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Space in Pawley Hall pays tribute to late educator’s passion for collaboration

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Space in Pawley Hall pays tribute to late educator’s passion for collaboration

Morehead Collaborative Space
Special instructor Linda Tyson, Department of Teacher Development and Educational Studies, still smiles when she thinks about the inscription on her friend Pamela Morehead’s doctoral dissertation.

It said, “Keep your eye on the donut and not the hole.”

Until her death in 2008, Morehead was the embodiment of that call for optimism. And the chair of OU’s Teacher Development and Educational Studies department had a way of inspiring the same outlook in others.

“She was probably one of the warmest, most genuine, engaging and humorous individuals I’ve ever known,” Tyson says. “She had a connection with everyone in our department.”

It was Morehead’s passion and collaborative spirit that inspired an anonymous donor to contribute $50,000 to the School of Education and Human Services (SEHS) for the creation of the Pamela Morehead Faculty/Staff Collaborative Space.

The space will be open on the fourth floor of Pawley Hall. Plans include an inspirational quote wall, soft seating, table seating and a coffee machine.

Louis B. Gallien, Jr., SEHS dean, says the new lounge will be a welcome arrival. “This space will allow groups of people to meet, talk and share ideas,” Gallien says.

“This gift is a perfect way to honor Pam,” Bob Maxfield, associate professor of education, Department of Educational Leadership, says. “She would have been in there stirring up conversations.”

Maxfield says he had been on the job at OU for about “a nanosecond” when Morehead found him to talk about teacher leadership.

“She had passion and ideas of how to make a really good school. Her enthusiasm was contagious,” Maxfield recalls.

Maxfield eagerly collaborated with Morehead on a teacher leadership program curriculum, and started production of educational leadership podcasts.

Their “Podcasts for Leaderful Schools,” launched in 2007, have addressed topics such as collaborative leadership, social justice and school reform. The guest list has ranged from area principals and superintendents to nationally known authors and teacher educators.

“It was all Pam,” Maxfield says. “We carried some of the biggest names in the country.”

Tyson, who now does the podcasts with Maxfield, says she couldn’t be more pleased about the idea of memorializing Morehead with the new faculty/staff space.

“She would have loved it,” Tyson says. “She would have liked the idea of a place where faculty can go for critical conversations.”

Pictured above: The Pamela Morehead Faculty/Staff Collaborative Space