WordThe ECU chapter of Student-Council for Exceptional Children (S-CEC) held a Spread the Word to End the Word campus awareness event on March 5th in front of Dowdy Student Stores. S-CEC members, who are mostly special education majors, shared information with students and faculty about this national campaign to end the use of the “r-word,” referring to the words retard and retarded, and to raise awareness of its hurtfulness. They encouraged people to stop by, gain information, and sign the pledge poster. They handed out more than 100 Awareness ribbons and received more than 250 signatures on the poster. The event was a huge success! To learn more about Spread the Word, go to http://r-word.org/.