2021 was another challenging year, but we have a lot to be grateful for as move ahead to 2022 and spring semester. Here are five of our top highlights from the CU Boulder School of Education’s past year, as we look forward to positivity and new possibilities in the coming year.
We hosted an all faculty and staff retreat in August where we were able to come together in person (finally!), learn from youth leaders from Project Voyce, shared stories from the old Education Building, explored land acknowledgements, paint stones to lay a foundation for our year in the Fleming Building, and more. In November, all alumni and supporters were invited to our first open house during Homecoming Week. Learn more about the multiple phases of the Fleming renovations and fundraising initiative.
Our students are at the center of our work. This was a banner year for our School of Education graduates, including the inaugural cohorts of bachelor’s graduates in Leadership & Community Engagement and Elementary Education, 14 impressive outstanding graduate awardees, and the first graduate of the new online Master’s in Teacher Leadership program.
We welcomed Noreen Naseem Rodriguez as a new faculty member. Several faculty recieved national honors, for example Elizabeth Meyer received 2021 AERA award for excellence in gender equity in education research. Valerie Otero named a 2021 American Physical Society fellow, and Michele Moses appointed as the president-elect for the Philosophy of Education Society. Several faculty members retired, and we sent well wishes to Julie Andrew, Bridget Dalton, Kathy Escamilla, Bill McGinely, and Jeffrey Writer, who are still engaged with our community and intertwined with our students’ legacies. Many faculty published new books, with several new titles newly released or set to publish soon.
Despite its many challenges, this year brought many occasions to convene and support educators in both in-person and hybird online ways. The 17th Annual Teachers of Color and Allies Summit (TOCA) moved to a virtual format in February to feature BIPOC Teacher Panel and Affinity Group Discussions fostering community building and knowledge sharing. In July, A Queer Endeavor hosted the Educator Institute for Equity and Justice, engaging more than 500 educators in-person and online. In August and September, a graduate and emeritus faculty member hosted a new Climate Change Learning Series examining justice, emotion, and action through a series of webinars and a two-day conference. In October, our Teacher Leadership students, who are helping co-design and improve the compassion and dignity certificate program, also had an opportunity to learn from and, for some, interview His Holiness the Dalai Lama about dignity and compassion in our schools. Our virtual Children’s Book Festival engaged more than 450 children’s literature enthusiasts and distributed more than 500 books to K-12 classes and teachers over several days in November.
Our ever-popular Ed Talks series painted a beautifully reimagined picture of what our world and future could be with talks like, “The Queer Imaginings of a Hopeful Romantic,” “Keeping Language Arts On The Low: A Low-Key Rap Verse,” “Transforming Learning in an Era of ‘Fake News,’” “Indigenous Pathways for Equity and Justice,” and so much more. Ed Talks help us envision a more beautiful and just world, and 2021's nine amazing talks are available for inspiration any time online.
It's been a roller coaster year and a challenging time for so many, and yet we look back with gratitude for all we were able to accomplish together. We look forward to a new year of new possibilities.