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Holmes Students, Alumni Share in Rich Annual Meeting

This month, more than 80 participants in the AACTE Holmes Program convened with coordinators and alumni for our annual preconference event at the AACTE Annual Meeting. The 2-day program (see the agenda) led by members of the 2016-2017 Holmes Scholars Council, the National Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni (NAHSA), and AACTE provided a rich variety of integrative and thought-provoking sessions and interactions.

On Day 1, morning breakout sessions were tailored to “coach up” participants in the program’s different levels, from high school Holmes Cadets to undergraduate Holmes Honors to Holmes Master’s students, with networking, mentoring, and exploring the pathways that lie ahead for academics and practitioners. Meanwhile, program alumni hosted breakouts for Holmes Scholars to fit the needs of first-year as well as returning doctoral students. During the afternoon, we joined the Diversified Teaching Workforce (DTW) Institute under way down the hall for a keynote luncheon, illuminating panel discussions, and a reception where Holmes alumna-turned-dean Monika Williams Shealey (Rowan University, NJ) was honored with the 2017 DTW Teacher Diversity Award.

We owe a huge thank-you to Holmes Research Committee Chair Shaywanna Harris (University of Central Florida) and her committee for orchestrating the largest Holmes Poster Session on record, which kicked off Day 2. The session included 30 presentations from students at different levels – even Holmes Cadets! – and brought an audience of not only our Holmes and NAHSA family but other AACTE conference participants as well. Presenting students enjoyed exchanging knowledge and perspectives while bonding, building, and strengthening our AACTE and Holmes network.

A special opportunity for Holmes participants followed the poster session: a motivating Q&A session with Professor Shaun Harper (University of Pennsylvania), who delivered noble and truth-seeking charges in our small group before heading into the AACTE Welcoming Session to do the same for the whole conference. Holmes students and alumni also attended this keynote as well as other sessions hosted by AACTE, including the Job and Information Fair. We also got to hear Lora Bailey (New Mexico Highlands University) and Jacob Easley (Eastern Connecticut State University) – two more Holmes alumni who are now deans – speak as featured panelists at the AACTE major forum “Meeting the Needs of All Learners: Advancing Social Justice and Diversity in Teacher Preparation.”

During the Holmes closing ceremonies, 55 new students were inducted across the four program levels, and a special honorary Holmes Scholar designation was awarded by NAHSA to AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson for her support and dedication to uplifting the Holmes Program. The closing ceremonies concluded with the triumphant recitation of the Holmes Scholars Creed, ringing through the Tampa Marriott ballrooms and marking the bittersweet transition from the outgoing to the incoming Holmes Scholars Council.

The following individuals were elected to the Holmes Scholars Council for 2017-2018:

The council works closely with the AACTE liaison, Tim Finklea, to plan activities and communicate with Holmes participants throughout the year.

To our current Holmes students and alumni who could not be with us this year, you were dearly missed, and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event: Washington Week in June, the Dissertation Retreat in October, and our next Annual Meeting in March 2018.


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Dana Dunwoody

Holmes Scholars Council President, 2017-2019

Tim Finklea

Director of Member Engagement, AACTE

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