The School of Education is dedicated to high quality in research and teaching. Our faculty have broad expertise and experience in performing community engaged research and are actively engaged in writing and publishing their research findings. Faculty and students engaged in scholarship demonstrate the strong correlation between quality research/creative activity and exceptional teaching.
Lisa A. Rafferty, chair and associate professor of exceptional education, represents a model of teaching, presents a unity of teaching and scholarship, and clearly demonstrates a commitment to the mission of higher education for advancing the quality of life for children and families. The results of her dedication to teacher education are enjoyed by teacher candidates and her faculty colleagues in the School of Education and at P–12 schools served by partnerships with Buffalo State.
Rafferty has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses at Buffalo State offered in traditional, hybrid, and online formats. She has also taught doctoral level courses in the University at Buffalo/Buffalo State College Joint Special Education Doctoral Program. Students under her mentorship have published in peer-reviewed national journals and presented at the New York State Council for Exceptional Education conference.
She serves or has served as a contributing and highly regarded member of numerous committees within the department, School of Education, and college. Her service as the Best Buddies chapter co-adviser helped the chapter become a self-sufficient organization that was recognized as the Overall Outstanding College Chapter worldwide in 2012. At the state level, she served on the board of directors of the New York State Association for Childhood Education International and the New York State Council for Exceptional Children.
Rafferty is actively engaged in the facilitation and dissemination of scholarship. She has authored or co-authored more than 20 scholarly works. Her scholarship includes 12 peer-reviewed published articles (10 of which she is first or solo author), and 47 professional conference/workshop presentations. She served as co-editor for the journal, Exceptional Individuals, and currently serves as manuscript reviewer for multiple journals, and is an invited member of the editorial review board of the journal, Education and Treatment of Children. She has earned national recognition as a scholar and researcher.
Andrea Nikischer, assistant professor of adult education, co-authored a report, In the Guise of STEM Education Reform: Opportunity Structures and Outcomes in Inclusive STEM-Focused High Schools, published in the American Educational Research Associations (AERA) American Educational Research Journal on September 16, 2015. The report provides findings from a three-year comparative longitudinal and ethnographic study of how schools in Buffalo and Denver have taken up STEM education reform to address weaknesses in urban high schools with majority low-income and minority students. According to Education Week, the report shows how these efforts and programs failed to live up to their ambition and promise and considers how STEM programs contributed to short- and long-term school inequalities.
Wendy Paterson, dean of the School of Education, received the Bernice Poss Award from the Western New York Regional Committee of the Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education during the group's annual conference on May 1, 2015.
The award recognizes women in higher education who exemplify noteworthy involvement in organizing and planning activities for the advancement of female professionals, commitment to and participation in community services and programs for women, and professionalism as evidenced by support for colleagues and compassion in their daily conduct.
The Joint Doctoral Program is please to announce Sarah K. Howarth has been selected as one of eleven scholars to participate in CEC's 2014-15 DR Doctoral Student Seminars in Special Education Research (DRDSS) program, based on the rigorous research design of her dissertation entitled, TWA Strategy Use with Digital Text and Annotation and Science Comprehension for Students with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her work is one of the first to examine reading comprehension for this population and will add to the limited information in this area for students with autism.
DRDSS is an online seminar and discussion series designed to foster connections among students at different universities and contribute to raising the standard of research in the field through sustained inquiry into the question, “What makes for excellence in special education research?" The Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC-DR) announced the scholars names, each selected through a nationally competitive process. Scholars will meet for a colloquium at the CEC conference this April in San Diego.
Beverly MacKenzie, secretary 2 in the School of Education Dean’s Office, is widely recognized as one of the hardest working, most dedicated, and knowledgeable employees on the Buffalo State campus. She has the ability and motivation to manage the daily secretarial needs within a school that is, by itself, the size of a small college—and accomplishes her many responsibilities with unfailing kindness and a keen sense of humor.
MacKenzie manages all communications for the dean’s office, which requires that she exhibit an outstanding command of detail with a warm and efficient personal style. She is as adept at managing communications with the New York State Education Department, SUNY, and other SUNY deans’ offices as she is at handling disgruntled or confused students and faculty. Regardless of their stature or status, MacKenzie treats all people with respect and courtesy.
The work of the dean’s office ranges from budget management to international travel to daily requests for meetings. MacKenzie is able to successfully organize and manage these activities and more, even when time is tight, paperwork is complicated, or schedules are conflicting. Her natural ability to be flexible, listen carefully, and find and suggest solutions to challenges contributes to the smooth operation of the office.
While forms and procedures demand most of her time, she never forgets the human dimension of her work. She volunteers as a coordinator for the Employee Assistance Program, a New York State assessment and referral service to promote employee wellness. And MacKenzie is an ambassador for goodwill and professionalism with faculty, staff, donors, and the public school and community members for whom she is a primary contact.
David Henry, associate professor of elementary education and reading, has established a record of accomplishment that makes him one of the most valued faculty members at Buffalo State. A scientist and mathematician, he has a distinguished record of outstanding teaching and an innate drive and matchless ability to enrich the profession. He works tirelessly to improve the effectiveness of all teachers through professional development and study, to push teacher candidates to attain higher levels of performance through student-led research, and to seek excellence beyond the borders of Buffalo State.
Henry recently took on a voluntary leadership role in Governor Cuomo’s Master Teacher Initiative, a collaboration between the governor’s office and SUNY that seeks to reward excellent teachers of math and science in New York State by providing them with high-quality professional support. In addition, he has integrated the Regents Reform Agenda into educator preparation, guided professional development of science educators, provided service to Buffalo State’s Professional Development Schools initiative, contributed to the NSF-funded Constructing Physics Understanding Project, and served as co-leader of the Western New York Physics Teachers’ Alliance.
Henry’s commitment to teacher education has been unwavering. When a local school district asked for Buffalo State’s assistance in creating a STEM program, Henry helped design a program that met the needs of the district’s students and worked with teachers to ensure that the program met New York State learning standards. People continue to seek him out because he is widely trusted and deeply respected, and he will deliver on whatever task he is involved with.
On April 4, 2014 elementary education and reading faculty Jevon Hunter, Chris Shively, Sherri Weber, and Jing Zhang presented a symposium entitled, "How Teacher Preparation is Being Transformed by Digital Technologies at an Urban Comprehensive College," at the 2014 American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Firmly grounded in sociocultural theories of human development, their symposium shared the outcomes gained from designing, implementing, and researching activities mediated by Wikispaces, Blogging, Storybird, and Twitter for pre-service classroom teachers as part of their developing pedagogical practice. The presenters illustrated the triumphs and struggles of a collective attempt to attend to the technological and pedagogical needs of future classroom teachers, so that learning and instruction in the P-12 schooling environment is positively impacted. Dr. Tyrone C. Howard, Urban Schooling Professor from the University of California, Los Angeles severed as the symposium discussant while Associate Professor Minda Lopez of Texas State served as the chair.
Audience comments were very positive; with many confirming the necessity of this work or inquiring about the ways Buffalo teachers were using these ideas in classroom environments. While Professor Howard offered important suggestions, the words that most resonated with presenter Jevon Hunter are: "You all are doing some much needed, fantastic work! We should look to these young scholars for ways to prepare the next generation of teachers." Dr. Hunter is enthusiastic about the idea of Buffalo – and SUNY Buffalo State in particular – being part of the conversation focused on offering innovate teacher preparation practices. Congratulations to our faculty on a successful Year of the Teacher initiative!
Andrew Hashey, student in the Buffalo State-University at Buffalo joint doctoral program in special education, was one of 11 students chosen to participate in the 2013-14 DR Doctoral Student Scholars. The Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC-DR) announced the scholars names, each selected through a nationally competitive process to participate in the 2013-2014 DR Doctoral Student Seminars in Special Education Research (DRDSS). DRDSS is an online seminar and discussion series designed to foster connections among students at different universities and contribute to raising the standard of research in the field through sustained inquiry into the question, “What makes for excellence in special education research?" According to Sharon Raimondi, director of the joint doctoral program, scholars were selected on the basis of their dissertation research. "They will participate in a year long mentoring program. Andrew will be working with some of the top researchers in the field of special education." Visit the website for more information. Read Andrew's UB bio.
Several teacher education graduates and current students were honored at the annual Celebrate Women "Touching the World" Awards Dinner held during Women's History Month on March 1, 2014 at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center. Sponsored by Unlimited Possibilities Overcoming Poverty Ministry, Inc., this event honors the achievements, community service, professionalism, and exemplary leadership of women from throughout Western New York. The 2014 dinner spotlighted Buffalo State education graduates Marquita Iberia Bryant, Catrice Huff, and Brianna Pride, as well as current elementary education and reading student, Leah White.
Reva Fish, assistant professor in the Social and Psychological Foundations of Education Department, and Gerri Hura, associate professor in the Adult Education Department, coauthored the article "Students’ Perceptions of Plagiarism," which was published in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 13 (5): 33–45. Posted in the Daily: Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Awilda Ramos Zagarrigo, assistant professor of Exceptional Education was honored for her work in the field of education, and for her numerous contributions to the Latino/a community, at the City of Buffalo's 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. Each year, Mayor Byron Brown highlights the contributions made by members of the community in various fields. Dr. Ramos Zagarrigo was honored at an October 15 celebration, along with 13 other members of the area Latino/a community, including Buffalo State's associate vice president for student success, Daniel Velez.
The Exceptional Education Department is proud to announce that three faculty members have been honored with 2013 President's Awards for Excellence: