college of education

OSU alum named White House “Champion of Change”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon State University alumna Sandra Henderson was recently honored in a White House ceremony for being a champion of citizen science.

Henderson is the director for Citizen Science at the National Ecological Observatory Network in Boulder, Colo. She received a doctorate in science education, with a minor in geography, from OSU in 2001.

She was recognized this week by the White House Champions of Change program, which aims to identify and recognize Americans doing extraordinary things.  This year, the program is honoring people who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in engaging the broader, non-expert community in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, or STEM, research

In 2007, Henderson co-founded Project BudBurst, a national online citizen science campaign where individuals from all walks of life report on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants in their communities. The data are freely available to researchers and educators who can use it to learn more about the responsiveness of individual plant species to local, regional, and national changes in climate.

“Being able to combine my interest in science education with my passion for nature through NEON’s Project BudBurst has been a career highlight,” Henderson said. “It is so inspiring to work with thousands of people across the country to make a difference in our understanding of how plants respond to environmental change. Plants have stories to tell us about changing climates if we only take the time to observe and learn.”

For more information: www.whitehouse.gov/champions

Story By: 

Glenna Stewart, 720-330-1588

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Screening of documentary film held May 2-3

CORVALLIS, Ore. — An award-winning documentary on journalist Damian Trujillo will be shown at various locations in Corvallis on Thursday, May 2, and Friday, May 3, and followed by a question and answer session with the director. 

The screenings are sponsored by several departments, schools and colleges at Oregon State University.

The film, “From the Fields: An American Journey,” chronicles the life of NBC news anchor Trujillo, who came to the United States from Mexico with his family in 1972. Trujillo worked in the agricultural fields of the Salinas Valley before becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.

Following the 30-minute documentary, director Carolyn Brown, an assistant professor of journalism at American University, will answer questions about the film. Brown says one goal in making “From the Fields” was to debunk common stereotypes about Latinos and immigrants, and to explore what it means to work, support a family and contribute to American society. For more information on the screenings, go to: http://oregonstate.edu/urm/events/education

The screening schedule is as follows:

May 2

  • 10 a.m.: Darkside Cinema, 215 S.W. 4th St., Corvallis.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Corvallis Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe Ave. (A Q&A session will be followed by a public reception)

May 3

  • 3 p.m.: Joyce Collin Furman Hall, OSU campus, 200 S.W. 15th St.

“From the Fields” won the 2013 Gracie Award for outstanding director, and was the 2012 Orson Welles Grand Winner at the California Film Awards.

Brown’s visit is sponsored by the OSU colleges of Education and Liberal Arts, the Center for Latin@ Studies, the School of Language, Culture and Society, the College Assistant Migrant Program, Student Affairs and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.  

Media Contact: 

Celene Carillo, 541-737-2137


Kathryn Ciechanowski, 541-737-8585

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"From the Fields"

College of Education

About the OSU College of Education: The mission of the College of Education is to develop change agents in the form of researchers, scholars, learning leaders, teachers and counselors who make a difference by promoting innovation, social justice and lifelong learning. They prepare citizens who are socially empowered, reflective, innovative and caring members of our increasingly diverse world.

OSU to celebrate renovation, renaming of Education Hall

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will celebrate this Tuesday, April 17, the completed renovation of one of the campus’ oldest buildings, which serves as the home for the College of Education.

A brief ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on the fourth floor of the former Education Hall, renamed Joyce Collin Furman Hall, at the intersection of 15th Street and Jefferson Street. The event is open to the public.

An extensive renovation coupled with seismic upgrades to the iconic structure at the campus’ east entrance blends historic charm with high-tech touches. The newly refurbished building, originally constructed in 1902, coincides with the college’s new direction, with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and cultural and linguistic diversity.

A gift from the Joyce N. Furman Memorial Trust combined with additional private support, state funding and university funds made the interior and exterior renovation possible. Furman graduated from OSU in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in math education and was a longtime supporter of the university.

Furman, who died in 2009, was a passionate advocate for education and for children. She maintained a strong connection to her alma mater and served on the steering committee for The Campaign for OSU.

The $3.5 million in private support from more than 80 donors is part of The Campaign for OSU, the university's first comprehensive fundraising initiative. Guided by OSU's strategic plan, the campaign seeks $1 billion to provide opportunities for students, strengthen the Oregon economy and conduct research that changes the world. More than $800 million has been committed to date.


Story By: 

Michelle Williams, 541-737-6126


OSU names Larry Flick as dean of the College of Education

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Larry Flick has been named dean of the College of Education at Oregon State University, succeeding Sam Stern, who is returning to his faculty position after a sabbatical. Flick is currently chair of the Department of Science and Math Education in the College of Science and associate dean for academic affairs with the College of Education.

He will begin his new position July 1, 2011. Flick is uniquely positioned to help the college as it reorganizes its programming to focus on two major areas – science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and cultural and linguistic diversity.

Flick has been teaching at OSU since 1994. A former electrical engineer from Purdue University turned middle school science teacher in Indianapolis, Flick earned his Ph.D. in science education from Indiana University in 1985. He went on to teach at University of Oregon and Washington State University before joining the faculty at OSU.

In 2003, Flick became chair of Science and Mathematics Education, and was appointed part-time associate dean of the College of Education in January 2011. His areas of specialization include the psychology of concept formation in science and methods of teaching which orient students toward big ideas in science and mathematics.

As dean of the OSU College of Education, Flick will oversee an academic unit that has more than 14,000 alumni in all 50 states and 35 different countries. Many of the College’s graduates serve as college presidents and educational leaders. The College’s historic home, Education Hall, is currently undergoing an extensive renovation to address seismic concerns, and when complete will be LEED certified-equivalent. The renovation was made possible by a number of generous donors, including a $2 million donation by the Joyce N. Furman Memorial Trust.

Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president, said Flick’s expertise in both the Colleges of Science and Education will strengthen the relationship between the colleges.

“This is an exciting time for the College of Education,” Randhawa said. “The refurbishment of Education Hall, one of our University’s most historic and cherished buildings, is well underway, and the partnership between the Colleges of Education and Science to align the Department of Science and Mathematics Education with the College of Education is in process, along with the creation of a Center for Research in Lifelong STEM Learning.
“The college’s greater emphasis on STEM education going forward will bring focus and distinction to the College of Education, as it continues to partner with the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences to advance the goals of the Division of Arts and Sciences.”

Flick envisions a College of Education that raises the level of and capacity for externally fund research while building the major program areas of lifelong STEM education, counseling, adult and higher education, and teacher education.

“I see the College becoming both the site of increasing amounts of high quality scholarship and becoming a major source of information in the state about research and transformative programs in STEM education and cultural and linguistic diversity education,” Flick said.

Flick looks forward to working with faculty at OSU Cascades Campus as a significant contributor to growth in programs and scholarship. The reorganized college with foci in lifelong STEM education and cultural and linguistic diversity will prepare students coming out of the OSU College of Education to meet the unique challenges in the changing landscape of education in today’s technical and diverse society.

Flick’s appointment as dean follows Sam Stern’s near decade-long service as dean. Stern joined the University in 1981, has served as Dean of Education since 2002, and plans to return to the faculty.

“I am grateful for Sam’s leadership and service to the University,” said Randhawa.  “There have been many notable accomplishments along the way, and in particular, the campus has benefited from his implementation of the hugely successful double-degree program.”

Story By: 

Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-0733

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Larry Flick

Larry Flick


Renovation of OSU's Education Hall receives $2 million boost from alum’s trust

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s College of Education has received a $2 million donation from the Joyce N. Furman Memorial Trust, which will enable the university to complete a major renovation and seismic upgrade to its historic Education Hall. Furman graduated from OSU in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in science education and was a longtime supporter of the university.

Furman passed away from metastatic melanoma in 2009. A passionate advocate for education and for children, she maintained a strong connection to her alma mater and formed a bond with OSU College of Education Dean Sam Stern, who had embarked on an ambitious, and some said, impossible journey to raise money for the restoration of Education Hall.

Bill Furman, Joyce’s husband, said his wife had made a gift toward the restoration of the building during the early stages of the effort and was extremely supportive of Stern and his commitment to the project, even taking the time to call him with words of encouragement.

In fact, it was Stern’s belief in an impossible dream that drew Furman to the project, because she was known for taking on impossible tasks and making them a reality.

“Her motto was ‘Leap and the net will appear,’” her husband said. So after Joyce’s death, Bill continued to cast an interested eye on the Education Hall project. It was Stern’s determination that finally convinced him to donate $2 million through the Joyce N. Furman Memorial Trust to help complete the building, which is currently in the throes of both a seismic upgrade and a major interior renovation. Plans are to name the building in honor of Joyce Furman, whose brother and sister also graduated from OSU.

Stern said he was privileged to get to know the Furmans during his earliest days as dean of the College of Education.

“I noticed right away the tremendous depth of Joyce’s caring for kids,” he said. “It is comprehensive. She was always thinking about the welfare of kids and all the different ways in which they can grow.

“I am thrilled that education at OSU will be associated with Joyce and Bill Furman,” Stern added. “It’s more than just the building, it’s about aligning our college with a deep commitment to kids and their education.”

An iconic structure at the campus’s east entrance, the renovated hall will blend historic charm with high-tech touches. The exterior seismic upgrades are being funded by the state, and the interior renovations are being funded by a combination of private donations and university funds.

The originally 40,000 square-foot building cost $40,000 to construct in 1902. The current seismic renovation project totals $12.5 million and the interior renovation is expected to cost between $5 and $7 million.

The first and second floor work should be complete by this fall, with most College of Education staff moving back into the building by spring 2012. Their newly refurbished home will be done just as the college is heading in a new direction, with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and cultural and linguistic diversity.

The building will be LEED certified-equivalent, and much more efficient with new insulation, water saving fixtures and a dependence on natural lighting. According to project managers at Fortis Construction, Inc. of Portland, Ore., the renovation will be nearly waste-free with a commitment to reuse and recycle materials.

Bill said Joyce was a passionate advocate for OSU, giving both time and money to a variety of causes on campus. She served on the steering committee for The Campaign for OSU and often brought Bill down from their home in Portland to attend football games, even getting him to wear orange sweaters after he lost a bet to her. He was fascinated with the old stone building where Joyce had taken her education courses.

“It became my school, whether I wanted that to happen or not,” Furman said, himself a graduate of Washington State University and now President and CEO of The Greenbrier Companies headquartered in Lake Oswego, Ore.

Joyce, who was a teacher and IBM systems analyst before meeting Bill, eventually became a full-time volunteer and philanthropist, devoting much of her life to the causes that pulled at her heart, including New Avenues for Youth, an organization which she co-founded to provide services to Portland’s homeless youth.

In addition to supporting the renovation of Education Hall, the Furman Trust has donated $500,000 to the OSU President’s Fund for Cultural Centers and $200,000 to a collaborative program between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Oregon Humane Society. Earlier gifts from the Furmans supported a classroom in Education Hall, the Austin Entrepreneurship Program, and programs in the College of Liberal Arts.

The recent $2 million gift is part of The Campaign for OSU, the university's first comprehensive fundraising initiative. Guided by OSU's strategic plan, the campaign seeks $850 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen the Oregon economy and conduct research that changes the world. More than $681 million has been committed to date.

Story By: 

Sam Stern, 541-737-6392

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Joyce N Furman

Joyce Furman

OSU looks at creating center focused on science, technology learning

CORVALLIS, Ore. –  Federal officials frequently emphasize the need for the United States to stay competitive in science and technology – and math and science students are often pointed to as the hope for the country’s future.

That topic also has been on the minds of Oregon State University faculty and staff, 75 of whom met during the last week of the 2010 school year to discuss new ways to promote science, technology, engineering and math (“STEM”) education at OSU.

The level of interest in STEM spurred Sherm Bloomer, dean of OSU’s College of Science, and Sam Stern, dean of the College of Education, to move forward with the early steps toward creating a STEM Learning Center where faculty and staff from across the university can come together to work on research related to STEM learning.

“The STEM Center is an important part of the unique partnership between our College of Education and the College of Science,” Stern said. “It is positioning OSU for leadership in STEM and cultural and linguistic diversity.”

Bloomer agreed. “I'm really excited about the opportunity the center presents to pull together people from across OSU who are engaged in thinking about STEM education across the lifespan,” he said. “This is an area where we have a lot of expertise and can make a real impact on the national debate about effective practices.”

John Falk, the Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning in the Department of Science and Mathematics Education, has been named interim director of the center. It is Falk’s role to help craft a proposal for the center’s creation.

“There are a number of people across the university who are interested in research on how people learn STEM,” Falk said. “The issue is historically they’ve been scattered, so there may be one person in physics, a couple in math, some in forestry. Nationally there is a push toward increasing STEM literacy and widening the pipeline to STEM careers. It would seem that the key to accomplishing that is better understanding of how those processes work.”

OSU leaders envision the center as a place where interested faculty and staff can convene informally to collaborate, write proposals, pursue funding and learn about what people in other departments are working on in relation to STEM learning.

“It is an effort to create a physical reality to this shared interest and bridge the isolation that has occurred historically,” Falk said. “There hasn’t been a vehicle for bringing people together, and this is really that kind of vehicle.”

While there is already a department on campus dedicated to STEM education, the center will be much more broadly focused, with an emphasis on cross-college collaboration. Possible areas of focus may include improving undergraduate education, supporting and enhancing the science and engineering pipeline at the precollege level, issues of lifelong learning – and how OSU prepares students to be lifelong science learners.

“A majority of OSU students aren’t going to have careers in science,” Falk said. “For many of them these will be the last science classes they take. So what should be in the last classes they take?”

Campus-wide forums will be held April 7-8, at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., in Waldo Hall Room 400 to discuss the creation of the STEM center. Falk said he’ll seek faculty input through spring term before submitting a proposal to the research office, which must approve the center. If approved, Falk hopes the center will be able to initiate significant activities beginning next fall.

“Everyone who potentially has an interest in research in STEM learning can find a place at this center to find colleagues, to collaborate on projects and potentially develop proposals and attract research money,” Falk said. “The first step is to open doors, build bridges and be a convening place. It’s not that there is a pre-specified list of who should participate. Ultimately it will be a matter of who is interested.”

Story By: 

John Falk, 541-737-1826

OSU College of Education dean will step down, return to faculty

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Sam Stern, dean of the College of Education at Oregon State University since 2002, has announced plans to resign as dean and return to the faculty, effective in June of 2011.

“From the beginning, my plan was to eventually return to the classroom and to also re-engage with my research and writing,” Stern said. “Even as dean, I’ve continued to teach a class at least once a year, and that has just whetted my appetite to go back to what I love doing best.

“I enjoyed my time in the dean’s chair,” he added, “and I am enthusiastic about the future of education programs at Oregon State.”

During his tenure as dean, Stern helped develop and grow the innovative Education Double Degree program, which is now the second largest undergraduate major at OSU – and has encouraged students with majors ranging from science and engineering to the liberal arts to earn a second degree in education.

OSU’s noted Community College Leadership program has emerged as one of the best in the nation, training numerous administrators in community colleges around the country.

Other hallmarks of the College of Education during Stern’s tenure include:

  • The expansion of education offerings by the college into Central Oregon, through the OSU-Cascades Campus in Bend;
  • The increase of private support, including $1.3 million in private giving last year;
  • Greater outreach and engagement with the 15,000 alumni from the College of Education, as well as with external constituents.

Stern also has worked closely with OSU President Ed Ray to develop the Mid-Valley Partnership, which brings together higher education leaders with local school districts in the Willamette Valley to strengthen education initiatives and foster greater collaboration and alignment.

Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president, described Stern as a strong advocate for education in Oregon and beyond.

“The Education Double Degree program introduced in the College of Education under Sam’s leadership is an innovative contribution to education programs at OSU,” Randhawa said. “I am glad Sam has agreed to continue in the dean’s role through the end of this biennium to further strengthen faculty and leadership collaborations, to establish OSU as a leader in STEM education and to build our education programs at the OSU-Cascades Campus.

“As much as we will miss Sam in his role as dean, I am delighted that he will return to the work he loves passionately – that of a scholar and educator.”

An OSU faculty member since 1981, Stern is an internationally recognized expert in organizational creativity. In 1990, he became one of the first non-Japanese educators to occupy an endowed professorship at a Japanese university when he was appointed the Japan Management Association Professor of Creativity Development at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

In 1998, he co-wrote the book, "Corporate Creativity," which has been translated into a dozen languages and was named as the 1998 “Book of the Year” by the Academy of Human Resource Development.

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Sam Stern, 541-737-6392

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