Lutrill and Pearl Payne School of Education Doctoral Candidate Presents at Prestigious National Marine Educators Association

September 12, 2023

BATON ROUGE, LA - Ali McMillan, a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction in the Lutrill & Pearl Payne College of Education, recently attended and presented at the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) annual conference in Bellingham, WA. The NMEA annual conference is a special event that annually brings together hundreds of professional educators dedicated to teaching about marine, coastal and aquatic environments.

At the NMEA Conference, held in Bellingham, WA, McMillan was part of a team of Louisiana educators who presented place-based lessons they tied to existing curriculum to add local context and enhance student learning. The session titled, Researcher - Teacher Collaborations: Bringing Louisiana Phenomena into the Classroom, featured an overview of a pilot Sea Grant Education Network exchange program. A framework, initial outcomes, and future recommendations were presented. The session highlighted the facilitation of marine science activities that were shared and adapted as part of the exchange. McMillan joined newly appointed School of Education’s Office of Professional Experience as Certification Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Cook as part of the Louisiana team.

McMillan’s scholarship is situated at the intersection of literacy and place-based learning. She sharpened her focus a middle school teacher and literacy coach in West Feliciana where she was the recipient of a National Geographic grant. McMillan recently joined LSU’s Sea Grant as Education Coordinator. McMillan’s major professor, Dr. Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell commented, “Ali dissertation highlights the importance of teaching children about environmental impact on physical spaces worldwide but especially, in Louisiana. Her study is a longitudinal autoethnographic case study wherein she investigated the experiences of seventeen middle school students who engaged in a three-day residential environmental education program. Through a postmodern theoretical perspective, McMillan investigated the individual literacy and nature place-based learning experiences of these select students. Her work is significant in terms of what teachers state-wide can do to significantly address environmentalism and stewardship.

About Lutrill & Pearl Payne LSU School of Education (SOE)

A school of the College of Human Sciences & Education, the SOE offers undergraduate programs for students who want to pursue a career as a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teacher or acquire dual certification in both traditional elementary and special education classrooms. Besides providing graduate certification in Instructional Coaching, educational technology, and urban & community education, the SOE offers a writing pedagogy minor, and a master’s degree in arts, arts in teaching, education (MEd), education in counseling (MEd), certificate of education specialist (EdS) and PhD. The School’s mission is to prepare educational professionals to be leaders, practitioners, and scholars knowledgeable in contemporary educational issues. Visit the LSU Lutrill and Pearl Payne School of Education.

About LSU College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE)

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan. Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education.