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UTB College of Education Celebrates 20th Anniversary

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JANUARY 12, 2012 –Faculty, administrators and staff gathered in the Education and Business Complex to mark the 20th anniversary of The University of Texas at Brownsville’s College of Education on Friday, Jan. 13.

Aidee Vasquez and Norma Ibarra-Cantu received their Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction at UTB commencement in Aidee Vasquez and Norma Ibarra-Cantu received their Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction at UTB commencement in December 2010.

“We are gathered here to celebrate the first two decades of the College of Education and to honor our faculty, who, with their work and wisdom, helped to create the history of our College,” said Dr. Miguel Angel Escotet, Dean of the College of Education.

The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the Tree of Knowledge wall sculpture that will become a permanent recognition of retired faculty and their service and academic contributions to the university.

“This is an old tradition of many universities,” Escotet said. “Each leaf of the tree will represent one member of the faculty.”

Six leaves on the tree were engraved with a name representing the six founding faculty members still with the College of Education: Dr. Gayle Brogdon, Leticia Diaz, Jack Loff, Dr. Zelma Mata, Dr. Paula Parson and Dr. Graciela Rosenberg.

College of Education faculty team members cheer as they reached their intended goal of “Longest Reading Aloud Marathon by a Team College of Education faculty team members cheer as they reached their intended goal of “Longest Reading Aloud Marathon by a Team” placed in the “Guinness World Records” book.

“Many of the founding faculty were actively involved in helping to design and develop these new degree programs,” Brogdon said. “This involved a lot of hard work, long hours and creative thinking. Up until this day I continue to see the dedication, hard work, professionalism, and loyalty of not only the founding faculty but also of the total faculty.”

Dr. Mario Ferron, UTB Alumnus, had the honor of unveiling the Tree of Knowledge sculpture. Ferron earned his doctorate of education in December and is the recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award by the National Association of Bilingual Education.

Dr. Juliet V. García, UT Brownsville President, spoke of several milestones of the College of Education, citing the college’s “Coming of Age” anniversary celebration, with an achievement by the College to promote reading, the fundamental building block for student success and to raise scholarship funds. In 2007, the faculty achieved the “Longest Reading Aloud Marathon by a Team” standing in the “Guinness World Records.”

Joined by Dr. García, Dr. Artibise and Dr. Brogdon, six members of the original faculty of the UTB College of Education stand in Joined by Dr. García, Dr. Artibise and Dr. Brogdon, six members of the original faculty of the UTB College of Education stand in front of the newly unveiled Tree of Knowledge sculpture.

“We look forward to the next 20 years as we continue to raise the bar for ourselves and our programs, as we develop and prepare master teachers, as we transform this region one student at a time,” García said.

The celebration comes at an opportune time. The Master’s Degree Online Program in Educational Technology has been ranked one of the top 15 programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

UTB’s program was ranked 14 out of 151 U.S. institutions of higher education for 2012 and is one of four universities from Texas in the top 15 in the nation.

Another milestone, the College’s first doctoral degrees in education were awarded in December 2010.

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