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.
The annual Celebration of Community Engagement recognizes students, faculty, staff, and community partners who make a difference locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, through civic and community engagement initiatives.
Reciprocal Partnership Award: Presented to the faculty member and community partner who best demonstrated the principles of reciprocal, collaborative, and mutually beneficial partnerships. This may include the identification and recognition of each partner’s needs, issues, and challenges or assessment and reflection around the partnership with the goal of improving and sustaining the collaboration for long-term success.
Mary Cummings, Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership, and Andrea Todoro, Principal of the West Buffalo Charter School, have forged a strong relationship and remain in close communication regarding the changing needs of the students, many of whom are language-learners who need specialize instruction and extra time with focused attention. In her courses, Cummings has provided a service-learning component that broadens her students’ experiences and strengthens their understanding of the community. The support of Buffalo State’s Teacher Education students provides the children at West Buffalo Charter School with 1:1 attention, critical to their language development and success in school.
Leadership in Community Engagement: Awarded to a member of the campus or community who has built and strengthened institutional commitments to service-learning, civic engagement, and community engagement by demonstrating efforts to deepen and expand Buffalo State’s role as an urban-engaged institution, conducting meaningful community-based research, and/or working to foster long-lasting impacts on students and communit
As a faculty member in the Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership Department, Hibajene Shandomo has developed local and international opportunities for her students to engage in meaningful and life-changing service-learning experiences. Her on-going participation and contributions to the local and international community throughout her career merit this recognition. The partnerships she has forged have benefitted children, families, communities, classroom teachers, and building leaders. Through her teaching, scholarship, and service, she has made significant contributions that have deepened and expanded Buffalo State’s role as an urban-engaged campus.
Jeremy Bohonos, associate professor in the Adult Education department, published the article, Using Artistic Expression as a Teaching Strategy for Social Justice: Examining Music From the Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter Movements, in the Advances in Developing Human Resources Journal that highlights how performing arts education and social movement learning (SML) can be incorporated into human resource development (HRD) to enhance social justice education.
The Museum of disAbility and People Inc. presented Lynne Sommerstein with its Director’s Advocacy Award on May 19 at an awards ceremony at the disAbility Museum. Nominees for the awarded were required to be an accomplished individual who is an advocate with people with disabilities, has broken barriers, is a bridge-builder, and is an inclusive thinker. After reading the criteria, Kathy Doody, assistant professor of exceptional education, said she immediately thought of Sommerstein and nominated her.
“Lynne is pretty synonymous with inclusion in Western New York. She advocated fiercely for her daughter, Michelle, to be included more than 25 years ago,” Doody said. “Because of Lynne, my own son with a disability and hundreds of other kids have been able to be educated in an inclusive setting with peers with typical development. Lynne broke down those barriers for all of us.” Read more...
November 2016 - published by University at Buffalo's UBNow
What if someone invented a smartphone app that could help detect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children as young as 2 years old? Could it lead to earlier detection and therefore better treatment? A study co-authored by a UB undergraduate and presented at the IEEE Wireless Health conference at the National Institutes of Health last month could provide the answer. It involves the creation of an app for cell phones, tablets or computers that tracks eye movement to determine, in less than a minute, if a child is showing signs of autism spectrum disorder.
“Although it’s never too late to start therapy, research demonstrates the earlier we diagnose, the better our outcomes,” adds co-author Kathy Ralabate Doody, assistant professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at SUNY Buffalo State. “We offer many educational interventions to help children with autism reach the same developmental milestones met by children with typical development.” Read more...
Have you ever noticed that children will invest enormous amounts of time and effort into their freely chosen play activities? While adults tend to define play as fun or recreational, children know that they are playing when they choose the activity and when they are in charge of how the activity proceeds – even if it looks like work to adults.
Before children are old enough to begin reading, they can reenact the stories their parents read to them. As they “pretend read” and act out stories, children are acquiring new vocabulary. And they are learning to use the syntax, or grammar, of written language. These skills are crucial for laying the foundation for success in learning to read. “These skills are crucial for laying the foundation for success in learning to read.”
Likewise, before children develop the fine-motor and visual discrimination skills necessary to print letters, they can scribble and create letter-like forms. If they are allowed and encouraged to “write their own way,” they will also develop an identity as a writer. They will want to write because they have a message to communicate. Learning to write is often the most difficult task children will have to master in school. Writing their own way assists children in developing the stamina necessary to master conventional print skills.
Children who are allowed and encouraged to read and write their own way will find opportunities incorporate literacy into their play activities. Here are some tips from early literacy experts that parents can borrow to create meaningful literacy experiences for their youngsters.
Nanci Monaco, associate professor of elementary education and reading, and Katherine Knauf, teacher candidate, recently co-published an article in the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) fall 2015 PDS Partners Magazine. Their article, PDS Partnerships as a Vehicle for the Advancement of State Mandated Anti-Bullying Curriculum, examines DASA training along with research on anti-bullying and its effects within the workplace and P-12 schools with collaboration of PDS resources.
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.
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
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.
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.
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