Welcome to Aluminations

eNewsletter for alumni and friends of UD’s College of Education & Human Development

December 2013  
Table of Contents

Click here for email version of Aluminations. For an archive of prior Aluminations, visit our newsletter page.


AW-CEHD_Alumni_ReceptionGreetings from the Dean

During this holiday season, we are especially thankful to all our alumni and friends who have helped support the College this year. Your gifts have provided scholarships for deserving students, paid for books and school supplies, enabled students to participate in Study Abroad programs, supplemented tuition for families in our children’s programs, provided specialized equipment for children with disabilities, and contributed to faculty and student research. Your generosity has helped us better serve our students and families. Thank you!

Each edition of Aluminations focuses on a different aspect of our work. In recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec. 3), this month’s highlights special education and the study of disabilities. We hope you will find it useful.

Lynn Okagaki, Dean


CEHD Making a Difference

Helping Elementary Students Understand Math

Through grants from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development and the Institute of Education Sciences, Nancy Jordan, professor, School of Education, has been studying ways to help children with math learning disabilities.

Together with colleague Nancy Dyson, she has developed a user-friendly curriculum called Number Sense Interventions, with fun and highly effective techniques to boost key math skills such as oral counting, number recognition, and numeral writing.

Research on Couples with ASD Children

There is a frequently quoted statistic that states couples who have a child with autism are significantly more like to separate. Brian Freedman, Center for Disabilities Studies, challenges this misconception during his panel discussion on “Guy Talk,” an webcast (Father’s Roundtable #7 – starting at 2:00 minutes).

Increasing Inclusion for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

UD’s Career and Life Studies Certificate program enables young adults with intellectual disabilities to take classes and fully participate in campus life. This summer, Rachel Gettinger, a human services major, and faculty member Laura Eisenman conducted research on the possibility of providing on-campus living for these students.  


CEND Welcome Back Party & Spirit PhotoCongratulations to our faculty/staff on their recent awards:

Enhancing Your Practice

Services Benefiting Students and Individuals with Disabilities

In October, our Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS) celebrated their 20th anniversary. The evening’s theme was Educate, Connect, Empower, Transform — powerful words that resonate throughout our College. This video (right) debuted at the event, highlighting CDS’ efforts through the years. Keith Jones, the keynote speaker, then shared his compelling story with the audience. 

Among the services CDS provides our  the community:

  • This summer, CDS unveiled Delaware’s collaborative statewide strategic plan called the Blueprint for Collective Action, outlining steps to better integrate autism services throughout the state.
  • The Adapting Curriculum and Classroom Environments for Student Success (ACCESS) project provides educators, families and community members the necessary tools to improve educational outcomes for students with significant intellectual disabilities.
  • Our AIM Delaware center can provide Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) for students with print disabilities. Contact Beth Mineo at 831-1589 to to schedule a visit to your school or parenting meeting and determine if your student qualifies for assistance.
  • At the 2nd Annual Delaware Educator Fall Symposium, keynote speaker Michael Remus provided an insightful presentation on incorporating inclusiveness in the classroom called, Count Me In! Inclusive Practices – Moving from Perceptions to Practice.

Autism Tip Sheet

The Centers for Disease Control has created a fact sheet to help parents identify signs of autism in their child. For example, your child may:

  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled 
  • appear to be unaware when people talk to them or look at objects when pointed out to them

For more resources to assist persons with disabilities, visit

Bringing Technology into the Classroom

CEHD’s first iPad for Education conference held in October was attended by over 150 educators. Presenters shared  practical applications, curriculum challenges and tips on improving collaboration for students of all ages. 

Many of the sessions are available by podcast (UD Capture of the Presentation) on the conference website, including two by CEHD alumna Monica Burns:

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Resources for Students

The College School - Sustainability Day

Helping Children with Learning Difficulties

Did you know our College has a full-day school for students in grades 1-8 with educational, social or behavioral issues? The College School, with its small classes and individualized lessons can help children with dyslexia, ADHD and other learning challenges to develop skills to succeed in school. If you know a child who might benefit from this program, contact The College School today.

Math Made Fun

Do you know a child in K-6 who is struggling with math? Or a student who likes math and wants to improve their skills? Our Saturday Morning Math helps children in grade K-6 learn that math can be fun. By providing problem-solving math activities, one-on-one sessions and computer activities, children can learn to master basics or improve their skills. Registration for the 6-week Jan/Feb session begins Dec. 10.

Children's Campus - 6/20/13

Special Education Coursework Offered Through CEHD

  • For individuals looking to pursuing a career in special education, we offer undergraduate, masters and doctoral courses. Applications are currently being accepted for 2014 Graduate programs.
  • Special education teachers can enroll in our Autism Certification program or post-master’s Course of Study in elementary or secondary special education.
  • For educators who instruct students in DCAS-Alt1, the ACCESS project offers statewide professional development opportunities.
  • Young adults with intellectual disabilities can enroll in our Career and Life Studies Certificate (CLSC) program. CLSC students attend classes at UD, participate in internships and work experiences, and engage in all aspects of campus life. Apply before Jan. 15.

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Why We Give

Ruth F. Stetson, ‘93M and her late husband, Dr. Milton H. Stetson,both dedicated teachers in Delaware, set up a scholarship benefiting education students at UD. Mrs. Stetson shared her impetus for giving back to her school. 

My husband and I graduated debt free with the help of scholarships and fellowships. I remember feeling the support of a local Lions Club when my scholarship was announced. Realizing that such resources are limited and the cost of education has risen steeply, I wanted to share encouragement and financial assistance with college students as they work to develop skills in their field. 

Because I never forgot the support I received, I created a scholarship for elementary education students dedicated to research. A scholarship award can be a prestigious goal to be worked toward. It looks good on a resume to prospective employers and graduate schools and research with a faculty member encourages further use of those skills before entering their first classroom.

It has been a wonderful experience. At the Celebration of Scholarship, I am so impressed with the young people I have met. They are excellent role models to those who will come to UD in the future. Hopefully, there will be many more scholarships to support them!

Students express gratitude for their benefactors

Each year, dozens of generous benefactors provide support to UD students as they pursue their academic career. In October, 600 students attended a Gratitude Gala to let their benefactors know how much their support means to them.

The recipient of the Susan McLaughlin award, an elementary education major with a disabilities minor, shared his expression of appreciation.

I wanted to thank you for your generous gift towards my education as an Elementary Teacher Education major with a minor in Special Education. As a future educator, I am excited for the opportunity to inspire, ignite and empower my students to learn about themselves and the world. I believe that education is one of the essential keys for success, so it is vital as an educator to promote this curiosity for exploration in every student in my class.

 Through my leadership in designing school and district wide policies on supporting school climate (through the National School Climate Center) and my internship as an Inclusive Youth Leadership Development intern with Special Olympics International, I continue to provide educational awareness of the value, talent and ability each of us possess.

 I am thankful to be a student at the University of Delaware so that I can acquire the necessary skills, dispositions and strategies to be an effective educator. We are all learners and sharers, and I am excited to be able to make a huge impact on the lives of the students in my class.

 Thank you for your support and I appreciate your belief in the power of education.


Charitable IRA Distribution Rollover Reminder

If you are scheduled to take a required distribution from you IRA account and are concerned about the tax implications, we can help. Distributions from your IRA made directly to UD through December 31, 2013 are not counted as income and can help our students attain a quality education that they may not otherwise be able to afford.

  •  To learn more about UD’s charitable IRA distribution procedures, contact Martha Mitchell, Senior Director of Gift Planning at (302) 831-8633.

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Alumni News

Here are just a few of our alumni who have been in the news. To learn more about what’s been happening with your friends and colleagues, visit Catching up With Friends.

  • Jill Szymanski, ETE ’97, MEd ’02 was selected as 2013 National History Teacher of the Year – the first Delaware teacher to receive this award.
  • Jennifer Nauman, ETE ’99, was one of seven principals in the nation presented this week with the 2013 Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership. She is principal of Cape Henlopen’s Shields Elementary School and is the first Delaware principal to receive this award.
  • Amanda Rich, PhD, ’12 received UD’s Marvin B. Sussman 2013 Dissertation Prize for her work on intellectual disability rights advocacy. Rich is now an assistant professor at York College.

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