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Around the College

New Scholarship for Veterans Honors Pascarella

Pascarella's military honors

The Ernest T. Pascarella Military Veteran Promise Award was created to acknowledge military veterans who seek to make contributions in a new civilian-life career through their studies as a graduate student in the UI College of Education. 

The award honors a student veteran who demonstrates exceptional career promise and includes a $1,000 award. The student’s academic promise/achievement is secondary to the evidence of military service, and special consideration is given to students who have served in a combat theater in a direct action capacity. 

The award was named in honor of Professor Ernest T. Pascarella, who is both a highly distinguished scholar and a decorated veteran. Professor Pascarella holds the Mary Louise Petersen Endowed Chair in Higher Education and is the founding director and current faculty affiliate of the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education at the University of Iowa. 

Dean Nicholas and Dr. Kay Colangelo established the Ernest T. Pascarella Military Veteran Promise Award. More funding is needed to endow it for perpetuity. 

To give, please contact Cally Murray at (319) 335-3305 or

Sherry Watt Leads Diversity Initiatives Across Campus


Sherry K. Watt, associate professor of higher education and student affairs in the College of Education, has been appointed the University of Iowa Chief Diversity Office’s inaugural faculty fellow, a cornerstone of the university’s diversity and inclusion efforts. 

Her research interests range from studying identity development and multicultural initiatives to cultural competence, effective student-affairs practices, and cultivating productive dialogue on difficult topics, such as race and other social issues. 

“I use my research and facilitation expertise to teach people how to work across difference,” says Watt. “The CDO faculty fellow is an exciting way to bring theory to practice and to make a positive impact both on campus and in the broader community by engaging people beyond the traditional classroom.” 

In this role, Watt is working closely with the CDO and other senior leaders on a variety of diversity initiatives, including developing a curriculum for a session of the BUILD (Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity) program, as well as working with the University of Iowa Center for Diversity and Enrichment to develop a training program for the GEAR UP grant, which is a statewide K-12 initiative. 

Additionally, Watt is working with the College of Education to lead a series of meaningful dialogues aimed at addressing college-wide diversity issues. 

Counseling Psychology Lands in Hong Kong 
national flag

Beginning this year, the Counseling Psychology Program will spread its wings as faculty travel across the globe to launch a new master’s degree program in Hong Kong. 

The Hong Kong degree will be structured a little differently than the one offered in Iowa City: students take only one class at a time, each lasting a month, and the program will not have a practicum component but content courses instead. 

One thing that will remain consistent among both the programs at home and abroad are the counseling psychology faculty, who will be joined by faculty from other programs in the college — Couple and Family Therapy, Counselor Education and Supervision, and Educational Psychology — to instruct the master’s degree courses. 

Tony Hui, the China Education Group’s program director, says there is a need for counselor education in China and believes Iowa’s master’s program could significantly impact mental health and counseling services in Hong Kong. 

“There are few programs in Hong Kong offering counselor training and education,” Hui says. “Being the first Big Ten, Research Intensive University to offer counseling psychology at the master’s level means that there is incredible opportunity to impact how mental health services are offered in Hong Kong and also to shape the ways in which scholarship and research are produced.” 

Professor William Liu, Iowa’s Counseling Psychology Program coordinator, says the benefits the Chinese students will receive from taking courses from Iowa’s faculty are numerous. 

“We teach doctoral students the same material, and we’re well-established, recognized, and active professionals in psychology,” Liu says. “And what we learn in Hong Kong, we can then bring back and teach to our American students. It will be a good synthesis.” 

Beginning this fall, over a dozen highly able high school students from across the state and around the country will move to the University of Iowa to enroll in the  Martin and Melva Bucksbaum Early Entrance Academy for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

This exceptional opportunity is made possible thanks to a $10 million gift to the Belin-Blank Center from Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan and Patrick Scanlan in honor of Mary’s parents, Martin and Melva Bucksbaum. 

This will be the first residential academy in Iowa for high-ability high school students who are rising juniors. These high-ability students, the majority of whom enter as 16-year-olds, will enroll at the University of Iowa as Honors at Iowa-qualified first-year students. 

As part of its initiatives, the academy intends to incorporate STEM learning, arts education, and expand on three highly successful Belin-Blank Center programs for high school students: National Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Secondary Student Training Program; and Scholastic Art and Writing Program. 

We’ve surpassed our Capital Campaign goal.

The N110 Collaborative Learning Space

The College's new N110 learning space opened in January 2016 after undergoing months of renovations. The space, located on teh first floor of Lindquist Center North, boasts some of Iowa's most high-tech classrooms and learning technologies. With the Linda R. Baker Teacher Leader Center, Education Technology Center, the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER), and I-SERVE (Support, Education, and Resources for Veterans and Enlisted), the space fosters collaboration and learning across the College of Education.

Kari Vogelgesang teaching in the TLC about Best Apps

Professional Development

The Iowa State Board of Education has licensed the University of Iowa College of Education to offer professional development workshops for credit. While anyone can attend these classes, only K-12 teachers will receive Iowa Licensure Renewal Units (ILRU). 

The Teacher Leader Center is coordinating the professional development opportunities that are offered on campus, out in the community, and/ or online. The length of the workshops vary from one weekend to an entire semester. More information on the following workshops, as well as other workshops announced throughout the year, are available at

  • Advanced Technology Integration 
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) 
  • Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute led by the Belin-Blank Center 
  • Advanced Cultural Competency 
  • LGBTQ Safe Zone Training 
  • Gizmos, Gadgets, and Go-Pros: Integrating technology into K-12 classrooms 
  • Assistive Technology Workshop 
  • Creativity for Teachers 
  • STEM Education 
  • Community Workshop with Mark Ginsberg 
  • Dropout Prevention 


University of Iowa alumni receive 10 percent off the price of workshops. 

IHelp Workshops 

IHelp offers annual summer programs that enhance the personal and professional development of Iowa’s helping professionals, including counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists. Participants also earn continuing education credits. For more information, visit 

Hawkeye Education Opportunities in Des Moines 

The College of Education’s presence in Iowa’s state capitol is growing. College initiatives are now offered at the University of Iowa’s John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center or in partnership with DMACC or the Des Moines Public Schools.

Student Athletes 

From court to classroom, College of Education student athletes embody the Hawkeye Spirit.

College of Education, Hawkeye athletes

Rachel Chambers

Elementary Education, Senior 
Rowing, Coxswain 

“Being a coxswain, you have to adjust your coxing based on who is in your boat — some people like different forms of motivation. This is very similar to being a teacher. You can’t expect teaching something one way to accommodate all of your students. You have to be flexible and know what is best for the student.” 

Steve Ferentz 

Secondary Education, Senior 
Football, offensive lineman 

“The biggest thing that goes into both football and being a teacher is hard work. You’re not going to learn everything immediately. It’s a daily effort, and there are going to be days where you don’t feel like going in or doing this or that, but you just have to push through it.” 

Alison Gatone 

Elementary Education, Senior 
Track and Field, Javelin thrower 

“I really like to be a leader for people. I feel that if I can lead people my own age, then I can be a better role model for young kids. If I can learn the right things to do now for myself, and for my peers, then it’s going to be second nature when I get into the classroom.” 

Michael Hart 

Elementary Education, Senior 
Track and Cross Country 

“Being in organized sports, you build that sense of family. That’s something you want within a team and you want within a classroom as well.”


The National Iowa Varsity Club and the University of Iowa Athletics Department inducted three College of Education alumni into the Hawkeye Hall of Fame this year. Find out how their time as student athletes influences them to this day. 

Lori Cole-Klimek 

THEN: BS ’92, Gymnastics (1989-92) 
NOW: Kindergarten and Science Discovery teacher at Ethridge Elementary School in Ethridge, Texas 

“Since I teach science, I relate a lot of ‘force and motion’ and Newton’s Laws to gymnastics,” Cole-Klimek says. “I also have ‘teamed up’ with the Physical Ed/Health coach, and we make sure students are learning the importance of eating healthy and exercising.” 

Karen Jackson 

THEN: BS ’94, Softball (1991-94) 
NOW: Softball pitching instructor and owner of an indoor training facility in Sacramento, Calif. 

“I would spend time alone after warmups working on my mental game, visualizing striking out batters because nothing feels better than getting a big strikeout,” Jackson says. “When a coach would ask how I felt, no matter how I felt (good or bad) I would say, ‘I feel good.’ Then in my head I would start singing James Brown’s ’I Feel Good.’” 

Thomas Roemer 

THEN: BS ’84, Swimming (1980-82, 84) 
NOW: Dentist and owner of Interstate Dental at the I-80 truck stop in Walcott, Iowa 

“I truly enjoyed the time I spent at Iowa not only as an athlete but as a student,” Roemer says. “I would recommend that any student at any university get involved in some activity whether it be in athletics, academics, or extracurricular activities. Why? Because I think it makes you manage your time more efficiently.”