2015-2016 Student Updates

by John Conroy

The Student Updates article was originally featured in our fall 2016-winter 2017 School of Education News magazine.

Sean Aiken, who currently is studying in the Doctor of Education (EdD) program, was hired by the Shaler Area School District as its superintendent. Aiken was previously assistant superintendent in the West Allegheny School District.

Five first-year higher education management students received funding for 2016 summer positions through NODA–Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education and the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International. For their summer positions, Scott Allen attended Johnson & Wales University’s Denver campus, Elana Benitez attended the University of the Arts, Amanda Cyprowski attended Duke University, Erin Hill attended the University of Richmond, and Doug Stouch attended Texas Tech University.

Kaitlyn Brennan, a special education leadership and applied behavior analysis graduate student, has been appointed to the Council for Exceptional Children Board of Directors as the student representative. As the student member of the board, she also will serve as an ex officio member of the council’s student committee.

Exercise physiology graduate student Seth Creasy was elected as the early career representative for the Obesity Society’s eHealth/mHealth Section as part of the society’s annual ObesityWeek meeting, which occurred November 2–6, 2015. His term started at the conference.

The North Allegheny School District hired School of Education EdD student Erin Crimone as assistant principal of Carson Middle School. Crimone previously was a unit principal at Mt. Lebanon High School and an assistant to the principal, teacher, and coach at Keystone Oaks Middle School.

Social and comparative analysis in education PhD student Linda Deafenbaugh was honored with the American Folklore Society’s Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize, which is open to individuals and organizations whose work effectively encourages K–12 educators or students to use or study folklore and folkloristic approaches in all educational environments. Deafenbaugh coordinates folk arts education programs and research at the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

Administrative and policy studies doctoral student Osly Flores was selected as a 2015–16 University Council for Educational Administration Barbara L. Jackson scholar, a program that provides “formal networking, mentoring and professional development for graduate students of color who intend to become professors of educational leadership.”

EdD student Patrick M. Graczyk was named superintendent of the Allegheny Valley School District. Allegheny Valley includes Cheswick and Springdale boroughs and Harmar and Springdale townships.

Doctoral student Caroline Johns was named Northgate School District’s new superintendent. Johns currently serves as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in the Moon Area School District. She first joined the district’s administrative staff as principal of J.A. Allard Elementary School in 2010. In addition to her duties as principal, she was later named the district’s director of instruction.

Social and comparative analysis in education PhD student George Kacenga was selected by the American International Recruitment Council to receive its 2015 Marjorie Peace Lenn Research Award. The award was given based on his research paper, titled “Economic Drivers Influencing the Agency and Structure of Applied Comparative Education in the Latter Half of the 20th Century.”

Robin McNeal and Missy Seyerle were both accepted to the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders) Center at the University of Pittsburgh training program, which prepares trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and teaches interdisciplinary clinical competence. The program, which is affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, runs throughout the eight-month academic year.

K. Leroy Irvis fellow and graduate assistant Ira Murray’s paper,“ ‘Not as Much as It Should Be’: How Community-based Outside of School Time Programs Attend to Black Male Sociopolitical Development,” received the 2015 Doctoral Student Paper Award from the Pitt Center on Race and Social Problems.

Laura Northrop, a PhD student in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Teacher Education at Cleveland State University.

Sophy Perdomo, a second- year PhD student in the Department of Health and Physical Activity, has been selected to participate in the 2016–17 American College of Sports Medicine’s Leadership & Diversity Training Program. Perdomo, who is a K. Leroy Irvis fellow at Pitt, attended the organization’s 2016 Annual Meeting from May 31 to June 4 in Boston, Mass.

EdD student Allie Quick was invited to join the editorial board of the Journal of Education Advancement & Marketing. Quick, who is senior executive director of principal gifts and University leadership engagement at the University of Pittsburgh, is one of more than 30 members from institutions around the world serving on the editorial board.

Doctoral student Christine Scanlon was appointed to the board of the Association of Child & Youth Care Practice, Inc., at its national meeting in 2015. Scanlon also is a graduate teaching fellow at the School of Education and works as a program developer at Cornell University. She graduated from Pitt with her MS degree in applied developmental psychology in 2011.

Shanai Sloan, a Master of Education student in higher education management, was appointed to the Graduate Associate Program at NASPA- Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, which is “the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession.”

Special education doctoral students Emily Sobeck and Kaylee Wynkoop were both selected as Doctoral Student scholars by the Council for Exceptional Children Division for Research based on their CVs and descriptions of their dissertation research.

Health and physical activity undergraduate student Mark Spitz was part of a team that won the Pitt Innovation Institute’s 2016 Randall Family Big Idea Competition for its portable oxygen device for people with chronic lung disease. Spitz’s team will be working on a prototype of the device in the fall and will potentially work with a medical device company upon graduating.

In 2015, Pittsburgh Public Schools STEAM coordinator and Pitt PhD student Shaun Tomaszewski joined students, educators, and philanthropists from across the country for the White House’s first-ever Summit on Next-generation High Schools.

Dana Winters, a PhD student in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies, was appointed to the review board for the "Research in Brief" and "On the Campus" sections of the Journal of College Student Development, which is the largest source of research about college students and the field of student affairs.

JOHN CONROY is manager of marketing communications for the Pitt School of Education.