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Spotlight on Success

School of Education and Human Services

Michelle Ohanian

Michelle Ohanian joins the Mount faculty as an Assistant Professor of Education. Dr. Ohanian earned her doctoral degree from George Mason University with a specialization in literacy and multilingual/multicultural education. Dr. Ohanian has distinguished herself as a teacher of Spanish and ESOL specialist in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). She earned National Board Certification: English as new Language in 2006, and was named FCPS Teacher of the Year in 2008 and in the same year earned the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award for Educational Excellence. She is teaching foundations of education, reading in the content areas, and globalization of education.

PalmerAustria2015Barbara Martin Palmer, Dean of the School of Education and Human Services, joined literacy researchers and educators from 45 nations and 6 continents for the 19th European Conference on Literacy in Klagenfurt, Austria held July 13-16.  Under its theme and title “Literacy in the New Landscape of Communication:  Research, Education and the Everyday”, the conference offered 200 papers, symposia, workshops, demonstrations of good practice in classrooms and in the training and education of teachers, as well as examples of up-to-date research in all areas of literacy.   Dean Palmer presented “Skilled Reading of Complex Text:  Increasing Metacognitive Awareness of Preservice Teachers” in which she described instructional practices she employs in MEDUC 523  Processes and Acquisition of Reading to help skilled readers think deeply about the varied processors involved in reading (e.g., phonology, orthography, semantics, and syntax).  Other presenters in the session were from Sweden, Taiwan, and Mexico.  “The conference was a professional highlight of my career.  The exchange of ideas was rich given the varied contexts represented in the audience,” said Palmer. 

DeloneCatholicVisit2015The Mount’s Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA) hosted 35 high school students and chaperones from Delone Catholic High, McSherrytown, PA.  The students were members of Sister Maia Jude’s Criminal Justice class at the high school and interested in pursuing this field of study as college undergraduates. 

The day’s activities included students having lunch with CJSA members in Patriot Hall, where they could mingle and inquire about life at the Mount. This was followed by presentations at Knott Auditorium regarding the Criminal Justice Program at the Mount. CJSA President Kerri Shields was the events masters of ceremony and provided students with an overview of the club and how the CJSA assists students in obtaining career aspirations.  Next, Professor Vince, CJSA faculty advisor, informed students of the various careers in criminal justice that are available after obtaining a college degree. He also stressed the moral and ethical requirements of these careers and the need to be called to assist others as the desire to enter the profession.   

The event culminated with Co-Project Managers Jalai Gilbert and Jessica Mangold demonstrating how Mount students are trained and prepare for competing in the annual inter-collegiate Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Challenge.  A mock crime scene replicating this year’s Challenge scenario was constructed on the Knott stage for demonstration purposes.  Ms. Gilbert and Mangold guided volunteer Delone students through the case’s required investigative procedures for the collection of evidence that would lead to solving the case.  Students were given the opportunity to ask questions prior to the event concluding.

MATE2015The MD Association of Teacher Educators honors one distinguished teacher candidate from each
Maryland institution of higher education annually. This year Nikki Presti, C'15 elementary/special education, received this honor for MSMU. She received her award at a recognition luncheon held on May 9, 2015 in Towson. Accompanying her to the event were her family and Dr. Laura Corbin Frazier. Keynote speaker was the Maryland Teacher of the Year, Jody Zepp.







 Alia Knight-Dahl, C'16, was awarded the Dr. Barbara Martin Palmer Endowed M.Ed. Thesis Award. This award is presented to an  M.Ed. candidate who has successfully completed and defended an exemplary M.Ed. thesis and who has demonstrated a commitment to the Mount's pillars of Discovery  and Leadership through their scholarship and educational research.

 Knight-Dahl, a teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School, studied the effect of technology-enhanced spelling instruction on spelling strategy development of English language learners. Thirteen fifth grade students participated in the study and had a range of academic abilities and English proficiency. Knight-Dahl had three intervention phases, each lasting two weeks: paper-based sorts, computer-based sorts, and computer- and paper-based sorts. All interventions resulted in positive growth.


Pictured from left to right are Elizabeth C. Monahan, Director M.Ed. Programs, Dr. Barbara Martin Palmer, Dean, School of Education and Human Services, Alia Knight-Dahl, Dr. Barbara Marinak, Chair, Education Department

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