Fall Updates from the School of Education

For the Fall issue of Blue, the Alumni Insider, we asked Janet McMahill, Dean of the School of Education, about what’s happening in SOE. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s new?
Continuing Education and Professional Development is now partnering with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to offer an online graduate course for PreK-12 educators entitled “Inspiring Investigations through Citizen Science”. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a member-supported unit of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and houses 250 scientists, professors, staff, and students working in a variety of programs devoted to the Lab’s mission: interpreting and conserving the Earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. This exciting partnership has the potential to grow and provide additional science-based offerings to educators everywhere.

Tell us what you’re celebrating.
The doctoral program in the School of Education is seeing record enrollment and equally impressive accomplishment rates. The breadth of the program expands beyond students seeking a career in education with doctoral candidates having backgrounds in health care, social services, counseling, and the business community. The program offers a new dimension of skills acquired through apprenticeship credits allowing students to hone skills that align with their career aspirations.

Who or what is making you proud lately?
Wanda Everage is leading the third student success symposium with support from faculty in the School of Education. Over 40 underserved and underrepresented high school students were nominated and selected from Des Moines area schools. This initiative is fully funded by Nationwide.

What has been a highlight of the semester so far?
A Fulbright Scholar from Kosovo and two students from Chile provided students with global perspectives that will benefit their future classrooms. Heading into the caucus season, we’ve connected future educators to presidential candidates. We are also celebrating a multi-million dollar grant for early childhood mental health with the Iowa Department of Health and Drake Head Start.

And for fun:
If you could take any class offered at Drake this semester, what would it be?

Educational Leadership Associate Professor, Trent Grundmeyer, offers an amazing technology integration course that provides hands-on experience with a wide range of technological tools and a chance to connect with students in varying locations via robotics. This course offers future school leaders access to new and innovative approaches to using technology in schools.

What’s your favorite memory of being an undergrad student?
Classes and career counseling with major Professor Jon Ericson, who had the perfect balance of education and inspiration.

What’s your one-sentence elevator pitch for Drake?
Transformation: Preparing you here for there.

Have you run into Griff or Spike lately? Tell us about it.
Griff took a short respite in his designated corner of Collier-Scripps recently. His corner is fully stocked with a Griff bed, Griff-approved toys, and Griff’s favorite bedtime stories. In case Griff is feeling a bit restless before naptime, we always have faculty, staff, and students willing to read him a book from our Curriculum Library.

A new class of Bulldogs is in their first semester. What’s your wish for the class of 2023?
To discover our world-class faculty who will devote their time and talent to your success.

Favorite spot on campus or the surrounding Drake neighborhood?
Without a doubt, the Wells Fargo Financial Reflecting Pool. Newly provided Adirondack chairs facilitate enjoying the peace and tranquility of the waterfall and it is especially nice when the salvia are in bloom.

What is your favorite piece of Drake memorabilia or clothing?
No wardrobe would be complete without a paint-splattered hat commemorating Drake Relays and the great activities that unite our campus leading up to that event. Painting the street is a Drake tradition that creates amazing memories that will forever live in the hearts of alumni.

Follow Drake University School of Education on Facebook.