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School Notes: Professor of the Year; 'Awesome' college app; Lane Promise student; Social network for teachers; PSU energy degree

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UP professor earns Carnegie nod

Laura McLary, professor of German at the University of Portland, was named Oregon Professor of the Year by the national Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the International Council for the Advancement and Support of Education on Thursday, Nov. 19.

“Laura has built a strong and thriving major that has continued to grow steadily at the University of Portland,” said the Rev. Mark Poorman, university president. “She has also been instrumental in creating an effective mentoring program that has led to numerous Fulbright awards for UP students and graduates.”

McLary says she uses a study abroad program to Salzburg, Austria, as a major underpinning to promote facility with German language and culture.

PSU to develop ‘Super Awesome’ new app

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities awarded Portland State University $105,000 to develop an app that would allow students to track their own degree program — from customizing degrees, tracking progress, and calculating costs of courses.

The new program is called Super Awesome Degree Maps.

Sona Andrews, provost at PSU, pitched the idea at the association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis on Nov. 17 and won both the judge’s prize and the audience prize.

“We thought that it would be super awesome if we could design an app that was easy to use and would put them in control of their degrees,” Andrews said. “It might sound funny, but having real-time information and control of your degree would be truly innovative and, yes, super awesome.”

Lane Middle’s Cody Meikle is an Oregon Promise

Cody Meikle, a student at Lane Middle School, was featured last week as part of a statewide public education support campaign known as The Promise of Oregon.

The Promise campaign, which officially debuted in November 2014, is a Oregon School Boards Association initiative to create public support for K-14 education, to help meet the state’s 40-40-20 goals, and to lift student achievement and graduation rates.

New for fall 2015 and beyond, the Promise campaign is showcasing districts whose cutting-edge programs are preparing students for careers and college.

Miekle is one of five students statewide who will be featured prominently this week on the campaign website, promiseoregon.org.

State develops social network for teachers

The Oregon Educator Network, launched this fall, is the new place for the state’s teachers to connect with each other and share ideas and resources.

Developed by the Oregon Department of Education and the Chief Education Office in response to House Bill 3233, OregonEdNet.org has groups, blogs and ratings for curricula resources. Educators from pre-kindergarten to higher education are invited to join.

“The Network helps educators connect, collaborate, and take their professional learning to the next level,” said Oregon education chief Salam Noor. “By sharing best practice and expanding proven programs, we can empower educators and better support student success.”

PSU launches flexible energy degree

Portland State University is entering the fray of the rapidly changing energy industry to offer a flexible degree program aimed at professionals.

“PSU's Graduate Certificate in Energy Policy and Management fills a key need in the Portland market for training in the dynamic and changing energy industry," said Jim Piro, president and CEO of Portland General Electric, in a news release.

The flexible graduate coursework combinations would allow students to customize their studies in areas such as: analyzing and developing effective energy policy; forecasting and systems analysis; efficiency program management; evaluating policy impacts; and planning for sustainable energy and climate futures.

The graduate certificate program — a total of five courses — is available as an add-on for students in existing graduate programs, as well as an option for professionals and college graduates looking to hone skills for a career in energy.

See www.pdx.edu/energy-certificate for more information.