Tag: Melissa Fickling

Career Planning 211 celebrates 35 years of life skills enrichment for undergrads, grad instructors

Melissa Fickling

Melissa Fickling

Thirty-five years after Carole W. Minor brought the Career Planning 211 course to the NIU College of Education, it continues to thrive.

Undergraduates of any major or college are welcome to take 211, where freshmen and sophomores explore careers and juniors and seniors focus on job skills.

Some are still pondering what to do. Some are in the process of changing majors. Some don’t know what jobs they can acquire with their major. All are learning who they are, what strengths they bring to the table and where they can best thrive, grow and “just be themselves.”

While seven sections of the course were available this spring, the incredible benefits of 211 were enjoyed equally by seven graduate students in the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education (CAHE).

“Our 211 program provides career development and planning content to undergrads,” Chair Suzanne Degges-White says, “while being taught by master’s-level students in the Counselor Education program, providing them with their own parallel career development opportunities as they grow their skills at classroom management, helping skills and professional depth.”

Melissa Fickling, an assistant professor in CAHE, currently oversees the program that she calls “a rare opportunity” for future counselors.

“It was an amazing thing to be handed this structure. It kind of blew my mind. I know I would have done it as a counseling student, and I think everybody should,” says Fickling, who joined NIU last fall.

career-options“Career counseling is a huge part of the counseling profession’s history for the past 100 years. A lot of our students are school counseling students, going into schools where career counseling is really valued,” she adds. “Obviously, students need career readiness. They’re going to be looking for jobs. They’re going to be contributing to the economy.”

Graduate students pursuing any specialization of counseling, including clinical mental health counseling, are strongly encouraged to teach 211. CAHE offers graduate assistantship positions to those selected to teach.

“We see them grow so much through this teaching. They start off so nervous – it takes a lot of guts – but the growth curve we see is huge. They start walking differently. They have an appreciation for what means to educate,” she says.

“In the middle of the teaching semester, they’re wondering, ‘Why did I do this to myself? It was totally voluntary!’ ” she adds. “By the end of the semester, they are very glad that they did it. Unanimously, that is what they say – and we’ve seen our master’s students get job offers and opportunities from their work in 211. Employers love that our students have this experience.”

Fickling provides the teacher-training, which began Monday for this fall’s 13 sections.

The half-day session included requisite paperwork, a wide-ranging discussion about the course itself and distribution of the textbook and a syllabus template. Students develop their own syllabi, which Fickling reviews a few times before the semester begins.

In the week before fall semester classes begin, Fickling will hold a daylong workshop with the students that includes guest speakers, practice in teaching and advice on how to work with students with special needs.

“Throughout the semester, the instructors get a ton of support from me. We meet every week as a group to process what’s going on in the classroom, to just troubleshoot or to talk about issues that come up. We do that together,” she says. “I also observe them in the classroom and give them feedback. I’m just kind of on-call as needed.”

Carole W. Minor

Carole W. Minor

Meanwhile, she adds, the instructors build camaraderie online through a Google Drive, a private Facebook group and group texts.

“Yes, you’re going to be your own instructor. Yes, it’s your own course,” Fickling says. “But you’re going to get a lot of support.”

A few of the instructors are nurturing a curiosity, she adds. “Some have said, ‘I think I want to teach in the future,’ ” she says. “This is an option to test the waters in a very safe and supportive way.”

Fickling has big plans for 211 herself.

“Anyone who wants to teach should be able to teach, and anyone who wants to take it should be able to take it. We’ve had to turn away undergraduates,” she says. “I want it to grow. I want to do research with it. I would love to explore offering it online or hybrid. If we could reach more people, that’s what I want to do.”

One of those students might become a college professor someday, she adds.

“I was an undecided undergraduate and a first-generation college student. I had no idea what college was about,” Fickling says. “As I got exposed to career development, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to know more about this!’ ”



And the award goes to …

Congratulations to these members of the College of Education family!

Annie Malecki

Annie Malecki

Annie Malecki, a Physical Education major, was recognized as a SHAPE America Major of the Year with about 80 other students from Physical Education Teacher Education programs across the country.

She plans to teach physical education with an emphasis on wellness and whole body fitness. Her focus is on yoga, Pilates and dance.

During the SHAPE America national convention in Nashville, Malecki also was awarded the SHAPE America Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship.

The honor is given to a SHAPE member with a GPA of 3.5 to 4.0, scholastic proficiency, good leadership skills, professional service and good character. She receives a scholarship of $1,250 and a three year membership to SHAPE.

Malecki, a senior, will student-teach this fall. She already is a certified Zumba instructor.

* * *

Kristina L. Wilkerson

Kristina L. Wilkerson

Kristina L. Wilkerson, a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program, has been named a Fellow of the National Board for Certified Counselors Minority Fellowship Program of the NBCC Foundation, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).

As an NBCC MFP Fellow, Wilkerson will receive funding and training to support her education and facilitate her service to underserved minority populations.

The fellowship also will assist her in becoming more involved in her research area through direct service, in receiving mentorship in her clinical and academic roles and in completing her doctorate degree. She is currently interested in researching the relationship between counselor education, supervision and multicultural counseling competency in novice counselors.

Wilerson is a Licensed Professional Counselor who provides individual and family counseling to diverse clientele. She also is an adjunct faculty member at National Louis University, where she provides counselor education in subjects such as counseling theory, counseling skills, psychological assessment and multicultural counseling.

She is also a graduate assistant in the NIU Office of the Ombudsperson, where one of her roles is to serve undergraduate and graduate students in developing skills to advocate for themselves when experiencing racial, gender or sexual orientation harassment or discrimination.

* * *

Julie Hapeman

Julie Hapeman

Julie Hapeman, a graduate student in the Department of Special and Early Education’s Project VITALL master’s degree program, has received the 2018 Community Giving Award from the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired.

The council’s annual awards celebrate individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to promote the dignity and empowerment of people who are blind and visually impaired.

Hapeman was nominated by the council’s fund development committee for her dedication to community education and the empowerment of young people through the annual White Cane Day Celebration as well as her generous gifts to the White Cane Fund.

She also is a 1992 alumna of the NIU College of Education, holding a B.S.Ed. in Special Education with a Visual Impairments emphasis.

* * *

The NIU Graduate School honored recipients of the Outstanding Graduate Student Awards and the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship during an April 24 reception.

Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

  • Michael Belbis – Kinesiology and Physical Education
  • Elbia Del Llano – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
  • Emmanuel C. Esperanza Jr. – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
  • Kendra Nenia – Special and Early Education
  • Addison Pond – Kinesiology and Physical Education
  • Brittany Torres – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
  • Suzy Wise – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education

Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship

  • Brigitte Bingham – Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
  • Shatoya Black – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
  • Naina Richards – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
  • Stephen Samuels – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
  • Konya Sledge – Counseling, Adult and Higher Education

* * *

Jason Dietz, Sherri Lamerand and Kim Haas

Jason Dietz, Sherri Lamerand and Kim Haas

Jason Dietz, principal of Walter R. Sundling Junior High School in Palatine, was named the 2018 Illinois PTA Outstanding Principal of the Year.

Dietz, pictured at left with Sherri Lamerand (Illinois PTA Volunteer of the Year) and Kim Haas (Illinois PTA Teacher of the Year), is a doctoral student in the Hoffman Estates cohort of the Ed.S./Superintendent Preparation Program.

The three all represent Community Consolidated School District 15, which serves all or part of seven northwest suburban communities.

Winners of Illinois PTA awards exhibit excellence in their ability to connect with students, families and their school communities. The awards were presented earlier this month at the 116th Illinois PTA convention, held at NIU-Naperville.

* * *

Scott Wickman

Scott Wickman (right) celebrates his award with Martina Moore, president of the Association of Humanistic Counseling.

Several faculty and students from the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education traveled to the American Counseling Association conference in Atlanta.

Professor Scott Wickman was awarded the Humanistic Educator/Supervisor of the Year award. Chair Suzanne Degges-White received the AADA Presidential Service Award.

Counseling faculty and students delivered many presentations:

Adam Carter and Ashley S. Roberts (M.S. student in Counseling)

  • Using Grounded Theory to Understand Grief Experiences of Preschool Aged Children

Melissa Fickling

  • Work, Meaning and Purpose in Relapse Prevention: A Theoretical Integration
  • Leading the Way in Internationalization: Contributions of Professional Counseling Organizations
  • Telling Our Story: Integrating Humanism, Career and Social Justice

Kimberly Hart

  • Color Conscious Multicultural Mindfulness: A Meaningful Training Experience
  • Persons of African Descent Interpersonal Relationship and Community Violence

Dana Isawi

  • Culture and Discipline: Helping Parents Learn to Set Limits

Suzanne Degges-White

  • Publishing in Refereed Journals: Suggestions from the ACA Council of Editors
  • What do Women Want Today? Helping Women Clients Reach their Goals

* * *

coe-winners-2018

The upcoming retirement of Barb Andree was acknowleged during the Celebration of Excellence.

The upcoming retirement of Barb Andree,
office manager for the associate dean,
also was acknowledged by the deans
during the May 4 Celebration of Excellence.

Winners of the College of Education Awards were recognized May 4 during the Celebration of Excellence.

  • Excellence in Teaching Award by Faculty/Clinical Faculty: Stacy Kelly
  • Excellence in Research and Artistry Award by Faculty: Zach Wahl-Alexander
  • Excellence in Service Award by Faculty: Jesse “Woody” Johnson
  • Exceptional Contributions by Instructor: Carolyn Riley
  • Exceptional Contributions by Civil Service Staff: Pat Wielert
  • Exceptional Contributions by Supportive Professional Staff: Margee Myles
  • Outreach / Community Service Award: Jenn Jacobs
  • Exceptional Contributions in Diversity / Social Justice Award: Joseph Flynn (not pictured)


CoE welcomes new faculty, staff

gargoyle

Olive Goyle says, “Hello!”

Twelve new faculty members are joining the College of Education this fall, including a few familiar faces.

The roster includes Melanie Walski, who has been a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Jenn Jacobs, who has taught and served as a Research Fellow in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education while earning her NIU doctorate in Educational Psychology.

Fatih Demir and Dongho Kim, new assistant professors in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, were on campus in May as keynote speakers for the LEARN-IT conference.

Dan Oest, who taught Ed.S. courses last year as an adjunct professor in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations, now has joined the faculty.

“A college is defined by the strength of its faculty, so I am thrilled to welcome so many amazing new faculty to the College of Education this year,” Dean Laurie Elish-Piper said.

“We were able to hire a large group of incredibly accomplished, motivated and productive faculty who will help us enhance our programs, expand our research productivity, build engaged learning opportunities and teach and mentor our students.”

Other new employees this fall include Alicia Anderson, who is administrator of Finance and Operations Analysis; Tony Calderala, academic advisor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education; Claire Duvall, online program support specialist in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment; and Judy Schneider, director of Advancement.

Here is a closer look at this fall’s new members of the College of Education family.

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education

Melissa Fickling

Melissa Fickling

Melissa Fickling comes to NIU by way of Memphis, Tenn. She completed her doctoral work in Counseling and Counselor Education in 2015 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Her primary research interests are focused on the intersections of work, mental health and meaning.

She has practiced professional counseling in higher education, community and private practice settings, and is a licensed clinical professional counselor in Illinois. She is a member of the editorial review board for the Journal of College Counseling and active in leadership for the National Career Development Association.

“Melissa has a wealth of professional experience that she will bring to the classroom: seven years of work in the Chicagoland area before she became a professor. Her research interest in the intersection of work and mental health is really a great help to our university because the clients our graduates work with in this area often are dealing with issues of underemployment or employment.” — Suzanne Degges-White, chair

Dana Isawi

Dana Isawi

Dana Isawi holds a doctorate degree in counselor education and supervision from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master’s degree in school counseling from Marymount University.

She has clinical experience in the school and community settings both in the United States and internationally. She has experience in intervention development, implementation and evaluation.

Her research and presentations focus on multicultural issues in counseling, play therapy and children, especially survivors of trauma and interventions to enhance career and college readiness of students. She has experience in teaching a variety of graduate courses in school counseling, mental health counseling and play therapy and filial therapy as well as supervising graduate students.

“Dana’s area of specialty is trauma, especially refugee traumatization. This is a growing area of interest and need because of what the current political climate is doing to people who are refugees or immigrants. She also has critical counseling experience mainly working with children as well as children from very diverse backgrounds, which is a very necessary piece for our students.” — Degges-White

Xiaodan Hu

Xiaodan Hu

Xiaodan Hu obtained her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Policy from the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she served as a research fellow at the Institute of Higher Education. She also holds a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Texas A&M University.

She teaches courses related to community college leadership; finance and policy; and higher education administration.

Her research typically employs quantitative methods to examine the impact of state policies and institutional initiatives on colleges and universities, focusing on educational equity issues of historically underserved students and non-traditional students. She also recently has written on the impact of performance-based funding, the pathway of upward transfer, and gender differences in STEM degree attainment.

“Xiaodan brings a depth of experience in community college leadership. While she was at the University of Florida, she was the program director of the Community College Futures Assembly, an organization devoted to enhancing the professional skills of community college executives. Finding someone with community college experience, combined with her quantitative research expertise, is needle-in-a-haystack.” — Degges-White

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Melanie Walski

Melanie Walski

Melanie Walski holds a Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction: Language, Literacy & Culture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.A.Ed. (Reading Specialist) from Dominican University.

She teaches courses in Elementary School Developmental Reading Programs, Emerging Literacy and Beginning Reading Instruction through Age 8 and Organizing for Effective Elementary Reading Instruction.

Her research interests focus on the intersection of literacy and policy at the elementary level. Her research centers on how literacy instructional practice is affected by policy, and what aspects of policy are most influential on teachers’ sense-making of literacy teaching and learning. She is also interested in emergent literacy curriculum development.

“The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is fortunate that Melanie Walski is joining us. As a former classroom teacher and certified reading specialist, Melanie brings both experience and valuable expertise to her role in many of our programs. Her research interests in policy and literacy will help to improve literacy education, policy and research at the local, state and national levels. Melanie also will help us offer our students superior content knowledge, methods development and theory-to-practice approach to prepare them to become outstanding educators.” — Donna Werderich, acting chair

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment

Fatih Demir

Fatih Demir

Fatih Demir graduated in 2009 from the University of Baltimore, earning the degree of Doctor of Communications Design. In August 2015, he joined to the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri as postdoctoral fellow.

Demir teaches courses in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience Research and Design.

He has spent years teaching and researching Human Computer Interaction; Usability; Interaction Design; Social Media Analysis; and E-government Design. He has conducted research at the Information Experience Lab using remote and mobile eye tracking systems. He also worked with Mizzou faculty, staff and graduate assistants on various projects in the realm of journalism, education, medicine and computer science.

“Fatih will enhance our curriculum and research in the area of user experience. Back in the old days, we talked about usability. Now we talk about user experience. For everything we design, we need to make sure that our users – our learners – accept it and are willing to enjoy it. It’s about understanding that designing is not just about designing something you like; it’s about designing something everyone likes while making sure that everyone can learn from it.” — Wei-Chen Hung, chair

Dongho Kim

Dongho Kim

Dongho Kim earned his Ph.D. in Learning, Design and Technology in May from the University of Georgia-Athens, where he worked with Robert Branch on research related to student engagement and online learning. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education from Seoul National University.

Kim will continue to build his research at NIU while teaching courses in interaction design and “learning analytics.”

Published in a number of prestigious journals, he won first place for Outstanding Journal Article Award in the Distance Learning Division of the AECT 2016 conference for his most recent article in The Internet and Higher Education. He also received a two-year research fellowship grant (2016-18) from the Hewlett Foundation to continue his research.

“ ‘Learning analytics’ is one of the fields that is growing in instructional technology because it is important to make sense of data and to use that data to enhance learning and training. Technology and data are so widely available now that sometimes it is difficult to understand the data, and it is very challenging to interconnect all this data to find better solutions for learning and training. Dongho is the person who will help us address that need. He knows how to bring those different types of data together to design curriculum that improves learning.” —Hung

Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

Clayton Camic

Clayton Camic

Clayton L. Camic earned a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Morehead State University (2001) and a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Wyoming (2003).

Camic will teach courses in Applied Physiology of Exercise (KNPE 452), Neuromuscular Aspects of Performance (KNPE 514) and Bioenergetics (KNPE 652).

His main research interests include the evaluation of neuromuscular function and fatigue using electromyography as well as nutritional supplements as ergogenic aids.

“Clay has established a record over the last several years of becoming a leading scholar in the Exercise Physiology area, including more than 50 refereed publications in the last five years. He truly enhances the scholarship for students in our Kinesiology program.” — Chad McEvoy, chair

Jenn Jacobs

Jenn Jacobs

Jenn Jacobs, who earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from NIU, also holds a master’s degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She has taught courses in psychological aspects of sport and exercise, measurement for evaluation, psychology of sport and exercise, psychology of coaching and the culture and society of sports.

Her research interests include sport-based youth development, transfer of life skills, sport for social change and social and emotional learning. In 2012, she received a fellowship from NIU’s Collaborative on Early Adolescence to support youth learning and development by working with Paul Wright on the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility model.

“Jenn is someone who has been here at NIU for some time, working on her Ph.D. and collaborating on research with Paul Wright and other KNPE colleagues. She’s has begun to establish a record as a strong teacher and scholar with great potential in both of those areas.” — McEvoy

Claire Schaeperkoetter

Claire Schaeperkoetter

Claire Schaeperkoetter, who hails from Columbia, Mo., double-majored in Psychology and Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis. She received both her Master’s and PhD in Sport Management from the University of Kansas.

Schaeperkoetter has worked in the ticket office for the Miami Heat and the athletics compliance offices at the University of Miami and the University of Kansas. While pursuing her Ph.D., she served an instructor of record for several different Sport Management undergraduate courses at the University of Kansas.

Her research typically relies on the intersection of organizational behavior, organizational theory and sport finance to analyze decisions of sport leaders, sport employees and sport participants.

“Claire has already become nationally known for her scholarship during her doctoral studies at the University of Kansas, and she will really help to grow our Sport Management offerings. She is an excellent teacher with great research potential.” — McEvoy

Emerson Sebastião

Emerson Sebastião

Emerson Sebastião, a visiting assistant professor, earned a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015. He then received a fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to complete a post-doctoral training in Rehabilitation Sciences in the same institution.

He joined the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health of the University of Illinois as a visiting assistant professor in 2016, serving as the director of the Exercise Neuroscience Research Laboratory and teaching courses related to exercise psychology and physical activity research methods.

Sebastião studies elderly and clinical populations by exploring factors that influence physical activity as well as creative ways to promote physical activity among older adults and persons with multiple sclerosis.

“Emerson has outstanding training from the University of Illinois. His research is a great fit with our Kinesiology faculty, and he brings with him a lot of potential in terms of publication and grant activity.” — McEvoy

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations

Dan Oest

Dan Oest

Dan Oest, whose July 1 retirement closed the book on a 33-year career in K-12 education, comes to NIU from Richmond-Burton Community High School District 157 and Nippersink School District 2.

Oest spent 29 years in school administration, the last 21 of those as a superintendent. For 10 of his 12 years in Richmond-Burton, he also served as a shared superintendent with Nippersink.

He holds two degrees from NIU – an M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. – as well as a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and an Ed.D. from National Louis University.

This fall, Oest will supervise the superintendent interns and teach LEAA 710: The Superintendency.

“Dan brings a wealth of experience, having been an educator for many years and superintendent in the region for the last 12 years. He is poised to provide excellent mentorship for our students, current knowledge of school policies to the classrooms and relationships with a variety of school districts in the area. He is the perfect fit for the position of coordinator of the Ed.S. program because of his background as a practitioner and his experience teaching in higher education. Most of our students intend to follow the same job trajectory that he did, making him an excellent role model.” — Teresa A. Wasonga, Presidential Engagement Professor and Fulbright Scholar, Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations

Department of Special and Early Education

Natalie Andzik

Natalie Andzik

Natalie Andzik is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, where she earned her degree in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. She also obtained Board Certification in Behavior Analysis in 2012.

Andzik’s passion for helping students with severe disabilities started as a special education teacher in California, where she taught for eight years.

Her current research is focused on supporting the communication independence of students with disabilities by ensuring practitioners use the most effective evidence-based practices. She has published articles related to special education and applied behavior analysis in a variety of journals, including Exceptional Children, Teaching Exceptional Children and TASH.

She will teach several sections of Collaboration for Inclusive Teaching and Learning this fall.

“Natalie brings with her experience teaching children with disabilities; experience teaching undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates in higher education; successful internal grants; and numerous publications. Teacher education candidates will appreciate her real-world experience, her positive energy and enthusiasm, her sense of humor and her collaborative nature.” — Greg Conderman, chair