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The Webster Learning Collective

Author: Webster SOE

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The Webster Learning Collective explores the potential for learning to empower communities and bring people together. This podcast, produced by Webster University's School of Education, covers topics relevant to educators, administrators, families, future teachers, and anyone who is a lifelong learner.
12 Episodes
This episode introduces the four members of the leadership council: Drs. Stephanie Mahfood, Nicole Lee-Johnson, Basiyr Rodney, and Ralph Olliges. Each member discusses their passion for education and how this new leadership structure mirrors a more democratic workplace.Stay tuned for part two, when they will discuss the leadership council's vision and mission to advance the School of Education's narrative of "a network of attraction."
This episode features Julius B. Anthony, president of St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature. This nonprofit organization uses Black children’s literature to improve reading proficiencies for elementary school students. Learn more about St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature on their website In his interview, Mr. Anthony addresses several important considerations in literacy education including: Underlying causes of achievement gaps in reading proficiency for Black students The importance of representation for Black children in books and children’s literature authorship Ways to spark joy and promote self-esteem in all learning environments Resources for teachers, parents, and caregivers to access children’s literature  EyeSeeMe Bookstore:  The Novel Neighbor: Nine PBS Network:  Julius B. Anthony’s contact info: 
This episode features three guests from YourWords STL, a nonprofit organization that provides tutoring and creative writing workshops for underserved youth in the St. Louis region. We are joined by co-founder of YourWords STL Dr. Anna Ojascastro Guzon, Development Director Dr. Michelle Haberberger, and Tutoring Coordinator Candice Smith.  This conversation addresses a variety of topics related to creative expression in children: Why creative expression is important for learning What it means to be creative: is it learned or innate? How educators and caregivers can introduce creative outlets for children  If you’d like to learn more about YourWords STL or volunteer as a tutor, take a look at their website: The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk: 
Dr. Tom Cornell has just retired after serving as Interim Dean for Webster University's School of Education. Tom reflects on his career as a K-12 teacher, reading specialist, and education consultant in addition to his experience as a faculty member and administrator at Webster. His interview covers a number of other topics including:-Future directions for the field of literacy education-Advice for aspiring teachers and teachers-in-training-Opportunities for professional development and lifelong learning-Tom's plans for retirementAttend the School of Education's upcoming Q&A session to learn more about our programs in Reading and Dyslexia: our website:
Episode 8: Rhoni Unger

Episode 8: Rhoni Unger


 Content notice: Self-harm and suicidal ideation are discussed throughout this episode. See links to the National Suicide Prevention Line and the Self-Harm Crisis Text Line at the bottom of this description.Rhonda (Rhoni) Bluehen-Unger is a graduate of Webster University’s MA in Applied Educational Psychology and she holds a graduate certificate in Fostering Resilience in "At Risk" Children and Youth. Rhoni has been a COVID-19 emotional health resource since August of 2020. At the time of this recording,  she worked as Trauma Care Coordinator for Lutheran Family and Children’s Services. Currently, Rhoni is working on opening a non-profit art studio in Franklin County called “Endangered Art” where trauma-trained staff will work with at-risk youth and use art as a healing tool.Rhoni’s interview covers several important topics including:·        How her Native American background influences her perspective on mental health and culturally informed practice·        Trauma-informed care models for Missouri schools and behavioral signs of trauma·        Bullying and mental healthAccess links to resources discussed in Rhoni’s interview here:-National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255 -National Self-Harm Crisis Text Line: US and Canada: text 741741 -Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri: -CHADS Coalition for Mental Health (Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide):  See the research project “An Exploration of Culturally Grounded Youth Suicide Prevention Programs for Native American and African American Youth” which Rhoni contributed to: 
Episode 7: Jane Lucas

Episode 7: Jane Lucas


Former teacher Jane Lucas earned an MA in Applied Educational Psychology and Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology from Webster University. She works as a school psychologist for Special School District in Normandy Missouri. She also does psychoeducational evaluations in University of Missouri St. Louis’s clinic. In addition, she serves as the field experience director for Webster’s School Psychology students.Topics covered in this episode include:·        Jane’s experience transitioning from her former role as a teacher to her current role as a school psychologist·        Ways to build trusting and supporting relationships with students·        Supporting students in managing test anxiety·        Helping children build social skills and form healthy friendshipsLearn more about the Normandy Schools Collaborative here: Learn more about Special School District here: 
Centron Felder graduated from Webster University with a Master’s in Applied Educational Psychology in 2016. He also earned an Educational Specialist degree in Applied Educational Psychology in 2019. Prior to attending Webster, he earned two degrees in Exercise Science. Mr. Felder is also a veteran of both the United States Navy and the United States Air Force. Centron currently works as a school psychologist at St. Louis Language Immersion School (SLLIS).In this episode, Mr. Felder shares his personal experience and discusses several important topics including:·        Centron’s unique path to becoming a school psychologist·        How formal assessments are used to inform diagnosis and support services·        The importance of understanding the roles of race and class in mental health diagnosis and treatment·        Parent and caregiver roles in supporting student mental health Use this link to check out the St. Louis nonprofit agency Alive and Well, mentioned by Centron in this interview: Learn more about SLLIS here:  
Episode 5: Laketa Winn

Episode 5: Laketa Winn


Laketa Winn graduated from Webster's School Psychology program in May of 2020. She also earned an Educational Specialist degree from Webster in addition to a Master's in Applied Educational Psychology. Laketa currently works as a School Psychologist for the Special School District in St. Louis County.In this episode, Ms. Winn shares her perspective as a School Psychologist in Special School District. Topics covered include:·        Signs of mental health symptoms that may be noticed by caregivers and teachers·        Combating stigma associated with Special Education and mental health care·        Collaboration with parents and teachers to promote academic success ·        Ways for caregivers to help their children manage academic stress during the COVID-19 pandemic Learn more about Laketa in her alumni interview: Learn more about Special School District here: 
Episode 4: Ruby Parks

Episode 4: Ruby Parks


Ruby Parks is a School of Education student working towards her Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. Her research has focused on ways for administrators to partner with teachers successfully and adapt to evolving needs of students.   In Ruby’s interview, she covers several important topics: -How leadership is addressing the needs of students and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic -What makes effective professional development for teachers -Increasing student engagement in online learning -Bridging the gap in student access to educational technology Learn more about Webster University’s EdS in Educational Leadership here 
Dr. Yin Lam Lee-Johnson is an Associate Professor in Webster University's School of Education. She also serves as director of our EdD program and co-director of our NPD grant. Her research interests include discourse analysis, multimodality in picture books about immigrants and refugees, classroom research for K-12 teachers, anti-oppressive education, and critical race theory.  In this episode, she discusses her recent research on anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.Dr. Lee-Johnson also received the Flesher Fellowship, the Dorothy D. Scrivener Memorial Scholarship, and the Ray Travel Award before joining Webster. In 2016-17 academic year, she received the Women of Webster Award from the Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs of Webster University. Dr. Lee-Johnson has received many research grants such as the Kornblum Research Grant and Faculty Research Grant for making a change in other people’s lives. -Read about Dr. Lee-Johnson’s recent publications and role as guest editor for the Journal of Asian Pacific Communication:  
Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser is an Education consultant, playwright, lyricist, and award-winning author. Also known by her pen name SissyMarySue, Wendy is dedicated to teaching children age-appropriate lessons about empathy.  This episode was recorded prior to the conferral of Dr. Muhlhauser's doctorate degree in Education. Her Ed.D degree was officially conferred on February 11th, 2021.Topics covered in this episode include: -The relationship between empathy and cognitive development -Social learning and play-based learning -Strategies for parents and teachers to teach children about empathy Visit Wendy’s website to learn more about her books and educational curriculum: with Wendy on LinkedIn:
Our first episode features current MAT students Jeff Morrison and Carly Hampton. Both Carly and Jeff recently finished practicum teaching, and their experiences were drastically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this conversation, they share their experiences and insights on the following topics:-Preparing for a teaching career during the COVID-19 pandemic -Challenges and silver linings of online instruction -How Mursion software gave them a unique and exciting practicum experience-The future of technology in the classroom 
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