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The School of Education Now

Dear Colleagues,

2018 will be a year of promise—a year to be inspired by the work of others, and to inspire others by our work. 

The School of Education at St. John’s University continues to be inspired by the legacy established by Dolores Beckham ’05Ed.D., a beloved teacher, principal, adjunct professor of TESOL at St. John’s, and Queens community member, who lost her battle with cancer in 2016. She worked for many years as Principal of Joseph Pulitzer Intermediate School 145 in Jackson Heights, NY. In September, I had the honor of attending the ceremony as the street where the school is located was given the honorary name, Dr. Dolores Beckham Way. She inspired many people throughout her career, and her legacy as an educator will continue as she is remembered by those who pass through the neighborhood. You can read more about Dr. Beckham in the “Alumni News” section.

In this issue of The School of Education Now, you will also learn about some of our faculty’s accomplishments: Education and Female Entrepreneurship in Asia: Public Policies and Private Practices is the latest book by Mary Ann Maslak, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Evan T. Ortlieb, Ph.D., Professor and Coordinator of the Literacy Program in the Department of Education Specialties, was honored with the A.B. Herr Award by the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers; and Seokhee Cho, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of our Department of Administration and Instructional Leadership, was awarded a $1.9 million grant by the US Department of Education.

This issue also features an update on our Australian exchange and the ongoing efforts of the Institute for Catholic Schools, which provides professional development for teachers in three local dioceses. This year, educators are focusing on science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and mathematics.


As 2018 progresses, we pause to acknowledge our achievements but become energized by all the wonderful things being done at the University to help students achieve success.

Michael R. Sampson, Ph.D.
Dean, The School of Education


Faculty Recognition

New Publication

Mary Ann Maslak, Ph.D., Professor, Department  of Curriculum and Instruction, recently published Education and Female Entrepreneurship in Asia: Public Policies and  Private Practices. This book analyzes the  importance of policies that structure entrepreneurships and practices that  female entrepreneurs experience in Asia.


Research Grant

Seokhee Cho, Ph.D., Chair and Professor, Department of Administration and Instructional Leadership, and the principal investigator of Project Bridge, was awarded a $1.9 million research grant from the US Department of Education. The funded proposal is entitledDeveloping Academic Competency of Young Gifted English Learners with Advanced Mathematics Program and Language Scaffolding.” The project director is John Spiridakis, Ph.D., Professor of TESOL, Department of Education Specialties.

Faculty Recognition

Evan T. Ortlieb, Ph.D., St. John’s University Professor and Coordinator of the Literacy Program in the Department of Education Specialties, was chosen for this year's Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers' A.B. Herr Award for outstanding contributions to the field of literacy in 2017.

Alumni News

Dolores Beckham '05Ed.D. Honored Posthumously

“She pushed her teachers to take part in every opportunity available to them in order to make them better. She knew that if the teachers had more learning experiences, the students would benefit as well. It was always about the children.” These words were written of the late Dolores Beckham ’05Ed.D., a 38-year veteran educator with the New York City Department of Education, who was honored posthumously when 80th Street at 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, NY, was renamed Dr. Dolores Beckham Way at a ceremony on September 28. Michael Sampson, Ph.D., Dean, offered remarks on behalf of St. John’s University and The School of Education. 

Community and International Partnerships

Australian Exchange

Ten students from Australian Catholic University (ACU) are studying at St. John’s University this semester. The students, representing four of ACU’s five campuses—Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, and Melbourne—all study early childhood and childhood education. Students are completing course work in Education at St. John’s and fieldwork in Special Education in local school settings. In July, The School of Education will complete the exchange when a cohort of students visits ACU’s Melbourne campus to live and study. Don McClure, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, will accompany the group.

Institute for Catholic Schools News

The Institute for Catholic Schools is hosting its seventh Curriculum Leadership Team program, which is focused on STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).
The first of four sessions focused on the Next Generation Science Standards and was presented by Elizabeth Frangella, Ed.D., Associate Superintendent for Curriculum in the Diocese of Brooklyn, NY, and Anthony Biscione, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY.