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Seven COE Doctoral Students Selected to the Future Faculty Fellowship Program

Seven University of Houston, College of Education (UH COE) students: Kathy Brown (Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction- Art); Sami Elestwani (Ed.D. in Professional Leadership - Medical Center); Shiva Khalaf (Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences); Dan Li (Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction - Art); Yumei Li (Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction- Social/History Education); Trang Phan (Ph.D. in Higher Education) and John Smith (Ed.D. in Professional Leadership - Medical Center) were selected from UH to participate as Future Faculty Fellows (F3).  Awardees were drawn from majors ranging across all the disciplines offered at UH.   

The F3 is funded, and based off tenants set forth by the Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded network of 23 premier universities. The University of Houston is one of the universities involved in this academic pursuit.

From the scholars, seven of our students were selected to teach a course. One of the courses taught was called CORE 1101 for undergraduates across disciplines. Students are awarded based on the strategies and effectiveness used.

The F3 program has a four-week training component, taking place in the fall of 2016 that is supplemented by subsequent seminars and workshops throughout the 2016-2017 academic year. The teaching load for each student involved varies from departmental-supported assignment to graduate school assignment.

Kathy BrownKathy Brown: Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction - Art

Brown’s research interests include: community arts organizations and social justice, culturally relevant pedagogy and African-American students, post colonialism and urban education, museum education and interpretive practice. Upon graduation she plans to secure a full time tenure track professorship. “Receiving this award is very important to me,” said Brown. “It means that the university feels that I have what it takes to become a college professor.”  Brown credits professor Sheng Kuan Chung and clinical associate professor Carrie Markello (Art Education), professor Cameron White (Social Education) and professor Lee Mountain (Literacy and Language Arts) for inspiring her during her studies.

Sami ElestwaniSami Elestwani: Ed.D. in Professional Leadership - Medical Center

“My doctoral program is led by wonderful mentors, inspirational educators, and great leaders in higher education” Elestwani hopes to continue working in academia stating. “…I hope that this fellowship will help me further my career goal in becoming a fulltime educator at the University of Houston.” Elestwani’s interest is in Health Sciences Education, “My current research project examines the relationship between education and clinical proficiency for allied health professionals, with a focus on Electroneurodiagnostic professionals.”


Shiva KhalafShiva Khalaf: Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences

Khalaf, has learned a great deal about faculty work and responsibility, “but I believe this award will enhance my chances of securing a permanent faculty position in the future.” Khalaf plans “to continue my research in the field of education and to continue working at TIMES (Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics) research center.” She also adds associate professor, Kristi Santi has inspired her journey along the way. “Dr. Santi has been very supportive and has been a great role model to me since I joined the program. She has encouraged and motivated me to work harder, think critically and become a better researcher.”


Dan LiDan Li: Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction - Art

During the summer, Li attended numerous workshops because they peaked her interest, “Although the program requires 12 hours of training, I attended all of them… I think this skill can help me apply this training in my class teaching.” Li feels, she was provided with a great opportunity to network with different students and departments, “this award gives me a lot of opportunities to improve my knowledge in professional teaching.”


Yumei LiYumei Li: Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction- Social/History Education

Li is an international student who has been a professor in China for 9 years. “My interest is to explore the application of learner-centered pedagogy in ESL/EFL (English as a Second Language/English as a Foreign Language) education, rejecting deficit conceptions of engaging linguistically and culturally diverse students.” Li, has had several publications in EFL education and a more recent one in The English Record published in Spring/Summer 2016. “As an international doctoral student, I hope to promote a mutual understanding between people from different cultures through my research and teaching practice” When asked what COE professors inspired her most, Li named professors Cameron White, Cheryl Craig, and Lee Mountain; visiting assistant professors Christine Beaudry and Dustine Thomas and; clinical assistant professor Samuel Brower.  “I have been blessed to have many highly accomplished and dedicated professors on my doctoral journey in the UH College of Education,” she said.


Trang PhanTrang Phan: Ph.D. in Higher Education

“I am so very honored to have been selected.” said Phan. “…I have the privileged opportunity to work with other fellows … as well as wonderful students, as I continue to build my base of experiences, knowledge, teaching, and learning skills in order to meaningfully engage with students in higher education.” Phan’s Study focuses on the immigrant and minority population “My current research focuses on the study of identity and its role in college persistence.” She hopes to extend her research adding, “I am interested in conducting qualitative research that will explore issues of social justice and critical social inquiry in higher education, both in the United States and abroad”


John SmithJohn Smith: Ed.D. in Professional Leadership - Medical Center

Smith, feels this fellowship is “a motivating force in my pursuit for my ultimate goal right now” Smiths research focuses on African-American men in the medicine field. Smith told us “There is a dire need for African-American men in medicine and over the past 37 years the numbers have significantly dropped in regards to them going to medical school.” He hopes to continue his research “by researching the motivational factors in which African-American men pursue careers in all professional fields of medicine, not just as physicians.”