college of education | fall 2001

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From the Dean

The tragedy of September 11th has caused grief across our nation but it has also awakened a new spirit among us. It has renewed our capacity to reach out and support one another and especially our international students and colleagues, it has created a desire to learn much more about the cultures of the world, and it has challenged us to rethink our personal priorities. In the College of Education, we have sought ways to help our students and teachers. We have had “teach-ins” bringing together faculty and students to discuss the issues in the context of teaching and learning. Dr. Jean Baker, professor and coordinator of our School Psychology Program, prepared a 30-minute video with instructional materials to help teachers address the psychological impact that results from tragic events such as those of September 11th. The video and materials are available online at www.wmsu.org/programs/jean_baker.htm. We have established a college-wide committee to address continuing issues and concerns, and we have created a link on our Web site (www.educ.msu.edu ) that directs you to articles and information about events in the college and across campus.

We must look ahead, however, and 2002 will be an important milestone for us as we celebrate the college’s 50th anniversary. The college has an illustrious history; one that is worth documenting. And that is just what we have done. We commissioned Victor Inzunza, our college’s information officer, to write about the history of the college and document the highlights, transitions, and major events during the past 50 years. In doing so, he conducted numerous interviews, sorted through archival material, and consulted college and university records. In this issue of the New Educator, you can read a chapter from the book. We hope this chapter about Clifford Erickson and the college’s early years piques your interest to read the complete history. The book will be available in January and we invite you to order your copy by calling (517) 355-1826 or via e-mail at inzunza@ msu.edu. You will read about the foundation of the college dating to the earliest years of Michigan Agricultural College, how it has been shaped by the changes on campus as well as the political and social context of the state and nation, and how it has grown and distinguished itself through the hard work of its leaders and faculty. Whether or not you are a history buff, I think you will find the historical account especially interesting because you are part of it.

I am also pleased to note that this fall we launched an exciting new venture: an all-college Master of Arts in Education degree program that can be completed entirely through the Web. The program is tailored in such a way that educators can enroll in the master’s program or take individual courses for professional development. We recognize that many teachers seeking professional 


Carole Ames
Dean, College of Education


development are not able to attend classes on campus, thus the online environment provides access and allows flexible learning opportunities for individuals who work full-time. These courses allow students to become part of a community and learn in a dynamic and highly interactive environment through the Internet. I encourage you to visit the program’s Web site (http://ed-web3.educ.msu.edu/onlinedu) for more information and course offerings. We have a long history of reaching out to educators in Michigan and throughout the world. This online program addresses our mission of providing continuing professional development for experienced teachers to help them deal with the challenges they face in today’s classrooms.

The fall semester is marked with meeting new and returning students, beginning new programs and projects, the fall colors across the campus, and football games. But it is also special because it is the time when we welcome new faculty to our college. This year, 11 very talented faculty members have joined us. They are introduced on Page 27, and as you will see, they span all four of our departments. We are very excited about the qualities they bring to our programs. A college is only as strong as its faculty, and I can assure you that these newest members of our staff are in keeping with the long and proud tradition of outstanding educators and researchers in this college.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing commitment to our college and thank especially our dedicated alumni and friends who support the college through their financial contributions. We are working very hard to enhance our scholarship and fellowship funds; they are essential if we are to recruit talented students and help those students with financial needs. Your interest and investment in our future is very important to us. We look back on our history with pride, but we are focused on the future and on making a difference in teaching and learning through our academic programs, research, and outreach.

Carole Ames, Dean


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