Skip to Main ContentCOE HomeSDSU Home

Search I&I News

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Ed Leadership Doctoral Alumni Honored With SDCOE’s Lighthouse Awards

Amy Illingworth ('15) and Cynthia Larkin (’13)
From left, Amy Illingworth ('15) and Cynthia Larkin (’13)
San Diego State University alumni Amy Illingworth ('15) and Cynthia Larkin (’13) were honored as “beacons in the education community” at the San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) annual Lighthouse Awards
Illingworth, assistant superintendent of educational services at Encinitas Union School District, earned the Equity Champion award. Larkin, principal at San Diego’s Morse High School, earned the Turnaround School Site Leader award. Both are graduates of SDSU’s Educational Leadership (PK-12) Ed.D. program

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Meet COE's Outstanding Graduates from the Class of 2022

COE's 2022 outstanding graduates

Get to know the nine San Diego State University College of Education students who earned the title of Outstanding Graduate from the Class of 2022, as selected by their department, school or program.

Pair of Alumni Named Teachers of the Year by San Diego Unified

Andrea Loyko and Josh Rosenberg.
Andrea Loyko and Josh Rosenberg

Two San Diego State University School of Teacher Education alumni received San Diego Unified School District’s 2022 Teacher of the Year honor. Andrea Loyko (’04, ’19) and Josh Rosenberg (’06) were among the three recipients of the award, which was fittingly presented to them in a ceremony on May 3 — National Teacher Appreciation Day. 

COE DIFFERENCE MAKERS: A Proud ‘Science Nerd’ Molds STEM Teachers

Donna Ross

When Donna Ross left her job as a classroom teacher in her native Oregon to enter the biology master’s program at San Diego State University, her intent was to transition from teacher to scientist. But being out in the field studying epibenthic algal mats — think the layer of slime on top of the mud in an estuary — gives one time to ponder one’s path. 
“I’d be out in thigh-high mud collecting data and I’d find myself thinking about how I would teach the information I was finding through the data I was collecting,” Ross recalls. “So I decided that while I loved biology, my heart was in teaching.” 

Schenkel Seeks to Build Meaningful Connections Between Kids and Science

Kathleen Schenkel

Kathleen Schenkel has a busy summer in store. She’ll soon be devising coastal climate learning kits that will be distributed to children across North America. Likely contents include craft supplies and polaroid cameras. 
If that doesn’t fit with a traditional understanding of how kids learn science, that’s by design. 
Schenkel, an assistant professor in San Diego State University’s School of Teacher Education, is co-leading a bi-national research project to explore innovative ways kids can build meaningful connections with their environments. 

Three COE Faculty Research Projects Awarded Post-Doctoral Support

SDSU campus at night

Three San Diego State University College of Education faculty research projects have been awarded funding for post-doctoral fellowships through the Division of Research and Innovation’s Support for Postdoctoral Fellowships Program. The program supports efforts that will have significant long-term impacts on the research, scholarship and creative activities at SDSU. 
Post-doctoral scholars will be hired to support two projects focused on autism research and another aiming to increase representation among Latinx students in STEM education. Here is a rundown of the awardees: 

ARPE’s Lisa Gates Receives Flurry of Campus Awards

Lisa and John Gates.
Lisa Gates with her husband, John Gates.

For Lisa Gates, it was a whirlwind week and a half. 
Over the span of 10 days, the director and advisor of San Diego State University’s leadership minor received not one, not two, but three campus awards. Gates was honored by Associated Students (A.S.), the Transfer Student Success Office, and the School of Communication. 

Creative Support Alternatives Celebrates 30 Years of Person-Centered Service

Mary Ellen Sousa (far left) and staff helped Chris (holding keys) become a homeowner in 2000.

It all started with one. Mary Ellen Sousa vividly remembers the first person Creative Support Alternatives ever served back in 1992 — a transition-age student with a developmental disability hoping to leave her group home and attend community college. Sousa and her colleagues successfully helped the young woman gain entry into the dorms at San Diego State University. 
This year, Creative Support Alternatives, which operates as part of SDSU’s Interwork Institute, is celebrating 30 years of providing supported living services and independent living services for people with developmental disabilities. Over the past three decades, the agency has supported about 150 individuals and expanded beyond San Diego County into Northern California’s Gold Country. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Alumni Spotlight: Karina Wong is Driven to Serve Others at ‘Full Force’

Karina Wong

To talk to Karina Wong (’15,’16, ’17) is to catch a glimpse of her boundless energy. Whether she’s discussing her career as a bilingual educator, her prodigious work in the community, or raising her two young children, the alumna of San Diego State University exudes seemingly inexhaustible enthusiasm. 
One wonders how she finds enough hours in the day for it all. 
“I make time,” Wong explains. “This is my life's purpose. And if I'm living my life's purpose, I'm going full force.” 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

CBB's Angela Byars-Winston Honored With 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award

Angela Byars-Winston

Angela Byars-Winston (’91, ’92) was instantly delighted when she found out she’d been named the San Diego State University College of Education’s recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award. And when she glanced at her calendar and learned that the date she’d be honored — April 23 — was National Take a Chance Day, the honor began to feel even more special. 
“That didn't land on me lightly,” said Byars-Winston, who will be one of 10 SDSU graduates honored by SDSU Alumni at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. “There were so many people — mentors — who took a chance on me” 

ARPE's Toni Saia Inducted into Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

Dr. Toni Saia

Toni Saia has recognized from an early age that she mingles in a world that was not built with her in mind. A proud disabled woman and wheelchair user, she’s fought most of her life to break down environmental barriers placed in her path. There has been no shortage of them. 
“Very early on, I knew my advocacy skills had to be top notch,” Saia recalls. “When I was 5 or 6 in public school, I was told, 'Children like you play on this side of the school yard.’ There was a line on the ground. I remember going home and saying, ‘Mom, I'm not playing behind that line.’” 

COE DIFFERENCE MAKERS: EDL's Wright Motivated By Untapped Potential

Dr. James Wright

Waterbury, Connecticut is known as The Brass City, an homage to its proud past as a hub for brassware manufacturing. In the early and mid 20th century, the industry's abundant blue-collar jobs were a magnet for migration, both from abroad and in the Jim Crow South. James Wright's large family — his mother had 15 siblings, and he counts more than 50 first cousins — was part of the latter, adding to a Black community that now makes up more than a fifth of Waterbury's population. 

But by the 1970s, The Brass City was starting to tarnish. The forces of deindustrialization caused factories to shutter and livelihoods to vanish. 

CCBMW Offers Black Wellness Providers Connections, Community

Candea Mosley, Myra Hollis and Sesen Negash
The CCBMW leadership team from left: Candea Mosley, Myra Hollis and Sesen Negash.

San Diego State University alumnus Ojore Lateef Bushfan (’07, ’09, ’15) intimately understands the importance of having Black wellness providers available to meet the needs of the Black community. That knowledge comes not only from his vocation as a marriage and family therapist, but also as a Black man who himself finds empowerment through therapy. 
“As a client who's worked with an African American practitioner, it feels nice to be able to talk to someone who gets it — who understands the experience,” said Bushfan, a graduate of the College of Education’s Community Based Block and Marriage and Family Therapy master’s programs. “I think it provides an opportunity for folks of African descent to lean into this thing called therapy, because it's very vulnerable, disclosing painful things. Rapport is important.” 

See What COE Researchers Have in Store for AERA Conference

AERA Conference Graphic

ARPE Faculty Emeriti Create Scholarship for Doctoral Students

ARPE professors emeriti
From left: Emeriti ARPE faculty members Ron Jacobs, Bobbie J. Atkins, Caren Sax and Fred McFarlane.

Even in retirement, San Diego State University’s Department of Administration, Rehabilitation and Postsecondary Education (ARPE) faculty are a tight-knit group. ARPE’s faculty emeriti still get together for regular happy hours where they — as professor emeritus Caren Sax puts it — “solve the problems of the world.” 
At the very least, they’ve solved some financial worries for future doctoral students.