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STEPHANIE CAWTHON AND CARRIE LOU GARBEROGLIO

Stephanie Cawthon and Carrie Lou Garberoglio are deaf. They have lived the experience—as students and professionals—of working with accommodations and breaking down barriers. Their passion for changing the paradigm of the educational experience in the U.S. for deaf individuals has influenced their work as researchers.

Stephanie Cawthon and Carrie Lou Garberoglio

Stephanie Cawthon and Carrie Lou Garberoglio

Cawthon is the director of a new center in the College of Education that has received a $20 million, five-year grant from the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). It is one of the largest grants awarded by the DOE to support technical assistance and professional development in education.

The center’s goal is to help change the climate, culture and expectations for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

“We want to increase accessibility, concentrating on the grass roots, and understand why things are happening at a deeper level”

“We want people who are deaf or hard of hearing to have access to more robust services—services that serve the whole person, and that have been, and that have been proven effective. We want to increase accessibility, concentrating on the grass roots, and understand why things are happening at a deeper level,” says Cawthon, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and an Elizabeth Glenadine Gibb Teaching Fellow in Education.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute, which will open in January, will be housed in the College’s Meadows Center’s infrastructure and nationally recognized expertise in translating research into practice.

“Dr. Cawthon will lead a strong collaborative national team of researchers and practitioners. The project is well-positioned to draw upon extensive experience, data-driven research, and scholarship in the field,” says College of Education Dean Manuel J. Justiz.

The center will support colleges and universities that work with organizations and public agencies across the nation to more effectively address postsecondary, vocational, technical, continuing, and adult educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

“Ultimately, we seek to change the culture surrounding postsecondary outcomes for deaf individuals and create conditions for success in a way that recognizes and honors their experiences, perspectives, and abilities,” says Garberoglio, project Manager at the Meadows Center and a co-principal investigator on the team.

Currently, best practices for supporting educational outcomes after high school for deaf and hard of hearing individuals have not been studied rigorously or shared broadly, which means that uneven outcomes are common. The new center aims to change that.

The center’s researchers want to increase admittance to, persistence in and completion of college or post-secondary training without remedial coursework, as well as institutional capacity to implement evidence-based practices and strategies. The team also wants to increase the body of knowledge on ways to use technology to promote access and provide accommodations.

Says Cawthon, “I’m proud that we’re bringing together teams of people from education, business, and community organizations, as well as families, in an innovative and useful effort. We want to improve the research and find better ways for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing to overcome challenges and be successful.”

-Photo by Christina S. Murrey

Thinking with Theory: A New Analytic for Qualitative Inquiry

Dr. Alecia Youngblood Jackson is Professor of Educational Research at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC – where she is also affiliated faculty in the Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies program at ASU. Dr. Jackson’s research interests bring feminist, poststructural, and posthuman theories of power/knowledge, language, materiality, and subjectivity to bear on a range of overlapping topics: deconstructions of narrative and voice; conceptual analyses of resistance, freedom, and agency in girls’ and women’s lives; and qualitative analysis in the “posts.” Her work, particularly in collaboration with Lisa Mazzei, seeks to animate philosophical frameworks in the production of the new. She was a keynote speaker at the Summer Institute for Qualitative Research at Manchester Metropolitan University in July 2013, and she was the invited speaker for Louisiana State University’s Curriculum Camp in February 2015. She has publications in The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Qualitative Inquiry, The International Review of Qualitative Research, Qualitative Research, Gender and Education, and numerous book chapters. She is the author, with Lisa Mazzei, of Thinking with Theory in Qualitative Research (2012), and editor, with Lisa Mazzei, of Voice in Qualitative Inquiry (2009).

In my talk, I situate my collaborate work with Lisa Mazzei, which we call thinking with theory, not as a method with a script, but as a new analytic for qualitative inquiry. This new analytic works within and against the truths of humanist, conventional, and interpretive forms of inquiry and analysis that have centered and dominated qualitative research texts and practices. I will discuss how there is no formula for thinking with theory: it is something that is to come; something that happens, paradoxically, in a moment that has already happened; something emergent, unpredictable, and always re-thinkable and re-doable. Discussing his power/knowledge analysis, Foucault (2000) explained, “What I’ve written is never prescriptive either for me or for others — at most it’s instrumental and tentative” (p. 240). Following Foucault, I will argue that thinking with theory does not follow a particular method; rather it relies on a willingness to borrow and reconfigure concepts, invent approaches, and create new assemblages that demonstrate a range of analytic practices of thought, creativity, and intervention.

 

-Video by Texas Student Media

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Terra Ziporyn Snider presents a lecture A Matter of Time: Adolescent Sleep and School Times

Terra Ziporyn Snider, PhD is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Start School Later, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing public awareness about the relationship between sleep and school hours and to ensuring school start times compatible with health, safety, education, and equity. An award-winning author of numerous popular health and medical books including The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health, The Women’s Concise Guide to Emotional Well-Being, Alternative Medicine for Dummies, and Nameless Diseases and former associate editor at The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), she has written extensively on a wide range of health and medical issues in The Harvard Health Letter, JAMA, The Huffington Post, Consumer Reports, Weight Watchers Magazine, and Business Week, among others. Terra is a graduate of Yale College and a former Searle Fellow at the University of Chicago, where she earned a doctorate in the history of science and medicine. She has been awarded science-writing fellowships by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole.

Adolescents are a sleep-deprived group, with an estimated 87% of high schoolers getting insufficient sleep on school nights and 40% reporting six or fewer hours. This “teen sleep crisis” is believed to have many causes, including a delay in the circadian rhythm at puberty coupled with school start times requiring early awakening. A compelling body of research shows that these latter two factors account for a significant portion of chronic sleep deprivation in adolescents; in fact, of all the contributing factors proposed, only early school start times have been proven to play a major, and remediable, role. These findings have led to a growing number of calls from health, education, and civic leaders for later school start times, including recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that middle and high schools start class no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Nonetheless, an estimated 85% of U.S. middle and high schools still start class at times out-of-sync with typical adolescent circadian patterns; many start in the 7 a.m. hour or even earlier, with students in some districts required to be at bus stops before 5:30 a.m. After briefly reviewing the history of school bell time changes and recent research about the impact of early bell times on health, safety, school performance, equity, and economics, this talk considers perceived and real obstacles to change, as well as recent lessons from communities that have successfully returned to more developmentally appropriate school hours.

-Video by Texas Student Media

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Kimberly Gonzales, M.A.’12, is a rare Latina in tech. The Dallas native and digital content engineer for Texas Instruments earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before graduating from the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin with a master’s in learning technologies.

Kimberley Gonzales

“The rumors are true. MIT is very challenging,” she says with a laugh. But in addition to the challenge of content, “it can be hard to also face discrimination.” Working in assigned groups with males can be particularly tough, she explains. “The guys don’t let you code or gain access to the circuit boards. Instead, they want girls to do the presentations.”

But Gonzales didn’t let the challenge and discrimination deter her. “I joined a sorority with six to seven girls who were computer science majors, and we’d do group projects together,” she says. The support was just what she needed to successfully complete her studies.

When Gonzales graduated from MIT, she decided to pursue study in educational technology because she knew she wanted to work within the field of education in some way. “Diversity in any field is valuable. Diversity fuels innovation. In education technology, it should be diverse people working on the tech that will be in the hands of kids these days, because those kids themselves are diverse,” she says.

Kids and science

STEM photo booth at Mi Escuelita preschool in Dallas

Latinas comprise only 2 percent of the STEM industry, “but it’s such a great field and you learn a lot,” she says. “I think a lot of factors affect students’ desire or lack of desire to pursue these fields. Teachers should be aware of what they say to students that might discourage them or to watch for signs of students who self-select out of more challenging work. For example, watch to see if the minority female student offers to take notes when working in a group activity with male students and encourage her to take on a more challenging task.”

She adds, “It’s tough being such a small minority within the field, but in my case, it made me want to go home and do something to help change the numbers.”

After completing her master’s, she returned home to Dallas to take on the role of digital content engineer at Texas Instruments, managing the development of educational content for various platforms. In addition to her job, she’s also the community involvement chair for Texas Instruments’ Hispanic Employee Initiative.

“Being in a workplace where few people look like you can feel lonely and isolating,” she says. “The Hispanic Employee Initiative provides mentorship, networking with other leadership teams, and is a place where you can build community and feel safe to voice your opinions or just feel a little at home.”

latinasstem

Planning team at the Latinas in STEM 101 conference

Gonzales also volunteers on the Latinas in STEM Foundation’s board of directors as the director of marketing and public relations. Her involvement represents coming full circle for Gonzales. “My mother has worked as an executive assistant at Texas Instruments for many years. One day, she met a Latina engineer who’d graduated from MIT and co-founded the Latinas in STEM Foundation.” That meeting led Gonzales’ mom to push her daughter to apply to the college. “I wouldn’t have applied otherwise,” she says.

Her mother’s support of her education goals was crucial, and parental support is a component that is important for other Latinas considering STEM fields. “When I ran the Dallas Latinas in STEM 101 workshop for high school and middle school students and included their parents, I had my mom answer questions. A lot of the parents had never been to college and didn’t speak English. Hearing my mom’s perspective was very helpful to them.”

Gonzales is the eldest of three sisters, all who studied engineering. She and her family are doing their part to increase diversity in a field that needs them.