Fall 2010 - College of Education - University of New Mexico

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Fall 2010 - College of Education - University of New Mexico

DEVELOPMENTS AT

FALL 2010

A P U B L I C A T I O N O F T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F N E W M E X I C O F O U N D A T I O N

College of Education

BUILDING SUCCESS IN EDUCATION…

ONE STUDENT AT A TIME

The College of

Education begins

the new school year

by welcoming students

to a new home. Come

inside and explore some

of the innovative and

unique ways in which

our alumni, faculty and

students are building

success in education one

student at time.

The new COE building is

certified LEED Platinum,

making it the first publicly

funded project, and only

the second non-residential

structure, to earn this

recognition in New Mexico.

Low water flow plumbing

fixtures with occupancy

sensors in the new COE

building reduce water usage

up to 30 percent.

The new COE building has

four “simulated” classrooms

so students can practice

teaching in real world

learning environments.

Solar panels in the new COE

building provide almost 8

percent of the building’s power.


power of high expectations is what has driven my passion.”

From Blanco, a tiny village in northwest New Mexico, Florez,

who holds a doctorate in curriculum instruction, was the firstborn

of 12 children. Her primary education had a remnant of

segregation, yet she recalls incredible teachers making cultural

and social inroads in the minds of young students. Their desire

to make a difference, which she saw and admired, has become

the driving force behind her achievements in the classroom and

as an educational leader.

Florez, who began her college career at a small community

college in Durango, was the first in her family to go to college.

Pioneering a pathway and precedent for her siblings and for

later family generations, Florez credits her parents for her drive

and ambition. Though neither graduated from high school, they

believed in the hope and opportunities that education would

bring, she said.

Veronica Garcia (left), Richard Howell and Viola Florez stand outside UNM’s new College

of Education building.

The Promise of Education

At the helm of education in New Mexico are leaders whose

drive for learning and teaching parallels their love for the state.

Veronica Garcia renewed focus on public schools as New

Mexico’s first cabinet secretary of public education. Viola Florez,

the current secretary of higher education, has traveled throughout

the state this fall hosting countless town halls to discuss a

strategic vision for P-20 education. And Richard Howell, as

dean of UNM College of Education, leads the professors who

are educating the next generation of teachers. They know the

challenges New Mexico faces; they know the charm of its

culture—and they know, love and relate to its people.

Garcia served as cabinet secretary of public education for seven

years. Her story is one of success amid overwhelming challenges.

Born into poverty in Albuquerque’s Sawmill neighborhood, she

took neither food nor running water for granted. Having raised

her children while working full time and earning her doctorate in

leadership, Garcia relates to students whose responsibilities reach

beyond the classroom. The first in her family to graduate high

school, Garcia knew education was her channel to a fulfilling life

and she has spent her lifetime bringing it to others.

“I’ve a passion for high expectations for all children regardless of

circumstances,” Garcia said. “It is the key to breaking the cycle

of poverty. This I learned from my own personal experience. The

Florez has worked to bring that same hope to communities

state-wide. She recalls the culture shock she experienced when

she went from rural New Mexico and a small liberal arts

college to the University of Colorado, with one of the largest

enrollments in the country. Students from rural New Mexico

face unique challenges when they leave their comfort zone and

matriculate into large universities, often in large cities. As a

rural New Mexican herself, Florez understands these challenges

and advocates for all of the diverse student populations of New

Mexico.

Raised just off Fourth Street in Albuquerque’s North Valley by

a family rich in joy yet poor monetarily, Howell’s view of life is

analogous to his fascination with the boundless vistas of New

Mexico. The awe of Southwest sunsets brings hope and a sense

of immeasurable opportunity. Though his father died while

Howell was young, his parents imprinted upon him a drive for

education and an expectancy to excel. Since, he has grasped at

life’s opportunities with resolve. Attaining his master’s degree

at the age of 22, he went on to teach across the world and

eventually returned to earn his third UNM degree, a doctorate

in special education. He attributes his success not to being

abnormally gifted but rather to planning and vision.

With utmost reverence for his profession, Howell reflected on a

first grader he taught in a special education classroom nearly a

lifetime ago. “He tracked me down and called me; saying second

to his parents, I was the most important figure in his life,”

Howell said with tears in his eyes. “Because I taught him how to

read.”

That sentiment is the key correlate between these three leaders

in New Mexico’s education system. They are New Mexicans

leading New Mexico toward a world of hope and opportunity

that only education opens.

UNM ALUMNA HELPS BRING BILINGUAL

EDUCATION TO THE CLASSROOM

When Edna Alvarado enrolled her Spanish-speaking son in school she could

not find a bilingual program. She used her five-year teaching experience to

give him extra bilingual education at home after school.

Since then she has earned her master’s degree from UNM College of Education in

bilingual and elementary education and has taught kindergarten for the past 16 years

at La Mesa Elementary School in Albuquerque’s inner city. It is no wonder that in

2001 she earned recognition as a Golden Apple fellow for academic excellence in

bilingual education and parental involvement.

“I started doing research in the schools and I noticed that most of the bilingual

kids were underperforming,” Alvarado said. “I had the dream of starting a bilingual

program and helping the students.”

Alvarado’s kindergarten class is decorated with posters in English and Spanish and

her students switch between the languages as easily as they switch verb tenses. Most

importantly, since implementing the bilingual program significantly fewer bilingual

(continued on page 4)

Edna Alvarado, a kindergarten teacher at La Mesa Elementary,

discusses her bilingual curriculum.


NEW DOCTORAL PROGRAM ELEVATES

MATHEMATICS IN RURAL NEW MEXICO

STUDENT INTENDS TO

BRING COUNSELING

PROGRAMS TO MINORITY

COMMUNITIES

Rick Kitchen (left) and Arlie Woodrum are the leading

professors in the UNM College of Education’s new Rural

Mathematics Doctoral Program.

The communitybased

Rural

Mathematics

Doctoral Program

is a partnership

of the College of

Education, Los

Alamos National

Laboratories and

the Española

Public School

District.

Students in rural areas face unique challenges when it comes to education.

That is why the College of Education is teaming up with Los Alamos National Laboratories and the

Española Public School District to create the Rural Mathematics Doctoral Program, a new cohort that is

being initiated to develop school leaders in rural northern New Mexico communities.

“Children in rural areas don’t traditionally have the same educational opportunities as their counterparts

in urban areas,” said Ellen Perez, a doctoral candidate in the program. “Some of the best jobs are

available in northern New Mexico at Los Alamos National Laboratories, but we aren’t teaching students

the skills they need in order to succeed at the university level so that they can compete for these jobs.”

Eight administrators, teachers and community leaders were chosen from the Española area for the pilot

program, which provides specialized training in leadership in mathematics education. They then take the

knowledge directly back to the community for implementation.

Lisa Tsuchiya said she applied for the program to help make a difference in her community.

“I want to help contribute to the education of new teachers in our district and give students the best

chance at success,” she said. “Through the Rural Mathematics Doctoral Program, I hope to learn the

skills and ways in which to have an impact in the lives of our students.”

The College of Education

awarded Felicia Johnson

the 2010-2011

Carl P. and Erma W.

Dunifon Scholarship.

Felicia Johnson, a master’s

student in counseling

education at the College

of Education, is this year’s

recipient of the 2010-2011

Carl P. and Erma W. Dunifon

Scholarship. Johnson grew

up living on the Navajo

Nation at Shiprock, N.M.

and Houck, Ariz. With her

degree, she hopes to provide

mental health care services

in the American Indian

communities. Having grown

up in the Navajo community,

Johnson understands the need

for counselors in minority

communities.

Her goal for the future is to

help build programs that

address the social issues in

those areas.

ALUMNA RETURNS TO

UNM AS PROFESSOR

The Rural Mathematics Doctoral Program is community-based, with the Española Public School District

and Los Alamos National Laboratories providing scholarships to make the program affordable.

In addition, Professor Rick Kitchen said the Española community played a major role in the foundation

of the program.

“When we first met to talk about creating the program and establishing a curriculum, there were about

35 people sitting in,” he said. “I think this speaks to the dedication of the community. It is our goal to

not only improve the teaching and learning of mathematics in the district, but also to help transform

leadership in the school district by working together.”

Past UNM student Kersti

Tyson returns to UNM to

teach.

Students ask program leaders questions about the Rural Mathematics Doctoral Program during a forum

held at the College of Education.

Former UNM student Kersti

Tyson began her first semester

as a professor in the education

department this fall. Tyson’s

specialty is in math education,

which is critical to New

Mexico schools. Having just

finished her doctorate at the

University of Washington,

Tyson is back to work at what

she said “is probably the best

institution in New Mexico

to work in, in education.”

Working as a faculty member

at UNM combines her desire

to educate other teachers and

also to do more research on

learning.


University of New Mexico Foundation, Inc.

700 Lomas NE, Two Woodward Center

Albuquerque, NM 87102

Address Service Requested

Cover: Building Success (in Education)….

One Student at a Time

Page 2: The Promise of Education

Page 3: New Doctoral Program Elevates

Mathematics in Rural New Mexico

Page 4: How Will You Plan For Your Future

Supporting UNM sustainability initiatives: this newsletter is printed by a “green printer” on 10% PCW recycled paper, FSC certifi ed, domestically produced and printed with

vegetable-based inks that are low VOC (volatile organic compounds). To support UNM’s sustainablity programs, please contact the UNM Foundation for more information.

college of education

UNM ALUMNA HELPS BRING BILINGUAL

EDUCATION TO THE CLASSROOM

(continued from page 2)

students are being recommended for special education and the school has had to

hire a gifted teacher to meet the increased demand by over-performing students.

Passing on her research and experience to the next generation of school teachers,

Alvarado also teaches bilingual methodology and materials at UNM. Bilingual

education has been shown to be effective by allowing students to access academic

concepts in their native language and learn English at the same time, according

to Alvarado and her colleague Holbrook Mahn, a professor at the College of

Education.

“Studies have shown that students who are enrolled in bilingual programs

throughout their elementary schooling outperform native English speakers on tests

given in English,” Mahn said. “Native English speakers can learn Spanish at a young

age, making them more aware of English, which helps across the curriculum.”

Edna Alvarado teaches her kindergarten class

at La Mesa Elementary in both English and

Spanish.

Published twice a year by the UNM Foundation.

UNM Foundation Marketing and Communication Director: Jill Zack; Editor: Chris Elliott.

UNM College of Education and other contributors: Christie Ross, Yalexa L. Zuriarrain, Carrie Bullen, Brandon Call and Chris Elliott.

HOW WILL YOU PLAN

FOR YOUR FUTURE

What happens in the future will impact your loved ones and your estate

in countless ways. This is why careful planning is important to ensure

that your loved ones are well cared for and your estate is not subjected

to unnecessary and burdensome taxes.

We would like to help you organize and plan for the future by offering

you a free wills planning guide. You can’t afford not to plan! Please

contact Christie Ross at (505) 277-2915 or cross@unmfund.org to

receive your free guide today.

HOW TO GIVE

If you would like to make a donation to the College of Education, please

use the enclosed envelope or:

• Send your check, made payable to The UNM Foundation (please write

College of Education in the memo) to:

The UNM Foundation Two Woodward Center

700 Lomas Blvd., NE

Albuquerque, NM 87102-2520

• Make a secure donation online with your credit

card at www.unmfund.org.

• Donate through your employer’s payroll

deduction plan or matching gift program.

Please check with your human resources

department for details.

For more information on giving,

please contact:

Christie Ross

Director of Development,

College of Education

(505) 277-2915

cross@unmfund.org

Thank you for supporting the UNM

College of Education.

1-800-UNM-FUND

www.unmfund.org

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