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College of Education News

Hsu Helps High Schoolers Turn Their Idea into a Working App

For the second year, EdTech’s assistant professor Yu-Chang Hsu was selected to coach a group of students working to turn their award-winning idea into a working mobile app.

The five-member team of 11th and 12th graders from the Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick, Washington, received personal guidance from Hsu from Feb. 19-21.

The high schoolers won one of eight “Best in Nation” awards in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The students won for their idea for a Safe & Sound app, which offers teens ways to manage stress or feelings of depression.

Below are some photos of Hsu working with the high schoolers:

AppTraining-6 AppTraining-5 AppTraining-4 AppTraining-3 AppTraining-2 AppTraining-1


Exploring JUMP and Literacy

The Literacy Center at JUMP

Pictured from left to right are Petros Panaou, Mary Ann Cahill, Maggie Chase and Stan Steiner.

Petros Panaou, director of the Literacy Center, and Kathy O’Neill, director of community engagement for JUMP (Jack’s Urban Meeting Place), have been exploring ideas for community literacy activities at the center. On Jan. 23, Department of Literacy, Language and Culture faculty members Stan Steiner, Maggie Chase, Mary Ann Cahill and Panaou attended an open house for JUMP to learn more about the vision and mission of the project. The four faculty members received a project overview, Q&A session and a tour of the construction. Pictured from left to right are Panaou, Cahill, Chase and Steiner.

EdTech Recruiting Video Features Its Graduates

The Department of Educational Technology has unveiled its newest video, which has interviews with graduates from last fall’s class.

“We think we captured some great comments that helps describe the kind of program we work so hard to deliver,” said Brett Shelton, EdTech  chair.

You can watch the video from the EdTech webpage or below. After you watch it, let Shelton know your thoughts at

‘Capitalist for Preschool’ to Address Business Case for Early Learning on Feb. 11

John_Pepper_photo_April_29_2010-224x300The Andrus Center and Idaho Business for Education are bringing in the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, John Pepper, to address The Business Case for Early Learning at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom.

Pepper is co-founder of the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, one of the nation’s most successful mentoring and tutoring organizations. He identified himself as a “capitalist for preschool” in a 2013 New York Times editorial. Download the event flyer for more details.

The lecture is free and parking is provided.

Contact Cathe Scott at or (208) 426-3784 for more information.

‘First Generation’ Chronicles Journey of Four Students to College

2015 FirstGenerationPosterThe Center for Multicultural and Educational Opportunities is inviting faculty, students, family and friends to a free showing of “First Generation,” an award-winning film, at 6 p.m. on March 3 at the Student Union Special Events Center.

The film chronicles the journeys of four high school students who dream of being the first in their families to attend college.

Michael Rupp, assistant director of TRiO Upward Bound, notes that first-generation students are a growing and very important population in higher education. He said even the thought of attending college can seem daunting to a first-generation student. “First Generation” brings to light many of the challenges and obstacles that such students face as they make their dream a reality.

Immediately following the film there will be a discussion panel with first-generation students who participate in CMEO programs. You can watch a trailer for the film here.

For more information, contact Rupp at (208) 426-4843 or

Book by Former Education Dean, Alumna Wins National Award

photo-3-croppedLearning Magazine has selected a book written by a former Boise State dean and an alumna for the 2015 Teachers’ Choice Award for Professional Development.

The magazine selected “Building a Culture of Hope” written by Robert D. Barr, former dean of the College of Education, and Emily L. Gibson, (Ed.D., 2011) for the prestigious award. A national network of teacher panels reviews publications and makes recommendations to a national board, which makes the final selections.

The book provides essential new insights into the characteristics of high poverty, high performing schools and adds a new dimension to the organizational and instructional strategies used to improve schools during the last decade.

“Building a Culture of Hope” explains the importance of addressing the social and emotional needs of students living in poverty, especially the learned helplessness that is so often associated with poverty.

Barr’s and Gibson’s research in high poverty schools identified four “seeds of hope” essential for effective education. These seeds of hope include:

  • A sense of optimism
  • A sense of belonging
  • A sense of pride and self-confidence
  • A sense of purpose

Barr and Gibson identified the seeds of hope through observational research in high poverty, high performing schools throughout the United States.teacher-choice-award-150x112

Other national recognition for their work includes:

  • In 2014, the American Association of Publisher’s REVERE Distinguish Book Award selected “Building a Culture of Hope” as a finalist.
  • Barr has been invited to speak on the culture of hope at the Nevada School Superintendents Association and the Nevada School Boards Association this month.
  • Barr and Gibson will present at the National Youth At-Risk Conference in Savannah, Georgia, and the National Association of School Boards national conference in Nashville, Tennessee, this spring.
  • Barr and Gibson have been invited to make a videotaped and live streamed presentation regarding the culture of hope at the National Title I Conference in Salt Lake City in February.
  • An article by Barr and Gibson focusing on school cultures of hope will be the lead article for Educational Leadership’s summer 2015 international digital issue, circulated to more than 500,000 readers.
  • Many school districts and professors are using “Building a Culture of Hope” for reading and discussion. The ninth largest school district in Ohio has used the book for reading and discussion in all of its elementary, middle and high schools.

For more information, visit the Building a Culture of Hope webpage, blog or Facebook page.


Time to Prepare for CAEP Visit in 2016

Jennifer L. Snow, associate dean for Teacher Education, and Rich Osguthorpe, dean of the College of Education, issued the following statement to teacher education faculty:

“As we engage in transforming the teacher education culture at Boise State toward continuous improvement based on evidence, we would like to again share the CAEP Standards for our upcoming visit. Please see attached a one-page reminder of the five standards and the emphasis on integrating diversity and technology across all five standards.

“Our focus on gathering and analyzing evidence for program, candidate, and systems quality is of the utmost importance right now as we prepare for the CAEP Visit March 6 – 8, 2016. We will also need to submit our self-study by July 10, 2015.

“These are exciting times for Boise State teacher education programs. We are thrilled to be participating in the continuous quality improvement all programs must demonstrate in the coming months. As always, do not hesitate to contact either of us if you have questions or would like support in any way.”

Candidate Job Talks Scheduled

College of Education faculty members are invited to attend two conferences with candidates for a position in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Foundational Studies:

What: Quantitative Methods Faculty Position, Research Talk
Who: Lee Van Horn
Topic: Using Regression Mixture Models for Finding Heterogeneity in Contextual Effects
When: 9:30-10:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 14
Where: Simplot Micron 118

What: Quantitative Methods Faculty Position, Research Talk
Who: Wanchen Chang
Topic: Sufficient Sample Sizes for the Multivariate Multilevel Regression Model
When: 9-10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 17
Where: Wallace Conference Room, 7th Floor, Education Building

Time to Nominate Boise State ‘Women of the Year’

IBR101714 real_Layout 1It’s time to put together a list of Boise State women who the university will nominate for the Idaho Business Review’s “Women of the Year.”

You may recall, Stacy Pearson, vice president for finance and administration, won the designation of “Woman of the Year” two years ago.

This is a highly competitive, statewide award and the Office of Communications and Marketing nominates three Boise State faculty or staff members each year.

Please email your suggestions to either Melinda Keckler, assistant director for marketing, at or Ralph Poore, communications specialist, at You can read about last year’s awards online.

The nomination process requires a great deal of thought, time and effort for the nominee and the university, so we need to identify potential nominees very soon.

‘Culture of the Irrigated West’ Premieres Oct. 21

IRWestThe Boise premiere of the video “Culture of the Irrigated West” will be held from 6-8 p.m., Oct. 21 in the Student Union Barnwell Room. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Literacy professor Jamie Armstrong, literacy associate professor Lee Tysseling and former communication professor Peter Lutze will be on hand to discuss the multimedia project and answer questions after the premiere.

“Although we intend this video to be used in classrooms, we think that many other people may find the subject fascinating,” Armstrong said. “We hope to deepen people’s appreciation of their cultural heritage as well as the land and water that sustain all of us in Idaho.”

“Culture of the Irrigated West” combines historical research, photography from the era and original poetry in order to enrich people’s understanding of the history and culture of southern Idaho.

The project looks at the early irrigated settlements along the Snake and Boise rivers during a brief, but pivotal, point in Idaho history. This was a time when massive federal irrigation projects transformed southern Idaho from desert into arable land.

The video evokes a sense of what life was like 100 years ago as the high desert began to teem with new farms, towns and cities.

The DVD reproduction was made possible in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council and a fellowship award from the Boise State University Arts and Humanities Institute.

Classroom lesson plans for Idaho teachers are available online.

For more information about the presentation, contact Jamie Armstrong at or AHI director Nick Miller at or at (208) 426-3902.