College of Education impact news in brief

Gift supports inclusive educational programs

Phylis Bolno, who received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Penn State’s College of Education in 1972, has never taught professionally. She and her husband, Gary, a graduate of the College of Health and Human Development, run a financial consulting and insurance business in their home city of Scottsdale, Arizona. Nonetheless, Bolno has a deep appreciation for the benefits of a well-rounded education — particularly for individuals with disabilities and other minoritized groups.

That appreciation is exemplified by her recent ongoing pledge of $9,000 a year to be distributed equally among three programs: WorkLink, a new program in the College of Education for students with intellectual disabilities; the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Educating Individuals with Autism; and the Social Justice Collaborative and new social justice minor.

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CSATS’ SHAPE MATTERS project gets $1.3 million grant

A National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS) grant worth more than $1.3 million will support high school biology and chemistry teachers to incorporate current advancements of molecular modeling into their teaching.

The NIH/NIGMS grant recently was awarded to the Center for Science and the Schools (CSATS) in Penn State’s College of Education in support of the project, titled SHAPE MATTERS, “SHaping of Authentic Practices by Engaging in Modeling of A Topic with Teachers to Explore Research in Science.”

Kathy Hill, director of CSATS, said secondary science curriculum will be developed that ultimately will provide learning experiences centered on engaging high school students in authentic science practices. The project includes using advances in computational power to make molecular biology accessible to all students by bringing it to life in the classroom.

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Nominate outstanding alumni for annual excellence awards

College of Education alumni are honored with awards from the college’s Alumni Society as well as from the Penn State Alumni Association.

The College of Education Alumni Society supports awards in several categories, presented each year to graduates and student teachers who have distinguished themselves in their profession.

New this year is the J.E.D.I. (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Award, which recognizes alumni who showcase exemplary insight and fortitude in workplace and/or community diversity.

Selection is made on the basis of: fostering an environment in which diversity is understood, valued, and promoted; meeting the needs of employees and/or community members of traditionally underrepresented groups and/or diverse populations; collaborating with others who have shared goals around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion; and creating diversity programs and/or initiatives that positively affect the nominee’s organization and/or community.

Other college-level awards are Alumni Excellence; Leadership & Service; Outstanding New Graduate; Outstanding Student Teacher; Outstanding Teaching; and Service to Penn State.

Nominations are accepted throughout the year, with recipients chosen each spring. For information, and to submit a nomination, click here.

Last Updated November 17, 2020