By University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies
The "Sincerely, South" podcast shares stories that reflect the core values of the University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies, such as professional excellence, lifelong learning and civil discourse. The series launched in Fall 2021 and features interviews with current students, alumni, community partners, faculty and content area experts outside of South.
Episode 10: The Science of Reading with Dr. Lauren Brannan and Dr. Hannah Szatkowski
Dr. Lauren Brannan, assistant professor of reading education, was awarded an internal research grant from the University of South Alabama College of Education and Professional Studies for a project titled “Reading Education in the Era of Literacy Legislation.” A team of faculty supporting the grant includes Dr. Hannah Szatkowski, assistant professor of reading education and co-principal investigator. They recently collected data and are now analyzing the language and reading instruction knowledge, skills and pedagogy of Alabama’s elementary public school teachers. Following the implementation of the Alabama Literacy Act, this research assessed how the professional development offered to teachers, which flowed from this act, impacted teacher knowledge, skills and pedagogy. According to the team’s research, the majority of American elementary students are reading below grade level, and Alabama is below the national average. Prior research studies show that teachers’, and in some studies their college instructors’, knowledge of language constructs, such as phonology, orthography, morphology and syntax, is low and may be a factor influencing poor student reading achievement. Brannan believes the science of reading training has been geared toward teachers in grades PreK-3, and this leaves out the upper elementary grade levels, where teachers often still encounter struggling readers who are in need of instructional intervention. Brannan’s team plans to research and highlight the gaps in knowledge. Ultimately, they plan to provide information about the effectiveness of the science of reading professional development opportunities throughout the state. The research will shed light on any possible gaps in knowledge, skill and pedagogy.
October 05, 2022
Episode 9: PASSAGE USA with Dr. Abigail Baxter and Dr. Linda Reeves - The Path to Independence for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Many young adults attend college to prepare for a future career. It's no different for students with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Abigail Baxter, professor of special education at the University of South Alabama and principal investigator of the PASSAGE USA grant, and Dr. Linda Reeves, associate professor of special education and co-principal investigator, make this dream of attending college a reality. PASSAGE USA (Preparing All Students Socially and Academically for Gainful Employment) is a two- and four-year non-degree certificate program that focuses on life, social, employment and self-determination skills. Students in the program attend specialized classes that target the skills they need to achieve their goals and attend elective classes with other South students. In 2020, Baxter and Reeves' team was awarded a $2.3 million U. S. Department of Education grant to expand the PASSAGE USA program. The program now draws in faculty and South students from counseling, health and kinesiology, and occupational therapy to enhance the PASSAGE USA curriculum, and the grant provides Baxter with the necessary funding to hire additional staff. The program continues to grow and can serve up to 60 students during the current grant funding period.
June 15, 2022
Episode 8: Hospitality and Tourism with David Clark - Mobile is a Destination and Travel is Back
Mobile is a tourist destination, and travel is back. During this episode, listeners can learn about the hospitality and tourism industry in Mobile. David Clark, president and CEO of Visit Mobile, serves as president of the University of South Alabama Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Board Executive Committee. He has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Clark says that South’s prominent location along the Gulf Coast provides students with unique exposure to the industry. The University is located in a tourism mecca. Between Mobile and Baldwin Counties, there are more than 83,000 travel and tourism jobs that service 10 million visitors annually. Clark shares exciting news, including a new cruise ship that will offer six to eight-day cruises to Mexico, Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas from the Mobile Cruise Port. Cultural tourism is booming across the nation, and there is progress to create a public touring experience of Africatown. Clark says their team plans to launch this cultural experience nationally in 2023.
May 05, 2022
Episode 7: Removing Barriers in STEM Teacher Education through Noyce Scholarship Program with Dr. André Green and Dr. Susan Ferguson
The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, funded by the National Science Foundation in the College of Education and Professional Studies, responds to the critical need for K-12 teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, by encouraging talented students and professionals to pursue science and mathematics teaching careers in high need schools. Dr. André Green, associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of science education at the University of South Alabama, was awarded the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grant, Pathway to Science, in 2009, Pathway to Mathematics in 2011, and Pathway to Science II in 2016 in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences through their mathematics and science departments. Dr. Susan Ferguson, associate professor and program coordinator of secondary education at the University of South Alabama, served as co-principal investigator and project director of the scholarship program and ensured that the overall goals were achieved. Ferguson advised and mentored each Noyce Scholar and has maintained close relationships with each. Over the past decade, approximately 71 scholars have graduated from the Pathway to Science and Pathway to Mathematics programs and more than 90% of the graduates are still teaching science and mathematics in the local and surrounding communities. Green and his co-investigators brought in approximately $3.5 million in NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship grants and an additional $4.5 million in Noyce Conference grants to the University of South Alabama.
April 13, 2022
Episode 6: Pioneering for the Past: African-American Studies with Maati Ta-Neter
Maati Ta-Neter, who earned a master's degree in education from South, is currently an 8th grade world history teacher at Denton Magnet School of Technology in Mobile. She is teaching a new elective course in African American History. The course is in it's pilot year, and Ta-Neter designed the curriculum in a way that students can examine the history and impact of African Americans and their contributions in terms of economics, culture, politics and social awareness. Ta-Neter hopes to empower students with the knowledge of self and others. Quarter one covers the history of West African civilizations and the beginning of the Slave Trade. During the second quarter, students learn about slavery in the New World and the Civil War. Third quarter reviews Reconstruction and Jim Crow. Fourth quarter is an overview of the Civil Rights Movement to the present day.
March 11, 2022
Episode 5: Exercise is Medicine, Addressing Mental Health Issues and Athletes with Dr. Caitlyn Hauff
Dr. Caitlyn Hauff, assistant professor of health promotion in the College of Education and Professional Studies, is passionate about mental health issues and athletes. Personally, she has been involved in sports since she was a toddler. Her dad was a collegiate tennis player, and Hauff was a multi-sport athlete growing up, participating in tennis, basketball, volleyball and softball most of her life. It was in college that Hauff realized the importance of the mental health side of sports. Her current research at South centers on health promotion, mainly through the use of behavior change theory and psychological skills training. She is involved in several projects with the College of Nursing, School of Computer Science, professors in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and fellow professors in the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport.
February 23, 2022
Episode 4: Giving Youth Hope, Purpose and Community
This episode features Demetrius Smith, an adjunct professor of psychology and interdisciplinary studies at the University of South Alabama, and Tim Wills, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama. Smith founded a mental health agency and a nonprofit with a focus in providing services for Black and impoverished communities. Smith, who grew up in the Maysville area in Mobile, discusses his journey and how he got to where he is today. Wills served as a mentor to Smith. When Wills came to Mobile from Baltimore, he quickly learned many young people in South Alabama face academic, family and personal trauma. Through the Boys & Girls Club, Wills' focus is to impact and change the opportunity equation for youth and teens in our community. The two have partnered to provide programs and services that will continue to build systems of support to drive youth success.
January 26, 2022
Episode 3: The Power of Innovation with Terrance Smith
Terrance DeShaun Smith's path to the City of Mobile's Innovation Team started at the University of South Alabama. He grew up in a housing project in Prichard, Ala., and always had big dreams. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies and master's degree in instructional design and development, both fully online programs at South. He was promoted to the director of Strategic Initiatives and serves as a liaison for ongoing city efforts in Africatown. Smith was appointed to the Leadership Alabama Commission on Race and Equity, and Bloomberg CityLab named him one of "Six Innovators to Watch."
December 15, 2021
Episode 2: University of South Alabama Adult Learner Services with Bob Charlebois
If you’re an adult learner at the University of South Alabama, then you have something in common with Bob Charlebois. His nontraditional career includes time as a restaurant manager, video producer and whitewater rafting guide. He’s been a transfer student and an adult student. Now he’s director for the Office of Adult Learner Services. His last name is pronounced “shar-luh-bwah,” but most people call him Bob. His job is to make it easy for adult students – from exploration and enrollment all the way through graduation. Charlebois is often the first person adult learners meet on campus. He loves hearing their life stories. He tries to be encouraging and helpful. Oftentimes adult learners are intimidated by the admission process, not to mention navigating financial aid, registering for classes and walking into a classroom with younger students. Charlebois helps them consider their options and design a plan to get them to graduation.
November 19, 2021
Episode 1: AMSTI-USA with Rachel Broadhead and Chasity Collier
In this very first episode of the "Sincerely, South" podcast, Rachel Broadhead and Chasity Collier, director and assistant director of the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative at the University of South Alabama, share their educational journeys along with information about AMSTI-USA. Co-hosts for this episode include Dr. Joe Gaston, assistant professor of educational media and technology, and Dr. Susan Ferguson, associate professor and program coordinator of secondary education.
November 01, 2021