Miranda to hold first Casto Professorship
Prominent school psychologist to enhance interprofessional education, bringing together many disciplines to solve issues
Antoinette H. Miranda, a prominent school psychologist, will be the first holder of the William H. and Laceryjette V. Casto Professorship in Interprofessional Education in Honor of Henry and Ruth Leuchter and Van Bogard and Geraldine Dunn.
She looks forward to fulfilling the charge of the professorship, which is to continue and enhance interprofessional education at Ohio State.
Interprofessional education began at the university in 1973 under the direction of the Interprofessional Commission of Ohio. Each course brings together students and faculty from a wide range of disciplines with similar goals but very different problem-solving approaches.
Miranda anticipates developing an interprofessional course that would emphasize service learning. Her vision calls for students and faculty from multiple disciplines to partner in creating a model university-assisted community school.
“I would guide the class in connecting with a high-need school and its local community to conduct a needs assessment,” she said. “Working from a social justice perspective, we would collaborate to meet the identified needs. Ohio State already does this with some schools. I would like to extend the opportunity to another school and include an interprofessional perspective in every phase of the course.”
“Antoinette and I have been colleagues and friends for the past 15 years,” said Mike Casto, one of Bill and Lacy Casto’s sons and faculty emeritus in the Department of Educational Studies. “I am very pleased that she has accepted the appointment as the first Casto Professor. She agrees with my mom and dad’s belief in education as both the key to economic success and to improving the world and the quality of life for all.”
Known as the architect of the urban focus
Since joining the college in 1988, Miranda has emerged as the architect of the urban focus in the college’s School Psychology program. Her efforts have made it one of the few such programs in the country with this emphasis. School psychologists are showing increased interest in the urban focus as they concentrate on helping children in poverty and special education improve academic achievement. Miranda believes collaboration with other disciplines is essential to making these improvements.
Miranda is also a leader in articulating how the school psychologist serves with other disciplines as a social justice advocate for vulnerable and marginalized school children. She co-edited School Psychology and Social Justice: Conceptual Foundations and Tools for Practice, the only school psychology book currently available with social justice as a framework.
Earlier this year, the national Trainers of School Psychologists celebrated Miranda’s excellence by presenting her with the Trainers Outstanding Contributions to Training Award.
Miranda has partnered with many schools and professionals from other disciplines in central Ohio. Most recently, she has worked with Columbus City Schools, training teachers and Interprofessional problem-solving teams to work with urban populations. She emphasizes how to develop and put in place the most efficient, effective interventions and classroom management strategies to help children be successful academically and behaviorally.
“Because so many of our kids in poverty have not been to preschool, they may come to kindergarten not knowing how to behave in class, how to transition from one activity to another, how to self-regulate their behavior,” Miranda said. “We can have educational equity by making sure they have the necessary skills and resources so they can achieve. All professionals in the school community need to work together toward this goal.”
Tradition of interprofessional education at Ohio State
Luvern L. Cunningham, then dean of the college, and Van Bogard “Bogie” Dunn, dean of the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio, collaborated with other colleges, disciplines and schools in 1973 to develop and offer graduate and professional courses in interprofessional education at Ohio State.
In addition to courses, they founded the Interprofessional Commission of Ohio to provide continuing education and training that enabled practicing professionals in different helping disciplines, including medicine, law, theology, allied health, nursing, social work and more, to be willing and effective partners.
About 15 years ago, Mike Casto recognized the value of creating a permanent professorship. His parents, Bill and Lacy, and his brother, Bill, decided they would join Mike to endow the position with a lead donor gift. Henry and Ruth Leuchter’s gift in the final months of Henry’s life provided the funds needed to fully endow it.
Building the future of interprofessional education
Miranda’s passion for her work came from her years as a school psychologist in District 23 Brownsville, one of the most impoverished districts in New York City Public Schools. That experience set the agenda for what she wanted to do when she came to academia.
She has concentrated her time at Ohio State on training college students to work effectively with culturally diverse students. Most recently, she has focused on identifying best practices for working with marginalized students.
Today, she sees the Casto Professorship as an opportunity to put into broader perspective the concepts she has honed over the last 26 years. In addition to developing the interprofessional course with the service learning emphasis, she will continue to teach the two Ohio State interprofessional courses that have been offered since 1973 in collaboration with other colleges and seminaries.
As in the service learning course, she wants to involve students and faculty from many helping professions. She also plans to extend her research to include best practices in interprofessional education and practice among marginalized populations.
She points out that the Seminar on Ethical Issues Common to the Helping Professions already includes students and, in some cases, faculty from law, medicine, theology, education, nursing, pharmacy and the allied health professions. It could easily be of interest to students in counselor education, social work, school psychology, special education and more. She would also like to engage faculty from these areas in teaching the interprofessional courses.
“We are grateful to Mike and Bill Casto, their parents and all those who partnered with them to make the Casto Professorship on Interprofessional Education a reality,” said Cheryl Achterberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology. “Given the strong emphasis today on multidisciplinary collaboration to solve complex problems of society, I envision the Casto Professorship having an important impact on our ability to grow and develop interprofessional achievements in years to come.”