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Meet the Elementary Education and Literacy Faculty


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‌Dr. Deborah Horan
Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Elementary Education


(303) 556-6955



dhoran6@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Horan began her journey as an educator in Denver Public Schools (DPS), as a Spanish-English bilingual elementary teacher. To better advocate for language minority families, she pursued a doctorate at a social justice-focused institution, Boston College, with an emphasis within Teacher Education on Language, Literacy & Culture. While in Boston, she collaborated with educators in Boston Public Schools around literacy for multilingual students.

Dr. Horan's previous experiences include collaborating as a literacy specialist on the Ithuba Writing Project, as funded by USAID. This collaboration with the South African Department of Education focused on creating national public school "readers" (text materials), authored and illustrated by Bantu-speaking teachers and artists. English versions of these culturally relevant materials are available within three DPS Newcomer schools, as facilitated through a donation from the Ithuba Writing Project to support Denver’s African refugee population.



Dr. Peggy Fraser
Professor of Elementary Education


(303) 556-4852



mfraser3@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Fraser earned both a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Colorado. She earned an M.A. in Educational Administration from Bradley University and her Doctorate in Education from Illinois State University, with emphasis in International and Special Education. She has taught at the elementary and high school levels, at Bradley University, Colorado Christian University and is presently employed as a Full Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Social Studies for the school of Education. Dr. Fraser received the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2008 for the School of Professional Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Dr. Fraser has designed, coordinated and led various study abroad programs. This includes a study abroad course to Great Britain that has taken students each year, since 2005. She has also been a guest lecturer and participant in the partnership with the University of Shkodra in Albania. In addition she has worked with school affiliated organizations and presented in Bucerias, Mexico. She also serves as a member of the Global Programs and Partnerships Commission for the International Association of Teacher Educators (ATE).



Dr. Krista Griffin
Assistant Professor of Literacy


(303) 556-4270



kfiedle3@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Krista Griffin has been teaching in Colorado in some form or another for the past twenty years. As the director of a non -profit child care center, she worked with the youngest children and their teachers. As a primary and multi-age classroom teacher, she taught elementary aged children and worked with their parents in high poverty schools. And now, as an assistant professor at MSU Denver, she teaches pre-service teachers at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Her love of literacy led her to a Masters in Reading and a Doctorate in Educational Studies with a reading cognate, both earned at the University of Northern Colorado. She's been teaching at the college level since 2005, and believes that learning should be fun and authentic. Her research interests, publications, and presentations focus on the areas of motivation and engagement in literacy and research with younger children. She serves on national committees for the International Literacy Association, and is excited to be a part of developing the new Elementary Education major at MSU Denver.



Dr. Mary Heuwinkel
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education


(303) 556-6957



heuwinke@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Heuwinkel is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Elementary Education and Literacy and has been at the Metropolitan State University of Denver since 1998. Her varied elementary teaching career spanned fourteen years in Custer, South Dakota, the rural schools near Laramie, Wyoming, and Jefferson County Schools in Colorado. She was a teacher on special assignment for Jefferson County Schools for two years for the Professional Alternatives Consortium for Teachers (PACT) program, where she mentored beginning teachers, supervised student teachers, and taught classes for Metropolitan State College of Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver.

Dr. Heuwinkel's strongest area of interest is in preparing teachers in partnerships between schools/districts and the University. She initiated and has led the partnership with Englewood Elementary Schools since 2000. She teaches her class in one of the District schools and supervises field students in all four of the Englewood elementary schools in collaboration with the instructors of two co-requisite courses. Dr. Heuwinkel works closely with the teachers, schools and the District for high quality education for pupils, teachers, teacher candidates, and professors. She also fosters connections between MSU Denver and Englewood Schools. Currently, she is collaborating with MSU Denver professors in various departments and the Englewood District to develop Englewood's STEM initiative while simultaneously developing the Elementary Education STEM Concentration.



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Ms. Tammy Kerr
Lecturer of Elementary Education


(303) 352-4420



tmcclur2@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
160

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Ms. Kerr has been teaching method courses and supervising student teachers at MSU Denver for the past eleven years. She has worked with the department to revise course syllabi, assignments, and rubrics and participated in developing and building partnership schools in Jeffco Public Schools to support our students during their field placements. Prior to her position at MSU Denver, she worked in Aurora Public Schools for ten years as a classroom teacher and teacher leader. During her time in the classroom, she had the opportunity to teach primary and intermediate grades. Ms. Kerr's school participated in a partnership with UCD and she hosted field placements and student teachers in her classroom. As a teacher leader, she worked with new and veteran teachers in the area of literacy to improve student achievement. As a literacy coach, Ms. Kerr planned weekly professional development sessions, grade level team meetings, and worked with individual teachers to build capacity in the area of literacy. She also has her principal license and would like to use it once her children are older.



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Dr. Megan Lawless
Lecturer of Elementary Education


(303) 352-4457



mlawles3@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile


Dr. Kathleen Luttenegger
Associate Professor of Elementary Education


(303) 556-8434



kluttene@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Luttenegger has worked in the field of elementary education for over 20 years teaching in a variety of settings and across grade levels. She completed her undergraduate degree and initial teaching certificate at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She earned an MA in Special Education from Columbia University and an MBA with a focus on Educational Administration from the University of Denver. In 2006, she earned a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Dr. Luttenegger is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Middle Childhood (grades 2-5), Generalist. She has taught in school districts within Colorado and overseas at the American School of Warsaw in Poland.



Dr. Lupe Martinez
Associate Professor of Elementary Education


(303) 556-2998



matinlu@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Lupe Martinez earned an associate of arts degree from San Francisco City College, his B.A from San Francisco State University, and he earned his teaching license and master's degree in education while in the Teacher Corps and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

He has presented papers on the characteristics of a 21st Century Educator, Diversity, and Partnerships for teacher preparation throughout the United States, Singapore, Beijing, China and Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Martinez coordinated - with input from the Department of Elementary Education and Literacy faculty, support from the department chair, and input from classroom teachers at the Math, Science, Leadership Academy - an MSU Denver Department of Elementary Education and Literacy Urban Teacher Preparation Partnership with the Math, Science, Leadership Academy.



Ms. Kathy Nelson
Lecturer of Literacy


(303) 556-6966



knelso54@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
160

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Ms. Nelson has been teaching literacy courses at MSU Denver for nine years. While she now teaches full time at MSU Denver, her first seven years were spent as an affiliate professor in conjunction with full-time work in the public schools.

Ms. Nelson's work in the public schools has spanned over 30 years and three states; Colorado, Nebraska, and Connecticut. Her positions have varied, but her focus has always been within the realm of literacy. Past involvement in the schools includes administrative experience as an assistant principal, work as a district staff developer providing district workshops and coaching to teachers in best practice in literacy, and many years as a school reading specialist. She has been an interventionist for Reading Recovery, an intensive intervention for struggling first grade readers, and has taught every grade level, K-5, as a classroom teacher.



Dr. Roland Schendel
Assistant Professor of Literacy


(303) 556-8303



rschende@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Schendel is the product of a Professional Development School program where he completed a full year of student teaching. He was an elementary classroom teacher for nine years while serving as a differentiated instruction coach, service learning liaison, literacy coach, and curriculum mapper for School District # 51 in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Upon leaving the elementary classroom to pursue a doctorate in literacy research at the University of Northern Colorado, Roland shifted his efforts to preparing elementary teachers. Five years later, he became a professor of literacy at Illinois State University where he would become the Elementary Education Coordinator. His role as coordinator was defined by new, rekindled, and nurtured partnerships with elementary schools.

Dr. Schendel's research and teaching interests involve partnerships between elementary teacher preparation programs and elementary classrooms. The impact of partnerships on elementary student learning, pre-service teacher preparation, teacher professional development, and university instructor experience are of particular interest.



Dr. Corey R. Sell
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education


(303) 556-2938



csell2@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
136

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Sell taught elementary school for 12 years in a variety of grade levels including first, fourth, and fifth grade.  His research interests include teacher retention and both pre- and in-service teacher knowledge development with regards to literacy and social studies.  Dr. Sell has worked to promote school-university partnerships.  He co-edited a book on Professional Development Schools (PDS) published in 2013.  In addition, he has worked to promote school-university partnerships that simultaneously supported pre-service teacher learning and in-service teacher professional development.  Dr. Sell earned his Ph.D. in Education from George Mason University, his M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Virginia, and his B.A. in American Studies from the University of Mary Washington.  



Dr. Ellen Spitler
Assistant Professor of Literacy


(303) 556-3057



espitle1@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
WC

Office Number:
132

Campus Box Number:
21

Directory Profile

Bio:

Dr. Spitler is Assistant Professor of Literacy Education. She taught middle and high school English in Tucson, AZ public schools for nine years before becoming an education professor. Her research interests focus on disciplinary and adolescent literacy in secondary classrooms; comprehension strategy instruction; metacognition; multimodal literacy instruction; teacher beliefs and teacher literacy identity transformation, instructional/pedagogical transformation, the design of literacy instruction and practice, and the design of teacher professional development in support of disciplinary literacy. Ellen received her B.A. in English and secondary licensure from Colorado State University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in adolescent literacy from the Department of Language, Reading and Culture in the College of Education at the University of Arizona.




Faculty Projects

Drs. Krista Griffin and Corey Sell Published an Article in The Social Studies

Drs. Griffin and Sell recently published an article in The Social Studies (Taylor & Francis Online) titled "Powerful Social Studies Teaching with Poetry and Primary Sources".  The article promotes the teaching of disciplinary thinking and literacy in elementary schools.  An introduction to the article:

"Given the current marginalization of the social studies within elementary classrooms it is vital that elementary educators seek integrative techniques that promote the social studies. This article explores one such example of integration taught by the authors within an elementary classroom. The three-day lesson taught to fifth-grade students aimed to teach a justice-oriented conception of citizenship through the use of historical biographies, found poetry, and primary sources. By the end of the third day, the students had used both general literacy practices (e.g. shared reading, visual literacy, close reading) and disciplinary literacy (e.g. sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating), demonstrating that integration can be a powerful means to teach the social studies while also maintaining the integrity of the disciplines."

Click the link above to read more!

Dr. Rolly Schendel was Appointed to the Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)

This past May, Dr. Rolly Schendel was appointed to the Clinical Practice Commission for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).  In 2015, AACTE formed the Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) to define and align high-quality clinical practice in teacher preparation. The group is developing a variety of resources including a white paper, a common lexicon, and recommended approaches to address common roadblocks to building successful district-university partnerships, such as transportation, funding, and scheduling concerns.

The CPC is a group of scholar-practitioners in higher education and PK-12 leaders from across the country. Members include educators involved in AACTE, the Association of Teacher Educators, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the National Association of Professional Development Schools, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the National Network for Educational Renewal, and PK-12 schools.

Lowering the Cost Barrier to Higher Education for Undocumented Students: A Promising University-level Intervention

Metropolitan State University of Denver’s innovative approach to providing college access to undocumented students is the focus of a policy case study by Dr. Andrew Thangasamy, Asst. Professor of Political Science, and Dr. Deborah Horan, Assoc. Professor of Elementary Education and Literacy, in the April 2016 edition of the Journal of Latinos and Education (Vol 15, Issue 2, pp. 113-120).  “Lowering the Cost Barrier to Higher Education for Undocumented Students: A Promising University-level Intervention” examines the reality of undocumented students, many of Hispanic origin, who face among the strictest costs barriers to higher education in the United States. This article examines an innovative approach to lowering the cost barrier through a university-level innovation at MSU Denver.  The print issue is available on April 2, 2016 while the article has been released pre-publication online at the publisher website

Educational and Cultural Experiences in Argentina

Dr. Lisa Altemueller and Dr. Peg Fraser developed a study abroad course entitled, EDU 390N Educational and Cultural Experiences in Argentina, which allows teacher candidates to refine their teaching skills in an Argentine primary school. Teacher candidates will spend one week in Buenos Aires immersed in a Spanish language program before traveling to Salta, Argentina. Once they arrive in Salta, teacher candidates will be partnered with a primary school teacher for two weeks. Similarities and differences in the educational system in Argentina and the United States of America will be examined.  Cultural experiences are planned for the evenings and weekends in both cities to assist teacher candidates in understanding the historical, cultural and educational contexts of life in Argentina.

Faculty/Student Collaboration at Annual Conference of the Colorado Council of the International Reading Association (CCIRA)

In February, Dr. Deborah Horan co-presented with an SOE masters alumni, Stephanie Paproski (formerly Jackson) and current SOE undergraduate Terry Varyu at the Annual Conference of the Colorado Council of the International Reading Association (CCIRA).  The presentation stemmed from collaboration with second grade teachers at Slavens Elementary in Denver Public Schools (DPS). Mrs. Paproski and one of her second grade team mates, Barb Smith, co-designed and implemented a unit on found poetry as a means to foster rich language development and deep comprehension.  Mrs. Varyu joined in the planning, teaching, and presentation as part of her student teaching in Mrs. Smith’s classroom.

Dr. Corey Sell Contributes as Team Member for The Colorado Primary Sources for Elementary Teachers Collaborative

Dr. Corey Sell has been a part of The Colorado Primary Sources for Elementary Teachers Collaborative that just released the first of 6 primary source sets for use by elementary teachers along with 9 primary source analysis tools designed specifically for elementary teachers. This work, as well as additional primary source sets, can be found on the Colorado Department of Education website.

 


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