uofm stea conference

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis hosted the first-ever Western Regional Conference for the Student Tennessee Education Association (STEA) on Friday. STEA is a group of Tennessee education students, mostly in their Junior and Senior years, and reservice teachers who meet to discuss current events and issues in the world of education, issues that may not yet be taught in their curriculum.

“Events like this serve several purposes,” said Dr. Tammy Combs, an Asst. Professor of Teaching Urban Education at UofM’s College of Education. “It’s a great networking opportunity for students to see other perspectives. This is a great opportunity to help students understand these difference topics that are going to impact their future practice as teachers.”

Among the topics, according to Dr. Combs, will be trauma-informed teaching, or teaching students who have experienced some kind of trauma, and AI in the classroom. UofM COE had two presenters at Friday’s conference: Dr. Keishana Barnes from COE’s Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership (ICL) and Dr. Sharon Griffin with the Department of Leadership, who gave the keynote address.Dr. Tammy Combs speaker at conference

“We are honored to have our College of Education here at the University of Memphis serve as co-host for the Western STEA fall conference,” said COE Dean Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke. “Members of our faculty and staff assisted with conference planning and presented sessions. Today’s conference was filled with engaging conversations, new learning and collaboration among West TN colleges and schools of education.”

For years, STEA held a statewide conference, but the organization felt regional conferences would be more intimate and impactful. UofM was placed in the Western Region and was asked to host the first conference, hosting ten other colleges and universities. The other college and universities are LeMoyne Owen, Christian Brothers, Southwest Tennessee CC, Dyersburg State CC, Union University, Freed-Hardeman University, Jackson State CC, Lane College, and UT Martin.

Currently, UofM has twenty-nine members in its STEA chapter. Interested students can learn more about applying to become a member at www.memphis.edu/education/students/stea.php.