CWUNews FeedNews Feed Professor Continues Efforts to Improve K-12 STEM Education, 27 Aug 2020 08:46:04<p>Wednesday, August 26, 2020</p> <p><iframe allow=";" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>Central Washington University received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help ensure university graduates are fully prepared to lead science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in any K-12 setting.</p> <p>Anne Egger, CWU professor of&nbsp;geological sciences&nbsp;and&nbsp;science education, said the four-year grant will enable future teachers to experience science investigation and engineering design in introductory undergraduate STEM classrooms. It also will allow CWU to remain at the forefront of preparing the best STEM classroom teachers.</p> <p>&ldquo;The burden is really on us [higher education] to teach science&mdash;especially in these introductory college science classes&mdash;in a way that engages future teachers in the same way that we want them to be engaging their students once they get into their own classrooms,&rdquo; Egger explained.</p> <p>The new work is related to the eight-year, NSF-funded &ldquo;InTeGrate, Interdisciplinary Teaching About Earth for a Sustainable Future&rdquo; project. Egger also played a key role in that effort, leading faculty teams in the development, testing, and implementation of free curricular resources across the undergraduate curriculum.</p> <p>&ldquo;I consider this current project to be a direct follow-on to InTeGrate, because, as a fundamental component, we are utilizing the curriculum-development process that we originated through the previous grant,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;A big difference between the two projects is the development of student materials and student reading, whereas the previous project focused on faculty materials.&rdquo;</p> <p>Egger also recently served on a National Academy of Sciences committee, charged with determining how to implement the Framework for K-12 Science Education in middle and high school science classrooms. That assignment further piqued her interest to ensure CWU pre-service teachers and their peers nationwide are fully prepared to enter K-12 classrooms.</p> <p>&ldquo;It further strengthened my own understanding that a lot of future teachers don&rsquo;t currently learn science, at least in college, the way that we want them to teach it,&rdquo; she added. &ldquo;And, at the same time, college faculty may not even know they have future teachers in their classes. At CWU, because he have a big education program, we are really conscious that future teachers are enrolled in our introductory science classes. But, at a lot of other institutions, that&rsquo;s not the case.&rdquo;</p> <p>Education in STEM fields is becoming even more important, as the Commerce Department projects related career opportunities significantly will outpace non-STEM job creation within the US economy.</p> <p>Media contact:&nbsp;Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-899-0235,&nbsp;</p> CWU Receives Companion Federal Grants to Further Improved STEM Education Efforts, 22 Jun 2020 10:44:10<p><iframe allow=";" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>There is intense interest in improving the quality of the country&rsquo;s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teacher workforce. How to identify the top potential STEM teachers, and what can Central Washington University do to help them become the best educators they can be are questions the university is now looking to answer with the help of new National Science Foundation (NSF) grants.</p> <p>One $63,622 grant is funding research into &ldquo;Searching for Connections between Teacher Applicant Information and Selection, and STEM Teacher Retention and Effectiveness to Inform Teacher Recruitment and Education.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Not much is known about the characteristics of potential STEM teacher candidates and, in particular, which ones predict if candidates will stay in the classroom and be effective teachers,&rdquo; said Jennifer Dechaine, co-director of&nbsp;CWU&rsquo;s Teach STEM&nbsp;program and biology and science education faculty.</p> <p>She added, &ldquo;This research is looking at connections between data collected as part of the teacher education application process and STEM teacher outcomes that happen later. We&rsquo;re using information on teacher candidates from teacher education programs at five higher education institutions in Washington, including Central. This study is completely novel and will generate empirical evidence to inform decisions and policies about admissions into our teacher education programs.&rdquo;</p> <p>The study will also look to determine the best stage at which teacher candidates should be recruited. A companion NSF $74,894 grant to CWU will be used for &ldquo;Building Capacity for Master Teacher Specialization in STEM Leadership.&rdquo; Such leaders are needed to promote innovative STEM curriculum in high-need K-12 schools which in turn can motivate K-12 students from diverse backgrounds to choose STEM careers and especially STEM teaching careers.</p> <p>&ldquo;Moreover, the STEM leaders will establish community partnerships to promote STEM literacy and relevance to everyday life,&rdquo; said Mark Oursland, CWU mathematics, and STEM education professor, and one of the principal investigators for the project, along with Ian Loverro, curriculum, and instruction; Allyson Rogan-Klyve, science education; and, Brent Hancock and Emilie Hancock, mathematics.</p> <p>The specialization will be the first of its kind in the state. By completing the CWU STEM Leadership program, STEM leaders will improve their teaching practice, developing knowledge and skills to mentor other teachers in best teaching practices, and be prepared to complete National Board Certification.</p> <p>Media contact:&nbsp;Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-899-0235,&nbsp;</p> CWU-Des Moines Helps Define Global Role of 21st Century School Teachers, 05 Feb 2020 09:51:55<p>Tuesday, February 4, 2020&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>Five educators from the Eastern European country of Georgia will visit CWU-Des Moines to learn about CWU&rsquo;s innovative Teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program. Their visit is part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a three-week, professional exchange program through the US State Department,&rdquo; explained Julianna Patterson, program coordinator for the World Affairs Council of Seattle&rsquo;s International Visitor Program (IVP). &ldquo;All of the visitors are current or emerging leaders in their field and they were nominated by the embassy in their country. They have to be doing great work in their field and their community to be selected for the program.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Run through its Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, IVLP is regarded as the State Department&rsquo;s premiere professional-development program and is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. The State Department partners with nearly 90 community organizations throughout the United States, including the World Affairs Council of Seattle, to create opportunities for IVLP visitors to meet with their professional peers, exchange ideas, and build bridges of peace and understanding. &nbsp;</p> <p>This specific IVLP program, &ldquo;The Role of School Teachers in the 21st Century,&rdquo; is aimed at connecting educators and institutions working in teacher training and retention in exploring unique approaches to teaching certification that address the need for teachers in fields like STEM.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The Teach STEM program that CWU is doing offers a really unique case study on another way to get students involved in teaching, help solve teacher shortages, and increase the number of students from diverse backgrounds getting into the field,&rdquo; said Camille Adkins-Rieck, World Affairs Council IVP program officer. &ldquo;So, I suggested the program to our State Department liaisons and proposed it as a good fit for our visiting educators. They loved it.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Jennifer Dechaine-Berkas, who is co-director of CWU&rsquo;s Teach STEM program and serves on the biology and science education faculty, acknowledged, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an honor for Teach STEM at CWU-Des Moines to be highlighted to these respected educators! This is a great opportunity for our program and students to learn about education in Georgia.&rdquo;</p> <p>CWU&rsquo;s Teach STEM program is a collaboration between the sciences and education that helps students get certified to teach in science and math fields. The two-year program was first offered this fall at CWU-Des Moines. It&rsquo;s been available for the past two years on the Ellensburg campus.</p> <p>Darin Knapp, a master teacher, who oversees Teach STEM at CWU-Des Moines, added, &ldquo;I&#39;m eager to host our visitors from Georgia and share about our Teach STEM model, and how we recruit and prepare future STEM teachers,&rdquo; said &ldquo;This will be a collaborative visit and we look forward to learning from the work they are doing to train and keep teachers in the field of education in their country as well.&rdquo;</p> <p>While at CWU-Des Moines, the visiting delegation will attend a class and participate in a question-and-answer session.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The delegates coming to CWU-Des Moines are principals or head teachers in K12 schools, and university retention personnel. During their three-week visit, they will also spend time in Baltimore, Boston, Portland, Oregon; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Washington DC.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &ldquo;While the theme is around education, in each city they&rsquo;re hoping to explore different topics,&rdquo; Adkins-Rieck pointed out. The delegation will be at CWU-Des Moines on Monday, February 10.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> CWU-Des Moines is a partnership with Highline College that provides classes based on community and workforce demands through programs that allow students and working professionals to earn degrees and certifications in education and a number of other disciplines.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The World Affairs Council of Seattle was founded in 1951 to advance global understanding and engagement throughout the Greater Seattle area. Their core programs include community events, classroom program design for K-12 educators and students, and citizen diplomacy initiatives and global exchange programs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p> New Central Washington University Program Allows for Fast-tracking STEM Educators, 29 Oct 2019 08:57:00<p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 217px;" /></p> <p>Central Washington University is introducing a new program designed to fast-track the process of becoming an educator in STEM.&nbsp;</p> <p>STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, fields which are predicted to grow substantially&nbsp;in the near future.&nbsp;</p> <p>Teach STEM is a two-year CWU program that allows students to earn their degree while pursuing a career as an educator.</p> <p>It follows the&nbsp;UTeach&nbsp;model that originated at the University of Texas.&nbsp;</p> <p>The UTeach program is a national effort to satisfy the shortage of STEM educators by making it easier to become a certified teacher.&nbsp;</p> <p>Students enrolled in this two-year program are introduced to the classroom environment from the beginning and will continue to receive teaching assistance from the program for their first two years working as a teacher.&nbsp;</p> <p>Watch this news story in its entirety online at <a href="">K5News</a>.</p> <p>Tuesday, October 29, 2019</p> CWU Teach STEM graduates to meet with newest program students, 16 Oct 2019 08:50:44<p>The newest graduates of CWU&rsquo;s novel Teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program will meet with upcoming graduates during a special event to be held at CWU-Des Moines.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Based on the successful, national UTeach model, CWU&rsquo;s Teach STEM is a partnership involving the university&rsquo;s sciences and education departments. It is specifically for students seeking teacher certification in STEM fields, which includes computer science. STEM teachers are critically needed, as there has been a documented more than 20-year shortage in Washington alone.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of the programs first 22 students who completed the program last June are already employed at school districts around the state. A number of them will be on-hand to talk about their experiences with those in the first class to be enrolled in Teach STEM at CWU-Des Moines. The Teach STEM Des Moines 2019 Celebration event is planned for Tuesday, October 22, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at Highline College, Building 2.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 200px; height: 100px; float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px;" /></p> <p>At the gathering, Kimber Conners, executive director of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS), and Joelle Denny, vice president of Human Resources for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, who is also a member of the WSOS board of directors will address and meet with attendees.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;WSOS is a public-private partnership that is committed to helping our state address the critical need for more STEM teachers,&rdquo; says Jennifer Dechaine-Berkas, who co-directs CWU&rsquo;s Teach STEM and is a professor of biology and science education. &ldquo;It was instrumental in providing financial and other support needed for us to begin our Teach STEM program. In just two years, we are on track to double the amount of STEM teachers graduating in Ellensburg. We&rsquo;re looking forward to having June graduates meet with those who will be our first graduates from CWU-Des Moines.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>CWU President James L. Gaudino, Paul Ballard, dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies; and Tim Englund, dean, College of the Sciences will also be on hand to welcome the first western Washington students into the program.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We have a strong, long-term partnership with Highline College, where our Des Moines University Center is located,&rdquo; explained Dechaine-Berkas. &ldquo;We have a number of faculty who have been working in science and math education there for years. We had a good community there already that was able to take on this program.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nationwide, 44 universities in 23 states and the District of Columbia have implemented UTeach programs. However, CWU&rsquo;s two-year Teach STEM is the only program of its kind in Washington.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Across the country, the number of people becoming teachers has been dropping for a long time,&rdquo; said Dechaine-Berkas. &ldquo;What&rsquo;s important is that, since UTeach has been underway, there&rsquo;s been an increase in the number of people becoming math and science teachers, and those choosing to teach STEM in high-needs schools too.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The first cohort of students now taking coursework in the CWU-Des Moines Teach STEM program, which began fall quarter, will be among the next group to continue that upward trend, along with those who are now making an impact from the first graduating class.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>-30-</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo: (L. to r.) Kimber Connors, executive director, Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS), and Joelle Denney, vice president, Human Resources, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, who serves on the WSOS board of directors.</p> <p>Tuesday, October 15, 2019</p> CWU addresses shortage of STEM teachers throughout Washington, 24 Sep 2019 09:35:20<p><iframe allow=";" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>Washington has been ranked third in the country for job creation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, the Evergreen State was also rated near the bottom in the number of students pursuing higher education.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Central Washington University is bridging the gap by developing needed teachers through its Teach STEM program, the only UTeach national STEM teacher preparation program in the Pacific Northwest. The collaboration between the sciences and education helps students get certified to teach in science and math fields.</p> <p><iframe allow=";" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p><em>&ldquo;You get to work with students immediately in the field, you actually teach science and math lessons and integrated STEM lessons in the field. The point of that is that you really get to try out teaching and see if this is a good career for you. So, my advice to students is to go and take that first class.&rdquo;&nbsp;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The two-year program will be offered for the first time this fall at the CWU-Des Moines University Center. It&rsquo;s been offered for the past two years on the Ellensburg campus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been successful in that we are on track to double the number of graduates from Central in science and math education,&rdquo; says Jennifer Dechaine-Berkas, who is co-director of CWU&rsquo;s Teach STEM program and serves on the biology and science education faculty. &ldquo;There is no similar program in the Puget Sound Area, so we decided to expand the program and offer it at CWU-Des Moines.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Those additional teachers are needed as there has been a STEM teacher shortage in Washington for a quarter of a century.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s one, big hole in the STEM pipeline and that&rsquo;s training more strong STEM teachers to go into the field,&rdquo; Dechaine-Berkas notes. &ldquo;The reason we implemented this program in the first place was, in part, to start to address that need.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While CWU has a long establish track-record of training a high-quality and high-quantity of teachers, Teach STEM is somewhat atypical.</p> <p><iframe allow=";" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p><em>&ldquo;We have lots of teacher education programs and we have been doing this for over 126 years now. But what&rsquo;s new and novel about this program is that it&rsquo;s co-directed between sciences and education.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Being directed by both the sciences and education has allowed for some courses on the Ellensburg campus to be co-taught by faculty from different disciplines.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;At CWU-Des Moines we will have courses taught strictly by education faculty and science faculty, who will collaborate outside of the classroom,&rdquo; explained Ian Loverro, co-director, and the chair of Curriculum, Supervision, and Educational Leadership at CWU. &ldquo;This type of collaboration allows the courses fit together very well. The faculty like the cohesiveness of the program collegiality of working together toward a similar goal.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Darin Knapp, a master teacher at CWU-Des Moines, will oversee the new program, which is designed specifically to develop teachers for the fourth through ninth grades. Knapp taught math and science in schools in Seattle for 16 years.</p> <p><iframe allow=";" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p><em>&ldquo;I think we need more teachers who are excited about teaching math and science&mdash;especially women, women of color, especially young people who can see that math and science are important for our future, people that want to get in the classroom, that want to be creative and teach students how to problem solve, especially in those middle grades.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Those middle grades are such a critical time for students to get pulled in to math and science and see themselves at mathematicians and scientists,&rdquo; Knapp says. &ldquo;Those teachers [produced at CWU-Des Moines] are going to be impactful during those times.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The CWU program not only prepares teachers to enter the classroom, it also helps provide the support needed for them to remain there.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;One of the things that Washington State and teacher education in general are concerned about is that too many teachers leave the field within the first five years,&rdquo; Dechaine-Berkas points out. &ldquo;One of the special things about the Central program is that it provides what&rsquo;s called &lsquo;induction support.&rsquo; So, we provide support to our graduates throughout their first two years of teaching.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Through Teach STEM, the university also looks to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups majoring in science and science education, and ensure that all program graduates have familiarity with what&rsquo;s known as &ldquo;STEM integration.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;So, every math student gets a little bit of experience with science, and every science student gets a little bit of experience with math, as well as project-based instruction,&rdquo; Dechaine-Berkas explains. &ldquo;This means they&rsquo;re learning how to teach math, science, and computer science using real-world experiences that are relevant to the communities that their students come from.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>CWU-Des Moines was selected for the expanded program because of its established history of having strong teacher-education programs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;Because of that long tradition, Central already has solid relationships with school districts in western Washington,&rdquo; Dechaine-Berkas says. &ldquo;One of the special things about the Des Moines program is that students are going to have field experiences in area schools in all six quarters. Those early field experiences are critical to helping students develop the basics of teaching&mdash;their starter skills&mdash;which they build on from there.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Based on feedback from the first program graduates, who received their diplomas last June, it&rsquo;s a successful formula.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had a number of mentor teachers, who have been working with student teachers for years, tell me that our student teachers this [past] year were more prepared than in previous years,&rdquo; Dechaine-Berkas adds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p> <p>Monday, September 23, 2019</p> Local Students Get a Head Start in KidWind Projects, 23 Aug 2019 09:50:54<p>As society becomes ever more tech-oriented, parents, educators and employers are realizing the importance of exposing students to science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes as soon as possible. The Kidwind Project is just one of the many programs hoping to jump start that process.</p> <p>Local fourth and fifth graders gathered in a Central Washington University classroom to learn about the physics of wind turbines and how they operate. Arthur Morken, a CWU professor for science teaching, led the class as students eagerly examined an array of mock wings, fans and PVC pipes.</p> <p>Morken explained to students that renewable energy is the wind beneath the turbine blades and depending on the direction of the wind and its strength will determine how much energy is generated.</p> <p>Students held up fans at different angles and pitches to test this theory. Other students took readings via the mock turbine motor to see what pitches of the blades affected the energy output.</p> <p>According to Morken, wind power is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world. In fact, driving by any windfarm, a wind turbine can easily cost a million dollars to build. What Morken says people overlook is the many processes and personnel that are needed to build such a complex machine.</p> <p>&ldquo;The point of the local wind farm sponsoring this is when farms originally went in, they had no technicians to actually maintain and support it,&rdquo; Morken said. &ldquo;The whole industry took off really quick&hellip; whether people agree or don&#39;t agree with renewable energy isn&#39;t the point. It&#39;s whether or not we can fit the demand that our country is going to have for another 300,000, technicians, workers, manufacturers, engineers.&rdquo;</p> <p>Morken points to something as simple as a bottle of shampoo you might find in your bathroom.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a whole team of people in different engineering processes,&rdquo; Morken said. &ldquo;That product needs to start with a chemical engineer to process where it goes to an industrial engineer and then to a mechanical engineer that makes the machines that make it and then there&rsquo;s a production engineer that controls how it&#39;s done and so on.&rdquo;</p> <p>Morken said a whole team of people is needed to make any product someone might casually see in a store, but what&rsquo;s behind that project is a whole a lot of jobs that are currently experiencing a shortage of trained personnel.</p> <p>Morken said the KidWind class at CWU is normally teachers only who later bring what they learned back to the classroom, but lately educators have been shifting gears to use the time for teachers and students.</p> <p>According to Morken, giving students more opportunities to brainstorm and problem solve increases how creative and complex their project will be and is a key component to thinking critically, especially in STEM field.</p> <p>&ldquo;They go through what is the problem, brainstorming solutions for building something, and then testing and evaluating it, and then go back to the top again,&rdquo; Morken said.</p> <p>Morken hopes that by providing students with more than one opportunity to work on the wind turbine project he can help to stimulate a love for the sciences that doesn&#39;t have to happen in one sitting.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 250px; height: 174px;" /><img alt="" src="" style="width: 250px; height: 173px;" /><img alt="" src="" style="width: 251px; height: 167px;" /><img alt="" src="" style="width: 250px; height: 167px;" /></p> CWU Names Four Educators as 2018 Distinguished Professsors, 22 May 2018 09:34:03<p>Central Washington University’s Board of Trustees have recognized Laurie Moshier, Ian Quitadamo, Charles Reasons, and Lori Sheeran as the university’s newest class of Distinguished Professors.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The awards honor professors who excel in teaching, research, artistic accomplishment, and public service. Honorees names are placed on a continuing plaque and each will receive a $2,500 monetary award.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>All four were recognized for their achievements by the Board of Trustees during its meeting on May 18 and will be honored during a ceremony and reception on May 21 in the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) Ballroom on the CWU campus.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“These four very distinguished educators exemplify the type of quality faculty we’re fortunate to have at Central Washington University,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino. “Each brings a passion for teaching, research, and service, and represent what is best about our faculty and university.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Moshier, who is a senior lecturer in German and French in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Non-Tenure Track Faculty Award for Teaching. According to her colleagues, she commands the respect of students for her teaching effectiveness, clarity of expectations, and for creating a “safe and comfortable place to learn.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Moshier, who began teaching at CWU in 2010, also advises both the German and French clubs, regularly mentors students for presentations at CWU’s World Languages Day, and is the coordinator and advisor for the German minor.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Quitadamo teaches in the Department of Biological Sciences and is the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Professor Award for Teaching. Affectionately known by his students as “Doctor Q,” he has taught at Central since 2002.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Respected for his deep knowledge base in both biology and science education, Quitadamo teaches around research-based, best practices in science teaching. Students and peers in Biology and science education hold him in high regard because of his personal concern for students and because he utilizes well-researched methodologies to convey the content.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Reasons, a professor in the Department of Law and Justice since 1999, is this year’s recipient of the 2018 Distinguished University Professor for Service Award. Reasons, who is also chair of the Law and Justice Department, was cited for integration of research with service to the university, community, and to his profession.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Under his guidance, the department has established a community advisory board and he has created an alumni newsletter and placed increased emphasis on providing Law and Justice offerings at CWU’s university centers. He has gone to great lengths to promote diversity in student enrollment and serves on the Kittitas County Law and Justice Council.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>He has also been involved in starting up a non-profit Immigration Law Clinic in Ellensburg and has worked on numerous occasions with the Ellensburg Police Department, the Kittitas County Advocates for Children, and other community organizations.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Sheeran, who is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and Museum Studies and director of CWU’s Scholarly Primate Program, is the recipient of the Distinguished Professor for Research/Artistic Accomplishment.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Since joining the faculty at CWU in 2003, Sheeran has published (as sole author or coauthor) 18 peer-reviewed articles and 15 book reviews, encyclopedia entries, and contributed papers. Her field work on Tibetan macaques has made her one of the world’s foremost experts on that species.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Additionally, Sheeran has undertaken extensive field research in China, spending some 40 months over the past 27 years in that country. Her work has garnered international recognition for the quality and credibility of her research, resulting in her being named associate editor of a prestigious scholarly journal.</p><p>Monday, May 21, 2018</p>CWU Professor Receives International Fellowship to Study Turtle Conservation Efforts, 27 Mar 2018 07:48:55<p><img alt="" src="/science-education/sites/" style="width: 450px; height: 338px;"></p><p>How do humans change from being turtle hunters to turtle conservationists? That’s what Vanessa Hunt, a Central Washington University professor, sought to discover when she participated recently in an eight-day teaching fellowship program in Baja Mexico.</p><p>Hunt was selected by Ecology Project International (EPI) to study changing behaviors in local residents. Hunt teaches science education at CWU-Des Moines, which is located on the Highline College campus.</p><p>EPI is a non-profit field science and conservation organization that partners scientists with local and international students and educators in ecologically critical environments in Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Belize, Baja Mexico, Yellowstone, and Hawaii.</p><p>“I’m going to research how a couple of graduate students in the 1970s inspired the fishermen in the area to participate in a turtle conservation effort,” Hunt said.</p><p>During the first week of March, Hunt and a small group of carefully selected teachers from across North America experienced the field course for themselves as well as gained skills and resources they can bring back to the classroom with them.<br><br>Hunt participated in a modified version of EPI’s Turtle Ecology Program. She was immersed in the diverse ecology of the area, home to migrating grey whales and a thriving fishery. Days spent at Magdalena Bay, a unique haven on the peninsula’s wild Pacific coast, included sea turtle catch-and-release for scientific study, as well as lessons in how to incorporate field studies into the classroom. The turtles being studied are black turtles (Chelonia mydas agassizii), the eastern Pacific sub-species of the green turtle For more information about black turtles and conservation efforts, go to</p><p><img alt="" src="/science-education/sites/" style="width: 450px; height: 338px;"></p><p>According to Hunt, the fishermen used to avidly hunt turtles for food. When the young scientists/conservationists —“you know, hippies really, at that time”—began interacting with the fishing community, they inspired the community to take part in a conservation program.</p><p>“It involved citizen and community science, and I’d like to understand the factors that contributed to that,” Hunt continued. “I’d like to talk to the fishermen about what caused their change of heart, and possibly develop that relationship further.”</p><p><strong>EPI Guest Fellow</strong><br>In addition to her position at CWU-Des Moines, Hunt is a lecturer in environmental science at the University of Washington Tacoma. A 2016 EPI Fellow to Espiritu Santo, Hunt is returning to the field to conduct research in Magdalena Bay on the local community partnerships that support and sustain conservation efforts in the bay’s remote, traditional fishing communities.</p><p><strong>About EPI</strong><br>EPI’s mission is to improve and inspire science education and conservation efforts worldwide through field-based student-scientist partnerships.</p><p>Since 2005, EPI has worked with more than 10,000 students in their Baja Mexico program, the majority of them local to the project site.</p><p>EPI is a conservation education non-profit like no other. EPI involves young people from the U.S., Belize, Costa Rica and other Latin American countries in hands-on science and conservation projects that protect species and habitat in five countries. More than 30,000 students have participated in their field programs since 2000, with more than 70 percent of those participants being under-served local youth living in communities adjacent to the project site. The impact of these courses is profound on both local and visiting students, establishing a lifelong commitment to conservation and empowering the next generation of conservation leaders.</p><p>For more information on EPI’s programs or how teachers can apply for next year’s Fellowship, visit their website at</p><p><em>Photo:</em> Professor Vanessa Hunt (r) measures a turtle at Magdalena Bay.<br><em>Photo:</em> An EPI Instructor releases a newly tagged turtle.</p><p>Media Contact: Rachael Caldwell, EPI Communications Manager,, 406-721-8784<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU First in State to Offer Computer Science Teaching Endorsement, 26 Mar 2018 09:28:03<p>Starting in the fall, Central Washington University will become the first university in Washington State offering its students a computer science teaching endorsement.</p><p>The new endorsement is part of CWU’s new STEM Teaching Program, which allows undergraduate students to earn both their STEM degree and teaching certification at the same time. This degree structure gives students career choice and flexibility.</p><p>“We hope this will begin to meet the need for more highly trained computer science teachers and more computer science education options in Washington schools,” said Jennifer Dechaine, CWU biology and science education professor. “We are excited to partner with Washington P-12 schools on this new program.”</p><p>The teaching endorsement program proposal was approved by the Professional Educator Standards Board on March 15, 2018.</p><p>“The first iteration of the program will be part of our STEM Teaching Program for undergraduate students seeking teaching certification and endorsement in science or mathematics fields,” Dechaine said. “This program will be co-delivered by CWU’s College of the Sciences and the School of Education in the College of Education and Professional Studies.”</p><p>In 2016, CWU received a $2.19 million grant to develop and implement an innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) teacher preparation program. The program, based on University of Texas-Austin’s UTeach model, was customized for Washington State to meet the state’s teacher preparation requirements.</p><p>Students began entering the STEM Teaching Program in fall 2017. Dechaine, and Ian Loverro, professor of Curriculum, Supervision, and Educational Leadership, are co-principal investigators of the grant.</p><p>“We are looking forward to partnering with Washington P-12 schools on this new program” Loverro said. “And we’re excited to partner across disciplines within CWU to make this a successful program.”</p><p>For more information about the program, contact Rachel George at or go to</p><p>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p><p>Monday, March 26, 2018</p>