As we move ahead to 2023, we are grateful for and proud of the accomplishments and milestones from the year 2022. Here are four highlights from the CU Boulder School of Education’s past year, as we look forward to the new year.
Continuing to build community and make a name for ourselves in our new building
From the annual welcome picnic to an inclusive pedagogy co-design workshop with educators, the CU Boulder School of Education’s new campus home continues to be the site of camaraderie, creativity, and support for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors.
As the next phase of building renovations and fundraising efforts continue, several new spaces are now named rooms thanks to generous support from donors. Rooms like the Ruth Cline Literacy Suite, still under renovation, and the Barbara Jean Grimm Classroom, a popular space for undergraduate and graduate classes, offer inspiration for the next generation of students to learn from the legacy of faculty and alumni who came before them.
Additionally, our school has an historic opportunity to rename the building currently known as the Fleming Building. Nominations for the honorary naming were accepted this fall and a committee of alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and students have reviewed the nominations for making a recommendation to the chancellor and then the Board of Regents. Stay tuned for more news on the potential new name for the School of Education’s building.
Welcoming and celebrating faculty, staff, student, and alumni contributions
We welcomed wonderful new cohorts of students and two new faculty members, Oded Gurantz and Adam Crawley. We also honored the retirements for long-time teacher educators and faculty members, John Hoover and Kent Willmann, and we planted and dedicated a flashfire maple tree to master gardener and renowned dean emerita, Lorrie Shepard.
Among the many faculty accomplishments and awards we celebrated, Melissa Braaten and Bethy Leonardi received tenure, and Mimi Engel earned the Faculty Achievement Award.
Susan Jurow and Joe Polman were elected fellows of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, and Elizabeth Dutro was appointed the president-elect for the National Council of Research on Language and Literacy.
Ann Scott was awarded the Alumni Recognition Award at the annual alumni awards ceremony, one of CU Boulder's longest-standing traditions, during Homecoming week in October.
Many faculty published fascinating new books in 2022, including titles such as “Recovering Black Storytelling in Qualitative Research: Endarkened Storywork” and “The Foundational Handbook on Improvement Research in Education,” and there are several more titles to be published soon.
Coming together for more in-person celebrations again
Our most cherished events have taken on new forms and enhanced the meaning of togetherness as many of the school’s most popular gatherings moved back to an in-person format — a welcome change after mostly virtual celebrations that followed COVID-19 health guidelines for the previous two years.
Events like the School of Education Graduation Ceremony, the Scholarship Celebration, the Children’s Book Festival, the Teachers of Color and Allies Summit, Ed Talks, a BUENO Center-cosponsored regional conference called Latinos in Action, and even the Halloween tradition of welcoming local children to the school for trick-or-treating and spooky STEM activities led by CU Teach students all returned to in-person events in 2022. Graduation was a particularly special time, as our bachelor's degree candidates were honored for the first time at main campus ceremony at Folsom Stadium in addition to our intimate School of Education ceremony at Macky Auditorium. It was great to see everyone in person again.
Taking a public stance on issues that matter
As a community, we continue to center democracy, diversity, equity, and justice in all that we do, and we stand up for principles that matter in our research, teaching, storytelling, and more.
For example, several faculty shared powerful and personal stories of political courage such as taking on gendered discrimination in K-12 schools and institutional violence in higher education in CU Boulder’s spring 2022 Ed Talks. In the fall, CU Boulder faculty, students, and community partners from the Youth Empowerment Broadcasting Organization (YEBO) delved in the world of gaming and video games as a space of play, experimentation, and transformative learning in the most recent Ed Talks. They taught us how to “glitch the cistem.”
Over the summer, 22 doctoral students answered the call to design and lead grant projects that address growing movements to ban race-conscious curricula, limit teaching about LGBTQ lives, impel teachers to teach white-centric versions of history, and more. A school committee intended to fund three to five projects only to be overwhelmed by the depth of quality proposals — ranging from “Examining Student-led Resistance to Oppressive Education Policies” to “Surviving and Thriving: A Collective Inquiry into How Higher Ed Critical Race Scholars Are Handling In-person and Digital Attacks on CRT Nationwide” — and all 11 projects were selected and supported.
On the policy front, a CU Boulder team led by Ashley Cartun and doctoral candidates, Lizz Bohl and Mary Beth Snow Balderas, presented research and students’ stories to state representatives, who created first-of-its-kind legislation that created a student educator stipend program and attempts to address financial barriers to teacher education in Colorado.
A Queer Endeavor invited educators and residents to submit public opinion on a house bill advancing the inclusion of historically marginalized people in the teaching civil government, and Ruben Donato and community partners spoke at the State Capitol to commemorate the Colorado’s historic Maestas case. As a result, the Colorado state legislature formally recognized the case as “one of the earliest court victories involving Latinos against educational segregation” and a commemorative statue was permanently placed in the Alamosa County Courthouse this fall.
Each year brings its own challenges, but we look back on 2022 with gratitude for all we were able to accomplish together and ongoing efforts. We are looking forward to a new year of new possibilities.