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Department of Education

Faculty News

Art Education Director, Susan Barahal, represented in the exhibit, Natural Visions, at the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society

Two of Susan Barahal's stone sculptures were selected to be included in the juried exhibit, A celelbration of Earth Day: Representational and Abstract Work by New England Artists on Nature, the Environment, and Conservation. The exhibit will be on display from April 23 - May 15, 2022 with a reception on Sunday, April 24th  from 1-3pm. For more information visit the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society.Susan Barahal

Susan Barahal named Higher Ed Art Educator of the Year

In recognition of faculty member Susan Barahal's outstanding passion and dedication to the arts and creative learning, the Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA) named her Higher Ed Art Educator of the Year. Susan's teaching philosophy is grounded in the belief that curiosity is natural, learning is enjoyable and life long, and self-expression is a fundamental human quality and need. She is responsive to her students, embraces inclusivity, and differentiates her instruction to include all learners. Congratulations, Susan!

Milo Koretsky

Koretsky named McDonnell Family Bridge Professor

Milo Koretsky to join Tufts School of Engineering and Tufts School of Arts and Sciences as the inaugural McDonnell Family Bridge Professor.

The McDonnell Family Bridge Professorship was established in 2017 to support a senior faculty member of academic distinction in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) discipline and in discipline-based education research. The position awards the holder primary appointments in both the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences, allowing them to serve as a bridge between the two schools.

Professor Milo Koretsky has been appointed the inaugural McDonnell Family Bridge Professor in the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences. Arriving at Tufts in April 2021 as a bridge professor, Koretsky will hold appointments in both the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Department of Education.

Koretsky joins Tufts from nearly 30 years teaching in the Department of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University (OSU). He led the Engineering Education Research Group, where he conducted research on innovative curricular design.He is a Fellow of the Center for Lifelong STEM Education Research at OSU and a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He received his PhD from UC Berkeley and his BS and MS degrees from UC San Diego, all in chemical engineering.

Koretsky studies and develops technological innovations that promote knowledge integration and higher order cognition. He has a particular interest in helping faculty effectively use research-based instructional practices to enable more equitable learning, and in understanding what prevents students from connecting the knowledge learned in class to the demands of professional practice.

The McDonnell Family Endowed Bridge Professorship and the Institute for Research on Learning and Instruction (IRLI) one of the first research centers dedicated to understanding how students learn at the university level were established at Tufts through the generosity of the James S. McDonnell Family Foundation and members of the McDonnell family. Koretsky will be working with IRLI across departments to further the fundamental study of education and to help support the critical knowledge being generated by IRLI and transformations happening in education at Tufts. 

Pamela Bower-Basso

Pamela Bower-Basso Awarded Higher Ed Art Educator of the Year!

In recognition of faculty member Pamela Bower-Basso's outstanding passion and dedication to the arts and creative learning, the Massachusetts Art Education Association (MAEA) named her Higher Ed Art Educator of the Year. At the core of Pam's teaching philosophy is the belief that Art Education is essential for all students and should be accessible in all schools. Congratulations, Pam!

STEM Literacies in Makerspaces book awardCongratulations Brian! Assistant Professor Brian Gravel receives book award.

Assistant Professor Brian Gravel and co-author Eli Tucker-Raymond's book, STEM Literacies in Makerspaces, was awarded the 2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award. Routledge Education Books tweeted out "This book bridges the scholarship of literacy studies and STEM and offers a window into the practices that makers learn and interact with. A book description and option to purchase the book can be found at Routledge's website. Congratulations Brian and Eli on this great honor!

Laura RogersLaura Rogers receives Student Accessibility Services Disability Advocate Award

Kimberly Doan, Associate Director of Student Accessibility Services, shares: "We are extremely grateful for Laura’s collaboration with the SAS team, efforts around accessible course design, and compassionate understanding for each student's experience as a diverse learner in her classroom. Congratulations again, Laura (on this award, as well as upcoming retirement after so many years of impactful work). The Student Accessibility Services team, the accessibility community, and its students thank you!"

Assistant Professor, Brian Gravel, "With Classrooms Closed, Will Kids Fall Behind?"

"Fall behind whom?" Brian replies. "Everyone is doing this...We have this vision that if we're not doing traditional work, then we're not doing good learning."

The interview focuses on Brian Gravel's research specialty; learning that occurs outside of the traditional academic work taught in classrooms. "While children are home with family members or loved ones, that is an opportunity to learn together as a family and to teach traditions," he said. "That looks different than so-called 'on-line learning solutions,' but this is the moment to think about what learning looks like and what forms it can take. We have created this false distinction that learning happens in school and life is some other thing."

In the interview Brian also calls attention to the inequities of our society and how COVID-19 is casting a spotlight on this harsh reality, stating: "Part of the re-examining means looking closely at these inequities and how schooling often furthers them."

The entire interview is featured in an April 2020 Tufts Now article.

Deborah Donahue-KeeganPart-time Lecturer, Deborah Donahue-Keegan, "Navigating the Pandemic: Knowledge, Resilience, Civic Purpose and Engagement"

Navigating the Pandemic: Knowledge, Resilience, Civic Purpose and Engagement will be launched this summer as an eight-part weekly webinar series sponsored by Tisch College of Civic Life.  The series is aimed at supporting students during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be broadcast via Tisch College's YouTube channel on Wednesdays from 11am - 12:30pm EST, beginning June 10th. Tisch College faculty and staff, Tufts faculty, and experts from Boston-area universities, hospitals, and community nonprofit organizations will participate in the series. Deborah Donahue-Keegan, who is leading the effort along with Tisch Associate Dean Peter Levine, explains: "We have developed this webinar series to help mitigate the sense of isolation and unsettledness many students are experiencing...We are offering a way for students to stay connected to the university community and to each other over the summer. We also want to help students acquire more knowledge and skills in order to navigate conflicting information and misinformation regarding COVID-19." The weekly seminars for undergraduate and graduate students are free. Additional information, a list of topics, and registration and certificate information can be found on the Tisch College of Civic Life website.

Julia GouveaAssistant Professor, Julia Gouvea, highlighted in Inside Higher Ed Article

Biology Education Assistant Professor, Julia Gouvea, was highlighted in the April 14th Inside Higher Ed's "Remotely Hands-On: Teaching lab sciences and the fine arts during COVID-19" article. "Julia Svoboda Gouvea, assistant professor of science education at Tufts University, coincidentally taught a computation-based module on the flu in her organisms and populations lab at the beginning of the semester. The goals of the project were to track the flu season on the genetic sequencing database Nextstrain and ultimately recommend a course of action to the World Health Organization for next year’s flu season. But students became more and more engaged in tracking COVID-19 as the weeks wore on." Read the full article on the Inside Higher Ed's website.

Pamela Bower-BassoSenior Lecturer Beardsley Reflects on Career, Student-centered Education

Department of Education Senior Lecturer, Linda Beardsley, was interviewed by Tufts Daily and reflected on her career in Education in the January 28, 2020 edition.

Find the full Q&A article on The Tufts Daily website.
Pamela Bower-Basso

Faculty Included in NAEA Exhibition

Art Education faculty member Pamela Bower-Basso is included in the 2019 Juried National Art Education Association (NAEA) Exhibition. The exhibit showcases artwork from art educators throughout the country at the NAEA Studio and Gallery located at the association’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The show runs from June 17, 2019 – December 6, 2019. Jurors selected 60 works for the gallery showing, and submissions were reviewed in the following areas: originality and uniqueness, clarity and meaning, innovation and creativity, material usage and medium application, and quality and craftsmanship. Founded in 1947, the NAEA is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators.

Freeden Blume OeurWelcome, Freeden

We are pleased to announce that Freeden Blume Oeur from the Sociology department will be joining the Education Department with a secondary appointment. This summer, his book Black Boys Apart received some recognition: Winner of the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Sociology of Education, and Co-winner of the Best Book Award from the section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Congratulations, Freeden!

Assistant Professor Brian Gravel publishes a new book

Assistant Professor Brian Gravel and his collaborator Eli Tucker-Raymond just published STEM Literacies in Makerspaces: Implications for Learning, Teaching, and Research. It is based on a 3-year NSF-funded project in 5 different making spaces in which they and their research team documented people's literacy practices (the ways people used representations) in the course of their participation in those making spaces. When asked about the book, Brian said, "We learned so much on this project, in particular the ways in which races and relationships between people interact to produce opportunities for learning in making spaces. The book ends differently than it begins and we are excited about the possibilities for further inquiry." Receive 20% off with this flyer.

Linda BeardsleyMakerspace in Rwanda

Education faculty member Linda Beardsley and Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education Sara Willner-Giwerc just returned from a visit to the Maranyundo Girls School in Nyamata, Rwanda. Under the guidance and mentoring of Sara, a core group of students were trained to facilitate work in the school's makerspace, the creation of which has been supported by a partnership with Tufts' Center for Engineering Education and Outreach and Education Department. For 10 days, the students learned how a makerspace could add a new and essential dimension to the curriculum. During this period, over 100 students visited and invented in the space each day! Linda Beardsley's blog captures the atmosphere of excitement and learning.

Shameka PowellFaculty member Shameka Powell receives FRAC award

The Faculty Research Awards Committee (FRAC) has awarded Education Faculty Shameka Powell a Summer Faculty Fellowship for their project "Getting Off Track: Misalignment between district-level constructions of and school-site implementations of de-tracking policy." The committee "voted with enthusiasm" to award the fellowship. When asked about the work they plan to do, Shameka said,"I am quite excited about this project and how it's coming together. With the award fellowship, there are two things I plan to do. One, I plan to get even deeper into analyzing policy documents. And two, I plan to interview administrators, educators, and school support staff to see how they understand the de-tracking policy." Way to go, Shameka!