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Kansas State University

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ShroyerAn award-winning professor who specializes in improving teacher preparation will lead a newly merged department in the College of Education.

M. Gail Shroyer has been appointed chair of the college's new department of curriculum and instruction, which combines the former departments of elementary education and secondary education.

The new department enrolls 1,500 undergraduate students preparing to become teachers. It also has more than 750 graduate students working toward master's and doctoral degrees or teaching endorsements, with focal areas in elementary/middle or middle/secondary curriculum and instruction; reading/language arts; reading specialist; educational computing, design and online learning; digital teaching and learning; English as a second language; learning skills/school improvement; and community/junior colleges.

"Gail Shroyer has been dedicated to quality teacher preparation through effective teaching, scholarly activity and service to the profession," said Michael Holen, dean of the College of Education. "During her K-State career she has acquired more than $20 million in nationally competitive grants focused on the simultaneous renewal and improvement of schooling and teacher preparation."

"Gail's leadership will help focus additional national attention on the high-quality teacher education programs at Kansas State University," Holen said.

The bachelor's degree program in elementary education, which is offered through the new department of curriculum and instruction, is among the college's programs earning national recognition. It earned the 2010 Distinguished Program in Teacher Education Award from the Association of Teacher Education.


Michael Wesch
Michael Wesch has earned many accolades for his expertise and creativity in the use of digital technology to enhance student learning. He's received national professor of the year honors, been named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic, and has been dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine.

Now the associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University can add a new title to his growing list of national honors: thought leader.

Wesch is among the three individuals specially invited to be the first Fellows of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. The new fellowship program connects the institute and its members to selected thought leaders in higher education -- thought leaders like Wesch.

Wesch knows well why creativity matters when it comes to student learning. He is internationally known for his work on the effects of new media on society and culture. His videos on culture, technology, education and information have been viewed by millions, translated into more than 15 languages and shown at international film festivals and major academic conferences around the world. His work includes such popular YouTube videos as "The Machine is Us/ing Us" and "A Vision of Students Today."

As a Fellow, Wesch will spend the next year helping his peers explore the big picture of the learning experience. He will discuss his views on how learning happens and why creative approaches to learning matter. He and the other Fellows will participate in two videoconference sessions during the year and attend the 2011 National Institute of Technology in Liberal Education summit.

"I'm looking forward to working with the institute and the other Fellows to expand our vision for 'literacy' in higher education," he said. "It is no longer enough to be able to read and write effectively in text only; we must expand our notion of literacy to include the ability to work effectively through multiple media forms, and to recognize how different media are shaping our society."

A new medium of communication emerges every time somebody creates a new Web application, Wesch said.

Wesch has earned many honors for his work with new media, including a Rave Award from Wired magazine and the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology; and he was named one of National Geographic's 2009 Emerging Explorers. He also was named the 2008 Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.