The POWER of Writing

UNLV College of Education faculty lead students to success with writing studio series.


In Fall 2015, Drs. Chyllis Scott and Chad Scott of the Department of Teaching and Learning, along with Dr. Margarita Huerta of the Department of Educational and Clinical Studies, taught a series of four free UNLV POWER writing studios for graduate students. POWER stands for “Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research.”

In the sessions students learned empirically-based strategies to help them become more productive and efficient academic writers. Topics included strategies for writing regularly, managing your writing time, reading and writing at the same time, and finding support and feedback. Participants also had time to practice writing during the workshops. Participants have noted that the UNLV POWER writing studios have been helpful for writing a thesis, dissertation, grant, resume/curriculum vitae, class project, homework assignment, and writing in general.

UNLV POWER writing studios are open to all COE students. To learn more about the workshops, contact Dr. Chyllis Scott and Dr Margarita Huerta at unlvpower@unlv.edu.

A Model for Mathematics Education

Dr. Stohlmann and colleagues work to demystify notions of mathematical complexity.


Teaching mathematics through the Common Core State Standards is a relatively new area of research. Dr. Micah Stohlmann, Assistant Professor, Ms. Cathrine Maiorca, doctoral candidate, and Dr. Travis Olson, Associate Professor- all from the Department of Teaching and Learning– set out to demystify notions of mathematical complexity and difficulty. In their recent study (Stohlmann, Maiorca, & Olson, 2015a), they examined preservice secondary teachers’ conceptions for teaching mathematics using Modeling-Eliciting Activities (MEAs).

According to Stohlmann and colleagues, research shows that MEAs- activities that seek to construct, evaluate, and review mathematical models- can be difficult for teachers to implement. In addition, teachers are more likely to implement mathematical modeling activities when they have an increased level of self-efficacy with the framework. The current study’s aim was to familiarize participants with mathematical modeling in order to implement within a Common Core State Standards classroom.

Participants were 17 preservice secondary mathematics teachers enrolled in a secondary mathematics methods course. Specifically, participants engaged in a MEA, reflected on their experiences, and discussed how they would implement the mathematical techniques learned into a typical public school classroom. Data were analyzed through cross-case analysis; interpretation focused on group process during the MEA along with general reflections about utility and applicability of the MEA in the classroom.

Findings indicate that it is important to provide mathematical modeling to high school students in the classroom setting. Likewise, it is important to provide training on the implementation of mathematical modeling to secondary mathematics teachers. In order for teachers to implement mathematical modeling techniques effectively, secondary teachers must be taught mathematical modeling while keeping in mind time constraints and Common Core State Standards.

Learn more about Dr. Micah Stohlmann

aStohlmann, M., Maiorca, C., & Olson, T. (2015). Preservice secondary teachers’ conceptions from a mathematical modeling activity and connections to the Common Core State Standards. Mathematics Educator Journal, 24, 21-43.

Dr. Kimberly Nehls Receives Annual Distinguished Scholar Award

Dr. Kimberly Nehls received the Annual Distinguished Scholar Award at the 28th Annual Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference (EQRC) in Las Vegas, February 1-2, 2016. This award highlights an attendee that has been active in the conference Particular consideration is given to evident scholarship and continued participation in the EQRC conference.

The awards are intended to (a) recognize quality scholarship among EQRC participants and (b) encourage able scholars to continue participating in the conference. EQRC will bestow 4-5 awards on an annual basis and they will be recognized in the conference program. We assembled an ad hoc committee of able scholars who had previously attended the EQRC conference and among whom had received the award last year. The committee reviewed CVs of individuals who previously have had longstanding participation with the conference and evidenced able scholarship in research conference presentations, journal publications, and other scholarly contributions to their respective fields. More information about the award can be found on the Annual McGraw Hill Distinguished Scholar Award site.