TU faculty take on increased state, national prominence

By Megan Bradshaw and Sedonia Martin on January 5, 2018

Education faculty partner with state organization to mentor secondary students; science faculty chosen for national EPA panel and receive national award; deans chosen for national boards

Ron Hermann, pictured left, was named the 2017 Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) Level I Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year.
Ron Hermann, pictured left, was named the 2017 Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) Level I Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year.

Towson University faculty from the Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Education are taking on increased roles at the state and national level, developing partnerships and earning accolades for their skills.

Fisher College biology professor Sarah Haines has been appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Environmental Education Advisory Council.

Sarah Haines headshot
Fisher College biology professor Sarah Haines

Haines is the former director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CSME), where she has been instrumental in initiating and establishing K-16 partnerships that promote and improve teacher education. 

She joins fellow members from the United States Department of Education, the not-for-profit sector, primary and secondary education, the North Carolina and Wisconsin state departments of education and business and industry sector.

The council provides the federal government and EPA with advice on environmental education and a better understanding of the needs of educational institutions and state departments. Haines is one of just two higher education professionals on the council. Council members serve terms of a maximum of six years. 

Additionally, Fisher’s Ron Hermann—professor and director of TU's Earth-Space Science Program—was named the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE) Level I Outstanding Science Teacher Educator of the Year during the fall 2017 semester. He will receive his award at the annual convention on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Level I award honors ASTE members in their first 10 years of science education for their individual achievements and contributions. Hermann has partnered with Maryland school districts to teach professional development courses for local public school teachers. He has over 20 articles in peer-reviewed science education journals, has presented at over 40 peer-reviewed conferences, and has spoken on the topic of evolution at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. He has also been awarded over $1.15 million in external funding for projects that primarily focus on the recruitment and retention of undergraduate Earth-space and geosciences students.

College of Education

Towson University’s College of Education was recently selected as the Maryland affiliate for Educators Rising, a national organization for aspiring teachers and their mentors.

In this role, the college will work closely with over 100 teacher-leaders in middle and high schools across the state to support students exploring teaching as a career path. 

The program gives these students the opportunity to gain insight and a realistic understanding of the teaching profession.

Laila Richman
Laila Richman, COE assistant dean

According to Laila Richman, Ph.D., assistant dean, “serving as the Educators Rising affiliate for Maryland allows our faculty to connect with students, both in our local schools as well as nationally, who are interested in teaching and to provide them with meaningful learning opportunities and mentorship that will assist them in pursuing a career in education.” 

As the affiliate, the COE will host a statewide conference for Educator Rising members each year and will have the opportunity to host the national conference. 

Kandace Hoppin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, was appointed for a three-year term by the governor Larry Hogan to the Professional Standards & Teacher Education Board (PSTEB).

The PSTEB board consists of 25 members and serves to promote quality education in Maryland, by advising the Maryland State Board of Education concerning the standards related to the certification of teachers, and the approval of state teacher education programs. 

This is an integral time to have representation on PSTEB given the current revision of teacher preparation standards in Maryland as well as the work of the Commission on Innovation & Excellence in Education focused on revising funding and accountability measures in education. 

Laurie Mullen
COE Dean Laurie Mullen

Dean Laurie Mullen has been elected to the Board of Directors for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The AACTE represents over 800 postsecondary institutions with educator preparation programs. Its mission is to advocate for innovative, rigorous, high-quality educator preparation programs that will prepare educators to meet the needs of all learners.

AACTE will be holding its 70th annual meeting in Baltimore in March. The College of Education will be involved in planning and supporting conference activities and events.

College of Fine Arts & Communication

College of Fine Arts & Communication Dean Susan Picinich has been elected to a three-year term to the International Council of Fine Arts Deans.

Susan Picinich
COFAC Dean Susan Picinich

The International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) is a vehicle through which members share information and ideas that enhance the leadership of deans and associate deans, provosts and associate provosts, university presidents and other arts executives in higher education.

ICFAD holds its 55th annual conference in Seattle, Washington, in October.