Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education

Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education

            The power of community
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ED ARTIFACT
                                                            TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The composition notebook:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   A centuries-old design and

                                                                                                                                               6 Trajectory
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   its modern work
               The power of community

                                                                                                                                               A resource and morale boost
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   BY MICHELLE KEARNS
                                                                                                                                               7 Book Stacks                                                                                       The composition notebook-ubiquitous, anonymous, cheap-hides a
                                                                                                                                               New titles by GSE authors                                                                           history that goes back centuries before it and its speckled black and
                                                            SIMPLE:                                                                                                                                                                                white cover ascended to the school supply pantheon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      While modern purveyors sell a profusion of redesigns with recycled
                                                                                                    [in community]                                                                                                                                 paper, dot grid pages and covers with constellations and metallic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   swirls, Pennsylvania’s Roaring Spring Paper Products believes that its $2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   notebook was among the first in the U.S. to debut in the 1890s.

Editorial & Creative Director                                Muted:
Amber Winters

                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo illustration courtesy Roaring Spring Paper Products
Senior Editor                                                                                           Community in bloom.
                                                                                                        GSE’s work, research
Michelle Kearns
                                                                                                        and impact lie in its
                                                             REGULAR:                                   connections – between                  28 Great Recession:
Graphic Design                                                                                          scholars, students, alumni,
Ellen Stay                                                                                              people, neighborhoods,                 Lessons for the pandemic era
                                                                                                        schools, regions and                   from GSE alumni
Contributing Writers                                                                                    borders.
Bryan Hayden
David Hill
Marcene Robinson

Contributing Photographers                                  Students from the U.S., Mexico and India learn to make comics
Samantha Kilgore                                            and  explore the effects of the pandemic on their lives and
Jess Levenson                                               understanding of the world.
Gabrielle Mannino                                            COMPLEX:                                                                          44 Wheels Turning:                                                                                    “They were durable. They were cheap. No frills, no fuss, but they get
                                                                                                                                               A GSE alumna wins off-road                                                                          the job done ... You can fold it in half and stick it in your back pocket
Copy Editor & Proofreader                                                                                                                      motorcycle championships and                                                                        … You can’t rip a page out without it being noticeable … I think the
Arthur Page                                                                                                                                    as a university leader                                                                              composition is just sort of a go-to in education for those reasons,” said
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Kristen Allen, marketing director for the 133-year-old company, which
Web Design & Production                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sells about 2 million a year.
William J. Belz III                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The classic black-and-white cover design emerged in 19th century
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   France and Germany. The mass-produced pattern imitated the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   elegant, ancient marbling technique of dipping paper into a dye bath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   rippling with color, said New York City designer Aron Fay.
Contact us                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            His curiosity about the utilitarian book that his colleagues used to
To share your ideas and stories,                                                                                                                                                                                                                   draft their work led him to study its evolution in rare book libraries,
email us at gsenews@buffalo.edu                                                                                                                                                                                                                    which he chronicled online.
                                                             Vibrant-Casual:                                                                   24 Q
                                                                                                                                                   &A: Digital-age Literacy:                                                                         Fay then created his own fancy tribute that lay flat when opened,
                                                            DEPARTMENTS                                                                        Its challenges and nuances explained.                                                               had thick paper and Italian cloth binding. In 2016, it took him 30 days
Follow @ubgse on social media                                                                                                                                                                                                                      to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter and print thousands in Europe. “It still
                                                            3   Ed Artifact      Modern composure: A classic notebook evolves                                                                                                                      shocks me to this day,” said Fay, principal and creative director of FAY
                                                            8 On the Map         Faculty, alumni and student highlights around the world                                                                                                              His $20 notebooks, with a speckle pattern he drew, sold out in six
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   months. His Comp.design now features wrapping paper and totes.
                                                            10 Office Hours      Meet Clinical Assistant Professor Tiffany Karalis Noel                                                                                                               The best part of his foray? Learning the history that started in about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   1820 and, eventually, made it affordable for anyone to own a blank
On The Cover: A mosaic of faces of                          30 Roaming the Halls A master’s student-turned-entrepreneur                                                                                                                            book ready to be filled with anything.
the people featured in the community
                                                                                                                                               34 Anatomy of a Scholarship                                                                            “It democratized writing,” Fay said. “Start page one, plow through
stories. Photos were submitted                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and write to the end of the book. You have this work. For, me,
                                                            35 Scene on Social   GSE director of graduate admissions dresses up for the kids
and range from selfies showing                                                                                                                                                                                                                     personally, it’s important to have this record to go back to … Historically,
personality to professional headshots
                                                            36 Bulletin Board    School news in brief                                          38 In Memoriam                                                                                      each of the component pieces are not necessarily of the highest quality.
and environmental cropped images.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They hold together in a miraculous way.”

                                                             Muted-Formal:                                                                                                                                                                                                                LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021       3

Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education
Dear GSE Alumni and Friends                                                                         GSE in the News                                                Headlines from stories that
                                                                                                                                                                                 featured our faculty and students

                                                                                                                   “Another Voice: Police are ill-suited to handling mental health crises”

                                                                                                                   featured Sabrina Musson, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Counseling,
                                           s we close out this extremely challenging academic year, it seems       School and Educational Psychology. READ IT here

                                           fitting to focus this issue of Learn on community and connecting.
                                           There should be no doubt that community and connecting are                        “Chaos at the Capitol: Local parents, and teachers discuss
                                 central to the work we do. I am so proud of the many ways GSE faculty,                      the issue with children” included an interview with Claire Cameron,
                                                                                                                             associate professor in the Department of Learning and Instruction. READ IT HERE
                                 students, and staff reached out to lend support and provide assistance
                                 where needed. When the Buffalo Public Schools identified a need for their
                                 high school students, GSE’s office of educator preparation jumped right in            “‘Struggling Like Hell:’ How COVID-19 Intensified the Pressure
                                                                                                                       for Teachers Who Are Also Moms” quoted Julie Gorlewski, professor and chair
                                 and designed a mutually beneficial homework assistance program. As the                of the Department of Learning and Instruction. READ IT HERE
                                 needs for more literacy support became apparent, once again GSE, with
                                 the very generous financial support of Liz Czarnecki, BA ‘76, EdM,’94,
                                 created a summer literacy program for students in Buffalo. Our admissions            “Remote Learning Adds Major Pressure for Teacher Moms”
                                                                                                                      featured Julie Gorlewski, professor and chair of the Department of Learning
                                 and advising staff have been nothing short of extraordinary in reaching              and Instruction. READ IT HERE
                                 out and making connections with prospective and current students. GSE
                                 faculty, staff, and students made clear throughout this trying year how
                                                                                                                           “Rethinking grades amid the pandemic: Back to the ABCs”
                                 seriously we take our mission as a public research university. Throughout                 quoted Corrie Stone-Johnson, associate professor in the Department of
                                                                                                                           Educational Leadership and Policy. READ IT HERE
                                 the pages of this edition of Learn, you will read story after story of people
                                 coming together through their teaching, research, and service to help and

    GSE faculty, staff, and      support individuals and communities. Working with communities has been                  “How to tackle your child’s weight gain” featured Myles Faith,                              #F4B743

                                 transformational for so many of us and indeed has provided us with new                  professor and chair of the Department of Counseling, School and Educational
    students made clear                                                                                                  Psychology. READ IT HERE
    throughout this trying       insights and perspectives. As we turn our attention to reopening GSE for in-
    year how seriously           person classes this fall, I am humbled and honored to be associated with such              “California governor proposes dual-admissions pathway
    we take our mission          a talented group of faculty and staff and so grateful to partner with so many              for community college students” quoted Nathan Daun-Barnett,
                                                                                                                            professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy.
    as a public research         dedicated community members and advocates. Indeed, there is much work                       READ IT HERE
    university.                  to do to realize more inclusive and equitable, communities, but I feel certain
                                 that we are on the just path to doing so.                                            “Tough Talks: Families tackle current events with their children”
                                                                                                                      featured Stephanie Frederick, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling,
                                                                                                                      School and Educational Psychology. READ IT HERE
                                 Kind Regards,

                                                                                                                        “As schools re-open across the country, there’s one thing
                                                                                                                        that has not gone away: lockdown drills” quoted Amanda Nickerson,
                                                                                                                        professor in the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology. READ IT HERE

                                 Suzanne Rosenblith
                                                                                                                           “Adult support eases effects of bullying at boarding school”
                                                                                                                           featured Stephanie Frederick, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling,
                                                                                                                           School and Educational Psychology. READ IT HERE

                                                                                                                        “COVID-19 and School Reopening: Stakeholders Explore
                                                                                                                        Merits of Reopening Schools” featured Adetola Salau, PhD student
                                                                                                                        in Curriculum, Instruction and the Science of Learning. READ IT HERE

4   LEARN MAGAZINE | FALL 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                 LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021   5
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education
BOOK STACKS                                                 “Creating Sustainable                        “Who Decides Who Becomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Careers in Student                           a Teacher?: Schools of
    TRAJECTORY ALUMNI PROFILE                                                                                                                                                                                            Affairs: What Ideal                          Education as Sites of
                                                                                                                                                             Recent books published                                      Worker Norms Get                             Resistance” co-edited by
                                                                                                                                                             by members of the UB                                        Wrong and How to                             Julie Gorlewski, chair and

The story behind the story:                                                                                                                                  GSE community                                               Make it Right” edited
                                                                                                                                                                                                            by Margaret W. Sallee, associate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      associate professor, learning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and instruction. Published in 2019 by

“Brilliant Brown Babies”                                                                                                                                                                                    professor, educational leadership and
                                                                                                                                                                                                            policy. Published in 2020 by Stylus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Routledge Press, the book extends the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         discussions and critiques of neoliberalism
                                                                                                                                                                              “Literacy Instruction         Publishing, this book argues that the        in education by examining the potential
                                                                                                                                                                              with Disciplinary             current structure of student affairs         for Schools of Teacher Education to
                                                                                                       GSE alumna, school psychologist and mother                             Texts: Strategies for         work is not sustainable, as it depends       contest policies that perpetuate injustice
                                                                                                       Desiree Williams, MA/AC ’16, with her son Cortland,
                                                                                                                                                                              Grades 6-12”                  on the notion that employees are             in K-12 schooling. Drawing on a case
                                                                                                       4, reading “Brilliant Brown Babies.”
                                                                                                       (Photo courtesy Desiree Williams)                                      co-authored by John           available to work non-stop without any       study of faculty collaboration, this edited
                                                                                                                                                                 Strong, assistant professor, learning      outside responsibilities, that is, the       volume reimagines teacher preparation
                                                                                                                                                                 and instruction. Published in 2020 by      “ideal worker norm.” The field places        programs as crucial sites of resistance to,
                                                                                                       my activism as a school psychologist and                  Guilford Press, this book provides a       inordinate burdens on staff to respond       and refusal of, unsound education
                                                                                                       author,” said Williams.                                   blueprint for constructing literacy-       to the needs of students, often at the       practices and
                                                                                                          As she started her book by writing it out,             rich instructional units in English        expense of their own families and well-      legislation.
                                                                                                       like a poem, she included Black culture and               language arts, science, and social         being.
                                                                                                       history. One page has a line about coming                 studies and describes how to design
                                                                                                       from kings and queens of Africa. A character              interconnected text sets and plan
                                                                                                       wears a baseball cap with an X for Malcolm                lessons that support learning and
                                                                                                       X. Another is dressed in red, black and green,            engagement before, during, and after                     “Thinking About
                                                                                                       the colors of the Pan-African flag designed by            reading.                                                 Teaching: A Rural Social
                                                                                                       Marcus Garvey.                                                                                                     Studies Teacher’s Path
                                                                                                          Cortland, now repeats phrases back to her,                                                                      to Strive for Excellence”
                                                                                                       saying things like, “I’m a king, Mommy.” “I                             “Negotiating Place and                     by Casey Jakubowski
                                                                                                       wanted to create something that would help                              Space through Digital        (AC, ’08). Published in 2020 by
                                                                                                       parents teach their children,” said Williams.                           Literacies: Research and     EduMatch, this book seeks to give
                                                                                                          As she’s shared the book, sometimes                                  Practice (Digital Media      a voice to rural education, in this
                                                                                                       virtually with students, she’s been heartened                           and Learning)” co-edited     unstable time, and reflects on a wide
DIY publishing: GSE                                   “I wanted it to be something that was
                                                                                                       by their response. One memorable takeaway                               by Ryan Rish, assistant      range of research and experiences. It
                                                   colorful and engaging in rhyming language to
alumna makes a children’s                          build on those early learning skills and,” she
                                                                                                       from a children’s Zoom book club in                       professor, learning and instruction.       offers all educators a reflective voice to
                                                                                                       Washington, D.C.: As she read the page about
book from scratch and                                                                                                                                            Published in 2019 by Information Age       channel their own experiences on their
                                                   said, “so that Black and brown children could
                                                                                                       beautiful skin, she could see a little girl smile         Publishing, this book considers how        journey, beginning to end.
finds success on Amazon                            read and feel proud of themselves.”
                                                                                                       and point to herself, as if to say, “You’re talking       space/place, identities, and the role of
                                                      The project was inspired by her search for
and social media                                   books when her son Cortland was almost 2.
                                                                                                       about me!”                                                digital literacies create opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                 for individuals and communities to
BY MICHELLE KEARNS                                 Not many had Black characters. “Children
                                                                                                                                                                 negotiate living, being, and learning
School psychologist and mother Desiree             look for role models to see where they could
                                                   be in life one day,” Williams said. “I think           Children look for role                                 together with and through digital
Williams, MA/AC ‘15, got serious about                                                                                                                           media.
finishing her first children’s book the year her   representation is so important. It is essential.”      models to see where they
father died. Now, “Brilliant Brown Babies,”           She works on this concept with students             could be in life one day. I
                                                   in her regular job at Hamlin Park Claude and
which she self-published and put on Amazon                                                                think representation is so
at the start of the pandemic, sells about 10       Ouida Clapp Academy. “One of the things that
                                                   I do all the time, as a school psychologist, is        important. It is essential.
copies a week.
   She dedicated the book to her dad,              make sure the children who come into my
Charles A. Williams, a city health services        office know how brilliant and special they
                                                                                                          Reactions like that have been their own
administrator, “who always made sure all the       are,” she said.
                                                                                                       reward. “I would write this book, or put
brown babies in his life knew how brilliant           Williams credits her mother Tonja
                                                                                                       another book out, for free,” she said. The
they were.” It aims to get that message out        Williams, an associate superintendent at
                                                                                                       experience led her to start a new one about
to more children with bright, simply drawn         Buffalo Public Schools, for encouraging her to
                                                                                                       helping children identify their emotions.
characters inspired by Charles Schulz’s            address racial inequities. This led Williams
                                                                                                       “If you are able to access your emotions and
Peanuts, and affirming lines: “Brilliant brown     to GSE and course work about the African
                                                                                                       know what to do with them,” she said, “it really
babies… have curly, curly hair … always care       American experience. “We discussed things
                                                                                                       opens up doors for your entire life.”
and share … are smart, smart, smart!” and          like racial disparities in special education, as
“love to make art.”                                well as testing biases, which truly encouraged

6     LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021        7
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education

                                                                                                                                                                            GSE Professor
                                                                                 UB and GSE alumna                                                                          Jaekyung Lee
                                                                                 Amanda Knapp,                                                                              will travel through Asia as he
                                                                                                                                                                            studies how to make education
                                                                                 BS ’00, EdM ’03,                                                                           more accessible to girls, immigrants
                                                                                                                                                                            and refugees as part of his 2020-
                                                                               drew on her West Virginia roots
                                                                                                                                                                            21 Fulbright Global Scholar Award,
                                                                            when she began winning off-road
                                                                                                                                                                            one of the most competitive in the Fulbright U.S.
                                                                        racing competitions with a motorcycle
                                                                                                                                                                            Scholar Program. “My ultimate goal is to inform
                                                             graduation gift she got after earning her doctorate.
                                                                                                                                                                            global education policy initiatives, such as the
                                                             Now as associate vice provost and assistant dean
                                                                                                                                                                            United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on
                                                             leading student success initiatives at the University of
                                                                                                                                                                            Education, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality
                                                             Maryland, Baltimore County, she’s found a connection
                                                                                                                                                                            education for all,” said Lee.
                                                             between racing and academia. “It’s all about keeping
                                                                                                                                                                            Read the full story on page 37.
                                                             students on track,” she said. “You find a way within
                                                             yourself to overcome that hurdle … It’s all about having
                                                             the right support around you. Anything is possible. We
                                                             all cheer for our students. Just like racing.”
                                                             Read the full story on page 26.

                                                                                                                                               Salau, a GSE
                                                                                                                                               PhD student
                                                                                                                                             in the Department of
                                                                                                                                         Learning and Instruction and
      A GSE research                                                                                                    a dual citizen of Nigeria and the U.S., is also

      team adjusted                                                                                                     the senior special assistant for education to
                                                                                                                        the governor of Lagos State. Her focus on
      a graphic-novel                                                                                                   transforming Nigerian STEM education to be

      teaching project                                                                                                  more hands-on and interactive came, in part,
                                                                                                                        from her years living in New York, where she
      to fit COVID                                                                                                      finished her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
      restrictions, and it went                                                                                         She also learned as she taught STEM classes
                                                                                                                        in secondary schools in South Carolina, North
      virtual and international.                                                                                        Carolina and California. Ahead in the fall issue:
      Fourteen students from the U.S., Mexico and India                                                                 a story about how Salau is applying the lessons
      joined in by video calls and developed stories                                                                    of her GSE coursework in real time as she
      related to the issues and inequities at home and                                                                  launches innovative programming initiatives
      school that the pandemic highlighted. Their work                                                                  for the 5 million public and private school
      and drawings, developed with leadership from UB                                                                   students of Lagos State.
      and GSE educators, illustrated an educational truth:                                                              Stay tuned … You can read the full story in our
      “Storytelling is a pathway to learning,” said Sameer                                                              upcoming fall issue.
      Honwad, program coordinator and GSE assistant
      professor of learning and instruction.
      Read the full story on page 32.

8   LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021                                                                                                                                                                                 LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021   9
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education
                                          Prince’s “Purple Rain” album got a lot of
                                          play this past year. The artist is a favorite,

                                                                                                                                            Meet me in my
                                          in part because of his connection to
                                          home – Chicago for Karalis Noel and
                                          Minneapolis for her husband. “We both

                                                                                                                                            (ad-hoc) office
                                          grew up listening to a lot of Prince. It was
                                          something that we both really connected
                                          over when we met. So, when we are
                                          feeling stressed or feeling like we need to
                                          do something else other than stare at our
                                          laptop screens … something that we do is
                                          play our records. Even though it’s just the
                                          two of us and our two cats and dog, we’ll
                                                                                                                                            with Tiffany Karalis Noel
                                          dance around the apartment. It’s a really                                                         BY MICHELLE KEARNS
                                          great form of release for us.

                                                                                                                                            The shutdowns of the pandemic highlighted how much travel means to
                                          Karalis Noel bought this world map                                                                Tiffany Karalis Noel, clinical assistant professor and director of doctoral
                                          with her husband, Brett after they were
                                          married in 2018. They use it to plan and
                                                                                                                                            studies, in the department of learning and instruction. As she worked
                                          chronicle their journeys. The COVID-19                                                            from home, she noticed how objects in her apartment, like the giant wall
                                          restrictions elevated its importance.
                                          “We’ve been spending a lot more time
                                                                                                                                            map of the world, came through on Zoom and fostered conversation
                                          standing in front of this map and just                                                            with the PhD students she supports through their dissertations.
                                          saying, ‘OK, so where are we going to
                                          go?’” she said.
                                                                                                                                            Even Dexter, her new puppy, helped add levity           The program could, for example, support
                                                                                                                                            from his dog bed on her desk. “This is real life,”   a school district leader interested in
                                                                                                                                            said Karalis Noel, who also enjoyed glimpses         implementing and evaluating the educational
                                                                                                                                            of the cats and children from other people’s         impact of an antiracist curriculum. “It’s an
                                                                                                                                            screens. “It really provides an opportunity          opportunity to address those problems of
                                                                                                                                            to build rapport with students, and with my          practice that you’re observing in your local,
                                          Next to the wedding photo, there
                                                                                                                                            colleagues, in ways that are easily prompted         educational community,” she said.
                                          is a jigsaw puzzle of Madison,
                                          Wisc., home to the University of                                                                  by what’s going on in my background.”                   As Karalis Noel looks ahead to this fall’s
                                          Wisconsin where they both went                                                                       Karalis Noel focuses her research on              return to campus, she plans to take elements
                                          to college.                                                                                       teacher education, mentoring relationships           of her virtual and home office into her space
                                                                                                                                            in higher education and the role of equity and       at Baldy Hall. Instead of the virtual door she
                                                                                                                                            inclusion in school environments.                    kept open for students during the pandemic,
                                                                                                                                               A new doctor of education, or EdD, program        she looks forward to leaving her real door
                                                                                                                                            co-created by Karalis Noel won state approval        open and seeing people in person again. A
                                                                                                                                            this year. The online, part-time degree in           small new globe she’s marked with pins of
                                                                                                                                            “Learning and Teaching in Social Contexts,”          places she wants to go – from the Galapagos
                                                                                                                                            expects to enroll its first class next year and is   Islands to Greece – will sit on her desk to foster
                                                                                                                                             designed for working professionals interested       conversation and help students consider the
                                                                                                                                              in conducting research to solve problems in        possibilities of research-related travel. “We’re
                                                                                                                                               education.                                        definitely not going to take it for granted
                                                                                                                                                                                                 anymore,” she said..

                                                                                                                                                                                                     KARALIS NOEL’S RESEARCH AREAS
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Access and Equity
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Curriculum and Instruction
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Educator Preparation
                                                                                                                                                                                                     English Education
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Gender, Culture and Equity
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Higher Education
                                                                                           Dexter, who they got as a puppy from a                                                                    Linguistic, Discourse and
                                                                                           Wisconsin friend last fall, has been happiest
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Sociocultural Context
                                                                                           in his dog-bed perch on the desk. He was a
(Photo/ Brett Noel)                                                                        silver lining for Karalis Noel and her husband                                                            Literacy
                                                                                           during the pandemic. They knew they had                                                                   Professional/Staff Development
                                                                                           the time to give him the walks he needed.                                                                 Qualitative Research Methods
                                                                                           “It’s just a joy to have that experience of
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Race, Inequality and Education
                                                                                           raising a little puppy, which we both always
                                                                                           wanted to do and never really felt the time                                                               Social and Emotional Development
                                                                                           was right,” she said. “He has been a light for
     10    LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021                                                                                                                                                                       LEARN MAGAZINE | FALL 2020        11
                                                                                           both of us during this difficult time.”
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education

                                                                                   Community matters.
                                                                                   It defines who we are. It aligns with our mission as a public
SIMPLE:                                                                            research university and graduate school of education.
                                                                                   Community and its lessons strengthen academics with
                                                                                   innovations and evidence-based practices, improve
                                                                                   opportunities for people and spark creativity.

                                         [in community]
                                                                                   Communities are organic opportunities. They form and
                                                                                   intersect. Relationships develop and learning happens when
                                                                                   education, ideas and impact expand.
Muted:                                                                             This work is at the very core of our purpose. It’s in GSE’s DNA.
COMPLEX:                                                                           Faculty ground their research in local schools. They design
                                                                                   projects that aid educators and address emerging issues, like
                                                                                   racial justice and learning in virtual classrooms.
                                                                                   Our students pitch in with life-changing efforts, like providing
                                                                                   free tutoring for a public school system when teachers,
REGULAR:                                                                           students and parents struggled with the shift to online
                                                                                   We come together to ensure that a student struggling with the
                                                                                   isolation of the pandemic feels supported and included in his
SIMPLE:                                                                            new GSE community so that he can imagine his future as a
                                                                                   leader in higher education.
                                                                                   Newcomers are welcomed and supported, allowing them to

                                                                                   bring a fresh perspective and to do their best work.
                                                                                   We offer help and expertise to a new virtual summer camp
                                                Working with communities is        designed to keep young students on track. This, in turn,
                                          transformational. The stories in this    enhances teacher preparation, giving our students a chance
Formal-Vibrant:                         issue of Learn highlight the seriousness   to learn as they work.

                                        with which we take our responsibilities    By collaborating and partnering with communities we identify
COMPLEX:                                  as a public research university.         needs and find solutions. When we rally together, ideas
                                                    Suzanne Rosenblith, Dean
                                                                                   materialize into empowering initiatives, like the new Youth
                                                                                   Alliance on Education, a consortium of teens from schools
                                                                                   throughout the region talking about educational reform.


    12   LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021                                                                                        LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021   13
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education
                                            Ground-breaking collaboration with                                                                               LGBTQIA+ concerns and getting faculty to use
                                                                                                                                                             preferred pronouns.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 interesting and inspiring. I have never been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 included in anything like this group, so it’s

                                            teens from across Western New York                                                                                  “They just want to help out the students that
                                                                                                                                                             need it,” said Farrell. “They’re all fighting for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 super exciting.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For the GSE faculty leader

                                            sparks new ideas for school reform                                                                               everyone else in their schools.”
                                                                                                                                                                YAE meetings, which are open to any junior
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 organizing YAE, the experience
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 has been energizing.
SIMPLE:                                     BY MICHELLE KEARNS
                                                                                                                                                             high or high school student in the region,
                                                                                                                                                             will continue on Zoom for the time being
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “The kids truly see
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 themselves as change

   Lily Fisher          Sofia Reisman
                                            It was 30 minutes into the very first meeting of teenagers from across                                           but, eventually, they will include in-person        agents, which is
                                                                                                                                                             gatherings.                                         exactly what we
                                            Western New York. Students were typing their thoughts about school
                                                                                                                                                                For now, the virtual format has yielded          were hoping to
                                            reform and change on bright yellow, orange and pink virtual sticky                                               impressive results. Farrell has admired the         foster,” said Amanda
                                            notes. The cyber bulletin board on the Zoom call was filling up with                                             consideration and camaraderie she’s noticed         Winkelsas, assistant
                                                                                                                                                             as students use the Zoom chat function to           dean for outreach and
                                            their ideas about school change:                                                                                 praise each other for good ideas.                   community engagement
                                                                                                                                                                “They’re so excited to be a part of              and a clinical assistant
                                            “A place where mental health is not just                    us a voice. The adults aren’t running it. So far,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Amanda Winkelsas
                                                                                                                                                             something. To be so loving to each other,”          professor of learning and
Muted:                                        focused on but actually taught about to                    the group, known as YAE, pronounced “yay,”
                                                                                                                                                             said Farrell. “That’s something that amazed         instruction. “The experience
   Nishimwe Jeska       Inwoo Shin            students and staff.”                                       has drawn about 100 students in grades 7-12
                                                                                                                                                             me from the get-go.”                                of participating is validating that
                                                                                                         from 23 schools across Western New York.
                                            “An open environment where you can                                                                                                                                  expertise and fostering that sense of
                                                                                                         Students met and identified priorities that
COMPLEX:                                      express your feelings.”                                    subcommittees are now working on: Anti-             Ideas in action                                     agency in students, which ultimately will make
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 for better, more equitable schools.”
                                                                                                         racism and cultural diversity, mental health
                                            “My ideal school would be less stressful.”                                                                       From the beginning, Ava Brigham, 16, was so            The project began to develop last summer
                                            “Teachers making sure everyone
                                                                                                         services, anti-bullying and safer schools,
                                                                                                         improving student-teacher interactions and a
                                                                                                                                                             interested in exploring the ideas that came         during conversations with GSE Dean Suzanne        “I think this is a fantastic
                                              understands what’s happening instead
                                                                                                                                                             up, like student support groups, she decided
                                                                                                                                                             to start up a related organization at her own
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Rosenblith. The pair talked about the social      program. The way that it’s
                                              of rushing to do tests.”                                     LESSON/INSIGHT:                                   school in Royalton-Harland High School in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 justice protests of the pandemic. As they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 considered Buffalo’s own segregated school
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   unfolding is extraordinary.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   They’re giving us a voice.
   Rosaly Rosa
                                            These suggestions came during the inaugural                    Ideas for change are bigger and better            Middleport.                                         system, they wanted to bring students
REGULAR:                                    gathering of the Western New York Youth                        when a community works together.                      She won approval from
                                                                                                                                                             the superintendent to start
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      together to share their perspectives         The adults aren’t running
                                            Alliance for Education, a GSE initiative that                                                                                                                                 about achieving racial equity.
                                            brought together teens during a chaotic                                                                          Students for Tolerance                                            “The idea is that kids are the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   it. Kids are running it.”
                                                                                                         more inclusive LGBTQIA+ environment.                Unity Diversity and
                                                      time so they could make their ideas                                                                                                                                    experts on their own experiences
                                                                                                            “By the end of it, I was just feeling so         Inclusion, or STUDI,
                                                               known, discuss what was                                                                                                                                        and have important things to say,”
                                                                                                         much hope for what we could do with this            a club focused on
                                                                     important to them and                                                                                                                                    said Winkelsas. “How do we give
                                                                                                         organization,” said Jillian Farrell, a GSE          creating awareness
                                                                        learn how to advocate                                                                                                                                 them the space to do that?”
                                                                                                         graduate student working on her master’s            and understanding. “Its        Ava Brigham
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     COMMUNITY COLLABORATORS
                                                                            for change. As
SIMPLE:                                                                        the first session
                                                                                                         degree in higher education and student
                                                                                                         affairs. She has been surprised by the
                                                                                                                                                             purpose is to normalize
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 She is working on a summer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             event for students to present their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Local organizations join the project to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     help spread the word and advocate
                                                                                 unfolded,                                                                   these things that are                                         ideas for action and change to
                                                                                                         students’ innovative suggestions, curiosity and                                                                                                             for YAE-proposed changes
                                                                                  students were                                                              going on in the world,” said                                school districts and leaders. “We have
                                                                                                         passion for finding ways to include all kinds       Brigham. Because her school                                                                             • Buffalo Police Athletic League
                                                                                    surprised by                                                                                                                     a broad range of community partners
                                                                                                         of student perspectives in school decision          is not racially diverse, a group
                                                                                      how good it                                                                                                                with access to a variety of people in positions     • Buffalo Prep
                                                                                                         making.                                             of about 10 or 20 students starting to meet
                                                                                       felt to discuss                                                                                                           of power, who are able to act on the ideas          • Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization
                                                                                                            “I feel like I’ve really expanded the way I      every other week began by researching and
                                                                                       new ideas.                                                                                                                that the kids share. That gives me hope that
                                                                                                         think about higher education,” she said.            discussing pandemic-era civil rights protests.                                                          • Erie I BOCES
                                                                                        The GSE-                                                                                                                 there’s a lot of substantive change that can
                                                                                                            From the start, Farrell was impressed by             “The topic that we’re focused on right now
                                                                                        guided                                                                                                                   be made as a result of this whole initiative,”      • Buffalo Center for Arts & Technology
                                                                                                         students’ ideas for school change as she            is the Black Lives Matter Movement,” she said.
                                                                                        project, with                                                                                                            she said. “I look at younger people and I just      • Buffalo Public Schools
                                                                                                         read their YAE applications—from creating           “People had a lot of good questions because
                                                                                        eight local                                                                                                              feel so hopeful about the potential because
                                                                                                         resource groups for students with mental                                                                                                                    • Community Action Organization of
Formal-Vibrant:                                                                        community                                                             they had never thought about learning about         their ideas are so progressive and attuned to
                                                                                                         health concerns to reducing waste by using                                                                                                                     WNY
                                                                                      collaborators,                                                         it before.”                                         equity and inclusivity.”
                                                            Jillian Farrell                              washable metal silverware instead of plastic.           YAE also taught her about process. As                                                               • WNY United Against Drugs & Alcohol
                                                                                     aims to
                                                                                                            “Every single one of them had amazing            Brigham plans, she is applying the SMART                                                                   Abuse
COMPLEX:                                                                         students’ ideas
                                                                                                         things to say,” said Farrell. “I lucked out that
                                                                                                         this is the project that was put in my lap.”
                                                                                                                                                             goal model she learned and is making sure
                                                                                about equity in                                                              aims are smart, measurable, achievable,
                                                                                                            The experience has broadened her own             realistic and timely.
                                                                             education and help
                                                                                                         career interests. She enrolled at GSE during            So far, she said, YAE has been eye-
                                                                          them to organize.
                                                                                                         the pandemic because of the strength of its         opening.
                                                                         “What they want to do
                                                                                                         higher-education training and her ambition to           “I love how thoughtful and intelligent
                                                                  for kids is incredible,” said
                                                                                                         coordinate college study-abroad programs.           everyone in the group is,” she wrote in a
                                                          Lily Fisher, 14, an eighth grader at
                                                                                                         Now, Farrell realizes she enjoys working with
REGULAR:                                          Sweet Home Middle School in Amherst. “I
                                            think this is a fantastic program. The way that
                                                                                                         junior high and high school students. She
                                                                                                                                                             survey, “and hearing their different opinions
                                                                                                                                                             regarding problems in their schools is very
                                                                                                         likes helping them advocate for things like
                                            it’s unfolding is extraordinary. They’re giving

      14     LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021      15
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education
       UB Homework Help tutors come to the                                                                      “That skill of building a relationship with
                                                                                                             individual students and gaining insights into       In-person literacy program morphs                                                                         Google Docs. Even though she was at the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           other end of the state, it was as if she was in

       aid of high school students                                                                           individual students, for me, as a teacher
                                                                                                             educator, is just crucially important,” Etopio      into a unique summer tutoring camp                                                                        Buffalo with everyone else.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             “It was really cool to see the connection

                                                                                                             said. “We know you have to have a rapport
                                                                                                             before they’re willing to learn … You have to       for Buffalo students                                                                                      that faculty at a school can still have from far
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           away,” Casella said. “I think it definitely helps

    Kier Bishop, 14, made his mother proud and impressed her with his                                        trust the person who’s guiding you through
                                                                                                             your homework … That’s a hallmark of good           BY MICHELLE KEARNS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           with effective learning and teaching. You
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           were able to have a bunch of brains thinking
       confidence and focus as he transformed his freshman year grades                                       teaching.”                                                                                                                                                    about something instead of just one.”
                                                                                                                                                                 A unique lesson in community and learning emerged last summer
       last semester. He had a rocky beginning as the pandemic shifts set                                       Demonstrating another successful teaching                                                                                                                    There was another, unexpected bonus. She
                                                                                                             strategy, Pezouvanis flexed to adjust to            when the pandemic stretched on after the semester ended and GSE                                           and Jackson became friends, a feat that has
       in. When he started high school last fall at Frederick Law Olmstead,
                                                                                                             a glitch. While she’d offered to help with          began supporting the virtual summer camps set up by Buffalo’s Say                                         been more challenging during the pandemic
       he was making a transition from a smaller Catholic school to a public                                 English, she was assigned to cover geometry                                                                                                                   when her GSE courses were virtual. It made
                                                                                                                                                                 Yes to Education Program to keep students engaged while school
       school that he was not able to step inside of. Nor did he get to meet                                 as well. When Etopio checked, Pezouvanis
                                                                                                             said she could handle both subjects by              was out:                                                                                                   LESSON/INSIGHT:
       any of his classmates or teachers as he finished his first year.                                      brushing up on her geometry. “That kind                                                                                                                        Connecting to a community and
                                                                                                                                                                 After Christiana Kfouri, PhD ’21, trained 10 GSE     floated back and forth on the screens.                being flexible strengthens
                                                                                                             of initiative on the part of our students is
       As he sat in on his Zoom classes, Bishop had
   questions about what he was learning, but
                                                      Learning is a two-way                                  moving,” said Etopio.
                                                                                                                                                                 students to coach elementary school students            “We had a big dance,” said Jackson. He             learning.
                                                                                                                                                                 in tutoring intervention at virtual camp             and the staff realized the stakes were low. It
       he wasn’t sure how to get answers. When        street                                                                                                     sites throughout the city, they discovered a         was OK to focus on 15 minutes of spontaneous         for a much better first year of graduate
       his mother spotted an ad on Facebook, he
       agreed to try “Homework Help,” a new, free
                                                      BPS students gave their tutors high marks in
                                                      the reviews. And there were more interested
                                                                                                             “It’s given me a new lens.                          broader focus on community that made them
                                                                                                                                                                 better prepared to lead. As they worked, they
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kid fun. This led to a key insight: Remaining
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      flexible enhances learning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           school. “I felt much more at ease and
       tutoring service that GSE launched to assist   tutors, about 45, than there were Buffalo              How can I be an advocate in                         found ways to keep students engaged and                 “Just seeing that they were able to form a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           comfortable in the classroom because I knew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I had a friend,” Casella said.
       with virtual learning needs when school
       buildings were closed during the pandemic.
                                                      students who asked for help, said Elisabeth            and out of the classroom?”                          coming back to the optional, virtual sessions.       sense of community and successfully learn
                                                      Etopio, assistant dean of teacher education                                                                   The summer program taught GSE                     through the summer was really important at           A summer shift
       UB students earned teaching credits by         and clinical associate professor in the                                                                    educators and counselors in training an              a time when that seemed like that could be           The Say Yes virtual camp program wasn’t
       tutoring Buffalo Public Schools high school    Department of Learning and Instruction. The                                                                important lesson about the power of                  really difficult,” Jackson said.                     what Kfouri expected. In the end, that
       students who signed up for help.                                                                         Pezouvanis, who signed up to earn credit
                                                      success and extra capacity have led to plans                                                               community in teaching: Feeling connected                By summer’s end, Jackson had widened              didn’t matter. The important thing was GSE
          The program launched in November and                                                               for a course, got more out of the experience
       averaged about 80 appointments with UB
                                                      to continue the program next year, she said,
                                                      perhaps broadening the scope to include
                                                                                                             than she expected. As she worked with
                                                                                                                                                                 strengthens learning for young pupils and
                                                                                                                                                                 graduate students.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      his career interest beyond high school, which
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      had been his original focus. “I do love the little
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           educators in training got to try their skills
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           in a dynamic situation and build rapport
       tutors and Buffalo students each week. The                                                            Bishop, she could see how rapport impacts
                                                      more school districts.                                                                                                                      “Being with         kids a lot more than I thought I ever would,”        with students while supporting literacy skill
       popular initiative drew 125 UB volunteers –                                                           learning, just as Etopio hoped.
                                                         She has been pleased to see that some                                                                                                 one another is         he said.                                             development.
       from undergraduate education majors taking     matches, like Bishop and Isabella Pezouvanis,                                                                                            really conducive to                                                            The virtual experiences that have become
       courses in GSE’s UB Teach program to GSE                                                               LESSON/INSIGHT:                                                                                         Making connections from afar                         so common during the pandemic have been
                                                      a freshman education major, have been so                                                                                                 learning and being
       graduate students.                                                                                     Experiential learning benefits both                                                                     Julianna Casella, a first-year PhD student
                                                      successful, they met sometimes twice a week,                                                                                             able to learn,” said                                                        a great opportunity. Home life on the other
                                                                                                              teacher and student.                                                                                    in the counseling psychology and school
                                                      all semester long.                                                                                                                       Matthew Jackson,                                                            side of the Zoom screens, with dolls, toys and
SIMPLE:                                                                                                                                                                                        who is in his first
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      psychology program, was living at home in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Long Island as she worked at the same camp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           pets, help everyone get to know each other.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Insights, like
                                                                                                                                                                                               year of study for a
                                                                                                                Pezouvanis let Bishop take charge                                                                     program as Jackson. For her, the experience
                                                                                                                                                                                               master’s degree in                                                                                     these, about
                                                                                                             and guide each session, coaching and                                                                     led to a skill-building opportunity to lead the
                                                                                                                                                                  Matthew Jackson              school psychology.                                                                                     community,
                                                                                                             encouraging him to strengthen his problem-                                                               entire camp in a lesson about space.
                                                                                                                                                                    Jackson facilitated a memorable reading                                                                                           flexibility and
                                                                                                             solving skills as they worked together to                                                                                               She showed
                                                                                                                                                                 session about travel and ocean life for third                                                                                        adaptation have
                                                                                                             tackle homework puzzles. He zeroed in on                                                                                             campers a virtual
                                                                                                                                                                 graders and was impressed by how easily                                                                                              great promise
                                                                                                             his most pressing homework concerns—from                                                                                             planetarium
                                                                                                                                                                 the children connected with each other in a                                                                                          to strengthen
                                                                                                             English to social studies—and took time with                                                                                         that could switch
                                                                                                                                                                 virtual setting. They noticed and asked about                                                                                        education when
                                                                                                             geometry, which he likes for its connection to                                                                                       between views of
                                                                                                                                                                 toys they could see on screen in Zoom. It                                                                                            students return to
                                                                                                             his ambition to design cars.                                                                                                         stars and drawings       Christiana Kfouri
                                                                                                                                                                 was illuminating. The summer camp wasn’t
                                                                                                                “It’s given me a new lens,” Pezouvanis said                                                                                       that revealed               classrooms, said Kfouri.
                                                                                                                                                                 mandatory, but because students were
                                                                                                             . “How can I be an advocate in and out of the                                                                                        the constellation
                                                                                                                                                                 making friends with each other, they kept                                                                    “Once you build that rapport, they’re going
                                                                                                             classroom?”                                                                                                                          shapes. She talked
                                                                                                                                                                 coming back.                                                                                              to open up. This is a great opportunity to get
                                                                                                                Bishop noticed changes in himself since                                                               Julianna Casella            about how Orion
                                                                                                                                                                    During a lesson about the Great Barrier                                                                to know your students,” she said. “We’re so
                                                                                                             they started working together. He used to rush
COMPLEX:                                                                                                     through homework, just to get it over with.
                                                                                                                                                                 Reef, the campers came together even as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      was named for a hunter in Greek mythology.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Students were soon writing in the Zoom chat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           focused on this tunnel vision that we have to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           meet the needs of the curriculum We have to
                                                                                                                                                                 they lost interest. One little girl held up a
                                                                                                             He learned to take his time and work more                                                                that they could see the scorpion and bear in
                                                                                                                                                                 Barbie doll and another student chimed in                                                                 find a way to really know our students and
                                                                                                             efficiently. “I feel like it’s better than being                                                         the stars.
                                                                                                                                                                 happily, “Oh, Barbie’s coming?” Soon all the                                                              really be able to meet those needs within the
                                                                                                             sloppy and rushing,” he said.                                                                               “During the lesson, a lot of the kids were
                                                                                                                                                                 children were holding their dolls up to their                                                             classroom setting.”
                                                                                                                His Zoom partnership with Pezouvanis led                                                              really engaged,” Casella said. “It gave me a
                                                      A photo illustration features UB undergraduate
                                                                                                             to the sense of community he’d been missing                                                              lot of confidence in myself. It was just really
                                                                                                                                                                    Jackson and the other staff at the arts
                                                      and tutor Isabella Pezouvanis, left, and high school   at virtual high school. “It helps,” said Bishop.                                                         gratifying that I could be teaching them and
                                                                                                                                                                 nonprofit Community Canvases decided to
REGULAR:                                              student Kier Bishop, right. The pair worked together
                                                      during the spring 2021 semester of the pandemic.
                                                                                                             “I g0t to actually talk to her and it’s easier to
                                                                                                             understand stuff.”
                                                                                                                                                                 give the campers a break. They played music
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that they actually wanted to learn.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         She was also surprised by how seamlessly
                                                      (Photos courtesy Pezouvanis and Bishop)                                                                    from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” as dolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      teachers shared ideas and resources on

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021       17
Learn The power of community - OUR COMMITMENT. OUR DISCOVERIES. OUR CORE - Graduate School of Education
      GSE’s community supports new student                                                                work to build community within New York City
                                                                                                          schools, where they both grew up. He signed       Coalition addresses food inequity:
      as he starts grad school on rocky                                                                   up to be one of her mentees. Watson then
                                                                                                          asked him to sit on the student panel that was    GSE professor’s research resonates
      virtual ground                                                                                      part of GSE’s virtual “Creating the Beloved
                                                                                                          Community” symposium to address racism            in the food crisis of the pandemic
                                                                                                          and build community in schools.
                                                                                                                                                            BY MICHELLE KEARNS

      After finishing his degree in criminology and sociology as the                                      Guided by communities,                            After the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, Sarah A. Robert, GSE
      pandemic started last spring, Anthony Vargas, BA ’20, enrolled in                                   at home and UB                                    associate professor of learning and instruction, and specialist in
      GSE’s higher education and student affairs master’s program.                                           His journey in academia was shaped by          school food politics, began volunteering with Seeding Resilience.
         At first, Vargas, a Marine veteran, was         As the COVID-19 and systemic racism
                                                                                                          his roots as a first-generation student. “My      This Buffalo coalition of community members, nonprofits, schools
                                                                                                          parents immigrated from the Dominican
      motivated by his undergraduate work at UB       pandemics set in, Vargas felt isolated and this     Republic. My mother never graduated               and government—organized spring 2020 to address food inequities
      as a resident assistant. He set his sights on   dragged him down. Three members of the              from high school. My dad never graduated          highlighted by the pandemic—aligned with Robert’s research.                                        Sarah A. Robert
      a career in student affairs because he knew     GSE faculty showed friendship and mentored          from the eighth grade,” he said. “I grew up
Muted:how transformative outreach to students
      can be. When students feel like they are
                                                      him, taking time for long conversations while
                                                      cheering him on in moments when he needed
                                                                                                          in Washington Heights in New York City. It
                                                                                                          seems like yellow tape, like the yellow police
                                                                                                                                                            As a policy analyst, she works to improve
                                                                                                                                                            public understanding of the critical role           LESSON/INSIGHT:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 As she looks beyond the pandemic, Robert
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               hopes that increased public understanding of
      part of a strong campus community, Vargas       it most.                                            tape, has become a piece of furniture for our     schools play in distributing food. Local needs      Volunteering fosters opportunities             the critical role schools play in feeding people

      knows they work harder and persist toward
      graduation with confidence.
                                                         “To sit here now, as a master’s student
                                                      in this double pandemic that we’re facing,
                                                                                                          neighborhood. From shootings and stabbings
                                                                                                          and drug cartels … That’s what I grew up
                                                                                                                                                            were highlighted at the beginning of the
                                                                                                                                                            pandemic when school buildings closed. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                to contribute and learn.                       will lead to reform and equity. “Schools are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               food hubs,” she said. “Let’s reprioritize how
                                                      with amazing scholars at my side and in my          around.”                                          Buffalo Public Schools estimated that fewer                                                        we spend tax dollars to reflect our societal
                                                      corner,” he said. “I’m very grateful and very          Not long ago, someone asked him why he         than half of the 29,000 students who relied on       Chronicling new directions in practice and    values – because we do care about feeding
       LESSON/INSIGHT:                                thankful for that.”                                                                                   school breakfasts and lunches were getting         policy is the subject of her upcoming and       our neighbors.”
                                                                                                          wanted to get a PhD. Vargas answered by
       Communities need advocates to                     The first to help was Raechele Pope,                                                               help with hunger.                                  fourth book: tentatively titled “Transforming
                                                                                                          explaining how each one of his degrees is a
       support their members                          associate dean for faculty and student affairs,     tribute to the people who influenced him.           “Food, and how schools fill the need for         School Food Politics Around the World.”
                                                      chief diversity officer and associate professor                                                       food, are now more crucial than ever,” said        Robert is co-editing it with Jennifer E.
REGULAR:                                              of higher education, who also serves as his                                                           Robert, also director of GSE’s Social Studies      Gaddis, assistant professor of civil society
                This lesson in community              advisor and talked with Vargas at length            “To sit here now, as a                            Education Programs. “This is an issue of           and community studies at the University of      A screen shot of a Google map adapted by Seeding
                reemerged for him at GSE this         when he needed perspective.
                  year and led Vargas to focus           Then, after taking three classes with
                                                                                                          master’s student in this                          human rights.”                                     Wisconsin-Madison.                              Resilience to show food distribution and pickup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               locations throughout the Buffalo-area.
                     and elevate his own ambition     Stephen Santa-Ramirez, a new assistant              double pandemic that
                     toward a new goal of             professor of higher education, the men had a        we’re facing, with amazing                        “How do we use those
                      becoming a professor. That      connection. Their shared Latinx experiences
                      decision followed his own       and identities led Santa-Ramirez to become a        scholars at my side and in                        relationships to transform
SIMPLE:               low point as a new graduate     mentor to Vargas.                                   my corner,” he said. “I’m                         what matters most to the
                       student.                          He found a third champion in Terri N.
                                                      Watson, an associate professor of educational
                                                                                                          very grateful and very                            community?”
                                                             leadership and human development at          thankful for that..”
                                                              The City College of New York and a UB                                                            The Seeding Resilience team worked to get
                                                                Distinguished Visiting Scholar with the      “My bachelor’s degree was for my mother,”      food to people, support farms, encourage
                                                                 Center for Diversity Innovation. He         he said. “She always asked us: ‘If there’s     vegetable gardens and create jobs. Its
                                                                  was particularly interested in her         anything you can do for me, give me that       projects have included a map of grocery
                                                                                                            degree and I know that coming to this           distribution points and resource brochures
                                                                                                            country is all worth it.’                       that Robert translated into Spanish.
                                                                                                                “My master’s degree is for my family, to       Her work with community groups,

Formal-Vibrant:                                                                                             let them know I’m still making those strides.
                                                                                                                “My PhD is for me and my community.
                                                                                                                                                            like Seeding Resilience, informs her
                                                                                                                                                            understanding of policy. Lately, Robert
                                                                                                            It’s for the change that I’m going to use       has been thinking about ways to keep the
                                                                                                                                                            connections strong. “What’s on my mind most
COMPLEX:                                                                                                    my agency to make. Change in all of my
                                                                                                            communities­—in my Washington Heights           these days,” she said, “is how do we use those
                                                                                                            community, in my Latinx community, in           relationships to transform what matters most
                                                                                                            my first gen community, in my veteran           to the community?’”
                                                                                                            community ... All of these communities need        For her, the COVID-19 crisis has
                                                                                                            advocates in them so badly,” he said. “I’m a    underscored the diminishing funding for
                                                                                                            firm believer that mentoring works.”            school food programs, and the need for
                                                                                                                                                            change. The variety and quality of meals

REGULAR:                                                                                                                                                    have also been declining as school districts
                                                                                                                                                            centralize kitchens, and food costs for families
                                                                                                                                                            and students rise.

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                                                                                                                                                                     Kim realized that inclusivity is ongoing        class?’” he said. “There’s this relationship-
                                                                                                                                                                  work. As she prepares her classes, she looks       engagement piece that I hadn’t been thinking       GSE waives GRE for
                                                                                                                                                                  for scholarship, writings and videos, from         about as holistically before.”                     non-licensure programs
                                                                                                                                                                  diverse sources, taking time to find the right        While the Office of Inclusive Excellence
                                                                                                                                                                  pronouns.                                          hasn’t settled on its approach for future            This year, GSE began a three-
                                                                                                                                                                     “We have to do this all the time,” she said.                                                       year pilot study to better understand
SIMPLE:                                                                                                                                                           “I am revisiting everything. Commitment              LESSON/INSIGHT:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the impact the Graduate Record
                                                                                                                                                                  is not an option. It’s a must. It is part of our     Sharing knowledge with a community               Examination admissions requirement
                                                                                                                                                                  professional competence.”                            fosters change and inclusion.                    has on potential applicants. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        requirement was removed for most
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        programs as a way to eliminate a
        Amy Reynolds                           Raechele Pope
                                                                                                                                                                  Next steps                                                                                            barrier to accessing advanced study.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     initiatives, the website has resources culled
                                                                                                                                                                  This year’s webinar programming from               from this year’s work, including some session      Program faculty have designed holistic
                                                                                                                                                                  the Office of Inclusive Excellence was part                                                           admissions processes that will be

        Creating inclusive curricula and awareness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     recordings and strategies from UB and other
                                                                                                                                                                  of a bigger partnership with the schools           institutions.                                      studied to better determine their effects.
                                                                                                                                                                  throughout the university. Efforts ranged             Overall, the programming was successful.          Ryan Taughrin, assistant dean for

                                                                                                                                                                  from last year’s GSE Teach-In forum about          Strohl expects it will inspire the planning for    enrollment management, said the
                                                                                                                                                                  racial equity to a School of Public Health         next year that lies ahead this summer.             decision to remove the GRE requirement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the keys to more inclusivity is the      creates opportunity. It has allowed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        his team to recruit more students and
COMPLEX:                                                                                                                                                           “Every class can use                              kind of community exchange that Pope and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Reynolds contributed to.                           make graduate school more feasible.
   As part of a new UB effort to help faculty reimagine their courses to                                        you increase the awareness of students
                                                                                                                around social justice issues … about economic      a cultural lens and                                  “The foundation of real change comes            The exam expenses include about $200
        include more diverse perspectives, two GSE professors shared their                                      inequity,” she said. “And they begin to            understanding of inclusion                        from relationships. It comes from trust. It        to take it, along with the costs of test
        expertise and ideas with colleagues as one of a series of “Inclusive                                                                                                                                                                                            preparation services and materials.
                                                                                                                understand the ways in which systems are not
                                                                                                                working for everybody.”
                                                                                                                                                                   to better teach all of                            comes from learning from one another. It
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     comes from talking with people who think
        Pedagogy” online seminars organized by UB’s Office of Inclusive                                                                                            their students, not just                          very differently than you and maybe have
                                                                                                                   Considering social justice issues can also
        Excellence.                                                                                             improve science teaching. Pope described           the students that may                             had a totally different training than you,” said   “The examination is not a predictor
   In their webinar, Amy Reynolds, professor                  “Our belief is that every single class can
                                                                                                                how using news-related illustrations, like the
                                                                                                                lead-contaminated water in Flint, Mich., helps
                                                                                                                                                                   be from minoritized or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Strohl. “So how to break down those barriers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the siloes that people always talk about with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of success in graduate school.”
        in the Counseling, School and Educational          have a diversity component, even if it’s math        engage students.                                   marginalized groups”                              academia is a complicated problem, but I
        Psychology Department, and Raechele Pope,          or science,” said Reynolds. “Every class can            “So, you’re talking about science. You’re                                                         think that focusing on an issue like inclusive
        associate dean for faculty and student affairs,    use a cultural lens and understanding of             talking about biology and then you talk about                                                        pedagogy, something that everyone who is             “The GRE has often served as a
        chief diversity officer and associate professor    inclusion to better teach all of their students,     providing clean, safe water for people to         workshop about creating more collaborative         a faculty member at UB does … that is how          barrier in two ways, both in the cost
        of higher education, outlined an approach          not just the students that may be from               drink … in these communities where people         learning environments and increasing student       we’re really going to foster change.”              of the exam, and in the fact that
        to analysis and self-reflection in teaching        minoritized or marginalized groups.”                 have ignored it,” she said. “Those are science-   contributions to coursework.                                                                          research has consistently shown that
SIMPLE: practices.
           “Very few faculty were trained to actively
                                                              A change in teaching practices that veers
                                                           away from relying on white Eurocentric
                                                                                                                type questions with a social justice lens or an      The series of six webinars averaged about
                                                                                                                                                                  100 attendees per presentation and included
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the examination is not a predictor of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        success in graduate school,” Taughrin
                                                                                                                infused lens.”
        address equity issues in their coursework,”        perspectives is critical, they said. “All students                                                     topics that ranged from general approaches                                                            said. “Compounding this, is the fact that
        said Reynolds.                                     need an expanded view of every topic area            Faculty reflections                               to curriculum change to case study                                                                    the exam is considered to test someone’s
           She and Pope explore multicultural issues       to deeply understand its impact on the world                                                           consideration, anti-racist teaching practices,                                                        ability to take a test, not to actually
        in their teaching, research and writing,           and on various populations,” said Reynolds.          For Alex Reid, associate professor in the
                                                                                                                                                                  and how to facilitate classroom conversations                                                         succeed.”
        and have co-authored two related books                                                                  Media Study Department, Pope and
                                                                                                                                                                  about race.                                                                                             The waiver applies to all nine doctoral
        together: “Multicultural Competence in             Getting started                                      Reynolds’ presentation was a beginning. “I
                                                                                                                                                                     Pope and Reynolds’ presentation was                                                                programs and six master’s programs—in
        Student Affairs: Advancing Social Justice and                                                           thought it was a good overview of some of
                                                           To help faculty broaden the scope of their                                                             unique because of its specificity, said Jared                                                         educational psychology and quantitative
        Inclusion” and “Creating Multicultural Change                                                           the challenges and where to start,” he said.
                                                           teachings, Reynolds encourages resources                                                               Strohl, PhD ’20, diversity project coordinator     Alex Reid                Namsook Kim               methods, information and library
        on Campus.”                                                                                                Reid, a former professor in the English
                                                           like francesharper.com, a website aimed                                                                for the Office of Inclusive Excellence. “They                                                         science, mental health counseling,
           “Including scholars of color and other                                                               department, is director of UB’s Writing Across
                                                                                                                                                                  were really zooming in to the course-design                                                           higher education and student
                                                           at assisting math educators created by a             the Curriculum program. While incorporating
        minoritized and marginalized groups and            math education professor at the University of                                                          aspect,” he said. “I think that was the real                                                          affairs, school counseling and school
        infusing cultural content and critical analysis                                                         readings from diverse perspectives is a
                                                           Tennessee. The site includes problem samples                                                           strength of their presentation.”                                                                      psychology. The school will continue to
        is essential to making higher education                                                                 long-standing principle in literature courses,
                                                           that reveal social justice insights and help                                                              For Strohl, their focus on curriculum was                                                          require the GRE for programs that lead
                                                                                                                he is exploring how to apply that lens when
COMPLEX:inclusive and relevant,” said Pope. “If we
        are truly committed to equity, diversity,
                                                           people consider different approaches.                teaching about media and emerging
                                                                                                                                                                  particularly helpful for highlighting the
                                                                                                                                                                  importance of incorporating student insights
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to certification as required by the New
                                                              Reynolds and Pope highlighted the need to                                                                                                                                                                 York State Education Department.
        justice and inclusion, we must begin with a                                                             technologies.
                                                           include equity and diversity issues in course                                                          into coursework.                                                                                        Next year, GSE will re-evaluate the
        massive overhaul and transformation of our                                                                 Namsook Kim, GSE clinical assistant
                                                           readings, assignments, and how student work                                                               “When you’re designing a course, you’re                                                            waiver and decide whether to make it
        curriculum.”                                                                                            professor in the Department of Educational
                                                           is evaluated. For example, Reynolds explained                                                          not just thinking about the material in your                                                          permanent, said Suzanne Rosenblith,
           During their spring presentation, they                                                               Leadership and Policy, thought of Pope and                                                           Jared Strohl
                                                           that a diverse perspective can come through                                                            syllabus and the readings you have. It’s                                                              GSE dean.
        reviewed strategies for incorporating a more                                                            Reynolds’ presentation as an opportunity
                                                           in a math word problem that asks students to                                                           also digging a little bit deeper into, ‘How                                                             The research showing that the test
        diverse point of view in every discipline—from                                                          to self-reflect and ask, “Is what I am doing
                                                           calculate what hourly wage is needed for a                                                             are the students themselves engaging with                                                             does not predict success is compelling.
REGULAR:math to the social sciences.                       family to afford housing in a city like Chicago.
                                                                                                                transformative enough?”
                                                                                                                                                                  the course? What are the ways that you’re                                                             “Removing this barrier just makes good
                                                              “Then, inevitably, as you talk about that,                                                          bringing them into the fold of the curriculum                                                         sense,” she said.
                                                                                                                                                                  and asking them to become part of the

        20    LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LEARN MAGAZINE | SPRING 2021   21
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