Class Notes Submitted in May, 2015

Dominique Baker (M.Ed. ’12 SAPHE) has been awarded a $20,000 Dissertation Proposal Grant from the Association for Institutional Research. Dominique, who is a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University, received this award to support her dissertation research and writing on “An Examination of the Effects of Undergraduate Debt on Postbaccalaureate Decision-Making.”

Barbara Conner (M.Ed. ’05 Soc Fdns) is Director of College Counseling at Foxcroft School, a college-preparatory girls’ boarding school in Middleburg, Virginia. I have been using a different approach and different language in working with my students for the past five years in order to reduce stress and improve outcomes in the college exploration and application process. My article, “Five First-Choice Colleges” appeared in the spring 2015 edition of the The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Journal of College Admission.

Dorinda G. Grasty (B.S. ‘80 Spec Ed; Ed.D. ‘01 Admin & Supv) was named 2015 Region VIII Superintendent of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. She has led Appomattox County Schools for six years.

Bobbi F. Johnson (Ed.D. ’02 Admin & Supv) was named 2015 Region IV Superintendent of the Year by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. She has led Culpeper County County Schools since 2009 and plans to retire at the end of June.

Cathy Lechowicz (B.S.Ed ’99 Speech Path and Aud) was honored on April 28 with Cathy Lechowicz Day in Middletown, Conn., for her profound dedication to the community. The Connecticut Commission on Community Service and the Office of Higher Education announced the recipients of the 2015 Community Service Awards and singled out Lechowicz for her great work. She is Director of the Center for Community Partnerships at Wesleyan University.

Read more on the Wesleyan blog.

Watch a video interview with Cathy on the HoosNetwork.

Gail Lovette (Ph.D. ’14 Reading) was mentioned by U.Va. professor Dan Willingham in his April 28 Washington Post article, “Can Reading Comprehension Be Taught?”

From the article: “Gail Lovette and I (2014) found three quantitative reviews of RCS instruction in typically developing children and five reviews of studies of at-risk children or those with reading disabilities. All eight reviews reported that RCS instruction boosted reading comprehension, but NONE reported that practice of such instruction yielded further benefit. The outcome of 10 sessions was the same as the outcome of 50.”

Willingham, D. T., & Lovette, G. (2014, September 26). Can reading comprehension be taught? Teachers College Record. ID Number: 1 7701

Trevor Patzer (M.Ed. ’04 Admin & Supv) Trevor Patzeris the co-founder and executive director of the Little Sisters Fund, an organization that supports the education of about 1,700 economically disadvantaged girls in Nepal. Nepal may seem a long way from Virginia, but for him the Asian country is very close in heart – and it was especially so after the devastating earthquake of April 25. The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude quake and its aftershocks has now climbed beyond 8,600 with 16,000 injured. Since the earthquake, Patzer, who is based in Maryland, and his Nepali colleagues in Kathmandu have kicked into high gear to help with the relief and recovery effort.  The Little Sisters Fund has 9 full-time and about 25 part-time staff in Nepal, and all survived the quake, although quite a few homes were damaged.

“In the early days after the quake, pretty much anyone who survived unscathed jumped into the relief effort simply as friends, neighbors, and citizens,” Patzer explained. “We were unique in that we had an existing organizational structure and a network that reached into many of the affected districts, as well as funds on hand that allowed us to act immediately.” (more…)

Ellen Ramsey (M.Ed. 2000 Soc Fdns) has never really left U.Va.! After many years in the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, she recently took a new position as the Institutional Repository/Libra Librarian at the University Library. Graduating Curry masters and PhD students interact with her each year now that their dissertations and theses are deposited electronically with the University’s institutional repository, known as Libra. Next up for the repository is enhancing the ability to provide worldwide, open access to U.Va.-generated scholarship of all types, including articles and datasets from faculty and student research. She resides in northern Albemarle County with her husband, son, and two lovable rescue pups.

Scott Richardson (M.Ed. ’92 Soc Fdns) is an Education Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management, US Department of the Interior, where he develops middle school teaching guides about public lands and BLM resource topics such as wilderness, habitat, and renewable energy.