Congratulations and Farewell to Pedro Baez, New Deputy Director for CUNY K-16 Initiatives!

Pedro_smallPedro Baez (Center for School/College Collaboratives) has accepted a position as Deputy Director for CUNY K-16 Initiatives. He will provide leadership and support to a range of programs that aim to improve the college readiness, high school-to-college transition, and academic success of young people in New York City. Reporting to the Dean for K-16 Initiatives, Pedro will oversee College Now, College Focus, and the New York City Science & Engineering Fair.

Pedro Baez began his work at the Lehman College Center for School/College Collaboratives in 1989 as the Project Director of the Liberty Partnerships Program funded by the New York State Education Department. His leadership of the program, Phoenix 1000, in partnership with South Bronx High School, was one of the most successful LPP programs in New York State. His strength of purpose, persistence, commitment to student success and collaboration with principals, staff and teachers changed the school and student outcomes to an extraordinary degree. With the experience gained in LPP, Pedro continued to serve the College and the community through federally, state and city funded college access/success programs.

Pedro’s belief in students and his approach to helping them succeed with, as he often stated, “an iron fist in a velvet glove” has been the secret to his successful leadership and the extraordinary success of students fortunate enough to be in his programs. Also central to his success is his ability to collaborate with others by engaging them in identifying potential problems and finding solutions to avoid them.

Pedro was tapped to be the College Now Director at Lehman. The additions, improvements and enhancements to the College Now program in the years of his directorship resulted in a cohesive set of experiences designed to take high school students from College Now into college and beyond. This past summer, Pedro took on the responsibility of getting the Lehman Teaching Fellows program up and running. It was an intense summer for all, but with his collaborative approach to leadership, he assembled a team and launched a successful learning experience for all involved.

Pedro Baez will be sorely missed at Lehman. Our loss is CUNY Central’s gain. We wish him well.

Lehman Graduate is Big Apple Award Recipient

Congratulations to Nila Johnson, 2016 Big Apple Award Recipient!

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Nila Cadornigara-Johnson, graduated from Lehman with a MSED in Early Childhood in 2006. She is now a Pre-Kindergarten teacher, at 1199 Future of America Learning Center, Fordham Manor (64XAPN). Enjoy the video above of as Nila’s colleagues and students recognize her achievements with love and pride.

Nila Johnson has 20 years of experience teaching in New York City schools, in addition to her years teaching in the Philippines and Nigeria. She draws on this wealth of experience to ensure her lessons resonate with her NilaJohnsonpre-kindergarten students. Ms. Johnson’s classroom is structured around Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, with different immersive environment areas such as a music studio, a publishing house, and a sushi house to engage students’ varied interests and learning styles. Ms. Johnson carefully monitors her students’ choices during center time, and designs instruction to include materials that cater to their interests and lives. That means a lot of hands-on learning, from bringing in chopsticks for students to practice with to an investigation of high fructose corn syrup in which the class studied its physical characteristics, met a corn farmer, and worked with parents to investigate their refrigerators at home to locate food items with high fructose corn syrup. Ms. Johnson carefully evaluates each students’ strengths and areas for growth at the beginning of the year. For a classroom of four- and five-year olds, success can be defined very differently from student to student, but as Ms. Johnson explains, “For my students, success is confidence.”

Congratulations 2016 School of Education Graduates!

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School of Education: Honors Reception & LUTE Awards

web BrochureDeans, department chairs, faculty, cooperating teachers, candidates, family & friends gathered on Thursday, May 19 for the CUNY Lehman College Annual School of Education Honors Reception. During this special evening, Dr. Minerva Santos was presented with this year’s Lehman Urban Transformative Education (LUTE) Award recognizing her outstanding contribution to urban education and working with English Language Learners.

Excellence in Student Teaching Awards: Jessica Colon (ECCE), Jennifer Sanjurjo (CLLSE), Nelson Caro (MHSE)
English Education Award: Shanay Oseafiana
Aspiring Educational Leader Award: Jason Rayes
Ronald Ellis Awards in Graduate Science Education: Kassie Leidemer, Christie Peralta
Graduate Research/ePortfolio Awards: Ramina Caceres-Cosme, Danielle Clermont, Marcia Feliz, Dana Molloy, Cristie Peralta, Stephanie Shilling.

And 21 Counselor Education students were inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, Tau Chapter, International Counseling and Professional Honor Society: Jose Albarracin, Diahanna Betances, Arlyn Ceballos, Trinese Davis, Erica DeJesus, Shamika Fletcher, Ana J. Henriquez, Nadine Kerr, Leiat Klarfeld, Nathalie Lafleur, Sabree Muhammad, Elizabeth Nieves, Benjamin Udochukwu Nnaji, Erbin Nunez, Ritachi Nwabueze, Isabel Ortiz, Aurisis Pena, Ana Santana, Daniela Tabares, Omawattie Toolsee, Beatrice Valentin

Congratulation to the Class of 2016!

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Lehman Graduate Named Founding Principal at Amber Charter School

Veronica_AlmedinaVeronica Almedina, Lehman Alumna is named the founding Principal of Amber Charter School Washington Heights.

Veronica Almedina is a graduate of Lehman College where she was awarded a Master’s of Science degree in Childhood Education. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University.

Veronica Almedina is the founding principal of Amber Charter School Washington Heights. Prior to being named founding principal, Veronica was Assistant Principal and Dean of Students at Amber Charter School East Harlem.

Veronica has experience as an elementary school teacher, where she has served as team leader and mentor to fellow teaching colleagues. After teaching for five years, Veronica was accepted into the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program sponsored by the New York State Charter School Division.   Through this fellowship, she was awarded a certificate to serve as a School Leader to New York State Charter Schools.

In addition, Veronica is as an active coach in helping to train prospective educators who want to emerge as leaders in the educational system. Her passion in supporting aspiring future leaders has led her to become one of the founding members of The Latino Charter Leaders Roundtable. Since the launch of the roundtable Veronica has dedicated herself to supporting present and aspiring Latino Leaders of Charter Schools.

Veronica was awarded Mujer Destacada 2013 by El Diario La Prensa. This award acknowledged her as a Latina leader who through her hard work and determination, made a difference in her community.

As an education visionary, Veronica inspires those around her to create a progressive, dynamic and student-centered learning community that is grounded in character driven education. She promotes and fosters an essential partnership between families and to provide students with the optimal educational experience.

NYC Men Teach Orientation and Welcome Reception

MenTeachIMG_6595On April 1st, 2016 the School of Education hosted the “NYC Men Teach Orientation and Welcome Reception” for the spring 2016 Cohort. Twenty-four students were accepted and were welcomed by Dean Harriet Fayne, CUNY University Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Ashleigh Thompson, the Department of Education NYCMT Consultant Vincent Ricco, and the NYC Men Teach Program Manager Fatima Sherif. The students had a full agenda which included discussing the importance of working as an educator in New York City and the benefits of networking in all phases of their academic careers at Lehman College and beyond.

MenTeachIMG_6517In January 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio, in conjunction with New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative, made a bold pledge: NYC will develop new initiatives and programs aiming to put an additional 1,000 men of color on course to become NYC public school teachers over the next three years!

NYC MEN TEACH believes that a well-supported educator results in a better learning experience for all students. This outreach and recruitment strategy provides support aimed at keeping teachers of color in schools for at least three years. Right now, we are building out MenTeachIMG_6567our Principals and Mentor Networks, and seeking counsel on culturally-relevant professional and leadership workshops, and identifying unique opportunities for participants to change the education landscape.

MenTeachIMG_6555Applications are now up and running for the Fall 2016 Semester. Please feel free to visit Carman Hall B-50 for more information and/or apply online.

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School of Education 2016 Retreat: Faculty Scholarship

School of Education 2016 Retreat: Faculty Scholarship
Thursday, January 21, 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Student Life Building

 Morning Themed Presentations: Diversity and Inclusion
Moderator: Rosa Rivera McCutchen

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Nancy Dubetz, Jeanne Peloso, Aliex Ross, Janet Kremenitzer, David Fletcher, Sherry Deckman, Gillian Bayne, Alison Lehner-­Quam

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A Longitudinal Study of MATH UP Programs Effectiveness in Preparing Teachers to Meet the Needs of ELLs
Nancy Dubetz & Jennifer Collett





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Underrepresented Scientists of Color: Using Lived Experiences to Inspire Urban Youth
Gillian Bayne, Prahbodika Mallikaratchy & Mimi Pearle; Renaissance High School Students: Jovanna Binate and Chantal DeJesus

Educators are called upon constantly to seize opportunities that will develop and strengthen our current and future scientific community. The research presented in this project is part of a larger one, which involves utilizing experiences shared in semi-structured interviews and face-to-face interactions of CUNY underrepresented scientists of color to inspire and motivate science teachers and their secondary students. In this presentation, we examine how faculty experiences align with those of youth from communities that Lehman College serves. It points to the promise and potential that broader impacts of this research hold in harnessing and utilizing the genius of urban youth’s untapped talent.

Race and Management: Teachers’ Stories of Racial Diversity and Classroom Conflict
Sherry L. Deckman

Little is known about how novice teachers with 0-4 years of experience make sense of classroom management and schooling inequality in a way that contributes to or challenges racial bias. Using data from a hybrid, online/in-person professional development course for novice teachers, I find two patterns of connecting race and classroom management. Teachers in this study tended to share stories either about “managing race”—narratives about deescalating racial tension or reproaching transgressors of racial colorblindness—or “race-ing management”—stories that read race into incidents in such a way as to reveal latent racial dynamics in what are framed as unjust/unjustified classroom management practices. Further, these patterns aligned with teachers’ self-identified racial backgrounds, with teachers who expressed a strong minority racial identity tending to focus on race-ing management, and those who expressed a more tenuous racial identity, who considered themselves to be racially “different,” or who described themselves as White tending to focus on managing race. This research can inform efforts to restore racial proportionality and justice in student discipline, to retain an experienced teacher workforce in under-resourced schools, and to support school administrators’ reflective inquiry when called to interpret management decisions made by classroom teachers in taking larger disciplinary action.

An Introduction to Restorative Circles – Building Safe and Healthy Achievement Culture
David Fletcher

Concurrent Sessions

Tiffany 2 IMG_6451 webTiffany_IMG_6459_web“Inside” innovation…“It’s not pretty”: A Case Study on Technological Advancement and Accountability
Tiffany DeJaynes

Janet K IMG_6457_webEAS Infusion into ECCE Curriculum: School/Home Relationships
Janet Kremenitzer

This presentation was about the importance of training teacher candidates and leadership candidates to be well grounded in understanding the critical importance of engaging parents to actively participate in the education of their children.  Research shows that the single most important factor in a child’s success in school is related to parental involvement.  Competency #5 of the EAS certification test is one of the assessment indicators.

Amanda Gulla IMG_6449_webNobody Knows the Stories of Others: Aesthetic Inquiry and Poetry with High School ELLS in an ELS Classroom
Amanda Gulla & Molly Sherman

This project is a collaboration between a teacher educator/poet and a high school ELA teacher to bring aesthetic engagement to a class of 12th grade ELLs. We began with inquiry into several works of art and mentor texts, leading them to write their own poems in response describing the complexities of their lives and identities. The result is an anthology of student poetry and artwork of remarkable beauty and honesty. We will share some of the students’ writing and artwork and discuss the impact this project has had upon the students’ academic performance as well as their sense of self.

Assisting Faculty in converting Minor courses to Writing Intensive courses in order to assist our students with the ALST exams
Dhipinder (Rosie) Walia

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During the ALST presentation, we collaborated on obstacles students face when taking the ALST, but more importantly we brainstormed tools we could give students to overcome these obstacles. The writing portion of the ALST asks students to read 2 passages and a graphic. Afterwards, they are required to respond to three prompts using the information they’ve just read. As instructors, we can help our students succeed by creating homework assignments and in-class writing assignments that involve writing skills necessary for passing the ALST. We considered the following questions: How can I get my students to identify arguments of the readings assigned? (annotation exercises, summary assignments, debates in class, are a few possible answers); How can I get my students to understand what it means to be a argumentative writer? Are there exercises I can design that force students to write for a purpose and not to write for the sake of avoiding having to say something?; Are there ways I can have my students respond to homework material through the use of argumentative writing, evaluative writing, and/or summary writing?

Video Team IMG_5680 webSupporting Teacher Candidate Learning With Locally Relevant Video
Aliex Ross, Jeanne Peloso, Leslie Lieman, Naliza Sadik & Laura Baecher (Hunter College)

Although online teaching videos are easy to find throughout the web, most are heavily staged and edited and few demonstrate locally relevant models from NYC schools for our aspiring teachers. Our presentation reviewed the pedagogical and technical issues related to using classroom teaching/learning videos in our courses. We shared how our Bb Organization: School of Education Student Modules now includes some locally relevant classroom video designed to spark discussion around key teaching practices, and offer video assignments and assessments that can be utilized or duplicated in all programs.Laura Baecher IMG_6464_web

Zoltan Boka IMG_6462_webAutism Spectrum Disorders and Psychopathy: Clinical and Criminal Justice Considerations
Zoltan Boka (Dr. Faith H. Leibman)

This presentation/paper acts as a corrective to Fitzgerald (2011), which conflated autistic disorders with Asperger’s disorder when exploring the small portion of this population that engages in serious criminal activities. Fitzgerald suggested that autistic psychopathy and Asperger’s syndrome are one and the same and implied that individuals on the autism spectrum are likely to exhibit psychopathic behavior and commit antisocial criminal activities.

We expand upon and modify Fitzgerald’s work, distinguishing between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and psychopathy. We assert that individuals with ASD do not perform acts with the same malice, intent, and deception as psychopaths. Our ultimate goal in the paper is to provide possible future direction for research in the issue of criminality in individuals diagnosed with ASD.

Journal of Cognitive Science 16: 17-40, 2015
©2015 Institute for Cognitive Science, Seoul National University

Updates on Certification
Ruth Jordan & Vanessa Rojas

Ruth 20160121_145223_webCUNY Academic Works: How to Share your Scholarly Publications with a Wider Audience
Alison Lehner-­Quam & Madeline Cohen

This session provided an introduction to CUNY Academic Works, a new institutional repository for scholarly and creative work by faculty, staff, and students. Content in Academic Works is freely available to all and is searchable through Google, Google Scholar, and Bing. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries and each CUNY campus has their own gateway to the repository. The session included an overview of Academic Works, a discussion about open access and author’s rights to their scholarly work, and a demonstration on how to set up faculty accounts and upload articles, posters, and presentations.