Tag Archive | "School of Education and Human Development"


Celebrate Educator Liz Rothlein’s Life on February 4


Liz Rothlein

Liz Rothlein

Educator Liz Rothlein, who taught at the School of Education and Human Development for a quarter- century, including 13 years as associate dean, passed away on January 6 in her home in Warne, North Carolina, where she lived after retirement and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. She was 80.

Schooled in Ohio, Rothlein, who earned a doctoral degree in education from Ball State University, moved to Miami in 1976, authoring or co-authoring approximately 30 teacher education books for children, numerous journal articles, and presenting at many local, state, and national conferences.

Some of her noted credits and recognitions include Teacher of the Year, official listing as an outstanding Teacher of America, and teaching plaudits from the Bahamas and Oxford, England, summer exchange student visitation programs.

She is survived by her husband of more than 40 years, Ash Rothlein; two daughters, Terri Wild and Kimberly Brandt from a previous marriage to Floren Christman; two step-sons, Jay and Steve Rothlein; four grandchildren, Amanda, Jason, Tyler, and Sophie; sister Linda Foley; and brothers Jim and John Brandt.

A celebration of her life will be held in the Hurricane 100 Room at the University of Miami Watsco Center on Saturday, February 4 between 3 and 6 p.m. For more information, call Marilyn DeNarvaez at 305-284-3711. For directions check the website www6.miami.edu/hurricane100/ .

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Professor Named President-Elect of International TESOL

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Professor Named President-Elect of International TESOL

Luciana de Oliveira will become the first Latina to head the 51-year-old Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages International Association

By Bárbara Gutiérrez
UM News


Luciana de Oliviera

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 21, 2016)—University of Miami Associate Professor Luciana C. de Oliveira, who chairs the Department of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Human Development, is president-elect of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) International Association, an organization committed to advancing the quality of English-language teaching worldwide. Her three-year leadership term begins in March 2017, and includes a year as president and a year as past president.

Born in Brazil, de Oliveira will be the first Latina to serve as president of the 51-year-old association, which has as its main goal advancing the language teaching profession through professional development, research, standards, and advocacy.

“I’m so happy and humbled,” said de Oliveira. “This is pretty historic for TESOL since I am not only the first Latina who will become president, but also the youngest woman and the first South American. It’s just amazing to have this recognition from the members. I look forward to serving TESOL and its members in this new role.”

She joined TESOL in 2003 and served in various positions, most recently as a member of the board of directors for the past three years. As an immigrant who came to the United States in 1997, de Oliveira appreciates TESOL’s recognition of her as a Latina leader and hopes the organization will continue to focus on immigrant populations in the U.S. and support its members worldwide.

Isaac Prilleltensky, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, called de Oliveira’s election “a tremendous honor.”

“We are extremely proud of her work and of the international recognition of her scholarship. Her work is having a global impact and the TESOL results demonstrate her international standing in her field,” said Prilleltensky. “Her work touches on many of our University initiatives, such as educational innovation, culture of belonging, and hemispheric reach. Her presidency will enhance the visibility of the School of Education and Human Development and our work in the promotion of educational, psychological, and physical well-being in multicultural communities.”

De Oliveira joined the UM faculty in 2015 after teaching at Columbia and Purdue universities. Her research focuses on issues related to teaching English-language learners at the K-12 level, including the role of language in learning the content areas, teacher education, advocacy and social justice, and non-native English-speaking teachers in TESOL.

She has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited 17 books, with several others under contract, and has a total of over 200 publications, including refereed journal articles and book chapters. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience in the field of TESOL. Her many awards and honors include being the 2012 recipient of the Early Career Award by the Bilingual Education Research special interest group of AERA.

For more information about the TESOL International Organization visit www.tesol.org.




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Professor Wins Premier Psychology Award


Professor Wins Premier Psychology Award

Blaine Fowers

Blaine Fowers

Professor Honored by American Psychological Foundation 

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August, 29, 2016)—Blaine Fowers, a professor of educational and psychological studies in the School of Education and Human Development, has been awarded the Joseph B. Gittler Award from the American Psychological Foundation for his contributions to the philosophical foundations of psychology.

The annual award, which includes a $7,500 honorarium, honors theoretical psychologists who question the basic assumptions most psychologists take for granted. Among them: whether it is possible to study human psychology in a value-neutral way, whether human psychology can be explained only in terms of causal forces, or whether humans have agency or choice. They also ponder whether humans are fundamentally separate individuals or initially social creatures who only later become individuals.

“The Gittler award is an honor to receive because it is the premier award given to recognize work on the philosophical foundations of psychology in North America,” said Fowers. “The importance of the award was indicated by its first two awardees, Jerome Bruner and Daniel Kahneman (who also won a Nobel Prize), two giants in psychology.”

The Gittler award was established through a bequest from Joseph Gittler, Ph.D., who wished to recognize psychologists who are making and will continue to make scholarly contributions to the philosophical foundations of psychological knowledge.

Isaac Prilleltensky, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, said Fowers’ work helps to illuminate fundamental assumptions underlying psychological thinking.

“His contributions reveal the culturally embedded nature of much psychological thinking and practice. If you want to be a better psychologist, or a better consumer of psychological theories and services, you have to understand the philosophical foundations of the discipline,” Prilleltensky said. “Fowers has helped psychologists and the public at large to understand unquestioned assumptions about the profession, dealing mainly with biases towards individualism.”

Fowers joined the faculty in 1990 and served as the director of training for the doctoral program in counseling psychology from 1997 to 2005 and as department chair from 2005 to 2009. In his role as a teacher, Fowers provides instruction in character development and flourishing, research methods, the evolution of human social life, and preparation for academic careers.

He has an active research team of doctoral and undergraduate research assistants who are engaged in the interdisciplinary study of the virtues of kindness, fairness, and friendship. The author of two books, The Evolution of EthicsVirtue and Psychology and Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness, Fowers also coauthored Re-envisioning Psychology and the forthcoming Human Frailty and Flourishing. His scholarly interests center on the contributions of Aristotle’s ethics to a richer understanding of psychological theory, research, and practice.

Fowers received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He served as an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico before coming to Miami.

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Walter Secada Honored in Peru


Walter Secada Honored in Peru

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

Walter Secada

Peruvian-born Walter Secada speaks at the ceremony where he was awarded an honorary professorship at the Universidad La Salle in Arequipa, Peru.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 9, 2016) – In the spirit of giving back and sharing his many personal and professional attributes, University of Miami faculty member Walter Secada has dedicated more than 20 years of his life to providing professional and educational training to the Ministry of Education and other educational entities in his native Peru.

Last April, in recognition of his work, Secada, professor and senior associate dean of UM’s School of Education and Human Development, was awarded an honorary professorship from Universidad La Salle in Arequipa, Peru.

“My work in Peru is predicated on giving back,” said the Peruvian-born Secada, who was raised in the U.S. “It is not enough to remember where you’re from. But by giving back to the country of my birth, in the form of collaborative research and the sharing of what I have learned as an academic at the University of Miami and elsewhere, I hope to improve the conditions under which my fellow Peruvians learn mathematics and science. By giving back, I contribute to that nation’s development.”

During the awards ceremony, Ivan Montes, rector of Universidad La Salle, praised Secada for his many publications, accomplishments, and contributions to education in Peru. He noted that Secada has been working with the Universidad La Salle, the nongovernmental agency known as GRADE, and the Peruvian Ministry of Education for more than 20 years, conducting collaborative research and workshops on a variety of topics and devising strategies to improve Peru’s mathematics curriculum.

In a talk prior to receiving the award, Secada argued that academics have an obligation to engage in work in which “outcomes are likely to take place in the long term” because tenure gives them the security needed to take the long view. In addition, Secada argued, academics have a “moral obligation to study about and to speak out on the controversies of the day” because, once again, tenure protects them and because they owe to their students the opportunity to discuss, without fear, the controversies that are shaping their world.

“I have the best job in the world,” concluded Secada.

In bestowing the honor, Montes quoted Secada’s collaborator at GRADE, Santiago Cueto, saying that “Walter Secada is a good man.”

“He has always been supportive of us, and he has enriched our knowledge with his analytical and international perspective,” said Montes.

Secada received his B.A in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Mathematics and a Ph.D in education from Northwestern University.


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UM Hosts Black Graduate Psychology Conference


UM Hosts Black Graduate Psychology Conference

Special to UM News

BGCP 2016 Conference Co-Chairs Laura Kohn-Wood and Liana Mentor

Laura Kohn-Wood, left, and Liana Mentor were the BGCP 2016 conference co-chairs.

Sixty student researchers from throughout the country had an opportunity to present their papers and posters, learn from faculty, and network with their colleagues at the 22nd annual Black Graduate Conference on Psychology (BGCP), held at the University of Miami’s Shalala Student Center May 19-22.

“We had a record number of submissions for this intensive conference experience,” said conference co-chair Laura Kohn-Wood, associate professor and chair of the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies (EPS) in the School of Education and Human Development. “Our attendees took full advantage of four days of research and professional development, networking, and mentoring opportunities.”

Liana Mentor, a graduate student in the school’s Ph.D. program in Community Well-Being, co-chaired the annual conference, which was last hosted by the University of Miami in 2011.

The BGCP’s panel discussions, paper and poster presentations, and lunch table conversations touched on a wide range of important research areas in psychology, including the development of racial identity, the impact of HIV intervention on black college women, home literacy practices in Haitian families, and community needs assessments. Several of the sessions also focused on academic career paths involving research, teaching, and service.

“Find your passion and it will guide your career,” said Joan Muir, professor in the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, on one of the professional development panels. “For me, it’s about helping black families raise strong, healthy children.”

At the conference’s opening dinner, Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost, welcomed attendees and invited them to join the UM faculty after earning their degrees. “We are building a diverse community of scholars and hope you will apply here,” he said.

Isaac Prilleltensky, professor and dean of the School of Education and Human Development and vice provost for institutional culture, said UM is committed to building a culture of diversity and belonging. “We want everyone to feel valued,” he said. “We also want to be sure our faculty, staff, and students have an opportunity to add value to our university and the community.”

Guillermo Prado, dean of the Graduate School, said there is great value in this type of conference. “I attribute much of my success to attending a conference for Hispanic doctoral students a decade ago,” he said. “It helped give me a direction in my career, while meeting mentors and making friends that I still have today.”

​The conference faculty included Roger McIntosh, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences; Charlton Copeland, professor in the School of Law and president of the Woodson-Williams Marshall Association of Black Faculty and Administrators; and Guerda Nicolas, professor in the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies in the School of Education and Human Development, as well as 15 additional faculty, department chairs, and deans from across the country.

“We thank our guest faculty, as well as our students, for making this commitment to our conference,” said Copeland. “As a legal scholar, I appreciate the importance of psychology in advancing how we think about rational behavior. Your research in identity development has also played an important role in law.”

Kevin Cokely, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Department of African and African American Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and editor in chief of The Journal of Black Psychology, delivered the keynote address.

The conference was funded by a grant to the University of Michigan from the National Science Foundation; several units at the University of Miami provided additional funding, including the provost’s office, the dean of the School of Education and Human Development, the Graduate School, the Department of Psychology, and the Woodson Williams Marshall Association. UM students on the planning committee included Dorothy Addae, Amina Simmons, Shannon Chiles, Kayann Richards, Vanessa Thomas, Calvin Fitch, Rhoda Moise, and Atara Muhammad.

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