INNOVATOR

SPRING 2009

PARTICIPATING IN THE PROMISE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

IN THIS ISSUE
DEAN’S NOTE 1

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Photo by: Mike Gould

PARTICIPATING IN THE PROMISE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

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NEW CENTER ILLUMINATES DIVERSITY

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ALUMNI ANTONIO FLORES (PhD 1990)

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SNAPSHOTS AWARDS DEVELOPMENT REPORT

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ON THE COVER: Edith Fernández (PhD ’06) at the U-M School of Education Commencement Exercises in 2006. Her colorful scarf was sewn by her mother who cut the material from a serape. Fernández said, “I and other Chicanos wear the serape as symbol of our culture and it serves as a reminder of our humble roots. The stole in the picture has been worn by my brother and my husband at their own graduations. I also wore the stole at my Harvard and University of Nevada-Las Vegas graduations.”

DEAN’S NOTE
DEBORAH LOEWENBERG BALL
e United States has arguably one of the best systems of higher education in the world. Because of our state-based system and the broad development of small colleges, the U.S. includes an enormous range of higher education institutions—from elite private universities to public land grant institutions, from religious schools to community colleges. ese institutions represent a variety of academic, research, and cultural missions and pursue them with relatively less federal intervention than that which is common in most other countries. Many believe that higher education is one the most e ective pathways to upward social mobility and increased opportunities. For example, according to the College Board, a person who earns a bachelor’s degree may expect to earn nearly double that of a person who has not earned a bachelor’s degree over a forty-year working period. Higher levels of education correspond to higher incomes, better quality of health, lower incarceration rates, lower rates of poverty across all racial and ethnic groups and for men and women. Given these quality of life di erences associated with earning postsecondary degrees, most Americans view broad access to higher education as a necessary component of the nation’s democratic ideal as a “land of opportunity.” But what does it take to align these ideals with the realities of delivering higher education? Pre-college preparation clearly is one critical component to success. Teachers in our K-12 system need to have the professional preparation to develop in their students the content knowledge, skills for learning, and intellectual curiosity necessary for success in higher education. At the University of Michigan School of Education, we understand the importance of this endeavor and work throughout our teacher preparation program to foster these types of competencies in future teachers. However, these e orts do not occur in a cultural vacuum. Family and community ideals need to be aligned to lend legitimacy and value to young people’s pursuit of higher education and to help students through the o en daunting and confusing process of choosing colleges, completing applications, and decoding funding packages and basic enrollment information. And once at college, students must have e ective academic, nancial, and emotional support to %ourish in a new and o en stressful environment. Unfortunately, many of these components of success do not exist for far too many students in higher education. Major disparities persist based on race, ethnicity, and social class. Within the Center for the Student of Higher and Postsecondary Education here at the School of Education, our faculty and students are deeply engaged in research and analysis of these critical factors. eir work produces innovative designs, programs, and practices to address the structural and cultural barriers that impede access and success in higher education. eir work is both theoretically and empirically rigorous and broadly used. is issue of Innovator, with its theme, “Participating in the Promise of Higher Education,” explores the academic and cultural competencies, nancial resources, and academic and emotional supports needed to access and %ourish in today’s higher education environment.

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IN THE PROMISE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Who should go to college? Everyone? What about construction workers, artists, and video-game designers? Do they need education beyond high school?

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e available data would seem to suggest that it is generally a good idea for an individual to attend college. “If the question is ‘should you go to college?’ the data say ‘yes,’” says Michael Bastedo, assistant professor of education. “ e data say that you will gain in almost any way we can measure a person. You will gain academically, cognitively, you will gain in your health, you will gain in your political engagement. You will gain in many, many di erent ways that relate to your happiness and success in life. Going to college is a relatively unmitigated good.”

investment for some people. He uses an example of a high school graduate who wants to be a construction worker but decides to give college a try. A er one semester, that student decides that college isn’t a good choice and decides to turn to the construction trade. “Maybe we can give that person money— nancial aid—or otherwise convince him to stay in college. And a er four years he goes into construction anyway. Maybe he’ll be a better citizen, but not only will he not be helped in terms of earnings, he will have lost four years of potential earnings.”

And Bastedo doesn’t even mention the economic bene t. According to 2005 data, four-year college graduates earn between 60 and 70 percent more than high school graduates. But, despite the data, Bastedo points out that “Who should go to college?” is a question that’s really better at eliciting the values of the person answering than anything else. Brian McCall, professor of education and economics, adds that college simply isn’t enjoyable or even a good

Ed St. John, Algo D. Henderson Collegiate Professor of Higher Education, voices similar thoughts: he notes that the U.S. has designed the high school curriculum as though the education needed for the workforce and the education needed to prepare for college were similar. But, should everyone go to college? “I don’t know,” he says. “It seems like we forgot the working class in this country. We forgot to make things and we let our infrastructure slide. We falsely thought we could specialize in thought but we also have to manufacture cars and build houses.”

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“The data say that you will gain in almost any way we can measure a person. You will gain academically, cognitively, ...in your health, political engagement. ...different ways that relate to your happiness and success in life. Going to college is a relatively unmitigated good.” – Michael Bastedo

Each of these University of Michigan School of Education faculty members, and others too, believes that despite the numerous bene ts to individuals and to society, forcing people to attend college would be silly. But there is widespread agreement that the answer to the question, “Who should go to college?” is “Everyone who wants to.”
EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO GO TO COLLEGE, SHOULD GO TO COLLEGE

that post-high school training is necessary to support a middle-class life. By 2020, Mr. Obama would like America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. is would seem an attainable goal: among adults 35-64 years old, we, with 39 percent, are second only to Canada in the percentage of high-school graduates holding an associate’s degree or higher. But this goal actually presents a challenge greater than moving from second place to rst. If we consider younger adults, those between 25 and 34 years of age, the U.S. holds steady at 39 percent holding as associate’s degree or higher—but eight other countries have surpassed us, leaving us in ninth place for this age range. And the challenge is likely to only increase. Because, as Susan Dynarski, associate professor of education and public policy, notes, “ changing. e demographics of our country are e growing populations in this us, if we do e baby boom was the most educated cohort

e President of the United States, Barack Obama, has publicly proclaimed that more U.S. citizens should attend college. He also asserted that every citizen should have at least one year of higher education or career training. In a February 24, 2009, speech to congress and broadcast live to the nation, Mr. Obama said, “Every American will need to get more than a high-school diploma.” He elaborated, “In a global economy, where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity, it is a prerequisite.” In this last statement, Mr. Obama took up a point that was included in the report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, Measuring Up 2008,
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ever and they’re retiring.

country are Black and Hispanic populations and they have lower education levels than the boomers. nothing to increase college graduation, our workforce

is going to become less educated as a whole. If we even want to hang on to the education level we currently have, let alone keep up with other countries, we need to do something to increase participation in higher education.”

Perhaps it would. But the troubling and complicated facts are that despite their aspirations, only about 60 percent of high school graduates enroll in college. And, of those, fewer than two-thirds will complete a bachelor’s degree within six years. e percentages for Black students and for Latino/a students are signi cantly lower. And coupled with racial disparities are income disparities: Around 65 percent of high school students whose families are in the wealthiest quartile will enroll in a four-year college, while among those in the lowest quartile a mere 20 percent of students will enroll. Socioeconomic status (SES) and race are both

WHO DOES GO TO COLLEGE?

Surveys of high school students indicate that approximately 90 percent of students, across all racial and ethnic groups, aspire to attend college. Even without the large number of children who drop out of high school, won’t having 90 percent of high school graduates enroll in college provide us with the educated citizenry that a prosperous future demands?

characteristics that are associated with greater challenges to

U.S. EDUCATION PIPELINE BY RACE / ETHNICITY

Sources: 1. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2008), e Condition of Education 2008. 2. e National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (2008), Measuring Up 2008.

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“As educational researchers, we’re concerned with structural inequalities about who goes or does not go to which kind of institution—are there people who cannot go to college who would want to go? Who, under different circumstances would go, but by accident of their birth are not going?” – Deborah Carter

higher education access and success. Some have suggested that SES is the in%uential characteristic, encompassing race. Deborah Carter, associate professor and director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, says that even if you take SES into account, there are still signi cant racial disparities in educational outcomes. “As educational researchers,” says Carter, “we’re concerned with structural inequalities about who goes or does not go to which kind of institution—are there people who cannot go to college who would want to go? Who, under di erent circumstances would go, but by accident of their birth are not going?” Dynarski adds: “If we look at income gaps and racial gaps in college-going and completion, they’re troubling for all sorts of social reasons and such deep inequalities are simply bad for our society. But even if we want to be dispassionate and look at it from an e&ciency standpoint, it’s a waste of human capital.” us, at the intersection of ideals of social justice and pragmatism is found one of the largest and most powerful social engineering e orts of our time: the attempt to

understand and reduce educational disparities in our country. Research and scholarship about preparation for, access to, and success in higher education is always conducted with racial and economic disparities as part of the context. Reducing disparities is always part of the ideal.
WHERE DOES THE HIGHER EDUCATION STORY BEGIN?

At the broadest level, the issues in%uencing college attendance are those of preparation for and access to higher education. Students seeking higher education need to have made su&cient academic progress in high school and earlier to cope with the educational demands of higher education. ey also need information so that they know what higher education options are available to them, how they might nance their education, and what are the risks and bene ts of the various opportunities. Although it is possible to discuss various factors and e ects individually, in reality they are all threads in the weave of higher education and success. For example, researchers o en examine the relationship between a parent’s level of education and their children’s educational achievements.

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Or they might investigate the relationship between a family’s income and education of the children. Or they assess the relationship between ethnicity and educational outcomes, or between neighborhood and schooling. And while it is useful to tease apart the factors, it’s clear that they are not distinct from each other—a parent’s income is certainly related to their level of education, in turn a ecting their choice of neighborhood. And each of these could certainly be a ected by the ethnicity of the subjects. It is also di&cult for researchers to pinpoint exactly when factors begin to a ect an individual’s opportunities for higher education. Having parents who attended a higher education institution is a signi cant predictor of an individual’s educational path. us, a 17-year-old highschool student’s likelihood of continuing beyond high school is in%uenced by the actions and decisions of the student’s parents when they were 17 years old. Although researchers acknowledge that there is no real beginning to the process of preparing children for higher education, some focus on K-12 education as a crucial period for in%uencing higher education outcomes. Some of their ndings are that interventions are more e ective the earlier they occur in a child’s educational experience.

Academic remediation is one example of this. Currently, 40 percent of students at four-year colleges and 63 percent of students at community colleges require remedial education to increase their knowledge to identi ed minimum levels. But remediation doesn’t have to wait until the student is 17 or 18 and entering a higher education institution—in fact, there is evidence that the earlier remediation happens, the more e ective it can be. Donald Freeman, associate professor of education and director of teacher education, talks about a school district’s summer remedial program in mathematics and language arts for third-grade students who were having di&culties. e district found that if they identify students who are struggling academically even earlier, the school system can forestall later di&culties. “In this program,” says Freeman, “they were working with kids in grade three who were having di&culties in literacy and/ or math. ey’re pushing the intervention earlier, to kids entering grade one, and they’re nding that if they can make the intervention work at grade one, the same kids won’t need to come back at grade three. “We all know there is an achievement gap in our educational system,” adds Freeman. “As we’re involved in teacher preparation, we are committed to graduating teachers who are well prepared and well situated to address that gap

“Many who fear college is unaffordable will never even apply to college…many will give up on their studies while they are still in high school, making the inaccessibility of college a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
– Susan Dynarski

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ASPIRATIONS

e powerful in%uence of teachers is something that Assistant Professor Larry Rowley notes in his research on the higher education aspirations of male African American students. “A teacher’s expectations can make a big di erence,” he says. “Teacher expectations for students have a big in%uence on student aspirations and achievement.” Working with students in a midwestern urban high school, Rowley examines the ways that African American males’ context, experiences, and attitudes in%uence their educational aspirations. Among the high school students
Donald Freeman

that Rowley is working with, approximately 45 percent wish to earn a four-year college degree.

and make sure that all kids have a chance to succeed.” He notes that there are numerous factors throughout the K-12 trajectory that in%uence later success, “so, well-prepared teachers aren’t the only element, but it’s pretty clear that teachers are the principal variable in how well kids fare academically. And this is not just about learning content; it also about opening up the horizon of possibilities and connecting kids to their hopes.”

Using some of the tools of social psychologists, Rowley focuses on the context in which the students live and go to school. He looks at such things as how family background, neighborhood context, and school climate a ect academic achievement and higher education aspirations. His study also examines other factors such as how racial identity, racial stereotypes, and experiences with racism may in%uence academic outcomes. Part of what guides Rowley’s research are his own experiences growing up in a low-income rural community where very few of his peers went to college. Being a rstgeneration college graduate himself, Rowley understands the importance of having information, role models, and mentors available to help underrepresented students understand that, with the proper preparation and planning, college is an attainable goal. In his current study, Rowley has already begun to see gaps between the educational aspirations of Black male students and how far they think they will be able to go educationally. He has also found that a good portion of the young men in his study do not believe they are encouraged as much as they should be by their principals and teachers.

Larry Rowley

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He is working with the principal at the high school to nd strategies for addressing this discrepancy and will provide further insights to the sta for working with these students as he conducts further analyses of the data. Rowley believes that research of the sort he is conducting needs to be combined with an action agenda to get more students prepared for and excited about pursuing higher education.
INFORMATION GAP

Just as there are numerous ways in which the right information found at the right time can bene t students who want to go on to post-high school education, there are a number of ways that a lack of information can reduce the likelihood of a student continuing past high school. Traditionally, information about how to successfully apply for schools and locate nancial aid has largely been passed on by those who have already done these things to another group about to do so. is information cannot be shared is dichotomy in circles where it is not commonly held.

University of Michigan School of Education faculty members are concerned with the information gap that particularly a ects students who are the rst in their family to attend higher education institutions. relatively low incomes. ese students are o en also students of color or coming from families with

sustains disparities—on the one hand, you have young people who go to college, become more educated, earn more money, and help their friends and children follow a similar path. On the other hand, you have groups that don’t go to college, who thus never learn what higher education entails in terms of process, requirements, and bene ts, and they are largely unable to help their family and friends pursue higher education.

Save the date!
50th Reunion – September 24-27, 2009
Class of 1959 Celebrate this milestone with Maize and Blue events on Homecoming weekend Classes of 1958 and prior Revisit Ann Arbor and partake in special events during Homecoming weekend Undergraduate Alumni of 2004-2009 Return to campus to enjoy the Michigan vs. Penn State game and other events www.reunions.umich.edu 866.998.6150

Emeritus Weekend – September 24-27, 2009

Recent Grad Reunion – October 23-25, 2009

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“My research has very much focused on utility, trying to solve practical problems within institutions. – Stephen DesJardins

Research conducted by School of Education faculty contributes to a body of knowledge that shows that nancial aid is extremely important to college-going. And it’s not just getting nancial aid that makes a di erence, it’s also knowing what options exist (scholarships, loans, work-study, etc.) and understanding what resources are likely to be available (how much money). Stephen DesJardins, associate professor of higher education, collaborates with McCall (and Dennis Ahlburg from the University of Colorado) on investigations into how students’ expectations of nancial aid as they begin the application process are mediated by learning what nancial aid is o ered and how this relates to application and enrollment outcomes. e initial results are as predicted—if a student expected an aid amount of $3,000, but they were o ered $5,000, then the student was highly likely to apply and enroll. In contrast, students whose aid expectations were not met (e.g., expected $3,000, but were o ered only $1,000) had much lower chances of enrolling and were less likely to apply to the study institution. “Although the enrollment e ects of aid are well documented,” says DesJardins, “this research is novel in that it examines how aid expectations may a ect pre-enrollment decisions.”

DesJardins and McCall are continuing this line of inquiry with SOE doctoral student Jiyun Kim by examining how the expectation of di erent types of aid (grants, loans, work-study) a ects the college choice process. In addition they are assessing the groups in terms of race and income. eir preliminary results indicate that African American and Latino/a students are more sensitive than white and Asian students to unmet expectations for nancial aid, suggesting that appropriate nancial aid packages are particularly important to schools that desire to increase the numbers of under-represented students. Another facet of student expectations about nancial aid is its relationship with academic preparation. Accurate and timely information is critical—if a middle school student believes that college is una ordable and therefore a higher education degree is unattainable, then that student may make decisions with long-term consequences. If an eighthgrade student believes there is no way he will be able to a ord to go to college, he may care less about grades, be less inclined to pay attention in class, and be less likely to take college preparation courses. If, when he becomes a high school senior, he discovers that nancial aid is available and college is an option, he then nds himself hampered by his earlier decisions—he may not score as well as he could

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have on the ACT or SAT, therefore he won’t get admitted to as good a school as he might have if he had prepared for college, and his degree may not serve him as well as the degree he could have had if he had known all along that higher education was an option that was available to him. McCall is also researching this topic: “we’re looking at the importance of communicating nancial aid opportunities to middle school students. People have looked at college preparedness and how that a ects college outcomes—if you go to college and you’re unprepared, you’re more likely to drop out. We’re backing up to see what leads kids to choose courses and choose to become prepared back in high school; to see what interventions or policy levers could cause kids to alter their course early on,” explains McCall.
FAMILY MATTERS

poor in this society, concern about cost can lead to a set of behaviors that don’t include college. For some people, concerns about the cost of college preclude them from taking the steps to prepare for college.” e program was successful and continues to be o ered in Indiana. When analyzing some of the early data, St. John found that parent engagement factors were the strongest predictors of whether young people nished a preparatory curriculum and whether they went to a four-year college.
FAFSA—THE FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID HURDLE

Students who desire to go to college and who are academically prepared for college still have to nd a way to nance their educations. Because the U.S. values higher education, we have empowered our government to help fund it—however the funding system is neither simple nor e&cient. Citizens of the U.S. who are interested in federal nancial aid must complete the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. e FAFSA is the government’s form that is used to determine a university student’s eligibility for student nancial aid, including Pell grants, Sta ord loans, PLUS loans, and work-study programs. In addition, most states and schools use information from the FAFSA to award non-federal aid. Signi cant problems exist with the federal nancial aid process, including use of the FAFSA. One problem is the timing. Currently, college-bound high school students apply to schools by the spring of their senior year. Also in the spring, the student submits the FAFSA. However, completing the FAFSA requires the student’s and his/her parent’s federal tax forms, so the FAFSA can’t be completed before the family’s income taxes have been completed. e problem this schedule presents is that students must choose to which schools they apply before they know what kinds and amounts of nancial aid they will be eligible to receive.
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e support of family and community is also in%uential on higher education outcomes. McCall points to the advising system in place in high schools: “ don’t know what their options are. ere are many schools ey need to know in the system that are poor in counseling and their kids what options are available to them and what the costs and bene ts of those options mean. If they don’t know what the costs and bene ts of going to college are, then they make ill-informed decisions.” St. John uncovered the vital role of families when assessing the e ectiveness of the Twenty-First Century Scholars Program, which was designed in Indiana in the late 1980s. In that program, relatively low-income children signed a pledge in eighth grade. ey committed to staying in school and earning a GPA of at least 2.0 and to remaining drug and crime free. In return, they were provided full tuition at any of the participating state colleges and universities. St. John found that this intervention helped families develop a new stance toward college-going. “ is program was about easing the concern of costs, because if you’re

Dynarski likens this to a car buyer who has struck a deal with a car dealer. A er the buyer has negotiated a price, the dealer informs the buyer that there is a rebate. e customer who was willing to buy the car at the pre-rebate price is pleasantly surprised. But what about the customers who were scared o by the sticker prices and walked out of the dealership, never knowing that the car they wanted was a ordable? In this system, Dynarski wrote, “Many who fear college is una ordable will never even apply to college…many will give up on their studies while they are still in high school, making the inaccessibility of college a self-ful lling prophecy.” Further problems with the FAFSA include its complexity: It has 127 questions and Dynarski estimates that it requires 10 hours to be completed. Of those 127 questions, she found that just six questions are used to calculate eligibility for a PELL grant. In fact, everything the federal government needs to know to calculate nancial aid eligibility has been submitted separately and prior to the FAFSA, on the student’s and his/her parent’s tax returns. Dynarski has proposed a checkbox on the federal income tax forms to indicate that a member of the household intends to go to college and wishes to know about his/her eligibility for nancial aid. is idea was adopted by the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns in 2008 and is currently being considered by Congress.

Although adequate academic preparation is clearly important, research indicates that social factors are also signi cant. DesJardins, himself a rst-generation college student, tells of feeling like an outsider during his initial foray into college. He ended up leaving a er one semester. He entered and le college several times before earning his rst degree. He says: “If I were to plug my characteristics and college experiences into one of our statistical models, it would show that the probability of my getting a bachelor degree is near zero. is only shows that a) individuals can overcome odds that are stacked against them, and b) our models are useful for predicting group behavior but we can’t really predict an individual’s behavior.” St. John has worked on several projects related to success in higher education. He helped design an orientation program in one state system in which a high proportion of students who enrolled later dropped out. He and his colleagues connected related courses and created learning groups—cohorts of students who would attend courses together. is formation and nurturing of community signi cantly increased retention. He also found that although social integration is crucial in the rst years of college, in later years the factors shi : “ e longer term integration story is about how well you do in your early courses, whether you can a ord to stay, and whether you can nd an educational pathway through the school that meets your own learning needs and your own personal trajectory.” Along these lines, he found that an e ective process to help students choose majors made a di erence in retaining those students.

SUCCESS IN NUMBERS

Once students are enrolled in higher education, the goal becomes completion of a degree program. With approximately 40 percent of college students leaving school without a degree (the percentage is even higher for Black and Latino/a students), researchers study factors that a ect college completion.
MAKING IT MATTER

School of Education faculty members aren’t just interested in understanding the factors and processes of student access to and success in higher education, they are pledged to scholarship that makes a di erence in the real world. As Carter says, “We do like to speak with fellow colleagues

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and talk about theory and that kind of thing—the “ivory tower” kind of thing—but we’re committed to broadening our conversations and the impact of our research. We have a commitment to giving back.” e methods by which this is done are numerous. ey

Rowley, at an individual level, has consistently given of himself as a mentor to U-M students while simultaneously trying to nd ways to encourage the higher education aspirations of high school students and in%uence policy. DesJardins says “My research has very much focused on utility, trying to solve practical problems within institutions. I’ve always tried to have my research do three things: 1) push the boundaries on how we conceptualize solving particular problems, 2) use new analytic techniques to apply to policy problems, and 3) present results to policy makers in order to solve practical problems.” Bastedo sums it up: “We in%uence real life by talking in both scholarly and policy communities. We talk to each other and make our research high quality, so that we’re speaking truth to power. When we talk with people, we give them the best information that we have in our communities.” “My primary impact,” he says, “is through the education of my students. ey are the people who are going to be, in the future, the policy analysts and researchers and institutional leaders that our system is going to depend upon. And now is when they’re getting their education.”
Story by Robert Brustman Photos by Mike Gould

publish their work in scholarly journals, subjecting their ideas and analyses to the scrutiny of other researchers. is process helps them to further improve and develop their work. In addition, faculty members make a di erence in other ways: Carter is examining factors relating to students’ decisions to continue for a graduate degree. In this project, she works with an administrator of an undergraduate research program. She communicates her ndings on an ongoing basis, enabling the administrator to put the research into practice immediately. St. John is another who believes in partnerships. He has a long history of relationships with colleges in Indiana, Florida, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. He explains, “It’s not about experimentation, but rather it’s the blue collar work of deeply embedding researchers within organizations, to do research that allows and enables people to make good decisions.”

Brian McCall

Ed St. John

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NEW CENTER ILLUMINATES

Statistics tell the tale: About 69 percent of African American children graduate from high school on time. Compare this to the national average of 77.5 percent. Of all students who graduate, regardless of race, nearly 90 percent aspire to attend college. e numbers of those who actually attain this aspiration present another disparity: 73 percent of whites enroll in college the fall following high school graduation but just 56 percent of Blacks enroll. Completion statistics continue the story: 59 percent of white students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years of enrolling in college; 41 percent of African Americans earn a degree within the same period. Jarring as these statistics are, they are familiar to many people involved in education. ey tell a disturbing tale. But is it the only story? Is it an accurate story? A new interdisciplinary center based at the University of Michigan School of Education has been founded to challenge the fundamental %aw lurking behind statistics of educational disparities—the assumption that groups are homogeneous. As its title indicates, the Center for
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“We’re developing a model for collaboration and partnership with these communities. We’re not parachuting in, getting our data, and leaving.” – Tabbye Chavous, associate professor of education and psychology
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Tabbye Chavous

Robert Sellers

Robert Jagers

Carla O’Connor

Stephanie Rowley

the Study of Black Youth in Context is particularly interested in groups of young African Americans. e center was founded by ve U-M faculty members: Tabbye Chavous, associate professor of education and psychology, Robert Jagers, associate professor of education, Carla O’Connor, associate professor of education, Stephanie Rowley, associate professor of psychology, and Robert Sellers, professor of psychology. O’Connor and Sellers are serving as co-directors of the center this year. ey note the tendency for research to focus on comparisons of Black youth to other youth, or for studies of Black youth to only focus on low-income urban youth. us, a main goal of the center is to provide a better understanding of the substantial variation in experiences and life trajectories of Black youth across and within di erent social class groups. One of the areas Chavous and her colleagues are interested in has to do with resilience factors—why, when youth face similar risk factors, some fare well and some do poorly. “In most studies of Black youth, there has been a focus on risk factors and negative outcomes,” said Chavous. “We acknowledge that those risk factors exist…but there has been a dearth of work that focuses on positive outcomes. As many youth thrive despite experiencing challenges, it is important to understand and acknowledge the strengths and assets that allow them to do so.” e researchers’ individual research programs provide evidence that many youth draw on resources from their

families, communities, and cultural identities, and that these help bu er the negative impacts of experiencing personal and group risks. Unfortunately, these resources are understudied and less well understood. Coming together in the new center, the researchers will examine risk and resilience in a richer way, from multiple disciplines and methodological perspectives. It’s too early in the center’s existence for new data to have been gathered and analyzed, yet the researchers’ previous research suggests that resilience is complex, as it can involve success in some areas and challenge in others. Chavous gave an example of a Black youth whose response to a school with a non-inclusive climate was to try harder in school and succeed academically. Yet this bene t, which psychologists might categorize as resilience, may be balanced by negative consequences: the environment may cause the student to su er in terms of stress, isolation, and anxiety. To look at variation among African American youth, the center has begun working with three suburban-Detroit school districts that represent very di erent contexts for Black adolescents. “We selected these settings because they have diversity both racially and with regard to socioeconomic status,” said Chavous. “In doing so, we’ll be able to consider how both race and social class dynamics in%uence the development of youth in the context of family, school, and community.” “In addition, there has been substantial movement of families and youth across the metro area due to economic

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factors and school closings.

us, youth are moving into

problems, challenges, and strengths. We’re partnering with schools to incorporate into our research design speci c questions and issues that they’re concerned with.” e center also has a training focus for students and early career scholars. It will sponsor a seminar series on campus

di erent school contexts—academically and socially—and schools are experiencing unexpected changes in diversity around race and class, some of which they struggle to address e ectively. We’re interested in understanding the implications of such movement for youth, families,

schools, and communities,” said Chavous. She stressed that the center’s vision includes a commitment to collaboration and engagement, noting, “We’re developing a model for authentic partnerships with our study communities.” To this end, she and her colleagues have been spending a lot of time forming relationships with personnel from schools and school districts, parents, and other community stakeholders. “We are getting a sense of how the individuals in these settings de ne the issues,

and provide training around research methods and professional practices for working with ethnically diverse populations. In addition, they plan to hire local high school students for summer work—opportunities that will allow the students to connect with academic research.

Story by Robert Brustman Photos by Mike Gould

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ALUMNI

Antonio Flores (wearing a yellow tie) with Judy Montero, a City of Denver Councilwoman, and José Jaime Rivera, past chair of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and University’s Governing Board and president of the University of the Sacred Heart in 2008.

ANTONIO FLORES (PhD 1990)
Antonio Flores’s father was a farmer. Antonio Flores’s grandfather was a farmer. Antonio Flores’s great-grandfather was a farmer. Not surprisingly, when Antonio Flores grew to be a boy in the small farming village of San José in Mexico, he felt his future was predictable: “I grew up in a farming community and there was nothing else but farming back then. I thought that was going to be my destiny, to be a small farmer.” But destiny sometimes de es prediction. e school in San José only went as high as h grade. At that time, that was the extent of most of the villagers’ educations and it seemed likely to be the limit of Flores’s formal learning as well. But ten-year-old Flores loved learning and that boy was given an opportunity to %out fate when friends of his family o ered to take Flores with them as they moved to a larger city. Flores would have to leave his family but would be able to continue his education. Flores’s parents, wanting greater opportunities for their son than seemed available at home, let him go. is combination of a love for education coupled with a drive to seize opportunity is a hallmark of Flores’s life, one that brought the boy from the small farming village through numerous jobs, locations, and experiences. At key points in Flores’s life, others would recognize his keen insight, intelligence, and abilities, and would suggest a new course in his life. Flores has had a knack for identifying which of these suggestions held the most promise and the ability and determination to capitalize on opportunity.

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A er leaving his family (physically—he remained close in every other way) as a child, he nished his schooling and enrolled in college, where he studied elementary education. A er graduating, he moved to northern Mexico where he taught on a Yaqui Indian reservation. Desiring more education and with a burgeoning interest in organizational behavior, Flores returned to school and earned his second undergraduate degree in business administration. A er earning this degree, Flores le the dependable warmth of Mexico for the variable seasons of Wisconsin, where relatives of his lived and where he planned to pursue graduate

I wasn’t able to think about graduate studies until I got to Hope College and then it became a complement to my work,” he said. A er earning his master’s degree, Flores began an 18-year stint at the Michigan Department of Education, rst working with bilingual education and later with policy analysis and management. During this time, Flores decided to follow up his master’s degree with a doctorate: “My work and my personal inclinations led me to study higher-education,” he said. “I looked at the facts and found that U-M had the highest-ranked higher ed program in the country. I thought, ‘If you want to get the best education in your eld, you really need to go to the best place,’ so that’s what I set myself out to do.” Flores enjoyed his time at the School of Education. “ e professors that I came across were all outstanding—not just as academics, but as people. ey seemed to truly care about the students and didn’t mind spending time before and a er class and that struck me because I didn’t expect them to be so willing and accessible,” he said. “ ere was a sense of community, of family, even among the support sta and professors.” In 1996, Flores was appointed president of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), which represents more than 450 colleges and universities that are committed to Latino/a higher education success. HACU advocates on behalf of Hispanic-serving institutions for federal funding and works on leaks in the educational pipeline that keep young people from getting to college. Drawing from his own experience, as well as his observations and understanding of data, Flores described in%uences on a child’s life that would a ect his or her likelihood to attend and graduate from a higher education institution: “First of all, you need a nurturing family setting, even if the family is not well educated, if they are committed to furthering a child’s success, it is a good beginning. You also need inspiring and demanding teachers who will get performance from students. “And once you get to the college setting, you need institutions that are willing to take a chance on a student even if they don’t have the pedigree features commonly found. e institutions that will take a risk and support students like that are institutions that excel.” Story by Robert Brustman Photo by Chris Kokias Photography

“I looked at the facts and found that U-M had the highest-ranked higher ed program in the country. I thought, ‘If you want to get the best education in your field, you really need to go to the best place,’ so that’s what I set myself out to do.” – Antonio Flores
education. A er arriving in Milwaukee, he attended a Sunday church service and got into a discussion with a visiting priest. e priest was head of a private high school in southwestern Wisconsin and he asked Flores to work with him on a summer Spanish program for high school students. Flores agreed. rough the course of the program, Flores met many of the students’ parents. One of these was a high school principal in Milwaukee; he was impressed with Flores and o ered him a job as a bilingual student advisor. Flores accepted. In this job he worked frequently with people at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who soon o ered him a job with their Upward Bound program—Upward Bound is a federally funded program to help students prepare for and succeed in college. He accepted their o er. In this capacity, he attended a professional conference where he met the dean of Hope College who tried to recruit Flores for a job at Hope. Flores initially declined the o er, but the dean was persistent and the next year persuaded Flores to visit the college and again o ered Flores a position directing their Upward Bound program. is time Flores agreed to take the job. While at Hope College, Flores decided to enter a master’s degree program in counseling and personnel at Western Michigan University, which he earned while simultaneously working at Hope College and raising a family. “I moved to the United States to go to school, but my work opportunities became so quickly available, like one thing a er another, that

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SNAPSHOTS

DEAN’S ADVISORY COUNCIL CONSIDERS THE SCHOOL’S OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
e fall meeting of the Dean’s Advisory Council took place on November 13, 2008. e council members discussed the school’s outreach activities, broadly de ned, and considered ways to focus the outreach agenda and strategy, including how to use the Internet and the Web more e ectively and how to create the business model needed to support SOE priorities in outreach. e council is comprised of experts in education, business, the media, government, and others with strong interests in education and its improvement.

11TH ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY EVENT DRAWS OVER 600 YOUTH
Students from kindergarten through high school came to the university to attend the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. program on January 19, 2009. e program, sponsored by SOE and the School of Social Work, had the theme, “A dreamer, and not the only one.” e daylong program featured storytelling, skits, guided discussions, rap poetry, and musical performances.

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ROBERT MISLEVY DELIVERS WOMER LECTURE
Frank Womer, who served SOE as a professor of educational measurement for 30 years, endowed a Lecture in Testing, Measurement, and Evaluation. Robert Mislevy, professor of measurement, statistics, and evaluation at the Univ. of Maryland, pictured above, delivered the inaugural lecture in November 2008.

BIOKIDS PRESENT SCIENCE PROJECTS
Sixth-grade students working with SOE Professor Nancy Songer’s BioKIDS program presented science projects in January 2009. e innovative curriculum has signi cantly increased science knowledge among young students. Students learn by exploring and gathering data before formulating a supportable hypothesis.

COOPERATIVE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE EXPLORED IN WORKSHOP
e Bologna Process is a European reform attempt to create international consistencies for education. In March 2009, CSHPE and the European Union Center of Excellence hosted a number of European participants who related the initiative to broader processes of globalization, internationalization, and diversi cation. e workshop was convened by Jan Lawrence and Mike Bastedo from CSHPE (both pictured above), along with Peter Maassen, professor and director, Higher Education Development Association, University of Oslo, Norway.

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SNAPSHOTS

THE SUCCESS OF THE MICHIGAN DIFFERENCE CAMPAIGN CELEBRATED
e eight-year Michigan Di erence fundraising campaign concluded with 2008. e school raised more than $39 million, 30 percent over the goal. Above le , Associate Professor Elizabeth Davis and her daughter Lucy Scott helped decorate a celebratory cake. On right, from le to right: Verne Istock (AB ’62, MBA ’63,) and Judy Istock (CERTT ’62, ABED ’62), Eugene Hartwig (AB ’55, JD ’58), Donna Hartwig (CERTT ’56) and Professor of Education and former SOE Dean Karen Wixson at a brunch held to honor generous and committed SOE supporters.

SIXTH GRADERS VISIT THE SCHOOL TO MEET THEIR BOOK BUDDIES
Above le , sixth graders from South eld, Michigan express their delight at visiting the University of Michigan campus during November 2008. ese Birney Middle School students had book buddies from SOE’s Elementary Master of Arts and Certi cation Program and they taught them about their school’s literacy program, ate pizza, and participated in a scavenger hunt at the U-M Museum of Natural History (above right).

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MORE THAN HAND-EYE COORDINATION
Associate Professor Barry Fishman developed a new Videogames and Learning course, which quickly lled up with enthusiastic students. Fishman said goals include understanding why well-designed games are compelling and then translating those design principles into school-based learning environments.

MAC STUDENTS AT LEARNING CONFERENCE
Secondary Master of Arts with Certi cation students attended the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning Conference in March 2009. ey liveblogged an array of sessions and six students, (including Stephanie Mann, pictured here with Lewis Ezekiel) gave a presentation on web conferencing.

SOE DOCTORAL STUDENT AND U.S. NAVY OFFICER DEVELOPS SCOUT TROOP FOR IRAQI YOUTH
Eric Fretz, doctoral student in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology and Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, returned from a year-long mobilization to Iraq. While in Iraq, Fretz developed a scout troop for Iraqi kids on and around his base. Fretz is in the picture above on the extreme right, in desert camou%age with “U.S. Navy” on his pocket. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his tour.

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SNAPSHOTS

“HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU KNOW?”
Hyman Bass, Samuel Eilenberg Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Education, and the Roger C. Lyndon Collegiate Professor of Mathematics, was awarded a Distinguished University Professorship (DUP) last year. In March 2009, he gave his DUP lecture: “How Do You Know at You Know: Making Believe in Mathematics.” In his presentation, he talked about the import of proof in math from primary school through research mathematics.

MICHIGAN SCHOOL TESTING CONFERENCE
Each year, SOE cosponsors the Michigan School Testing Conference. e 49th annual conference was held in February 2009 and featured keynote speakers W. James Popham, professor emeritus at UCLA, Joseph Martineau from the Michigan Department of Education, and Dean Deborah Ball.

We’d love to hear from you. Send us news about your achievements and experiences. Send us your comments and advice. Our address is: Office of Development & Alumni Relations U-M School of Education 610 East University, Suite 1001 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259 email: mdubin@umich.edu
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AWARDS
LAURA AULL Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Laura Aull received the Susan Lipshutz award for outstanding work in socially responsible research for her dissertation research. In this work, she is analyzing the editorial overviews in American literature anthologies and assessing the ways in which they present underrepresented authors and communities. She also received a Rackham Research Grant. JAMES BEITLER Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education James Beitler received the Rackham Graduate School Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for 2008-09. is award recognizes exceptional ability and creativity as a teacher, service as an outstanding mentor, and continuous growth as a teacher and scholar MICHAEL BUNN Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Michael Bunn received the David and Linda Moscow Prize for Excellence in Teaching Composition. is award is given to instructors remarkable for the energy, passion, insight, pedagogical skill and creativity, and commitment they bring to the teaching of writing. He also received a Rackham Research Grant. AMY CARPENTER-FORD Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Amy Carpenter-Ford was awarded a Community of Scholars fellowship at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. BETHANY DAVILA Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Bethany Davila was a recipient of a Harold and Vivian Shapiro/John Malik Award. She also received a Rackham Humanities Research Fellowship. HANNAH DICKINSON Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Hannah Dickinson was awarded a Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship. KAREN DOWNING Doctoral Student in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education Karen Downing received the 2009 Equality Award from the American Library Association. She was selected for her accomplishments in promoting diversity and equality in the library profession. SUSAN DYNARSKI Associate Professor of Education, Associate Professor of Public Policy Susan Dynarski has been selected as an editor for the Journal of Labor Economics. e JOLE, published by the University of Chicago Press, is the top economics journal that publishes research related to the economics of education and employment. Dynarski has been an associate editor for JOLE since 2008. MOISES PERAHLES ESCUDERO Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Moises Perales Escudero has been awarded a Rackham International Student Fellowship.

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AWARDS
DEBORAH LOEWENBERG BALL Dean, William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Education and Arthur F. urnau Professor Deborah Loewenberg Ball received the nineteenth annual Louise Hay Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics in January 2009. She was chosen for her deep and wide contributions to mathematics education and her leadership in advancing mathematics teacher education in the United States. MALINDA MATNEY Lecturer, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education Malinda Matney was named to the national board of directors of HazingPrevention.Org, a non-pro t organization that encourages healthy and productive experiences for new members of teams, student organizations, and fraternities and sororities. She was also selected as a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Student A airs Research and Practice, sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. VILMA MESA Assistant Professor of Education Vilma Mesa received an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Recognition Award for Outstanding Research Mentorship. e award recognizes contributions to mentorship and the development of future scientists and researchers BARBARA MIREL Associate Research Scientist Barbara Mirel was the rst author of a paper, “Researching Telemedicine: Capturing Complex Clinical Interactions with a Simple Interface Design,” which was selected as the recipient of the Nell Ann Pickett Award for the best piece in Technical Communication Quarterly for 2008. e award was presented at the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing conference in March. MELINDA MCBEE ORZULAK Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Melinda McBee Orzulak was awarded a Rackham Humanities Research Fellowship.

MARY DELANO Assistant to the Dean ELENA GODINA Graphic Artist, O ce of Communications MIKE GOULD Computer Consultant, Photographer, Interim Webmaster, Technical Services and O ce of Communications

BETH GRZELAK Assistant Director of Teacher Education Programs MICHAEL NAPOLITAN Facilities Manager TINA SANFORD Administrative Assistant, Educational Studies Program

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EDWARD SILVER William A. Brownell Collegiate Professor of Education
Edward Silver was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics Education by the National Council of Teachers and Mathematics (NCTM). e award is given to recognize NCTM members who have demonstrated a lifetime of achievement in mathematics education at the national level. Silver received the award at the NCTM 2009 Annual Meeting and Exposition in April 2009. Among the areas of Silver’s expertise are mathematical problem solving and problem posing, developing intellectually engaging and equitable mathematics instruction, developing methods of assessing and reporting mathematics achievement, and enhancing the knowledge of teachers of mathematics.

RANDALL PINDER Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Randall Pinder was awarded a Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship. STACI SHULTZ Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Staci Shultz received the Rackham Graduate School Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for 2008-09. is award recognizes exceptional ability and creativity as a teacher, service as an outstanding mentor, and continuous growth as a teacher and scholar. She was also selected to be a Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory Scholar for 2008-09. JEFF STANZLER Lecturer, Educational Studies Je Stanzler received a Lecturer’s Professional Development Grant from the U-M Center for Research on Learning and Teaching to support his collaboration

with colleagues at the University of Cincinnati on their “Place out of Time” simulation. is is a web-based historical simulation in which U-M students mentor middle school and high school students who, in character, discuss a range of ethical and philosophical issues. DARIN STOCKDILL Doctoral Student in the Literacy, Language, and Culture Program Darin Stockdill was awarded the National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Adolescent Literacy Fellowship. He intends to use the award to develop his work in adolescent literacy, focusing on the development of secondary disciplinary literacy in the social studies EBONY THOMAS Doctoral Student in the Joint Program in English and Education Ebony omas was selected for a Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color Fellowship by the National Council of Teachers of English.

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DEVELOPMENT REPORT
Late spring is always a special time at the University of Michigan and this year is no exception. It can be bittersweet, as many undergraduate and graduate students complete their programs and revel at commencement before bidding goodbye to the life they’ve led at the university. It’s also a time of great celebration with a profound sense of progress as our newly minted graduates go forth to apply their educations to the challenges of the world. is year, on May 2, around 300 students graduated from the University of Michigan School of Education. Each one of these graduates has the education and the potential to be a force for improvement in education within the United States and throughout the world. is year’s graduates go on to join the nearly 60,000 alumni of our school. is is a number representing an in%uential e Michigan wealth of intellect and training that gives substance to the phrase we’ve been speaking of in recent years: Di erence. With this many SOE-educated professionals in education, the di erence that SOE has and continues to make is profound. Yet the challenges facing education in our country are as large and complex as ever. e average educational attainments of our citizens are losing ground to those of other countries, at a time when critical jobs require everhigher levels of education. In response, U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a rededication to education. e scholarship and skills of the faculty and graduates of SOE have never been more important to our country’s future. Michael S. Dubin Director of Development and Alumni Relations Our national economic climate presents signi cant challenges for many of us, including for our students. At a time when we truly need bright intellectual lights and talented individuals to devote themselves to education at SOE, nances are becoming an increasingly high hurdle. us, while it was just last year that we concluded the successful Michigan Di erence campaign, we now nd ourselves in a critical time in which nding funding for students has never been more important. Nor more appreciated. rough your gi s, large and small, we can continue to graduate men and women who will improve education in the country and the world. I encourage you, our alumni, to send us notes or emails and keep us informed of events in your lives. And if you’re in the area, please know that you’re welcome to come back and visit the school. You might see some old friends—and you might see the future of education. ank you for all of your support. Sincerely,

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Congratulations
To Our School of Education Graduates

INNOVATOR

University of Michigan School of Education 610 East University Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259

INNOVATOR is published by the University of Michigan School of Education Office of Communications LEADERSHIP TEAM OF THE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Dean Joseph Krajcik, Associate Dean, Research Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs Henry Meares, Assistant Dean OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS Kathryn Bieda, Secretary Robert Brustman, Director of Communications Martha Dalley, Special Events Coordinator Elena Godina, Designer Mike Gould, Photographer Yvonne Pappas, Designer/Art Director

THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN Julia Donovan Darlow, Ann Arbor Laurence B. Deitch, Bingham Farms Denise Ilitch, Bingham Farms Olivia P. Maynard, Goodrich Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park S. Martin Taylor, Grosse Pointe Farms Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor Mary Sue Coleman, ex officio Nondiscrimination Policy Statement
The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity and Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.

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