Mentors

An urban education specialist, George Bieger of the Professional Studies in Education Department is exploring the possibility of developing on-line courses in conjunction with three European cities and two American universities through the European Teacher Education Network. With increasing ethnic diversity in American schools, Bieger believes in the need to develop a heightened sense of cultural awareness. For instance, he cited that at Eisenhower Elementary in Indiana, there are nine non-native, English-speaking students out of a kindergarten classroom of thirty-five pupils. “Even in a place like Indiana, which we think of as isolated, we still have an influx of international students,” Bieger said. “We think it’s important for future teachers to appreciate and celebrate these things.”

An impressively high number of faculty in the Educational and School Psychology Department have been invited to contribute chapters to Best Practices in School Psychology, which is published every five years by the National Association of School Psychologists. “This really demonstrates that the IUP school psychology program is a nationally and internationally recognized program,” said Edward Levinson, interim chairperson of the department. Contributors are chosen based on their expertise in certain areas of school psychology. From IUP, Joseph Kovaleski (the author of two chapters), Levinson, and Mary Ann Rafoth, interim dean of the College of Education and Educational Technology, will contribute to the book. Rafoth will coauthor her chapter with Becky Knickelbein.

Geoscience faculty member Steve Hovan has been appointed to a three-year term on the U.S. Advisory Committee for Ocean Drilling, which provides direction to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program through National Science Foundation funding and support. Special Education and Clinical Services faculty member Rich Nowell has been appointed to the advisory board for chineseaudiology.com, a website that strives to establish audiology as a profession in China. This follows his work at West China University of Medical Sciences in the summers of 2001, 2002, and 2004.

Robert Saylor not only taught courses in psychology and counselor education at IUP before his retirement in 1983, but he served twenty-four years in the U.S. Army Reserve, in addition to eight years on active duty. In 1942, the year he enlisted in the Army, men from a Roaring Spring church presented him and other hometown soldiers and sailors with a devotional book called Strength for Service to God and Country. Saylor relied on the book throughout his World War II service and then passed it along to his son, Linford Saylor ’76.  he younger Saylor retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel and won the Bronze Star during the Persian Gulf War. In recent years, Robert Saylor and his wife, Dee, have distributed more than a hundred of the devotionals from their Windber home to those engaged in a new war. Their efforts were recognized by the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, which designated them Persons of the Week.

IUP faculty members have received a $370,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a three-year project to evaluate and improve the state of nutritional counseling available through the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Division of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The award from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is the first special project grant that has been obtained by Pennsylvania researchers. Stephanie Taylor-Davis and Mia Barker of the Food and Nutrition Department, along with William Barker of Educational and School Psychology, are collaborating on the project with WIC personnel.