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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


Inside the College of Education
Getting to know some of the people in WSU's academic programs

Give Something Back Founder Robert Carr, left, presented an oversized check for $1 million to WSU President John Bardo and WSU Foundation Vice President Keith Pickus.
Telling us a little more about themselves were, from right, College of Education Dean Shirley Lefever, student Phoebe Urban, Cathy Durano, an alumna of the college, and her husband, Tony Durano.

Why did you choose to work at or enroll in the College of Education?

SHIRLEY: I have always had a passion for teaching and working with young people. I enjoy helping others learn new things and being part of something bigger than myself. Developing new programs that meet emerging needs is very rewarding to me.

PHOEBE: I wanted to be a teacher, and the College of Education seemed like a good fit because of how the classes were set up. Each semester is laid out for you, so there is no confusion on what classes need to be taken and in what order.

CATHY: As an undergraduate, I had heard good things about the college and its program. I felt (and still feel) that theWSU teacher preparation is outstanding because of our urban setting. The area has plenty of placements that can take a potential teacher and help him/her grow into an outstanding educator through reallife experiences in the classroom.


What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing education today?

SHIRLEY: One of the most important things we can do is make sure people view educational careers as attractive vocations. There are so many opportunities with an education degree, particularly in the WSU College of Education. Students can prepare for careers in almost any setting, from preschool to high school classrooms, to health-related professions, to careers in the sports and marketing industry.

PHOEBE: The biggest issue seems to be funding, which impacts so many other areas, technology being one. Teachers are pushed to have a classroom that features traditional learning with technology added. In most classrooms, the technology is lacking, making it difficult to carry out this expectation.

CATHY: One of the biggest issues is negative feelings toward teachers. This is discouraging young people from entering the profession at exactly the time we are facing a teacher shortage. Society needs to recognize that teaching is an honorable profession and that the best teachers are intelligent, creative problem-solvers.


List three items on your bucket list.

SHIRLEY: Travel more, take my grandchildren on trips, watch them grow into adults.

PHOEBE: Visit a beach, visit Disney World, be on the show The Price is Right (and actually win something!)

CATHY: See the Pyramids of Giza, read to my grandkids, live near WSU.


What makes the College of Education distinctive or memorable?

SHIRLEY: People make it such a special place. Collectively, our faculty, staff and students are caring individuals committed to making a difference. We work hard, but we enjoy each other’s company so it is a fun place to work. When you believe in what you are doing, it makes the job rewarding and energizing.

PHOEBE: The college is special because I have made lasting friendships there. It is designed so that you are in classes with the same colleagues each semester from the start, which is comforting. I had a lot of the same instructors each semester, too, making it feel like a close-knit, family atmosphere.

CATHY: I have many memories from my college years that surround the College of Education. Some of my best friends were my fellow students who went on to be my teaching colleagues.

For more information

If you would like to learn more about the College of Education at Wichita State, contact Magnus Assarsson, Director of Development (Education), at 316-978-6842 or

Aaron Winter