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March 20, 2007 :: Big 12 Education Leaders Converge in Oklahoma City

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For the second time in a month, representatives from the Big 12 converged in downtown Oklahoma City. This visit wasn’t for basketball tournaments, but instead a conference about education research at Big 12 universities.

The first-ever Big 12 Educational Research Conference was hosted Saturday and Sunday at the Cox Convention Center. The conference brought together more than 50 researchers and education advocates who discussed how to emphasize education research conducted at the Big 12 research institutions.

The conference was hosted by Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

Dr. Adrienne Hyle, associate dean of graduate, research and international studies at the OSU College of Education, believes the conference provided a regional platform for discussions and distribution of cutting-edge education research.

“Such a platform is essential for our future,” Hyle said. “We must collaborate to explore and solve the pressing issues that impact our children’s education and preparation of our educators.”

The conference began Saturday evening with poster presentations and a reception hosted by OU. On Sunday participants attended five breakout sessions about relevant issues in education and heard a keynote address from Dr. Vicki Dimock, program manager at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL), a nonprofit research and development corporation in Texas.

Dimock focuses on putting research into practice within education and has led research-based projects at SEDL.

“Too often education leaders are not adequately trained in a setting that makes them think about research as a critical component of their work,” Dimock said.

Dr. Jon Pederson, OU professor and associate dean of graduate studies and research, was delighted to see such high-quality and varied research interests by the presenters.

“The quality and diversity of the presentations only underscores the excellence of the Big 12,” Pederson said. “Researchers such as the ones here are national leaders in educational research, and their work is having a direct impact on children and education.”