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February 2018 Newsletter

Feb 28, 2018

In This Issue

  1. A Word from Our Dean
  2. School of Education Reunion, 2018!
  3. Biola and Buena Park Partner for Literacy
  4. Emerging Leaders Head to Sacramento
  5. You're Invited
  6. Faculty Introductions
  7. Did You Know...
  8. Alumni Spotlight
  9. Read More


A Word from our Dean

June Hetzel

Happy Spring! Thanks for reading the Biola University School of Education newsletter. This is your go-to source for SOE news, events and features.

In this letter, read how our faculty, students and alumni are impacting the field of education in the local, state and national spheres!

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events, like the SOE Alumni Reunion, our Educators' Lecture Series or an Info Session.

If there's any way we can help you in your journey as an educator, please reach out and get connected.

For God's glory,

June Hetzel's signature




June Hetzel, Ph.D.
Dean of School of Education



School of Education Reunion, 2018!

School of Education members

Come have fun at the Education Reunion on April 28, 2018 and reconnect with education faculty, staff and students.

Sign up now for the SOE reunion and help celebrate 65 years of God's faithfulness in the Department of Education at Biola University, including our last 10 years as a School of Education.

When: April 28, 2018
Where: Biola University Campus
Cost: $20

If you had Dr. Virginia Johnson as a professor in the last 20 years, come say "thank you" and help us celebrate her upcoming retirement. At the reunion, we will give out our first Dr. Betty Carden Leadership Legacy Scholarship, hear from current and past professors and students and celebrate highlights from past and present.

Come connect with friends old and new and celebrate your alma mater!

RSVP now!



Biola and Buena Park Partner for Literacy

Biola School of Education students and staffBiola’s School of Education has partnered with the Buena Park School District to continue to improve literacy among K–2 students through The Literacy Lab. Biola students are making a difference in the local community while gaining practical teaching experience.

Read more.



Emerging Leaders Head to Sacramento

Biola staff in Sacramento

While attending the Emerging Leaders Institute sponsored by Biola University’s School of Education held on February 2, 2018, nine delegates discovered that Biola is exerting a growing influence on education policy and practice for the state. During the visit the delegates were hosted by nine presenters holding various positions in the legislative and executive branches of the state government discussed with our students how educational policy is developed and implemented in California. To our surprise, five of the presenters had a Biola University connection.

Glen Thomas, a Biola Alum and former Secretary of Education for California, hosted our seminar; Keric Ashley, father of two students at Biola and one who is presently preparing for a teaching career, serves as Deputy Superintendent of Public Education for Accountability and Low Performing Schools, Joshua Speaks, Government Relations.

Public Affairs Manager for the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing indicated that his mother had graduated from Biola University. He also thanked Biola University SOE for piloting one the Teacher Preparation Assessment tests being developed to evaluate teacher’s pedagogy skills before being credentialed to teach in California. In addition, two recent
graduates of Biola University’s Political Science department are serving as fellows in the legislative branch, Jason Muehlhoff (son of Communication Studies faculty member, Tim) is serving in Senator Andy Vidak office and Lucas Webster is serving in Assemblyman Heath Flora’s office.

We are grateful that God is preparing many young people to understand how to influence educational policy and practice in California and for those that have exercised and are now involved in our legislative and executive government to faithfully serve others as they serve their Lord Jesus Christ.



You're Invited!

Educator's lecture series

Join us for the Educators' Lecture Series event on Autism: Parents and Educators in Collaboration

Join us as Dr. LaBarbera speaks on the topic of her newly released textbook, Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Partnering with Families for Positive Outcomes, which focuses on practical strategies for educating children with autism spectrum disorders in the classroom.

Dr. LaBarbera will be available to sign her book after the seminar.

When: Saturday, March 24, 9:30–11:30 a.m.
Where: Business 109 (Moats Lecture Hall), Biola University
Contact: Robbie Goforth, (562) 944-0351 ext. 3006,

Register now.



Faculty Introductions

Robin LaBarberaRobin LaBarbera, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of Special Education


Robin LaBarbera is an Associate Professor and Director of Special Education at Biola School of Education. Her current research project is about understanding the stress that families experience in raising a child with autism and their coping strategies.

Dr. LaBarbera has conducted numerous local and international presentations (most recently, two trips to Lebanon and two to Vietnam). She has published articles related to the education of students with learning difficulties, educators’ job stress and coping, she recently authored a textbook about educating students with autism, and she is currently co-editing a book about including students with special needs in the general education classroom.

Read an interview with Dr. LaBarbera about her new book.



Did You Know...

The Master's of Science in Special Education is available to you online?

>> Find out more.

Our Master of Science in Special Education degree is designed for individuals seeking to work with students who have mild to moderate learning, emotional and intellectual disabilities. As a student in this program, you will participate on faculty-led research teams and contribute to publications for peer-reviewed journals.

This fully online 41-unit program can be completed in four semesters and is designed to prepare highly effective special educators who plan to work in challenging school environments.

View admission requirements.



Alumni Spotlight

Albert Cheng

Albert Cheng, Ph.D.

While pursuing a master’s degree at Biola University’s School of Education, Albert Cheng (’12) was drawn to consider where our character and moral formation occurs.

Cheng found, "Being in an atmosphere that is distinctively Christian, where you talk about values[, and] in an environment where you wrestle with issues, was pivotal to my work.”

Last month, Cheng accepted a tenure-track position at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2016, where he co-founded Charassein: The Character Assessment Initiative, which focuses on the development of virtues—and the role in which a school environment affects character formation.

For the past two years, Cheng held a post-doc position at Harvard University’s Program on Education, Policy, and Governance, pursuing his curiosity around how schools can and do develop the whole child. Ultimately, Cheng hopes that his research around these non-cognitive skills will broaden our public conception of education as a site of character formation for the common good.

Recently, Dr. Cheng contributed a chapter to a book, by Routledge Press, entitled Homeschooling in the 21st Century.

We're grateful for his continued contribution to the field of education!


Know any SOE Alumni Worthy of the Spotlight?

We love Alumni Success Stories! Will you share yours? 



Read More

A teacher and elementary students looking at a globe

Enroll in Homeschool Courses!‚Äč Join Biola Youth Academics in Southern California or online.

Faculty giving lecture in classroom

Information Sessions: Visit a free info session to interact with faculty and learn about SOE grad programs.

Who's your one?

2018 Southern California Gathering of Christian Educators. Register now.

Teacher and children outdoors

ASCI Early Childhood Conference at Biola University, March 9–10.

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