Thank you, Sonya

by | Monday, August 03, 2020

Written for my dear friend Sonya-Gunnings Moton, on her retirement from the College of Education at Michigan State University.

Dear Sonya, wishing you all the very best on your retirement. Just want to say how much I have valued having you as a friend and colleague during my stay at MSU. And yes, I totally need to pay you for all the cigarettes I bummed off you during the conversations we had in the “smoking” space in Erickson Hall. All worth it, because it led to one of the most amazing projects I have been part of—the MSU Urban-STEM project. These photos cannot capture just how transformative this project was: 125 teachers working in Chicago Public Schools working with the most awesome instructional and support team ever. We made it happen. A genuine, meaningful and transformative partnership at so many levels. 

Sonya, it has been my privilege to have worked with you over the years. I have learned so much from you, your strength, moral clarity, passion and commitment to education. And most of all, you confirmed something I sort of knew already—that we can be ultra-serious about the work we do, but that does not mean that we need to take ourselves too seriously. You cut through the academic bullshit to focus on what was truly important. You reminded me everyday that one can laugh and have fun even while being passionate and totally committed to the work.

I miss your irreverence, laughter, passion and commitment. You made my world, and that of everyone else who came in touch with you, a better place. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I am a better person for having known you. I wish you all the very best and I do hope our paths will cross in the near future.

A few randomly selected blog posts…

Students video premiere on aftered.tv

This just in. Leigh Wolf just informed me that a video created by three of her students this past summer accepted by AfterEd - a web-based video channel produced by EdLab at Teachers College, Columbia University. New content is published weekly, including news,...

MSU Fight Song: MAET style

The summer of 2015, there were 133 students and instructors in the hybrid and overseas components of the MAET program. These people were spread out across three locations: East Lansing, MI (with 2 cohorts, Yr1 and 2 of MAET); Chicago, IL (with 2 cohorts of the...

Political poetry

What do Donald Rumsfeld and Sarah Palin have in common? Turns out that they both deliver speeches that can, at be, without much effort, converted into poetry. Check out this and this. Some of them are quite briliant.

Only one recipe…

I have been catching up on my reading of Slate and came across this gem of an article by Judith Shulevitz titled, The care and feeding of fiction. Shulevitz has written a quasi-review of James Wood's new book How fiction works and makes we want to read the book...

Browsing for gender

Just found out about this rather nifty tool that looks at your browser history and estimates your gender. My personal results were as follows: Likelihood of you being FEMALE is 24% Likelihood of you being MALE is 76% Try it out for yourself, or read more about how...

The loneliness of a long distance migrant

“On bad days, I do feel lonely in a way that I can’t explain,” so says Dilip Ratha, a World Bank economist who studies the economics of migration. The article, a profile of Ratha's life and work, is worth a read, but what really stood out for me was the above quote,...

EPET at SITE, 2014

SITE2014 (the annual conference of the Society of Information Technology in Teacher Education) is being held in Jacksonville, Florida starting the 17th of March. As always, the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program at MSU has a significant presence...

Into mindfulness & creativity

Into mindfulness & creativity

We have covered a wide range of topics in our ongoing series on creativity, technology and learning (in the journal TechTrends), including 30+ interviews with some of the top scholars in the field. More recently we have been trying to create a series of 2-4 articles...

Engineering education, past & future

Neeraj Buch and I were invited to talk to a group of engineering educators from India. This was a meeting organized by the College of Engineering and the Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education. The topic I spoke about was was Improving Engineering Education:...

2 Comments

  1. Sonya Gunnings-Moton

    Our paths will cross again…you can count on it my friend. Thank You!

    Reply
    • Yolanda Hood, Ed.S

      Dr. Gunnings-Moton,

      My name is Yolanda Hood (when I met you I was Yolanda Jackson at Holmes Middle School in Flint, MI under the leadership of Cheryl Adkins).

      I have been trying to follow you and your great work ever since you worked with us during an amazing professional development and when you honored me the chance to listen to and speak with Pedro Noguera during a session at MSU.

      As Dr. Angelou said, “People may not remember what you said or did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel”. I’ll never forgot those two moments. Meeting and “sitting at your feet” helped to increase my drive for being a responsible and intentional culturally proficient Teacher-Leader.

      Thank you for what you’ve done in education in Michigan. It is to be commended. I’m interested in knowing what new things are you involved in as an independent consultant and work at MSU. I’m leaving my info here and hope to be able to connect with you.

      Congrats on your retirement and best wishes!
      – Yolanda Hood, Ed.S

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *