Recent Notes

Cecil Duke Mercer (Ed.D. ’74 Spec Ed) passed away on November 21, 2014, at home after a long battle with neurological Lyme Disease. He was a retired Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida and in 2011 received the Outstanding Alumni Higher Education Faculty Award from the Curry School Foundation.

He joined the Florida faculty in 1974 and retired in 2005. His research focused on the areas of math education and effective instructional techniques. He coauthored the popular textbook “Students with Learning Disabilities,” as well as the Strategic Math Series, the Great Leaps K-2 Reading Program, and the Great Leaps Math Program.

Mercer served on the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors and on the Learning Disabilities Association of America Professional Advisory Board. He was awarded the College of Education Teacher of the Year award three times at the University of Florida and also received the University of Florida Graduate School Advisor/Mentoring Award and the College of Education Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2000 he received the Samuel A. Kirk Award for his outstanding article in Learning Disabilities Research and Practice.

See more in his obituary in The Gainesville Sun.

H Marie Williams (B.S.Ed. ’06 Sports Med) The Remedy

The Remedy
by H Marie Williams.
Self-published, 2014

“The difference between a victim and an overcomer is that a victim is injured, harmed, hurt, even killed by an offender where an overcomer has successfully gained control over the hurt, harm, trauma, etc. Waking up the morning after being raped, Marie was faced with an understood ultimatum. Tell her family and face public embarrassment or, run from the pain as long as possible and attempt recovery on her own. Unfortunately for her, recovering from rape isn’t something anyone, man or woman, can do alone. With no support for the better part of a decade, and no experience in matters of love and intimacy, Marie struggled to beat her past trauma alone, taking on fresh wounds and challenges along the way. This is a story of the transformation Marie, and many other rape and sexual assault survivors, experience as they battle with post-traumatic stress syndrome and overcoming trauma. With no real ending, this novel provides a platform for discussing the raw truth about how victims are affected and what it takes for them to become overcomers. Marie bears her soul for the world to see and possibly shred with the understanding that until rape becomes table talk, the perceptions and suicides associated with the crime will continue.”

H Marie Williams (B.S.Ed. ’06 Sports Med) received her MS degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Queens College in 2013. She founded Exalted Exercise LLC, a behavior intervention company targeting lifestyle changes through church programming, and is the sole owner and operator of all programs. Marie also authored and self-published her first novel, a memoir entitled The Remedy, that chronicles the challenges she faced on Grounds and beyond while fighting to recover from rape.

Emily Davis (Ph.D. ’10 C&I) Making Mentoring WorkMaking Mentoring Work
by Emily David.
Rowman and Littlefield, 2014

Emily Davis (Ph.D. ’10 C&I) is currently serving as the Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley New Teacher Project Program Director for the New Teacher Center in California. Her first book, Making Mentoring Work, was published in late August.

Charles Igel (Ph.D. ’10 Rsrch Stats & Eval) is now lead of the M.Ed. Elementary Education Program at Regis University in Denver, CO.

Suzanne Rushton Harper (Ph.D ’02 Math Ed) was promoted to Full Professor in the Mathematics Department at Miami University. She teaches mathematics content courses for prospective K-12 teachers. Her main research interests include the teaching and learning of mathematics with technology.

Carolyn Massie Still (E.dD. ’93 C&I) Carolyn Massie Still“After retiring from Albemarle County, I wanted to have an adventure with my degree and experience. So, I have gone abroad. First, I was a principal of a grades 1-12 school in Taiwan; next, I was an elementary principal of an American school in Egypt. Now, I have been having a wonderful experience as a classroom teacher in an international school in Germany. It has been educational to learn about Asian, Arabic, and European cultures. The private schools are VERY different from those public ones I had worked in before going abroad! My husband, Leo, has been the ‘trailing spouse.'”

Carolyn Massie Still's Curry Memory

“I enjoyed being a graduate instructor for EDIS 501-502 with the M.A.T. program.”

Michael Bentley (Ed.D. ’85 Sci Ed) just published is first practical, how-to book aimed at parents and teachers: Connecting Children: Ideas and Activities for Parents and Educators (2014, Bethany, Oklahoma: Wood ‘N’ Barnes). (more…)

Michael Bentley's Curry Memory

“I’ll never forget reading John Dewey’s books, one after another, with an informal group of grad student peers led by Professor Gail McCutcheon. We met every week over the course of a year to work through the meanings found in our self-assigned chapters. I received no credit but spent as much time with this project as I did with my regular classes, and got more out of it than I did from many of them.”

Ryan Richard Ruff (M.T. ’05 Soc Studies Ed, Ph.D. ’09 Rsrch Stats & Eval) is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion at the New York University College of Dentistry, with an associated research assistant professorship at the NYU Global Institute of Public Health. “I was also appointed a fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health. My research interests focus on the relationship between oral health, academic performance, and socio-emotional development. Recent articles have been published in Preventive Medicine, the American Journal of Health Promotion, the Annals of Epidemiology, and Social Science & Medicine.”

Robert C. Knoeppel (M.Ed. ’92 Couns Ed; Ph.D. ’01 Admin & Supv) received the National Education Finance Conference Distinguished Research and Practice Fellow Award. He is a professor and chairman of the leadership, counselor education, and human and organizational development department in Clemson University’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education. The award is given to 10 individuals who have gained national visibility by their exemplary research and practice in the field of public education finance.

Gregory Narleski (B.S.Ed. ’93 Health & PE) most recently worked as Associate Dean of Students at Landmark College in Southern Vermont before leaving to serve on Semester at Sea over the summer working as a Residential Director. He is currently in an interim position with Springfield College, Massachusetts, in Student Activities and the Campus Union.

Leesa Foster Blum (M.Ed. ’96 Health & PE)

Leesa Blum & family

Leesa Blum & family

owns and operates a home-based business assisting clients in attaining the greatest level of fitness and health given all/any health conditions in order to lead the most healthful and functional life.

Bethany Dannelly (M.Ed. ’10 Kines) is working as the assistant basketball coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Colby College.

Martin Ritchie (B.A. ’73, M.Ed. ’74, Ed.D. ’78 Couns Ed) was the inaugural recipient of the Martin Ritchie Award for Excellence in Advocacy by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in 2014. He was named Curry School of Education Foundation Distinguished Alumnus in 2012. Dr. Ritchie retired in 2013 after 38 years as a school counselor in Virginia, and a counselor educator at the University of Queensland in Australia, Ohio University and the University of Toledo.

Tim Cooke (M.Ed. ’99 Health & PE) started a new job this year as the Director of Golf Instruction at The Sea Pines Resort in South Carolina. “We have opened a new 2,800-sq-foot Golf Learning Center at the Resort and feature some of the latest technologies in golf instruction, including TrackMan radar, SAM Putt Lab and high speed cameras.

“The Golf Learning Center was ranked by LINKS Magazine as one of the Top 10 golf schools in the USA in September, which is the first time Sea Pines Resort has received this award. Also, I was fortunate to by ranked by Golf Digest magazine as one of the Best Young Teachers in America – Top 40 under 40 for 2014-15. This is the third time I have been recognized by Golf Digest on this list.

Beth Heller (Ph.D. ’05 Clin Psych) left private practice in 2011 to become associate director for the Center for Psychological Services and Development, the training clinic for VCU’s clinical and counseling psychology Ph.D. programs. “I was appointed Director in July 2014, and continue to enjoy supervision, occasional guest lectures, and a small faculty practice.”

Beth Heller's Curry Memory

“My girls, who were in elementary school during my years at Curry, loved climbing in the big magnolias outside of Ruffner while they waited for me to finish whatever I was doing inside. The trees were easily reached, because they were planted in the steep hill between the parking lot and the building. We still mourn the loss of those beautiful trees, but retain the sweet memories!”

Michael Sohn (B.S.Ed. ’13 Kines) is a Field Artillery Officer in the United States Army. “After my time in service, I plan to attend either physical therapy or medical school.”

Heather Byrne (B.S.Ed ’05 Sports Med)

Heather Byrne and family

Heather Byrne and family

and Jonathan Byrne welcomed their second baby, Rachel Virginia, on October 1, 2014. Their first child, Jackson Thomas, turns 3 in October.

Janice Chong (M.T. ’10 Elem Ed) Janice Chongsince graduating from Curry taught in Fairfax County Public Schools, then completed her Master’s in International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ed.M. 2014). Immediately after graduation, Janice founded Teaching Garage, Inc.

Teaching Garage is an education venture that educates the students of tomorrow to become scientific doers, design-oriented thinkers, and responsible, global citizens. We directly address the deficit of talent in science, technology, engineering, art, design and mathematics. 26 million jobs in the U.S. are in STEM fields, accounting for 20% of all jobs, but only 16% of U.S. graduates are projected to have STEM degrees by 2020. By the time students are in college, too few aspire to be innovators. (more…)