2018 was quite a year of transition – maybe the most change I’ve had in a year, ever! Let’s start with some personal changes…

From a year ago at the Cleveland Clinic right before a hysterectomy & emergency colostomy....to the top of A Mountain today! What a year! To ice the cake, I started out my hike this morning with a GO GREEN, GO WHITE from a fellow Spartan!! 💚 H

I started 2018 in recovery mode (after having an emergency colostomy due to endometriosis in October 2017.) In March, I went back to the Cleveland Clinic for a check up, and I was cleared for the colostomy reversal. I was extremely anxious, but also excited at the potential of being “put back together.” Over Memorial Day weekend, I had my reversal surgery – it was SO much easier than the original surgery and I was released to go home 3 days after the surgery. Additionally, I met with Dr. Judith Scheman of the behavioral medicine program before my surgery – it was incredibly helpful to learn about the brain/gut connection and to learn ways to deal with my anxieties. At the end of 2018, I’m feeling 98% back to my new normal (still some aches, pains and anxieties – but much better than how I felt in January 2018!)

I have tried to share my story publicly so others know they are not alone. I am here to help connect you to resources that have helped me (specifically here related to endo, ostomy or wound care!) I have tremendous respect for my doctors and nurses – for their training, for my ability to access world class care due to our health insurance. Being confronted with these medical and health challenges first hand brought many things into sharp focus. I’ll do my best to continue to advocate and donate so others who are also faced with these challenges have the same privilege and support that I have had during my journey.

While all of my personal challenges were presenting themselves, I went through the process of applying for – and getting – a new job. I resigned from MSU in June of 2018 and started as a Clinical Associate Professor at Arizona State University in August of 2018. My first semester was incredible – I’m so happy to be teaching again. I’m working remotely from Michigan and visit Tempe a few times per year. Ditching my 120 mile/day commute has been life changing. I have reclaimed about 15-20 hours/week, time I can funnel into – anything! I have missed daily interaction with colleagues face-to-face, however, I have been co-working with some amazing friends around town which has helped fuel my creativity & energy.

My new academic home

I’m proud of my academic publishing and presenting record this year – though it was not as voluminous as it has been in the past, I still was able to produce scholarship (with amazing friends and colleagues) despite my physical challenges.

Wolf. L. (October, 2018) #CPED2018 – Constructing a collaborative convening “syllabus”. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ.

Buss, R., Henriksen, D., Mertler, C. Rotheram-Fuller, E., Wolf, L. (October, 2018) Leader-scholar communities (LSCs) @ ASU: Lessons learned, lessons shared, lessons inspired. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ.

Buss, R., Henriksen, D., Mertler, C. Rotheram-Fuller, E., Wolf, L. (October, 2018) Growing into change: Moving from F2F to online in a doctoral research conference. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ.

Dousay, T. A., Wolf, L., Santos Green, L., & Asino, T. (2018). Rise of the “Teacher Influencers”: Examining the benefits and conundrums. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 973–975). Washington, D.C.: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Marciano, J., Wolf, L., Oviatt, R., Tunstall, L. & Varrichione, A. (2018). Creating community in online courses: A case study examination of instructor practices. In E. Langran & J. Borup (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 214-218). Washington, D.C., United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).  

Wolf, L.G., Marcotte, C., Kosko, M. (2018). The Quickfire Challenge Roundtable: How to fail fast & learn while having fun. Roundtable presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education conference, Washington, DC.

Hagerman, M.S., Wolf, L.G., Woods, H. (2018) Educational technology programs, evaluation, and transformation. In Smith, B., Ng-A-Fook, N., Radford, L., Pratt, S.S. (Eds), Hacking Education in a Digital Age: Teacher Education, Curriculum, and Literacies. Information Age Publishing.

I’m working on my 2019 goals (both personal and professional.) I’m elated to be returning to Ireland for #OER19 and have some exciting writing and presenting projects in the works. I’m also looking forward to continued growth – continuing to listen, continuing to learn.

 

A Personal Reminder: The Joy of Open

On December 7, 2018, in Personal, by Leigh

Picture of young child intently looking at a laptop screen.  My friend tagged me in this very happy memory today which brought me great joy.  Seven years ago, I livestreamed my dissertation defense.  It was completely natural for me that the culminating moment of the dissertation journey would be open. I “exposed” my dissertation file before defending, I’d been blogging regularly since 2004, my practicum was (is?) a blog, I tweet – heck yes I was going to stream my dissertation! My committee was (I think somewhat hesitantly) agreeable (though the discussion of the results would of course have to be closed!) I think they were somewhat surprised when about 25 people showed up in person…and about 40 or so more online. While I was full of the requisite nerves, I was determined to approach my defense as a celebration, a community celebration.

About 4 years prior to this moment, I failed my dissertation proposal defense. It’s not a secret, but, not something I’ve really ever talked about openly before. This was one of those pivotal moments which I know fed into my personal desire to open up these “closed” processes of academia. Had I been able to attend a proposal defense before my high-stakes moment, maybe I would have done better? (We could talk a lot more about that experience, but, let’s move on…) By opening up my dissertation defense, a bunch of sweet little kiddos got to watch (a woman) achieving a dream (in person and online).  Fellow graduate students were welcomed into a space that is normally not open/welcoming so they could get a glimpse of the process.  I was elated that the college support staff I invited were there, there is no way I could have completed my PhD journey without them.  My students (many of whom watched from around the globe) got to see their teacher and mentor “on the spot.” My own dear teachers and mentors (from K12 onward) were also able to attend from afar.

Since I’m back in the classroom now, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to (re)articulate my own philosophy of teaching and learning (things like this are resonating with my thoughts).  Open is still at my core, and I’m inspired to continue sharing and working on, and in, open pedagogical spaces.

 

I had a wonderful time this afternoon meeting with dedicated educators across Canada who are members of the #LNDLCA community. My dear friend Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman extended the invitation as a part of her groundbreaking work leading the The Canadian Institute for Digital Literacies Learning.

Below are a few artifacts from the session (thanks for the tweet Michelle!) – I’ve embedded my slides and the original invitation to the webinar.  I look forward to continued conversations and connections via the #LNDLCA hashtag!

 

 

Slides

Invitation: Webinar with Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf

From Buzzwords, to Theory, to Practice: Design Thinking in Classroom Contexts

Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf is teacher-scholar and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Leigh teaches with the Educational Leadership and Innovation EdD program and is a faculty fellow with the Office of Scholarship & Innovation. Her work centers around online education, K12 teacher professional development and relationships mediated by and with technology. She has worked across the educational spectrum from K12 to Higher to further and lifelong. She believes passionately in collaboration and community. Leigh shares her work at www.leighgraveswolf.com.

We invited Dr. Wolf to share her expertise with us because she is a creative, innovative teacher, scholar, and leader who, over the past decade, has leveraged design thinking frameworks to lead massive institutional change projects at the macro-level, and to create daily lessons for her own students at the micro-level. Leigh has offered to share her current thoughts about design thinking — which, despite being a bit of an educational buzzword — is worth understanding as a powerful framework for the design of theoretically and evidence-based classroom practices in every discipline.

This session will take place from 4PM to 5PM on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018. Please join us! The webinar will be hosted using Zoom.us. You can attend from the comfort of your home, on a laptop or via the Zoom app on your smartphone.

 

One of the last projects I was working on at MSU has concluded – and I realized I never shared any updates/info on the grant! In May 2017, Margo Glew, Kyle Greenwalt and I were awarded a grant from the Longview Foundation titled: Digital Badging for Global Teacher Learning.  We proposed the following:

This proposal seeks to develop two learning modules for global educators, both inservice educators and preservice educators who have reached the field placement portion of their program. These modules will be available to teacher candidates and practicing teachers anywhere and will engage participants in two areas of global education practice: the first module (for elementary educators) will focus on developing competency in global project-based learning curriculum design, and the second (for secondary educators) on integrating global citizenship education into the teacher participant’s subject area. These modules will consist of a combination of online learning and collaboration, specific classroom projects, and preparation of curricular units and lessons.

The design of the learning modules will center around the development of competency in one area of global teaching (project based learning/global citizenship education) and not, as is common in other forms of professional learning, the completion of “seat time” at a workshop or presentation. In addition to receiving continuing education credits, teacher participants will, at the successful completion of the learning module, be recognized for their competency with a digital credential. This digital badge will be available for teachers and teacher candidates to display on their LinkedIn or other social media profiles to communicate their expertise in this area of global education. Teachers will also receive the badge in the form of a vinyl cling to display outside of their classroom door. The modules will be developed by a team of colleagues from Michigan State University’s nationally recognized teacher preparation program and K12 global educators and education leaders to meet the specific needs of practicing global educators and global educator teacher candidates. The purpose of the project is twofold: 1) we seek to develop and deliver two global education micro-credentials to practicing teachers and teacher candidates; 2) we seek to develop a framework for the learning pathway, technical infrastructure and administrative infrastructure for managing, reviewing and awarding digital badges for global education so that future credentials may be developed and implemented. It is our goal to ultimately develop and deliver a range of micro-credentials for a variety of competency areas for the global educator.

We partnered with Kelly Jacobs from the Lansing School District and Robert Lurie from Waverly High School.  I was responsible for the website and editing the podcasts (the teachers and Kyle/Margo created the content.) Here is the final result of our efforts (three modules!) which we used to run a pilot this fall:

Microcredential Modules for Global Education

I had SO much fun editing the podcasts (it was great to get back to my audio production roots) and I learned a lot about publishing to iTunes!

The pilot has ended (thus, no more Michigan Continuing Education Credits) – but – you can still download all of the podcasts here on iTunes (or, directly download the mp3 files from the Microcredential Website.)

 

#CPED2018 – Reflections and Opportunities

On October 31, 2018, in CPED, by Leigh

Good morning #cped2018 !I finally have a moment to reflect on my first Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) conference.  It was wonderful to have the opportunity to learn more about the EdD community of which I am now a practitioner.  CPED is the knowledge forum on the EdD. With a membership of over 100 schools of education in the US, Canada, and New Zealand working collaboratively to improve professional preparation in education at the highest level.

I participated in 3 sessions – the first two were with my new EdD colleagues (titles link to the presentation slides):

Buss, R., Henriksen, D., Mertler, C. Rotheram-Fuller, E., Wolf, L. (October, 2018) Leader-scholar communities (LSCs) @ ASU: Lessons learned, lessons shared, lessons inspired. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ.

The LSC session above was livestreamed and we experimented with remote participation via Zoom & a google doc. Hopefully the recording will be available and I’ll update the post with the link.

Buss, R., Henriksen, D., Mertler, C. Rotheram-Fuller, E., Wolf, L. (October, 2018) Growing into change: Moving from F2F to online in a doctoral research conference. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ.

I also presented a solo learning exchange:

Wolf. L. (October, 2018) #CPED2018 – Constructing a collaborative convening “syllabus”. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ

If you follow the link above, you’ll see the text of my full proposal – along with the notes from our session.  It was a small group (6 of us total) and our discussions centered more broadly on social media use/professional use of social technologies (including Wikipedia, ResearchGate and Academia.edu). This discussion gave me quite a few ideas for future blog posts, course content creation, and conference presentations!

While at CPED, I saw an opportunity to help to grow the CPED online community. Below is the text from a communication I wrote for the CPED email list and I’m looking forward to helping grow and support the network any way I can.

#CPED2018 – Social Media Recap & Invitation for Continued #CPED Connections

Thank you to all who shared their thoughts on Twitter during #CPED2018. Over the past few years the use of Twitter to share CPED ideas has started to grow. This year, we started tracking the Tweets and an archive can be viewed here.

We want to highlight a two “strength of weak ties” (Granovetter, 1973) moments that were created on Twitter during the conference.  First, in sharing the links to the award-winning dissertations, a tweet gained 3 likes and an encouraging response from a connected scholar in Ireland. Second, a tweet which featured the “Marathon Map” shared by our ECU colleagues – spurred a flurry of 12 likes and 6 comments. We want to highlight these specific interactions – not to start a popularity contest, but rather, to demonstrate the power in sharing our work and ideas beyond the conference walls.

To further promote the use of social media, an experimental session on the final day of the conference attempted to create a #CPED2018 “Syllabus” of resources based upon the twitter and social streams.  As a Community of (online) Practice we’re still growing in this area and the Twitter stream provided an emerging set of resources (which you can see in the nascent form here).  Our session ended up being a robust discussion of social technologies (e.g. Twitter, Wikipedia) and how we can start to use them more strategically in our CPED workflows our professional practice. This lively discussion planted seeds for future opportunities for professional growth and development and we encourage you to stay tuned to CPED announcements for those opportunities.

In the meantime, we would like to continue this momentum as we look forward to #CPED2019.  If you have ideas/links/resources you would like to share between now and the next convening – please use the #CPED hashtag when Tweeting. This will allow our community to connect and grow virtually between convenings.

If you’re not sure about Twitter, you can always “lurk” by following this link #CPED to see the most current stream of Tweets by those using the #CPED hashtag.  By sharing we’re fostering a Community of (online) Practice and allowing others outside of our CPED community to connect to us as individuals and connect collectively to the great work we all doing.

Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.

 

A few days ago, I posted the following to Facebook:

I feel like I’ve asked this before – but I dug around and couldn’t find anything – does anyone have a favorite reference/model/etc. for explaining the development of a theoretical framework?

The text we are using for class is making it feel very daunting and inaccessible for my students – would love to supplement with a “you can do this” pep talk!

First, my students are amazing – and to understand the challenge, you have to understand the iterative nature of the program. My colleague Dr. Ray Buss describes the dissertation writing process in great detail in the article Using Action Research as a Signature Pedagogy to Develop EdD Students’ Inquiry as Practice Abilities.

TEL 713 students are in their 5th term – a spot in the program where they are extending and reiterating upon the work they have done over the past year and 1/2 . We’re at a point where we are working on becoming better at crafting our theoretical frameworks – all the while (re)learning methods, methodology, theoretical perspectives, epistemologies and ontologies. We’re diving pretty deep into philosophical and theoretical concepts, which puts us in a place where we potentially can’t see the forest for the trees.

While they have already done work outlining some theoretical frameworks in prior cycles, adding new and deeper understandings is certainly one of those “transformational moments” (which can come with some frustrations as you’re learning ALL THE THINGS at once, while trying to maintain focus.)

SO – in order to help see the forest, I put the above plea out to my amazing network, and they did not disappoint.  What ensued was, as Joyce Seitzinger said, “one of the most useful FB threads ever…” One of my colleagues (Dr. Teresa Foulger) said “write it yourself!” So, this blog post is an attempt at that writing.

What you will see below is more of a curation of resources and transcription of the conversation, rather than my own take. By the sheer number of resources, you will see right away, that there is not one singular way to do this “right”. (Which sometimes is not what you want to hear.) I’m providing the wealth of resources below – so that maybe one or two will resonate to help you craft your own style as you develop your writing voice and theoretical weaving skills.

Let’s start with Dr. Tonya Dousay’s contribution, which are two tremendously helpful documents created by her dissertation chair Dr. Robert Branch, Professor of Learning, Design, and Technology at the University of Georgia.

Common Components of a Research Proposal (pdf)

20 Editorial Suggestions for Scholarly Manuscripts in Preparation (pdf)

Next my friend, Dr. Inese Berzina-Pitcher posted this Research Gate forum discussion which has been helpful to her:
https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_are_the_differences_between_conceptual_framework_and_theoretical_framework

My physicist friend, Dr. Chip Brock chimed in with the following:

Interesting. Of course I have no idea about how qualitative research is done but the little I followed maps in my mind onto how I teach the differences among scientific laws and theories…and models. I claim that there are no scientific “laws” as imagined by, say the Florida State School Board (evolution is just a theory while Newton’s gravitation is a law). Rather it’s all theories…all the way down.

But we scientists don’t test theories. We build models, which are mathematical in physics, and we test the models. In that sense, a theory is more like a framework.

In that spirit, I might glean that a theory for us is like a theory for you and that a model for us is like a conceptual framework for you all?

My friend Ira Socol (one of the authors of Timeless Learning which I shared with you a few weeks ago) said:

I always think that if you can build a conceptual framework, ie, “children naturally know how to learn,” if you deep map that idea – observe the hell out of it – you can then try on different theories until you see something close to a fit, then adjust that till you’re there. But then, I’ve never been much of an academic.

I disagreed with his last statement, but he went on to share the following books and resources which have guided his inquiries:

PrairyErth
Heat Moon, W. (1991). PrairyErth : (a deep map). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

The art of seeing: https://speedchange.blogspot.com/2011/06/art-of-seeing.html

Listening to Kids and Designing from Scratch for Timeless Learning

Observation Protocols for Timeless Learning

My dear friend and colleague/teaching partner Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman suggested the following (which, I will be reworking into future iterations of the course):

Would there be value in looking at the evolution of a theoretical framework over time as an exercise in deconstructing the process of theory development? For example, the Theory of New Literacies as it has evolved from a theoretical framework focused specifically on reading and informed by an ed-psych perspective…to a dual-level theory…to a theory that has inspired deep explorations of its component parts? Obviously, this is the one that I am most familiar with, but there would be others. Just a thought. I don’t have a single reference for how to do it…but this might be a way to get at the deeper questions that your students are grappling with.

Dr. Punya Mishra chimed in with some very helpful resources related to the (re)development of the TPACK framework:

Why Theory: Or the TPACK story

The TPACK Diagram gets an upgrade

To which Ira responded:
Or go to the next step: “TPECK is my attempt to describe the global view we need, the way to see a path to change everything. The way to see a path toward schools for children.” (link)

This interaction gave a perfect example of how theories change over time and how others contribute to theories.

Pilar Quezzaire (who is a former MAET student of mine and curriculum manager for the International Baccalaureate) contributed this resource: Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks

My wonderful colleague Dr. Danah Henriksen suggested this excellent piece by Friedman:

Friedman, K. (2003). Theory construction in design research: criteria: approaches, and methods. Design studies, 24(6), 507-522. (ASU Library Link to article)

And finally, my dear former student (from my days as a technology coordinator in 1997-98!!) now Dr. Piya Bose, suggested these two texts which helped her through her dissertation:

Krathwohl, D. (1993). Methods of educational and social science research : An integrated approach. New York ; London: Longman.

Creswell, J. (2014). Research design : Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

This is a lot to take in, but am I ever thankful to my network for sharing these resources.  Zooming out to see the forest of this post – while there is a lot of bad that happens on social networks, I have found (and still do) find online social spaces to be a tremendously important part of how I learn, and construct understanding. In order to foster meaningful dialogues, you can’t just take, you also have to give – and I thank all who contributed to the discussion on Facebook – and invite further discussion here in this space!

 

Update: 

I posted this to twitter and Dr. Pam Moran (an incredible mentor to me and another one of the Timeless Learning authors) shared this beautiful resource to add to the discussion: Understanding, Selecting, and Integrating a Theoretical Framework in Dissertation Research: Creating the Blueprint for Your “House” (Grant & Osanloo, 2014)
https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1058505.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am writing this post as a resource for my TEL 713 – Advanced Qualitative Methods students, but, hope others will find it useful as well.

First, I want to share what a tremendous resource The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) is broadly. I am a member of ALT, and I am extremely thankful for their community, conferences and open access to conference content for those who cannot attend in person. Here is the archive from the 2018 Annual Conference which just wrapped up on September 13th. Several of the talks were streamed and are archived on the website for viewing. I also encourage you to take a look at the #altc hashtag for further conversations and resources.

Selfishly, the timing of  Drs. Frances Bell & Catherine Cronin’s ALT presentation: A personal, feminist and critical retrospective of Learning (and) Technology, 1994-2018  could not have been more perfect.  In TEL 713 (Advanced Qualitative Methods) we are approaching the modules on feminist and critical pedagogies. Here is the recording of Frances & Catherine’s session:


I am sharing this specific talk with my students for a few reasons –

First: I want to note that the session type is a: Work-in-progress report/experimental session.  So often we feel as we have to have something finished or complete before we share. Francis and Catherine are using the conference to share work in progress, and, to solicit feedback to improve their inquiry.

Second: I want to point out the references (with my meta commentary in italics after the reference.)

Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and praxis: Exploring the use of open educational practices in higher education. IRRODL, 18(5). http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.3096

TEL 713: Look at Dr. Cronin’s theoretical framework section as a mentor text for framing a study.

Noddings, N., & Enright, D.S. (1983). The promise of open education. Theory Into Practice, 22(3), 182-189. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405848309543059  (ASU Library Link to full text)

TEL 713: Dr. Nel Noddings is a feminist scholar and philosopher.

Watters, A. (2015, February 19). The history of the future of education. hackeducation.com [blog]. Retrieved March 23, 2018, from: http://hackeducation.com/2015/02/19/the-history-of-the-future-of-education

TEL 713: Audrey Watters is an education writer and independent scholar who writes with a critical stance towards education and technology.

Third and finally: This is an excellent example of a qualitative study in a community of practice (or sphere of influence.) You’ll note that Frances & Catherine have coded and analyzed the themes of the ALT conferences over the past 25 years through a feminist & critical lens.  As you’re looking for models and mentor texts, this is one to add to your list of supports.

Thank you Drs. Bell & Cronin for sharing your work so openly and for allowing us to learn from your inquiry.

 

Thank you Arizona State University

On August 30, 2018, in Personal, by Leigh

Leigh in front of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers CollegeOn August 15th I started my position as a Clinical Associate Faculty member with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.  I am very thankful that I’m able to continue living in Michigan as a “remote” employee.  Having taught online previously, I’m very comfortable “living online” but, I know that there is still value in a physical presence and grounding. I feel very lucky that as part of my employment, I’m able to visit ASU a few times a semester. I returned from my first visit just under a week ago – and I came back energized and excited by the possibilities this new position will offer. My primary responsibility will be teaching with the Educational Leadership and Innovation EdD program.  I also serve on the program committee.  This fall I’m teaching TEL 703- Innovation in Teaching and Learning , TEL 707 – Reading the Research, and TEL 713 – Advanced Qualitative Methods. The curriculum for the program was developed collaboratively and I’m beyond elated to be returning to teaching.  The minute I opened up the course and with every email received, assignment submitted and zoom session completed my heart is filling with passion and joy. In addition to my work in the EdD program, I’m also a faculty fellow with the Office of Scholarship and Innovation – where I get to collaborate with some familiar faces :)

I started out the semester with a 2 week immersive onsite visit to ASU which gave me tremendous insight into the culture and landscape of my new academic home. (And, as I’ve found out upon my return, completely changed my body chemistry and I love the desert heat more than I thought I would!)  I stayed close to the Tempe campus and was able to take advantage of the tremendous campus shuttles. My meetings were spread across the Tempe, Downtown and West campuses and never once did I have to worry about having a car.

ASU #1 in Innovaton Everywhere you go, you’re reminded that ASU is #1 in innovation.  Those who work in universities are no stranger to the rankings game and we usually take these lists with a grain of salt (and a roll of the eye.) But, it does mean something – and experiencing the physical campus along with the online campus has given me solid evidence to support this accolade.  I was so impressed with the level of student services (in person and online) with the physical accommodations in the buildings and student and community centeredness of what I experienced.   I also experienced this passion as I met my new colleagues and as we were welcomed and challenged by Dr. Crow in his Fall 2018 Faculty and Staff Welcome message, and echoed by Dean Basile, who in her welcome message challenged us to “take beautiful risks, through principled innovation.”

ASU’s charter is as follows:

ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

Leigh in front of ASU CharterI know this post skews positive, and one could say tinted with rose (or maroon) colored glasses – but I honestly had (and still have) my critical lenses on.  Starting somewhere new after 20 years of experience behind my belt gives me a different (hopefully more experienced and nuanced) outlook on things.  I’m excited to dig in and do the difficult work, to become a member of the ASU community, find ways to improve our service to the communities we serve, to learn more about myself, and to continue to grow as a teacher-scholar.

 

 

Thank you Michigan State University

On June 24, 2018, in Personal, by Leigh

Tomorrow, I will make my 120 mile round trip commute for the last time as this week ends my employment at Michigan State University.  Starting in August, I will begin a new journey as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Leadership and Innovation (EdD) program at Arizona State University.  I will be working remotely from Michigan and traveling to Arizona a few times per semester.

Twenty-four years ago, I stepped foot on campus as a first generation college freshman. Since then, (with the exception of a two year window right after I graduated with my BA) I have had a direct affiliation with MSU – either as an MA/PhD student and/or employee.  Over the years, I have collected a boundless amount of institutional memory. I experienced the university as a student (in two different colleges, in three different programs), an alum, as a fixed term instructor, advisor, academic specialist and administrator.  MSU has given me the world, quite literally.  I have had the opportunity to teach and present overseas, something I never would have imagined as a possibility when I stepped foot on campus 24 years ago. If you click through the archives of this blog, you’ll see almost 15 years of reflections on my work at MSU – it’s difficult for me to summarize the depth of my experiences and opportunities in one singular culminating farewell post.

I am excited for my new adventure, a new opportunity to gain institutional memory.  I am extraordinarily thankful for every opportunity MSU has given to me, every opportunity I have created for myself, and every single person I have had the great fortune of crossing paths with during my time as a Spartan.  Luckily, I work in an industry that values collaboration and connection – and I’ll still be able to write, create, and collaborate with my friends and colleagues. Even though this is not goodbye forever, it does end an important and transformational affiliation, one that I am leaving filled with gratitude.

 

Thank you & Farewell #MSUrbanSTEM

On June 1, 2018, in Personal, by Leigh

On December 18, 2013 Sonya, Punya, Anurag & I took this picture (in the snow, on the roof of Erickson Hall) to celebrate the official signing of the Wipro Urban STEM Fellowship Program at MSU.

We knew we were starting something special – but I don’t think we knew just how special. Fast forward 4 1/2 years, and it’s hard to believe that we are at the end of this journey. 124 amazing Chicago Public School teachers completed the MSUrbanSTEM fellowship program. In that time, they published 8 books, created resources on their websites, and continue to share and network via #MSUrbanSTEM.  As a research team, we published and presented an impressive amount of scholarship. Beyond the tangible artifacts, we all have been profoundly changed by this experience.  O’Sullivan et. al (2002) define transformative learning as:

Experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings and actions. It is a shift of consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters our way of being in the world. Such a shift involves our understanding of ourselves and our self-locations; our relationships with other humans and with the natural world; our understanding of relations of power in interlocking structures of class, race and gender; our body awareness, our visions of alternative approaches to living; and our sense of possibilities for social justice, peace and personal joy.

This definition succinctly sums up my experience over the past 4 1/2 years. I am truly grateful to my collaborators, colleagues & the incredible Chicago Public School teachers.

So lucky to work with these amazing people #MSUrbanSTEM

#msurbanstem

#MSUrbanSTEM - telepresence is amazing

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Works Cited
O’Sullivan, E. V., Morrell, A., & O’Connor, M. A. (2002). Expanding the boundaries of transformative learning: Essays on theory and praxis (Lst ed.). New York, N.Y: Palgrave.