IEW 2020 Logo

It’s International Education Week (October 26-30th), and we are celebrating global engagement at UNC Greensboro! The week would not be complete without sharing all The Fulbright Program opportunities available to students, faculty, and staff.

Fulbright is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world, supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and by the people of partner nations.

Please join us in these events and help us spread the word about these amazing opportunities!

IEW: Fulbright Scholar Program Opportunities Presentation
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Zoom link:
Representatives from IIE, the administrator of the Fulbright Scholar Program, will share information on how UNCG faculty and staff can apply for Fulbright fellowship opportunities.

IEW: Fulbright Scholar Alumni Presentation
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Zoom link:
Hear from Dr. Dianne Welsh, the Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship Programs at UNCG, about her time as the Fulbright-Hall Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship for Central Europe at the Vienna University of Economics in Vienna, Austria.

IEW: Fulbright Student Program Presentation
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Zoom link:
Current UNCG students and alumni are invited to attend.

Learn more about these events and see the full schedule of virtual International Education Week (IEW) events here.

The UNCG International Programs Center (IPC) staff are available to assist all those interested to apply.
Students and UNCG alumni: Please contact Heidi Bretz ( for advising, mentorship, and application support.
Faculty and staff: Please contact contact Maria Anastasiou ( for support and connections with global partners.

Christie Cavanaugh

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Christie Cavanaugh, who has been selected by the University of North Carolina System as one of eight Literacy Fellows as part of the UNC System Literacy Framework Development Initiative. Dr. Cavanaugh is a Clinical Associate Professor in the UNC Greensboro School of Education Department of Specialized Education Services (SES).

The UNC System Literacy Framework Development Initiative is a result of the Board of Governors’ Resolution on Teacher Preparation. The resolution calls for the UNC System Office to develop a common framework for literacy instruction in teacher preparation, to be adopted by all educator preparation programs in the System.

The Literacy Fellows will work together to develop a detailed framework for what graduates of UNC System educator preparation programs should know and be able to do when they begin teaching elementary school students to read. The framework will be based on the latest scientific research into the essential components of reading and will align with statutory requirements and other statewide literacy initiatives.

“All children need knowledgeable and skilled teachers if they are going to learn to read during early elementary grades and receive appropriate support when it’s not so easy for them. We can help make this happen, and I am honored and committed to playing a meaningful role,” explained Dr. Cavanaugh.

The new framework will ensure that graduates of elementary and special education general curriculum programs in the UNC System have an in-depth understanding of reading as a process involving the ability to hear and manipulate sounds, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

The Fellows are drawn from across the UNC System’s educator preparation programs. The individuals were selected from a robust pool of applicants and represent a wealth of experience, research, and knowledge of evidence-based literacy practice. Expanded Biographical Information is available here.

These Fellows began developing the framework for teaching literacy in educator preparation programs within the UNC System in August 2020. Once this framework is finalized, the Fellows will support the System-wide implementation of this new tool to help North Carolina’s newest educators teach their future students how to read and write. The Fellows will also develop a self-assessment tool, which educator preparation programs can use to evaluate their implementation of the new framework.

Research shows that students who are able to read on grade-level by the end of 3rd grade are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in postsecondary education, earn a college degree or credential, and experience economic success in adulthood. Currently, only 36 percent of North Carolina’s fourth graders scored proficient in reading in 2019, with just over 20 percent of low-income fourth-graders reading on grade level, according to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

office of roy cooper logo

From the office of Governor Roy Cooper, 10/20/2020:

RALEIGH, NC — All North Carolina teachers and parents are invited to attend a free virtual conference on October 28 to help them navigate technology and remote learning.

“Teachers, parents and students have adapted to new ways of learning throughout the pandemic, and I admire your resilience, creativity and dedication,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “Even as we work to get children back into the classroom safely our schools and families need support for remote learning and this conference is one way we’re providing that help.”

The REAL 2.0 (Remote Education & Learning) Conference will include sessions by experts in fields including education, mental health and technology. The conference is hosted by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE), a business-led, education nonprofit housed in the Governor’s Office. It will build upon the initial REAL Conference attended by more than 1,300 educators in August to learn about best practices for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Educators from across the state are serving as content advisers for REAL 2.0. Sessions for parents will be available in both English and Spanish, and all sessions will include closed captioning.

For educators, topics covered will include: navigating asynchronous learning; how to teach students effective study habits, time management and daily routines for virtual learning; tips and timesavers in Canvas; ideas for getting students motivated during virtual learning; Google Classroom and Google Meets tips and tricks; resources for struggling students; addressing the needs of exceptional learners in the regular classroom; video creating and editing tips; and much more. Exceptional student needs will be addressed throughout the sessions.

For parents, sessions will include: digital literacy; understanding Canvas and Google Classroom; how to support children with autism during remote learning; the college application and FAFSA process; fostering good mental health for parents and their children; and much more.

To attend the REAL 2.0 Conference, register at up until October 28. Recordings of the REAL 2.0 Conference will be available at the same link following the conference and educators can also view the recordings from the first REAL Conference at the same link.

REAL 2.0 is the second in a series of four virtual remote learning conferences that will be held through Governor Roy Cooper’s NC Student Connect initiative. The STEM Connect Conference will be held on November 17, 2020 for STEM educators to learn best practices for incorporating STEM into the virtual classroom, and the Cultural Arts LIVE Conference will be held on December 15-16, 2020 for arts and humanities educators and their classes.

Contact: Ford Porter
Phone: 919-814-2100


Congratulations to Dr. Kimberly Kappler-Hewitt and the Principal Preparation for Excellence and Equity in Rural Schools (PPEERS) team for receiving an award of $1.6 million from NC Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD). Dr. Kappler-Hewitt, faculty member in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC), is the principal investigator for the grant. Dr. Carl Lashley, ELC associate professor, is the co-principal investigator.

PPEERS is a partnership with regional rural districts and UNC Greensboro. The partnership aims to develop strong, sustainable leadership pipelines within these districts; PPEERS prepares and licenses new principals for high-needs, rural schools through an enriched and fully-funded Master of School Administration (MSA) two-year degree program.

“In partnership with rural districts, we have developed a rigorous, relevant leadership preparation program that connects theory to practice,” Dr. Kappler-Hewitt says. “We center instructional, cultural, and change leadership, grounded in the unwavering pursuit of equity and social justice. It is through the synergy of the experience and expertise of our partners that our program is thriving.”

This project is supported by funds from the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. The recent NCASLD award is a continuation of funding, which is a testimony to the impact that PPEERS has made since its founding four years ago. The first cohort of principals began their training in the December of 2016.

“It is an honor to work with the impressive students who are admitted to the program,” Dr. Kappler-Hewitt says. “They are the future and the change we need in education.”

PPEERS Abstract:
Rural schools face disadvantages when recruiting prospective principals, and rural schools receive significantly fewer applications than larger districts (Pjanowski, Hewitt, & Brady, 2009). With the challenges rural districts face in recruiting and retaining principals expected to grow more acute in coming decades (Cruzeiro & Boon, 2009), the development of rural principal pipelines is imperative (Wood, Find, and Mirecki, 2013).

Drawing on this research, PPEERS involves a partnership amongst 11 rural districts that struggle to find and keep effective principals for high-needs schools, and the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s (UNCG) Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. The partnership aims to develop strong, sustainable leadership pipelines within these districts. PPEERS 3 (2020-2022) will prepare and license 20 new principals for high-needs, rural schools.

Learn more about PPEERS in the articles below.

Growing Our Own Principals
$1.8M Grant Prepares Principals to Lead in Rural, High-Needs Schools
UNCG, HPU win million-dollar grant to train principals

Please join us in congratulating our 2020 SOE Alumni Award winners: Dr. Scott P. Culclasure, Dr. Stephanie Kurtts, Dr. Donna Cox Peters, and Dr. Dana Stachowiak!

To learn more about the SOE Alumni Awards, visit

Early Career Award

UNC Greensboro SOE Alumnus/a who has received achievement in his/her profession 8 years since the most recent UNC Greensboro degree

Dana Stachowiak

Dr. Dana Stachowiak
Ph.D. Educational Studies 2013

Dr. Dana Stachowiak is currently the Director of the Gender Studies and Research Center (GSRC) and an Associate Professor in Curriculum Studies at UNC Wilmington. Previously, Dana was an Assistant Professor of Diversity Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a teacher and curriculum specialist in North Carolina.

As Director, Dana oversees the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) program and develops the research agenda and educational and cultural programming for the center. In her first year, Dana worked to successfully re-image the GSRC to more closely align with UNCW’s focus on research, build stronger interdisciplinary and community collaborations, strengthen the WGS curriculum, and expand the reach of the center.

As an Associate Professor, Dana spearheaded the transformation of the Master of Education in Curriculum to focus on equity and offer students a unique action-based program. She researches, publishes, and presents extensively on trans/gender equity in education, healing centered engagement, social justice education, and literacy curriculum development.

Dr. Stachowiak is active in her professional and personal communities, where she chairs committees, holds board memberships, edits journals, collaborates with community members, and volunteers to rescue all the dogs and cats.

Distinguished Career Award Winner

​UNC Greensboro SOE Alumnus/a who has conducted exemplary service to his/her profession​

Scott Culclasure, Alumni Award Winner 2020

Dr. Scott P. Culclasure
Ph.D. Curriculum & Teaching 1996

M.Ed. Social Studies 1986

With a passion for history, Scott recently completed a forty-year career as a classroom teacher divided almost equally between two very different local schools: High Point Central High School and the American Hebrew Academy. Scott was born in Greensboro and was an honors graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in history and education. Continuing his studies at UNC Greensboro, Scott completed his master’s degree in education in 1986 and his PhD in 1996 with a dissertation later published as The Past As Liberation from History. His mentors at the University include the late Lois Edinger, Robert Calhoon, and Svi Shapiro. Scott’s desire to do the work of a historian also resulted in co-editing with Chuck Bolton The Confessions of Edward Isham: A Poor White Life of the Antebellum South.

In addition to teaching more delightful students than he can count, Scott is proudest of his work at High Point Central to organize and lead one of Guilford County Schools’ first International Baccalaureate Diploma programs. The challenges of opening a new kind of school at the American Hebrew Academy also helped bolster his sense of educating the whole person.

Since his own school days, Scott has worked as a volunteer at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, where he continues to conduct summertime walking tours.

Distinguished Service Award Winners

​UNC Greensboro SOE Alumnus/a who has earned state, national, or international distinction in his/her career​

Inspirational Educator 2019

Dr. Donna Cox Peters
Ph.D. Curriculum & Teaching 1999

MSBE Business Education 1980

Dr. Donna Cox Peters has devoted her career to educating North Carolina’s K-12 children and has led from the positions of classroom teacher through superintendent in North Carolina public schools. She continues this leadership work and passion in her role as partner in Leadership Solutions Group, LLC, focusing on preparing, developing, and supporting school leaders.

Donna is a certified John Maxwell speaker, teacher, and coach. As principal, she was awarded the Patrick Francis Daly Memorial Award for Excellence by the Yale Child Study Center in 1998 for excellence in school leadership. Donna was recognized by the NC Association of School Administrators and the NC School Board Association as the 2010 NC Superintendent of the Year. In 2019, she was recognized as a UNC Greensboro School of Education Inspirational Educator, nominated by Sandhills Leadership Academy graduates she served during their principal preparation. Donna has been a member of the UNC Greensboro School of Education Advisory Board for 13 years, including two years as chair, and she currently serves as lecturer in the Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) Department.

Stephanie Kurtts, Alumni Award Winner 2020

Dr. Stephanie Kurtts
Ph.D. Curriculum & Teaching 1998

After completing her Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching at UNC Greensboro in 1998, Dr. Stephanie Kurtts returned in 2001 as a faculty member in the newly formed department of Specialized Education Services (SES) in the School of Education. She served 10 years as the program coordinator for the special education teacher education programs, and was part of the collaborative planning and implementation of the dual major in elementary education and special education with her colleague Dr. Sam Miller in Teacher Education and Higher Education (TEHE). Most recently, Stephanie served as the interim department chair of SES.

During her time at UNC Greensboro, Stephanie has served the university and the community in numerous activities. Among those, she was a member and chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the School of Education’s representative to the General Education Council. She served as a Faculty Fellow in the Office of Leadership and Service-Learning and as a Faculty Fellow (Exploring Teaching as a Profession) with the Grogan Learning Communities. In 2013, Stephanie received the School of Education’s Mentoring/Advising/ Supervision award. She was also the recipient of the Marina Wilder Distinguished Service Award of the Arc of Greensboro.