Shana Haines, Ph.D.
Name: Shana Haines
B.A. Urban Studies and Environmental Science, Columbia University
M.A. Education, City College
Ph.D. Special Education, University of Kansas
With UVM Since: Fall 2013
Title: Assistant Professor
Department/College: College of Education and Social Services
Disability and Inclusion
Diversity, Access, and Equity
English Language Learners
Family Studies; Literacy and Numeracy
Dr. Shana Haines has been an Assistant Professor in the University of Vermont’s College of Education and Social Services since 2013. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Urban Studies and Environmental Science from Barnard College at Columbia University, an M.A. in Education from City College, and a Ph. D. in Special Education from the University of Kansas. She also has accumulated seven years of experience in elementary level education as a teacher, literacy specialist, and administrator. Since tutoring at a public school in Harlem as a college student, she has been especially interested in the social aspects of education. Her interest became focused specifically on refugees after she volunteered to be an “American Friend” to a newly arrived refugee family in 2007 and noticed the disconnect between educators and the family. Now, she is focused on “understanding and improving the experience of refugee families and their children with the American school system, inclusive school reform, and innovative teacher education.”
Professor Haines spent two years in Namassi, a small village in the Ivory Coast, with the Peace Corps following her graduation from Barnard College. This was an entirely new experience for her– an Ivy League graduate from Connecticut working as the only Peace Corps operative within a twenty-mile radius and living in a thatch-roofed mud hut with a singular lightbulb. Her “cosmopolitan skills” were of no use, and she was forced to absorb alternative cultural capital and adapt to new necessities of self-sufficiency. Several years later, Haines volunteered with Catholic Charities Maine, where she found that her own experience as a stranger to the culture of Namassi allowed her to connect with newly resettled refugees in the US. She recognized that she had a great deal to offer in terms of her cultural knowledge, and the families she worked with introduced to her models of resiliency that are less common in normative American society. Never ceasing to be amazed by the strength of the refugees she has come to know, Haines has spent the past six years researching relationships between newcomers, their children’s teachers, and the educational services provided to such newcomers as a whole.
As few as eight studies have dissected family partnerships and special education issues specific to refugee families, creating a knowledge gap that Haines hopes to fill with her work. “Special education is a civil rights issue, and family partnership in determining an appropriate individualized education program is part of the right given to families whose children experience a disability,” Haines writes. Such rights can be difficult to ensure given the “assumption of literate families” that dominates the American education system. Understanding report cards, emails from teachers, online grading portals, etc. can be both linguistically and culturally challenging to families who are accustomed to alternative schooling practices; especially when they originate from areas in which primary education is distinct from home affairs and parent-teacher roles vary from American expectations. As Haines says, “In the US, families need to understand the rights and responsibilities of all people involved in educating children. Understanding how this information is understood and communicated currently is paramount to then being able to improve the accuracy of perceptions for families, school personnel, and community members.” She hopes that in conducting such research, teachers and administrators may be better prepared to provide equal educational opportunities and refugees may have a stronger voice in the policies and practices that directly impact their children.
Helping refugees is the ultimate social justice issue for Dr. Haines, who sees such efforts as a way to “mitigate the atrocities that are happening around the world” without leaving one’s locale. She is excited by the prospect of UVM as a powerhouse of research on small city resettlement from a breadth of multidisciplinary perspectives. As a large public university in the midst of a resettlement city, there is opportunity for inclusion of students who are themselves former refugees in research teams like Haines’s, providing firsthand knowledge of social relationships in Burlington to which few others have access, be they between refugee students and teachers or social workers, or between different ethnic groups within the city. Additionally, UVM will soon be introducing a new minor in the College of Education and Social Services– Educating for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity– for which Haines will be teaching a new course in the fall of 2017 titled “Family, School, and Community Collaboration”. With the introduction of this new minor, along with other courses across several departments, UVM is expanding its educational opportunities for those interested in working with refugee and immigrant populations. Dr. Haines hopes that this expansion of refugee-related projects across disciplines will lead to further collaboration among researchers and growing interest among students.
To those just beginning their educational journeys and discovering an interest in working with refugees, Haines writes:
“Do not wait! Get involved! There are many agencies looking for UVM students to mentor high school students who want to apply to college. What a difficult process to go through, especially if your family does not understand the process! In seeking ways to volunteer, you will be giving your time and skills (which are not always tangible, but believe me you have them) to students who can benefit from them. However, you will probably learn more from them than you teach them. Working with refugee populations is a chance for you to learn a tremendous amount about our own country and other cultures, and giving what you can to refugee populations helps counteract the horrors of hatred that are plaguing so many parts of the world.”
Examining the Complexity of Literacy Brokering within Immigrant Families and School Partnerships
When: Fall 2016-current
Funding: College of Education and Social Services
Research Team: Shana Haines and Cynthia Reyes
Project Description: This study explores the experiences of refugees new to the US as they send their children to school and how they work with their children’s teachers. Specifically, it looks at how refugee families navigate the culture of literacy and technology that permeates communication about children’s education. It also examines how refugee families perceive their roles in educating their children, how teachers perceive their roles in educating their students, and how these groups of people communicate with each other.
Link: none currently
Fostering a Child’s Foundational Skills leading to Self-Determination: A Case Study of a Refugee Family, A Head Start Agency, and their Family-Professional Partnership
Funding: Office of Special Education Programs
Research Team: Haines, S.J., Summers, J.A., Turnbull, A.P., Palmer, S., & Turnbull, H.R
Project Description: This qualitative study analyzes the relationship between a refugee family and the staff of a Head Start agency; finding that while the relationship was positive, it did not reflect the level of trust that Head Start national standards encourage in family partnerships.
Haines, S. J., Summers, J. A., Turnbull, A. P., & Turnbull, H. R. (2015). Family partnership with a Head Start agency: A case study of a refugee family. National Head Start Research Association’s Dialog, 17(4), 22-49. https://journals.uncc.edu/dialog/article/view/168/354
Haines, S. J., Summers, J. A., Turnbull, A. P., & Turnbull, H. R. (2015). Family partnership with a refugee family: Practical implications from a case study. National Head Start Research Association’s Dialog, 17(4), 124-130.
Haines, S. J., Summers, J. A., Turnbull, A. P. Palmer, S. B., & Turnbull, H. R. (2015). Fostering Habib’s engagement and self-regulation: A case study of a child from a refugee family at home and preschool. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(1), 28-39. doi: 10.1177/0271121414552905
MAPS for the future: Using person-centered planning with students from refugee families
When: in revision 2017
Research Team: Shepherd, K.G., Haines, S.J., Francis, G.L., Zeigler, M., and Mabika, G.
Project Description: This study documented the use of MAPS, a person-centered planning procedure, with students from refugee families.
Haines, S. J., Francis, G. L., Shepherd, K. G., Zeigler, M., & Mabika, G. (in press). Partnership bound: Using MAPS with students from immigrant families. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals.
Foundations for Self-Determination in Early Childhood
Funding: Institute for Educational Sciences
Research Team: Summers, J.A., Palmer, S., Brotherson, M.J., Maude, S., & Erwin, E.J.
Project Description: This four-year IES-funded project sought to develop and pilot an intervention aimed at improving preschool children with disabilities’ foundational skills leading to later self-determination.
Erwin, E. J., Maude, S. P., Palmer, S. B., Summers, J. A., Brotherson, M. J., Haines, S.J., Stroup-Rentier, V., Zheng, Y., & Peck, N. F. (2015). Fostering the foundations of self-determination in early childhood: A process for enhancing child outcomes across home and school. Early Childhood Education Journal, 44, 325-333. doi: 10.1007/s10643-015-0710-9
Summers, J. A., Brotherson, M. J., Erwin, E. J., Maude, S., Palmer, S.B., Haines, S. J., Stroup-Rentier, V., Wu, H.Y., Peck, N. F., & Zheng, Y. Z. (2014). Family reflections on the foundations of self-determination in early childhood. Inclusion, 2(3), 175-194. doi10.1352/2326-6988-2.03.00
Palmer, S. P., Summers, J. A., Brotherson, M. J., Erwin, E. J., Maude, S. P., Stroup-Rentier, V. L,
Wu, H. Y., Peck, N. E., Zheng, Y., Weigel, C. J., Chu, S. Y., McGrath, G. S., & Haines, S. J. (2013). Building a foundation for self-determination in early childhood: An inclusive model for children with disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 33(3), 38-47. doi: 10.1177/0271121412445288
Maude, S. P., Brotherson, M. J., Summers, J. A., Erwin, E. J., Palmer, S., Peck, N. F., Zheng, Y. Z., Kruse, A., Haines, S. J., & Weigel, C. J. (2011). Performance: A strategy for professional development in early childhood teacher preparation. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education: Inclusive Early Childhood Teacher Education, 32(4), 355-366.
Schoolwide Integration for Transformation (SWIFT) Knowledge Development Site Case Studies
Funding: Office of Special Education Programming
Research Team: Francis, G.L., Haines, S.J., Blue-Banning, M.B., Gross, J.S., & Turnbull, A.P.
Project Description: As part of SWIFT’s search for models, this project employed an appreciative inquiry approach to document inclusive practices at six selected schools across the country.
Francis, G. L., Blue-Banning, M., Turnbull, A. P., Hill, C., Haines, S. J., & Gross, J. M. (2016). School culture in inclusive schools: Parental perspectives on trusting family partnerships. Education and Training for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 51(3), 281–293.
Francis, G. L., Blue-Banning, M., Haines, S. J., Turnbull, A. P., Hill, C., & Gross, J. M. (2016). Building “Our School:” Parental perspectives for building trusting family-professional partnerships. Journal of School Failure, 60(4), 329-336. doi: 10.1080/1045988X.2016.1164115
Francis, G. L., Gross, J. M. S., Blue-Banning, M., Haines, S. J., & Turnbull, A. P. (2016). Principals and parents achieving optimal outcomes: Lessons learned from six American schools implementing inclusive practices. Revista Latinoamericana de Inclusión Educativa, 10(1), 61-77. Retrieved from http://www.rinace.net/rlei/numeros/vol10-num1/art2_eng.pdf
Gross, J. M. S., Haines, S. J., Hill, C., Francis, G. L., Turnbull, A. P., & Blue-Banning, M. (2015). Strong school-community partnerships: A collective endeavor. School-Community Journal, 25(2), 9-35.
Haines, S. J., Gross, J. S., Blue-Banning, M., Francis, G. L., & Turnbull, A. P. (2015). Fostering family-school and community-school partnerships in inclusive schools: Using practice as a guide. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(3), 227–239. doi: 10.1177/1540796915594141
Kozleski, E. B., Yu, T., Satter, A. L., Francis, G. L., & Haines, S. J. (2015). A never-ending journey: Inclusive education is a principle of practice, not an end game. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(3), 211-226. doi: 10.1177/1540796915600717
Alan Tinkler, Ph.D.
Name: Alan Tinkler
Education: Ph.D. in English, the University of Denver
With UVM Since: 2008
Title: Assistant Professor
Department/College: College of Education and Social Services
Curriculum and Instruction
English Language Learners
Reading Education and Literacy
Dr. Alan Tinkler has been a professor of education at the University of Vermont for the past eight years. His focus is varied, but includes teacher professional development, school remodeling, community engagement, service learning, and empowering student voices. Prior to joining UVM’s faculty, Tinkler familiarized himself with issues facing refugees through service learning engagement involving teacher preparation, but after joining UVM, he began working with refugees by serving community-based organizations like the O’Brien Community Center, King Street Center, and the Winooski Community Center.
Dr. Tinkler believes the role of education in refugee research is to expand the boundaries of service learning through teacher preparation, and as a continuation of the research education has done on integration within a classroom setting. The meaningful impacts and outcomes facilitated by teachers can affect the education of any student, refugee or not. However, Tinkler also notes the importance of approaching research through a multi-disciplinary approach because he believes, within the context of complex systems, cross discipline collaboration is crucial.
Currently Dr. Tinkler’s research is focused on student engagement and relationships with community partners in the context of service learning, particularly on the outcomes of student learning experiences. One particular outcome Tinkler has examined is cultural humility in service learning at community site placements, with the goal to advance community partner voices. He is also researching how school remodeling amplifies student voices, which falls in line with the recently passed Act 77 that ensures “flexible pathways” to graduation in Vermont. He sees the importance of personal learning and development plans that take into account socio-economic standing, in order to ensure equitable access to education opportunities. In the future, Tinkler plans to research the effects of Act 77 on expanding learning opportunities and success outside of school.
Though Tinkler hopes education will continue to address the refugee crisis going forward, he acknowledges the difficulties of conducting this kind of research. Firstly, it is difficult to receive IRB approval with access to families due to the challenges of working across language barriers. However, TInkler notes this challenge is lessened when working with a community partner because these organizations are already grounded in the community and have a pre-existing collaborative capacity. He also shares similar worries with students wishing to work with refugees, stressing the importance of ongoing interaction with oneself and others. He urges students to be aware of cultural competency issues and to approach their research with a sense of humility.
Tinkler, A., Tinkler, B., Gerstl-Pepin, C., & Mugisha, V. (2014). The promise of a community-based, participatory approach to service-learning in teacher education. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 18(3), 209-232.
Tinkler, A., Tinkler, B., Hausman, E., & Tufo-Strouse, G. (2014). Key elements of effective service-learning partnerships from the perspective of community partners. Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, 5(2), 137-152.
Tinkler, B., Hannah, C. l., Tinkler, A., & Miller, E. (2014). Analyzing a service-learning experience using a social justice lens. Teaching Education, 25(1), 82-98. doi:10.1080/10476210.2012.744742
Cynthia Reyes, Ph.D.
Name: Cynthia Reyes
B.A. in Spanish and Communications, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
M.Ed. in Educational Studies/Instructional Leadership, University of Illinois, Chicago
Ph.D. in Reading, Writing, and Literacy, University of Illinois, Chicago
With UVM Since: 2011
Title: Associate Professor
Department/College: College of Education and Social Services
Intersections of identity
Young adolescent literacy
Instruction and English language learners
Dr. Reyes has been a part of UVM’s College of Education and Social Services since 2003. Currently, she is an Associate Professor who specializes in Literacy Education and diversity courses at the university. As a child of Philippine immigrants, Reyes was exposed to some of the issues facing New Americans from a young age. Though she did not become a teacher until she completed her Master’s Degree, Reyes worked with several groups in Chicago like the Marjorie Klover Center, which specializes in trauma for asylum seekers fleeing torture and persecution. Once she received her Master’s and teaching license, she taught grades five through eight in a Mexican-Immigrant neighborhood in Chicago, where she gained some perspective as to what it is like for those learning English as a second language through the stories of her students and their parents.
Currently, Dr. Reyes is developing an undergraduate program for cultural and linguistic diversity (ECLD) for both education and non-education majors. She is also working with Shana Haines on a family-school partnership research project, which examines the ways families gain access to schools and the ways schools communicate with families. This project investigates whether the student or a multicultural liaison is the main facilitator of communication between the school and the family. The research is based on interviews with newly arrived families from Somalia, Bhutan, Nepal, and Iraq.
Other research Dr. Reyes is currently working on is a digital story telling project with young adolescent English learners, where students record their personal tale of English learning. These stories allow Reyes to gain an understanding to how technology mediates their stories and how they view themselves as English learners. Reyes hopes to one day bring digital story telling to both the student and their families, having the stories be written in English and the writer’s native language. Now Reyes is also teaming up with Dr. Kathleen Brinegar, a professor at Johnson State College, to expand the use of digital story telling to allow pre-service teachers to share their stories. These stories will focus on how these teachers view themselves as literate beings, which informs how they will teach and incorporate English in the classroom.
As an educator, Reyes believes her discipline helps others in understanding the relationship between school and student life. Her research seeks to understand the most effective strategies for teaching and working with refugee students and gives valuable insight into the lives of refugee children, specifically in how they understand their personal experience in the United States through their education and friendships. Reyes warns, however, that refugee children and families have experience with researchers using their stories and not reciprocating anything in return. The families should gain as much from the relationships cultivated through research as the researchers themselves. Reyes believes this mindset is key when addressing the refugee crisis moving forward so that the best information is being published and disseminated into the public as to support the needs of refugee families and the school personnel with whom they work. The findings should be used to develop better training for teachers working with refugee populations, and this information should be shared throughout Vermont.
When: 2006 - Present
Funding: 2003 Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) grant (U.S. Department of Education)
Research Team: Sandra A Lathem, Cynthia Reyes, J Qi (UVM College of Education and Social Services)
Project Description: This project examined the stories middle level pre-service teachers had with utilizing Digital Storytelling. Digital Storytelling is an effective way to bring student voice into the literacy education process. Reyes is currently expanding the groups with which she uses Digital Storytelling. She hopes this method can be used by both refugee students and their families as a way to communicate their journeys and needs.
Improving Middle Level Education
Funding: Vermont Adolescent Literacy and Learning [$35,000] from Vermont Agency of Education
Cynthia Reyes, Principal Advisor (UVM College of Education and Social Services)
Project Description: The purpose of this project is to increase middle and high school teachers' knowledge or expertise of best practices in adolescent literacy so they can engage students in critical thinking and deep learning across content areas. VALLI is also committed to supporting and mentoring new middle and high school teachers. The goal is to support teachers in preparing their students for careers or college.
A Nascent Look at Theoretical Frameworks in Middle Level Education Research
Project Description: This article examined theoretical frameworks that have been commonly utilized by researchers when examining middle level education. Reyes’s research found that researchers in education have been using frameworks from other fields to explore middle level education. Reyes and Netoch propose that researchers need to develop a more nuanced framework of their own to better understand middle level education
Reyes, Cynthia and Netcoh, Steven (2015) "A Nascent Look at Theoretical Frameworks in Middle Level Education Research," Middle Grades Review: Vol. 1 : Iss. 1 , Article 3.
Reimagining the Public Intellectual in Education: Making Scholarship Matter
Project Description: This book explores the role of the public intellectual in the education field. This book hopes to show that involving public educators in the policy making process would be more beneficial to education policy than political agendas.
Gerstl-Pepin, Cynthia I., and Cynthia Reyes. Reimagining the public intellectual in education: making scholarship matter. New York: Peter Lang, 2015.
Reyes, C. & Bishop, P. (2014) The hazards of engaging identity in a pre-service middle level classroom. In Patrick Jenlink (Ed.) Teacher Identity and the Struggle for Recognition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Brinegar, K. & Reyes, C. (2014). "Becoming a literate being:" Pre-service teachers using digital stories to reflect on personal narratives. In Malu, K. & Schaefer, M.B. (Eds.) Research on Teaching and Learning Literacy with Young Adolescents. Vol. 10 in The Handbook of Research in the Middle Level Education. Information Age Publishing.
Reyes, C. & Clark, B. (2013). Exploring writing through the digital story with English Language Learner: A collaborative approach. In Nagle, J. (2013). Working Title: Creating Collaborative Learning Communities to Improve English Learner Instruction: College Faculty, School Teachers, and Pre-service Teachers Learning Together in the 21st Century.
Reyes, C. (2012). "This I Believe:" Addressing cultural competency with the digital narratives of middle grades English language learners. In Miller, F. (Ed.) Transforming Learning Environments: Strategies to Shape the Next Generation. Emerald Group Publishing.
Reyes, C. (2010) Locating an authorial voice: Engaging a school reform debate through the roles of a mother, teacher, community member, and university professor. In Malu, K. (Ed.) Voices from the middle: Narrative inquiry by, for, and about the middle level community. The Handbook of Research in the Middle Level Education. Information Age Publishing, pps. 339-358.
Reyes, C. (2009). El Libro de Recuerdos (Book of Memories): A Latina Student's Exploration of Self and Religion in Public School. Research in the Teaching of English, 43(3), 263-285.
Reyes, C. (2008). "Disturbing the waters":Using relational knowledge to explore methodology. The Journal of Educational Foundations, Vol. 22(3-4), pps. 13-31.