Skip To Nav

Site-specific menu


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011


Joe R. Chapel Obituary
Joe R. ChapelJoe R. Chapel, age 73, passed away on Saturday, December 1, 2012. He initially began his career as a sixth grade teacher for Kalamazoo Public Schools, at Knollwood. Joe was a much-loved and respected professor of Education at Western Michigan University. During various times at the University, he was the Director of the Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic, Administrator and Site Coordinator of the Michigan Reading Recovery Program, and Associate Professor of Education and Professional Development. Joe was a truly dedicated professional who strived to excel in the education of others. He spent extensive time with university students who were experiencing reading/ learning difficulties He was a member of the International Reading Association, the Michigan Reading Association, the Michigan College Reading Council, the Homer Carter Reading Council, the Michigan Association of Teacher Educators, the National Reading Recovery Council of North America, the Midwest College Reading Association, and Phi Delta Kappa. Joe was a 1996 recipient of the Crystal Apple Award that was created by the MSU graduate college to honor him for outstanding contributions to the field of education. Most of all, Joe treasured being with his family, especially his three grandchildren. He loved playing golf, listening to beautiful music, reading, and working with his students. Joe liked being at Lake Michigan, taking vacations in Glen Arbor, working in the yard, and driving his John Deere. He is survived by his loving wife, Martha; daughter, Chris (Victor) Pitsch; grandchildren who he loved so dearly, Carly, Joe, and Lucas; brother, Jack (Mary) Chapel; sisters, Janet (Jim) Melcher, and Joyce (David) Beekman; and seven nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Christine (Starks) Chapel, and his sister, Judy (Seymour) Van Deursen. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider a donation to the Dorothy J. McGinnis Reading Center in Care of Joe Chapel Scholarship Fund, 1903 W. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5258 and Clinic at W.M.U.
Posted December 10

Former education dean, John Sandberg, dies in Florida
John SandbergDr. John E. Sandberg, who served as dean of Western Michigan University's College of Education for 13 years in the 1970s and 1980s, died Oct. 24 in Viera, Fla.  He was 83.

Sandberg came to WMU as dean in 1971 and served in that role until 1983. He retired in 1986 with emeritus status but remained active in teacher evaluation research at the University. Under his guidance as dean, WMU established a doctoral program in educational leadership in Guam, and the college earned full accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Merze Tate Center for Research was developed during his tenure.

Prior to taking the lead of WMU's education programs, he served in Oregon for five years as deputy director of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in Portland.

Sandberg earned three degrees from Washignton State University in 1951, 1952 and 1965. He also was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Guam in recognition of the work he did in that Pacific nation.

In 2005, WMU established a three-year professorship in Sandberg's honor, naming Dr. Jianping Shen of what was then the University's Department of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, to hold the position.

Following his retirement, Sandberg relocated to Bradenton Beach Fla., where he became active in the local community. In 2005 he and his wife Mollie, who survives, moved to Viera. Fla.

Posted November 7

Katharine CummingsCorwin Press has released a new book by a group of authors including Dr. Katharine Cummings, Associate Dean in the College of Education and Human Development, WMU professor emeritus Arlen Gullickson and Lindsay Noakes, current doctoral student and alumna of WMU’s secondary education program have had a new book published.

California's Corwin Press released the text, "Improving Formative Assessment Practice to Empower Student Learning" in February. It is designed for individual teachers or collaboratively as a study guide for a learning community.

The authors describe an effective four-step process for improving teachers' formative assessment practices that provides opportunities to reflect, consider alternative instructional approaches, and apply what they have learned. Case studies provide examples of formative assessment in practice, along with examples of teacher-implemented changes. A companion website includes an array of tools and templates for organizing, gathering, and systematically using information to strengthen formative assessment skills.

» More Information on the Book

Posted July 25

Sarah StanglThe YWCA of Kalamazoo announced Sarah Stangl as one of the winners of the 2012 Women of Achievement awards. Stangl serves as an academic adviser at Western Michigan University. When she served as coordinator of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Student Services at WMU, she advocated for LGBT students by working with WMU's Office of Residence Life to assist LGBT students living on campus, revamping the Safe On Campus program and developing the Gender Identity Training Program. In 2011, WMU was ranked in the top 25 schools for having a diverse and accepting student body in Newsweek and the Daily Beast. She also volunteers at the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center PRIDE Festival and Kalamazoo Save Our Strays.
Posted Apr 4



Tracy CorstangeCongratulations to College of Education and Human Development Academic Advisor Tracy Corstange for receiving the semi-annual WMU Make a Difference award. All recipients will be honored at a reception on April 16 at 2p.m. in room 157 Bernhard Center.
Posted Mar 29







Interim Dean Named

Van CooleyVan E. Cooley, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology for Western Michigan University's College of Education and Human Development, has been named interim dean of the college.

Cooley, whose appointment is effective immediately, replaces John J. Wheeler, who left WMU in December to become the Director for the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development at East Tennessee State University. Cooley will serve as the interim dean while the University conducts a nationwide search for a new dean of the college.

Cooley has been a member of the faculty and college administration since 1996. Since his appointment to WMU, he has been the co-principal investigator on nearly 9 million dollars in grants from the Wallace Foundation and the United States Department of Education. Through grant initiatives, he has worked closely with the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Association of Secondary Principals, Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association and the Michigan Association of School Administrators. He has also worked with principals in Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Kalamazoo, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Muskegon, Oak Park, Saginaw and other Michigan districts. He previously worked as a middle and high school teacher, an assistant superintendent and superintendent. Working with teachers and administrators, he has developed state and national award winning programs ranging from professional development; technology programming and programs to address the needs of at risk students.

Cooley has been a member of WMU Faculty Senate Executive Board for 11 years. He has also been a member of the Research Policies Committee, Campus Planning and Financial Council, Research Policies Council, Academic and Information Technology Council, and the Senate Committee on Extended University Programs.

A graduate of Ball State University, Cooley also served in the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman from 1968-1972 including one year in South Vietnam. Dr. Cooley is married and has two grown children.
Posted Jan 24