skip to content

Volume 36, Number 6, April 14-27, 2014

LATEST TEACHING TECHNOLOGY COMES TO TWU

Texas Woman’s University is using the latest technology to prepare new teachers for the classroom.

TeachLivE™, an interactive computer-simulated classroom developed at the University of Central Florida, allows teacher candidates to practice their skills on “virtual” children rather than actual students.

TWU is the only university in Texas – and one of only 40 universities in the nation – to implement a TeachLivE™ lab. The lab, housed in the TWU Department of Education, resembles a classroom without desks. The desks appear on a screen on the front wall of the room. Seated at the desks are five “students” that actually are avatars controlled by real trainers and made to ask and answer questions, sit quietly or misbehave. Each “student” has a name and his or her own personality.

“This technology mirrors what teachers see in the classroom with their students,” said Dr. Heather Haynes-Smith, TWU assistant professor of teacher education. “Many times, early teaching experiences leave teachers feeling frustrated and unprepared. These students (who use the lab) will be ready to go into the classroom.”

Maria Peterson, a TWU doctoral candidate in teacher education and TeachLivE™ research coordinator for the university, has received positive feedback from students who have used the simulator.

“They loved being in the lab,” she said. “They’d go home and think about what they could have done differently, and they wanted to try again. Their confidence levels increased many times over.”

TWU is using the TeachLivE™ lab for more than teacher education, according to Dr. Haynes-Smith. She and Dr. Sandra Westmoreland, TWU assistant professor of biology, were awarded a subgrant from UCF’s nationally funded project to study professional development for practicing teachers. TWU has partnered with the Fort Worth Independent School District to work with ninth-grade biology teachers in the lab.

Though TWU is applying the technology to multiple areas, the university’s primary focus is on integrating TeachLivE™ into its pre-service educator preparation program. Dr. Haynes-Smith said the goal of the program is to improve the quality of pre-service experiential learning opportunities to prepare TWU students for positions in rural and urban school districts.

“We believe that use of this technology in teacher education programs could better equip educators for teaching in the inclusive classroom, supporting diverse groups of students – including English language learners and students with learning disabilities,” Dr. Haynes-Smith said. “This could improve teacher retention and success in rural and urban schools.”

*** *** ***

FACULTY, STAFF, STUDENTS RECOGNIZED AT HONORS CONVOCATION

Texas Woman’s University honored faculty, staff and students in a celebration of excellence during Honors Convocation on Thursday, April 10.

TWU faculty receiving recognition were:

• Dr. Don E. Edwards, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science — the Humphries Award;
• Dr. Jacob M. Blosser, associate professor of history; and Dr. Judi Moreillon, assistant professor of library science — the Mary Mason Lyon Award;
• Dr. Ellina Grigorieva, professor of mathematics — Distinction in Scholarship;
• Dr. Jack T. Gill, professor of chemistry — Distinction in Service;
• Dr. Sarah McMahan, assistant professor of teacher education — Distinction in Teaching;
• Dr. Molly Russ, assistant professor of management — Distinction in Distance Education.

TWU staff members receiving recognition were:

Karrie Fletcher, assistant director of Fitness and Recreation — TWU Award of Excellence; and
Janelle Davis, academic adviser in the Department of Kinesiology; and Judy Franz, coordinator of education field experiences in the College of Professional Education — Outstanding Achievement Awards.

Student excellence also was recognized during the ceremony.

The Pauline Bishop Leman Memorial Award for outstanding artistic achievement was presented to Erin Bailey, a master of fine arts candidate in dance, from Columbia, S.C.

Recipients of the Graduate Council Awards for Exceptional Original Scholarship were:

Elizabeth Enochs, doctoral student in library science, from Fort Worth.
Hannah Mills, doctoral candidate in early childhood development and education, from northeastern Wyoming.

Outstanding Senior Award recipients were recognized during Honors Convocation. Their awards were presented at the TWU Accolades Luncheon on Friday, April 11. These award recipients were:

Wen (Wendy) Yu Chong, a biology major from Houston;
Bailey Vrazel, a kinesiology and pre-physical therapy major from Danbury; and
Emma C. Zemler, a double major in mathematics and computer science at TWU and enrolled in the TWU/University of North Texas dual degree program in math and engineering, majoring in electrical engineering at UNT. Ms. Zemler is from Corinth.

*** *** ***

THREE RECEIVE G. ANN UHLIR FELLOWSHIP

Three Texas Woman’s University faculty members recently were named recipients of the G. Ann Uhlir Fellowship in Higher Education Administration.

The fellowship, named for the founding dean of the TWU College of Health Sciences, provides $1,000 to beginning administrators, faculty or students interested in administration and help them develop the leadership, management and interpersonal skills needed to be a highly qualified and successful academic administrator.

Dr. Claire Sahlin, department chair and professor of women’s studies, will use the funds to participate in the American Council on Education (ACE) Regional Women’s Leadership Forum May 21-23 in Houston. The program is designed for mid-level women administrators who have the potential to advance in higher education administration.

Dr. Shannon Scott, associate professor of psychology, will use the funds to participate in the ACE Leadership Academy for Department Chairs. The two-day workshop focuses on the chair not only as a unit leader, but also as an academic leader in service to the institution and its mission.

Dr. Laura Trujillo-Jenks, assistant professor of educational administration, will use the $1,000 to participate in the Disney Institute on Leadership Excellence one-day training session. The program is designed for those interested in achieving leadership excellence through a personal journey that explores values alignment, communication strategies and sustainment tools.

*** *** ***

Newsbriefs (submission information)


All TWU campuses will close at noon Friday, April 18. Normal campus hours will resume Monday, April 21.

Update on TWU People (submission information)


Marilyn Goff (library, Houston) was the recipient of the 2014 TWU Award for Outstanding Contribution to the TWU Libraries. The award was presented during an April 14 reception in the Joyce Thompson Lecture Hall of the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus.

Dr. Gerald Goodman (health care administration, Houston) and Trisha Wooten, grant administrator, senior workforce development consultant, University of Texas Medical Branch, participated in the poster session on Management Innovation, Workforce Management Section of the American College of Healthcare Executives’ 2014 Congress on Healthcare Leadership, held in Chicago in March. Their poster was titled “Return on Investment Analysis for a Work School Program to Meet Market Demand for RNs in Southeast and East Texas”.

Dr. Wyona M. Freysteinson (nursing, Houston) was chosen as a scholar for the 2014-15 Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy, a highly selective mentoring program administered by the International Leadership Institute of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau. The academy pairs “scholars,” or aspiring full-time, non-tenured faculty leaders, with experienced leadership mentors whom NFLA faculty members then support.

Dr. Carmen Cruz and Dr. Denise Lucero-Miller (Counseling Center) presented at the 2014 National Counseling Psychology Conference held March 15 in Atlanta, Ga. They led “ A Relational, Feminist, Multicultural Perspective for Doctoral Internship Training,” a two-hour continuing education program for psychologists. Dr. Cruz also presented two other programs with colleagues from other universities.

Dr. Mahesh S. Raisinghani (School of Management) has co-authored a chapter titled “The Design of IT Services” accepted for publication in the Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, forthcoming 2014.

The Next Two Weeks at TWU: April 14-27, 2014


Mon., Apr. 14

• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.

Tues., Apr. 15
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.
• TWU Concert Choir and TWU Chamber Singers perform Bon Voyage Concert for the Concert Choir’s trip to New York. Admission is $5, children ages 12 and younger admitted free. Silent Auction fund-raiser ends at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.twu.edu/music/default.asp

Wed., Apr. 16
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.

Thurs., Apr. 17
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.
• Reception for the BFA Graduating Student Exhibition, 5- 9 p.m., Visual Arts Building. Free. Exhibition continues through April 23. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
• Pioneers Softball vs. Tarleton State, 4 and 6 p.m., away.

Fri., Apr. 18
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.

Sat., Apr. 19
• Library open 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Bookstore closed, Fitness and Recreation open 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Sun., Apr. 20
• Library open 2 p.m.-midnight; Bookstore closed; Fitness and Recreation open noon-midnight.

Mon., Apr. 21
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.

Tues., Apr. 22
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.

Wed., Apr. 23
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.
• University Chorus and Chamber Orchestra concert, 7:30 p.m., Little Chapel-in-the-Woods. Free.

Thurs., Apr. 24
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-midnight; Bookstore open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.
• DanceMakers concert, 4 p.m., MJPH. General admission $9; students, $7; children under 12, free.

Fri., Apr. 25
• Library open 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Bookstore open 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Fitness and Recreation open 6 a.m.-midnight.
• DanceMakers concert, 7 p.m., MJPH. General admission $9; students, $7; children under 12, free.
• Pioneers Softball vs. Cameron, 2 and 4 p.m., away.

Sat., Apr. 26
• Library open 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Bookstore closed; Fitness and Recreation open 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
• DanceMakers concert, 7 p.m., MJPH. General admission $9; students, $7; children under 12, free.
• Online Degrees Information Session, 8:30 a.m., Dallas Center. Free. 81-3014.
• Pioneers Softball vs. Cameron, noon, away.

Sun., Apr. 27
• Library open 2 p.m.-midnight Bookstore closed; Fitness and Recreation open noon-midnight.

*** *** ***


Submission Information

Newsbrief Submissions
Information and news about activities, programs or TWU people may be sent to the Office of Marketing and Communication through campus mail or by e-mail to info@twu.edu. The deadline to receive information is the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. for the following week. Student information for the “People” section is not published unless it is submitted by or in conjunction with a faculty member and that faculty member’s related activities.

TWU People Submissions
Please submit “People” items (faculty and staff only) to the Office of Marketing and Communication by campus mail or by e-mail to info@twu.edu. Include first and last names (no initials, please) and appropriate titles (ie. Dr.)

page last updated 9/23/2014 4:37 PM