From the President

May 11, 2011

Wendy Darga

We have much to celebrate this spring. Our College of Education programs have again received top national rankings with elementary and secondary education remaining No. 1 for the 17th consecutive year. Six additional study areas also were ranked within the top-11. Congratulations to our faculty and students—their leadership, scholarship and dedication are unmatched.

New Alumni Coordinator

Welcome to Sara Jones, who joined the college as our alumni coordinator in December 2010. Sara brings a wealth of experience from her work with students and alumni at Penn State and Florida State universities. We look forward to working with Sara to better connect with you.


We also celebrate the careers and contributions of many people this spring. With a hearty thank-you for their service and dedication to the College of Education Alumni Association, we say farewell to four members of our Board of Directors. Jan Colliton, Sue Gutierrez, Cathy Pavick and Bill Price have served their fellow College of Education alumni for the past six years. Katie Cefaratti, our undergraduate student representative, also will be leaving the board as she graduates and heads to Chicago to begin her teaching internship. Thank you for your time and talents—you will all be missed.

After leading the College of Education for 18 years, Dean Carole Ames is stepping down (see page 16 for the full feature story). One of the longest serving deans in MSU history, her vision and dedication to quality teaching that leads to learning for all have made our college the model to emulate nationwide. On behalf of the coeaa, I say thank you, Dean Ames. Thank you for honoring College of Education alumni in so many different ways—the best Homecoming Tent on campus, the Crystal Apple Awards, your tireless efforts to build scholarships for our students, for representing this college both here and abroad and for truly being involved with our meetings and events. We will miss working with you as dean.

The Alumni Connection: Honoring Cass Book

An MSU undergrad in the late 1960s, a tenured professor in the 1970s and an administrator in the College of Education since the early 1980s, Cassandra Book has spent the last 45 years living what it means to be an Spartan. She, too, will be stepping down later this year (see page 28).

Cass has ?lled many roles at MSU. She began her teaching career in the Department of Communication where she was one of the ?rst women hired and tenured. Moving to the College of Education, she has served as a professor, assistant and associate dean since 1981. Cass has authored textbooks, mentored Ph.D. candidates and taught undergrad courses. She has represented the college locally, nationally and internationally, served on national boards and been honored with countless awards. But it is her respect for and devotion to COE alumni for which I wish to express the deepest appreciation. As the faculty connection for the coeaa, Cass has coordinated the efforts of the Board of Directors and association for more than 20 years. When I asked current and former coeaa board members for their thoughts about working with Cass Book, the themes in the word cloud on this page emerged time and again. Her enthusiasm for our ideas, openness to our suggestions, tireless support of our efforts and constant presence with us show just how much she and the College of Education value the connection with alumni.

As a student in one of her undergraduate courses many years ago, I came to know and respect a very demanding teacher who challenged her students to work hard and to think hard. Her assignments made us apply what we were learning and she held us accountable—I still have the notes from her class on my bookshelf! As a member of the COEAA Board of Directors, I have come to admire an educator and administrator who has devoted her career to developing excellence in the students, staff, faculty and alumni of this institution. Thank you, Cass. Michigan State University will miss you, the College of Education will miss you and I will certainly miss you.

Wendy Darga
Class of 1989 and 1992