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News and Announcements

Fena Tandriarto Receives Award as Student Laureate

Elementary Education student Fena Tandriarto was named Wheaton College's  2017 Student Laureate, an award sponsored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Each college or university in Illinois can nominate one senior as an awardee for this annual recognition, based on academic and leadership qualities. At the Nov. 11 ceremony in the Old State Capital building in Springfield, Illinois' Governor Bruce Rauner presented Fena with a medal and a certificate. The Malott Family Foundation also provides a $1,000 scholarship for each of this year's 56 college or university recipients.


Wheaton Education Students Present Research at State Conference

Prof. Vroom & research groupA number of students have been working with Prof. Sara Vroom Fick on a project to evaluate K-12 classroom resources to determine if they are culturally and linguistically responsive. They researched criteria for evaluating these print resources and also developed and tested an original rubric/tool for evaluation. On Dec. 7, Bekah Dahm, Emily Heidick, and Anna James joined Prof. Vroom Fick in presenting their work at the Annual Illinois Research Center Bilingual Conference. Their presentation was well received by other experienced teachers and bilingual experts.

Mentoring Opportunities for Education Students

Due to the funding initiatives of Wheaton College, a mentoring line was added to the Education Department almost ten years ago. This resulted in the hiring of Dr. Jon Eckert and additional support for other department faculty in mentoring undergraduate students. Since that time, scores of education majors have worked closely with department faculty on a wide range of projects.

Currently, all eight department faculty are or will be working on different projects with small groups of students. Prof Vroom Fick has been meeting with students interested in the influence of language on education and have been analyzing classroom literature using culturally and linguistically responsive criteria. They presented their findings at the Illinois Resource Center Fall Conference. As the newest faculty member in the Education Department, Dr. Boehm is developing two mentoring tracks. One will support special education practitioners with their skill development, while the other will focus on special education research.

Dr. Kim's mentoring group consists of undergraduates heading toward Wheaton's MAT program. By his modeling and their research, they are growing as teacher/scholars and will be better prepared to conduct their own action research while student teaching. Dr. Jonas organizes a peer mentoring group each year to support the thinking and writing skills of the students who enroll in Educ 135, School and Society.

Dr. Eckert and Dr. Egeland also have ongoing mentoring projects. Dr. Eckert recruits interested freshman and sophomores and some continuing juniors who engage in the communication and support of recent graduates of the WheTEP programs. They assist with the annual education department alumni survey and update the WheTEACH website with that data as well as information about each state's teacher requirements. Dr. Egeland focuses on juniors and seniors preparing for student teaching abroad, exploring cross cultural challenges and the survey responses of past international student teachers.

After student teaching, Dr. Lederhouse's group of seniors will explore how to more effectively teach struggling math students. From Jo Boaler's research on mathematical mindsets, participants will rethink their instructional practices with those in their student teaching contexts who struggled in math. And Dr. Morrison and those she mentors will lean into the work of John Hattie on making visible learning for literacy.

Wheaton students are fortunate to have these opportunities to work closely with faculty on projects of mutual interest. These mentoring interactions allow for further professional and personal growth for all participants.