ESU Faculty, Staff, and Students in the News

Posted by: Valentina Caval on June 10, 2013, No Comments

A recent East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) graduate who majored in public health has been accepted into the Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP) at Columbia University. Sarah Morabu, of  Nairobi, was among 50 chosen from 8,000 applicants to the program which strives to increase interest in and knowledge of public health and biomedical science careers. Morabu, who graduated from ESU in May, was a resident adviser at Hawthorn Hall on the ESU campus and a peer educator in the ESU Office of Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention Services. She was also one of two student speakers at the undergraduate commencement ceremonies. The SPHSP is designed for undergraduates going into their junior or senior year and recent baccalaureate degree students. This is a rigorous program which includes public health course work at Columbia University; hands-on field experience and immersion in a diverse, economically disadvantaged urban environment; seminars and lectures with public health leaders; and mentoring by faculty members, educating students about the breadth and importance of public health as a career option.

Kimberly S. Adams, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science at ESU, chaired several panels and delivered a presentation titled “The Utility and Evolving Role of the Congressional Black Caucus: What’s at Stake,” in France, in April. The presentation was given during the Euro-American Conference for Academic Disciplines in Paris. Dr. Adams said the presentation introduced to an international audience, the purpose of special-interest caucuses in the U.S. Congress and examined the history and evolving role of one of the oldest and most active special-interest groups on Capitol Hill—the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Adams said that through the use of elite interviews with members of the CBC, the presentation explored issues championed by the Caucus over the last four decades and addressed the continued utility of the organization.

The Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology (PSO) will bestow the Earl Poole Award, which recognizes individuals for significant contributions to the knowledge, study and understanding of bird life of Pennsylvania, to Terry Master, Ph.D., professor in the ESU Department of Biological Sciences. The award was given to Dr. Master for his active ornithological research program that focuses on wading bird foraging ecology and the ecology and behavior of riparian songbirds in hemlock dominated habitats. His research work has involved the mentoring of numerous undergraduate and 25 graduate students in the Avian Ecology and Behavior Lab at ESU over the last 23 years. Many of the students have gone on to doctoral programs at various universities and jobs with federal, state and private conservation organizations. Master has recently co-edited a book titled “Avian Ecology and Conservation: A Pennsylvania Focus with National Implications,” published by the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, and he has over 20 other peer-reviewed publications, many as co-author with his undergraduate and graduate students. He received the award at the annual PSO meeting in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on June 1, 2013.

In recognition of her expertise and ongoing research using children’s literature with positive portrayals of characters with disabilities, Heather Garrison, Ph.D., associate professor of special education and rehabilitation at ESU, was invited by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Division on Developmental Disabilities to serve on the Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award review committee and helped select the most recent award recipients. According to the CEC, this award recognizes authors, illustrators, and publishers of high quality fictional and biographical books for children, intermediate readers, and young adults that appropriately portray individuals with developmental disabilities. Dr. Garrison’s personal collection includes over 1,300 children’s and young adult books with characters with disabilities, ranging from the 1800s to 2013. It is one of the largest collections in the world. Dr. Garrison is also an ESU alumna (1995, 1998).

In January, Garrison was invited to present to the Northwest Jersey Reading Council and share her vast collection of children’s books featuring characters with disabilities. She was invited to present at the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (SPSEA) conference at ESU in February to discuss children’s books with positive portrayals of diverse characters. The SPSEA is a pre-professional association dedicated to advancing leadership skills and professional development among future educators across the Commonwealth. Garrison was invited again this year to speak about children’s disability literature at the annual Healthy Child, Whole Child conference, in March, for the Monroe County Association for the Education of Young Children. In honor of the NEA’s Read Across America Day, and in celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday in March, the SPSEA invited Garrison to read Dr. Seuss books, alongside a few of his costumed characters, at a community event on campus.

Garrison co-chaired ESU’s National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) institutional accreditation report which required extensive collaboration and data collection and analysis across programs and departments to showcase the excellence of ESU’s pre-service teacher preparation programs. Dr. Garrison is proud to teach the first disability studies course at ESU, as part of the newly revised rehabilitative and human services major, in the fall 2013 semester. She co-advises the Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta honor society for students majoring in special education and rehabilitation and also serves on numerous committees across campus related to assessment, pre-service teacher education and certification, and university advancement. Garrison is also active in the community by serving on Pocono Medical Center’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Community Advisory Board and by sponsoring annual scholarships at ESU and local high schools. In May, she presented strategies for reading to infants and toddlers to NFP’s clients and their young children.

Garrison’s contributions have been recognized by the authors of three textbooks, including “Special Education in Contemporary Society: An Introduction to Exceptionality,” 4th edition, by Gargiulo; “The Exceptional Child: Inclusion in Early Childhood Education,” 7th edition, by Allen and Cowdery; and “Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference,” 6th edition, by Reutzel and Cooter. Garrison also created instructor and/or student instructional resources, for online and/or traditional delivery, to accompany 15 additional Pearson teacher education textbooks between January 2012 and April 2013. She also reviewed content for new editions of diversity textbooks for Routledge and Wadsworth/Cengage Publishers. In 2012, Garrison redesigned Pearson’s extensive online children’s and young adult literature database into search categories that reflect trends and themes found in modern children’s literature, including characters with disabilities, LGBT characters, English language learners, international characters, and multicultural themes. She also added 500 recently published books with diversity topics and/or recent award winners to the database.

Elaine Shuey, Ph.D., professor, ESU Department of Speech-Language Pathology; Stephanie A. Kleese, currently a graduate student in speech-language pathology who has an undergrad degree from ESU; and Devin J. Loney, a graduate of the speech-language pathology graduate program, presented a paper titled “Vocal Nodules in an Adolescent with PDD-NOS” at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association in Atlanta, Georgia in November. This is the annual national convention for speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

Ann Millett, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, has received 2012 Chapter Adviser Honors from the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSHLA). NSSHLA is the student branch of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the professional organization for speech- language pathologists and audiologists. There are 319 chapters of NSSHLA located across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Greece, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Only one adviser is chosen each year to receive this honor. Millet was nominated by ESU’s NSSHLA chapter president and was recognized at the annual ASHA convention in Atlanta in November 2012. Since Millett has been ESU’s NSSHLA adviser, the chapter has grown from 15 active members to over 60. The chapter has participated in numerous campus and community activities. It has been particularly supportive of Operation Smile, an international organization dedicated to providing cleft lip and palate surgeries for children from third world countries. In the last year, the group raised enough funds to pay for seven surgeries.