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2009 Convocation

Read Dean Scott Fletcher's 2009 Convocation speech.

View a slideshow of the 2009 event.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Agnes Flanagan Chapel
4:00 Student sign-in
4:30 Convocation begins, faculty panel discussion about the ways our core values have shaped their professional lives
5:30 Small group discussion of faculty-authored readings

Wine and cheese reception to follow group discussions.

Faculty Authored Articles from 2009

Andie Cunningham (Teacher Education)

I am entering my 25th year of teaching. My career started in a South- Central Los Angeles junior high, where my class size averaged 70 students. Moments of one-on-one conversation with students were few and far between, but no less important than in any situations where relationship supports next steps. That belief in the importance of conversation and listening continues to be a fueling action in my teaching today. My most recent classroom- teaching experience with kindergartners solidified the need for educators to make space for the learners around us, both in the curriculum and in the daily conversations that fill the classroom.

Article Abstract

Technology in the world of education continues to evolve. What once meant computers in the classroom now might mean educators reading blogs about teachers and tensions on the other side of the world, teachers exploring how classroom academic conversations can bridge through texting with students as well as the supportive community of authors, illustrators and educators in a virtual community. This article explores the next step in my learnings about what the virtual world holds for literacy leaders and lovers as I considered where my high- school- aged niece might find virtual support as she grows as a writer. [Full Article]

Alejandra Favela (Teacher Education)

Alejandra Favela is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Education where she coordinates the ESOL/Bilingual Endorsement . Program. She has worked as a bilingual teacher, researcher, consultant, and professor in schools throughout California, Oregon, and Mexico.

Mollie Galloway (Research & Assessment/Educational Leadership)

Mollie Galloway is the Director of Research & Assessment and a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership.

Article Excerpt

Oregon has witnessed unprecedented growth in the population of English Language Learners (ELLs). Between 1993 and 2003, our state experienced more than a 200 percent increase in ELL students in its classrooms (Batalova, Fix, & Murray, 2005). Preparing teachers to meet the needs of diverse students has become an urgent priority for schoolteachers, administrators, and policymakers alike. [Full Article]

Peter Mortola (Counseling Psychology)

Peter Mortola is an associate professor of counseling psychology and coordinator of the school psychology program. He specializes in school psychology, narrative approaches to understanding children’s problems, Gestalt theory, child development, and developmentally appropriate methods of child and adolescent counselor education.

Article Abstract

It is important to recognize that boys often need a more indirect style of contact in counseling. Peter Mortola looks at the reasons for this, and explains how he uses images to initiate the process of honoring the client’s style. [Full Article]

Joanne Mulcahy (Northwest Writing Institute)

Joanne B. Mulcahy teaches creative nonfiction, ethnographic writing and humanities CORE classes at the NW Writing Institute. Her academic credentials include degrees in Comparative Literature, Folklore and Folklife, and Cultural Anthropology. Mulcahy’s writing combines memoir and personal essay with ethnographic exploration.

Article Abstract

In “The Calling,” writer Joanne Mulcahy explores the notion of vocation. She traces the pursuit of a life’s work from her Catholic childhood belief that she would be “called” through adult life as a teacher and writer. The author explores how each of us discovers a vocational path and how we guide others toward finding theirs. Finally, she questions the accumulation of knowledge for power and explores the paradoxical truth of education as a gift: we replenish our learning by giving it away. [Full Article]

Ruth Shagoury (Teacher Education)

Ruth Shagoury can’t imagine anything more fascinating than exploring the minds of children and adolescents as they grow as writers, readers, and language users. Though she teaches new and veteran teachers in the Teacher Education Department, her passion for working with children keeps her connected to classrooms. She has published numerous books (most recently Raising Writers:  Understanding and Nurturing Young Children’s Writing Development  (2009 Allyn & Bacon) as well as articles in journals such as Language Arts, Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Voices from the Middle, and Anthropology and Education Quarterly.  She is a regular contributor to the web site Choice Literacy ( Her other local work includes serving on the steering committee for Portland Area Rethinking Schools, and collaborating with teachers who serve largely immigrant populations as they investigate student-based approaches to literacy. She is also a Courage to Teach facilitator, leading workshops and retreats based on teacher renewal.

Article Abstracts

Language to Language:  Nurturing Writing Development in Multilingual Classrooms Ruth Shagoury spent four years embedded in a multilingual kindergarten classroom in which children typically spoke six different languages and for several more years observed in multilingual Head Start classrooms.  In this article, she shares numerous examples of dual language learners actively figuring out the way written language works in their first and second languages.  “When the two written language systems that children are learning are very different, children still draw on their knowledge of their home language as well as their growing understanding of English, testing out hypotheses just as they do in their oral language.” [Full Article]

The Truth about Helen Keller:  Children’s Books about Helen Keller Distort her Life In an effort to find more children’s picture books that explore important activists, Ruth Shagoury became interested in the social justice activism of Helen Keller.  The way that Helen Keller’s life story is turned into a “bland maxim” is lying by omission. When Ruth turned to the many picture books written about Keller, she was discouraged to discover that books for young children retain that bland flavor, negating the power of Keller’s life work and the lessons she herself would hope people would take from it. Here is a woman who worked throughout her long life as a radical advocate for the poor, but she is depicted as a kind of saintly role model for people with handicaps.  This article critiques current picture books about Keller’s life and shares the truth about Helen Keller’s socialism, work as a union activist, and much more that can be truly inspirational to children. [Full Article]

To hear an interview on Canadian radio:  The Real Helen Keller: An Interview with Ruth Shagoury, July 6, 2008, click here.

Tod Sloan (Counseling Psychology)

Tod Sloan was trained in personality theory, counseling, and psychotherapy at the University of Michigan. He taught psychology at the University of Tulsa from 1982 to 2001, where he founded the Center for Community Research and Development in 1998 and served as department chair from 1999 to 2001. He joined Lewis and Clark’s Graduate School of Education as Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling Psychology in 2004.

Article Abstract

This piece was recently submitted for the second edition of Critical Psychology: An Introduction (edited by Fox and Prilleltensky). It is meant to be a basic overview of the role of theory in psychology and the human sciences. The main point is that theory can be done in ways that contribute either to the societal status quo or to social transformation toward a just society. A few sections less relevant to a general audience have been deleted. [Full Article]

Greg Smith (Teacher Education)
I’m a native Oregonian strongly hooked to the Pacific Northwest. As an undergraduate, I attended Oberlin College and the University of Oregon. After working in a variety of different jobs, I decided to become an English teacher in my mid-twenties. After completing an M.A. at Southern Oregon State College in Ashland, I taught high school for nine years, most of them at a small Friends boarding school in Nothern California. Convinced of the value of situating education in strong communities, I returned to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I tried to figure out ways to extend what I had learned while teaching in a small high school to the public education system. There, I had the chance to work as an educational researcher for five years. I got my first teaching job in higher education at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, where I helped coordinate the Teachers for Alaska Program. When a job opening at Lewis & Clark in the early 1990s presented me with the opportunity to return to Oregon, I applied and I have been here ever since.

Article Abstract
The article presents information on three case studies related to educational developments. The Ford and Annenberg Foundations have initiated an educational program called Program for Academic and Cultural Excellence in Rural Schools for the secondary school students in Alabama. Three teachers at the Kualapu’u School in Molokai, Hawaii, created a program called Providing Resolutions with Integrity for a Sustainable Molokai to study a number of topics critical to the community health. The Annenberg Foundation released an educational reform initiative to meet the rural challenges in Lubec, Maine. [Full Article]

Kim Stafford (Northwest Writing Institute)

The problems of our time are political, ecological, economic–but their solutions are cultural. How do people speak their truth? How do we listen eloquently? If communication is the fundamental alternative to violence and injustice, what is the work of each voice among us? At the Northwest Writing Institute, we answer word by word.

Article Abstract

An excerpt from The Muses Among Us:  Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer’s Craft. (University of Georgia Press, 2003) [Full Article]

Zaher Wahab (Teacher Education)

We live in an extremely troubling time. The majority of humanity is plagued by sickening poverty, disease, illiteracy, oppression and terror, while the minorities enjoy obscenely opulent and self-indulgent lives. Misery, oppression (and/or repression) reign even in so-called civilized democracies. Militarism, corporatism, consumerism and corruption dominate societies, leading to predatory individualism, narcissism, nihilism, ecocide and wars. Mindless materialism and ”˜progress’ have destabilized nations, ruptured communities and disturbed the natural order. Conventional education, politics, economics and culture are now part and perpetrators of the multiple crises we face. A new and different education could enable us to redirect, or arrest our collective march toward the abyss.

Article Abstract

An excerpt from On Dispatches from Afghanistan, where Professor Wahab blogs about conditions in Afghanistan, as he devotes six months of service each year to the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education.  Updates to his blog can be found here.

[Full Article]