More Books: Spring 2015

Improving Teaching Through Observation and Feedback by Alyson L. Lavigne and Thomas GoodImproving Teaching Through Observation and Feedback: Beyond State and Federal Mandates


In response to Race to the Top, schools nationwide are rapidly overhauling their teacher evaluation processes. Often forced to develop and implement these programs without adequate extra-institutional support or relevant experience, already-taxed administrators need accessible and practical resources. Improving Teaching through Observation and Feedback brings cutting-edge research and years of practical experience directly to those who need them. In five concise chapters, the authors Alyson L. Lavigne ’03 and Thomas L. Good briefly outline the history of RttT and then move to a discussion of best practices.




Salsa Dancing in Gym Shoes by Alyson L. Lavigne and Tamma Oberg De La GarzaSalsa Dancing in Gym Shoes: Exploring Crosscultural Missteps with Latinos in the Classroom

Advanced Classroom Strategies, Inc.

Consider how you would typically greet a friend or a relative. Perhaps you would shake hands or even hug. But this might not be the norm in another culture. In the Latino culture, it’s common to greet loved ones with an embrace and a kiss on the cheek, and anything less may be taken as an affront. If something as simple as “hello” can create a culture gap, how can teachers navigate a multicultural classroom? Salsa Dancing in Gym Shoes takes a close look at the cultural missteps increasingly preventing Latinos from succeeding in education and offers steps that teachers can take to reverse this harmful pattern.

Alyson Lavigne ’03 is an assistant professor in the College of Education at Roosevelt University. Her research focuses on teacher evaluation, teacher retention, student and teacher motivational dynamics, and classroom practices, particularly in schools that serve Latino students. Her work has appeared in Teachers College Record, Teaching and Teacher Education, and Education Policy Analysis Archives. She has previously co-authored with Thomas L. Good for Teacher and Student Evaluation: Moving Beyond the Failure of School Reform.




Nigeria Revisited by Catherine OnyemelukweNigeria Revisited: My Life and Loves Abroad

Peace Corps Writers

The Nigerian people hold strong ties to their families, clans, tribes, and country, and it doesn’t take long for foreign residents to feel the same bond. Catherine’s heartfelt memoir revisits her two years overseas with the brand-new Peace Corps that become twenty-four. It recalls how her future Nigerian husband contrives to meet her, their falling for each other, and their controversial wedding that becomes world news and a spread in Life Magazine. It is also a deep look into the coups and wars that impact their family. When it becomes too much, they flee to the United States, only to be greeted with scorn for their mixed-race children.

Catherine Onyemelukwe ’62 began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria. She later ran her own fashion company in Lagos, returned to the US to earn her MBA at Yale, and became a professional fundraiser. She has taught, lectured, and written about her experiences in her memoir and in articles and essays, including speaking in Unitarian Universalist congregations, adult education settings, and classrooms from kindergarten to college level. She is the author of Love on the Road 2013: Twelve Tales of Love and Travel.




Fierce Falling Angel by Judy Lynn IchkhanianFierce Falling Angel: A Modern Gothic Romance

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Miranda James has waved goodbye to her career as a litigation attorney in New York in order to pursue a living as an artist in the south of France. Sales are not going so well though, so she is at first thrilled when Gabriel Murdock, a wealthy and darkly handsome financier, expresses his intent to buy the portrait that she’s painted of a friend’s daughter. Yet, something about his interest isn’t quite right. Gabriel is grim and imposing and frightening, but at certain times he also appears harmless, charming, and even boyish. When he invites her to paint his portrait and explore the desire that arcs between them, she willingly embraces the chance. Except Miranda has inadvertently pitted herself against the hidden secrets of desperate men. The dark and twisting path she will have to follow in order to win Gabriel’s heart and save a little girl and her family is filled with deadly menace.

Judy Lynn Ichkhanian ’86 majored in art history at Mount Holyoke before obtaining a certificate of interior design from Parson’s School of Design and a JD from St. John’s School of Law. She works as an attorney, and Fierce Falling Angel is her first novel.


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