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Slideshow: Graduate school Convocation focuses on interdisciplinary exploration

September 22, 2008

  • The graduate school’s Core Program is designed to bring together students and faculty from the teacher education and counseling psychology fields to explore the interdisciplinary issues affecting personal development and professional life. This blurring of disciplinary borders encourages participants to consider new ways of researching, learning, and solving real-world problems common across social service professions.
  • Associate Dean Janet Bixby and Dean Scott Fletcher outside Agnes Flanagan Chapel.
  • Students gathered in the Agnes Flanagan Chapel to hear real-life career stories from graduate school faculty. The Core Program is based on a theme of bringing students and faculty together for presentations and discussions.
  • Throughout their graduate programs, students attend a series of one- and two-credit Core Program courses reflecting the Convocation theme and addressing questions raised by it.
  • With its interdisciplinary design, the Core Program curriculum provides an intellectual bridge between academic departments and program offerings.
  • The band PDX Unconscious performed live entertainment outside the South Campus Center during the wine and cheese reception.
  • Tod Sloan, professor of counseling psychology and counseling psychology department chair, backed up the band with flair.


(Portland, Ore.)—The sun shone brightly on this year’s incoming class of graduate students as they gathered in groups on the South Campus lawn earlier this month for Convocation.

Convocation kicks off the academic year for the Graduate School of Education and Counseling and its Core Program—a requirement for full-time master’s degree students that brings together faculty and students from teacher education and counseling psychology to reflect on the shared values of each discipline. Through the Core Program, students receive support from the entire graduate school faculty and build an interdisciplinary foundation among their professional peers.

During the first hour of Convocation, faculty from each graduate school program recounted stories about ways that their core values have impacted their own professional lives. The day also included a formal welcome of the graduate school’s new dean, Scott Fletcher, followed by small group discussions and a wine and cheese reception.

“We look forward to Convocation as a time to connect across programs and to reflect on the shared values of each of our disciplines,” said Fletcher. “There is value in all of our experiences both individually, and collectively. The collaboration among educators, counselors, and psychologists is part of our dedication to the communities we serve.”

This year’s Convocation theme focused on faculty articles that touch on the values of the graduate school’s motto: creativity, compassion, and commitment. Faculty writings span from such topics as “Fulfilling the Promise of Educational Accountability,” by Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Marla McGhee, to “Coming Out and Being Out as Activism: Challenges and Opportunities for Mental Health Professionals in Red and Blue States,” by Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology Amy Rees-Turyn.

For more information:

Vanessa Fawbush
Communications Officer


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