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Sept. 20, 2018

The Update is a student newsletter for undergraduate
majors and minors in the College of Education at Illinois.

Student Spotlight
Michael Caliendo 

Industrious Senior
Middle-grades major Michael Caliendo said Champaign and Urbana are "beautiful little cities," and the senior may live and work in these parts after graduating, with the goal of eventually pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology or curriculum and instruction. While studying in the College of Education, he has conducted research with Dr. Chris Napolitano, who is interested in the topic of positive youth development. "The project I was working on with him and a doctoral student involved trying to determine the ideal amount of afterschool activity time to maximize positive youth development," he said. Under the tutelage of Dr. David Zola, Michael has worked as a teaching assistant and has taught the EPSY 201 course for three semesters. After graduating, he hopes to teach math or science in middle school.            


Freshmen Focus: The College of Education Welcomes ...

Grace Herb 

Grace Herb, Elementary Education; St. Charles

"I'm enjoying my campus experience because I'm able to meet new people from all over the world!"

Fun facts: "I have two different kinds of earlobes, one attached, one not. My mom tells me I remind her of Nemo because of my ears."

Hannah Keller 

Hannah Keller, Elementary Education; Riverwoods

"I took a child development class in high school for three years and loved it. Working at a camp and babysitting also guided me to education."

Fun fact: "This summer and last I was a counselor for the youngest girls and absolutely loved it."

Olivia Killian-Tarr 

Olivia Killian-Tarr, Elementary Education; Chicago

"I love how small the College of Education is. It makes me feel more like a person rather than a statistic."

Fun fact: "I was insanely athletic just a few years ago and over time have become a potato."

Megan Scott 

Megan Scott, Elementary Education; Naperville

"The campus experience has been great so far. I love that I have been able to meet a lot of people already." 

Fun fact: "I was born with an extra rib."

Sarah VanBoekel 

Sarah VanBoekel, Elementary Education; Oswego

"I knew I wanted to teach from a young age."

Fun fact: "Both of my parents attended the University of Illinois." 


News to Use: Different Campus Groups Contemplate Political Divisions

Scholarships and Awards

Office Offering Two Research-Oriented Grants
The Office of Undergraduate Research is offering the Research Support Grant (RSG) and the Conference Travel Grant (CTG). The RSG provides funding for students from all disciplines so that they can conduct research or pursue creative projects during the academic year both on and off campus. The CTG provides awards of up to $350 for undergraduate students so that they can travel to professional conferences to present their research via posters, papers, or in other stimulating ways. Click on the links below to learn more about each grant and email for inquiries.

Research Support Grant
Conference Travel Grant


SEA Meeting to Focus on Politics of Education
Oct. 3; 7 p.m.

Education Building, Room 2
This Student Education Association meeting will cover political issues relating to education and how the upcoming election will impact future educators. Learn more...

Share Education Experiences with High School Students
Oct. 12; 4-5:30 p.m.

College of Education students will have a unique opportunity during Homecoming to share their experiences and insights with high school students who are interested in the field of education in the areas of:

  • Early-childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Middle-grades education
  • Special education
  • Secondary education minor
  • Learning and education studies

Learn more about the College's Global Innovations in Education Homecoming happenings and contact Noor Doukmak at to volunteer to talk about education with high school students.

Curriculum Being Taught in Age of Technology Focus of Talk
Oct. 18; Noon-2 p.m.

Education Building, Room 22
This talk by retired Northwestern University scholar Allan Collins will cover topics from his recent book, What's Worth Teaching?, which brings up the issue of outdated curriculum in an age of technology. He will discuss global trends and their implications for what educators should be teaching children, and convey how literacy is changing in the digital age. Learn more... 

Career and Professional Development

Pursue Undergraduate Research at Illinois
Attaining an Undergraduate Research Certificate from the Office of Undergraduate Research will provide students with an added credential to show employers and graduate schools. Learn more about certificate requirements, the application timeline, and how to register for the certificate.

In addition, the office has an Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program in which students with little or no research experience can assist advanced undergraduate students with research projects. Through this work, selected students will have the opportunity to learn what it means to do research and produce scholarship. Learn more about applying, informational meetings, and the application timeline.     

Urbana Schools Seeking Classroom Volunteers
The teachers at Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School need volunteers who can assist them in the subjects of math, science, social studies, English, and foreign languages. This is an excellent opportunity for College of Education students to get real-life experiences in classrooms, and the schools will make sure to give volunteers opportunities that match their interests and schedules. Contact Kristin Davis at to assist or for inquiries. 

Study Abroad
 Take a study abroad survey for a chance to win a prize

Take Study Abroad Survey for Chance to Win Prize
The Office of International Programs in the College of Education wants to hear students' thoughts on studying abroad, in an effort to develop future overseas programs. Take a survey for a chance to win a prize!


Discover Africa at Global Cafe Talk
Sept. 26; 4-5 p.m.

Education Building, Room 260A
Join this Global Cafe presentation to discover the education practices of students from central and west Africa, who make up one of the largest immigrant populations in Champaign-Urbana. Participants will get to listen to firsthand experiences from two visiting scholars and a College of Education graduate from Togo, with the objective of someday supporting young students in classrooms and their families in the community who come from this part of the world. Learn more... 

Happenings and Deadlines

Wheelchair Users Needed for Virtual Reality Study
Those who use wheelchairs are invited to participate in a game-based virtual reality project that centers on archeology. The 45-minute study will take place in Room 209J of Davenport Hall, and all participants will receive a $20 Amazon gift card upon completion of the virtual reality activity, the online survey, and a brief interview. Those who want to participate can contact Janny Chen of the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at

Become a Museum Guide at Spurlock
Dependable students who love to learn, like talking to people, and have a special interest in history and artifacts are encouraged to volunteer as a guide at Spurlock Museum of World Cultures at Illinois. Email for more information on becoming a museum guide.


The Student Academic Affairs Office welcomes student input for issues of The Update.
Please submit your events, announcements, and comments via the links below.

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