SOE Students Take Part in Challenger Future Educators Program

clcdayErin Rasmussen, Amber Sinamon, Erin Staengel, Ryan Gibbs and Cassie Trueman represented Webster University in the Challenger Future Educators program on January 28. This event was organized by the Challenger Learning Center of St. Louis.

The Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis is part of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, an international not-for-profit education organization founded in April 1986 by the families of the astronauts tragically lost during the Challenger space shuttle mission. The St. Louis location is part of a growing network of approximately 50 Challenger Learning Centers located throughout the world and serves groups throughout the greater St. Louis region.


Giveaway for the 3EC: Buzzwords Conference

Dean Fyfe has two student tickets to give away for the 3EC: Buzzwords Conference being held at Webster University on Saturday, Feb. 13th.

If you are a current student and are interested in attending the conference, please send Dr. Victoria McMullen a one-paragraph email that indicates how this relates to your major and how you would share the information with other teacher candidates.

These tickets must be given away by this Friday (Jan. 22nd), so please contact Dr. McMullen at as soon as possible. Hope to see you there!


Webster Educational and School Psychology Association gets involved

Centron Felder and Angie Jackson

Centron Felder and Angie Jackson

WESPA, the Webster Educational and School Psychology Association had a table at yesterday’s Student Involvement fair.

Patrick McGuirk, Erica Vaughn, and Angie Jackson are the officers and Dr. Ruth Schumacher Martinez is the faculty advisor.

According to Professor Schumacher Martinez, members “are true change agents committed to social justice in education” who are “excited to connect undergrad and grad students on better serving all students.”

If you are interested in connecting with this group you can do so by contacting Professor Schumacher Martinez at or by going to their meeting this evening at 5:30 in the Emerson Library Conference Room.

The students pictured are Centron Felder and Angie Jackson.

Congratulations to Webster alumna and adjunct faculty member Rena Rockwell on receiving her doctoral degree

Dr. Rockwell

Dr. Rockwell

In recognition of Rena Rockwell, an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education for more than 15 years as well as a BA, MAT, and EdS graduate of Webster, receiving her EdD in Educational Leadership and Administration from William Woods University, we have a Q&A with her to share with all of our readers today.

Congratulations to Dr. Rockwell!

What made you choose Webster for your undergraduate education?
I chose Webster University because as a child I remember seeing all of the television advertisements that mentioned the high quality teacher education program, the worldwide and world-class experiences and the personal touch with small classes. All of this was a draw to me at that point in my life.

What brought you back for your subsequent MAT and EdS work?
I kept coming back to Webster University because I had experienced everything I expected before and more. The teachers really kept my interest and hooked me into returning with the high quality full and adjunct professors who had such close ties to school districts in the area that our learning was directly applied to our work environments. And if we wanted the worldwide experiences that aligned with our work we could go on those once-in-a-lifetime learning experiences. The course work, the programs, and the staff were very relevant and the challenges in the course work kept me hooked. In summary, the relationships and the rigor made me want to stay with Webster.

What’s your favorite class to teach?
This is a hard question because I love them all! If I had to choose it would be our EDTC EdS courses because the students in these courses are looking to challenge themselves and take on leadership roles in their learning environments. That program draws educators from all types of learning institutions — not just K-12 settings. This keeps it very interesting each year.

What continues to draw you to the educational field?
The more I teach the more I want to teach and give back to the educational field. I hear every year our students are more challenged than before and as much as the world has changed I think our students face the same issues as they have in the past — it’s just that the problems are more pervasive and touch more students. Teaching with experience helps those teachers without experience teach and approach all students with dignity, respect, and high impact instructional strategies that help them achieve. Seeing new teachers learn and see this type of success makes you want to continue this type of work.

What do you see yourself doing over the course of the next several years?
Over the next couple years I want to explore a full-time teaching career on the university level and now that I have earned my doctorate I hope it opens more doors to help me achieve this goal. I want to continue teaching and giving back as much as possible.

Any fun/interesting facts about you?
As much as I love to teach I also love to garden and enjoy the great outdoors. I have created many perennial and vegetable gardens in the past and currently I am designing a southwest rock and cacti garden. When I am not teaching or gardening I am exploring many of our county, state, or national parks.

School of Ed’s Dr. Rodney wins technology award and is named 2016 Webster Global Leadership Academy fellow

20151113_141249-1Dr. Basiyr Rodney was recently awarded one of two 2015 Focus on Teaching and Technology Awards during the University of Missouri – St. Louis’ Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference.

In her presentation speech, Emily S. Goldstein, Instructional Designer at UMSL’s Center for Teaching and Learning, said that Dr. Rodney is an educator “who doesn¹t just teach the technology” but rather someone who “model[s] the pedagogy with the technology.”

In addition, Dr. Rodney was appointed to the Webster University 2016 Global Leadership Academy (GLA), a leadership development program open to the faculty and staff of the university’s global community. GLA fellows are selected each year to participate in a series of workshop and activities that help them to lead successfully in their roles and positions within the university. The primary mission of the GLA is to invest in the people of Webster University so that they may lead from where they are.

In his application, Dr. Rodney said that “Webster offers a space for me to focus on learners who are distributed across the world” and that he has had “deep and meaningful interactions with these learners from the confines of my own local space in St Louis.” Webster’s reach has allowed him to call himself “an uber global citizen.”

More information on Webster’s GLA can be found online.

Congratulations on two well deserved awards, Dr. Rodney!

Webster alum offers good will to hospitalized vets this holiday season

IMG_0168Kristen McDowell a Webster University School of Education alum, successful first year special education teacher, and Miss Southern Missouri 2016, spent yesterday with her sisters greeting disabled vets and their families with candy, smiles and good will at John Cochran Veterans Administration Hospital in St. Louis.

We are so proud to have had a part in educating Kristen and others who express kindness and love to men and women who have given so much to their country.


It is hoped that her good work will inspire others — like you! — in the new year.

Happy Holidays!


CMAT 5000 Teaching in a Diverse Society Wraps Up An Exciting Semester

Stephanie Mahfood

Dr. Stephanie Mahfood

By Dr. Stephanie Mahfood

Have you ever worn a blubber glove to get an idea of how blubber keeps a penguin warm?
Have you ever made your very own dinosaur fossil?
Have you ever participated in a shepherds’ sling tournament?
Have you ever planted your own tropical plant so you can apply your knowledge of water conservation to care for it?

Students at The Soulard School got all of these activities and more as they participated in the Curricular Extension Projects designed and implemented by Webster CMAT 5000 teacher candidates.

Topics of these projects included the characteristics and living conditions of penguins, types of dinosaurs and what dinosaurs have in common with other animals, the importance of water conservation and ways to conserve water, forces of motion and the application of the scientific method.

TSSWith the assistance of Soulard School teachers, CMAT candidates worked in teams to develop these curricular extension projects to address specified learning outcomes and to address a variety of student needs.  Candidates then created a method of introducing their projects to the families of Soulard students.  Each team was awarded $150 to implement their projects.  Some projects were implemented over a few hours and some took several days to complete.

Through this process, CMAT candidates were able to wrestle with real teacher questions like, “How much do we teach?”  “What do we teach?”  “How will we know that students have met the outcomes we have set for them?”  “(What’s an outcome anyway?)”   Candidates also experienced the joys and challenges of teamwork and the power of flexible thinking.

Here’s to another exciting semester of CMAT! Congratulations to all of the Webster candidates who engaged so wholeheartedly during the semester.  You are well prepared for your next steps in teacher preparation!