Thomas College Names Three New Faculty Members for Center for Innovation in Education

Published: Monday, June 13, 2016

WATERVILLE, June 2016 — Thomas College announced the hiring of three new education faculty members as part of its Center for Innovation in Education, which opened in Fall 2015. Ted Prawat, Kate Cook Whitt, and Dr. Katie Rybakova will join Thomas College in September 2016.

“These new faculty members are bringing with them a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to their new roles at Thomas, and they are eager to begin engaging with our faculty, staff, and especially our students,” said Provost Thomas Edwards. “We are excited to see what they will add to our Center for Innovation in Education.”

Ted Prawat will be joining Thomas as an Assistant Professor for Education and Educational Design Center Director for the Center for Innovation in Education.

Prawat was a Curriculum Specialist at Michigan State University from 2012-2015, and he served as Artist in Residence at the 3e International School in Beijing, China from 2005-2009. He holds his Bachelor of Arts in Art Education and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Miami University (OH), and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Indiana University.

Prawat is the owner and founder of Time for Art Studio, a game and media/fine arts consulting company in East Lansing, MI, and he also served as a 3D Game Design and Science Curriculum consultant for the University of Montana at Missoula, where he has assisted with a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant aimed at Common Core math standards and Montana Next Generation Science standards for middle school students.

Dr. Katie Rybakova will join Thomas as Assistant Professor of Education. Her work will include proficiency-based learning as part of the Center for Innovation in Education at Thomas. Rybakova earned her Bachelor of Arts in English, Master of Science in English Education, and her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction, all from Florida State University.

Prior to joining Thomas, Rybakova held the position of program coordinator for undergraduate and graduate English Education program at Florida State University. Rybakova holds a professional license to teach 6-12th grade English Language Arts as well as a K-12 Exceptional Student Education license. Her research includes a focus on 21st century literacy skills and how these skills are developed in preservice and practicing English teachers.

Kate Cook Whitt will be joining Thomas College as an Assistant Professor of Education with a focus on STEAM education.

Cook Whitt’s background and professional work revolves around her commitment to supporting teachers and schools in employing innovative teaching and learning strategies.

Cook Whitt earned a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Music History/Theory from Oberlin College, a Master’s in Secondary Science Education from Northwestern University, and is currently completing the Doctor of Organizational Studies program at Wright State University. Her doctoral dissertation deals with elementary teachers’ innovative teaching practices in science.

Prior to joining Thomas, Cook Whitt taught biology at the Dayton Regional STEM School in Kettering, Ohio and served as an educational consultant for a variety of organizations.  She led professional development for the Next Generation Science Exemplar System, the Yellow Springs School District, and the Dayton Regional STEM School Training Center. Cook Whitt also wrote curriculum for a collaborative project between the Teaching Channel and the Boeing Company.

About the Center for Innovation in Education: Thomas College’s Center for Innovation in Education is re-envisioning teacher education that supports digital learning, STEAM, and Proficiency Based Learning in an adaptive environment that reflects a contemporary instructional approach.

Backed by an investment from the Lunder Foundation, the Center for Innovation in Education is a state-of-the-art classroom and co-working space designed to give students the ideal environment to learn and practice the skills required of tomorrow’s educators.

To learn more about Thomas College’s Center for Innovation in Education, visit thomas.edu/cie .

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