Congratulations to Dr. Morgan Chitiyo, Department Chair for the SES department, for being selected to serve as the new editor for the Journal of International Special Needs Education (JISNE). JISNE is the flagship journal of the Council of Exceptional Children’s Division of International Special Education and Services and focuses on issues concerning disability and the delivery of special education services for individuals with special needs around the world.

Morgan was chosen not only because of his experience and past services to JISNE but also because of his strong emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion. His willingness to find ways to mentor and encourage authors from developing countries as well as his willingness to focus on pre-screening submissions to support quality submissions and as a way to avoid unnecessary publisher expenses where possible was also another impressive reason why he was selected. 

Morgan is honored with this appointment as its new editor and has a vision to make JISNE the “Go To” journal in international education for special needs. We can’t wait to see all that he accomplishes along this journey!

Dr. Tiffany LS Tovey, the Director of the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS) here at UNC Greensboro, began a strong collaboration this Spring with the Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) through a practicum project in which five masters and PhD evaluation students from the Educational Research Methodology (ERM) department facilitated 10 workshops with the CNNC to build their capacity for evaluating their center’s work. 

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Evaluation students Xinru Yan, Stacy Huff, Charity Odetola, Joy Alcantara Chuquiruna, and Onyinyechukwu Onwuka worked closely with Dr. Tiffany LS Tovey, the director of OAERS, as well as the interim co-director of the CNNC, to establish and deliver contextually relevant workshop sessions with the center’s staff. They built the importance of thinking evaluatively, asking the right questions, establishing criteria, understanding the intended logic of programs, and using qualitative and quantitative methods to understand what’s working, what’s not working, what the impacts of the center’s work are, and how to use that information to continue to improve their efforts moving forward. 

We are very proud of their efforts this past Spring! Through the project, ERM students gained valuable experience in facilitating evaluation topics and establishing training materials to help build further staff understanding and value of evaluation at the CNNC.

We are thrilled to announce that earlier this month, the Board of Education unanimously named Dr. Whitney Oakley to serve as acting superintendent for Guilford County Schools (GCS) from July 11- August 31 and then to assume the position of interim superintendent September 1st and will serve until the board appoints a new superintendent.

Dr. Oakley, a graduate from our educational leadership program here in the School of Education at UNC Greensboro, has been called the ‘right person at the right time’. She graduated with her EdD in Educational Leadership in 2011 and with her EdS in Educational Leadership in 2008. 

She is experienced and willing to step into the leadership role at GCS in these dynamic times. Not only is she a GCS graduate but she and her husband both have boys in GCS schools so she is very rooted in this community. 

“As an educator, parent and long-time resident of Guilford County, it is an honor to serve our schools and community in this capacity,” says Oakley, who began her career as a teacher at Frazier Elementary.

Oakley became the deputy superintendent in September 2021. She had been the chief academic officer since November 2019, overseeing the learning of the district’s roughly 70,000 students. She has served as assistant superintendent of teaching, learning and professional development. Before that, she was the district’s executive director of Curriculum and Instruction for pre-K through fifth grade. In these roles, she has been instrumental in implementing high-quality resources in reading and math and related professional learning for the county’s teachers.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Whitney Oakley! 

The U.S. National Science Foundation announces the 2022 awardees of the Expeditions in Computing awards. The two awardees plan ambitious undertakings to explore emerging and transformative computing technologies that intend to innovate superconducting materials, devices and circuits and develop organic, neuron-based computing systems.

“The 2022 Expeditions awards address ways to continue to expand the power of computing, as the era of CMOS — short for complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor — growth is nearing the end,” added NSF Division of Computing and Communication Foundations Program Director Mitra Basu.

Dr. Aileen Reid (ERM) will serve as the Assessment lead for the Expeditions: Mind in vitro: Computing with living neurons, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign team, the Mind in vitro Expedition will develop science and technology to fabricate, model, program, scale and embody biological processors. For years, scientists have been working to make cells into computing elements. Now the team is developing living, neuron-based computing systems that are broadly programmable, responsive to stimuli and adaptable to their environment. The technology used in this project will break barriers that have prevented cellular substrates to recall memory and will be written and composed into algorithms and behaviors.

Future applications from this research may range from neuroscience — through living models that can be assembled to test conditions under which given behaviors emerge — to robots that are creative in navigating unforeseen situations, problems and opportunities, or even to types of computer memory where abilities can be stored and allowed to mature and evolve.

“In this Expedition, we imagined computers and robots that are human designed, but living; that can be programmed, but whose behaviors are not specified — and instead, emerge,” said Mattia Gazzola, principal investigator in this study. “These systems will grow, heal, learn and explore. They will open a new space of possibilities yet to be imagined.”

Please help us in congratulating Dr. Dain Butler ’12 EdD for being named the next superintendent for Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS).

The Alamance-Burlington school board voted during a special-called meeting earlier this month to hire Dr. Dain Butler as the next superintendent for Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS).

Butler earned a master’s and a doctoral degree from UNC Greensboro in 2002 and 2012, respectively.  His doctorate from UNC Greensboro is in educational leadership.

“I am sincerely appreciative of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead Alamance-Burlington Schools as superintendent. This is my home. Our most important role as a school district is to grow Alamance County’s next generation of well-prepared leaders and engaged citizens,” Butler said.

Butler is scheduled to begin his duties as superintendent of ABSS July 1.

Learn more about this accomplishment in this WXII12 article “Alamance-Burlington Board of Education announces new superintendent”.