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About the Conference on Educational Access

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The 2018 Mary E. Benjamin Conference on Educational Access will address the importance of reading regardless of discipline in education that will prepare students for college, careers, and life. The conference will:

  • Discuss the impact of social, ethical, and economic issues related to reading
  • Examine how ACT aspire standards in reading align with teaching across the curriculum
  • Facilitate networking among Arkansas’ regional and national educators, students, administrators, community, parents and policymakers in strengthening reading for K-16 students
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for evidence-based strategies in developing and supporting K-16 students’ reading as they pursue life-long careers in Education, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and/or Mathematics

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Tenita Gragg
Interim Director
Upward Bound program

Dr. Felicia Taylor Waller, Ph.D., MCHES
Assistant Professor
Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

Dr. Esther Robinson
Assistant Professor
Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Registration and Logistics

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*Registration Open Now* 

Please complete by April  13, 2018

Participants & Presenters $75.00 | Students $25.00

General Registration Fee for participants, presenters, and students includes all conference materials, breakfast, luncheon and refreshments.

To Register and Pay Online  (Debit/Credit Card/Check)       
Click here to register online: Register for the Ed Access Conference online

To Register and send your payment;  Registration Form and Fee are due by April 13, 2018
Please download, print and fill out the registration form here

UAPB employees can pay via Interdepartmental Chargeback

Please return the registration form with your Registration Fee to:
School of Education
Educational Access Registration Committee
1200 North University Drive, Mail Slot 4927
Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71601

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STEM Conference Center

Location: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Campus
Corner of Watson Blvd and L.A. "Prexy" Davis Drive

Keynote Speakers

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Kathy Mascuilli
Literacy Program Administrator
Arkansas Department of Education

Kathy Mascuilli is a 34 year education veteran that has worked as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, a technical assistant for the Reading First Initiative, and a literacy specialist for the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). She is currently the Literacy Program Administrator.

As a classroom teacher, she taught in grades 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1. She spent the majority of her classroom years in the first grade classroom where she was responsible for teaching all subjects. Mascuilli was a literacy coach for two years in the school where she taught the longest and coached K-3 teachers in helping to provide the targeted literacy instruction that focused on the needs of the students.

In her work at the ADE, Mascuilli worked with the Reading First Initiative by working with literacy coaches in their school as they were working with teachers to implement reading instruction that was targeted to the needs of their students. She worked with administrators to know what to look for in classrooms where the instruction that was most effective for students was taking place.

As an ADE literacy specialist, Mascuilli collaborated with the statewide literacy specialists in providing professional development for the teachers of Arkansas to make sure they were on the cutting edge of literacy instruction.

Now as the Literacy Program Administrator, Mascuilli works to oversee the work of 70+ statewide literacy specialists and the work they are doing for the educators in their cooperative areas. The work with the R.I.S.E. initiative has been overwhelmingly the focus for the last year and will be for years to come.

Mascuilli has a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville and holds a Reading Specialist’s K-12 certification as well.

She is married to Sam Mascuilli, a retired educator, and have three children: Antonio, Zeke and Manny, and two grandchildren, Gino and Mia.

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Paula Findley
Literacy Specialist
Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative

Paula Findley has been an educator for 35 years. She graduated with BSE from UCA and her Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She has a license in K-12 Literacy, Elementary Administration, K-12 Curriculum Specialist, and Middle School Social Studies.

Findley has taught in Springdale, White Hall, and Pine Bluff School Districts and worked as a K-12 Literacy Specialist at ARESC for 13 years. She was given the opportunity to be the Dean of Elementary Literacy Instruction/Curriculum Coordinator for the Pulaski County School District for four years. She worked as a Literacy Facilitator for the Pine Bluff School District for 3 years. She returned to ARESC because she has a passion for providing professional development for teachers to become the best they can be and she still has a big heart for teaching children.

The favorite part of her job is building relationships with children, teachers, literacy facilitators and principals. She loves learning! “When I am with other professionals at the ADE meetings and our ARESC meetings, I enjoy the thought provoking conversations we have learning the most recent research in the areas of reading and writing. Currently, we are focused on RISE (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) and the Science of Reading.”

Community involvement is another passion. As past president of the Arkansas Reading Association and past president of the Jefferson County Reading Association, Findley has helped pack Booster Book Bags for children receiving their booster shots at the health department, worked with Centerpoint Entergy for Read Across America Day, provided materials for teachers and students, trained tutors in the Pine Bluff School District, and worked with White Hall Founder’s Day to provide free books for children who visited the Jefferson County Reading Council booth.

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